There you shall be kissed by your beloved Saviour. You shall be allowed to put your arms around Him as you tell Him you love Him. There it won’t be as if loving Him from a distance. There you will be with Him and He will be with you; and He who has loved you with an everlasting love will go on loving you. He who has borne with you through all your sin and failure and faithlessness will still love you when in heaven you are no more faithless and sinful.
The Bible teaches us that before the return of Christ there is a bliss that our souls will enjoy in the presence of Jesus, but that bliss is not the full glory to come when God makes a new heaven and a new earth.
What will it be like? I want to name 5 things that will characterize the heaven to come.
First, there will be an end to everything that is evil.
- No more aches and pains,
- no more weakness and tiredness,
- no more disease,
- no more brokenness or disability,
- no more confusion or memory loss,
- no more wicked perversions,
- no more haters of God,
- no more idol worship,
- no more heresy,
- no more blaspheming the precious name of Jesus,
- no more weariness in worship,
- no more hard heartedness in praying,
- no more rebellion,
- no more dishonesty and stealing,
- no more anger or disappointment or misunderstandings or broken relationships.
- no more covetousness, but only contentment.
- no more sadness and tears, but only joy.
Second, perfection. What I have already described may sound like perfection, but in heaven there will be something more than the absence of all that is wrong. Our bodies and our souls shall be made perfect. Right now “eye hath not seen or ear heard the things which God had prepared for them that love him.” Our eyes can’t see, but then we will be able to see.
Think for a moment about what it will mean to have glorified bodies. A blind man can be told about the beauties of God’s creation. You can tell him, for example, about a sunrise, and about the beauty of spring. Similarly you can tell him about mountain ranges, prairies, flowing rivers and waterfalls; but you can’t make him see. So what if one day he could see? Then he would understand in a way he could never before.
Or think about the deaf man who can’t understand the beauty of music, and so with sign language you try to help him understand. But he can’t understand unless you can make him hear.
In heaven there are things we will see with eyes that can see. There we will hear with ears that can hear. Such a change will come over us that it will be like a blind man given sight and like a deaf man able to hear. We shall hear perfect heavenly music with perfect ears. We shall see heavenly sights with perfect eyes. It won’t merely be that heaven shall be many thousand times more glorious than this world, but there our bodies will have the capacity to take it in and enjoy it.
Third, knowledge. When you have found something that interests you you love to learn. The process of discovery and accumulating knowledge is wonderful. But all of it pales beside the knowledge of Christ! You take up your Bible, and its wonderful how it leads you into a great knowledge of your beloved. In those moments perhaps you say to yourself, “O His mouth is sweet.” Sometimes as you have meditated on the truths of Scripture, and as you have turned your eyes and thoughts toward heaven
you have caught a glimpse of Christ. And seeing Him by faith you were overcome by joy.
Richard Baxter asks, “Christian when after long gazing heavenward, thou hast got a glimpse of Christ, dost thou not sometimes seem to have been with Paul in the third heaven… and to have seen what is unutterable? Art thou not with Peter ready to say Master it is I good to be here… Didst thou never look so long upon the Sun of righteousness till thine eyes were dazzled with his astonishing glory? Did not the splendour of it make all things below seem black and dark to thee?” He then added, “But, This knowledge which have given you such heights of joy and wonder is as nothing to what you shall know; it scare in comparison of that deserves to be called knowledge…”
In heaven you will know things you can’t now imagine. Here you have been scratching the surface of the riches and the majesty of Christ, and you have called it excellent. But then you shall learn what knowledge is.