“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 GW
I look forward to each and every summer. I love the luscious fruits produced in abundance: peaches, plums, grapes, and watermelon, but sweet cherries are my absolute favorite. I love the deep red “Bing” cherries, and I buy pound after pound in the peak of their season. I also love the yellow-skinned, rosy blushed, “Queen” Rainier cherries. In spite of them being pricey, I still buy a pound or two each summer. To me they taste like “heaven on a pit”.
Speaking of heaven, I imagine some readers believe there is one and some don’t. Some may believe their loved ones are already there enjoying all that heaven has to offer, while others believe they aren’t there yet. Those of you who believe heaven exists, do you ever wonder what it’s like? I’ve heard tell that we will sit on fluffy clouds and strum harps. To me that would get boring after a while. Considering the Bible says there will be no night there, that’s a lot of daylight strumming a harp (Revelation 21:25). I’d rather learn to play a pipe organ in heaven. It’s always been my dream.
I’m always thinking about food, so I would be really disappointed if we were just wispy spirit forms and didn’t need food. But thankfully the Bible says we will have bodies, we will recognize each other, and we will get to eat! Certainly heaven’s food will be much better than anything we have ever tasted, don’t you think? What about size? Do you suppose the size of Earth’s fruits is puny compared to those in heaven? What if one sweet cherry were as big as a peach! What if apples were as big as cantaloupes! We will have lots of variety, for we are told there will be a different fruit every month. Let’s read the verse that explains it:
“On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bears fruit twelve times a year, once each month; and its leaves are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2 GNT). It’s hard to imagine this one tree will produce a different fruit each month of the year. It has to be a behemoth for its roots to be grounded on each side of the river of life.
The largest trees we have for comparison are: “The mighty tree in Santa Maria del Tule, which has a circumference of over 160 feet at its base, and is between 2000 and 3000 years old, making it one of the oldest living things on earth.” (delange.org) Another giant tree is the mighty General Sherman in Sequoia National Park, which “stands 275 feet (84 meters) tall, has a 102-foot (31 meters) circumference, and weighs an incredible 2.7 million pounds (1.2 million kilograms).” (livescience.com)
Besides the tree of life, what else do we know about heaven? There are a surprising number of verses that provide some details about heaven. It’s not a place of mystery or a fairy land. In fact, God holds the master key, the Bible, which unlocks secrets ~ things we might assume we can’t know until we get there. But why wait? Let’s take note of some details, and see for ourselves what is in store. It’s exciting, so let’s get going!
Q What are some things we have on earth that we won’t have in heaven?
A No violence (Isaiah 65:17, 18). Animals will live in harmony (Isaiah 11:6). No more disease (Isaiah 33:24). No more blindness or deafness (Isaiah 35:5, 6). “Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young” (Isaiah 65:20 GNT).
Q Where will we live?
A Jesus is building mansions for us in His Father’s house (John 14: 1-3). We will build another home and plant vineyards, enjoying their fruit (Isaiah 65:21). It sounds like we will have both a city home and a country home. From what I read, we will be creating for our own pleasure.
Q What will the New Jerusalem be like?
A Surrounding the city will be high walls, 66 meters or 144 cubits (Revelation 21:17) with 12 gates of solid pearl (Revelation 21:21, 12). There will be streets of pure translucent gold (Revelation 21:18, 21). The city has 12 layered foundations with jewels everywhere (Rev 21:14-19).
Q How big will the city be?
A The city’s foundation is 12,000 furlongs or about 375 miles on each side (Revelation 21:16). The city can easily house two billion people. In comparison Tokyo has 35 million and New York has 20 million. “A metropolis of this size in the middle of the United States would stretch from Canada to Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the California border. The New Jerusalem is all the square footage anyone could ask for. If the city consisted of different levels (we don’t know this), and if each story were a generous twelve feet high, the city could have over 600,000 stories. If they were on different levels, billions of people could occupy the New Jerusalem, with many square miles per person.” (epm.org)
Q What are the sources of water and light?
A There will be lakes and rivers, but no sea (Revelation 21:1). A river will flow from God’s throne (Revelation 21:1-2). There will be no night in heaven. “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light” (Revelation 21:23 NIV).
Q What might possibly be the most wondrous change ever?
A “I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.’ The Enthroned continued, ‘Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate'” (Revelation 21:3-5 MSG).
When you add up all the facts, does it make you long for heaven? Me, too!
There are those of us who mourn for a beloved child or other loved ones and long to see them again. I picture my son radiant with joy, all sadness is forever gone. As we clasp each other in a bear hug, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Heaven has come at last. The darkness of earth is forever gone. Nothing remains to mar our perfect happiness from here on. Eternal bliss . . . served with a cherry on top!