Series: Heaven: What’s It All About
What Will Life Be Like In Heaven?
Rev. 21: 3
Admittedly there are some things we can know for sure about heaven. Other things are hinted at but there is room for diversity in our thinking depending on whether we believe some things are literal or symbolic. There are two misconceptions that I hear quite often. The first is: There is not much about heaven in scripture. The second is Heaven is going to be boring. So I am attempting to give you multiple scriptures that you can research concerning what is said about heaven and to paint a word picture that may help you visualize the most exciting, adventurous, glorious place ever.
We can only desire what we can imagine. 25 years ago none of you desired a smart phone – you couldn’t imagine it. If somehow I can paint some word pictures for you to spark your imagination, hopefully it will be a motivator to want to be in this place – not as a consolation prize but as the ultimate reward for a life lived for Christ. Heaven is both a physical and spiritual reality that is beyond our wildest dreams. Heaven is not a state of mind but a place prepared for those who love Him.
Heaven is going to be a place of activity, an unfolding adventure in worshipping, reigning, learning, serving, and discovering all of the joys of life in the presence of the Lord. It will be the restoration of life as it was meant to be before the fall.
The picture you may draw of heaven may be slightly different but the good news is: you’ll use the same colors – you just may rearrange the picture. Here are some things we know about heaven’s certainties.
A. The curse is reversed Rev. 22:3
After creation because we were given free will, mankind sinned against God causing all kind of problems. The curse involved us as humans, the animals, and the earth. Rev. 22: 3 says: “no longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve him.”
The good news is the curse of Genesis 3 is going to be reversed. Everything cursed will be reversed.
1. earth 4 times in scripture God says I am going to create a new heaven and a new earth. The curse against the earth will be reversed.
8:19-22. the scriptures say the heavens and earth will melt away and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. Rom.
2. animals Matt. 19: 28 says “there will be a renewal of all things.” Before the fall, people were vegetarians. Animals got along with each other. Bible says there will come a time when that curse will be lifted. Lions, lambs, and horses are all mentioned but it is quite likely that since animals were saved in the flood of Noah and because humans get such joy from them, they will continue into the future heaven as well.
3. people by far the most important aspect will be the reversal of the curse on people. Rev. 21 says there will be no more sin, dying, mourning, or temptation; we will at last fulfill the prayer of Jesus that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
B. God will dwell among us
Rev. 21: 3
This will be the culmination of our salvation. He created us; he justified us when we believed in Christ Jesus; and now he will glorify us on that resurrection day.
The greatest curse of
was that God no longer dwelt among them. That is reversed in the new heaven and earth. Eden
Being with God will be the heart and soul of heaven.
In II Cor. 5:8 when Paul was wrestling whether or not he wanted to live or die he said: “I desire to depart and be with Christ which is better by far.” He doesn’t say go to heaven but be with Christ. To be in the presence of Jesus is to be in heaven.
While we have seen the evidence of God all around us, in heaven we will see Him face to face as never before.
There is a sense in which we are always in the presence of God. There are times when that presence is more real than others. Singing prayer Bible study When we see Jesus face to face, it will be beyond our imaginations – beyond an emotional experience – it will be a glorifying experience. In our perfected body and mind, we will be able to see Jesus more clearly than ever; understand his love more fully; and enjoy his presence more intimately.
in the Nt we see his presence in the form of Jesus who shows us what God is like but in the new heavens and new earth, god will dwell among us and we will be His people. His presence will be both a physical and spiritual reality. In this new heaven and earth, he will walk with us in a renewed way that will thrill our lives.
C. God will reward us for faithfulness
Matt. 5:12; Eph. 6:8; Hebrews 11:6; James 1:17
Romans 8:32 says: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will ne not also, along with him, give us all things.”
