1Corinthians 2:9 - But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
God is glorious. His desire is for all to know Him and follow Him. He is not some tyrant as many make Him out to be in the Old Testament. He is filled with love for all people. As with a father to a child, when that child is disobedient, especially when he has done the opposite of what his father has asked him, that father must invoke punishment. It's discipline, for that child's good. What child knows better than his father?
So it is with God! When His people, His children, Israel, disobeyed His commands, He had to punish them that they might be disciplined. He had to show all people His holiness and justice. Our God knows better than any of us what is for our own good. The number one thing that we have to understand is that Jesus is not our enemy, but our Savior. God sent Him that all who would believe in Him would not perish. He is for our good!
In the concluding lessons in Revelation we are talking about heaven. It's a complicated subject in some ways, filled with imagery. But I look at it simply, not wanting to have my brain taxed with things I cannot fully comprehend or wrap my head around. It is what it is and whatever it will look like or be I'm sure it will be more than amazing. While there may be differing views on just about anything, one truth stands out: It will be a glorious place for those who are believers in and followers of Christ.
Heaven will be free from evil and darkness. There will be no pain, sorrow, sickness. There will be no darkness because the light of Christ will be the only light we have. Remember, light exposes darkness, which ultimately hides. Heaven is all about Jesus. There is a description of the great, holy city of Jerusalem (New Jerusalem). It is described with huge walls, amazing foundations. The names of many precious gems are used to describe it. Streets of gold, gates, each one a solid 1500 mile high pearl. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard...
This is supposed to be a literal description. Today we cherish gold and jewels. It's bling to some. We will walk on streets of gold. Walk on gold! What if...what if...this is a description the Apostle John wrote because he couldn't describe the absolute beauty of Who he saw within that city? What if...John was describing the gloriousness of heaven because Jesus consumed it with His brilliance and light? And all John could describe were jewels. Isn't Jesus what it's all about? I'm just imagining here...because I believe whatever it will be will be glorious beyond imagination...and quite acceptable!
There is a picture earlier in Revelation 4 of the throne of God. It was surrounded by a rainbow, emeralds and other precious jewels were described and a sea of glass surrounded the throne that was like crystal. My imagination again...couldn't just the radiance of God on that throne cause one to see something like that?
All the talk of jewels and gems. Jesus is supposed to be our treasure. We are told not to store up treasures on earth but heavenly treasures. Isn't the number one treasure Jesus? Then His Word. If we have Jesus He supplies us with all we really need...in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3) The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field or a pearl that is found; we can't help but rejoice in finding it. (Matthew 13) That's what happens when we receive Jesus. And when we are finally His children we are then His treasured possession! (Deuteronomy 7:6)
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard... In our human, limited minds we cannot go beyond human words and descriptions of what heaven will be like. We don't consider it as we should. It will be a real place, eventually. It will not be boring. We will not sit on clouds and play harps. We will not become angels, nor have wings. We are who we are in glorified bodies, transformed by Christ Himself. We will be in the presence of God. We will serve Him. We will have work to do. Perhaps it will be like life in the garden of Eden...in which case it could be green and lush! But we must be in Christ for this to happen. We must look to God for forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
An excerpt from Lesson 28, Bible Study Fellowship, Revelation:
People often form their own opinions about heaven to validate simple independence and the self-determined right to live apart from God. Some deny the reality of life after death to refuse accountability to their Creator. People who refuse to believe in eternal judgment logically deny the existence of heaven altogether. Heaven is rationalized as a crutch to comfort the grieving and relieve the fears of children. Others wrongly focus only on God's love for all his creatures, failing to grasp the righteous purity of God's love that required the death of his son. Confidence that is wrong we placed in one's own supposed to human goodness – comparing oneself to those who appear far worse – leads people to imagine scales of justice exist apart from the cross of Christ. This erroneous worldview mistakenly concludes heaven as a deserved destiny for all but a wretched few.
The truth is none of us deserve heaven. We all deserve hell. None of us are righteous. (Romans 3:10) We are all sinners. My sin is no less than that most wretched person mentioned above. This is why Jesus died for our sins. It's not based our our good deeds or church attendance or denomination. It is based on our wholly accepting Christ's death, His work, on the cross for our sins. Believing, receiving, obeying and living for Christ in the here and now. Becoming disciples and sharing Christ...and heaven...with others. Will you consider believing this? Consider His love for you. He died for you. The offer of heaven is for you upon your acknowledgment of Jesus in your life and your heart. God has put a desire into the heart of every person for eternity. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Seek Him, seek life, seek heaven.
Psalm 31:19 - Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!