Reflections on the Word: What is Heaven like?
September 11, 2016
Heaven, have you ever wondered about it? What is heaven like? What happens there? Who's there and who's not? I suppose those are some of the most asked questions I get.
The bible tells us quite a bit about heaven. In it we find descriptions from those God gave glimpses into eternity, other times Jesus tells us about heaven. Although we can only touch on this important topic here, I hope it will stimulate you to further study.
Jesus said in John 14:2-3; "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
First, Jesus said there are dwellings in heaven that he would prepare for his followers. Some versions say "many mansions", so we get the idea of a luxurious place. The Apostle John in his Revelation was translated into heaven and using the vocabulary of a first century man he describes what he sees; "A the new heaven and earth with streets of gold, gates of pearls, foundations of precious stones and perpetual water and food."
So, heaven is seen as a pretty nice place. Although we cannot totally comprehend it by our current understanding, heaven is a place that's very desirable. When John sees some things that happen in the throne room of heaven, he describes awesome creatures that are perpetually before God and constantly in worship.
(They say) "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:8)
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Interesting those angelic creatures are always worshiping by calling out God's character and describing him as holy and eternal. Then John saw more, there were twenty four elders who were also in perpetual worship saying; "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:11)
The elders also speak of who God is; The one worthy of honor because he created everything and it's created by his will and for his pleasure. Think about that, if those who are continually in the presence of God have a desire to worship him, how much more should his creation see God as worthy of praise and worship.
Speaking of eternity, the Apostle Paul says that followers of Jesus should keep their minds and hearts on things above not on earthly things. He says that to remind us that life is short but eternity is – well forever.
What we know about heaven is; It's beautiful, full of worship, and Christ is worshiped at the same level as the Father because as Jesus said; "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
So who's in heaven? Revelation 21:27 says; "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." So, heaven is occupied by those who have their name in Jesus' book of life. But how do you know if your name is there? To continue your study read; (John 3:3, John 3:36, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 1:9).
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.