I have some questions about heaven...

Recently, there have been a few blogs about heaven, which is good, because I have a lot of questions about heaven. There are a few things I think I know about heaven. One thing, that I will be there someday. Another, that going to heaven means going there for eternity. I know that God and Jesus and other believers will be there. And I think I know that when you get to heaven, all the things you wondered about and questioned will be answered. (One of my mom's favorite verses...About seeing through a glass darkly...?) I've heard of people (including myself) getting really excited about meeting Jesus, and getting time to talk to Him and be held by Him. How about the idea that heaven is a place of peace and joy, and no more pain or suffering or tears? I think I know that too. I have to say though, that leaves a lot of questions. I mean, eternity is a loooong time. I once heard a description of forever. Imaging a brass ball, about the size of a baseball, hanging in space. Nothing touches this ball. No wind, dust, water, or anything that would wear it away. Every one thousand years, a dove flies by and just barely brushes this ball with the tip of its wing. By the time this ball is worn down to dust by this feather brushing, that is only the very fist millisecond of eternity. Wow. Anyways, getting back to heaven. Maybe it won't seem so long because maybe it exists outside of time? There's a thought for you science minded folk. I think I know that a great deal of time will be spent praising God. Probably with music, maybe with dancing, maybe with chanting. Maybe just standing in awe? And probably, it will just be a natural outpouring. Something that we want to do and will just sort of happen because of God's awesomeness. But can't you praise God doing other things? Like, I wonder about... Well, a lot of times you hear about heaven as if it were a perfect place for whomever is speaking of it. For me, it would involve hundreds of books, cuddly morning times with my son, being able to burst out in song and not feel like a goof about it, and lots of chocolate. I've heard of wonderful ideas of being able to enjoy beautiful nature and meeting up with departed and loved family and friends. Of having bodies totally healed and perfect. Here's something that ties in a bit with that... I know that we are promised a room in His mansion with many rooms. And I know that He knows me better than I do and would be able to do way better than I could. But I wonder if I will be able to decorate it just for the sheer joy of being able to? Will I get to pick where my room is? I don't suppose it matters. Heaven is supposed to be way better than anything on earth, right? But does that mean that things we enjoy on earth we will not be able to do in heaven because there is something better there? Like, I really like making spaghetti sauce. Or going out to eat. Or painting walls of a house. I like to garden. Is there dirt in heaven? What about animals? How about playing cards? What about things I've always wanted to do, that I might not be able to before I die? Like learning to play guitar? Or travelling? (Hehe, I know, travelling to heaven should be enough of a trip, right?) Or learning to blow glass? Will I get a chance to do these things in heaven? Is it wrong for me to be asking these questions? Am I bringing heaven to a lower level by wondering these things, instead of trying to get myself all pumped about standing around in a white robe for eternity? Does it make me an immature Christian or an immature person to think that maybe I wouldn't like to go eternity without chocolate or a flower bed to tend? I know that there are so many things that are so much more fulfilling, so much better, so much more pure... Hm. I would give up all these things to be able to be with Jesus. That is not the question. I'm just curious about what heaven will be like. Yeah, I know, I will just have to wait and see. Any thoughts?

@newriver
Jonathan Kim @newriver ·

It's beautiful how you described what it would be like in Heaven.

Please let me add what I know about Heaven, according to Jesus our Lord. (i.e. what's written in the book of Revelation)

One day in future, Jesus will call us up and we will wear a new body (either translated or resurrected). He will reward us with crowns according to our works, and we (the Church) shall marry Him in Heaven. We will then come back down to this earth with Him to defeat Bad people (& Satan) and rule with Him for a thousand years - this is our honeymoon.

After that, we shall move our living place to a new earth where there is new heaven and new river and new trees, etc. and live there with the Lord for ever and after...

Hope I did not ruin your beautiful imagination with too much of prophetic words, but I thought it would be good to know.

@newriver
Jonathan Kim @newriver ·

It's beautiful how you described what it would be like in Heaven.

Please let me add what I know about Heaven, according to Jesus our Lord. (i.e. what's written in the book of Revelation)

One day in future, Jesus will call us up and we will wear a new body (either translated or resurrected). He will reward us with crowns according to our works, and we (the Church) shall marry Him in Heaven. We will then come back down to this earth with Him to defeat Bad people (& Satan) and rule with Him for a thousand years - this is our honeymoon.

