Heaven

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. 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.

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). Jesus said He will forgive sins in the “age to come,” which is heaven (Matthew 12:32; Luke 18:30). If there was sin in the pre-earth heaven (Revelation 12:4) as well as in the Garden (Genesis 3:6), it’s unlikely God will take our free will away in the New Heaven.  

Our level of power is dependent on this life.

God determines our position in heaven based on how well we utilized our abilities on earth. This is both based on how much we desired to serve God (Luke 19:13,16-19) and how much God desired that we serve Him (Matthew 25:15,20-23).

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) 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). Similarly, God will give us a new name to replace our current one (Revelation 2:17).

FAQ

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)?

John appears to be saying that the old sea is no more, just like the first universe and earth, but some interpret this to mean that the new earth does not have seas. It’s more likely that the New Heaven will have seas, because God said His original creation of seas were good (Genesis 1:10).

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.