What Is Heaven Really Like?

What is Heaven Really Like?

The best place ever

I will not point you out, but some of you are way off. Some of you have false notions about Heaven. If you are a zealous Muslim, you’re told if you die a martyr’s death, you get to go to paradise, and there you get 72 virgins. Definitely appealing to lustful man, but not all that attractive to a virgin who is now stuck for eternity with a hairy terrorist and 71 other gals.

Maybe you have a Mormon background and you if you die, then you get your own planet, you become God, and your women have the privilege of being eternally pregnant and populating the planet. Again, for you gals, eternal morning sickness and stretch marks. Some come from a Hindu background, and after death you will come back as something terrible like a used car dealer, a monkey, or if you were really bad here, a cat-why? To atone for the sins of your past life. A few of you are secular or poorly taught and Heaven for you is putting on a comfortable white sheet, growing chubby along with popping out two small wings, sitting on a cloud and playing a harp for eternity.

Time Magazine asked people over 20 years ago this question—”Do you believe in the existence of Heaven where people live forever with God after they die?” 81% said yes and 13% said no. Then they asked, “Which do you believe are in Heaven—angels? 93%, Saint Peter? 79%, harps? 43%, and halos? 36%. Yet in spite of this confusion, Heaven is in the Bible over 800 times, describing three different places.

There are three different heavens (there is no 7th heaven). First is the atmospheric heaven, which is the sky. Second is the stellar or celestial heaven, which is outer space. The third is the divine Heaven, which is the abode of God. Jesus prayed, “Our Father, who art in Heaven.” Today, let’s learn what God says about the third heaven–the dwelling place of God Himself. The Bible declares, if you believe in the sky and outer space, you should also believe in the place where God dwells, the third heaven.

Heaven is called a place, a real place, as real as Los Angeles, DC or New York–a place which does not seem far, since at death you believers pass immediately from this place to that place. The third heaven is just as real as the first heaven and the second heaven. But why should you believe in this real place called Heaven? Because . . .

#1  in John 14, Jesus called Heaven “My Father’s house”, where He prepares a place for His people

#2  Revelation 21 to 22 describes Heaven in detail as a literal place with walls, gates, foundations and a street

#3  in Matthew 10, Jesus taught that Heaven is the dwelling place of God

#4  in 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul actually visited the third heaven

#5  our citizenship in Philippians 3:20 is in Heaven, not the sky and not outer space, and . . .

#6  Heaven in Hebrews 11:6 is called a city and our heavenly home

Then why are Christians, even here today, not passionate about Heaven? Because of wrong, worldly, wimpy and weird views about Heaven. Some of you here right now only have idolatrous thoughts, satanic manipulations and worldly views of Heaven. When Heaven comes to mind, it is only of the toga-clad roundling on the cloud, with a halo and a harp.

Or worse, your indifference to your eternal home is exposing an indifferent commitment to Christ. Or you have never studied, read or meditated on what Heaven will truly be like for Christians. Or you are just too preoccupied with the entertainment of this world to even engage in anticipation of your true future home. Today you need to repent and begin the habit of daily thinking about Heaven, longing for Heaven, being consumed with Heaven and aching to get there. You need this more than you know.

The prevailing attitude, even among Christians, is “Heaven can wait.” Too many of us are afraid to think of life after death, so we don’t learn about it at all. And the only time believers actually dwell on Heaven is when someone they love dies. But the Lord Jesus Christ wants you thinking about your future home.

My sister Wendy just moved from Spokane to Murrieta. When you move to a new city, what do you do? When you know you have to move, how do you act? You start checking out the churches, neighborhoods, schools, the climate, the restaurants, the shopping areas, entertainments, outdoor enjoyments–you actually start researching everything you can about the new place in advance. Why? Because it is going to be your new home.

Hey, Christian–Heaven is your new forever home. You are going to live there. And if you really believed it, you would check it out. You should want to know everything about the home you were made for. You will spend 20-90 years here, but then you will live eternally in Heaven. That is why God wants you to Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Paraphrase, stop thinking about Earth and start thinking about Heaven. Think more about Heaven than this life here.

When you do become rightly consumed with your heavenly home, heavenly thinking will restore your hope during current trial and suffering. Dwelling on Heaven reassures you God is in charge and knows what He is doing. Focusing on eternity reminds you this world is not all there is. Setting your mind on Heaven refocuses your heart on what your true treasure is and heavenly longing will reignite your passion to serve the Lord aggressively right now.

