Summary: A look at some of the benefits Believers will enjoy in the next life and how these effect the way we live today.
What is Heaven Like?
“When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there: The first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see; The second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there” (John Newton)
Do you expect to find yourself in heaven? And what do you expect to find when you get there?
2CO 5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
1. An Embodied Life
What we see in these few verses is that life in heaven is an embodied life. People who go to heaven don’t become ghosts or extraterrestrial spirit beings – or angel like.
There will also be some continuity between our present bodies and those we will have in heaven. Romans 8:11 says,
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
Physical deterioration reminds us of the brevity of this life.
Job 19:26 “After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”
2. A Social Life.
Life in heaven is shown in the Bible to be in relationship with others.
a. The perfect city (Heb 13:14), - What would a perfect city look like? No crime. No homelessness. No unemployment. No pollution. No corruption in the council/government.
b. A victorious kingdom (Heb 12:28), - What will that be like? There will be no civil unrest. Only peace. No terrorism. No war. In fact when a kingdom is victorious that means that the battle is over and there is no more war of any kind.
c. A Holy temple (Ezek ch40-48), - How will that look? No unrighteousness. No favouritism, no racial prejudice. No unfaithfulness. Fairness and truth will be the norm. Goodness will be second nature. Morality will reign. Everyone there will be upright and honest.
d. A wedding feast (Rev 19:7), - It will be a time of intimate sharing with close friends and family. It will be a celebration, a party no less! A time of celebrating the coming together of a bride and her groom. There will be a festival atmosphere.
3. A Responsible Life
There will be activities in heaven designed to employ your highest capabilities.
See Luke 19:12-27.
The point to this parable is that the reward for faithful work done here on earth, is greater responsibility in heaven.
Perhaps new songs are to be written and sung (Rev 5:9)
There’ll be times of learning (Rev. 14:3).
There’ll be times of service (Rev 22:3).
There’ll be a place alongside Christ for believers to judge the world and the angels righteously, with justice and in fairness (1 Cor 6:2).
4. A perfect life
a) Everyone who lives in heaven possess a perfect knowledge.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
b) Also, no one in heaven is a failure. In heaven, everyone is morally perfect. We read in Hebrews 12:22-23 that the only people who dwell in heaven are the righteous who have been made perfect.
5. An endless life
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Eternal life is a successful life and a fruitful life. In John 10:10 Jesus says, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
6. A God centred life