Summary

Heaven is our final home (John 14:2), a place without pain or suffering (Revelation 21:4). It’s our hope when this world seems to offer nothing but evil (Colossians 1:5). Heaven will likely be an intergalactic society (Revelation 21:24) with infinite people glorifying God by aiming to be perfect like Him (Matthew 5:48).

Endorsements

Almost all Christians agree on the majority of the aspects of heaven. Sin and reproduction are controversial, but many believe in both.

Concepts

About the Place

Heaven is our hope.

Most importantly, being with Jesus in heaven is our main source of hope in this broken world (Colossians 1:5,27). Ultimately, our faith in God is towards the hope of a better life (Hebrews 11:1). Hope is good because it builds patience (Romans 8:24-25), and it’s one of the 3 most important things in the world (I Corinthians 13:13).

God will live among us on a new earth.

God will have destroyed the old universe and earth (II Peter 3:7,10) and will create a new galaxy and earth (Revelation 21:1).  Instead of living where the Father currently lives, He will move a 1400 mile long cube city (Revelation 21:16) on top of the site of the old Jerusalem to be His permanent dwelling place among humanity (Revelation 21:2-3). It will have large walls of jasper, the city itself will be pure gold (Revelation 21:17-18), the foundations are of jewels (Revelation 21:19-20), and the 12 gates are of pearl (Revelation 21:21).

Heaven will be an intergalactic society.

Although New Jerusalem will be the main city, it’s not the only one. There will be many nations and kings (Revelation 21:24, 22:2). God likely created trillions of galaxies to house an infinite number of people, to have a society of intergalactic trade and commerce. God names the stars because each has a purpose (Psalms 147:4). From shows like Star Trek and Star Wars, our heart as a species is expansion (Genesis 1:28).

Changes to Humanity

We’re given a glorified, eternal body.

Because the Curse is lifted (Revelation 22:3), Jesus will give us a new body that’s similar to His (Philippians 3:21) and is eternal (James 1:12). The glory of our bodies will vary, though (I Corinthians 15:38-41). 

We’re given a new house.

He prepared for you an eternal home that’s either a large house or a room in a mansion (II Corinthians 5:1; John 14:2). You will have an abundance (Matthew 25:29).

There won’t be pain, but there will be sin.

Jesus said He will forgive sins in the “age to come,” which is heaven (Matthew 12:32; Luke 18:30). There was sin in the pre-earth heaven (Revelation 12:4) as well as in the Garden (Genesis 3:6), and the same free will exists for eternity. There’s no mention of a sinless heaven, just that we won’t be in pain, similar to the Garden of Eden (Revelation 21:4). This verse says the reason there is no crying is because “He will wipe away every tear,” meaning that God will immediately comfort us whenever someone sins against us.

Our level of power is dependent on this life.

God determines our position in heaven based on how well we utilized our resources on earth. In both the Parable of the Talents and Parable of the Minas, we see how God’s sovereignty and free both work towards God’s kingdom and our rewards in heaven:

Parable of the Talents (free will)

Parable of the Minas (God’s sovereignty)

Amount of Resources Given

“according to his ability” (Matthew 25:15)

an equal amount (Luke 19:13)

Who Profited

the man said “I have made” (Matthew 25:20)

the man said “your mina has made” (Luke 19:16)

God’s Praise

good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21)

good servant” (Luke 19:17)

Amount of Reward

Independent of resources or output (Matthew 25:21,23)

Dependent on their output (Luke 19:17-19)

Why God Gives

Jesus is worthy to receive what’s His (Matthew 25:27,30)

if they desire Jesus to be Lord (Luke 19:27)

Summary

God sees our innate abilities, and gives us more or less depending on how faithfully He judges we will use our free will (I Timothy 1:12). The one who earned more does not deserve more, because he was only doing what he was supposed to (Luke 12:48; Luke 17:10) because God is worthy.

God loves all people the same; and in sovereignty, He gives everyone an equal opportunity to serve Him, even those who dislike Him. God chooses who will earn more and be rewarded more, based on how much they desire Him (Psalms 37:4).

There is no marriage, but there will be reproduction.

While most Christians agree there is no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:30), many are divided on whether God’s initial command of multiplying still applies (Genesis 1:28). If God said reproduction was very good (Genesis 1:31) and praises romance (Song of Solomon 1:2), it’s very unlikely He will change that rule for heaven. Marriage isn’t actually mentioned in the Garden of Eden, only that we become one (Genesis 2:24). We will be like angels (Matthew 22:30) who have the ability to reproduce (Genesis 6:4). God’s promise to Abraham specified as many Christians as there are stars in heaven; and if taken literally, there are not trillions of Christians yet (Hebrews 11:12). There is logically more glory in trillions of worshippers living in trillions of galaxies, for God didn’t just make earth but “heaven and earth” (Revelation 14:7).

