The Lighted Way
What is Heaven Like?

Imagine a city in space that is big enough to hold all of the people who love and follow God! It must be the most beautiful and perfect city in the universe. After all, God is the architect and creator of it. (Hebrews 11:16) This Bible study will inspire you with the message of the glories to come. Let us learn about this fabulous city whose builder and maker is God.

1. Where is the city?

At the moment, this great city is in heaven - God's dwelling place.

"And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven." Revelation 21:2

"O Lord, my God... hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place." 1 Kings 8:28-30

2. What does the New Jerusalem City look like?

A. Size:
"The city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth (The city is a perfect square. It is as long as it is wide): and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs." Revelation 21:16
Not only is the city a perfect square, its perimeter is 12,000 furlongs (one furlong is 1/8 mile). Therefore the total perimeter of the huge city is 1,500 miles! This means, since it is a perfect square, the city is 375 miles long on every side!

B. Name:
The city's name, as we have already seen is "New Jerusalem" (Revelation 21:2). It is also sometimes called "Zion" in the Bible.

C. Walls:
"And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits (a cubit is 18 inches so the walls are 216 feet high)... And the building of the wall of it was of jasper." Revelation 21:17-18. Can you picture such a place? The walls are 375 miles long by nearly 20 stories high... And they are made of solid jasper!

D. Gates:
"And it had twelve gates... On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates." "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl." Revelation 21:12-13, 21 This scripture shows us that the city has 12 gates - three on each side - each gate being made of a single pearl.

E. Foundations:

"The wall of the city had twelve foundations... garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Revelation 21:14-20

The city has 12 full foundations - each one made of a precious stone. Every color of the rainbow will be represented in these precious stones. So, at a distance, the city will appear to be resting on a rainbow!

3. How will the residents of this city stay eternally young?

"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Revelation 22:2

"Take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." Genesis 3:22

The tree of life stands in the middle of the city (Revelation 2:7). It bears 12 kinds of fruit and brings eternal life and youth to everyone who eats from it. Even the leaves of it bring health.

4. Will this city come to earth?

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the EARTH." Matthew 5:5

"The righteous shall be recompensed (rewarded) in the EARTH." Proverbs 11:31

God's beautiful city will come down from heaven to earth. Here it will become the new capital city. All of the righteous will have a home in this city.

5. Where will the people who don't love God be?

"All the proud, yea, all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh (that day is FUTURE) shall burn them up." Malachi 4:1

"Fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." Revelation 20:9

"The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10

"Ye shall tread (walk on) down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet." Malachi 4:3

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:13

Before the holy city touches down on earth, God is going to burn this place up. All the unrepentant sinners will burn along with the Devil. (Complete Bible study on Hell) Even the very frame of the earth will melt down. When everything tainted with sin is completely consumed, God will remake this planet. It will be again as pure and beautiful as it was in the time of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned. Then the New Jerusalem will touch down and become the capital city. All of the righteous will live in this city for eternity.

6. What will it be like, living in the New Jerusalem?

A. God, in person, will live there with us. (Revelation 21:3)

B. We will never be bored! There will be unimaginable pleasures to enjoy forever! (Psalm 16:11)

C. There will be no pain, death, tragedy, sadness, sickness, hunger, thirst, or unpleasantness of any kind. (Revelation 21:4, Isaiah 33:24, Revelation 22:3, Isaiah 65:23, Revelation 7:16)

D. We will never become tired! (Isaiah 40:31)

E. We will be completely perfect, physically. All earthly ailments we once suffered from will be gone. The deaf will now hear, the blind will see, those who couldn't speak will sing, and those who couldn't walk will run. Those with impaired intellects will have great wisdom. (Isaiah 35:5-6, Philippians 3:21)

F. All negative emotions and all evil will be wiped away. They will have no place in God's beautiful, loving kingdom (Revelation 21:8, 27; 22:15) What a beautiful world! Can you imagine a place without jealousy or hatred, worry or discouragement, snobbishness, or greed? Time will disappear into the vast portals of eternity. The pressures and deadlines of earth's hectic pace will be gone forever.

7. How will the recreated earth compare to the earth today?

A. Large seas that we are familiar with will be gone (Revelation 21:1)
B. The deserts will be changed into gardens (Isaiah 35:1-2)
C. The wild animals will all be harmless, gentle and completely vegetarian (Isaiah 11:6-9, Isaiah 65:25)
D. The curse on the earth, given in Genesis, will be completely gone. (Revelation 22:3)
E. There will not be violence of any kind ever. (Isaiah 60:18)
F. Nothing that defiles will be found in the new earth. There will be no cigarettes, brothels, bars, smut magazines, or any other wickedness or impurity. (Revelation 21:27)

8. Will there be any children in God's world? And will they grow up?

"And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." Zechariah 8:5

"And they shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Malachi 4:2

Yes! There will be many children in the holy city (Isaiah 11:6-9). These children will indeed grow up! (Malachi 4:2). Even adults will grow in heaven. For the human race has degenerated a great deal from Adam (who lived over 900 years and was over 15 feet tall). But all that sin has taken from us, God will restore (Acts 3:20-21).

