8 Facts About Heaven
Making friends is hard at any age but especially as we get older.
Monica was my best friend in high school. She had a fantastically warped sense of humour. We made up nicknames for ourselves and started our own coded language to pass notes back and forth. She died in 2020.
Morty (Sue) was my best friend at university. Morty also had an exceptional sense of humour. She was the life of the party. We talked for hours on end, sharing deep thoughts. She died in 2006.
Christine was my best friend in young adulthood. We called each other ‘soul sisters’. She was the friend who helped me grow in my newfound faith. We shared the trials and joys of raising young children. She died in 2014.
I think of each of them often. I wonder what they would be doing if they were still here on Earth. I wonder what they are doing in heaven.
I wonder if they’ve met my granddaughter, Talia. Do they know her? Do they recognize her as my grandchild? Do they play with her?
A study of the scriptures reveals things we can know about heaven. But I still have lots of questions.
We know that we …
Go to a physical place
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 (Revelation 21:1-2 NIV).
But will it look like Earth? Is Talia crawling in the grass, splashing in lakes, and watching clouds float by? Is Monica walking on streets of gold?
Have physical bodies
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands (2 Corinthians 5:1, NIV).
But what will these eternal bodies look like? Is Christine still tall with fine features? Is Morty still short with strong legs?
Don’t turn into angels
At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven (Matthew 22:30, NIV).
We will be like the angels but will we be hanging out with them? Is Morty making them laugh? Is Monica playing cards with them?
Have work to do
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working”(John 5:17, NIV).
But what sort of job will we have? Is Monica doing books? Is Morty gardening?
Recognize one another
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:14–18, NIV).
But will we look the same? Does Talia still look like a 7-month-old? Does Christine still have blond hair?
In the presence of God
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 (Revelation 21:3, NIV).
But what does that look like? Is Talia holding God’s hand? Is Christine basking in the warmth of God’s presence?
Worship with people from all over the world
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.(Revelation 5:9, NIV).
But what language will we speak? Is Talia talking? Is Morty speaking a different language?
We know that we won’t mourn or cry or be in pain
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 (Revelation 21:4, NIV).
But will we miss those who are not in heaven? Is Talia missing her sister still on Earth? Is Christine missing atheist relatives who passed before her?
I may have a lot of questions about heaven, but one thing is for sure and that is heaven is a place of inexplicable joy. I look forward to spending eternity there with my three best friends and my granddaughter.
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