What will Heaven be like?

I prepared this devotional for my girls at Camp Ida this year. Unfortunately, five of them were asleep before it was over. (I’m trying not to take it personally… lol) Since almost no one heard it, I thought it might be good to share it online where they could all access it anytime.

Tuesday night in cabin devo we were discussing priorities. I was telling the girls that physical goals would mean nothing in eternity because we won’t even have a body to exercise at that point. Several of the girls were quite confused by this, and one even asked, “So we’ll never have to use the bathroom in Heaven?”

Joking or not, I decided then that we desperately needed a lesson about Heaven. Here are five things that won’t be in Heaven:

  1. No earth. 2 Peter 3:10-12 tells us that “the elements shall melt with fervent heat” and the earth will be “burned up.” In Matthew 24:35 Jesus tells us that heaven and earth are going to pass away. We know Heaven where God’s throne is isn’t going anywhere, so Jesus must be talking about heaven in the sense of the earth’s skies.
  2. No time. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). The beginning of what? The beginning of time. Time was created during the six days of creation: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years’…” (Gen 1:14). God created time, and He can do as He wills with it (in Joshua 10, God stills the sun and moon for about a day’s time). In Heaven, there will be no night (Rev 21:25), and no sun (Rev 7:16), but the Father and Son will provide all the “light” we need (Rev 21:23, 22:15).
  3. No body. Our corruptible, physical bodies of carbon and water cannot ascend to our eternal home. In 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, Paul describes a “change” that is to occur in the day of the Lord, the day of judgment. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (v52). This change is not limited to those who have already died: “For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Ths 4:16, 17). I don’t pretend to know exactly what we’ll “look” like after this change, but I’m pretty sure this body of mine can’t fly. My body and my spirit will have to separated. Also, we won’t be married in Heaven (Mk 12:18-27). Physical ties will be broken.
  4. No pain. Revelation 21:4 teaches that there will be no tears, death, sorrow, crying, or pain. Don’t you want to go there?
  5. No sin. There will be no sin, or sinful people, in Heaven (Rev 21:8). This is partly how #4 will be accomplished, because sin causes sorrow, pain, death, etc.

Okay, so we’ve mentioned several things that won’t be in Heaven when we get there. So what will be there?

  1. The throne of God. Revelation 4:2 describes the throne room of God in Heaven with Him sitting on His throne. One of the blessings of Heaven is getting to be in His presence.
  2. Christ glorified. Revelation 1 records the apostle John’s vision into Heaven with Christ there. He sits at the right hand of God (Heb 12:2), and is no longer humbled by a human form (Phil 2:5-8, Heb 2:9).
  3. Prayers of the saints. Our prayers are like incense, adding a (figurative) sweet smell to the throne room (Rev 5:8).
  4. The Book of Life. Revelation 20:12 reveals that our deeds are recorded in this book. They will be compared to the words of Christ (John 12:48). Those who are not in the book are going to be eternally lost (Rev 20:15).
  5. The Faithful. Revelation 21:7 teaches that he who overcomes sin will be with God and Christ in Heaven forever. That is our life goal. Solomon said that the whole of man is to do the will of the Father (Ecc 12:13), and that is what we must fulfill if we are to live in Heaven with Him. Since we are not perfect, God prepared a plan to cover our imperfections: allow Christ’s blood to wash away our sins in baptism (Acts 22:16, Eph 1:7, Heb 9:14, Rev 1:5), and then live faithfully (Rev 2:10), asking forgiveness in prayer for our sins after that point (1 John 1:7-9).

All these things will be so for eternity: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Ths 4:18). The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (Mat 24:36, 2 Pet 3:10, 1 Ths 5:2), so it follows that each description of the end of the world is proceeded by the admonition to be sober, watchful, and ready to meet Him (Mat 25:1-13, 1 Ths 5:4-8, 2 Pet 3:14).