Heaven is the focus of a lot of religions, and Christianity is no different. The Bible tells us that heaven is a place where God dwells, and it also tells us a lot about the nature of this place.
Often, we think about it a lot, especially when us or a loved one is nearing the end of our life here on earth. For the vast majority, the thought of heaven brings a lot of comfort, as we know that we are destined to go there eventually.
However, it also throws up some questions, especially if you have not intensely read, studied and analyzed the scripture – one of the main questions is what heaven actually looks like.
We have all seen fictional depictions of heaven (think fluff white clouds, golden gates, birdsong and harps), but how do they hold up against what we factually know about heaven’s appearance. Read on to find out more.
What Does Jesus Say About Heaven?
We can see glimpses of heaven in the New Testament, as Jesus spends a lot of his time talking about eternity. He told his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that 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” (from John 14:1-3)
In this passage of the bible, Jesus is discussing heaven, and is trying to give us a little peek into what is reserved for those who have accepted God into their hearts.
When Jesus died on the cross, he went to heaven to wait for us. After we die, our spirit goes to heaven, where we can enjoy eternal life with God. Our bodies will be resurrected after death, but our spirits won’t return to earth.
What Is Said In The Bible About Heaven?
Revelation 21 in the bible outlines a description of Heaven, and is probably one of the most in depth descriptions that we have of Heaven from the whole of the bible.
Read all of Revelation 21 and 22 to find out all the details that john discusses. Here are some of the highlights from these passages, and what they mean about the appearance of heaven.
The first thing that is mentioned is that God has created a new heaven and earth, all of which is entirely novel. So, He made everything utterly from scratch, including heaven and earth.
In the center of heaven is the city called New Jerusalem, which is the eternal city in our eternal home. In the creation of this City, God has spared no creativity or magnificence, meaning that it is utterly stunning, especially for humanity.
There are 12 walls in this New Jerusalem, with gates in each of the walls of the city. On each gate is the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel.
On each foundation of the city (of which there are 12), there is the name of an apostle or prophet of Jesus Christ the Lamb. So – the physical appearance of the Eternal City implies that believers in both the New Testament and Old Testament will inhabit the city.
Heaven is a beautiful place where everything is made out of gold, which is somehow as trance parent as glass. There are streets paved in gold and buildings made of crystal.
The foundations of each wall are decorated in precious gemstone, and the walls that are surrounding the city are made of jasper. The sky above is made of diamond. In heaven there is no crime, no war, no poverty, and no suffering.
Everyone lives in peace and harmony. Heaven is exquisitely beautiful.
Things That We Know About The Experience Of Heaven
The wonder of heaven is not only its exquisite beauty, but there are other wonders that we will experience, such as:
1. We Will Be In The Presence Of God
To summarize Revelation 21:3, the bible says that that God’s dwelling place is with us, and he will dwell in us. He will be with us and be our God.
Heaven will be a place of complete joy, love, peace, and rest. There will be no more pain, sorrow, or death. God will be present in every aspect of life. People will worship God as a living, loving God who cares about them and wants to spend eternity with them.
God’s dwelling place will be among the people, and he will live alongside us – our God will be tangible, in a way that he is not down on the mortal plane of earth.
In Exodus 33 Moses asked God to show him his glory. God’s glory passed overhead of Moses, but Moses is only able to see God’s back, not his full glory.
However, this will not be the case in heaven – and we will be able to see God’s whole glory. This will cause us to experience the unmatched, and totally unimaginable joy of seeing God with no constraint or restriction.
This will be a sense of glory that goes far beyond all our human words.
2. We Will Experience Eternal Joy
As we have already touched upon, going to heaven means that you will experience eternal joy. In Revelation 21:4-5, it says, “He will wipe every tear away.
There will be no longer any death or mourning or crying or pain.” The old order of things has been stained by the impacts of sin – but, in heaven, this order is gone. In heaven, God will remove that stain.
When he does, death, mourning, crying and pain will end. There will be no sorrow, but eternal joy.
3. There Will Not Be The Sun Or The Moon, As There Will Be No Need
There is discussion in the bible about how the city will be lit – Revelation 21:23-25 – “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.”
From this passage, it is clear that God’s glory will outshine the noon day sun and the midnight moon. He will be the only source for eternal light.
So, humanity will no longer have any need for the moon or the sun, as God’s glory will be on display front and center, and his brilliance will be the only necessary source of everlasting light.
4. Nothing Impure Will Ever Be Able To Enter Heaven
In the bible, there is discussion of the purity of heaven. In Revelation 21:27, it is written that, “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.”
Those who are allowed to enter heaven, will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and will then be washed in the blood of the lamb.
So, there is nothing impure or sinful in heaven, and these impurities are done away with forever. There will not even be the imprint of this sin will be left – humanity will never have to deal with it again.
Sinners are welcomed into heaven as long as they were born-again Christians, and all sins are forgiven and forgotten.
In conclusion, there is discussion of what the Heaven looks like throughout the bible, and God has created a perfect Eternal World, and a New Jerusalem, for all of his believers, worshipers and followers to reside in for all of eternity.