It’s probably natural to wonder what heaven will be like, as well as what we’ll be like when we’re there. Vain woman that I am, I often catch myself hoping I’ll look young again. And beautiful, of course.
As I grow in my love for Christ, however, the Holy Spirit convicts me of my shallow, self-focused attitude. Ever so subtly, my imaginations of heaven revolve around me, not around the Lord Jesus Christ. That selfishness comes primarily from my sinful fresh, to be sure. But poor teaching from so-called Christian writers, pastors and teachers reinforce it.
In contrast, the Bible says very little about our state in heaven. 1 John 3:2 offers the most direct answer to questions about our eternal state:
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (ESV)
Admittedly, that response doesn’t satisfy us. But, my beloved sisters in Christ, may I suggest that such dissatisfaction only betrays the fact that our affections still remain upon ourselves rather than on Jesus? We don’t like considering the possibility that our preoccupation with self really goes that far. But maybe we need to let the Lord examine our hearts on this matter.
The Holy Spirit describes heaven most vividly in the book of Revelation. I don’t have time to cite all the passages in today’s little essay, but let me show you just one example.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. ~~Revelation 22:1-5 (ESV)
Do you notice that the passage keeps the emphasis on the Lamb? John 1:29 and John 1:36 identify Jesus as “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” Clearly, then, Jesus is the focal point, not us. Through He bestows His love on us by saving us from sin and bringing us into His Kingdom, He doesn’t build His Kingdom around us. He receives our worship, still calling us His servants.
I’m 63 now, and most of my earthly life has passed (boy, it goes by quickly). As a result, I think more seriously about heaven than I did as a young woman. And a lot of my thoughts reject speculations concerning what I will be and do in the Kingdom. I realize, more and more, that I simply won’t care whether I look young or pretty, or even about having a body that’s free from Cerebral Palsy. I’ll be in the Lord’s presence, worshiping Him freely. Will anything else matter?