For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16–17)
God wants to be with you! That is the whole point of the Bible! The Bible tells us in Revelation 21:1–5,
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. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘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.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Heaven is where God is, and it is characterized by beauty, light, and warmth (Rev. 4:1–4; 22:1–5). There are wonderful relationships (Heb. 12:22–24) and incredible accommodations (John 14:1–3). You get a fresh start (1 John 3:2) no matter where you have been, no matter what has happened to your body, no matter your past. You will receive a new nature, a new body, and a new vocation.
There is complete rest, protection, contentment, security, peace, and purpose. It’s a place of unbridled joy, celebration, worship, laughter, and music (Matt. 26:29). Contrary to the idea that we will just be floating around on clouds in one long worship service, there will be fellowship, worship, serving, and eating. We will discover the infinite majesty of God and be present with Him forever (Rev. 5:8–9; Rev. 21–22).
The new earth will be familiar and similar to what we know in this life, but it will be infinitely better. Everything you have experienced in this life and everything you love about this earth is just a glimpse of what is to come. Think through your “best of” list . . . the new earth will be all of that and so much more.
The Bible gives us pictures and metaphors of heaven as a great banquet, a celebration, a party, a marriage, and a great family reunion. It’s the most exciting adventure ever. People will be aligned in purpose, working together and doing the greatest thing in all the world in the perfect environment.
You’ll have a new relationship with God and a new relationship with sin. Sin will be gone and, along with it, abuse, regrets, betrayal, divorce, failure, disappointments, rejection, prejudice, poverty, and injustice. God defeated it all.
C. S. Lewis says that in heaven you’ll “become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth.”5 You will finally be who you were meant to be, and that is what heaven will be like.
If you’d like to continue your learning about heaven, I invite you to read my book called The Real Heaven: What the Bible Actually Says.
Ingram, Chip. 2017. Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
We have just completed a 6-Week Bible Study Lesson Series on Chip Ingram’s book, Why I Believe. It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription plan. The idea is to invite each participant to purchase their own book and discuss it each week.
Why I Believe, Lesson #1
Chapters 1, 2
Why I Believe in the Resurrection
Did Jesus Really Die?
Why I Believe, Lesson #2
Chapters 3, 4
Why I Believe the Bible
Don’t Take My Word for It
Why I Believe, Lesson #3
Why I Believe in Life After Death
Why I Believe, Lesson #4
Chapters 6, 7
Why I Believe in Life Creation
Science or God?
Why I Believe, Lesson #5
Why I Believe in the God of the Bible
Why I Believe, Lesson #6
How is that Working for You?