You have heard the saying, “You are so heavenly minded you are no earthly good”–that’s a lie from the pit of Hell and straight from the mouth of Satan. The truth is, being heavenly minded is the only thing that will make you any earthly good at all. CS Lewis wrote, “If you read history, you will find the Christians who did the most for the Lord in their present life were the ones who thought the most about the next.”

You don’t have to die to learn about Heaven. Our Lord has revealed your future home in His Word and several other resources were super helpful. Randy Alcorn in his book, Heaven, Mark Hitchcock in his book, 101 Answers to the End Times, John MacArthur in his book, The Glory of Heaven.

#1  What will HEAVEN be LIKE?

Most of this comes from Revelation 21 to 22. The Bible taught us in our study of 2 Peter that the current Heaven and Earth will be destroyed and redone to a new Heaven and new Earth–not only devoid of sin and evil, but devoid of any exposure to sin, wickedness or evil. This new Heaven is perfect, nothing is defiled, nothing tainted, only the joy of the Lord. The new Heaven is a new creation, a totally new universe–a perfect expanse to enjoy and explore.

Like a salesman, let me give you a tour of your future home, with one exciting difference–the price is free. The reason is, only Christ was capable to pay the price necessary to secure your entrance into Heaven, and He offers it freely to all who believe and obey Him.

First  The SPLENDOR of Heaven

Heaven is a glorious place because of what is there and what is not there. Revelation 21 to 22 tells us there are eleven things not in Heaven–the sea, sin, death, mourning, crying, pain, night, a temple, curse, sun or moon. No more sin means no more death, mourning, crying, pain and curse. No more temple means no more going to your knees in prayer–just go talk to Jesus. His glory takes care of night or the need for the sun or moon. What else is not there?

We could add no eyeglasses, no braces, no wheelchairs, no false teeth, no hearing aids, no crutches, no hospitals, no paramedics, no aspirin, no accidents, cancer or heart attacks. You see, what is in Heaven will be the glory of God–God’s vast character on display! Heaven is ablaze with His radiance. So tour with me to take in . . .

Second  The SIGHTS of Heaven

There are many among us who picture Heaven like a national park or the Lake District in England–the rolling hills with pastures of tranquility. But in reality, Heaven is a city. Revelation 21:10 to 12, “And he… showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates.”

Our new home is a huge, perfect city called the New Jerusalem. We love the city except for sin, and this city is without sin. There is no crime, no pollution, no stranger danger, no violence, no potholes, no power outages, no sleezy shows. This city will come down from God’s abode–God designed, God made and God assembled, to sit on a new earth as the capital city of the new Heaven and new Earth. Get your iPhones out and snap a few pics.

The wall is 216 feet think and 1,500 miles high (that’s 7 million feet high). The wall tells us Heaven is a place where you’ll always be secure. There are no dangers there. The gates–each gate is made of a single pearl (pearly gates) and is guarded by an angel. (Peter is never said to be at the pearly gates–that’s for comedians, not Christians). Each gate is inscribed with one of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The gates describe Heaven as a place you can access–free to come and go.

The foundation–the twelve stones are each fashioned from a different precious stone and marked with the name of one of the twelve apostles. The foundation describes Heaven’s stability and permanence.

The street–there is only one street in Heaven, the main street. The street is made of gold so pure it is like transparent glass. The street tells us Heaven is a place of travel. There was once a godly and wealthy Christian who got special permission from God to bring one suitcase full of his wealth to Heaven with him–so he loaded it with gold bricks. When he arrived in Heaven, the TSA angel told him he’d have to look in his suitcase. When the angel opened it, he was shocked. Looking at the wealthy man the angel said, “Out of all your wealth, you decided to bring pavement?”

The river–a river runs through Heaven bringing the city eternal refreshment. Everything is made new. The water of life is offered to all. In this life, all you have is the dirty, polluted, toilet water of religion, philosophy, and perversion. But in Heaven, we have the fresh, clean water that gives and sustains life forever. The throne–God is seated on His throne as king, monarch, absolute, unquestioned ruler of the universe, affirming God’s sovereignty. Snap a photo of the tree–humankind was barred from the tree of life in Genesis 3, but now in Revelation 21 to 22, all that was lost in the fall is restored in this heavenly paradise.

