What Is Heaven Like?
Heaven is where God is. He is the light of heaven, the joy of heaven.
As you mature in your understanding of the Bible, you realize there is no material
concept of heaven that will do it justice. The Bible talks about streets of gold
as clear as crystal and walls made out of precious stones (see Revelation 21:18-21).
All sorts of images immediately come to mind when we mention heaven. More than
anything else, heaven is a spiritual condition where one spiritual being is in
touch with another spiritual being, and there is total communication and fellowship.
Whatever we consider to be a joy here on earth will be heightened millions
of times beyond anything we can conceive when we get to heaven. The apostle Paul
put it this way: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart
of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (I Corinthians
In the Middle Ages philosophers talked about the "ultimate good." The
ultimate good to them was being in the presence of God. That will be the greatest
aspect of heaven. Those who are there will be in His immediate presence, in a
way no one can possibly know this side of eternity.
Being in God's presence
will bring an intensity of delight that will far exceed anything we could know
here on earth. Furthermore, in heaven there will be neither death, nor sorrow,
nor sickness, nor poverty.
"He will dwell with them, and they shall be His
people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe
away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor
crying; and there shall be nor more pain, for the former things have passed away"
The Bible also talks about crowns and thrones in heaven,
so we do know that heaven is not just a huge democracy where there is no differentiation
of function (see Revelation 4:4-11). There will be different functions and different
levels of responsibility assigned to different people. For there will still be
levels of order and structure throughout God's universe.
The Bible says that
those human beings who are fortunate enough to enter into heaven will actually
judge angels (see I Corinthians 6:3). The fallen angels -- or demons -- will come
before us and we will decide their fates. Perhaps people will be assigned to watch
over a planet or two. We do not know for certain what tasks we will be performing
in heaven, but there will obviously be an ongoing, functioning universe. We will
be God's messenger-agents in ordering and running it.
There are many things
about heaven we do not really know. Will there be animals in heaven? The Bible
says that Jesus will be riding on a white horse when He returns to reign on the
earth, but we do not know if this is a literal horse (see Revelation 19:11). A
white horse represents purity and power, so this may be symbolic. We cannot say
for sure if there will be animals of any kind in heaven, but I believe there will
We do know that we will be able to recognize our loved ones in heaven,
and we will experience great joy over being reunited with them (see Luke 23:42-43,
Hebrews 12:22-23). Your real self will live on in heaven, not some shadowy part
of you. You will never feel so alive as when you enter into the heavenly city,
the New Jerusalem God has prepared for the saints.
There is also going to be
an extension of man's mind beyond anything we could begin to understand now. There
will be an opening of understanding into the secrets and mysteries of the universe.
Furthermore, in heaven there will be no fear of any kind of evil, and God will
provide magnificently for His people.
What is heaven like? It is better than
anything any human being could ever imagine when he tries to picture the best
thing that could ever happen to him. Beyond that, there is not much else we could
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