By Brittany Rust, Crosswalk.com
What’s Heaven like?
A question or thought many people have. Some might think we become angels and spend our days playing a harp on a cloud. Or that good deeds get you there on merit. But what does the Bible really have to say about Heaven? A lot, actually. Let’s explore five of those truths today!
1. God is preparing a place there for us now.
In John 14, Jesus is in the upper room with the disciples; it’s his final moments with men who will continue his work after his death. Because of the limited time left before he’s arrested, Jesus is careful to share thoughts he finds very important to impart one last time.
It’s here that Jesus mentions his Father has a place of many rooms and that he himself is going to prepare it. In addition, it’s in Hebrews we learn God has prepared a city for us.
It’s why we don’t feel quite at home on Earth; or at least, we shouldn’t. Because this isn’t our eternal home. Our country is Heaven and we should long to be there with God. It’s a comforting and encouraging thought, in the midst of our restlessness in life, to know that God is preparing a place specifically for those who will get to enjoy it for eternity!
2. Not all will enter.
It’s important to remember that not everyone will enter Heaven. It’s not because God is cruel or unforgiving; in fact, His very nature is the exact opposite! But the truth is, sin cannot live in His presence. As a result, only those who have fully surrendered their life to Christ will enter.
Many might think that as long as you're a good person, you’ll go to Heaven. This is a misleading myth in our society and one that will hold many back. In Matthew 7, we read that many will stand before God and proclaim they did good; they will believe they should be there based off of their good works. But only those who laid it all down for the glory of Christ will enter.
If this is you—if you’re a good person but know you truly lack an intimate relationship with Christ—please know today that only those who have committed their life to Christ will spend eternity in Heaven. Will you commit?
3. Christians should long for it.
One thing that’s important to remember as you live out your life on Earth is to carry with you a longing for Heaven. If you are a believer, your home isn’t Earth but is an eternal place in the presence of God.
Our best day on Earth will never compare to a day in Heaven. The Bible makes it clear that this place we are now is temporary and isn’t our true home. As you walk through life on this planet, carry with you the knowledge that your home is far superior to this place and long for it!
Some might say that to become focused on Heaven leaves us ineffective on Earth. C.S. Lewis shares, “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.” In reality, carrying with you this longing—this eternal perspective—will allow you to be more effective while on Earth.
4. It will be a place of learning and working.
No, you won’t spend all day every day playing the harp on some cloud but you will be busy! It’s anticipated that Heaven will be a place where we’ll still be learning and continue to use our gifts to serve.
In 1 Corinthians 13, it’s mentioned that the angels would give anything to be in on the knowledge, inferring that they don’t know all things. In addition, only God is all knowing. In Heaven, we can expect to learn and grow!
Heaven will also be a place where we serve and work. Revelation mentions this a few times; how we will be serving God. Work is good for us all--it’s why in the garden God gave us work to do.
Needless to say, Heaven is a fascinating place where we’ll never be bored!
5. We’ll have heavenly bodies, free from sin.
In Heaven we will not be the same as we were here. We will have a renewed body that is imperishable; that is free from the effects of sin and time.
On Earth our bodies face many challenges: physical limitations, sin, time, pain, and defects. But in Heaven we will be free from these elements and enjoy a body for all eternity. And just as our bodies will be physically renewed, so they will be spiritually. We will get to walk in the fullness and outward evidence of the Holy Spirit.
Remember what C.S. Lewis said and know that carrying a heavenly, eternal perspective and longing for Heaven only makes us more effective on Earth!
Brittany Rust is a writer, speaker, and has the privilege of serving on staff at Red Rocks Church in Denver, CO. She and her husband Ryan make their home in the Rocky Mountains, pursuing outdoor adventures, great food, and memorable stories together. Her website brittanyrust.com aims to supply encouraging resources for the world-wearied believer.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstock.com
Publication date: February 16, 2017