How to Base Our Opinion of Heaven on What the Bible Tells Us
By Barbara Latta, Crosswalk.com
When my husband and I were building our house, we anticipated the move-in date. We drove to the construction site every day (much to the dismay of the builders). Our excitement grew as the closing date approached. Watching the progress gave us hope about the future day we could reside at our new address.
This house is nothing compared to the TV show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” On this series, viewers were captivated with the grandeur and luxurious lives of celebrities. But the opulence of these mansions will not prevent decay nor satisfy the inner longing inside mankind.
Our eternal home will be more glorious than anything this world can manufacture. No floor plan, interior design, or furnishings can compare to what God has created and prepared for us.
Our opinion of Heaven gives us hope and anticipation for the future.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3)
Let’s allow our opinion to be formed by what God’s Word tells us about Heaven:
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We Will Be Seated with Christ
We haven’t seen Jesus with our eyes like the disciples and those who lived when He was here. The followers of the Savior had the opportunity to see Him in His physical form and hear His words. But they were still limited by what their eyes and ears could comprehend.
Peter, James, and John saw some of the Son’s brilliance at the transfiguration on the mountain, yet not everything about His glory was revealed to them (Luke 9:28-29).
John fell on his face before the King of kings at the appearance of him on the island of Patmos. The splendor was more than John could bear.
We are confined by mortality today the same way the disciples were. God gave us His Spirit for understanding His Word, but we still must contend with confusion and doubt.
In Heaven, there will be no battles and we will be engulfed in the radiance of God forever. The goodness of the Creator will surround us. We will be able to see Him as He is, and we will bow before Him in worship because of His majestic deity.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
We Will Be Free of Pain and Tears
This life contains so much sorrow and pain, our minds cannot conceive what it would be like to exist without these calamities. But the risen Savior will wipe away our tears. Living forever boggles the mind because we can’t count that high. But a life free from the pain of death waits for us in Heaven. Continual joy and peace with no remembrance of any disaster draws us to ponder that day.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
We Will Be Reunited with Loved Ones
When we attend family reunions, there may be some loved ones who travel great distances to be reunited for a short time. But at the conclusion of the event, we are separated as certain ones return to their homes. The heavenly family gathering is one where no one will ever be apart again.
Whether we leave this globe through death or rapture, our clay form will change and join those who have gone before us as we meet the Lord in the air.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
We Will Be Home
Our citizenship is reflected on our birth certificate. It is the legal document that indicates which country we were born into. We take up residence here for a short time.
We occupy this planet as aliens. The blood of Jesus made us citizens of Heaven and when we are transported there, we will have arrived at our permanent abode.
We occasionally travel and leave our homes for business, vacations, or to visit relatives. No matter how enjoyable a visit can be, we long to get back to our familiar surroundings.
But in Heaven, we can’t get homesick because we won’t leave it to travel to another place. We will have eternity to explore the never-ending grace of the Father who loves us. There is no place like that home.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20-21)
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We Will Receive New Bodies
Our embodiment is a brief tent given to us for existence on this sphere in the universe. In Heaven, we will be encased with new anatomy and we long for that day. Our physical being groans to be released from the corrupted flesh we now exist in. We look forward to an ageless life of no wrinkles, creaky bones, or fatigue.
Heavenly figures will not need to be exercised and they won’t gain weight despite indulgence at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. What a relief that will be!
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)
We Will Be Like Christ
At the new birth, we were made like Christ in our inner person. But when we see Him face to face, we will be made like Him in every way. Our bodies and minds will be transformed to the resplendence of Heaven. We will have no more struggles with thoughts, behaviors, and physical ailments.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
We Will Walk on Gold
We place great value on diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires to adorn fingers and ears. These highly treasured trinkets are such assets to us we lock them in safes. We wouldn’t think of walking on our jewelry. But in Heaven these gems are so prevalent, our feet will skip on gold and precious stones.
My hometown in Arkansas is close to the only diamond mine in North America. Thousands flock to the Crater of Diamonds State Park every year to dig through dirt, battle bugs, and endure the blaze of the sun all for the goal of uncovering a shiny rock.
In Heaven, all these riches are laid before us as sidewalks, gates, and buildings. The largest diamond in the ground will merely be gravel.
The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. (Revelation 21:18-20)
We Will See Everything Clearly
All the questions we had before we were gifted with immortality and all the reasons for events we didn’t understand will be made known to us. We will be connected to the Almighty Creator with no diffusion from society, culture, other people, or the devil.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Heaven is Not the Promised Land
However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The Hebrews struggled for years in the wilderness looking forward to the land flowing with milk and honey. Their goal lay before them, but there was one problem. While the area was abundant with houses already built and ample food supply, giants inhabited the countries. They still had wars to fight.
Sometimes we refer to Heaven as our promised land. But Heaven has no giants to conquer. When we go to our incorruptible home, we leave behind all the issues of life which include the spiritual and soulish giants, mountains, and valleys of this fallen dust. Heaven is not our promised land. Heaven is better than we could ever imagine.
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