There are probably more flaky ideas about heaven than any other subject in the Bible.  There is little or no teaching about it in most churches today and even less is written about it.  Heaven is a place where we all want to go, but we do not know what we will find when we get there.  We have been told some really wild tales about heaven.  It should not be so.  We need to know the truth. 

The Bible is very plain in describing heaven.  It tells us what heaven is like.  It tells us who is there.  It tells us what heaven is.  It tells us how to get there.  

What do you know about heaven?  How did you find out what you know about heaven?  Did someone tell you?  Preach to you?  Encourage you at some funeral?  Did you study about it in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School or in some Home Prayer Meeting?  Did you hear about heaven from your parents?  From your preacher?  Where did you learn what you know about heaven?  There is only one legitimate source of information and that is the Bible.  Let’s look and see what the Bible says about heaven.

The Bible speaks of different kinds of heavens.  When the Bible says  “heaven” you need to know which heaven it is talking about.

There is the First heaven.  This is the heaven of the atmosphere.  This is the blue sky where the clouds are.  It is the air we breathe.  It is the blanket of air that covers the earth to a depth of approximately 15 – 20 miles.  It is the closest heaven to earth. 

Then, there is the second heaven.  This is the heaven of outer space.  The stars, planets, and galaxies are there.  The second heaven is the heaven of outer space.  Where the sun is.  Where the moon is.  Where the planets are.    The stellar heaven and our solar system and all the universe… these are located in the second heaven.

The third heaven is the dwelling place of God.  It is where God’s Throne is and where God dwells.  It is just as real and just as tangible as the first and the second heaven.   The first heaven and the second heaven are physical and natural.  The third heaven is spiritual and supernatural.  Paul was caught up into the “third” heaven.  John was allowed to see into heaven through a “door that was opened” (Rev 4:1).  The rich man Jesus told about was able to see into heaven from his place of torment in hell.  He saw real people in a real place that he knew and recognized.  He was able to talk to those in heaven and beg them to send him a drop of water to cool his tongue.  It is this third heaven we want to know about.

What is not there:  the curse, sin, tears, death, sorrow, sickness, crying, pain, parting.

Who is not there:  the devil, the fearful, unbelievers, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars.

Who is there:  God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, the Redeemed.  Angels and Ministering Spirits.

Men have been taken to heaven and have lived there for thousands of years in their natural bodies (Gen 5:24; 2 Ki 2:1, 11)

One of the cities in heaven is the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal 4:26; Heb 11:10-16; 12:22; 13:14; Rev 3:12;  21:2,10)

The Heaven that we will inhabit forever is a city.   It is a city in preparation.  Jesus said in John 14 that He was going to prepare a place for us and if He went and prepared a place for us He would come again and receive us unto Himself so that where He is we would also be.  (John 14).

In Revelation 21:9 – 22:5 heaven is described

It is a city that is filled with the glory (majesty, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace) of God.  It has an outward appearance of beauty, precision, and wealth that has never been witnessed in the natural.   The light within the city is like reflections from precious gems and priceless jewels.  John describes it as “her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…” (21:11).  The jasper stone is a beautiful sea-green.

It is a city with walls, foundations, and gates (21:12-14).  It is the biggest and largest city ever known or imagined.  It is 1500 miles square.  It is measured with a gold measuring reed.  (21:15).  (God is extravagant!  Even His yard stick is made of gold!)  It is as long and wide as it is high. 

The wall around the city is over 200 feet high.  It is made of some material that resembles jasper (a precious gem of opaque quartz that is dark green in color).  The wall has 12 foundations (must be huge to support a wall 200 feet high)

            1.  Jasper

            2.  Sapphire:  Precious stone of transparent rich blue

            3.  Chalcedony:  Pale blue translucent quartz with wax-like luster

            4. Emerald:  Rich green gemstone

            5.  Sardonyx:  An onyx having parallel layers of deep orange and red

            6.  Sardius:  Deep orange and red gemstone

            7.  Chrysolyte:  A gold like stone with a dusky green and yellow cast… a type of topaz.

            8.  Beryl:  Transparent bluish-green gem

            9.  Topaz:  Pale green gem with a mixture of yellow

            10. Chrysoprasus:  Yellowish green stone with a bluish hue

            11. Jacinth:  Red and yellow stone… a cinnamon stone

            12.  Amethyst:  Purple or violet stone composed of strong blue and deep red

There are twelve gates in the 200 foot wall that surrounds the city.  Three gates are positioned on each of the four sides of the wall making 12 gates in all.  Each gate is made from one pearl… (21:21) not “pearls” but “pearl” singular.  The city itself is made from pure, transparent gold… nothing like it has ever been seen by human eyes.  It is beyond human comprehension in beauty, opulence, and extravagance.

The street or streets in the Holy City are made of pure transparent gold just as the city.  This is a substance that is unknown to us here on earth.

The city itself is made of pure transparent gold as clear as glass   (21:18).

There is no temple there that is necessary for one to enter into in order to meet with God as it was in the OT.  God and Jesus will be visible and present within the city at all times anywhere for any who come in to worship and have fellowship.  God and the Lamb are the Temple of it  (21:22).

The glory of God and of His Son is of such brilliance that the city has no need of the sun for light.  It is never dark in the New Jerusalem… “there shall be no night there…” (22:5)  for the glorious Light of the Eternal Presence of God continually illuminates the city.

The New Jerusalem will be the eternal headquarters and dwelling place of God throughout Eternity.  The nations of the earth (those who lived from the tribulation period through the millennium will multiply and replenish the earth in order to carry out the original plan and purpose of God as Adam and others would have if man had not sinned.   These are the “sheep nations” of Matthew 25), will flow into the New bringing their gifts and presenting themselves before God and the Lamb forever.  It will be a time of worship, praise, celebration, joy, and fellowship greater than anything the world has ever witnessed. The city is called Mount Zion (Heb 12).

The gates will never be shut.  It will be open eternally for any of the redeemed to pass into and through.  Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be allowed to enter. 

This city of God will have a pure river of water flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb (22:1).    “The mount of the congregation in the sides of the north” (Isa 14:12-14);  “the mountain of His holiness” (Psa 48:1).   This city of God will have each of the great broadways (three on each side; 12 in all) proceeding out from each side of the throne of God. These “water of life” rivers will flow in the midst of it.  On either side of these great golden broadways will be rows of the Trees of Life which bear 12 kinds of fruit each month.  The preservation of life will be provided by the leaves of these trees.  Since there will be no sickness or disease in Heaven, these leaves are taken to preserve eternal life and health for all heaven’s inhabitants throughout eternity.

There will be no more of the curse that came as a result Lucifer’s and Adam’s rebellion.  Conditions will be as before the curse and they will continue forever just as if the curse had never happened.  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in this great city and all the inhabitants of heaven will serve God eternally.  The servants are those who are redeemed, the faithful angels and all of earth’s creatures that have not rebelled or who have been delivered from all possibility of rebellion in all eternity (Eph 1:10; 1 Cor 15:24-28).

All those in the Holy City will be able to see the Face of God.  His Name shall be written in their foreheads and they will rule and reign with God forever.  They will actually assist God in administering the affairs of the universe for ever and ever.  

How to get there:  Romans 10:9-10

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


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