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 shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.”
What Heaven Is Not
In 2010, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Alex Malarkey became a best-selling book. Malarkey later disavowed his work, admitting that his heavenly experience was a lie.
Despite the story’s fiction, such books remain popular. People want assurance that there is something more, something better after they die. In the last 20 years, a handful of books have been written on people’s personal afterlife experiences. However, you need only trust one account of heaven—the Bible’s.
In the New Testament, two witnesses of heaven testify to its reality. The apostles, Paul and John, were blessed to see it for themselves. Interestingly, Paul who wrote so much of the New Testament, could only say that heaven was beyond words. And John mostly tells us what heaven is not, rather than what heaven is.
If all we know is an earthly existence affected by sin in every way, how else do you describe an eternity without it?
On earth, sin causes us to separate ourselves from each other. We are suspicious of those who live beyond our borders, who speak other languages, and have a different skin color. In heaven, those dividing walls don’t exist. God brings together a multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language.
The world is filled with sinful rebels. We do what we want and say what we want to get what we want. In heaven, selfishness doesn’t exist. God changes hearts so that every desire is to do his will, day and night.
On earth, we cannot stop the devastation of nature. Fire, water, wind, and earth continue to destroy lives. In heaven, God has put an end to hunger, thirst, and natural disaster.
Look past your differences, your selfishness, and those who scheme against you. Look past the problems of this world that you cannot control.
Look up and see the Lamb, who is seated on his throne.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world. Have mercy on me and bring me at last to my heavenly home. Amen.