Third  The SIZE of Heaven

This heavenly city is 1,500 miles on each side. To understand that, let me compare it to our moon. The moon is 2,160 miles in diameter, so Heaven is almost as big as the moon, coming down to settle on the new Earth. The shape is a perfect cube, containing 2.25 million square miles or 3 trillion 375 billion cubic miles of space. It has enough room to accommodate 100,000 billion people.

Fourth  The SUBSTANCE of Heaven

Heaven will have no cinderblocks, linoleum or particle board–only the best materials will do for the dwelling place of our glorious King. Foundations of diamonds, blue sapphire, emeralds, topaz and other precious stones, gates of pearl and streets of gold. There is a lot of bling in Heaven, but it is not gaudy–it is jaw-dropping awesome. How many of you ladies love precious stones? Hands up–you are biblical gals!

Fifth  The SANCTITY of Heaven

The holiness of Heaven means it is a place where no sin or evil will ever exist–in fact, because it is the new Heaven and new Earth (let me say it again), it will be a place that has never seen sin or evil or wickedness, ever. The apostle John writes about the kind of people who are excluded from Heaven–not those who used to live this way, but those who continually live this way, are not welcome.

Revelation 21:8 says, “…the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Not all bad by today’s standards–all cowards, simply unbelieving, along with murderers, immoral, bad and nice witches, those who love things instead of Christ, idolaters and all liars.

At your funeral, you will not be in a better place, unless you have turned from your sin and follow Christ as Master–only then are you in the Book of Life. Revelation 21:27, “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Only those covered in the perfect righteousness of Christ, which comes by faith in Christ, will be allowed in Heaven. Then . . .

#2  What are you going to DO in HEAVEN?

As we take our tour, you might be wondering about football, golf, hiking, exploring the universe, or eating chocolate? Will you get bored on a cloud, strumming a harp? (Who thought that up?) Most people see Heaven as a place of inactivity and endless boredom. The rebellious say, “I’d rather go to Hell and be with all my friends than be bored in Heaven.”

The frightening truth is, there is no fellowship in Hell–no interaction. No, Hell is eternal isolation in torment–whereas Heaven is a place of perfect fellowship with the Lord and each other forever in joy. Only in Heaven, when all the masks and facades of this life are torn away, will you really know each other and truly enjoy intimate, unhindered fellowship–one with Christ and one with each other.

Think about the clues you have in Scripture. Peter automatically knew it was Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration–no one introduced them, yet there was immediate recognition. The rich man recognized the poor beggar, Lazarus, in Luke 19. You will know each other on a whole new level in eternity–you will never meet a stranger in Heaven.

Before you hear what you will do in Heaven, remember what you won’t do in Heaven. You will never sin, make mistakes, need to confess, nor have to repair anything–no leaky faucets, no burned-out light bulbs, no broken-down cars. You’ll never have to rescue others, defend yourself, apologize, experience guilt, battle Satan, struggle with your flesh, or resist the world. You will never have to be healed, rehabilitated or experience any weariness, loneliness, anxiousness or fear–ever again. What will you do?

First  SINGING  Heaven is a place of unending worship without distraction

Even if you can’t carry a tune now, in Heaven you will sing as if you were a platinum artist. Your eternal life will be an offering to the Lord who gave you life and new life. Revelation 4:10 and 11“The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’”

7:9, “from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” Revelation 19:4 to 6, “And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’ 5And a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.’ 6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

I believe there will be constant worship in Heaven and we will all participate in turn, from a heart of joy and anticipation–wonder without ceasing and joy without lessening.

Second  SERVING  In heaven there will be service without exhaustion

There are an estimated 40,000 different occupations in the USA, and yet very few people are satisfied with their job–personal problems, inadequate pay, wearying routines, stressful relationships and more rob people of joy in work. In Revelation 22:3 it says, “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him.”

Each one of you will find full satisfaction, 100%, nothing lacking as you serve the Lord in the various occupations He creates for you to do in glory. You will love your work, and every single aspect of it will fill you with joy and satisfaction.

Third  SUPERVISING  You will rule without controlling

Revelation 22:5, “and they will reign forever and ever.” In the garden, Adam and Eve were to rule over the creation God had made. In the new Heaven and new Earth, people will reign forever over God’s new creation as servant kings. There are not a lot of specifics, but you will rule. Luke 19:17, “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’”

First Corinthians 6:3, “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life.” Second Timothy 2:12, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” Revelation 3:21, “‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.’”

