» What is the most beautiful place on earth that you have ever seen? What does it reveal about God?
» What is one thing you hope will be true about your experience in Heaven?
» “We will be like Him for we will see Him as He is” - let your imagination play with that scene for a minute or two. Thank God for this blessed Hope.
» Practice the memory verse.
“Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. . . . If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
- C. S. Lewis
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, owing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”
- Revelation 22:1-5
What John saw in Revelation 21 was not the first heaven and earth, where we now live. That was gone. Creation itself, which has been suffering the torment of sin and evil with us, gets to enjoy a dramatic makeover too. Romans 8 says the entirety of creation was subjected to futility after the fall of man, and has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth until now. It is debated whether this new heaven and new earth will be a renovation of the old, or a replacement of it, but whatever path God chooses, it will be brand new.
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Romans 1 teaches that creation reveals God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power, and divine nature, and makes them clearly seen. We all identify with that when we spend time on Mt Rainier, or on Hurricane Ridge overlooking the ocean, or a million other places on earth - we see and sense the grandeur of God.
Just wait till He gets going!
This is the crescendo of the redemptive story. It will be a new creation that reveals even more about God. The Bible says our eyes have not seen nor have our minds conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. This new creation will be beautiful, we will be beautiful, and all things will be beautifully new. We will receive a new body and a new name, sing a new song, drink new wine, and live in the new Jerusalem. It is the first time that we will, in a state of immortality, be in the very presence of God, face to face. Sin and death will be no more and we will be a community completely free of evil, sin, death, and darkness. What a glorious, glorious day, that will be!
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! That is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.”
- 1 John 3:1-3