Most of us probably don’t think about Heaven as oft as we might. Much about it, as a real place, is revealed to us in the Bible. But if we only associate such thoughts with funerals, no wonder we don’t dwell on it much.
Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seashore.” But here’s the thing: just as you might rather be at the seashore, heaven is a place where the troubles of life are left behind. Conventional isn’t Biblical in this case.
Heaven seems much more interesting when you consider what is not there. In fact much of what is absent in heaven are the things on earth that make life hard. You have endured burying your loved ones and mourning with the grief of separation, but no death or mourning in heaven. You have cried over hurt, betrayal, loss. You’ve experience pain from sickness, injury, or distress, but no crying or pain in heaven (Rev. 21:4). You have been wounded by lies, but no lying in heaven (Rev. 21:27). Imagine life without those!
Some things that are not in heaven are a surprise. God told King David that Solomon would build the Temple in Jerusalem, a place associated with worship of God. Stephen was martyred when he claimed that God doesn’t need a temple (Acts 7:48-50). In fact, there will be no temple in heaven, “for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22). That suggests worship is not limited to a place, and that no place in heaven is apart from God’s presence. The Lamb is a reference to Jesus.
It also surprising that heaven “has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it.” Our earthly lives are regulated by the 24-hour daily cycle, and we take for granted that the sun shines by day, and the moon by night. Why does heaven need no sun? “For the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23).
Heaven is a place of excitement and adventure because “we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thes. 4:17), a most interesting person! This hope is laid up for you in heaven (Col. 1:5) which Jesus said He would prepare for you (John 14:2). He, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, made the way to heaven clear: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). Believe it!