Picturing Heaven

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”—Philippians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

When you hear or read the word heaven, what’s the first thing you picture? If you’re like a lot of people, images of fluffy clouds, harp-playing angels, or maybe even pearly gates come to mind.

Whatever the case, here’s the more important question: When you think about heaven, do you get excited? Again, if you’re like most people, you might relate to Christian author John Eldridge’s observation:

“Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service. … We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky, one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual.’ We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.”

The truth is, many of us aren’t thrilled about heaven because we have an unbiblical view of it. And that’s because Satan wants nothing more than for us to believe that heaven will be boring so that we won’t look forward to it and instead will live every moment for ourselves. But in Matthew 6:19, Jesus tells us not to spend our energy trying to accumulate as much stuff as possible, because it will all deteriorate one day. Rather, He tells us to store up treasures in heaven because He knows that when we do, we’ll get to enjoy them forever—and that’s just one of the benefits we’ll receive when we get there.

The great news is that heaven won’t be a dull, ghostly church service in the clouds, but rather will be right here on a new earth where we’ll live in perfect union with Jesus; where He will wipe away ever tear from our eyes; where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4); and where we’ll be given glorious, new bodies that will never decay, as today’s verse points out. In fact, God has so many amazing things in store for us in heaven that even our best day here on earth won’t begin to scratch the surface of what we can look forward to in eternity—and that’s something we can get excited about!

DIG: When you picture heaven, what do you see? Where did you get that image from, and more importantly, is it biblical?

DISCOVER: What is a biblical view of heaven? Find out by doing a Bible study on heaven. Consider picking up a copy of Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, or John Eldridge’s book, All Things New, to help you.

DISPLAY: Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a renewed hope and excitement about heaven—and then share the good news!  

About the Author

Rob Nieminen

Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.