Heaven appears to have a veil over it, as if to conceal the glories from our mortal, earthly experience. Perhaps what awaits us is so breathtakingly beautiful that God purposefully gives us little information about it because if we knew how amazing it will be, we’d all want to go there before our time! There is a cry in the human heart for a kind of utopian existence, that perfect place where all the wrongs will be corrected, and peace will flow like a gentle stream.
We catch sight of a bit of paradise on earth when we fall in love, see a remarkable sunset, or hear the cry of our newborn baby. But often what we see and experience on earth is far from such pleasures. There are heartaches, violence, senseless loss of loved ones, pollution, destruction and wars. Humanity’s history is clouded with stories of travesty against mankind, creation and God Himself. We struggle against systems that seem to never quite work properly, no matter how many laws we create or politicians we elect. We wonder why… Why do bad things happen? Why couldn’t God have created heaven on earth?
The Bible speaks of a time when God will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Is. 43:19). This gives us hope now, when life on earth feels like a slog through the mud. But there is a time coming when God will make all things new. (Rev. 21:5.)
So, it is God’s plan to bring heaven to earth, eventually. In the meantime, God is redeeming the human soul from the corruption of sin and then plans to restore all things.
Today we live in the ‘Day of Salvation’, a time of grace and mercy; where people can freely choose to follow Christ or to reject Him. For those who chose to believe, God is working through history to bring us to the promised land. He’s doing all of this providentially while allowing humanity free will. That’s an amazing thing that only God can do! How He does it is one of those mysteries that many try to figure out by claiming Calvin is right, or Arminian, or Molin, or whoever. No matter which theory one ascribes to, I think how God’s will works within the free will of humanity still alludes us.
Until all things are restored back to a paradise or utopian existence, those who die in Christ have their souls enter heaven. Our bodies will die perishable but be raised imperishable, taking on, at first, a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:42-44) before we get our new, resurrected one.
What, then, can we expect when we enter those pearly gates? I can’t tell you how many people think that we’ll be bored because they envision heaven to be one long, boring church service, where we float on clouds singing hymns. But that’s not a Biblical view of heaven at all!
Our perspective is very temporal because we think we can’t know much about heaven from verses in 1 Cor. 2:9, that say: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But there are plenty of other scriptures that give us a glimpse of what we might anticipate in heaven.
“Now, the poor man died and was carried away by angels to Abraham’s bosom…”Luke 16:22
When you die, you can expect the angels will usher you into heaven! We will then pass into what some have called an “intermediate heaven.” Between Genesis 3, and Revelation 20, we can infer from Scripture that we immediately go into the presence of God in heaven, a temporary place, where we await the final return of Christ to earth.
But when we arrive, will all knowledge of everything automatically download to us? I don’t think so. I like to believe that we’ll never know everything in heaven, but will continue to learn, which will help keep mystery alive making eternal existence exciting!
This is how God created us: He knows that life is more enjoyable when there are things yet to discover, adventures yet to embark on, and knowledge still to acquire. This is why living forever with God won’t ever get boring! We will be fully known (1 Cor. 13:12), but the Bible isn’t clear on whether or not we will have all knowledge of everything. I think this verse means our individuals selves will be known fully and loved. (Remember, only God is omniscient.) Thus, I believe we’ll continue to learn, and more importantly, we’ll be captivated in an eternally blissful love relationship with Christ. It will be a love unlike anything we have ever experienced: pure, satisfying and awe-inspiring.
I believe His presence in heaven will continue to inspire us to create things. Whatever you were good at on Earth, the things you loved to do, you’ll still be able to do them in heaven, only unhindered. You will be able to do so much more than you could ever imagine! Picture Earth without sin — that is just a tiny glimpse of the things yet to come.
Heaven is where God’s throne is, but it cannot contain all of God. He is omnipresent by a transcendence which is unfathomable. (1 Kings 8:27)
Scripture describes heaven as a place where:
1. Believing family members are (Heb. 12:22-24)
2. Our Father is (Matt.6:1)
3. Jesus is at His right hand (Heb. 1:3)
4. Our names are recorded (Luke 10:20)
5. We have an inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4)
6. Our citizenship is (Phil. 3:20)
7. We’ll also eat from the Tree of Life (Rev. 2:7).
We can’t know anything about heaven, eh? I think I’ve shown there is a LOT we can know and we can be looking forward to it; heaven is amazing!