Obviously, I have never experienced heaven, so I can’t actually say. But there are lots of hints in the Bible about heaven and what it will be like. I do think that the streets of gold imagery may not literally be true. Personally, that isn’t all that exciting to me. It reminds me of a fancy place that you can’t enjoy because it is so valuable. But I realize that is me. Not everyone would have that hang-up.
When we interpret what the Bible says, we need to realize what kind of literature we are reading. We interpret a poetic book of the Bible differently than a narrative book. We also interpret a passage described as a vision differently than we interpret as section that is historical. Apart from a few sections where Jesus comments about heaven, often in a parable. when He says heaven is like… Most of the passages are visions. Yes, they are inspired by the Holy Spirit and are true. But they are very difficult to accurately interpret. And over time, there are many people with a very high view of the Bible, who disagree with how many of these passages should be interpreted. Actually, it’s pretty amazing how much agreement there is!
Many descriptions of heaven are taken from passages in the Bible that aren’t literal. They are also hampered by someone describing a place that is beyond our experience. How do you do that? You use metaphors and describes things that are similar try to show how it is similar.
We do need to realize that many of the passages in the Bible that talk about heaven are passages that are full of imagery. They aren’t literally describing what heaven will actually be like. Certainly streets of gold insinuates that it will be beautiful and will have streets made of something that is very valuable. It could certainly be gold, but for us to understand what it will be like, we were told streets of gold so we could picture it. It might or might not be actually that.
I’m saying all this not to cast aspersions on the truth of the Bible. I’m saying this to decrease the number of arguments regarding arguments, serious arguments regarding interpretations about the Second Coming. I have a belief. I know many who have a belief about it. But you will never find me having an argument/fight that results in serious problems with my relationship with another Christian. There is too much we don’t know. It is too confusing. And in the end, Christ will come when He comes. My arguing and certainly, my salvation has nothing to do with my beliefs in this area.
The important thing is that I am ready for His return. Am I part of the family of GOD through faith in Christ’s work on the cross to pay for my sin? Then I am ready to either go to be with Him in death or join Him in the sky when He comes to take all of us at the end of the world. For more on this, read here..
What clues do we find in the Bible about Heaven?
Now, for the clues. Isaiah talks about lions and lambs being together in one place. It certainly indicates there will no longer be fighting going on within nature. as well as among humans. Heaven will be a place of true reconciliation and no disagreements or fighting ever again. It also speaks here about the fact that there will be no weeping in heaven. It must mean there is no longer going to be any loss or grief. No hurt feelings. No misunderstandings. Human relationships will be trouble free.
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy[c] the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain
or bear children for calamity,[d]
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.
Isaiah 65:19-25 ESV
There will be no marriage in heaven. Not all of us are excited about that. But there is something exclusionary about marriage. It is delightful for the couple, but there are times it can exclude others. It is meant to of course. Heaven won’t have any of that. Human relationships will be close with none of the barriers or complications of sex. We will be able to be open toward one another without that…and the fulfillment will be present. I don’t know what it will be like, but I know it will be delightful.
Work will once again be enjoyable like it was in the Garden of Eden.
Creativity in work will be more like it was in the garden of Eden. There were no impediments to work like there are here on earth. The weeds for the farmer will no longer be there. Think of what fun gardening would be without weeds and disease. The parallels are there in other professions as well. None of the things that drain us in our jobs will be present. Only the parts of our jobs that are fulfilling and enjoyable will be there.
Yes, there will be work for us to do. At least that is what I’m told by those who have studied more deeply into the Bible than I have. Imagine artists and musicians who will be able to express themselves to the degree they never even dreamed here on earth. Color choices will be way more than we have now. I imagine the choice of notes will be too! It will be like Eden, only better and Adam and Eve had fulfilling work to do so I guess work will be included there as well.
Think of the new heavens and new earth that will be explored by those who love that sort of thing. And people who may never have thought of it before, may do it then. Imagine what it would be like? Soaring to a mountain top to see the view, taking in the view from the moon for an evening with friends…it’s not unthinkable.
Of course, we will be worshiping Jesus too. I’m not sure it will take up every waking moment…and we won’t need to sleep! The more we think about heaven, the more mind-blowing it gets, doesn’t it?
There will be no darkness in heaven. GOD’s glory gives light there.
Of course, there will be no darkness there…at all. Jesus will be lighting up the place. Hard to imagine isn’t it? There will never be any moral darkness there at all either. Imagine a place where no one is fake. There are no hypocrites. No one is lying about you behind your back. Everyone is honest and above board. Everyone is loving, considerate, respectful and kind…but still, not fake. It is difficult to even imagine!
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false,
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 21:22-27 ESV
Heaven will be beautiful. The One who made the sunrises and sunsets, flowers of all colors and types, will be there in all His glory and there will be nothing to impede all those plants and flowers from blooming to their hearts’ content!
You are right. We really don’t know exactly what heaven will be like. We do know what will be there and what won’t be there. But mostly, we have lots of hints about a place that is nothing like our present life. One thing we do know is that it will be delightful beyond anything we can imagine! When the time is right, we will go there to be with Jesus.
And incidentally, we will run into loved ones, friends and the like. But Jesus will be the star, the wonderful shining star!