Is This What Heaven Is Like?

Robin Stearns LeeBy Robin Stearns Lee6 Minutes

During the last weeks of my mom’s life, I was privileged to talk to her about her faith and to read her the last few chapters of Revelation. I will always remember her saying “wow” repeatedly as I described Heaven. A few times I walked into her hospital room and saw her smiling and reaching her arms out as she was waking.

What did she see in those moments between sleeping and waking? Did God give her glimpses of her Heavenly home? Were her loved ones beckoning her?

I believe God prepared me for facing the loss of my mother. In the months prior to her illness, I was deep in a study of Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,” in preparation for leading my small group. The author shared about his close relationship with his own mother and how in 1981 he sat by her bedside as she was dying of cancer and read her the last two chapters of Revelation. That experience prompted him to research everything the Bible says about Heaven and to write a book.

What is Heaven like? We don’t have eyewitness accounts from anyone who has been to Heaven and returned. There are many misconceptions. Some believe we will float around on clouds all day like angels. Or that we will sing hymns and wear white robes. Fortunately, the Bible is rich in detail about the place God has prepared for those who believe in Jesus (John 14:2,3).

Our Immediate Destination

We do know that Heaven is where believers will go immediately after our death. Jesus himself said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43). It’s a comforting thought when losing a loved one; to know where they are going. As hard as it was to lose my own mother, it gave me great peace to visualize her taking her last breath, and then waking up in Heaven.

The Bible also tells us Heaven is a place where there will be no more weeping (Revelation 21:4). The painful situations we endure on Earth will be behind us. Sin brought disease and death to our world. In Heaven, sin will be conquered, and we will never again experience those human woes. The dreadful disease that attacked my mother will be no more.

Everything Made New

We will at last be with God in Heaven. Revelation 21:3 says “… the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.” There will be no need for a temple in Heaven because God and Jesus are the temple. God will make everything new (Revelation 21:5). All our imagining about what God is like will be revealed. We will see Him in all His Glory!

Heaven will be a physical place. Revelation 21 spells out its measurements. Materials we can relate to will be used in the construction: gold, jasper, sapphire, emerald, pearls, and amethyst. There will be no need for the sun or the moon that brighten our world. The light will come from God and the Lamb (Revelation 21:23). There will be a river coming from the throne of God, and a tree of life bearing twelve kinds of fruit (Revelation 22:1-3)

With the Lord Forever

Jesus tells us in Matthew 8:11 that we will feast together with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Heaven. If we will see these pillars of faith, then it makes sense to me that we will also see our own loved ones who are believers. It gives me great pleasure to think about seeing my mother again, talking to my grandparents, and reconnecting with friends who have gone on to be with the Lord. In First Thessalonians 4:13-14, 17-18, Paul reminds us of the hope we have in being together in Heaven: “And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

I still have moments of sadness about missing the physical presence of my sweet mother. Recalling all the great times I have spent with her is bittersweet. When I am overwhelmed with feelings of loss, I reread God’s descriptions of Heaven in His Word and I am greatly comforted. She is in a beautiful place, with no pain or suffering, loving on her family members, and being with Jesus. There’s no better place I’d want her to be!