What is Heaven Like?

new jerusalem size on earth
A visual example on a tiny scale of Heaven's Capital City as described in Revelation 21 - New Jerusalem. It's a real place!

The Purpose of This Blog

Greetings, readers! My name is Andrew, and my wife, Christy, and I have teamed up together to address a topic that we feel is really neglected in peoples’ daily lives: Heaven. To us, it’s a bastion of hope and takes us to a place of comfort when we talk about what things will be like in Heaven. We know that our fellow Christians, Catholics, Messianic Jews, and those taking a serious look at Christianity need to have a hope like this, because this is the Christian’s “Light at the end of the tunnel!”

 

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” If a Christian’s greatest hope is being united with God, reunited with their loved ones in the paradise called Heaven, and to experience all of the joy of the things that come with it, then it follows that it is one of Satan’s primary focal points of attack on the believer. If Satan can take our vision off of the end goal, he can make us feel like, “Why am I even doing this anymore?” I know many people that I love that may not admit it, but this line of thinking has taken root in their lives. If you take your eye off of the prize, you’re not going to care about winning the race, are you?

 

That brings me to the purpose of this blog: I want to encourage my fellow Christ followers to keep their eye on the prize. I want you to be reminded about why you are running this race, and why your goals need to be set on winning at all costs. If you’re just trying to “not lose,” then you’ve already let doubt set in and you may end up missing the boat like the parables in Matthew 25 illustrate.

 

So, be encouraged! And don’t be like the millennial generation that will just read the first section, scan through the rest, find something to criticize, and miss the meat of the topic! Don’t be like that. Read the whole thing, ponder it, and ask questions! Talk to your friends and family about this. This blog’s purpose is not to preach at you, but to share a message that we believe YOU need to share! Share it in person with those that need their strength to be renewed. Share it with those that you love. Share it on social media, but don’t let it stop there — We don’t care to get credit. We care that YOU get the word out!

 

Heaven is real, and it is worth looking forward to!

 

One Argument Challenged…

 

Before I get into the meat of my blog, I needed to dispel one argument against Heaven. This isn’t going to be the norm, as I won’t be arguing against other lines of reasoning in this blog. But this misinterpretation of scripture is a big problem that I wanted to address and clarify. Here is the scripture in question, and the misinterpretation and counter-reasoning will follow.

 

Luke 17:20-21 – “Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

 

The misinterpretation: The Kingdom of Heaven is already in existence here on Earth.

 

Why it is a misinterpretation: The Kingdom of God was in their midst, because the King of Kings was in their midst speaking those words to them. We have the Holy Spirit, also equal to the King of Kings, living inside of everyone that is in Christ. And if you are in Christ, you’re a citizen of Heaven. You live “in this world, but not of it” as the saying goes.

 

The clarification: There are citizens of Heaven all over the world, and God is within us. Literally, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. But that doesn’t mean that we are currently experiencing Heaven on Earth in this age, because as we all understand, this is a fallen world. There is no saving it. There’s just saving the people in it (God will take care of the animals, as he did on the Ark, as it mentions many animals in Heaven)! Moreover, God actually says that the Heavens and the Earth will pass away, to be renewed into version 2.0!

 

Revelation 21:5 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

 

2 Peter 3:10 – “But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth, and the works that are in it, shall be burnt up.”

 

Psalm 102:25-26 – “In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.”

 

I hope this segment opened your mind enough to accept the possibility of what you are about to read. In any case, I plead with you to let your imagination work as you read what I have written below. And as always, “but test everything; hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).”

 

What is Heaven like?

 

This question doesn’t get asked enough. I think the reason is, quite simply, because few people think about Heaven, and most people that have thought about Heaven already believe that they know what it is like. And their vision of it stinks! Their only real hope is that it will be better than the way they imagine it to be. Some people actually find it hard to imagine Heaven at all, which is usually a result of a lack of information on the topic.

 

When I ask people about it, they’ll often reply with one of two things in different variations. 1- “It’s an amazing place, full of love!” or 2- “We just can’t know, but it’ll be great!” I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to be unmoved by the idea of Heaven only being described as “full of love.” I can only think of one place that I’d describe as “full of love” – my parents’ house as I was growing up… but I would not want to stay there for all eternity. Sorry Mom and Dad, lol! And I’d like to take a vacation to zero places that I “just can’t know about,” because there are so many wonderful cultures I would like to experience or places I’ve heard about that I want to see for myself!

