Over the years there have many ideas and beliefs concerning what heaven will be like. Sadly, many of these are based on someone’s experience, desire or some TV commercial. As a result of this, some of the descriptions have been bizarre and frankly unbiblical. Well, can we answer the question, what is heaven like?
In order to answer this question our attention must be directed toward Scripture. It is only there where we can find a reliable and truthful portrait of this glorious place.
When it comes to this topic the Bible is not silent. In-fact, there are many passages one could go to in order to discover what awaits the people of God. In this post I will restrict myself to a small passage in the book of Revelation –
(Rev 21:3-8). In these verses John gives a big picture overview of what heaven will be like:
A Place of Communion with God
Firstly, heaven is a place of communion with God. When John saw this glorious place he heard the following words, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God‘ (Rev 21:3). In the OT the Lord dwelt with His people in a special way in the holy of holies. In the incarnation God dwelt among men (John 1:14). However, in heaven it will be a complete and unveiled dwelling. There will be perfect fellowship with the Lord! This was the longing of Asaph and ought to be ours too: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” Psalm 73:25.
A Place of Changed Conditions
Secondly, unlike this corrupt and cursed world, heaven will be marked by radically changed conditions. “God will wipe away every tear” and there will be no: death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Rev 21:4) – all things will be new
(Rev 21:1, 5)! We cannot begin to imagine a place that is without sin, but heaven will be a place in which righteousness abounds. Of course, much more could be said about the activities God’s people will partake in and what the appearance of Heaven’s capital will be like, but that is for another occasion.
A Place of Converted Citizens
A final amazing feature of heaven is concerning its citizens. The Lord says, “The one who conquers will have this heritage” (Rev 21:7 a). The “one who conquers” (or “overcomes”) is a reference to those who are genuine believers in Christ
(cf. 1 John 5:4-5). They are the ones who by God’s grace found forgiveness of sins by means of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The outcasts of heaven are those who rejected the gospel of Christ (Rev 21:9). Heaven will be a place where God’s people will fellowship with one another and enjoy the blessings of their eternal home.
What will heaven be like? This brief passage gives us a glimpse of what awaits us. May we benefit greatly from what God has revealed to us in His word concerning heaven, and may we long for it as it will be the eternal home for the believer in Christ (Hebrews 13:14)!
Picture credit: mklapper, some rights reserved