People are busy. Most start their days while it’s still dark. They wake up running and don’t get a break until the sun is bright and the day is in full swing. Then they keep hustling until the evening has arrived and it’s time to prepare to do it all again tomorrow. The next day is much the same. Weekends are no different, except there’s a different type of busyness. We rarely take time to reflect.
However, there are fleeting moments when we find ourselves alone in the house or car, and our minds drift to the future. Where will we be in ten years? Twenty? Beyond?
I decided long ago to live for God. All my plans have been placed on the altar of sacrifice to Him and I’ve surrendered to His will instead of mine. So I dutifully carry out His plans. Sometimes, however, during the rush, I forget why I do what I do. During those moments of aloneness, I remember. It’s all culminating to Heaven. Our real life. Our glorious conclusion. This life is just preparation. Heaven is where it’s at.
One day everything is going to be finished. All the future prophecies written in the Book of Revelation will be completed. The seven-year Tribulation will be done, Armageddon will be fought, the Millennial Reign will pass, the books will be closed, and nothing will lie in front of us but our Heavenly home. What will that look like?
In the second book of Corinthians, Paul speaks of an eternal house in Heaven not built by human hands. He describes that while we live we “groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling.” (2 Corinthians 5:2) He was torn between wanting to live and die. In the Book of Philippians, he states, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Philippians 1:21-24)
What conclusions can we draw about this place to which Paul longed to go?
- It is like our present earth, only better. Revelation 21:1 reads, “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Heaven will be a new earth, which means it will be like the earth in which we now live, only new. It will be a cleaner, fresher, more resilient version of what we have now.
- It is spacious. In John 14:2, Jesus is speaking to His followers and says, “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.” There is plenty of room in Heaven. No one will ever be turned away due to space limitations. The New Jerusalem, which will be the capital city of the New Earth, will be 1,500 square miles. (Revelation 21:15) Remember, this is only one city on the New Earth. The New Earth will be at least as large as the current earth, although I believe it will be larger. The current earth shrank due to the depletion of water inside the earth that spewed out of the surface during the Great Flood of Noah.
- There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. Revelation 21:4 says that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Death, sadness, and tears are limited to this lifetime. Hallelujah. There will never be another funeral again. No more cemeteries. You’ll never have to worry about your loved one being stolen from you by death again. No need for counselors or psychologists. No brokenness or tears or tissues or despair. You can toss the depression medication. This is the worst it’s going to get.
- Our bodies will be fully healed and completely functional. According to Philippians 3:21, Jesus Christ “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.” Our bodies will be completely restored to better than they have ever been. Due to the Curse of Adam and Eve and the Flood of Noah, our environment isn’t conducive to aging. Our life spans decreased significantly after the Flood due to pollutants and other negative factors. We age relatively quickly. This, however, will be reversed once the Curse is lifted. We will look, feel, and function the way in which we were originally designed. No more need for glasses or fillings. Those who can’t walk will be able to sprint marathons with energy left. We will see, hear, taste, smell, and feel more than we ever thought possible.
Next week we’ll cover more characteristics of Heaven. Stay tuned!