 

Here is the point put simply: Satan does not want us to think about Heaven, and he is clever, so he makes it seem like an undesirable location. Any location that you cannot imagine is also a location that you will never desire to go. More than that, Satan wants us to believe that we can never really learn about Heaven.  His desire is for the human race to fear leaving this world to go to some strange place called Heaven, playing off of the tendency to “fear the unknown.”

 

I am here to tell you that we CAN know what Heaven is like! We can’t know everything, but we can know enough to write books upon books about!

 

There are three places I’ll be drawing information from:

 

  1. What the Bible says about Heaven and Christ’s Kingdom
  2. What the Bible says about Earth before the fall of Adam
  3. Conclusions that may be drawn as a result of the first 2 points

I will be letting my imagination roam upon the scripture we’ve been given, because I believe that this is an extremely important part of the whole thing — You need to imagine Heaven, too! I may be incorrect about small things here and there, but the foundation is built upon scripture.

Heaven is a physical place. It is a place that you can touch and feel (if you were there). It exists now in a physical location, and there are people there. Jesus, in his transformed body after he resurrected from the dead, appeared to his disciples and let them touch him. They felt his scars from his wounds, and they did this on Earth. Jesus’ body is physical, and therefore Heaven is a physical place. Jesus also ate a fish in their presence, because he was hungry. We will eat in Heaven, too!

Our new bodies will be awesome. We are promised new bodies in Heaven! God says that he will take our old body and transform it into a perfect body. We have several examples of what our new perfect bodies can do, and what they’re like – When Jesus appeared to his disciples and walked with them for 40 days after his Resurrection, he ate (as I mentioned before), he appeared and disappeared (I would call that teleporting!), he disguised his appearance, he was touched, he was seen, he had conversations with his friends and others, and more. We will wear fine white linen, which sounds much more awesome than the cotton shirts we’re all used to. Angels have been documented in the Bible to appear to people many times as well. Check out the following verses about our new bodies. I hope you get excited!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 – “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down — when we die and leave these bodies — we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.”
We will play sports in Heaven. There are instances of heavenly beings interacting with humans in many cases (even of reproducing with them, wow), but one particular case I would love to draw to your attention – combat sports exist in heaven! In Genesis 32:22-32, Jacob wrestles an Angel from night until morning, and actually holds his own! The Angel blessed him, and this is when he is renamed to Israel (Israel is literally translated, “He who struggles with God”). I am excited to practice my favorite sport in Heaven. As an extrapolation of this one instance, I believe that there are many other sports in Heaven. In fact, I believe that ALL of the sports we love on Earth are in Heaven. Imagine, beginner leagues all the way to a Heavenly Olympic Games!
Your loved ones are there, and you will recognize them. Jesus is there, God is there, my brother Timothy is there, my grandfather Max is there, my Sister-in-law Bree is there, and Angels are there. Your loved ones that have accepted Christ are ALL there! And they’re waiting and praying for you. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul writes to people that were afraid of not seeing their loved ones again: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” We will meet our loved ones, as long as they are “in Christ.” If that’s not enough motivation to talk about Christ with your loved ones, then I don’t know what is!

 

There are many other verses that address this, including proof that unborn or newborn children go to heaven when they die, proof that we will recognize people we have read about but never met or people we have interacted with but forgot about (let alone people you know very well!), and more!

 

Your loved ones that are in Christ and passed away are in paradise, but even they have a surprise waiting for them (As do we!):
Rev. 21:2 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”
There is a NEW as-yet-unseen Heaven and Earth waiting for us all – That’s version 2.0. I call the current Heaven (which is described to be a paradise!) and the current Earth version 1.0… I’m a geek, so there.

Heaven has a capital city. It is called “New Jerusalem,” and is actually given literal measurements in the Bible. I am surprised how many people do not know this! It is 1,500 miles wide by 1,500 miles long by 1,500 miles tall! Yes, the Heavenly capital will stretch far into space (Earth’s atmosphere is only about 6-7 miles tall)! There will be 12 entrances into the capital city, which are gates that are each made out of a single giant pearl that stretch 1 mile high each. The walls of Heaven’s capital city will be 200 feet thick. The foundation (think like a concrete foundation of a house) of the capital city will be made of 12 layers, each layer a different precious stone, and will be engraved with the names of the 12 apostles of Jesus. The streets will be made of gold that is so pure it is like transparent glass. The throne of God will be in the middle of the city, and flowing from it will be a river of the water of life. Next to the river will be the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit each month. And you will live forever by eating the fruit. There won’t be any night there, because God himself will light the city! And if you doubt anything in this paragraph to be Biblical, read Revelation 21 – it is all there.

