Saturday, October 18, 2014
What Will Heaven Be Like?
Revelation 21:1-2. - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I've been enjoying this fall though I'm not usually a fall person. I like spring the best with new life, new growth. Fall is a reminder of the long, sometimes hard winters we can have in Wisconsin. And our winters can be r-e-a-l-l-y long.
But the other morning I was thanking God for the beauty of the fall colors and for the changes of seasons.
When I dwell on the beauty of this earth both here and around the world with all it's variety...especially here in the United States...I often go to the thought that we are told heaven will be even better.
To be honest, I can't imagine it looking better! I'd be very happy with heaven looking like earth with seasons and all we have to view. Hopefully this does not sound disrespectful to God, but I can't imagine streets of gold and pearly gates. Gimme the great outdoors!
Before entering into heaven or the New Jerusalem, believers will rule and reign with Christ on earth for 1,000 years. The devil will be chained up during that time and we will have that peace on earth we so often hope to achieve by our own human efforts of kindness...which will not work. If God's not in it, it just won't happen. Then comes the final destination...heaven...(or hell).
Do we really know what heaven will be like? We know what the Apostle John was shown in a vision:
...“Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.
Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs [1500 miles]. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits [216 feet], according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). (Revelation 21:9-25)
I believe with all my heart that the way we look at things here on earth today will not be the way we view things then. What I mean is we will forget what things are like on earth because all that will matter is being in the presence of the Lord and the glory of God. All things, as the Bible states, will be new. Nothing will look greater than the glory of God. We are told there will no longer be sorrow, pain or tears. It will be all about the Lord, as it should be today.
I suspect there will be trees and rivers because there will be a tree of life and a river of life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)