Just as the Bible is clear about the reality of hell, it is ever more clear on the reality of Heaven.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:31-40)
Heaven is a place of great joy. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Your place in Heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it.” If we were to think about the time in our life when we were the happiest, we would have to multiply that by a thousand to get even close to our future state in heaven. Heaven is unbridled, unceasing, eternal joy. John the Beloved describes a scene from heaven in Revelation chapter seven:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-12)
Heaven is a place of great worship. Some people view Heaven as laying on a cloud and playing the harp for a zillion years. No wonder no one wants to go there. Worship in Heaven is unrecognizable to us here. The automatic response, the unstoppable reaction to encountering God is worship. Heaven will be an unending encounter where we will discover something new in God we have never seen before. There are many things we need to know about Heaven, but let’s focus on a few here:
1) Heaven is a place where curses can’t exist.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. (Revelation 22:1-3)
Everything the curse represents has no authority in Heaven. Poverty, suffering, injustice, mental oppression, has no place in Heaven.
2) In Heaven, we will reign forever.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 22:4-6)
We were created to rule. In Heaven, we get to rule. Heaven isn’t going to be boring.
This is so foreign to religious thinking. There is a strange passivity that permeates religious thought in regards to Heaven. In the beginning, God came to Adam and Eve and told them to rule. He gave them the earth, blessed them and told them to subdue it and rule for Him. God stepped into the background to give man the foreground.
We all know what Adam and Eve did, but what they lost, may be difficult to grasp. They lost the ability to do what God had called them to do: rule and subdue. Jesus came to restore that authority back to us. However, on earth, it is a fight and a struggle to walk out that call. In Heaven, that struggle ends and what was lost in the garden is restored in its fullness. The more we advance in the kingdom, the more authority advances in us. God tells us to rule and exercise authority in order to change what is out of alignment with His will on the earth.
3) In Heaven, we will be able to rest from our labors and work.
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)