Heaven. It’s where those of us who call ourselves Christians will spend a very long time. Like, super long. Like, millions upon millions upon millions of years. Actually, it will never stop. Heaven will go on forever. Yet, shockingly, we don’t seem to spend a whole lot of time talking about it. Or, at least—if I am being honest—I don’t spend much time talking or thinking about it. Yet Paul tells us heaven is where our minds should be set: “…seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2).
There is a lot about heaven that we simply won’t know until we get there. But some things can be known due to God’s choice to make them known to us in His Word. Here are 8 of the most interesting facts about heaven.
1. God is there.
Okay, so this trumps all the other most interesting facts by a gazillion degrees. But seriously. This is what will make heaven, heaven. The presence of God (See Revelation 21:22-27) and our ability to look on Him will occupy our affections, emotions, thoughts, conversations, songs, etc. for ever and ever and ever. Jesus Himself said that eternal life is knowing God (John 17:3). The presence of God will be so fascinating and thrilling and mind-boggling, it will literally take forever to get over it.
2. Believers preceding us in death are there… now.
I am not sure how it works. I am not sure how it looks. But something wonderful is going on, even now, for those who are awaiting their glorified bodies. Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him on that very day in Paradise (Luke 23:43). Also, Paul mentioned his desire to “depart and be with Christ” while those of us continued on (Philippians 1:23). I am not sure how it works, but there is a Paradise waiting for those who pass on before Jesus’ return.
3. There are creatures who were created specifically to worship God in heaven.
Read Revelation 4-5. Men speaking with trumpet like voices. Elders wearing white robes and golden crowns sitting on thrones. A lion with eyes in front and behind and six wings. An ox with eyes in front and behind with six wings. One like a face of a man with six wings. One like an eagle in flight, also with six wings. Symbolic or not, these creatures are made specifically for heaven in order to worship God throughout eternity.
4. There are angels like sand covering the beach.
Consider this from Revelation 5:11—Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.” You know how many that is? Go to the beach and try to count the sand. What number will you come up with? Myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands. Again, what are they for? To worship God.
5. The central feature will be a lion-like lamb and/or a lamb-like lion.
Jesus, the Lion-like King of the universe—full of majesty and power—gave Himself as the sacrificial Lamb for us. The One who will be worshipped and praised and honored will be exalted as the Lion who came as a Lamb and a Lamb who is majestic like a Lion. (See Revelation 5:5-14.)
6. There will be representation from every people group on the planet.
Jesus said the end would not come until the gospel was preached to all nations (Matthew 24:14). He commanded His followers to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). One of the songs in heaven will be praise to the Savior who ransomed people for God “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). There are currently 16,232 known people groups in the world. That is A LOT of different groups of people. All will be represented in heaven. All will be worshipping King Jesus and bringing glory to God.
7. There will be no more…
Pain. Crying. Cancer. Temptation. Grief. Regret. Wrinkles. Surgeries. Cavities. Commercials. ISIS. Racism. Sexual confusion. Ashley Madison lists. Pornography. Traffic. Anger. Rage. Foul language. Cigarette smoke. Calories. Weight gain. Presidential elections. Abortions. Funerals. Drunk drivers. Ambulances. Police chases. Mortgage payments. Family feuds. Arguing. Lying. Alarm systems. Taxes. Drownings. Snake bites. Dog bites. Jellyfish stings. Mosquito bites. Fear. Anxiety. Boredom. Brokenness. (See Revelation 7:15-17.)
8. He will continue to make all things new.
I am not sure exactly what it will be like. I am not sure how it will all play out. But the Bible points to the fact that the earth we now see and enjoy and live in will be made new (Revelation 21). It will be like the beauty of creation we see and enjoy now, without the stuff that messes everything up. The earth as we know it will be restored to what it was before sin destroyed its intended purpose (Genesis 1-2). We won’t have to imagine what it would be like to watch a sunset at the beach or a sunrise in the mountains with perfect temperatures. We won’t have to worry about it stopping or going away or not happening because of clouds and rain. We won’t have to worry about the perfect time of day for a photo. We won’t have to take a photo because we will have what we have to enjoy forever and ever and ever. There won’t be any need for memories. We won’t want to remember the “good ole days.” The days will always be good and perfect and full of thrilling joy.
What else can you think of that will be “most interesting”? I’m not sure about you, but I am ready to go NOW. Who’s with me?