Previously Published Articles

10 Truths* About Heaven

My daddy died recently. As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven. I know he’s there. I know he’s finally pain and fatigue-free. This thought brings me the most peace.
But I have an awful admission. In my mind I envision Heaven as boring.
That’s pathetic.
God created earth and every waterfall within it. Why then am I not as excited when I think of Heaven? Why have I bought the lie that earth is the grand finale and that glory will look like believers sitting on clouds, strumming harps and singing thousand year-old hymns with little zeal?
This fallacy needed an overhaul. So I did a little research.
Imagine limitless energy, a glorified body and inhabiting a timeless paradise beyond any dream vacation we could purchase.
Now dream bigger. That is a small taste of what Heaven is like.
Re-wiring our preconceived mental image of eternity will help us gain a different perspective on the topic. Let’s explore the scripture more closely by considering these ten truths* about Heaven:
1. Heaven is free
The price paid on the cross bridged the gap between this life and eternity with God. Jesus said no amount of good works on earth would buy our way into glory. A simple prayer of repentance and belief in Christ promises us a one way ticket to paradise.
2. Our memory of earth is wiped clean
“Look! I am creating new Heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore” (Isaiah 65:17). Living in eternity with the memory of friends who did not accept Christ would be miserable. It makes perfect sense that our recollections of this life filled with hardship are erased forever. All the more reason believers should pray for opportunities to witness to our loved ones if we desire to reunite with them after this life.
3. Asking God questions won’t be our first response
People often say “When I get to Heaven, I’m going to ask God…” Or, we say we can’t wait to see a certain relative that has passed. Since we know our memory will no longer exist, neither will our puzzling questions of why we had to battle disease or divorce of the death of a loved one. God clarifies that once we stand before the throne, our souls will receive perfect peace (Luke 19:38). We will fall at his feet in reverence of his glory.Tranquility and happiness will overcome us (Rev. 1:17; Isaiah 65:18), not questions.
4. A gala awaits us
2000 years ago, Christ promised he would prepare a place for us at the celebration marriage feast (Revelation 19:9). A royal Gala unlike any other awaits us when we pass from this life.If God allowed delicacies like filet mignon, lobster, and salted caramel cupcakes on earth—how much more glorious will the delicacies in Heaven be? Although we’re not certain whether we will consume food throughout eternity, there are references to food in the afterlife (Revelation 22:1-3; Mark 14:25).
5. God’s glory illuminates heaven
No longer will we need a sun or moon for the purpose of light, for there is no night. Revelation 21:23 states that God’s glory illuminates the city, and that a rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircles his throne (Revelation 4:2).God will be the light of the world.tunnel imageDoes this mean we will no longer need rest or sleep? I’m guessing fatigue–my greatest enemy–will no longer exist in Heaven. Praise God.6. A multi-cultured packed-house
Jesus explains that his house will be full of people from the east and the west and the north and south, people of every diversified background. How exciting to know there is no discrimination in Heaven (Luke 13:29). Not only that, our paradise is described as having: “much people” and “a great multitude” that “no one could count from every nation and tribe.” Heaven will be packed with multi-cultural believers who will worship together in harmony.
7. Saints live luxuriously
Many mansions exist in Heaven (John 14:2 KJV). It is a utopia overflowing with promised treasures for those who achieved their purposes on earth (Revelation 22:12).
One day, Jesus will say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). When we sacrifice the comforts of this world for our Lord, he promises us great rewards (Matt. 19:29). These glorious prizes will overshadow any riches accumulated on earth.
8. We will cast crowns
Speaking of rewards, crowns will adorn the heads of those who have been faithful, overcame suffering, visited prisoners, cared for the sick and hungry, and ministered to God’s people (James 1:12, Luke 16:23; 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:34-36; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:1-4). Some may say they are not interested in earning crowns, but these gifts will not be for us. As we gather around the throne, we will cast our prizes at the feet of Jesus as a worship offering (Revelation 4:10).
I imagine this like a concert where your favorite artist is up on stage. You’d want to throw the nicest gift at their feet, I mean…if you ever idolized a celebrity, which I’m sure you haven’t. 😉 This is merely an analogy to get us thinking outside of the box.
9. What we value most will be street pavement
Gold is a high commodity these days. However, in God’s economy, gold will line the streets of Heaven. The riches of this world will one day pass away. We will forget its value as we travel along a common construction material in eternity: pure gold as transparent as glass (Revelation 21:21). Not only will this precious metal surround us, but our city’s walls will be made of jasper and decorated with precious stones.
I personally believe the enemy distracts us with jewels. We pay a high price for something that will take the place of cement in Heaven. The cost of my small engagement ring could feed an underprivileged village. That’s sad. I often tell my kids, “Go stand at the edge of the dump. That’s where it’s all going to end up one day. That American Girl Doll we thought we had to have, it’s going to burn and be forgotten.”
10. The death curse will be broken
Christians will no longer face pain or hardship or death once they enter eternity. Revelation 21:4 explains that God will wipe away our tears.
Have you ever sung a song you never wanted to end? Imagine harmonizing along with the latest hit from Plumb or Building 429 or the David Crowder Band at a live concert. While your hands are raised and the lyrics ring through the audience, your spirit experiences that lightening effect unlike any you can explain. This quite possibly is a small glimpse of the pleasure we will feel as we worship our Lord and Savior. He will break the curse of death, and shower elation over our souls.
For this feeling alone, I simply cannot wait to see my Lord.
Is Heaven a mystery for our protection?
Some scholars suggest that if the Lord painted a more vivid account of paradise, believers would find any way to get there sooner to skirt the struggles of life.
Consider the miracles Jesus performed. Most of the sick that were healed thanked him (other than the nine lepers). But the three accounts of those he raised from the dead? None of them thanked Jesus when they came back to life.
Does this mean they didn’t want to return to earth?
We can speculate that Heaven is a place we will never want to leave, and is kept a mystery so believers will fulfill their calling to bring others to Christ.
The ultimate finale
Think of the happiest moment in your life: your engagement day, birth of a baby, the first ride on a floorless rollercoaster—that unexplainable high may be a small glimpse of the glory to come. If God gave Walt Disney the ingenuity to construct the happiest place on earth, where millions of humans flock each year to smile at an oversized mouse and his friends, can you fathom what fantastical luxuries await us in glory?
Even in our wildest imaginations we will never come close to predicting how glorious Heaven is. We are not mentally capable. That is the big surprise to come, the ultimate finale.
I have to believe that the moment my daddy saw Jesus he fell at this feet and said, “Lord, you are right. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind could fathom all of this that you’ve prepared for us!” (1 Cor. 2:9).
*This article was written to reflect the biblical representation of Heaven as accurately as possible. Only God knows the real truths about Heaven.

Portions of this article were previously published in July 1, 2013 Good News newspaper, where I’m a contributing writer. For my blog, I have added my personal story.  

One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: