2 Corinthians 5:1 NIV
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
John Lennon released a song on 9/9/71 titled “Imagine” with the following line;
“Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try”…
First of all, as a Christian it is not easy to imagine "no heaven", so let’s flip Lennon’s song around and try to IMAGINE what heaven will be like for God’s children.
We often hear phrases like “that would be heaven”, or “I thought I had died and gone to heaven” when referring to great things or experiences here on earth.
Someday, as a child of God, you will truly experience heaven. You will know what heaven is like. Heaven will be your home.
What will heaven be like?
A famous comedian once said, “I don’t think we will be floating on clouds and playing harps.” I totally agree with this assessment.
I don’t believe there will be “pearly gates” that we must pass through as we check in… and this in no way diminishes the wonders of heaven.
I also don’t believe that heaven will be a walled city with the walls made of precious stones and streets made of gold. This symbolism was used for the immediate readers of the Bible, utilizing the most precious of all things to symbolize that heaven would be the grandest of all.
To be honest, I don’t know what heaven will be like.
However, I am positive it will be more wondrous than anything we’ve experienced in this life and it is beyond our imagination.
I think of the Smokey Mountains, the beauty of God’s nature and the peace we feel when surrounded by it.
I look at the blue sky, with fluffy white clouds and absorb the beauty. I think of the beauty and calmness of a gentle rain.
Then, I think, heaven will be so much more.
Paul’s two verses in 1st Corinthians say it better than anyone.
We truly are looking through the glass darkly in this life, but THEN, face to face. We will no longer have to imagine.
1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Even more exciting is when Paul says we haven’t seen, heard or even had an “inkling” of what God has in store for us, His children. No matter what you imagine heaven to be, your imagination will fall short of the wonders and glories of heaven.
As the old-timers would say, “we don’t have an inkling.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
In 2nd Corinthians 12:2-4, Paul tells us that he got a glimpse of what he called “paradise”, but was unable to share what he heard and saw.
So, let’s IMAGINE for a few minutes what we think heaven will be.
To make this lesson work, you must indulge the teacher and participate in the following exercise.
Make sure you are in a quiet space. Close your eyes and delete all other thoughts from your mind. Breathe deeply and slowly, meditating and thinking about your vision of heaven. Hold nothing back as you visualize or imagine heaven.
As you imagine what heaven will be like, think about the things that are most beautiful and wondrous to you. With eyes closed, let the imagination run full steam. Think about there being no tears, no pain, no sorrow, no fighting, no grievances or grudges. Think about being shrouded in the love of God. Imagine Utopia or Paradise…a place of ideal perfection.
Finally, take a deep breath and relish in the comfort and joy of knowing that it has not entered into your heart or mind what God has prepared for you.
As you open your eyes, praise God that whatever you have imagined heaven to be, it will be more wonderful than that.
There is another line in Lennon's song "Imagine" that says "you may say that I'm a dreamer."
As we imagine heaven, I suppose it is dreaming of a sort...however our dream is of the reality to come.
Revelation 21:3-4 NIV
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
As we imagine what heaven will be like, let us never lose sight that God reveals Himself to us in this life, in everything around us. IF we are looking for Him.
In closing, as we live our life on earth, being the light of the world that Jesus calls us to be, there will be trials and sorrows accompanying the joys of life.
However, in the heaven we've imagined and the heaven that awaits God's children, all sorrows will be gone and "Paradise" will be ours.
Abundantly more than the image or dream becomes a reality.