“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God’ ” (Revelation 21:2-3).
During this time of year, many of us enjoy being “Home for the Holidays”. For most of us home brings warm thoughts to our hearts as we think about relaxing and being surrounded by our loved ones. However, how often do we spend our thoughts thinking about our Heavenly Home?
As John concludes the Revelation revealed to him by Jesus, he writes about the vision he sees of our Heavenly Home. God uses symbolic language (Revelation 1:1) by which He “signified” the things which would shortly take place and how these things would affect His people. Thoughts of Heaven can motivate us to press on through the trials of life as we long for making it “Home at Last”.
What is so great about Heaven? First, it is incredibly beautiful. John describes how it is filled with the glory of God having streets of pure gold, surrounded by walls whose foundations are bedecked with all kinds of precious stones, and the gates of the city are described as pearls (Revelation 21:11-21). There is no need of the sun or the moon to light it because the glory of God illuminates it (Revelation 21:23; 22:5). A pure river of water of life flows through it and by the tree of life (Revelation 22:1-2). Heaven is described for us in terms that cause us to marvel at its beauty and majesty.
Second, Heaven is great because of who will be there. As the opening verses above indicate, God Himself will be there and dwells there (Revelation 21:2-3). Jesus, Our Savior, Who saved us by the shedding of His blood, will be there to greet us into our Heavenly Home (Revelation 21:22; 22:1, 3). Furthermore, all the saved throughout all the ages and from every nation will be welcomed into the gates of Heaven (Revelation 21:24-26). As John sees God upon His throne, he writes, “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son’ ” (Revelation 21:5-7).
Finally, Heaven is great because of who and what will not be there. John writes about how there will be no more trials, sorrow and pain: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). In addition, the wicked who rejected God and often hindered us on our journey to Heaven will not be there. John adds, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:14-15; cf. 21:8). Heaven will not be corrupted by all the pain, sorrows, and ungodly influences that we have had to experience and endure in this earthly life.
This earthly life can be filled with joy at times, but it can also bring its share of sadness and heartache (Job 14:1). I long for Heavenly Home and will strive to allow God to direct my steps through His Word on my earthly journey so that I may make it home at last (Psalm 119:105)!
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12).