What Heaven Is Like
Many things are asked about heaven. The answers to these questions are found in the Bible. There is no other infallible source of revelation about heaven or anything else. There are many things about heaven that are told to us in the Scriptures.
The word “heaven” is mentioned about 559 times in the Bible and more times in the book of Revelation than any other books. If we believe what the Bible says about other things, let us believe also what the Bible says about heaven — our eternal home. However, we may never know some things about heaven until we learn about them upon our arrival there. But what God has revealed in his Word is an adequate introduction to the city. No doubt when you moved into your present city, you did not know all about it. In heaven we will learn more about our city first hand. For now, however, we have to accept what the Bible tells us.
There are three heavens. The article will focus on the third heaven, the abode of God. The fact that “Jesus passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14) indicates there is more than one heaven. Also, Jesus “ascended up far above all heavens” (Ephesians 4:10) means one heaven is above another. Paul taught that there are three heavens in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. The Bible teaches that all of these heavens shall pass away, and “a new heaven” will replace the “first heaven” (Revelation 21:1).
Atmosphere; birds, clouds, airplanes
Dwelling of God
WHAT HEAVEN IS NOT
Heaven is not the pink-cloud-and harp existence popular in cartoons. Heaven is where God lives. The Bible teaches that heaven is a real place — just as real as the city in which you live. For instance, Jesus taught us to say, “Our Father who are in heaven.” Therefore heaven is a real, literal place.
Heaven — A Place of Beauty
- A place (John 14:13; Hebrews 11:10, 16; 1 Peter 1:3-4)
- A place of beauty and splendor (Revelation 21:9-21)
- A place of bliss (Revelation 21:2)
- A place of joy and gladness (Revelation 21:4)
- A place of satisfaction (Revelation 21:6-7)
- A place of light and glory (Revelation 21:23)
- A place of holiness (2 Peter 3:13)
WHERE IS HEAVEN?
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (Revelation 21:1)
This scripture tells us that there will come into existence a new heaven and a new earth. God is trading the old for the new — a new one free of sin. Heaven— the eternal home of Christians is a real place in a new and beautiful city. God sets before us the life of a city with multitudes of people. Zechariah 8:5 describes the city as one with boys and girls playing in the streets. In this life, we are placed in families, in towns, in surrounding schools, in neighborhood churches with our own families. In this new city the New Jerusalem, we shall have an eternity to get acquainted with and get along well with everyone — even those from foreign lands. We will be able to communicate with biblical characters such as Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Elijah and yes, even Paul. All the mysteries that we have experienced in the Bible and in life, we will be able to sit and talk with each of the prophets one on one. And not only that, but we will be able to go to Jesus Christ and ask Him anything we want to know.
DESCRIPTION OF HEAVEN
Heaven is more beautiful than the human mind can phantom. It would be impossible to comprehend heaven until we get on location, but we do know that heaven is a large, beautiful, holy city. Revelation 21 and 22 give us a panoramic view of our eternal home. John gives us a detailed description of the glorious city from the outside.
WHAT WILL NOT BE IN HEAVEN
- There will be no temple in the holy city. There will be no need for one. Our temples and churches on earth represent the presence of God. God Himself is in heaven.
- There are no sun and no moon in the holy city. The city is illuminated by the presence of God himself. He is the source of uncreated light. Since heaven is the place for those who have eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7) and an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15), heaven is described as having no day or night. This is because it is eternal and there is no time which is measured by day and night as we have here on earth. Eternity is timeless; thus, there is no need for the sun or the moon.
- And there shall be no more curse. (Revelation 22:3) Since death means separation, there is no death in heaven because we will live forever with God and those who die in Christ. Sin, the reason why God originally cursed the earth, is gone, therefore death— the result of sin, is also gone.
Heaven is the largest city every built. There is no city on earth that comes close to the size of the city of God. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and breadth and height of it are equal. (Revelation 21:16)
The city is a solid gigantic cube of golden construction. It measures one thousand five hundred miles up, down, and across. That means that it is equivalent to 1,500 miles or 2,400 kilometers. If placed in the United States of America, this city would reach from New York City to Denver, Colorado, and from the Canadian border to Florida. If the New Jerusalem takes the form of a sphere, it will be slightly larger than the moon which presently circles our globe.
Each street is one half the length of the diameter of the earth. The levels arise one mile above the other, equaling eight million miles of beautiful avenues. The three gates upon the twelve jeweled foundations proclaim security and accessibility from all parts of the earth. Heaven is constructed of colorful elements that form a cavalcade of beauty as the pure light of the Lamb shines through them.The city itself is built of transparent gold surrounded by a wall of jasper. It is as beautiful as a crystal clear diamond, and as bright as a transparent icicle in the sunshine (Revelation 21:18).
The wall rests upon twelve foundations inlaid with various precious stones. The wall stands 216 feet high and includes twelves gates made of white pearl. The main street is paved with pure transparent gold.The central focus of heaven is not the walls, streets, or the gates, but rather the Lamb and his throne. The throne was the first thing John saw in heaven. He also saw an emerald green rainbow surrounding the throne.