Hope, Visions of Heaven, Words of Endurance
Heaven is our true home. It is where our hearts belong and where our dreams will find their ultimate fulfillment. It is where we will become whole, where we will be made perfect – totally free from the pain and limitations of our fallen, sinful nature (Hebrews 12:23). Just imagine…
A Perfect Body
Philippians 3:20-21 tells us that God will make us fit for heaven because He will “transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his (Jesus’) glorious body”. That’s an amazing promise! Jesus’ resurrected body was far superior to His human body – we know He walked on water, stepped through stone, and was glorified (or luminous) in appearance. Even though His glorified body was very different from His earthly body, people who knew Jesus still recognized Him.
Although our heavenly body will be like Jesus’ glorified body, we don’t know exactly what it will look like. First John 3:2 tells us “what we will be has not been made known.” But this much we do know: our human body is limited by the laws of nature; our heavenly body won’t be. Our heavenly body will be immortal, indestructible, glorious, magnificent, and spiritual – perfectly suited for eternity in heaven.
A Perfect Mind
Imagine a perfectly functioning mind! That’s what the apostle Paul says we can look forward to in heaven: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In his book, Let’s Talk About Heaven, Dr. Chuck McGowen notes that Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, is reported to have said that he “only knew about three percent of all there is to know. In heaven, we will have the capacity to know the other ninety-seven percent,” and we won’t forget any of it!
Imagine, too, what it would be like to have a perfectly pure mind that is completely free of hurtful or vengeful thoughts about others, frivolous daydreams, or dark fantasies. In heaven, we won’t be plagued by guilt over even a single errant thought.
Best of all, imagine a perfectly understanding mind – one that fully comprehends spiritual truths. Passages of Scripture and spiritual principles that mystified us on earth will become crystal clear in heaven. Those who have wrestled with questions of “why” or “for what purpose,” will find answers. “On earth,” Joni Eareckson Tada explains, “the underside of the tapestry was tangled and unclear; but in heaven, we will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a patter for our good and His glory” (see Romans 8:28).
Imagine relationships with no squabbles, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, gossip, or disappointment! Just as the disciples instantly recognized Moses and Elijah, men they had never met, when they came to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-4), we will recognize each other in heaven. Even better, those relationships will be perfect because we will have been made perfect.
On earth we are diamonds in the rough – covered in dirt, roughly hewn, unpolished. In heaven, we’ll be flawless and radiant. We’ll know each other perfectly. We’ll see each other as God intended us to be, in our fullness and uniqueness. In his book, Answers to Life’s Problems, Billy Graham describes our heavenly relationships as being far deeper and closer “than was ever possible on earth, without the imperfections and sins that mar our human relationships.”
In heaven God promises the qualities of perfections and eternity – qualities that cannot now be found anywhere on this earth. What a prospect!
A Perfect Heart
By far the most rapturous and joyful moments on earth are those spent in God’s presence. Whether that moment occurs during as earnest time of worship or as we view a glorious sunset, once we have tasted God’s goodness and experienced the fullness of joy that comes from being near Him, we are never fully satisfied with anything else this world has to offer.
Therein lies our greatest joy and sorrow. We have a wayward heart that constantly pulls us away from God. No sooner do we begin to experience God’s presence then – out of nowhere – we sin. We feel conviction, guilt, and misery, we confess our failing, we ask for forgiveness, and in no time at all we begin the cycle all over again. What a relentless, exhausting, and seemlingly endless battle!
The Apostle Paul sums our condition up in Romans 7:21-24 The Message, “It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moemnt I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?”
Yes, it is! And 1 John 3:2 (NASB) provides the answer: “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him!” In heaven, we will at last have a clean heart. Like Jesus, we will be free of sin and wil finally be free to stand in God’s presence without guilt, condemnation, or shame. We’ll enjoy uninterrupted, joyous, fulfilling, relationship with God. Now that’s heaven!