Heaven seems almost inconceivable. As a young child I can remember attempting to comprehend time without end … infinity. What would Heaven be like?
One year ago our family took a trip to discover our roots and continue in the study of history we have so loved throughout our time home-schooling. Switzerland, what seems to me like Heaven, beckoned to us. These are some of the photos we took while there. But this is not about us or our trip; this is all about what God has done when He said:
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” ~John 14: 1-4
**A kind reader from Switzerland has given us a translation (see comment line) :
“Okay! We got it! I’m so excited. I thought it might be a verse from the Bible. One of my Swiss friends figured it out. Here is the scoop. It says, in a Swiss dialect, “God will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” -Psalm 121:3 ~~Blessings, Elisa!”
Randy Alcorn’s masterful book Heaven invites us to picture Heaven the way Scripture (both Old and New Testaments) describes it ~ as a joyously alive physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and filled with wondrous natural beauty, continual learning and discovery, the richness of human culture, and most importantly the personal presence of Christ.
Here are some of the things he shares on what Heaven will be like:
~ “Many think of eternity as a non-earthly spiritual state in which Earth is but a distant memory. This faulty theology accuses God of failure. Understanding and anticipating the physical nature of the New Earth corrects a multitude of errors. It frees us to love the world that God has made, while saying no to the world corrupted by our sin. It reminds us that God Himself gave us the earth, gave us a love for it, and will delight to give us a New Earth.
~”Revelation 21: 1 ~ 22: 5 gives us an understanding of what Heaven will be like. When Revelation 21: 1 speaks of “a new heaven and a new earth”, it indicates a transformation of the entire universe. The Greek word kainos, translated, “new’, indicates that the earth God creates will be new in quality and superior in character.
~”Paul uses the same word, kainos, when he speaks of a believer becoming a new creation (2 Cor. 5: 17). The New Earth will be the same as the old Earth, just as a new Christian is the same person he was before. Different? Yes. But also the same.
~”A common misunderstanding about the eternal heaven is that it will be unfamiliar. But the Bible tells us that Heaven is our home. Everything here speaks of time with significant people: playing, talking, eating, reading, eating, and worshiping together. Heaven will be just like that. We’ll be with people we love, and we’ll love no one more than Jesus, who purchased with His own blood the real estate of the New Earth.
~”We’re told that the “first earth” will pass away (Revelation 21: 1). The word for “first” is prote, suggesting a vital connection between the two Earths. The first Earth serves as a prototype or pattern for the New Earth. There’s continuity between the old and new. We should expect new trees and flowers, new rocks and mountains, new rivers and animals. As our current bodies are the blueprints for our resurrection bodies, this present Earth is the blueprint for the New Earth.
~”On the New Earth we won’t have to leave the city to find natural beauty. It will be incorporated into the city, with the river of life as its source. (Revelation 22: 1-2)
~ “We are a displaced people (strangers, sojourners), longing for our home. C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
~ “God’s glory will be the air we breathe, and we’ll always breathe deeper to gain more of it. However great the wonders of Heaven, God Himself is Heaven’s greatest prize.
~ “If it was our idea that God would serve us, it would be blasphemy. But it’s His idea! As husbands serve their wives and parents serve their children, God desires to serve us. God will be the chef~ He’ll prepare us a meal. In Heaven, God will overwhelm us with his humility and grace.
“On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all the peoples.” ~Isaiah 25: 6
“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” ~Isaiah 64: 4
~ “Will we always be on our faces at Christ’s feet, worshiping Him? No, because Scripture says we’ll be doing many other things ~ living in dwelling places, eating and drinking, reigning with Christ, and working for Him. Scripture speaks of people traveling in and out of the city and gathering at feasts. Nevertheless, all we do will be an act of worship. At times this will crescendo into greater heights of praise as we assemble with the multitudes who are also worshiping Him.”
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3: 11
~ “God’s plan for the ages is “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Ephesians 1: 10). This verse corresponds precisely to the culmination of history that we see enacted in Revelation 21, the merging together of the once separate realms of Heaven and Earth, fully under Christ’s lordship.”