Heaven is so heavenly that it’s often hard for earthly creatures to understand what it will really be like. That’s why the Bible often describes heaven in terms of what will not be there. For example, the last two chapters of the Bible tell us eight things that will not be there:
1. No Sea (Rev. 21:1): Does not necessarily mean that there will literally be no sea. Rather “sea” is a common biblical metaphor for the storms of life, the mysteries of life, and the barriers and distances that separate us in life.
2. No Tears (21:4): Why? Verse four tells us, there will be no more pain or death. Imagine, we will never cry or hear a cry ever again.
3. No Temple (21:22): “Yes! No churches!!” says an unbeliever. But it’s no churches because everything is church; everything and everywhere is worship. Here we often experience churches without God. There we will experience God without churches. How? Because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”
4. No Sun or Moon (21:23): Again, not necessarily literal but a biblical symbol for time. No more time pressure, no more stress of having too much to do and too little time to do it. No sun and no moon also means no shadows, no fluctuations in life, no ups and downs. How can this be? “For the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”
5. No Locked Gates (21:25): Because no threats and no thieves. All is at peace and all is at rest. Perfect and total security.
6. No Night (21:25): Meaning, no ignorance. The smallest child in heaven knows more about God than the greatest theologian on earth. No night also means no spiritual drowsiness and sleepiness.
7. No Sin (21:27): All the causes, acts, and effects of sin will be abolished. Impossible to even think a sinful thought.
8. No Curse (22:3): Not just no curses from men and women. Also, no evidence or experience of any curse of God on us or the environment. Because Christ became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), not one atom in us or our new world will have any trace of the divine curse.
These eight things will not be there.
The question is, will you be there?
David Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. This article first appeared on his blog, Head Heart Hand, and is used with permission.