 

new jerusalem size on earth

A visual example on a tiny scale of Heaven’s Capital City as described in Revelation 21 – New Jerusalem. It’s a real place!

And that is just the capital city. The image at the top of this blog is a detailed to-scale model at 1/47,520,000 size (AKA it’s a 2-inch box). But it is in ratio. Imagine! If this city had floors that were 30 feet tall each, there would be 26,400 floors. Each floor would be 1,500 square miles, or 627,264,000,000 square feet. If each person was given 1 square acre to live in for their homes, the capitol city by itself would fit 4,320,000 people per floor, for a total capacity of 1,140,480,000,000 people. That’s over TRILLION people that would fit in the capital city by itself. Boiled down to our numbers, that is over 165 times the population of the earth! We’re not even counting the space on the whole Earth (Which I address below), and that is a non-dense estimate for a city. Imagine if this city was as dense as Tokyo or Paris where you may have 20 families living in a square acre of space – Math is hard.

The Earth will be remade, too! And there will be a lot more room. Isaiah 45:18 says, “For this is what the LORD says– he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited– he says: ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other.'”

 

world's population in one city

If the world’s population had to fit into one city…

The Earth was made to be inhabited as the verse above says, and from Rev. 21:2, we know that there is no more sea. Over 71% of the Earth is covered by salt water, another 10% is covered by deserts, and an additional 10.4% is covered by ice! I know that some people make their living in the deserts or in icy places like Alaska, but the vast majority of these zones are uninhabitable. Forgetting all the other variables for uninhabitable places, that leaves us with about 8.6% of this Earth left. In my research for this blog, I read that most of the Earth’s population lives on about 2% of the Earth’s surface. Imagine what it’ll be like when the Earth is remade and these uninhabitable areas are replaced by fully inhabitable and farm-able zones – No more overcrowding issues, to say the least. There would be over 11 times more habitable space available on the new Earth by a conservative estimate, which would support hundreds of billions of people, and if most of it is able to be farmed, we’d be able to feed trillions of people without any food shortages (I would bet my last penny that there are no water shortages in Heaven either).

 

