What we know makes us want to know more.
by BILL PATTERSON
BEFORE MY GRANDBABY learned to talk, she learned some signs. Claire often used the sign for “more,” usually when she wanted additional milk or cereal. I would scoop her up in my arms and take her onto my screened-in porch to see the ladybugs and flowers. No matter how long we stayed, when we came back inside, Claire always gave the signal for “more.”
Something inside the human heart yearns for more. God provided more than this earth can offer in heaven!
God did not tell us everything about heaven, but He has told us plenty — all He wanted us to know this side of “more.” Consider what we can know:
- Heaven is a literal place. Since some people would question the reality of heaven, God let John record the measurements of the walls of heaven. (See Rev. 21:15-16.) An imaginary wall cannot be measured, only a real wall. The walls ran over 1,400 miles long, wide, and high. The ground level alone would be close to 2 million square miles. How many levels might heaven have if it is 1,400 miles high? Clearly, heaven has plenty of room for all who will receive Jesus.
Heaven measures a perfect cube. The only other place in the Bible where a perfect cube existed was the holy of holies in the temple, where God dwelled among the Israelites.
- Heaven is a prepared place. Shortly before Jesus died, He said, “‘In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also’” (John 14:2-3). Matthew 25:34 says God prepared heaven from the foundation of the world. Hebrews 11:16 teaches God has prepared a heavenly city. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
- Heaven is a place of happy reunion with loved ones. Whom do you look forward to seeing in heaven? I look forward to talking with my grandparents in heaven. I miss my mother and father and look forward to being with them again.
How do we know we will see our loved ones who have died in the Lord? In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus indicated recognition in heaven. Also, “Paul anticipated being with the Thessalonians in Heaven, and it never occurred to him he wouldn’t know them. In fact, if we wouldn’t know our loved one, the ‘comfort’ of an afterlife reunion, taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, would be no comfort at all.”1
- Heaven is a place where God lives. Think how wonderful it feels when you are in a worship service where His presence seems so close. Revelation 21 describes our future home with God: “God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them” (v. 3).
- Heaven is a place of abundant riches. We make too much of riches in this world, but they are abundant for all in heaven. Gold is valued here. There the streets are paved with it. Electric lights are prized here. There God makes it light all day, and there is no night. A good night’s sleep is treasured here, and there we will rest. Think of the most beautiful sunrise or sunset. There you will always be surrounded by that kind of splendor. Here we prize the whitest sand beaches and the clearest water. Here we value the mountains with their beautiful fall leaves. But heaven will be far more scenic.
- Heaven is a place of joy. Imagine the joy of complete forgiveness. Here there are tears. There God wipes them away. Here sadness prevails. There God eliminates it. Here some are lame, deaf, or blind. There everyone will be whole and healthy, joyful and peaceful.
- Heaven is a place of holiness. The Bible teaches no unholiness will enter heaven. That gives you and me a problem because the Bible teaches we each have sinned. Through Jesus’ substitution of His holiness for our unholiness, our sins are forgiven, and we become as sure of heaven as if we were already there. (See John 3:16.)
I am typing these words with my fingers, but in my mind I am singing, “Hallelujah, What a Savior!” Yes, I yearn for “more.” God has provided more in heaven. I hope to meet you there!
1 Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Tyndale Momentum, 2004), 333.
BILL PATTERSON serves as an associational missionary for the Green Valley Baptist Association in Henderson, Kentucky. He and his wife, Sandy, take great joy in their nine grandchildren. They love teaching biblical principles and introducing people to the Holy Land.