After that, we shall move our living place to a new earth where there is new heaven and new river and new trees, etc. and live there with the Lord for ever and after...

Hope I did not ruin your beautiful imagination with too much of prophetic words, but I thought it would be good to know.

@jsclark5768
Jesse Clark @jsclark5768 ·

Hey all, to be honest I used to think that Heaven was the lamest sounding place ever. I mean one giant sing-along in the sky? It makes me want to live for today rather than eternity. That might sound heridical, but God didn't leave me there. Tell me, what happens in Revelation? Sure we have scenes in Heaven, but doesn't Yeshua (Jesus) come down to Earth with his people to fight Armaggeddon? At what point after that do we see them returning to Heaven? Tell me, do we go up to New Jerusalem or does New Jerusalem come down out of Heaven to us? In short, did God make Heaven to take us to live in his dwelling, or is the promise that God will dwell with us?

Further, did God become a man? Certainly if he didn't we are all doomed. Then what of ressurection? Didn't he tell Thomas to feel the wounds where he'd been speared? And hands where he'd been pierced? Whose body was he wearing? It must have been the one that was wounded. Tell me then, when he arose was he still the Son of David? And Abraham? And Adam? At what point did our high priest shed his humanity? My point is of course he never did, if we are waiting for the Son of David to return then he must still be the Son of David. So if you follow this back to Adam, I ask you what is a man? Genesis 2 says that man was created when God formed him of EARTH, not when he became a living soul. A man is formed Earth. Is God going to sever the connection to the very thing we are made of?

Lastly, what of these words seeded throughout scripture? Re-demption. Re-surrection. Re-new. If you redeem something aren't you buying it BACK? If I buy back my father's prized watch, I won't settle for a duplicate. If something is re-newed, can I be given something else? What of ressurrection, look to our first fruits. If the same Yeshua that went into the ground was not the same Yeshua that came out, then there was no ressurection.

I heard it brilliantly put in "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn (unfortunately I'll have to paraphrase). We make God's plan of redemption out to be a picture of a sinking ship, with God trying desperately to get life boats into the water to save a few passengers. We make the God of the universe into someone who can only scrape us by. If God does not actually save our Earth, our Bodies/Spirits/Souls, then Satan has managed to get God to abandon his own work. God fails if he is not actually able to restore what has been lost.

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

So what will Heaven be like? I put to you that I'm not sure it will be seperate (If the throne is in Jerusalem and Jerusalem is on Earth, is Heaven seperate anymore?). But if it is, it will be great to visit and better to return home to paradise re-deemed. For myself, and my wife, we're going to build a space yacht and spend some time traveling the stars. We've got all eternity so even light years won't be too big a distance. And how will we not get bored? Well who says God can't create even more things to learn and see and experience? And even if we learned it all could we remember it all even with perfect minds? Even if I remember my wife's face it doesn't mean that in her absence I don't miss her so even if I know every detail of the universe whose to say I won't long to make the circuit again?

And lastly, if eternity were going to be boring than God himself would have to be bored since he's been there all along. I don't think he's bored, so the closer to him we become the less bored we should be.

Sorry, I love talking about the Ressurrection.

@patty
Tricia Bee @patty ·

I had a vision of Heaven about three years ago.
I haven't spoken about it much until recently.

The circumstances of my mother's death were awful and I carried a lot of burden about it for a long time
afterward.
One night I had spoken to a neighbour about it. Then I came home and watched a little of the word being read online. Shortly afterward I went into the kitchen to make a last drink before bedtime, and as I glanced out of the window it was dussnely as though a veil was lifted back in the distance.

There was a chasm/distance between my home and what I saw, but I saw it very clearly.

I could see my mother, looking absolutely peaceful and radiant. She was in the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I can't find words to describe it it was so incredible. It was like here, trees, fields, mountains, rivers, but everything was alive there was no hint of decay anywhere. It was just stunnning. And I sensed such peace and love and fulfillment in her and how she loved it there.

My mother was quite an anxious lady, so to see her peaceful and joyful was incredible. Although I could tell it
was my mother, looking as she did when she was around 70... her skin was radiant, glowing and she had
no wrinkles at all.

The whole vision was just awesome of Heaven and her.

Then the veil went back.

