As Christians we are supposed to consider heaven our true home. So, it is only natural we want to know what our ‘eternal life’ will look like. However, the Bible gives us no daily schedule of heavenly activities. Still, some scriptures give us a clue of what to expect.
A place of comfort and joy
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells a parable of a rich man and a poor man, Lazarus. The rich man did not care about Lazarus’ misery, and when both of them died, the rich man ended up in a place of torment, but Lazarus was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. Now this is a parable and the purpose of this story was not to tell us what heaven or hell is like. But there are glimpses here of eternal reality. And one of those is that it is said of Lazarus that he was now being ‘comforted’ for all the pain he endured. Many believers carry deep pain of persecution, betrayal, abuse and poverty all the way to their graves. For them, heaven is a place of comfort.
In other parables, for example in Matthew 25, Jesus speaks of heaven as a place where there will be a great feast, where we will be given responsibilities in accordance with our faithful service on earth and where an inheritance is waiting for us.
Another clue is what Jesus said to the repentant criminal on the cross beside him; “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The word ‘paradise’ refers back to the garden of Eden, the garden of delight, where God placed men in the beginning. It was a place of perfect harmony where men would do the beautiful work of caring for creation. Perhaps people in heaven will do things similar to what Adam and Eve did in paradise before the fall.
A place of revelation
Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 13: 12 about the time when earthly things have passed away. He says: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Heaven is a place of revelation, where all the things that are now vague and partial will be clear and full. In other words, there will be so much to learn and discover!
A place of worship
Maybe the most vivid images of heaven we get from the book of Revelations. In chapters 4, 5 and 7 for example, we read about crowds of people (and angels and other heavenly beings) worshiping, praising and rejoicing. Seeing the beauty and splendor and greatness of God with our own eyes, must result in worship. Even the most holy moments here on earth can give us only a glimpse of what that will be like.
Heaven on earth
But there are more glories waiting. The Bible teaches that the old order of things will pass away. A new heaven and a new earth will be created. And they will not be separated any longer. In Revelations 21 we see the city of God come down to earth, and God declaring He will now live with his people. And when heaven comes down, paradise is restored. In Revelations 22:1-4 we read:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”