But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:10–13
There are lots of questions about Heaven that the Bible doesn’t answer: Will we know each other? What age will we appear to be? Will there be gender in Heaven? Will there be animals? Will we know of loved ones in hell? We can imagine what Heaven will be like, but we must not presume too much. And don’t listen to someone who claims to have been there. Stephen and Paul saw the throne room of God and could say nothing more than what the Bible says.87 More to the point, they did not see our eternal dwelling place on the new earth.
Heaven is all about getting to be with Jesus and all the people who love Him and, like us, want to be like Him. It is totally light, full of brightness and color, and completely real. We want to be there because Jesus is there. We get to dwell in the personal presence of the One who is infinitely greater than we will ever be. To anyone but a lover of Jesus, this existence would be hell itself! For those who love Him, there could be no greater pleasure.88
When our children were little, they had a lot of questions about Heaven. This was especially true when their grandfather on their mom’s side, passed away. Grandpa Gib was a pastor who spent his life teaching the Bible and loving people. I explained to the kids that Heaven, when God was finished with raising us from the dead and removing sin from the world, would be like this world only perfect. All of the sin and evil would be gone entirely. And, all of the joys and good would be magnified perfectly. I explained to them that it would always be sunny, so one of the youngest kids asked if it would be like California. Another asked if we could eat pie with Grandpa, go for walks, ride bikes, and wrestle. And, since none of those things were sin I was inclined to tell them to look forward to those things, including the occasional swim and baseball game, in eternity.
Other than Jesus, who are you most looking forward to reuniting with in Heaven?
87 Acts 7:55–56; 2 Cor. 12:1–4.
88 The best book available on this topic is by Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2004).