By John Braland, President of IMF's Board of Directors
Have you ever wondered, or been asked, "What's heaven like?"We need to take a closer look at heaven because heaven is ultimately the eternal home of everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Here are three facts we know about heaven. First, heaven is a place. John 14:1-4 records Jesus telling us that he had to leave the earth to go and prepare a place for us in heaven. The book of Revelation describes heaven as being lined with streets of God and full of precious stones, in other ways similar to earth, but perfect.
Randy Alcorn in his book “Heaven” believes that heaven will be filled with many of the same activities that we enjoy doing right now. People will still be able to create new things and work on new projects and enjoy travel and food and work. Heaven will be a place of wonderful experiences without all the negative elements that we have grown accustomed to now because of sin.
Second, we know that heaven is where we will fully know God. Because we live in a sin infested world, we cannot fully know our perfect heavenly Father. Sin has tainted everything and when we do get to heaven we will see everything as it really is. In heaven we will have complete knowledge of God.
Third, we know that heaven will be void of all evil. The very source of evil, Satan, will be gone. The presence of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit means that there is only good and therefore no evil whatsoever. Revelation 21:4 tells us:
“4 ‘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
So what will we do in heaven? The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about what we will do, but we do know that there are three things believers will enjoy for sure. We will rest, worship, and serve. Rest is not just the cessation of activities, but the experience of reaching a goal of crucial importance. One day we will receive all that we have hoped for. We get to look at God and he will look at us. We will finally have rest from all of our struggles.
Another thing believers will enjoy in heaven is worship. Because God is present, believers will be able to worship him in all his glory. Believers will also serve in heaven. Matthew 19:28 records Jesus telling his disciples that they will judge the twelve tribes of Israel. So it seems apparent that believers will still get to enjoy serving God and one another in heaven. I am not sure exactly what this looks like, but it seems that believers will serve in some fashion.
In conclusion, the best news of all is that heaven is home for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Heaven isn’t some exclusive place that only wealthy or educated or royal families can go. It’s home for anyone and everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. You cannot enter heaven apart from Christ. The Apostle Peter writes:
“3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 NIV