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Who Will Be in Heaven
Heaven: The Ultimate Community
Heaven is more than the eternal home of the saved. Many others will forever live with us there. These include God and his angels and specific creations. Both Jews and Gentiles will live in heaven in perfect harmony. Citizens of every group and race will live in heaven for eternity. Heaven is the ultimate international community.
The Triune God
The triune God consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, according to John’s account of his experience in heaven (Revelation 14:13; 22:17).
In the Bible, angels are presented as too many to count. They are in multitudinous numbers. John “heard the voice of many angels about the throne in heaven” (Revelation 5:11). These include several kinds of angels. The seraphim, a special kind of angel who deals with God’s altar, are present in heaven (Isaiah 6:1-7). The cherubim, another special angelic group will also be there (Psalm 99:1).
In the book of Revelation, an angel escorts John as he passes through the scenes of the Apocalypse. Also, an angel reveals to John the glories of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
The Bible speaks of twenty-four elders around the throne of God in heaven. Much has been speculated concerning the identity of this group. One suggestion is that these men are twelve tribal leaders of Israel and the twelve apostles of Jesus. Another is that they represent the saved from both Jews and Gentiles. We will find out for sure when we get to heaven.
Hebrews 11 lists a number of individuals and groups who practiced faith in the Old Testament. They will be in heaven, and we will know them intuitively. We will be able to sit with Abraham, Moses, Elijah and the other Old Testament prophets and enjoy their fellowship. We will be able to talk to Adam and Eve and even ask Noah about the flood. Jonah will be able to tell us about his experience in the belly of the great fish.
Church (the Saints)
One of the first events after the rapture will be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This is when the church, the Bride of Christ, will be present to her Groom, the Lord Jesus Christ. The new Jerusalem has been described as “the wedding ring of the church.” The size of the church is innumerable. John writes, "After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." ( Revelation 7:9)
We will know one another in heaven by intuitive knowledge through our souls and spirits. In fact, we will know more about each other than we could ever know on earth. We do not know the full circumstances and parameters of life on earth.
Heaven is a place of memory of other saints, but God will remove from our memory anyone who is not there. There is no sadness or tears. Those loved ones will not be remembered. It will be as if they never lived. There can be no life without Christ. Everything is pleasant in heaven. Our unsaved loved ones are wiped from our memories forever. That is why it is so important for the saved to witness to the unsaved. The saved should let unsaved family members know that in order for them to see and remember one another after death is to be part of the heavenly family.