John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

The Best Thing(s) About Heaven

I started this whole series on heaven and hell more than a month ago by saying that I think "the best part of heaven will not be what heaven is like and the worst part of hell will not be what hell is like. It's not the scenery; it's the community. The best part of heaven will be what the people there are like, and the worst part of hell will be the same." I've spent the past week trying to describe the kind of person you'll be in heaven. You'll be thoroughly joyful, amazingly productive, morally perfect and completely satisfied -- because you'll be connected with God in a way you've never known before.

And, in hell, you'll be the opposite. You'll be miserable, unproductive, tragically flawed and constantly frustrated -- because you'll be disconnected from God in a way you've never been before.

John gives us this picture of heaven:

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 21:22)

The Temple was a place where people would go to meet with God. They would see the Temple, and it would remind them that they should go and connect with their Creator and Sustainer. But there's no need for a Temple in heaven because there's no longer a special place to go and meet with God. God is everywhere; he fills every square inch of heaven with his presence.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:23-25)

There's no night -- no closing time. The gates to the city are always open. No one will ever feel like they're on the outside looking in. There will be no exclusion -- no loneliness. You will finally and always be at home, and your Father will live with you.

I think about the great lengths people will go to to see certain parts of this world like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or the Pacific Ocean. You go. You look. You leave.

God is not something you go see for a day and leave with some memories of. You can't take him in -- not in a million years. You'll never be finished seeing God. You'll never fully explore the heights and depths of God.

We're told that we'll actually get to see God's face. That was a phrase used of kings in that day. It meant more than just catching a glimpse of the king's face as he rode past you on his horse. It meant to have an audience with the king -- to spend time with him, to have his attention.

You're going to do that with God. You'll have time to study his face, and he will give you his attention -- not in a bad way -- in a kind and benevolent way.

This is your destiny: you will be a thoroughly joyful, amazingly productive, morally flawless, completely satisfied co-regent of the universe who lives with God.

That's your future. And that's the best thing(s) about heaven.