What will Heaven be like?
Many people are very fuzzy on what heaven will actually be like. Some of the questions they have are:
– are we just going to sit around on clouds playing harps all the time?
– is heaven just going to be a 24/7 praise & worship service?
– what could we do for an eternity that wouldn’t turn out to eventually be boring?
– will there be pets/animals in heaven?
– will we have bodies or will we just be ‘spirits’?
I realize that there are many more questions than these few but let’s answer these first.
Actually, there are two heavens, the intermediate heaven and the eternal, final heaven.
The intermediate heaven is where believers go when they die now. Our body goes into the grave and our spirit goes to be with God in the intermediate heaven (2nd Corinthians 5:8). Think of it as another dimension (2nd Kings 6:15-27 & Acts 7:55-56). We will have a spiritual body but it won’t be a physical body. This intermediate heaven will last until Jesus comes to set up His final, eternal kingdom. When He does come, there will be two resurrections. The 1st resurrection will be for believers only (Daniel 12:2 & Revelation 20:5-7). That’s when all of creation will be redeemed and changed (Romans 8:20-22). Our spirits will be reunited with our bodies. We will have resurrected, perfect bodies with our spirit and soul reunited with our physically perfect body. We will inherit a resurrected, perfect Earth and universe.
The 2nd resurrection will be for unbelievers (Daniel 12:2 & Revelation 20:11-15). Their spirits will be resurrected with their bodies. They will have their forever bodies reunited with their spirit and soul but they’ll be in hell forever.
So, what will a resurrected universe look like? What will our perfected bodies look like?
The creation mandate in Genesis, chapters 1 & 2, was never removed. So, we will start to have dominion over all of creation but in a perfected state.
We will not know everything as only God is omniscient (1st John 3:20). But our learning won’t be hindered by our old sin nature, which we won’t have anymore. Sin deadens everything, including our ability to learn. Learning will be a lot easier.
Will we explore a redeemed outer space? Probably! The universe is big and getting bigger all the time. We’ll have an eternity to explore God’s incredible creation. We’ll be in awe of His handiwork.
Will we write stories and new songs? Probably! God is a creative God and we’re made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Our creativity won’t be hindered by our old sin nature anymore. Some of the best stories and the most beautiful songs are yet to be written. The new stories and songs will praise God, His people and creation even more. Some professions won’t exist anymore in heaven, like doctors and dentists, as there will be no injuries or death.
But I thought we were going to praise and worship God for all eternity? It’s a narrow definition of praise and worship to think it’s only a church service. We will praise and worship by doing what He made us to do. We will be using our spiritual gifts to their fullest, unhindered by our old sin nature. Everything we do will be to the praise and worship of God. We won’t be bored because there will always be new challenges and new ways to praise and worship Him.
Will there be pets/animals in heaven? There were animals in Eden (Genesis 1:24-25). And none of them were carnivorous. Think of it. Maybe we’ll be able to play with lions and tigers without ever getting hurt.
What about entertainment in heaven? Wouldn’t it be great to see movies (or something like it) with wonderful values? Wouldn’t it be great to interview some of the great Christians of all time? Like Peter or DL Moody or Jim Elliott? Or maybe see their stories on some type of film? You want to climb a high mountain on Earth? Or maybe on a redeemed Mars? Maybe we’ll be able to swim with the whales and dolphins. Wouldn’t it be great to time travel and solve some of the great mysteries or see the great moments in history? Maybe we’ll be able to see the people’s inner thoughts as they were sacrificing for God. Or maybe we’ll see events thru God’s eyes?
Relationships will exist in heaven. We don’t know exactly what they will look like, but they’ll be great. No more pettiness, jealousy or gossiping. We’ll get along with everyone. They’ll be no more envy. We’ll be blessed when we see other people getting their rewards. We’ll celebrate with them and they with us.
We’ll not only talk about adventures that we’d like to do around a campfire with friends, we’ll go out and do them. I think anything would be allowed if it brings praise to God. Does this kind of heaven sound boring to you or does it sound AWESOME?
If you know Jesus as your Savior, we’ll see you there!
The free online course and videos “Heaven and Hell” at https://bsssb-llc.com/video-courses-overview/heaven-and-hell/.
The book, “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn
For the sake of His Name,