January 20, 2023

What You Can Expect in Heaven

By Skip Heitzig

How many times have you heard someone say you become an angel when you die, or heaven is really boring because you sit on a cloud and play a harp all day?

The only authoritative source we have for life after death is the Bible. And the Bible speaks of heaven about 500 times. There are some things that may surprise you about your eternal home:

1. It will require destruction. "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away" (Revelation 21:1). God designed our current universe to be temporary. Jesus created all things, and by Him all things consist, or are held tightly together (see Colossians 1:16-17). One day, He's going to let go (see 2 Peter 3:10).

2. It will be a brand-new, fresh design. "I saw a new heaven and a new earth…[and] the holy city, New Jerusalem…. He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new'" (Revelation 21:1-2, 5). The word new here doesn't just mean chronologically new—it's new of a different kind or design. God is going to make something entirely different that will last forever.

3. It won't have an ocean (see Revelation 21:1). As a guy from California, I struggled with this for the longest time. But it just means life will be different in this new universe. We will no longer need water to survive. Also, in ancient times, oceans separated people. In heaven, that separation will be gone.

4. It will have a capital city (see Revelation 21:2-3). Revelation talks in great detail about New Jerusalem, the headquarters of our eternal home. This city will be different than any other city ever. It will come out of heaven, and it will be huge—slightly smaller than our moon. It's where God will dwell with mankind for eternity.

5. It will feel unfamiliar. "There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain" (Revelation 21:4). Our eternal home will be different than anything we've ever known. There won't be Kleenex or funerals. And since there will be no death, there will be no conditions that bring death—no aging, disease, hospitals, or doctors.

6. Not everyone will be there; it's a city of believers only. "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son" (Revelation 21:7; see also vv. 8, 27). How do you overcome? By putting your faith in Jesus and being cleansed by His blood.

I hope you realize that heaven is not going to be boring. Heaven is going to be God continually blowing your mind with His power, majesty, glory, and love. How do I know that? Because Paul said that "in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7). In other words, it's going to take God all of eternity to show you the fullness of who He is and how much He loves you. Whatever you're going through in life, good or bad, it can't hold a candle to the glory that will be revealed on the other side (see Romans 8:18).

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