Every good and perfect gift comes down from God the Father – After we center our lives in him, he wants us to richly enjoy his other gifts. Never instead of him – that is idolatry – they are along with him – that’s life to the fullest. God isn’t upset when we enjoy a good book, watch a good movie, enjoy a great meal, participate in a game, play with our kids, or take a walk on the beach. We enjoy those things because God is the giver of all good things. He wants us to draw closer to him by enjoying his gifts as well as himself.
When I give gifts to my kids – I am so thankful when they enjoy the gift – use it – have fun with it. I don’t want them to forget me – stop loving me but I gain pleasure in seeking them enjoying the gifts I give them. – so does God. God doesn’t want to be replaced, he wants to be recognized as the giver of every good and perfect gift.
When we get to heaven, all of our activities; worshipping, working, playing sports, singing, dancing, creating will be a recognition of God’s gifts and bring glory to Him.
D. We will have glorified bodies I Corinthians 15
In verse 35 the question is asked? What kind of a body will we have? For the next 23 verse Paul explains it the best he can. He begins by saying that our bodies will be adapted to live in our new environment.
Vs. 40 earthly bodies heavenly bodies
Vs. 42 perishable imperishable
Vs. 43 dishonor glorious
Vs. 43 weak power
Vs. 44 natural spiritual
And then in verse 49 he gives us a summation of what we look like: “and just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”
The resurrection body of Jesus meant both a return to a human form with the capacity to interact, eat, walk, drink, and move but with an exalted capacity beyond normal human functions. He rose from the dead in a physical yet supernatural body. It is uncertain whether we will have those supernatural abilities to walk through walls, but we know we will bear his likeness.
E. we will have renewed relationships
Matt. 8:11; Gen. 25:8; I Thess. 4:17; I cor. 13:12
Matt. 8:11 “take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” How about that for an interesting dinner conversation.
We will know each other. In Jesus resurrection body, at first people didn’t immediately recognize him – Mary thought he was a gardener; the people on the
Emmaeus Roaddidn’t recognize him but after hearing his voice and talking to him, it became apparent who he was.
We will not lose our individual identity in heaven. We will not be faceless globs circling the clouds. What makes us who we are is not just our physical bodies but our personalities, our likes and dislikes, our passions, our experiences and preferences. Just as the negative features of our earthly bodies will not be present, so the negative features of our personalities will also not be present. What about those with multiple marriages? Jesus addresses this by saying that we don’t marry in heaven. Since we do have relationships with each other, somehow we will all get along in a harmonious fashion We will have an expanded capacity to enjoys relationships without greed, jealousy, or envy.
For those who have been given a glimpse of the present heaven in both scriptural examples and present day examples, they recognized people.
In Gen. 25:8 “Abraham breathed his last and he was gathered to his people.” Who were his people – God fearers – family members – friends who shared his faith.
I Thess. 4:17 says: “we will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” Family reunion. Why would he say encourage one another with these words if we knew we wouldn’t see them again?
The ties that are broken by death are renewed by heaven. One of the things I am looking forward to is meeting my long ago relatives that I have never met on earth. I want to trace my heritage back and talk with relatives of 1000 years ago.
Those of you whose present life has been marred by a dysfunctional family maybe for generations will discover a new family – a loving, caring fellowship of people who share a love of God with you. You will discover the warmth and intimacy of a healthy family.
When we take the Lord’s supper, I cor. 11 says that When we take communion we are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes” When he comes we will enjoy communion/fellowship/feasting with Jesus and with other believers in a grand celebration. The Lord’s supper is a precursor to heavenly fellowship.
Since we will fully know ourselves and understand that none of us deserves the grace of God poured out in Jesus, when we encounter those who have hurt us, slandered us, even abused us, our hearts will be so filled with love at what God has done for us, our forgiveness of them will be complete. We will enjoy a sweeter fellowship with them in heaven than on earth.
Job 14:14 If someone dies, will they live again?
All the days of my hard service
I will wait for my renewal[b] to come.(NIV)
Job 19: 23-27
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on[b] lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d]
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet[e] in[f] my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me! (NIV)