Won’t it be Wonderful There?
Introduction to the Scripture:
Imagine a young girl named Mary who was born blind. After doing much research on the best eye doctors and latest procedures, her parents brought her to a hospital in Europe overlooking the Alps. After waiting through the operation, the parents wait with Mary as the eye wrappings are taken off. She opens her eyes and is able to see. Looking out the window at the snow covered Alps, she said “Mother, why did you tell me it was so beautiful here?”. Her mother wiped away her tears and said, “I tried, but it is simply too beautiful to describe.”.
Let us take a glimpse at Heaven as John tries to describe this awe inspiring sight. We will never be able to understand its glory or appreciate its beauty this side of eternity, but we can try to imagine how beautiful Heaven must be. This Scripture helps us to live Godly lives in expectation of our Heavenly home.
Discussion of the Scripture:
Home at Last
There is a change as the entirety of all we have ever known in this life is taken away and replaced with something far greater. We are reminded of how Adam and Eve lost all they had ever known in God’s Garden only to find themselves in the creation corrupted by their own sin (Genesis 3:7-24; Romans 8:19-23). In this new “Heavenly Garden Temple”, the situation will be reversed. All that we have ever known will be replaced with the unimaginable glory of Heaven.
This new home is described in the terms of an ancient wedding ceremony on which a man has went away to prepare a home for his fiancé and now the two are ready to begin their life together after their wedding ceremony (Revelation 19:7-9; John 14:1-4). We are faced once again with the question of 1 Peter 3:11-13, Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”.
The words John now hears are surely the sweetest ever heard. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Revelation 21:3). Leviticus 26:11-12 is now fulfilled in a way that no one could imagine, “I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”.
Perhaps one of the greatest blessings of a solid home is the comfort and security which it brings. The Christian at home with God is finally comforted by the very hand of God as the oppressor and his tools have finally been taken away, the child of God can fully enjoy the happiness of God’s home.
The comfort God sends us on Earth is only multiplied in Heaven. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
It is almost impossible to I aging what it will be like to never have to live with illness or separation again. We will never again know death, diabetes, cancer, poverty, or depression. We will never again hurt, nor will we ever be hurt. We will finally be home at last.
The comfort of Heaven is coupled with the reward of Heaven. All things are made new and the saints a refreshed by the river of life. This is the reward for those who conquer in Christ. They are blessed with Christ. John recorded the greatness of the Christians eternal future “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son” (Revelation 21:7).
However, there is also the harsh reality of absence. Those who did not live the Christian life are not found in Heaven (Acts 4:12). They are eternally doomed to be away from God as they chose to be away from him on this earth. John wrote “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).
The fearful are those who, through cowardice, have not overcome (cf. ver. 7). Abominable; those defiled with abominations (cf. ch. 17:4). And murderers, and fornicators (cf. ch. 14:4; 17:1, 2). And sorcerers (cf. ch. 9:21; 18:23); those who deceived the heathen. And idolaters; the heathen who were deceived by them. All liars; all who are false in any way. Their part is in the lake, etc. (see on ch. 20:10†). These took no part in the first, spiritual, resurrection (ch. 20:6); they now, therefore, inherit “the second death.” (Pulpit Commentary).
Invitation from the Scripture:
With the great joys of Heaven and the terrible doom of Hell before us, why should we not devote our lives to the honor of the Most High God? Dante wrote,
“Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground”. We have reason to be involved in the things of this world except to prepare ourselves and others for our God. Prepare for eternity today.