One of the most important things about life in heaven, which many people find surprising, is that it’s not entirely different from life on earth. I realize this may not sound like good news, considering all the evils in this world and the sadness that you may have experienced in your own life. However, when I say heaven is similar to life on earth, I mean that you’ll find many things very relatable to your life here.
The big difference is that heaven is a perfect world, a world where we can enjoy all the beauties and pleasures that we have here on earth, but without the sorrow, pain, emptiness, loneliness, and fear that so often grip us, and without the selfishness, greed, and destruction that we see in the world around us.
In heaven there is only love, beauty, peace, comfort, understanding, joy, willingness to help and to give, thoughtfulness, caring for one another, and most of all, being enveloped in the love of the One who loves us more than anyone—God Himself. The Bible tells us that God is a God of love. Therefore His home, heaven, is a home of love, where we will feel no pain, no sorrow, no rejection, no loneliness—only love! Isn’t that wonderful?
Heaven holds many similarities with our physical world. We know from the Bible and other accounts that we’re going to look much the same as we do now. We’ll have our loved ones and families around us. We’ll enjoy each other’s company and live happily together forever. If that sounds like paradise, well, that’s what heaven is.
Many people have the mistaken impression that heaven is going to be a very boring place where we’ll have nothing to do but sit around and play harps and sing praises to God. Well, I’m sure that people can play the harp if they want to, and we certainly will be praising God, but our life in heaven will be much fuller than that. We’ll be busy with things that truly matter, things that make a difference in other people’s lives. We’ll be investing our time in things that make us happy, inspire us, and give us joy.
The last two chapters of the Bible’s book of Revelation describe heaven as a gigantic golden city about 2,200 km (1,400 miles) wide, 2,200 km long, and 2,200 km high. That’s enough “floor space” to cover half of the United States or most of Western Europe. As you can imagine, if you divide it into multiple levels, a space this massive can house billions of people, with room to spare.
The Bible describes the city streets as being made of pure gold, with a wall surrounding the city made of twelve types of gems. We will have houses there, heavenly “mansions,” where we can live with our families and loved ones who have also believed and received God and His love into their lives.
Life in heaven is a lot like that which we have on earth, but much, much better. It’s a place that is alive, vibrant, warm, and, where you’ll be able to enjoy all the pleasures that you’ve ever wanted, and where your dreams will come true. It’s as though you took life here on earth, removed all the bad things, and then added a lot of love, joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment.
Maybe you’re wondering how you can make sure you will be able to live in such a wonderful place as heaven, once your time on earth is over. Perhaps you’ve been told that only those who are very good get to go to heaven. You may feel that excludes you, since you know you’ve made mistakes and have at times done things that were wrong, unloving, and hurtful.
Well, I have good news for you! Anybody can get free entrance to heaven. Anybody can be taken into the arms of love and receive the joy, fulfillment, and everlasting love that God wants to give each of us, both here and in the life to come—and that includes you. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter how good or how bad you are, because none of us can be good enough to earn a place in heaven. It is a gift of God. Jesus paid our way by dying for our sins, and so, through simply receiving Him as our Savior, we can be sure of a place in heaven. That relieves us of the burden of having to be good enough to go to heaven, which we couldn’t do anyway, because we’re only human, after all. Jesus took our burden for us, and therefore all we have to do is believe and receive the gift of salvation that God wants to give us.
His love is far beyond anything that we can understand or see with our eyes here on earth. His love can fix any mistake, right any wrong, fill any emptiness, and heal any hurt. He wants to give you all these things now, here on this earth, plus a place in heaven when your time here is done. He longs for you and your loved ones to be united and happy forever with Him, and that’s why He gave His life for you.
–1 John 4:8 (NIV) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Revelation 21:16 (NIV) The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia[a] in length, and as wide and high as it is long.
Romans 3:23 (NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,