For a few moments, follow Paul’s encouragement from Col 3:1-4, “Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
When hardship, pain, and difficulty come… rest in the sure knowledge that shortly this life will be over (James 4:14). Soon an angel will be sent by God to usher you into His presence (Luke 16:22). Or you will not die but be changed in the twinkling of an eye from flesh to spiritual (1 Cor 15:51-55). Then you will participate in Jesus’ triumphant return to earth (Matt 24:30-31; 1 Thess 4:16-18). As you enter God’s presence for the first time, He will rejoice (Ps 116:15). Words cannot explain or express the joy of when Jesus is standing before you with a smile and outstretched arms!
What will heaven be like? Of course I don’t know in my wildest imagination, but it will be more than I can imagine. So, I like to imagine what heaven might be like…
Heaven is filled only with the redeemed of all time, known as God’s family (Rev 21:3). There is always and only perfect love, joy, and peace. Everyone knows everyone else. Moses, Paul, Abraham, Joseph, David, and all the saints call everyone else by name (Including you and me)! Every moment of every day is like one huge joyful family reunion where everyone is overjoyed to see each other.
There will be no babies crawling in heaven, which means my brother Lloyd who died before turning one day old will be an adult. We will finally be able to talk and get to know each other. My granny won’t have hearing aids or glasses or a walker, she will be stronger than I ever knew her, Paw Paw too. I will finally meet the child my wife Pam and I never saw who was spontaneously aborted before taking a single breath. That child will be an adult like my little brother. In fact, I like to think that in heaven everyone is about 33 years old, as Jesus was in the resurrection (1 John 3:2).
For all eternity everything will get better and better, newer and newer, sweeter, nicer, and more perfect. Eyes will keep seeing better… ears hearing more acutely… the nuances of taste continually increase… and the brain will comprehend ever-increasing complexities. From the beginning of eternity, for all eternity, believers will forever become more and more and more perfect. This is what Jesus meant when it is recorded in Revelation 21:5 that He said, “Behold, I am making all things new(er) and newer and newer and newer…” (My paraphrase).
It would be like on earth being given your dream car and from that moment the gas tank stays filled with free high-octane gasoline. The paint job shines brighter each day. The tire tread grips the road better each moment. The engine’s MPG keeps going up. The windows get clearer. The “new car smell” gets sweeter every minute. And these things never end. Bad illustration, but it’s the best I can think of.
Then there are the “minor” things about heaven. Every believer has their own house or room or mansion… tailored specifically and exactly by Jesus to be more than they ever could have imagined. Angels will serve believers personally (I like to think it’s our guardian angel from Mt 18:10). God’s light shines everywhere so that there are no shadows or night. The fruit of The Tree of Life is available for all to eat. The streets are pure gold, clear as glass (Rev 21:21). There are twelve gates that are never closed because there are no enemies anywhere, each gate a single pearl (Rev 21:21).
Every believer is given a crown… and a special name no one else has (Rev 2:17). When the book of life is opened, people’s earthly name is not called, but rather THE name given no one else has. When this UNIQUE name is called only the person to whom it is given can answer… “Here!” and they will be deemed as one of Jesus’ sheep to enter heaven. So there will be no confusion about who is and isn’t allowed into God’s presence!
Then the most awe-inspiring and amazing thing of all time will happen for those who sit at the Marriage Feast of The Lamb Jesus Christ. The Lord will serve them. You read it right, Jesus Christ… The Great I AM… The Creator of the Universe will serve those redeemed from the curse of sin. Imagine it if possible! Consider this as it is found in written as the words of Jesus from Luke 12:35-37…
Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.
I can only imagine shock and awe… probably much like Peter when Jesus may have given a preview the night before He was crucified as he washed the Apostles’ feet in John 13:3-11. Such an event would so overwhelm the participants that the only proper response would be what is found recorded in Rev 4:9-11… a casting of crowns to Jesus’ feet in worship of Him. Then all of creation along with all the redeemed and all the angels will worship saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!”
That is just one fallen human’s dim view of what heaven will be like that falls way short of what heaven will actually be. Along with thinking about heaven, I like to sing songs about heaven… just to get my heart ready. Every time I contemplate when will one day be, this life seems to be inconsequential. All the things I worry about fade into obscurity. My troubles lose their importance. And I find myself looking toward heaven rather than what happens around me.