If you’re a surfer, you might be really depressed to learn that there are no seas. But that does not mean that there is no surfing! Quite the opposite, in fact. God invented Surfing, bro! And this brings me to a great comfort that I tell myself regularly: If I am unsure about something because the information I am given is not enough to answer, then I know that it must exist in Heaven or that God will give me something even better in its’ place. I could imagine surfing on new planets’ oceans (Imagine what Jupiter’s 63 moons would do to the surf experience, or even the lakes getting some awesome waves.
The curses on this planet will not exist. This is a big point for me, and one of the greatest reliefs when thinking about Heaven. God provided curses for men and women both at Adam’s fall, which you may read about in Genesis 3:16-19. For women, they were cursed with painful labor in giving birth to children (And I don’t think there’s a woman on the planet that would argue that point!), as well as something that I dare not expand upon: Their desire is for their husbands, and he will rule over them. Men were cursed with working hard all the days of our lives until we die and with weeds to cause the best laid plans to be ruined in spite of our best efforts. These curses will be GONE! Work will be easy and joyful, and plans will succeed. The Bible says that Christ’s Kingdom will not see any end to its’ increase — it will increase for all eternity! Imagine — a stock market that only goes up in value, a currency that only gets more valuable, and goods and services that only get more affordable over time. No bad news when you turn your Heavenly TV on.
We will work in Heaven, and we will enjoy it. But we won’t experience failure, and we will love doing what we do for work! I actually love what I do for a living, but experience a lot of heartache when things do not go right. I often have a lot of uncertainty about the future as a business owner, and can only afford to think a few months in advance. I experience failure in some form almost every day, and it is through those failures that I learn and grow. But I would sure love to never have another failure again! I eagerly await when all my clients pay on time, when all my work turns out to be extremely successful for them, when I have 100% security in my position, and when all my plans to “get ahead” work out better than I could have hoped for. Nobody will be “chained” to a dead-end job, and there’ll always be room for upward mobility!
There is commerce in Heaven. This is exciting — buying and selling of goods. Everyone will have means to afford all they need. There will be no hunger, no thirst, no good desire that is not quenched. There will be no stealing or murder over things, no missed mortgage payments causing foreclosures… Just fair and honest trading of goods! Hey, there may even be currency, too – I can only speculate on that. The Bible states about Christ’s coming kingdom,
Isaiah 9:7″Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
There is no crime in Heaven. I was going to say “no sin,” but that’s a given, right? I wanted to relate this in terms that we all understand as people that live in the world — not stained glass Christian-ese. There will not be a crime committed for the rest of eternity! No murder, no lies and cover-up stories, no stealing, no hatred of people that are different,
There is no sorrow, death, crying, pain, or mourning in Heaven. The Bible says in Revelation 21:4 that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
There is no disease in Heaven. No cancer, no crippling accidents, no blindness, no bad fungus or bacteria, no infections, no degrading bodies, and no sickness! Everyone will be whole, not missing anything or having any deformities. Wo-hoo!
There are no more language barriers. There will be a single language for all people. The Bible states,
Zephaniah 3:9 – “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.”
Since the Tower of Babel where all mankind got together to build a tower to Heaven and God confounded the world’s language into many languages, people generally stick together by language. Lack of communication can cause many problems when it comes to unity, but a major one that I want to point out is distrust. I believe that language is the greatest divide above race, nationality, skin color, customs, wealth, status, gender, or anything else we can think of. And it has been since Babel. But it will be undone in Heaven! We will all understand one another, and so anywhere that you go on vacation, you will be able to relate to the people on the most fundamental levels. You will never have to look like an idiot flipping through your tourist language translation book/app as you’re desperately asking where the bathroom is ever again! And you will always be able to ask the waiters at restaurants about the specials and soups of the day, too. Hah!
We will have unlimited energy, and we won’t even need to sleep. This is pretty good, as it already says there’s not going to be any night time in New Jerusalem due to God lighting the city with His presence. We won’t ever get tired! When we rest, it won’t be because we are weary from a hard day’s work, or stress from the kids pushing you to your limit all day like on Earth. The scripture says,
Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Some people really love sleep on Earth. I used to be one of those people when I was in college. I would go to school, go to wrestling practice right after, and party all night. And boy, did it feel awesome to sleep in till 3pm when I got the chance. But imagine this for those that love sleep — If the day’s activities never exhaust you, then you will just do more fun things and never get tired!

 

As an aside, it will be really tremendous to wrestle with an unlimited gas tank — Wrestling is hard stuff, but it’s so fun! Stupid cardio, right guys?
We will have perfect bodies. Everyone will have their 20-something body in the best possible shape! It is hard to relate to a “new body” that you’ll see as imperfect even before you step into it. You will not have any desire for a nose job or to get a tan and lose 10 pounds before you get into your bathing suit… You are going to look truly perfect, and you will be wholly satisfied with your body, how it functions, and how it looks. As for me, I am about to turn 30 (next month!), and I know that my prime will only last so long. I am very eager to get to a place that I don’t have to fear “losing it” and fading away. This isn’t in my top 5 reasons I want to go to Heaven, but it’s definitely in my top 10!
In conclusion… Heaven is described in many places in scripture, but just to give us a taste of what is to come. God has saved the best parts for when we get there. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says that Heaven is like “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined…” I have done my best to illustrate many things that the Bible says about Heaven and the things in it, but the greatest excitement that we have is that it is all these things and so much more! If you’re not looking forward to Heaven as much as I am after this blog post, you’ve probably not read all the way to this point anyway. If you have and are still not excited, maybe you should consider picking up some supplemental reading on the subject!

 

I would rather not debate the validity of all the things in this blog post – There’s a ton of scripture that does that for me. But I’m open to expanding further on a point if you’ve got a question or you need some direction to that scripture! I’ve written this all from memory, and I know that if I opened up a book or did a few Google searches, I’d be able to probably double the size of this list with ease. I would love it if you guys would ask questions or share other ideas of yours about Heaven along with passages of scripture or a basis on why you believe that.
Supplemental reading:

 

Heaven by Randy Alcorn – Check it out and buy it here!