What Is Heaven Like?
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Like a child who suddenly stops sobbing when he is clasped in the arms of his mother, such will be the grip of heaven upon our souls.—Ravi Zacharias
Heaven is a real place where the people of God will live one day. In fact, heaven is where God and the angels live. John 14:1–3 even says that Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us to live. In heaven, those saved by God will have new bodies without the curse of sin! There will be no one who is blind, deaf or lame in heaven.1 … Most importantly, God will be in heaven, and He wants to be your friend. He wants to dwell with you and wipe away all your tears.2—Author unknown3
Everyone wants to know about heaven and everyone wants to go there. Recent polls suggest that nearly 80% of all Americans believe there is a place called heaven. I find that statistic encouraging because it tells me that even in this skeptical age there is something deep inside the human heart that cries out, “There’s got to be something more. Something more than the pain and suffering of this life. Something more than 70 or 80 years on planet earth. Something more than being born, living, dying, and then being buried in the ground.”
Sometimes we talk about a “God-shaped vacuum” inside the human heart. I believe there is also a “heaven-shaped vacuum,” a sense that we were made for something more than this life. We were made to live forever somewhere. In a real sense we were made for heaven. …
The Bible tells us everything we need to know, and I believe it also tells us everything we can know for certain about heaven. …
What is heaven like? Here are seven biblical facts about heaven. It is …
- God’s dwelling place.4
- Where Christ is today.5
- Where Christians go when they die.6
- The Father’s house.7
- A city designed and built by God.8
- A better country.9
Most of us have heard that heaven is a place where the streets are paved with gold, the gates are made of pearl, and the walls made of precious jewels. Those images come from Revelation 21, which offers us the most extended picture of heaven in the entire Bible. If you ask me if I believe those things are literally true, the answer is yes and no. Yes, they are literally true, but no, heaven won’t be anything like we imagine. It will be much greater!—Donna Jones11
Heaven is a place, just as much a place as is New York or Chicago.—Charles Ferguson Ball
When I was a little boy, we took a family vacation to Disneyland in Southern California. As we were driving, my dad tried to explain what Disneyland would be like. But once we got there, I realized you can’t really understand Disneyland until you experience it for yourself.
Some experiences are simply unexplainable.
The same is true about Heaven. Human words can’t properly explain the divine mysteries of Heaven—but God’s Word does give a little insight about what it will be like.
We’ll be reunited with every other believer in Heaven.12
We’ll be rewarded for our good actions here on earth—your generosity, your good character, and your service. That doesn’t mean we’re saved by our good actions. Only God’s grace through the sacrifice of Jesus can carry us into Heaven.13
We’ll have responsibilities. We’ll use our God-given gifts and talents to do what we love to do.14
We’ll find rest in Heaven like we never imagined. Yes, we’ll work. But our work in Heaven will be a restful joy, not a burden.15
We’ll rejoice in Heaven. We’ll enjoy being with God in Heaven. We’ll enjoy being with one another in Heaven.16
No doubt, we all want our family and friends to be there in Heaven with us. …
Who will you pray for, believing in faith that God will open their heart to Jesus and the gospel message?—Rick Warren
Jesus wants us to understand both the love that is in heaven and the place that those who love Him go to, when they pass beyond the veil. But in heaven there is the joy, the love, the peace, and the contentment that we who are saved have a taste of here, but which there we will experience in abundance.
He wants us to understand what it is like when we come into the fullness of His love and the fulfillment of the promises that He has made. Heaven is real; death is just the door through which we pass from the life we now live into eternity!
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”17
Many people in the world say that when you pass through the doors of death, it is over, it is finished, it is the end. They are wrong! You enter into a new life: the life on the other side of the veil. You are still you. You retain your individuality. You continue to live, mature, and learn. Your spirit carries on.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”18
When we are called from this life, when we are brought to the threshold, we leave the things of this life behind—our earthly bodies, our material belongings. We shed these things as one sheds a garment. But our spirit, that which is truly “me” and truly “you,” steps across the veil and lives on forever. Our experience and knowledge—and mainly the spiritual things that we have learned, the matters of love, kindness, and truth—these things remain with us and benefit us throughout eternity. Therefore this is the challenge: Will we learn the lessons we need to learn in this life and apply them?
In God’s wonderful kingdom of love, no matter what our limitations here, there we will have peace of heart, mind, and contentment of spirit. There we will have no fear, our needs will be filled abundantly. There we can find true love, and fill the empty spaces in our lives, hearts, minds, and spirits.
Jesus is the door to heaven, and by coming into it through Him, your life in this world, and in the world beyond, will be much greater than anything you ever imagined! You’ve received Jesus, so you are going to live with Him in His loving, exciting, wonderful, fulfilling, peaceful kingdom—forever!
The Lord will bring us to heaven in His own time:
“My times are in Your hand.”19
“For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”20
We’re going to eventually go to heaven! But in the meantime, the Lord has a lot for us to do, including bringing as many other people with us to heaven as we can.—From the 12 Foundation Stones
Published on Anchor June 2019. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
Music by John Listen.
1 Isaiah 35:5–6; Philippians 3:21.
2 Revelation 21:1–4.
4 Psalm 33:13.
5 Acts 1:11.
6 Philippians 1:21–23.
7 John 14:2.
8 Hebrews 11:10.
9 Hebrews 11:16.
10 Luke 23:43.
12 Hebrews 12:22–23.
13 Luke 6:35.
14 Luke 16:10–12.
15 Hebrews 4:9–11.
16 Matthew 25:21.
17 1 Corinthians 13:12.
18 John 14:2–3.
19 Psalm 31:15a.
20 Psalm 48:14.