What will heaven really be like? Few seem to have decent answers, and some actually fear heaven because of this ambiguity. It is not to be feared at all… Oh my goodness!

There needs to be a few ground rules. Heaven is reserved for those who, believing God’s word that we are all sinners, they have chosen to trust solely and completely on the shed blood of God’s only Son, our Savior, Messiah Jesus, for salvation, rescue from their sins. A growth in ability and desire to please God is the visible result of this choice, and the Holy Spirit is an invaluable asset here. When such a child of God dies, heaven surely awaits.

We can start understanding heaven with this verse. “but just as it has been written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ ” (1 Cor. 2:9, NASB) Ok, so you can conceive of heaven any way you want. According to this verse, by God’s decree, it will be far better than anything we can come up with. This amazing, true fact is good to know, but honestly, I think we would like a little more information than that.

1 Cor 13:12 is astounding… “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.” According to this amazing verse, in heaven, ALL barriers to our knowledge will be removed! We will effortlessly know everything we ever wanted to know. Maybe that is why we, everyone will serve Yahweh God so supremely in heaven. We will absolutely know up there, that giving God less than everything will never do! Not only that, but we will effortlessly know everything about any, every other person up there, too. Of course, they will also effortlessly know everything about us! Once we get there, all the self-centered, bad stuff will be gone; pride, arrogance, horrible personal stuff like that. But… our lives on this planet, what happened to us, what we did, said, what we chose, everything, our lives will all be an open book, to everyone else — and it won’t even matter!

Coming close to actually describing heaven, John writes this in Revelation 22:3, 4. “And there shall no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” Ok, so who will surround us in heaven? Nothing less than servants, slaves of Yahweh God and of the Lamb, our Messiah Jesus! In heaven, all the bad people will be “outside”, only servants of the Most High will be there. Regardless how we may have lived our lives on this planet, once we get to heaven, we will ALL be Yahweh God’s servants! We will wear His name! And you can be sure that pleasing Him, that will be our single, common goal. And, if we will all see His face, we will all be up there… together! So, heaven will be spending forever with other people who share that same common goal, pleasing God! (Finally…)

Back to 1 Corinthians 13, verse 8 this time. “Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away, if there are tongues, they will cease, if there is knowledge, it will be done away.” Ok, so the mention of tongues, knowledge and prophecy indicates that Paul has the far future in mind. Love will outlast all of that. Now, lets add 1 John 4:7, where John writes “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” What is the word used for love in both verses? It is Agapao, intentionally putting the object of our love first, giving everything in our power to meet their real needs. John is saying that, the person who does Agapao knows God, because this is how God responds, God Himself is the source of this love. Ok, then what will be the character of everyone up in heaven? On a moment by moment basis, what will be the word that exactly characterizes how everyone will respond, how we will all, each respond to each other? Agapao! In heaven we will be surrounded by literally millions of other people who intentionally put us first, and do everything they possible can, say anything they possible can, to seek to meet our needs, to help us. And they will do that, we will all do that together, every second, across the millenia of forever that Heaven is…

Have you ever had a really good, really close friend? Even more, have you ever known a person who, well it just seemed that no matter what the circumstance or the time (or the cost), this person just did, gave exactly what you needed, said exactly what you needed to hear, and left you feeling so valuable, so loved, even, so cherished? We all know them when we see them — true friends — and of course we seem to be drawn to them, and actually feel compelled to be around them as much as possible; that, being around them, it just feels so amazing! And we never need to worry or be guarded around them at all either, because we know they will always accept us, never work an angle to hurt us; they will always do whatever they can to help us. Just being around them feels, is so, well amazing, but the time around them down here usually seems so short…

Heaven will be just like that… surrounded forever by millions of honestly, sincerely loving, caring, giving true friends… We will all be like that, and enjoy both the giving and receiving end of such amazing true friendship… forever!

I apologize; this is a little more theological. In Matthew 22, some Sadducees try to trick Jesus with a stock theological question about the resurrection, having to do with the obligation of brothers to propagate the descendents of a brother that has died. In the beginning of His reply, Jesus says “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (verse 30). The Sadducees’ question was basically whose woman will this woman be. There is no need for the possession process, the pairing ritual that marriage entails down here, up in heaven. It is the marriage process that will be done away with. This is not to say that a husband or wife will not recognize and be able to appreciate a spouse that became a true friend to them. Everyone will be everyone’s true friend. But that very experience they rejoiced in together, and in the dim battleground of planet Earth no less, that will still be stamped on their souls. And by the way, we will recognize friends, acquaintances; Jesus’ account of the Rich Man and Lazarus clearly teaches that! (Luke 16:19-31)

Where will Yahweh God be? Among us… As we saw above, His amazing Agapao love will enfold each and every one in heaven. And we will so clearly know His amazing love for us; we will feel that every second of forever. Where will Jesus be? I think we can only guess. Since Jesus usually localizes Himself in his dealings with people, He will probably look like us, and just wander around among us, continuing to love His children that He paid so dearly for.

It has been said that you are not ready to live, until you are ready to die. Embracing heaven, being ready to check out and go there, that is what casts the proper perspective on every aspect of our lives down here on this dark planet.

Well, what more could we add?  Warm sun, and endless green grass maybe? This is all easily possible, and so much more, given the Apostle Paul’s words mentioned above.  Heaven will be even better…

And, let’s stop and pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, living each day maybe an inch away from death. What encouragement can we give them? Maybe Paul’s words again: “And you who are afflicted, rest with us — at the revelation of our Lord Jesus from heaven with angels of His power.” (2 Thessalonians1:7)  Yahweh God will wipe away every tear, and…

[slow, deep sigh!] Heaven is Yahweh God and Jesus among us, surrounded by an ocean of the most amazing, caring, loving true friends… I can’t wait…

— ACR, c2017

ps. Guess what? Hell, the lake of fire, it is also likewise eternal. Otherwise, it is the exact opposite…

 

 

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