Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Do You Ever Wonder What Heaven is Like

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"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy" (Isaiah 65:17-18).

Many times I wonder, many times I ask, God what will heaven be like? So He answered, "like the world that you never experienced before, like the warmth that brings perfect peace, like the light that is filled with unconditional love and everything is so much more beyond your imagination."

Heaven is the most glorious word you can hear. It is where our Father in heaven reigns and is waiting for His beloved children to come and spend eternity with Him.

Many people who have had a near death experience spoke about the overwhelming light that covered the whole space and that merged toward them, and filled them with comfort and peace.

As Christians our knowledge of heaven should come from the Holy Bible, through the teaching of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He came from heaven to open our eyes about God's glory and what to do in order to reach heaven and through some of His prophets and disciples who were given the chance to have a glimpse of what heaven is like.

"...So he said to me, 'these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore...'" (Revelation 7:14-16).

On earth we suffer many tribulations. Some will die from hunger, some will die from thirst, and others will die from illnesses. This passage assures us that in heaven our new spiritual bodies will not be perishing for there will no longer be hunger, thirst, illness, or death. And we will not be subject to any suffering. But our lives will be full of rejoicing, peace, and happiness.

"I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. ‘No more shall an infant from there live but few days, nor an old man who has not fulfill his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.'" (Isaiah 65:19-20).

The Lord is telling us that life in heaven will be a joyful one; no more suffering, sickness, or death. He is also telling us that the infant will be glad that he is alive and the old man will be full of energy but the one who rejected God's invitation (the sinners) will be cast away and no longer see God.

"And seeing the multitudes, He went up on the mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them" (Matthew 5:1-2).

Our Lord Jesus Christ opened the eyes of many on what is important in order to reach heaven:

  • To feel that I am a sinner and I am in need of God's grace to cleanse me and help me
  • To need to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to know God's will and plan for my life
  • To feel a need to serve others with my God given talent

Also when the Pharisees asked Him which great commandment is in the law?

"Jesus said to him, ''You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and greater commandment and the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.'" (Matthew 22:37-40).

Our lord Jesus Christ also spoke in parables (Matthew 13) about what the kingdom of heaven is like and He gave many examples such as:

  • The parable of the wheat and the tares
  • The parable of the mustard seed
  • The parable of the leaven
  • The parable of the hidden treasure
  • The parable of the pearl of great price
  • The parable of the dragnet

All these beautiful parables have a common goal to show us how valuable, beautiful and irreplaceable the kingdom of heaven is and when you find it you must not let it go or you will be cast off into the furnace of fire.

"'Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married and having no offspring left his wife to his brother, likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.' Jesus answered and said to them, 'You are mistaken, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.'" (Matthew 22:25-30).

Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ is saying to them, man and woman in heaven, they will be full of light from our God in heaven and they will be in His presence at all times, like the angels praising and worshiping Him. There will be no longer marriage or family or new born, but they will all be like the children of God; brothers and sisters who love each other as one body and one spirit.

"Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).

St. Paul is telling us that we will receive a new body with many characteristics of God in heaven (amazingly spiritual, powerful, glory, etc.) since we will be like Him and we will be exalted beyond measure, and full of victory.

"And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, I will be His God and he shall be My son.'" (Revelation 21:6-7).

In the book of Revelation we see God is telling us, whoever will be His son will inherit every wealth that He has and he will be loved as His Son Jesus Christ.

"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (Revelation 21:10-11).

St. John is telling us that what he saw is beautiful beyond his imagination and his vocabulary. The kingdom of heaven no longer needs sun, moon and stars to give us light but the glory of God will be our source of light. There is no more temples in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the lamb are its temple and there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles.

"And he shows me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the lamb. In the midst of its street and on either side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The healing of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 22:1-2).

Amazingly, when our eyes are opened; we can see a new picture and a happy ending to a long journey. Between the Book of Genesis and the Book of the Revelation, we read:

  • In the Book of Genesis creation of heaven and earth has begun and will end in the book of revelation; life on earth.

  • In the book of Genesis we see the man fell into temptation by the serpent because he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and disobeyed God and as a result was cast out of the Garden of Eden. But in the book of Revelation the man will be redeemed and invited to eat from the tree of life for healing of all nations.

  • In Genesis, we meet Satan for the first time and we see his evil spreading through generation after generation and his life of deceiving human beings. But in Revelation we see a different picture of the son of God, who will cast him away and strip him from all his authority and he will never deceive any nation again.

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20).

It is great joy and love to be able to see the Lord face to face and knowing that we will spend eternity in wonder and disbelief that we finally are in front of the One who created us, saved us, and gave us a new life and beginning. This newness is full of blessing and far away from all suffering and tribulations. Most of all, we will be united at last with the One who loves us all.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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