Every believer looks forward to living in the Kingdom of Heaven. What are some of the characteristics that make heaven something to look forward too with eager expectation?
Heaven on Earth
C.S. Lewis once said to “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you’ll get neither.” C.S. Lewis had an eager expectation for being in heaven. If we live with the end in mind we can more easily endure what we have to live with today. Before the fall of mankind, it was like heaven on earth. After the creation, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31a) and “God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Gen 2:9a). It was perfect in every way. God took Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden and it was paradise but after Adam and Eve disobeyed God it was paradise lost. Then “the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken” (Gen 3:23) and the ground “became cursed” and they lost the chance of eternal life (Gen 3:17c). No more would they have the chance to eat from the Tree of Life. Sin had brought death to mankind and Paradise was forever…or was it? Now it would take a supernatural work of God to restore mankind and that would require the life of the Son of God Who would reconcile mankind to God by offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice. The possibility of eternal life was restored through Christ’s work at Calvary.
Heaven is not floating on the clouds playing a harp all day. Actually heaven will come down to earth and a new heaven and a new earth will be established and mankind will once again be able to dwell with God (Rev 21:1-3).
No More Sin in Heaven
One of the greatest characteristics about heaven is that there will be no more sin. If there is no sin there is no suffering. In fact our very nature will be changed so that we won’t even be able to sin. The Bible says that “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev 21:27) because “the old order of things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). This is only possible because Christ “has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb 9:26) for then “we will have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10).
No More Pain or Suffering in Heaven
This is something that I really look forward too and certainly all believers do as Revelation 21:4 reveals that no more will “there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Paul could live with the sufferings of today because he knew “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18). At that time, “They shall not hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat” (Rev 7:16).
No More Death in Heaven
In the Kingdom of Heaven “death shall be no more” because death itself will be conquered (Rev 21:4). God Himself “shall ransom them from the power of the grave [and says] I shall redeem them from death” (Hosea 13:14). Paul spoke of this day when he wrote that “the imperishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immorality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (1 Cor 15:54-55) because “He will swallow up death for all time” (Isaiah 25:8a).
No More Tears in Heaven
Since death will be gone forever, “the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces” because there will be nothing more to cry about (Isaiah 25:8a). What a tender moment that will be when “God will wipe away ever tear from [our] eyes” (Rev 7:17b). When some things are frequently repeated in the Bible, it’s clear that God wants us to grasp something that’s very important. The fact that “God will wipe away ever tear from their eyes” is mentioned several times in the Old and New Testament because He wants us to understand that the tears of today will disappear in the Kingdom of Heaven (Rev 21:4a). Did you know that not one of your tears goes to waste? The Psalmist wrote that God will “put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book” (Psalm 56:8)? Is there any Bible verse more precious than this?
No More Persecution in Heaven
More Christians have died for their faith in the last century than have died in the last 2,000 years, but that persecution will end in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus even pronounces a blessing on those who are being persecuted saying “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matt 5:11). We suffer persecutions on Jesus’ account, for His name’s sake, and we are spoken “evil” of…and it is spoken of us falsely! God will stop their mouths someday but we should still “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:12). Since sin will be no more, persecutions will also cease (Heb 9:26).
No More Hunger in Heaven
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations study in 2012 about one in seven in the world are living with chronic hunger and severe malnourishment. The billions who are dying of hunger is remarkable. What makes this even more tragic is that the vast majority of those starving to death are children. If you have a refrigerator and food enough to last through tomorrow, you are better off than the vast majority of the world. The Bible makes it clear that hunger will cease in the Kingdom of Heaven. When heaven comes down, those who are hungry “shall hunger no more [and in fact] neither thirst anymore” (Rev 7:16a). Not only will there be no more hunger, there will be no more thirst (Isaiah 49:10). Safe drinking water is just as problematic as sufficient food supplies.
Are you going to heaven? I pray you are for there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, and because there will be no more sin, there will be no more death. If you have not yet repented of your sins, confessed them to God, pleaded for His mercy, seen the sinfulness of your sins, saw the desperate need for a Savior, and not placed your trust in Christ, you will not be in the Kingdom of Heaven. If you are not born again (John 3:3) then will die twice…once in this life and then at the Judgment (Rev 20:11-15) and “your portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Rev 21:8b). You don’t have to have “this portion” because God says that “he who conquers will not be hurt by the second death” (Rev 2:11). Think about that and place your trust in Christ today before He returns (2 Cor 6:2). Tomorrow may be too late because “if anyone’s name [is] not found written in the book of life, [they] will be thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15).
Read this related article on heaven: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-does-the-bible-say-heaven-is-like/
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design