Fourth  SHARING  Fellowship without fear

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a member of a perfect church? We will find out in Heaven. The fellowship in Heaven will be sweet–first with Christ, one with Him, in communion with Him, learning from Him. Then with one another. You know how you get the urge to pray–you get on your knees and talk to the Lord. Well in Heaven, you just go talk to the Lord.

And being one with each other will mean we will know and enjoy each other. And again, you will never meet a stranger in Heaven. You will be one with all.

Fifth  STUDYING  Learning without fatigue

Remember when you grew in love with the one who’d become your spouse and you never tired of learning details of her ways? Well, God’s family will spend eternity learning more and more about Christ’s person and ways. And you will never stop plumbing the depths of His vast character. Christ is always infinite and you are always finite.

And you will never get bored of learning more and more about the one we love, and exploring the new Heavens and new Earth He created. First Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

Sixth  BEING SERVED  Rest without boredom

There is no mention of us serving each other in Heaven, but there is mention of us serving Christ and Christ serving us. Luke 12:37 says, “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.”

Ever the servant, the Lord Jesus will actually wait on us, His beloved bride, and meet our needs forever. The jury is still out on golf and chocolates and racing—but we will sing, serve, supervise, share, study and be served and more in Heaven.

#3  What do you want to KNOW about HEAVEN?


Psalm 58:11, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth!

Psalm 62:12, “Lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work.”

Proverbs 11:18, “The wicked earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.”

Ephesians 6:8, “Knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”

Revelation 2:23, “All the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”

Some think rewards cheapen grace or mess with godly motivation. But the Bible declares you will each stand before Christ and be rewarded for what you did in this life. The New Testament even describes crowns given for specific service and conduct, like practicing self-discipline, looking for Christ’s coming, those who endure suffering and trial, those who share the Gospel and lead others to Christ, and those who shepherd God’s people well.

And rewards are not for you to show off in Heaven or be trendy–but the Bible describes the elders (representing the Church) casting their crowns to Christ. Revelation 4:10 and 11, “The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’”

The more crowns, the more casting to Christ. In other words, most believe rewards have to do with capacity to glorify God. The more service, giving, sharing done here for God’s glory will mean a greater capacity to glorify God in Heaven. “Whoa,” some of you are thinking, “won’t that result in jealousy?” No, you are sinless in Heaven–and it’s just like eating Thanksgiving dinner. I can eat a half a turkey, but my grandsons can only eat a leg. Both of us are full, satisfied to capacity–but I was able to eat more.

In the same way, everyone will be full to the brim in Heaven and satisfied. But those who served here for God’s glory and in the power of the Spirit will have a greater capacity to bring him glory for all eternity.


If you’re young, you don’t think much about this. If you are old, you’re reminded daily, because you are suffering the B’s of old age–right? Balding, bifocals, bulges, bunions, bungling and bulkiness. As the outer man and woman falls apart, we begin to groan for glory. Philippians 3:20 and 21 remind us, our glorified bodies will be like Christ’s. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

What was Christ’s body like? He ate food, had scars, looked somewhat like He did since He was recognized. Christ wasn’t limited by space, walls, locked doors and more. He could appear and disappear at will and travel great distances. Your eternal body will be imperishable, never decay, never die. It’ll be perfectly suited for a perfect environment, distinct from all others, glorious, spiritual and just like Christ–doing everything you will it to do, since this body will never disappoint you.

What part of your body right now do you want to change–your height, weight, hair, face, arms, neck, skin? Well friends, in your eternal body, you will need no exercise, no sauna, no massage, no dieting, no dairy intolerance, no plastic surgeons. You will receive the perfect body made just for you–100% satisfaction guaranteed.


Obviously, infants who die will be older in Heaven, and 95-year-olds will be younger. God created Adam and Eve as adults–they never had to be kids or adolescents. Presumably they were created at the optimal stage of physical development, since God said after making them it was very good. Jesus died at around 33 to 35 years old. When he resurrected, he appeared to be about the same age.

So what will it be? We don’t know–but we can safely say this. The Lord will give you a body that reflects how you would look in the prime of your earthly life without sin. You don’t have to be young to be prime in a sinless body.