Words could not even begin to describe what I saw.

I fell to my knees praising and weeping.

I believe God allowed this glimpse to heal my heart... ...but what I saw was just awesome, indescribable peace and beauty.

@galahad
Benjamin Foulks @galahad ·

Hey, WB.

Your questions are absolutely normal and I think they are a sign of christian maturity, not inmaturity. Your being heavenly minded; knowing you are in this world but not of it.

God is able to do far above what we are able to ask or think (Ephesians 3:20); so sometimes I let my imagination really go when it comes to heaven. Try this concept on for size; it's mere speculation and imagination on my part:

Religious man has historically rejected the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, perhaps out of ego; thinking that we are the center of creation and the universe, hence the old concept that Earth was the center of the solar system and everything revolved around 'us'. But we know that is not truth. The truth is that God is the center of the universe and everything revolves around Him! Anyway, for pure enjoyment, suppose there is life on other planets? Do you remember the Ewoks from the movie Star Wars? What if there is a planet filled with these little guys that all know and love God their Creator but haven't quite learned how to sing yet? So God sends you from His throne in heaven as part of a worship team to teach them.....and before you know it there they all are just singing away to the Lord, making music, and praising Him! Far fetched? Maybe......hmmmm.....maybe not.....hmmm.

I do know that our everlasing life is a quality, not a quantity.

God bless you today in bunches!

Ben

@bethy
Joyce Bethy Ferguson @bethy ·

Hmm what will Heaven be like.. you know hon, I really don't know. But I do know what it won't be like.
I know it won't be like our present earth where we wither and die. I know it won't be like our present life where we cry with hurts and pain. And I sure know it won't be like my garden, choked with weeds and scary things that the cat likes to bring in.
But you will have to give me around ten thousand years to really get my bearings when I get there. Cause Im gonna be too busy sitting looking into the eyes of jesus to measure for my new curtains and my new dining table!!!!
You are making me homesick WB!!!
:heart:

@whobelieve
Elizabeth Fox @whobelieve ·

Wow. These responses seem to have taken on a life of their own. I am gratified to see that I'm not the only one with heaven on the brain.

The evidences that have been presented are sufficient to my relief that we won't be strumming harps for eternity. And hearing these descriptions and assurances of what heaven could be like has stirred some surprising emotions within me. I have always wanted to do my best for God, but now that I have something really worth hoping for, I feel so much more eager to please Him, to deserve that kind of eternity. It's wrong, I know, because we can't earn our way to God's side. I guess the more accurate way of saying it is that I will bear my burdens and struggle against my temptations a lot more joyfully and with greater endurance now that I have something to wonderful to look forward to.

At any rate, thank you so much for your comments on this blog. You have all gone much deeper into this matter than I expected anyone to, and I really appreciate it.

@cemeteryman
Steven Fox @cemeteryman ·

I feel that to everybody heaven will be different, with all of your favorite things available to you. THink about being ableto have Jesus as a fishing buddy or Jesus sitting beside you rooting on the hometeam at a High School Football Game. That is heaven at least from from my earthly current day perspective.

@debradoo
Debra Mock @debradoo ·

Excellent take on the Word, JS. Wonderful question about heaven as well .. what will it be like? Since God lives there, it must be an awesome place. We will not live there for an eternity. The rapture and great tribulation comes first. And then the return of Jesus and His army. The bride (which is New Jerusalem) will come down out of heaven and we will join the Bridegroom and His Bride. We will live in New Jerusalem with Jesus. Awesome! Rev. 21. After living in New Jerusalem, I wonder will we still visit heaven, or have a need to visit?

@lineman
D Kelley @lineman ·

There are MANY differing views as to what will take place when Jesus comes. As I understand Revelation 20-22 the Holy City is currently where God and the Lamb are right now and that is NOT this earth of course. According to Revelation 20:6 those resurrected at Christ's Second Coming "will reign [u]with him[/u] for a thousand years". There are several other verses that say the same thing, but what I get out of this is that we will live where Christ resides for 1,000 years. (And later, when God comes to dwell on this earth after sin is totally eradicated at the end of the 1,000 years the Holy City will come too.)

