What Is Heaven Like?

(Part 2)

Heaven is often depicted as dull, where we spend our days singing praise songs, strumming the harp, and polishing the streets of gold. Who wants to look forward to that?!  

God created us in His image with taste buds, imaginations, and capacity for fascination, learning, exhilaration, and pleasure. He made us so that we may enjoy beauty, adventure, and laughter, have purpose and fun, be creative and curious, and have love, joy, and fulfillment. 

The best of this world, including music, work in the garden, time with friends and family laughing, nature, delightful foods, and the sweet parts of life apart from brokenness and sin, are little glimpses and foretastes of Heaven. They are previews of the more extraordinary life to come. 

Satan’s lie, twists us into believing that God is boring, that sin is exciting, and that righteousness is dull.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (NKJV).

Let’s explore what Heaven will be like:

  1. God Living Among His People in the New Holy City.

Revelation 21:3 says, “I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them (NIV).

Here is the significant change – Right now, nothing exists apart from God. In Discipleship on the Edge, Darrell W. Johnson says, “In the new city, nothing exists outside of God!” He also explains that “We will finally live, consciously so, within the circle of the inner Trinitarian relations of God. We, mere creatures, and creation itself will be drawn into the circle of Holy love that has forever existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

WOW! My heart swells with joy and excitement at the thought of being wrapped up in the perfect love and presence of our triune God. Can you imagine?

2. The Glory of God Illuminates the City.

The city glows with the presence of God. Gems, jewels, diamonds, and jasper sparkle and shine as they reflect God’s glory.  

In Revelation, John searches for the source of this glory and light, finds a figure standing at the point where the light shines most brightly, and realizes that it is the Lamb. The crucified Savior is illuminating the new city!  

Revelation 21:23 says, “And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.”

John writes in Revelation 21:10-12, “So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal” (NLT).

3. Heaven Will Have Tangible, Familiar, Material Things.

Heaven, by Randy Alcorn, says, “We’ll have an eternity full of things to do. The Bible’s picture of resurrected people at work in a vibrant society on a resurrected earth couldn’t be more compelling. (No wonder Satan works so hard to rob us of it.) God will give us renewed minds and marvelously constructed bodies, full of energy and vision.”

We will serve God in Heaven according to Revelation 22:3. Alcorn says, “Work in Heaven won’t be frustrating or fruitless; it will involve lasting accomplishments, unhindered by decay and fatigue, and enhanced by unlimited resources. We’ll do work that thrills and fulfills us, designed for our gifting and aptitude. We’ll approach our work in Heaven with the same enthusiasm we now bring to our favorite sports or hobbies.”

We will reign with Christ, exercise leadership, and make decisions.

In Discipleship on the Edge, Johnson explains, “The destiny of God’s people is not “to go to heaven.” Our destiny is to enter a new heaven and a new earth. Earth. Stuff.”

4. God’s People From All Nations and Tribes Will Be Present in Heaven.

We will have eternity to meet people and interact with those we have only wished to spend time with or learn from. This fact is so exciting to me!  

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” Through the ages, we will all be together, known and understood.

In Revelation, John describes “peoples” as plural. In Discipleship on the Edge, Johnson says, “No one ethnic grouping can bear or manifest the full image of God. It takes us all. And in the new city, we are all there as God’s multi-ethnic race.” We will be together as God’s chosen people.

God’s name, a symbol of character and holiness, will be etched upon our foreheads, letting us become all that the Lord designed us to be in His image and likeness.

Our new bodies on a new earth will be perfect, and we will experience the life we could only hope for and dream of.

Bodies that don’t get tired or break down, and the thought that I can go throughout my day without being bubble-headed or tired, sounds lovely. Can I hear an “Amen?”

5. We will serve and worship God.

According to Gotquestions.org, “Jesus said, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10). It’s interesting to note that Jesus did not say “praise and serve.” Even the briefest examination of the word praise in the Bible quickly shows it’s a verbal thing and is, for the most part, singing. 

Worship, however, is from the heart. Worship manifests itself in praise. Serving God is worship, and Scripture is clear we will serve God in heaven. “His servants will serve Him” (Revelation 22:3).”

We will be motivated by our unhindered, extravagant love for God, untainted by sin.    

6. New Spiritual Bodies in Heaven.

Paul describes our new heavenly bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:40-52

 “There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 

45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being;” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (NIV).

What does this all mean?  

Apostle Paul is saying that our earthly bodies are created for time and space here on earth, but our heavenly bodies will be made for timeless Heaven.

We will be raised with new, glorious bodies, completely free from the ravages of sin and possessing the glory of Christ.

David Gusik, a commentator for Blueletterbible.org, says, “When you plant a wheat seed, a big wheat seed does not come up. Instead, a stalk of wheat grows. So, even though our resurrection bodies come from our present bodies, we should not expect that they will be the same bodies or just “improved” bodies. There are all different kinds of “bodies” in God’s creation, including celestial bodies. Our resurrection body will be a heavenly celestial body, suited for life in heaven, not only life on this earth.”

 “The righteous are put into their graves all weary and worn; but as such they will not rise. They go there with the furrowed brow, the hollowed cheek, the wrinkled skin; they shall wake up in beauty and glory.” (Spurgeon) 

“Since we will bear the image of the heavenly Man, the best example we have of what a resurrection body will be like is to see what Jesus’ resurrection body was like. The resurrection body of Jesus was material and could eat (Luke 24:39-43), yet it was not bound by the laws of nature (Luke 24:31).

7. Eating and Drinking in Heaven.

At the last supper with His disciples, Jesus said, “I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (NIV).

It sounds like we will enjoy wine with Jesus in Heaven, but there will not be a corruption of sin so that no one will have a problem with the fruit of the vine.

It needs to be clarified if we will eat in Heaven, not out of necessity, but for pleasure.  

Gotquestions.org explains, “When John the Apostle was given a vision of the New Jerusalem, he was shown “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse…” (Revelation 22:1-3). The text does not say whether we will actually eat the fruit of the tree of life, but that is certainly possible.”

Jesus gives each believer this hope to look forward to right now in John 14:1-3,

 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (NIV).

AMEN! This world is not all there is. We have the hope and promise of Heaven, eternal harmony with God, and everlasting bliss.

What stood out to you about the hope of Heaven?  Please share in the comments below.

To learn more about Heaven the following resources are excellent:

Heaven, by Randy Alcorn

The book of Revelation

Discipleship on the Edge, by Darrell W. Johnson

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