What is Heaven like? Look at a few passages with me from Matthew (the first book in the New Testament) and Revelation (the last book in the New Testament).
First, notice some passages from Matthew: Heaven is a place of reward. Jesus said: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great” (Matthew 5:12 NASB).
Heaven is a place where God is. Jesus said: “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9 NASB).
Heaven is a place of treasure. Jesus said: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:20 NASB).
Heaven is a place of joy. Jesus said that it will be said: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21 NASB).
Now, notice some passages from Revelation: But first, a word of two is in order about interpretation. When it comes to the book of Revelation especially, people have different ideas of proper interpretations.
In his commentary on Revelation, David Roper noted that “some are convinced that the purpose of [Revelation] 21:1-22:5 is to picture the church on earth, especially the church triumphant after Roman persecution.”
Roper then stated his own view: “Revelation 21:1-22:5 could portray the ideal church on earth, but it is more probable that the passage tells of the home of the soul, heaven.”
Then Roper quoted a man named Daniel Russell who wrote, “The church, in all ages, has found in this passage a description of heaven.”
With that traditional interpretation in mind, notice how the passage begins: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:1-4 NKJV).
The passage goes on to talk about the famous street of gold (Revelation 21:21) and the tree of life (Revelation 22:2). The final blessing mentioned is grace.
I love it that the last verse in Revelation, which is also, of course, the last verse in the Bible, is a final reminder from God of His amazing grace.
It says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 21:24 NIV).
By Jake King
(Jake King is the preacher at Seneca Church of Christ. He can be reached at (417) 776-3077.)