9. Will we see our loved ones in heaven? If so, will we recognize them?

"And I shall know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

The Bible is clear that our righteous loved ones, who have died, will be raised to join the righteous living in God's kingdom. (Isaiah 26:19, Jeremiah 31:15-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We will know each other, as we can see from the above text. Yet our bodies will have no more flaws.

10. Are the people in heaven flesh and blood?

"Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, 'Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have'." "And while they yet believed not for you, and wondered, He said unto them, 'Have ye any meat?' And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them." "And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and ... while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." Luke 24:36-39, 41-43, 50-51.

"This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11

"The Lord Jesus Christ... shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21

Jesus appeared to the disciples in His immortal form. He was in His heavenly body, having already been resurrected when this story is told. Yet His body was able to eat. He told them to touch Him to prove that He was made out of flesh. Yet its appearance was not as our human bodies are. It was a glorious body. So beautiful and radiant, that the disciples mistook Him for a spirit. This is how we will appear in heaven. The vileness of our current bodies will be gone. There will be no baser body functions since there is no death, decay or waste in God's kingdom. We will be real people with flesh bodies. But our flesh will be changed. No longer can we be hurt or destroyed. Death will have no part of our new bodies. Children will grow to their peak adulthood. But age will never show past that peak time.

11. Eternity is a LONG time! What are the righteous going to do?

"They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat... mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." Isaiah 65:21-22

While the righteous also have a home built by Christ, Himself, in the city of God (John 14:1-3), they will also build their own home in the new earth - perhaps a city and then a country dwelling? Real people do real things in heaven. And they will thoroughly enjoy it all! Once the curse is lifted, there will be no more sweat poured out over a garden. Plants grow easily and without thorns!

A. God's people will be profound musicians (perhaps everyone will be able to sing in 4-part harmony!) (Isaiah 35:10, 51:11, Psalm 87:7, Revelation 14:2-3)

B. God will be our Teacher, as every Sabbath we worship Him before His throne. (Isaiah 66:22-23)

C. We'll make flower arrangments from real flowers - and they'll never die or fade! (Ezekiel 47:12, Isaiah 35:1-2)

D. We'll meet and visit with our loved ones, and the heros and heroines of the Bible (Matthew 8:11, Revelation 7:9-17)

E. We'll become expert zoologists and biologists as we study the perfect animals of the kingdom. Their Creator will be available to answer our questions of why, and what, etc. (Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:25)

F. We will travel and explore God's vast universe. Will will visit unfallen worlds. Because our bodies will be immortal, we can move through space and time without limitation, vessel, or spacesuits! (Isaiah 40:31)

G. We will thrill as we get to listen to God SING (live and in Person!) (Zephaniah 3:17)

H. Everything we've dreamed of, our fondest hopes and desires will come true! (Psalm 37:3-4, Isaiah 65:24)

I. The best thing about God's kingdom will be being with Jesus! We will travel with Him, learn from Him, listen to Him, and just BE with Him. (Revelation 14:4, 22:4, 21:3, 1 John 3:2)

12. As wonderful as it sounds, from the Bible's descriptions, we have not even begun to describe how wonderful God's kingdom is!

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man (the wildest of creative imaginations can't come close), the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

So wonderful is this place that God wants you to share with Him, that our most creative imaginations can't fathom how fabulous and glorious and pleasurable heaven will be. The earth's greatest pleasures are dimmed to blackness in the glory of what God has in mind for you!

13. But what about ME, personally?

"Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17

"To an inheritance incorruptible... reserved in heaven for YOU." 1 Peter 1:4

"I go to prepare a place for YOU!" John 14:2

God invites YOU, personally, to experience the glories of heaven. How he longs to share eternity with you. Will you accept His invitation? Will you forsake all that appeals on this passing planet, realizing that it really is only ashes? There is nothing here for you, friend! The real beauty, the real paradise is coming! Don't cling to the things of this earth so that you miss out on the things God plans to share with you. No pleasure, no habit which you must surrender in order to walk the path of God is of any significance. No matter how hard it seems to give it up, remind yourself that it is NOTHING compared with the glories you will win by surrendering it to God fully.

If your earthly attraction is money and the getting of material possessions. These are nothing. God has prepared a place dripping with jewels. The very pavement is gold!

If your earthly attraction is pleasures like getting stoned, watching ungodly movies, spending time in places that are far from heavenly; these are nothing also. These momentary pleasures all end in pain and harm. Yet the pleasures God provides in His kingdom are lasting, pure, and completely guilt-free.

14. How can I know that I will be in heaven someday?

"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14

"Not every one that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

"As many as receive Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." John 1:12

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things." Revelation 21:7

It is clear, in Scripture, what you must do if you want to accept God's invitation for eteral joy. You must give your life to Christ. Ask forgiveness for your sins and He will cleanse you. Then, praying always for His help and strength, you must become like Jesus! Do only the things that please God. Live as Christ lived. In His strength, you must not remain in your sinful old life. Once you are cleansed by God, you must walk free of your sins and be a new creature. In short, you get ready to live in heaven, by living as if you are in heaven while on earth!

May God bless you, dear reader. It is my prayer for you that you will accept Jesus' invitation. Forsake the smoke and mirrors of the earthly pleasures and cares. Pursue the wondrous future of a life with God! Live each day on this earth with Jesus. Then it will be only natural for you to continue living with Him for all eternity.

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