What is Heaven Like?
Revelation 21:1-8; Revelation 22:1-5
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
- God Makes All Things New
- Old is bad, new is good
There is no need to make what is good new.
So ask yourself what about your life that is bad that needs to be made good. Those bad things are no more. And there is good that is to come that we do not yet know or understand. We live in a world with survival as the basic fundamental baseline. If it threatens survival, it is bad. We define things with a negative. Good is the absence of bad. Joy is the absence of sorrow. Those definitions are going to change. We are going to be able to share in the good qualities of others without the need to compete. There will be no jealousy, no insecurity, no competition. We will celebrate God and God in each other. We will rejoice in God and God in ourselves without any need to compare what another person has or is.
In fact, if there is no judgement and then heaven, then there is no actual existence of true justice, there is no actual existence of true love etc. Everything in this life is polluted by sin. But I believe that those things actually exist in pure form. And one day I will exhibit them!
I Cor 15:
What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[e] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[f] also bear the image of the man of heaven.
- New Heavens and Earth
The first earth and heavens are no more. Why?
Because they are corrupted by sin. Would you like to live with your broken down body for all eternity? It’s the same idea.
Romans 8: 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
No sun or moon necessary for light. V. 23
- No more sea
God is not anti-water. The ocean is seen as chaotic. It is uncontrollable.
Waves are threatening. If you are in a small boat, the waves try to throw you out and come over into the boat all at the same time.
Once you go out beyond the ability to see land, what direction are you going? It’s hard to know where you are, where you are going, it’s dangerous, it is threatening your life.
And it looks foreboding. It is black, dark, bottomless and will swallow a person up forever.
So there is no more sea. You can take this literally or you can just say that all the negatives of the sea are removed. This can be done by changing people into beings that can breathe under water, walk on top of water or whatever. In a world where people are eternal and everything is good, there will be no negatives.
Similar idea in verse 25. No more night. No need for sleep. No darkness to hide things. 22:5 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
- A New Relationship with God
- God dwells with man
22: 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
21: 3 “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
He will be their God and they will be His people will be completely fulfilled.
This is after judgement.
Sadly, heaven is not for everyone.
21: 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
You will notice that it is our behavior that indicates our faith!
22: 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
No one is forcing you to believe in God, but neither do you get to decide the standards by which God judges people. You are not God. And you do not get to judge His goodness. If you did then you would be God.
- Life is completely provided
Tree of life– Food 22:1-2Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
River of water of life– water
v.6 To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
- More than creator and creation
Husband and wife: Church is the Bride of Christ
Parent and child: God the Father is our Father in Law
This speaks to God’s desire and ability to provide what we need for life, and to the measure of His quality of love for us. We are His treasure! And all that He has is our inheritance.
III. There Will Be No More Curse
- No cursed work or relationships
Genesis 3 God curses marriage, child bearing/raising, work, the environment, and His relationship to man. Will we be married in heaven? Well, if we are, then it will go really well. I am leaning toward not. Is there a need to be fruitful and multiply?
I am sure that there will be work in heaven. I can see a wonderful cooperative environment where everyone is gifted and our gifts are complimentary and we truly see that we are more together than apart. There is no competition, but everyone desires our input and it all works. We can all create things that are beautiful and that function to promote life in others.
- No death or mourning
No separation from our loved ones. No dying in ourselves. No fear of loss. What causes you fear? That will be gone.
- No sorrow or pain
Not in me or in others. What about all the things that I am afraid of in heaven. Loved ones who do not believe. Terrible eternal destinies of people that we care very much about. Those feelings are not for heaven.
Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.