There’s food but no hunger.

In heaven, we won’t need to eat or drink (Revelation 7:16; John 6:35; John 4:13-14), but we still have the ability to enjoy it (Mark 14:25; Revelation 22:2).

We’ll be greater than angels.

While both angels and humans can make their own choices while being required to follow God’s commands, we are different because we are allowed to control our own lives’ plans (Proverbs 16:9). It’s for this reason that we have greater power than angels (Hebrews 2:5-7; Psalms 8:5-7) and why we’ll judge them (I Corinthians 6:3).

We’ll have a new name.

On earth, our parents give us a name that has an effect on our destiny (Hebrews 7:2; Luke 1:13). God often changes people’s names to change their destiny (Genesis 17:5; Matthew 16:17-18). Similarly, God will give us a new name to replace our current one (Revelation 2:17).

FAQ

Sin in Heaven

How can there be sin if nothing impure enters heaven (Revelation 21:27)?

The “it” in this verse is talking about New Jerusalem, not the New Earth (Revelation 21:23). Unclean people will still be living outside of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:27). More than that, not one place in the Bible does it say sin can’t enter New Jerusalem. Unclean or “does what is detestable or false” is referring to disobedient sinners who choose sin, not Christians who sin and then repent (Titus 1:16). We see this further when John says outside of the city are the sinners, and outside of New Jerusalem literally are the kingdoms of the New Earth (Revelation 22:14-15). The purpose of New Jerusalem is to be an example to the world, so much so that even fools are allowed to enter because they quickly repent (Isaiah 35:8-9).

Doesn’t God’s sanctification lead to sinlessness (I John 3:2-3)?

Purity or being “like Him” doesn’t require sinlessness. The next verse clarifies that being sanctified is about not willingly sinning (I John 3:4). Christians on earth do “abide in Him” yet we still sin on earth (I John 3:6). We know that “full sanctification” includes sin because Christians die going to heaven as beings who sin, yet this is still a state of blamelessness because when God sees humans, He sees His Son (I Thessalonians 5:23; Romans 7:17).

How can sinful beings be glorious (Romans 8:30)?

Sinful beings are glorious because we already have Jesus’ glory (John 17:22). Glorification is referring to shedding our earthly bodies for a spiritual one (I Corinthians 15:44), but we haven’t found a verse that says this spiritual body is immune to sin. Instead, we see how glorified bodies are prone to sin (Ezekiel 28:12-15).

How can we sin if there’s no temptation in heaven (James 1:14)?

This verse is saying that the main source of temptation is one’s own desire. Because desire exists in heaven, proven by the fact that it’s never abolished and that we can judge some objects as more glorious than others (Revelation 21:24), sin by its definition must exist in heaven.

Other

Are there suns and stars in heaven (Revelation 21:23)?

If there was no sun, John likely would’ve used the same phrasing as he did in the previous verse by saying “I saw no.” (Revelation 21:22). Instead, it says “has no need of,” signifying God’s brilliance. Because God originally created the universe with many stars (Genesis 1:16), it only makes sense that heaven will too. 

Are there oceans in heaven (Revelation 21:1)?

Yes. Some believe the sea is an uncontrollable force needing to be tamed (Luke 8:24), but Jesus calmed a lake (Luke 8:23). God actually says the oceans are good (Genesis 1:10). The sea is a powerful force God controls (Ezekiel 26:19). The concept of an ocean isn’t used negatively, just floods, or when the sea encroaches on dry land (Psalms 69:2). The sea is used to praise God (Psalms 69:34). Hermeneutically, it wouldn’t make sense for the sea to refer to the New Earth when the Old Earth is mentioned chronologically; therefore, just as the “first earth has passed away” so the first sea has passed away. We see many times in Scripture this form of writing, that juxtaposes the heavens (skies), earth (land), and sea (oceans) as separate (Revelation 14:7; Psalms 96:11). A New Sea isn’t mentioned with New Heaven and New Earth in the same way God created the heavens and the earth which had the seas implied (Genesis 1:1-2,10).

Did people pre-exist in heaven?

Although God knew us before we were born (Romans 8:29), it’s similar to an artist who knew about his creation before it was created. It’s impossible to have pre-existed because the natural body comes before the spiritual one (I Corinthians 15:46). Man dies once (Hebrews 9:27) and only then will we get a spiritual body (I Corinthians 15:49).

Will we be naked in heaven (Genesis 2:25)?

We’ll be clothed because we see many examples of clothing used in reference to heaven (Revelation 1:13; Revelation 3:5). Many scholars believe that God was planning on giving Adam and Eve the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when there were mentally adults, as that’s why it was created (Genesis 2:17). It’s likely that they were born into adult bodies yet weren’t ready for some truths. Just like how babies and some indigenous tribes aren’t ashamed of being naked due to a lack of knowledge, so were they.