When we die, we will go to be with God in heaven, but what is heaven like? Granted, it will transcend our comprehension in wonder and glory, but what do we know from the Bible?
- Heaven is paradise (Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). People have different ideas of what defines paradise, but I am sure that God’s definition will satisfy all.
- Heaven is being forever in God’s presence in a way that we have never been before (Revelation 21:3). God won’t be “out there” in heaven but among us.
- Heaven is something new (Revelation 21:5). It is not something renovated or recycled but brand new. God will make both a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). There won’t be any tarnishing effects of sin, but all will be pure and perfect. All things will be made new.
- There won’t be any seas any longer, though there will be rivers (Revelation 21:1, 22:1-2).
- There will be the New Jerusalem on earth, a holy city of believers 1500 mi in height, width, and length (Revelation 21:10, 16).
- There won’t be any tears any longer, meaning that there won’t be any death, crying, mourning, or pain. As believers enter eternity in heaven, God will remove all of their hurt (Revelation 21:4).
- Heaven is only for believers (Revelation 21:7).
- Heaven is a perfect family with God as Father and with us as His children (Revelation 21:7).
- The holy city of believers will be made of pure gold that is transparent, as will its streets (Revelation 21:18, 21).
- The foundation of the wall will be made up of all kinds of precious stones (Revelation 21:19-21).
- There will be no house of worship, temple, or tabernacle because God and Christ are the temple (Revelation 21:22).
- There will be no need for the sun or the moon to shine within the city because the glory of God will illumine it, and its lamp will be Christ Himself (Revelation 21:23, 22:5).
- It will be possible to go in and out of the city because there will be believing people and believing kings on the new earth. All will bring reverence to Christ, for all will conduct themselves by the light of Christ (Revelation 21:24-26). All unbelievers are in hell at this time (Revelation 22:15, 20:14-15).
- There will never be any night in the city, which seems to imply that our new bodies won’t need sleep. Either that, or we won’t need night to sleep. Certainly, we will find perfect rest in the light and glory of Christ. The gates of the city will always be open during the day (Revelation 21:25).
- There will be a crystal clear river coming from the throne of God and of Christ in the middle of the street (Revelation 22:1).
- The tree of life will be in heaven on both sides of the river, bearing a different kind of fruit each month, and its leaves are for the healing of the nations. This literal trees symbolize eternal life, peace, harmony, total enjoyment, pleasure, perfect worship, and probably much more (Revelation 22:2).
- There will be no curse in heaven so the creation will be free to be as it should be. There will be no fear between animals and humans or between species (Isaiah 65:25). There will be no carnivores because there will be no death. Work won’t be toilsome but pleasurable, and there won’t be any struggles relationally between people (Revelation 22:3). No curse means no sin.
- Heaven will include the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:3). This literal truth implies perfect security and intimacy with God.
- We will serve God (Revelation 22:3), and there won’t be any of our sinful flesh left to keep us from being wholly devoted to Him.
- We will see the face of Christ (Revelation 22:3). Can you imagine meeting God by seeing Christ face to face?
- We will reign forever and ever with Christ (Revelation 22:5). Eternity is a long time, but how we live now determines how we will live forever. We will either be experiencing God’s wrath in hell, or we will reign with Christ to God’s glory in heaven.
If heaven sounds desirable and the alternative not so desirable, may we heed Christ’s words before it is too late:
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).