Author: Ron Graham
The Beauty of Heaven (Revelation 21-22) >Seven Final Visions >7th vision >Excursus on the New Jerusalem
The hope of Heaven is a main theme in the book of Revelation. In this lesson we take an overview, looking at six amazing things we will enjoy in heaven.
The heaven where Christ will take us is not some lower place between earth and the highest heaven. Christ’s people are going to the heaven where God dwells, enthroned in glory.
“The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3-4, NIV).
¶“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4).
God in his wondrous grace has planned the very best for us. We will dwell where God and the Lamb are enthroned. We will dwell in the highest heaven and in the greatest glory.
We will never leave heaven once we are there. God is called “the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15). We will “inhabit eternity” too —a profound and humbling thought.
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5, ESV).
Very simply the Bible gives us humans two choices: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Christ promises everlasting life to those who faithfully follow him.
We have already noticed that in heaven we will be in the presence of God and Jesus. We will also be in the company of all the godly and holy humans who lived on earth through all its ages. But better still, we will live among the angels!
We don't doubt that angels are on earth helping God’s people. But generally speaking they are unseen. The Bible mentions angels several times, but it does not tell us much about them. But in heaven we will make friends of them and dwell among them.
“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” (Revelation 5:11). How exciting and beautiful it will be to see these angels and sing with them!
Describing visions of Heaven, John says, “And they sang a new song” (Revelation 5:9). John saw a great multitude of the saved, who had endured tribulation, now singing and worshiping before the throne and the Lamb. All the angels joined in (Revelation 7:9-11).
The singing was about the victory of the Lamb who was slain and his “power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:11, 7:12).
It is the destiny of the saved “of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” to be “before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple...” singing his praises (Revelation 7:9,15). How wonderful this will be.
John is told of the happiness of these worshiping singers: “And God shall wipe every tear from their eyes... There will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, and no more pain” (Revelation 7:17, 21:4).
John heard a great multitude in heaven saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory...” (Revelation 19:6-7). That is surely heaven’s theme song. Heaven is a place of everlasting joy and no more sorrow.
In order for heaven to be a happy place, it must exclude all who do evil and have not repented. And indeed John was told, “As for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, the murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).
When John saw the heavenly city, he was moved to say, “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27).
“Outside are dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practises a lie” (Revelation 22:15).
Imagine if you can, a place where no one wants to do evil; no one hurts you; no one hates you; everyone helps you. That place is heaven. “Its gates shall not be shut at all by day and there is no night there” (Revelation 21:25). Though its gates are never shut, no evil can enter.
End of sorrows