Heaven—Better than the Garden
The goal of my last post was to whet your appetite about heaven. I want to give you a glimpse of heaven. I want to help you see its glory directly from God’s Word. I’ll be honest; I’m teasing you for a purpose. I’m whetting your appetite so you’ll desperately desire all of its benefits. Why? So the God of heaven and the heaven of God can be your purpose and passion. Get ready for an adventure.
We need to start at the end. We need to look at the apostle John’s vision from the end of the book of Revelation. So, let’s look at the new heaven and make that our focal point (Revelation 21:1–5).
When you read these verses, do they sound familiar? It should sound a lot like the Garden of Eden. John is describing a new heaven and a new earth, and just as in Eden, God is dwelling among His people. Remember, God walked in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). God Himself was with Adam and Eve.
Also note what else John says. In the new heaven there will be no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying, no pain, and no corruption of any kind. That sounds like Eden to me as well.
John tells us that it will be new. The word John uses implies “better” because it’s so different. It speaks of something that has been renewed, and therefore something superior and more splendid than anything we’ve ever seen. Our God does things like that. He’s not a stingy, reluctant giver. He’s extravagant and limitless, and He has a surprise for us at every turn. That’s who God is and how glorious the new heaven will be.
I have a theory. I think how we see God radically affects how we see heaven. If we see God in our own self-designed box, full of laws and restrictions, then we’ll see anything He creates, heaven included, from a sterile, predictable, and boring mindset. However, if we see God as a loving, generous Father who wants all the best for His children, then we will see heaven from an open and imaginative perspective, and that gives us hope, encouragement, and such excitement that we can’t wait to see what He has planned.
Do you limit your view of heaven based on your limited view of God? Can you imagine a place better than the Garden of Eden? What would it look like? We’ll go a bit further in my next post.