What Is Heaven Like?
Imagine a place where the temperature is absolutely perfect … a place surrounded by beauty and splendor everywhere you look … a place where you continuously feel peace, joy, and safety. If you are a Christian, you will not imagine in vain, for the heaven that awaits all believers will be a perfect place. Though there are many beautiful places in our world, none compare to the new heaven and new earth that God will unveil in eternity.
Revelation chapters 21 and 22 present the most vivid picture of all the eternal state. To begin, what is often described as the final "heaven" will include not only a new heaven, but also a new earth. In fact, it is this new earth that is most emphasized in Scripture. It will be covered mostly by land, as there will be no seas (21:1). Crystal clear water will flow from the river that proceeds from the throne of the Father and the Son (22:1). We will never experience nighttime or darkness again, and we will continuously bask in the light of the Lord's glory (21:23, 22:5). At the center of this new earth will be the heavenly city, New Jerusalem. It will include a surrounding wall inlaid with precious jewels, twelve gates (each made of a single giant pearl), and a "heavenly highway" of pure gold like transparent glass (21:12, 19, 21). Whatever the exact size and shape (perhaps a cube or pyramid) of the city, there will be plenty of room for all the saints from every age, nation, and ethnicity to live within it and around it (21:16).
But what will we do there? Will we be bored? Because we will be in a perfected state, we will not worry about boredom, suffering, death, or having bad thoughts (21:4). We will reign with God, worship Him, and serve Him (22:3-5; see also Rm 8:17; Heb 1:2). It will be a place of complete goodness and safety.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of heaven will be fellowship! There will be fascinating distinctions between individuals, races, and even nations (Rv 5:9; 21: 24), yet without the strife these distinctions can bring on earth. We will be able to recognize redeemed loved ones, as well as all the saints throughout history. Matthew 8:11 says, "many will come from the east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven." Imagine what it will be like to talk to some of the Bible characters you have admired all your life! Picture yourself hanging out with Jesus, Adam, Eve, Noah, Job, Esther, and the Apostle Paul.
Together, we will have the ultimate privilege of seeing God face to face, knowing Him more intimately, and experiencing His greatness and love for eternity. For now, we can rest in this eternal hope. And when Jesus comes for us, "we will always be with the Lord" (1 Th 4:17).
This article can be found in "Apologetics Study Bible for Students", page 1399.
Please also see our comprehensive study for the book of Revelation that includes commentary from www.enduringword.com.