Animals are part of creation. Earth will have plants, why not animals? In the 1,000-year kingdom, Isaiah 11:6 to 8, “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. 7Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.”

If the Kingdom is the front porch to eternity, then there is a great chance there will be animals in Heaven. I am not certain your favorite dog will be there. But there will be animals–at least a lot of horses. When Jesus returns, He is riding a horse and so are we. Revelation 19:14, “And the armies which are in Heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.”


The Bible does affirm that the marriage union is terminated at the death of a spouse. That does not mean we won’t enjoy a special relationship with our spouse in eternity. But we will all be one body, more intimately connected with each other and all the other saints than we have ever been in this life, including our spouses. We will finally know Christ’s design for full oneness and perfect fellowship with each other—something the best marriages can only begin to taste in this life.


The highlight–to see Christ, to be face-to-face with Christ, to be one with Christ. Heaven is a place, but the purpose of the place is to be with Christ. Life with Christ, forever with Christ–to live eternally is Christ. If Christ is not what you are looking forward to in eternity, then you don’t understand Heaven and you don’t understand Christianity. Revelation 4:2 and 3, “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.” We see Christ!

John MacArthur writes this. “I believe that in heaven we will see God himself with our physical eyes…God will reveal the light of His glory and through perfect eyes we will see the very face of God. God is spirit and spirit is invisible, therefore, whenever God manifests himself He does so in the form of light.” Seeking Christ and communion with the triune God will eternally awe us.


A  Thinking about HEAVEN must become a HABIT

I am trying to say 10 things to my own heart every day. Along with saying, “Maybe today . . . I will be more filled with the Spirit, share the Gospel, sacrifice for a believer, repent of sin, rejoice in trial, let love cover sin, release someone with forgiveness, show off Christ with my giftedness, a sacrificial action or a thankful, gracious, joyful demeaner.”

Also say, ”Maybe today I will get to go to Heaven.” Make thinking about Heaven a habit of your heart. Every day long for Heaven.

B  Grow to make HEAVEN your constant HOPE

You are not home yet, Christian. This world is not our home. Your house is not your ultimate comfort, satisfaction or heart longing–Heaven is. Heaven is when you . . . get to be with Christ face-to-face forever, get to be free from sin and all its consequences forever, get to eternally live in a perfect body, get to learn, work, serve, with greater satisfaction, have fuller joy every single moment.

C  Make certain you have made HEAVEN your HOME

Are you in the family? Are you related to Jesus Christ? Are you His child? Some of you are the lost child at the shopping mall—“Who do you belong to?” Have you been transformed? It is radical, from death to life. Are you submissive to your Lord? You were a rebel and now you are not–can you tell? Do you hate sin and love Christ?

Are you longing for Christ now and forever? If not, turn from your sin and rely on Christ by faith. Cry out for Christ to transform your heart and make you a new person in order to enjoy new life now and eternal life in a new Heaven and Earth. Let’s pray.

About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.

1 Comment

  1. Neil Berry on October 28, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Chris, I liked your message on the Incredible Kingdom of Christ. But you did not incorporate the Kingdom Message into the future of mankind in this message of yours on Heaven. This adds confusion to believers and potential believers that are trying to understand the Bible message. The Kingdom of Heaven is not the same as the Kingdom of God. Heaven was not created for man. Earth was created for man. At most heaven will be my temporary home until all things are brought under Christ and the rule of earth is brought under the will of Heaven. This is the Kingdom of Heaven. Your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Christ came preaching the message of a literal, physical earthly Kingdom of Heaven ruled on earth from Jerusalem by men following the will of God. He also preached on the separate spiritual Kingdom of God and the requirements for citizenship in either kingdom. As believer of the Gospel of Christ I am seen by God as a reborn citizen In the spiritual Kingdom of God. My belief accounted to me as righteousness by faith. Dead, buried, resurrected and reigning with Christ as explained in Romans even though I can’t see it with my eyes yet. The physical Kingdom of Heaven does not exist at this time but was offered by Christ and will come. Resurrected Saints, natural bodied Jews and Gentiles that avoided the Mark of the Beast and follow the will of God will be part of the physical earthly Kingdom of Heaven for 1000 years. After that a new age, earth and Kingdom.
    I thank God that these truths can be revealed to a simple man like me.

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