Heaven: It’s More Than You Can Imagine

Kansas photo by John McKeel

It has always surprised me how little the Bible talks about heaven. In the New Testament, the Sadducees didn’t even believe in life after death! So why don’t we hear more about our eternal reward? I suspect the answer has to do with our inability even to begin to comprehend heaven.

Imagine a world without time. Here on earth, we are entirely wrapped up in the past, present, and future. It’s not just days, months, and years, but now we measure seconds, milliseconds (10−3 seconds), microseconds (10−6 seconds), nanoseconds (10−9 seconds), picoseconds (10−12 seconds), and the zeptosecond (10−21 seconds). According to Wikipedia, the zepto second is a “Time measurement scale of the NIST strontium atomic clock. Smallest fragment of time currently measurable is 247 zeptoseconds.” But then there is the “jiffy” in physics. (That’s a legitimate measurement of time equal to “The amount of time light takes to travel one fermi (about the size of a nucleon) in a vacuum.) On the other hand, I believe the smallest measurable amount of time is equal to the time it takes for a stoplight to turn green and the first person to honk their horn.

Heaven is a world without time, but it is also a world without dimensions. Three dimensions on earth bind us, but God is not. He is everywhere. How could we all fit into the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, if we were bound by space?

Therefore, the descriptions of the New Heaven and the New Earth in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 must be symbolic, but that is more than enough to whet our appetites! Let’s consider first, the New Heaven and the New Earth will be a place where God dwells with us (Revelation 21:3). There he will wipe away every tear. There will be no more death. Everything will be new (not remodeled). What will be missing there? First, there is no Temple (21:22). In the Old Temple, the presence of God was especially in the Holy of Holies separated from us by a curtain behind the doors of the Holy Place, restricted to only the priests. In the New Heaven, we will be with God!

We should also ask, “What is missing?” There is no night to stumble in or fear. God himself is the light! Nothing unclean is there.

So, what is there? Chapter 22 tells us the River of Life and the Tree of Life are there. Do you hear a theme? LIFE is there, and for Christians, that LIFE begins now. Jesus promised: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

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