Do you want to know what Heaven will be like? The Bible contains an accurate description of what we will see, hear, and experience in Heaven. The Bible also defines Heaven in terms of what won’t be there.
Some aspects of our earthly life will be missing in Heaven. Why? Because life as we know it is not as God originally intended – and God plans to restore what has been lost.
In Part 1 of “Heaven…What You Won’t Find There”, we looked at the meaning and implications of Revelation 22:3, “There will no longer be any curse.” Heaven, the dwelling place of God, reflects His holiness, while earth is corrupted by sin and under a curse. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has provided a way for us to be redeemed from the curse, forgiven, and restored to relationship with Him.
Someday, God will create new heavens and a new earth free from sin and its corruption (2 Peter 3:13). This is where we who have received Christ will enjoy perfect face-to-face fellowship with God and Jesus – forever. We will experience love, joy, and peace. We will have nothing to fear: no sorrow, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4).
In Part 2, we’ll look at the meaning and implications of Revelation 21:27. The Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is describing New Jerusalem on the new earth.
“and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
God is holy. He is infinitely and absolutely pure and good. His dwelling place, Heaven, reflects His holiness, as will the new earth He will create. No thing or person that is unclean or impure can be there.
“Pure” is defined as “free from mixture or contact with that which weakens, impairs, or pollutes…free from moral defilement, innocent” (Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary). James 1:27 defines “pure” as “unstained by the world”. Examples of purity in the natural world are clean drinking water that is free from pollutants; an innocent child; a person who has kept himself or herself sexually pure.
“Impure” is defined as “mixed with foreign matter; adulterated…dirty, contaminated, polluted, tainted, poisoned, filthy, foul, unclean, defiled…morally wrong, especially in sexual matters… immoral, sinful, wrongful, wicked” (Google). “Impure” means “mixed with extraneous matter, especially of an inferior or contaminating nature” (dictionary.com).
In the beginning, God created the first man and woman in His image, to be holy and free from sin. For a time, Adam and Eve enjoyed unbroken face-to-face fellowship with God and were not afraid. When they chose to rebel against God, their sin brought spiritual death and separation from God upon themselves and every person born since then.
The entire human race was contaminated by sin. We became impure at the deepest level – in our hearts. Sin weakens, impairs, and pollutes us. Every form of sin is a serious offense against God’s holiness. God’s perfect justice demands that sin be punished. The penalty for sin is death! (Romans 6:23).
But God loves us. Before the foundation of the world, He had a plan to rescue us, to redeem us from spiritual death. His heart was set on forgiving us and restoring us to relationship with Him.
God sent His own Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. With His own blood, Christ paid the penalty for our sins. He took the punishment we deserved. Then God raised Him from the dead. Our Savior is in Heaven today, interceding for us and preparing a place for us.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The Bible clearly states that there are two groups of people in the world. The first group is larger and is composed of people who want to live for themselves, apart from God’s authority. They will not believe they are sinners in need of a Savior. Our righteous God says that when their earthly life is over, they will have to pay for their sins themselves. They are headed toward an eternity separated from God and His goodness, in conscious torment in Hell / the lake of fire.
The second group of people is made up of those who recognize they are sinners in need of a Savior. When they hear the Good News, they turn from sin and accept that Christ died for them.
As a result, their sins are paid for and God declares them “Not Guilty”. He forgives them and restores them to relationship with Him. He begins a supernatural transformation in their life to make them holy, as He is holy. As they live to please God, He prepares them for Heaven, where they will be purified to be like Jesus. There will be no impurity in them.
The Bible calls the people of the second group “born again”, Christians (Christ-followers), and saints (“holy ones”). They are no longer citizens of earth, but of Heaven. Their names are recorded in the Lamb’s book of life.
Remember Revelation 21:27. “And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
The Bible lists many examples of impurity and warns Christ-followers of the dangers of following that lifestyle. In God’s eyes, impurity includes not just sexual immorality, but also greed, evil desires, slander, sorcery, jealousy, idolatry, lying, gossip…and more.
We who are united with Christ and set free from the power of sin must be careful not to allow sin to rule in us once again. We are to be transformed by renewing our minds and obeying the Word of God. We are to put to death our earthly tendencies by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. We should take God’s warnings seriously.
“But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away…And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds…And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
What Do You Think?
Do you have assurance that you will go to Heaven when you die? Read “How Can I Know God”.
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