One of our newest members, Jennifer Gronewold, contributes to this week’s Fire and Flame blog with some of her thoughts about what the Bible says about Heaven. Can’t wait!
The book of Revelation records that these things will be absent from Heaven: tears, night, pain, crying, defilement, curses, liars, abominations, moon, stars, pain, and death. There will be no lamps because the brightness of “the lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:23). In Heaven we will remember and we will know one another. In 2 Sam. 12:22-23 David said that he would recognize his baby boy. I too will recognize my son Christian who recently died in the womb. Matt. 8:11 tells us that we will recognize Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in bodily form for according to Paul, the whole person survives. Walter Elwell believes, “Even the body is raised again, so that, if it is no longer flesh and blood (1 Cor. 15:50), it nevertheless has a continuity with the present body, a sameness in form if not in material element (Matt. 5:29, 30; 10:28; Rom. 8:11,23; 1 Cor. 15:53).
Who will inhabit Heaven? The angels Rev, 5:11, the elders Rev. 4:4, the saved Israel, Heb.11, and the church. The church will be presented to her groom at the marriage supper of the lamb and according to Towns, “The New Jerusalem will be its wedding ring.” Heaven will also be attended by an international community of nations and the triune God, seated on the throne Rev. 5:6.
So what will we do in Heaven once we get there? “There will be activities in Heaven to engage man’s highest faculties.” Man will continue to advance. 1 Cor. 13:9-10 shows us that we will continue learning. For those who love to sing, Rev. 15:3 says that you will continue to sing in heaven. We will serve (Rev. 22:3), we will lead (2 Tim 2:12), we will talk and enjoy one another (Matt. 16:3) and we will eat (Rev. 2:17). Some have considered “eating” to be symbolic according to Matt. 6:29. Either way, Heaven itself will be a feast. It will be a life of service (Rev. 22:3) and work, but without the arduous physical labor and dread of our present life. We will grow in wisdom and knowledge, not instantaneously, but with ongoing maturity. As we see in the parable of the nobleman, governmental ministries will be issued to the good servant, who has been “trustworthy in a very small matter” on earth and he is given authority over ten cities in Heaven. (Luke 19:17). The same principle applies in the book of Mathew to the servant who had five talents and increased five more. He is told, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, is put in charge of many things, and is invited to come share in his master’s happiness. (25:20-21).
Heaven will be a life of worship. Rev. 5:9 refers to new songs while the redeemed of the earth learn a new song (14:3). Elwell sums it up by saying that “All the activities engaged in will be for the sole glory of God and will therefore partake of the nature of worship.” A.W Tozer writes, “When a man falls on his knees and stretches his hands heavenward, he is doing the most natural thing in the world. Something deep within compels him to seek someone or something outside of himself to worship and adore.” He also understands, “That which is not God can never satiate the heart exclusively created for God’s presence.”
The Lord is not only preparing a place for us but according to Worship Leader Rory Noland, “He is preparing us for that place.” He claims that “part of our preparation for Heaven involves us growing as worshippers now.” He says that “Next Sunday morning when you head out the door, remember that you’re not just going to church, you’re going to worship practice!”