This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, A Guided Tour Through Heaven.
With the Holy Spirit inspiring each word, the Apostle John dipped his pen in golden glory and from that parchment page we read exactly what Heaven looks like. We walk golden streets with him, hearing sounds we’ve never heard before but we’ll instantly recognize.
No matter what you might be told, the only things you can truly know about either Heaven or Hell is what the Bible reveals. Everything outside of the Bible is pure speculation. But God gives us a glimpse of what Heaven will be like in His Word, much of it in the book of Revelation, when God gave John a clear vision of the future and a guided tour of Heaven.
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. (Revelation 21:10-11)
Since John’s tour was short, we can only see the capital city, the new Jerusalem.
As we tour, remember the human mind cannot comprehend the greater glories of Heaven. It would be like trying to teach a child nuclear physics; you’d have to use illustrations the child could understand. When Heaven is described, we can’t intellectually understand it all, so God condescends to our weakness and gives us glorious symbols.
Heaven is a material place. John said, “I saw a new Heaven and a new earth…the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
Heaven is a real place, not mystical. Paul confirms this. After he was caught up to the third Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-3), he said, “Whether in the body or out of the body I do not know….” This tells me you can go to Heaven in your spirit or you can go to Heaven with a body.
Jesus is there right now in His resurrected body. When He walked out of the grave, the disciples saw Him, touched Him, felt Him. When He ascended to Heaven in His resurrected body, He went to a real place. In John 14:2 He said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were no so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” If you have a loved one there, they are in a real place.
Heaven is a majestic place because God rules in majesty there, dwelling with believers (Revelation 21:3). In the Old Testament, God dwelt in a temporary tent, the Tabernacle. But in Heaven He dwells with us in a lasting place. No longer do we pray, “Our Father which art in Heaven,” for God says, “I’m right here with you.”
Where the Lord rules in majesty, there’s no more sorrow because there’s no more sin.
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)
Every day on earth, new fears, tearful news, plagues us. But in Heaven God turns every hurt to a hallelujah, every Calvary to an Easter. No more disease, funerals, or death.
And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it…But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:24, 27)
What has messed up planet Earth? Sin. Every time you see sorrow, heartbreak, sickness and pain, ultimately behind it all is sin. Our world has the curse of sin on it. But God says, “In My Heaven, no more of that.”
“…the holy Jerusalem…having the glory of God” (Revelation 21:10-11a). John uses indescribably beautiful symbols to describe greater glories of Heaven’s capital city (Revelation 21:18-25), itself a city of gold. Its walls and gates, diamond-like, are breathtaking in beauty. Can you imagine the brilliance, the glow of the glory of God, the colored jewels, the verdant greens, the sky blue, the red, the violet?
When the Temple was built, the Holy of Holies was a small square room representing God's presence with His people. But Heaven’s capital, the new Holy of Holies where God dwells eternally with His people, measures 1,500 miles four-square—room enough and to spare for every person who has ever lived.
If Jew and Gentile are together, what will we be singing? The songs of redemption (Revelation 5:9; 14:3; 15:3). Dr. Robert G. Lee said, “Our best music here on earth will sound like a bumblebee in a bottle compared to the music there.”
“…had a great and high wall with twelve gates…and twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:12, 14). The walls are not to keep us in, because the gates are open, nor to keep the wicked out; they are in Hell. These shimmering walls are there for the glory of God. And in a very real sense, the walls are also monuments, because on these walls are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and in the foundation the twelve apostles. In Heaven, Jew and Gentile, small and great, will be together, one in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we’ve never been before.
“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). The Old Testament temple itself was a picture, a prophecy, of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Heaven, Jesus is the temple.
The Temple had a gate. Jesus said, “I am the door.”
It had an altar. On the cross, Jesus shed His blood for us.
It had a laver, a basin of water. We’re now washed clean by His Word.
It had a table with bread on it. Jesus is the Bread of Life.
It had golden candelabra. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”
Incense was burned, but Jesus said, “I am your High Priest.”
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). (Revelation 21:23-25)
In Heaven, Jesus Christ, the Lamb, is the light. We won’t need sun or moon, for the glory of God will light it. “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
Finally, Heaven is where for the first time we will look upon Jesus’ face. When you’ve been away from home for a long time, separated from the love of your life, when you return, what do you want to see first when you arrive home? Not the furniture or the curtains—you want to see the loved one you’ve missed so much. We will see Jesus! “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).
Remember that while the Lord Jesus was here on earth, He had prayed, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
Friend, God the Father is going to answer His Son’s prayer. We will behold Jesus’ face and His glory.
I’m grateful for Heaven’s streets of gold, walls of jasper, all of that, but it’s Jesus who makes Heaven, Heaven.
Have you ever repented of your sin? If not, you won’t be there. No one above the age of accountability will be there who hasn’t received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Have you ever really, honestly, trusted Jesus? Not trusting your good works, not trusting your charity, your religion, your church membership, but trusting in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you come to the cross? Come to Jesus.
If you aren’t certain where you would be if you were to die today or Jesus were to come today, you can get that settled right now. Click here.