Heaven isn't just some far-away home, but an exciting place where Christians will soon be living out their everlasting life with the Lord. The Bible provides over 600 references to Heaven and with each we get more clues about what we should expect. While we don't know everything, it's only because God made Heaven so magical that we simply cannot comprehend it's vastness with our human mind. Here though are some of the top questions about Heaven and what the Bible has to say about it, so we can begin looking forward to our new life after death.
How do we get to Heaven?
John 14:6 tells us "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." In this passage, Jesus was saying that no one will enter Heaven unless first accepting Him. In Matthew 7:13-14 we learn from Jesus that we don't automatically go to Heaven just because we identify ourselves as Christian. God identifies that humans sin, and gave us a way to be forgiven by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord. It is only when our sins are dealt with that in Christ we can get the eternal gift. To be forgiven, we must recognize and repent of our sins.
Will we have a body?
The Bible tells us that when we come to Heaven, we will get a new body full of Christ's power and glory. Philippians 3:20-21 says "But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even it subject all things to Himself." Due to this, we also might expect there to be no genders in Heaven. Matthew 22:30 says we will be "like angels" and therefore have no need to reproduce, or be married.
Can we listen to music?
There are many different accounts of music being shared in Heaven in the Bible. In Revelation 5:9-13 it shares a story of thousands of angels singing the praises of God. The Bible even talks about the use of instruments, specifically harps and trumpets, in connection with praising the Lord. It is understood that the music shared will be music that worships and glorifies God.
Will we recognize our family and friends?
The Bible doesn't give many references on this topic, however there are a few signs that indicate that we will recognize our family and friends but in a new, perfected way. At the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples they would all drink the fruit of the vine together again in His Father's Kingdom (Matthew 26:29). Furthermore, Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. Even though they died centuries before, they still had a clear identity where Peter, James and John recognized them (Matthew 17:3).
What will we do in Heaven?
While the Bible does not tell us in full detail what will take place in heaven, we do know that service and worship are activities we will definitely participate in (Revelation 22:3 and Revelation 7:15). There is no mention of Christians working or doing any hard labor in the sense we understand it here on earth. The service we will provide will not be tiresome, but instead joyful and rewarding.
Will I meet God firsthand?
In Heaven, Christians will get to meet the Lord. Paul writes assuring Christians to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). God also tells Moses that no one can see Him and live in Exodus 33:20, meaning we can see Him after we have everlasting life. Finally, in the sermon on the mount Jesus says "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Lastly, Revelation 21:3 tells us that we will be in constant communion, companionship and oneness with Almighty God without the separating pinch of sin. When we get to Heaven, we will be closer to Him than we could ever imagine.
Will there be animals in Heaven?
There is much debate in Christian circles on if animals will be in Heaven with us, but there is some scripture that suggests it is so. God has always had a purpose on earth for animals and they serve a purpose in Heaven as well. Horses, for example, are documented in the Bible multiple time regarding the afterlife. Elijah was taken up to Heaven in a chariot pulled by horses (2 Kings 2:11), and we’re told there are horses in Heaven (Revelation 6:2-8; 19:11). We are told there will be so many horses, in fact, that there are enough for vast armies to ride (Revelation 19:11; 2 Kings 6:17). For other animals, in Isaiah 65:17 God refers to creating a New Heavens and a New Earth. He makes it clear that He will have animals living there.
What will Heaven look like?
In 1 Corinthians 2:9 we read "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him." We can only being to imagine how beautiful Heaven will look like, and there are dozens of Bible verses that share bits and pieces. The Bible talks about God's thron in Revelation 4:3-8, saying "And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne." We also learn the streets are made with pure gold (Revelation 21:21) and the foundation and walls are made of dazzling, unimaginable jewels. While we know that this describes the New Jerusalem, we also know that God's will is "on earth as it is in Heaven," so this gives us an idea of Heaven's design. Heaven will also be a gated community. In 2 Peter it says "And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
It’s human nature to want to investigate more into the unknown. While the Bible doesn’t give us every detail about what Heaven will be like, it’s because God designed it to be something we will never be able to fully grasp and fathom with our tiny minds on earth. Heaven will be a place where we can live an everlasting life of happiness, joy, and finally be at peace.