What Will Heaven Be Like?John Pollard
- Our Home- I’m afraid that, as with so many other things, our deeply fashioned fantasized thoughts and ideas of this world carry over to our perceptions of Heaven. Some people make the effort in this life to worship God and be good people in their families and societies because they can’t wait to escape it all, the hustle and bustle, the constant dread of paying one bill after the other, pain and sorrow and you know the deal and for many people Heaven is just that. It’s the ultimate getaway. Where I don’t have to worry about anything anymore, no more bills, no more pain, no more stress and in some ways, that’s all very true. But because of that perception our lives as Christians becomes just another forceful routine that we have to get through in order to get there. It’s no longer about having the right attitude and a complete change of mind and lifestyle but it’s more about getting it over with. With an approach like that we may actually end up missing Heaven because we fail to realize our ultimate purpose and we’ll talk about that a little later. But friends Heaven is more than just the ultimate getaway experience. Heaven isn’t a temporary relief from the problems we may face, Heaven is Home! I love the outlook and insight the Apostle Paul had on Heaven. Phil. 3:20- “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” The Philippians were Roman Citizens and being a Roman Citizen was a glorified privilege. You were the cream of the crop. There could be no better. But Paul contrasts that greatly with our true, real citizenship, the only one that really matters. Our heavenly citizenship. That’s our home, our true destination because in this life we are just a passing through. John 14:2-4- “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” The following passages all describe what our home will be like. Revelation 21:1-5, 10-14, 18-25; 22:1-5 This place, our Home, Heaven is an eternal destination of unimaginable beauty, filled with light and the glory of God’s Presence! It is absolutely perfect! Filled with joy, love, blessings, so much awe! John does his best to describe what he sees in the most valuable way he can by pictures of fine stones and jewels and pearls. But Heaven is magnificent and there will be no darkness there, no night. In the very least of words it is awesome and astounding. And that’s our home.
- Our Appearances- In that home, that glorious dwelling place, we will be transformed. We will have obtained the imperishable appearances promised to us by God. That may sound vague but let me show you what I’m talking about. Back in Phil. 3:20-21- “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to himself.” Did you see that? We will be changed, transformed. What we have now, what is temporary, what we see, will no longer exist. It’ll be done away with. Back to the dust. But transformed like Jesus?
1 Jn. 3:2- “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see him as he is.” What does being like Jesus mean? (Jn. 20:19, 26) – “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” In verse 26- “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.” Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Jesus’ resurrected body was capable of entering locked rooms at will. Our earthly body limits us in ways that our spiritual body will not. We will be fitted an imperishable body that is prepared for eternity in Heaven. It won’t be limited by sicknesses, and weaknesses like it is now. This body will decay, we age, we get weak and we breakdown. In Heaven, there will be no such thing. 1 Cor. 15:40-57- There is a significant difference b/w the earthy and the heavenly body. Now, I don’t have all the answers to questions we may have like this one but this is a mere peek as to what we will be like in Heaven. Transformed, new bodies, eternal, like Jesus.
- Our Relationships- But what about relationships? Will we know each other, will we be able to look over yonder and recognize those that are there? Here are some passages that speak concerning that idea: Matt. 17:1-3; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 4:14. In 2 Sam. 12:23- “Can I bring him back? I will go to him but he will not return to me.” David was convinced that he would someday see the child that died. Well how about our husbands and wives? Will we still be married? Physical brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles etc.? Let me suggest to you that being in Heaven isn’t about focusing on the physical and what we had on earth. It’s bigger than that. Matt. 22:23-30- Beyond the resurrection in the sweet by and by, all we know is whatever God has in store for us will be incredible. In the resurrection there will be no marriage, no procreation (like angels) the sexual union of man and woman ceases. Why? Because eternity paints a much more important picture than that. If we have faithful physical relatives I’m sure we will recognize them and rejoice that we have made it home but it’s not about blood relatives and re-uniting with our physical families. When we do that, we’re thinking physical and earthly. But that’s not where we will be and that’s not the ultimate goal of being in Heaven. Our relationships will be as brethren, as children of God centered on our love for each other and ultimately on our love for God. Just as we have cultivated relationships with each other, know this, that won’t stop. That continues when we are in God’s presence and the presence of all those that are faithful and how awesome is that? If we get bogged down on things of that nature we may miss the real deal and our ultimate purpose.
- Our Ultimate Purpose- Folks, what ultimately makes Heaven so great isn’t what we are gonna look like, if we are gonna be married, if there is an endless buffet of great food. NO! What makes Heaven so wonderful, so great is being in the presence of the Almighty, all-powerful God! Never before have we seen Him but when we get there we will see Him as He is, in all His glory and majesty and awe. Rev. 22:4- “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
Now let that sink in. The experience, the reality of finally being in the presence of God. And make no mistake about it, our ultimate purpose, our goals our fullest potential, will be realized in the full service and worship of our great God and Father! His glorification and magnification is our desire. To serve Him forevermore. There will be no hindrances, no more sin. No more weights and burdens dragging us down and keeping us from completely worshipping Him as is due to Him only. Rev. 4:8-11; 5:8-14; 7:9-12; 15:3-4; Rev. 22:3. Our joy, our happiness will be exemplified in complete, whole, service to God. It’s not about us, it’s about Him and Who He is, being in His presence forever. And you may not and probably cannot grasp the reality and majesty of that right now but someday you will.
Until that day comes, when that day comes, we are to live our lives in sole, faithful service to God. That doesn’t change when we get there. It only continues.
It is very important that we cultivate that mindset and lifestyle here and now. That is what will ultimately get us Home. Not a forceful, pretentious life for God but a voluntary, willing change that God expects from each and everyone one of us. Heaven is beautiful beyond our imagination and God’s presence sums that up and it is not something to take lightly. We can either be in His presence forever or be separated forever. The choice is yours! If you miss Heaven and His presence then your life will have been a great failure. Don’t wait till you get to the end to regret what you didn’t do. Take advantage of the opportunity that you have now and do what you need to do!