Verse 7 is pretty clear as to what happens at the end of the 1,000 years. It says, "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth""Gog and Magog""to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves." (This is what is commonly called the Battle of Armageddon and as you can see, it takes place at the end of the 1,000 years.) But also notice that these people "surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves", the Holy City. So sometime prior to the resurrection of the wicked, and after the Second Coming of Jesus the Holy City has to come down to earth.[quote][b]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.[/b] Revelation 20:1,2[/quote]Many churches teach, and therefore many people believe, that the City of God comes down before the 1,000 years begins, but these verses and others seems to say differently and so I have to politely disagree with them.

There are several verses that tell us what the earth will look like after the Second Coming and during the 1,000 years. One goes so far as to say "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10 (Does not sound like a very habitable place.)

Jer. 4 is actually talking about what will happen to this earth when the Lord comes too.
[quote]23 I looked at the earth, [i](notice that he is looking at the "earth")[/i]
and it was formless and empty;
and at the heavens,
and their light was gone.

24 I looked at the mountains,
and they were quaking;
all the hills were swaying.

25 I looked, and there were [b]no people[/b];
every bird in the sky had flown away.

26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;
all its towns lay in ruins
before the LORD, before his fierce anger.

27 This is what the LORD says:
"The whole land will be ruined... [/quote]
Sounds like there will be nothing left of the wicked except dead bodies all around with no one to bury them. I'm kind of rambling here, but I hope you get the point that the Holy City does not come down until AFTER the 1,000 year period.

One question above is wondering where heaven is and if we will visit there. If God the Father and His Son Jesus have thrones in the Holy City (and they do), then when the City comes down to earth our earth will become the center of the universe and this earth will also be heaven. (See Rev. 20:1-4)

@lineman
D Kelley @lineman ·

BTW, here are two other blogs about Heaven:

[b]What we are told:[/b]
http://www.christianblog.com/blog/lineman/heaven-what-is-it-like-part-1/

[b]What we can think of or "dream up" based on what we know:[/b]
http://www.christianblog.com/blog/lineman/dreaming-of-heaven-too-tell-us-about-it/

@lineman
D Kelley @lineman ·

If it were not for the promise of the resurrection there would be NO heaven, that's for sure! Praise the Lord for what He did and is going to do!

You asked above (in the first paragraph) if God will live with us or us with Him. You wrote, [b]"In short, did God make Heaven to take us to live in his dwelling, or is the promise that God will dwell with us?[/b]There are almost as many beliefs about this whole chain of events as there are denominations, but when the whole Bible is used to help us understand this it becomes clear to me that what happens first is that both we who trust in Him and those who do not trust in Him will be together until the Second Coming of Jesus. There would be no need of God saying that those who are evil will remain evil and those who are good will remain good (Rev. 22:11) if the Rapture took place before the tribulation. (See also the story Jesus told about the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:30 where He said that both would be together until the harvest, the end of the world.)

I believe the Bible teaches that after the tribulation, which is partly there to purify His people, Jesus will come in the clouds to rescue His people (Rev. 1:7 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and take them to live with Him in the Holy City for 1,000 years.

During the 1,000 years in Heaven the righteous will be going over the books and as the Bible says we will actually be judging angels among other such things (1 Corinthians 6:3).

At the end of the 1,000 years several things happen at the same time. The Holy City will come down to earth along with the righteous. The wicked will be brought to life and will make plans and then attack the city (Rev. 20:7,8). As I understand it, this is the Battle of Armageddon everyone talks about, so it comes at the end of the 1,000 years as can be easily seen here in Rev. 20.

According to how I read the Bible, this is when fire falls from the sky and is the beginning of the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:87-10). This fire will totally destroy sin and sinners and the Bible even says that eventually this fire will go out. (Isaiah 47:14)

At this point God will recreate the earth that man has destroyed and God will live in the Holy City here on the recreated earth with His people.

I'd love to be able to direct you to my timeline that makes this a little more clear, but two things prevent me. One, I am not allowed to do so here on CB and two, you said that you have dial-up and so even if I gave you the URL it would do you no good, sorry.

[b]To answer your question of where does the Bible say that God will live, He will live in heaven for 1,000 years with His people ("I will come back and take you to be with me") and then on earth for the rest of eternity ("The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city").[/b]

I do hope that this text version is understandable and can be followed fairly easily. It's kind of short and does not give the kind of details that I feel this subject deserves.

Blessings,
Dan

Do not include honorifics.

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