In today’s post, we are going to explore the clues within the Bible about Heaven! If you’ve ever questioned what Heaven is like or who will be in Heaven, this is for you! I’m going to break this post up into two separate posts because I don’t want to leave anything out.
In Revelation 21:1-8, we get a glimpse of what Heaven is like! But, unfortunately, our misunderstanding and the misrepresentation of Heaven can cause us to be hesitant toward leaving this life and drive us to hold more firmly onto the things of this world.
When I was a young Christian, Heaven didn’t seem that exciting to me. One reason for it was that there were a lot of exciting things on earth that I wanted to do.
But another reason was part of me understood Heaven as a place where we jumped on billows of clouds all day long. That wasn’t desirable to me. Plus, I have a fear of heights.
Yet 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that “…What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him“
The Bible does reveal enough to us of what it is like to build our excitement and anticipation. In Revelation 21, John uses a couple of keywords that expand our understanding of Heaven.
“I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and first earth had passed away.”
The word “first” is key to our understanding. In Greek, “first” translates the word “protos,” and means influenced, first in time and place. “Protos” is also where we get our English word prototype from.
This tells us that the new heaven and new earth will bear striking similarities to the earth we know. Before this world was corrupted with sin, God designed it and declared that it was good.
Earth was intended to be a paradise for us until sin was invited to the party by Adam and Eve. The beauty of this world is a prototype of what we can expect Heaven to be like. There was nothing wrong with God’s original creation.
Just like we have mountains, canyons, deserts, and beaches, I believe these will all be a part of Heaven. If you like to hang out at the beach, we will be able to do that. If you want to go hiking or sailing, I believe you’ll be doing that in Heaven!
Not only is the first earth a prototype, but this likely means that the human body is a prototype of what we will be like in Heaven. If you read the Bible in chronological order, you will see how the life span of humans decreased. You and I were not meant to die.
So this raises an important question. If Heaven bears similarities to the first earth and our bodies to the first creation, what’s to prevent sin from corrupting the new heaven and earth? Revelation 20:10 explains how the tempter, Satan, is thrown into a lake of fire for eternity.
There will be no tempter in Heaven to tempt us to sin! With our new bodies, we will have no desire or recollection of sin from the first earth. One of the primary differences of the new earth is that sin will not corrupt what God builds this time.
This likely means that;
- Colors will be more brilliant, and we will see new colors unseen in this life.
- Landscapes will be more majestic.
- Waterfalls will be incomparable.
- Oceans will be more amazing than what we have ever encountered.
The best of this world won’t hold a candle to the beauty of the new earth.
Speaking of oceans, John makes a statement that “the sea was no more.” There’s a lot of debate concerning the meaning of this statement, but we must look at the totality of what Revelation says to understand.
On a couple of occasions, John describes seeing an ocean in Heaven and describes it as “a sea like glass.” So we know that there are bodies of water in heaven.
The prevailing thought is that this is a metaphor. The ocean, or seas, throughout scripture presented an obstacle or deadly encounter for God’s people.
- The Red Sea created a barrier between God’s promise and His people.
- The Sea of Galilee produced a storm so great the disciples were terrified and begged Jesus to help.
- Paul was shipwrecked and left for dead.
- At the time of this writing, John was banished to the Island of Patmos, separated from the church.
John’s comment means that nothing will separate us from God or His people, and Heaven will be without the dangers or terror that the sea represents.
Heaven is not a place where we jump on clouds and is eternal in time and space. Stay tuned for part two of what Heaven is like!
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