Let me begin by addressing the title of this blog. I by no means claim to have had a near death experience – although there were a few times growing up I thought my mom was about to kill me after seeing my report card. I’m not a clairvoyant which is a good thing because those who claim to be, really aren’t either. I haven’t cracked some secret Divine Biblical Code that reveals new information since there are no codes in the Bible. But I have read the book called the Bible. I have studied it and the questions and answers found in this blog are questions that can be answered by anyone who studies the Bible. So here goes – let’s answer the questions that are on the tip of your tongue.
What age will we be in heaven?
Age in this life is a result of sin and decay. God told Adam and Eve the day they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree they would start to die. Ever since that time every person begins to die the moment they are born because of their sin nature – depressing isn’t it? The good news is that in Heaven sin and death are banished so we will not be subject to the aging process in heaven. So whatever age we appear initially in heaven we will continue to appear that age for all eternity – no plastic surgery required.
As to what age we will initially be in heaven the Bible is unclear. However there are a few clues we can look at that bring us closer to the answer. In the beginning God created everything with the appearance of maturity. Trees, plants, animals and man were all created as mature beings. How do we know this? Because God gave each part of creation the command to reproduce. We know that God united Adam and Eve in marriage immediately. In addition God gave Adam and Eve the responsibility of caring for his creation. We know from experience how difficult it is to get our children to clean their rooms let alone take care of all creation. And unless we believe God endorses children getting married – we are left to conclude that Adam and Eve were created as adults. For this reason it is safe to say that we will appear in Heaven as mature adults – but no specific age is ever indicated.
What is symbolic about the number 12? 12 stones in the wall, 12 gates, 12 angels, 12 different fruits on the tree.
One cannot read the last two chapters of Revelation without noticing how prominent the number 12 is. A reading of the passage will reveal 12 foundation stones, 12 gates, 12 angels, 12 different types of fruit. It seems the number 12 is everywhere. I wish I could be overly dramatic with this answer but drama doesn’t really exist with the number 12. All through the scriptures the number 12 signifies two things completeness and authority.
The 12 foundation stones signify that Heaven is based firmly on God’s authority. As for the gates, angels, and fruit on the tree of life – the number 12 signifies Heaven is complete and nothing will be lacking in Heaven.
Will there be animals in heaven?
Once again while the Bible is not specific, there are some relevant clues for us to investigate in finding the answer to this question. It seems that from the beginning of creation, God wanted animals to inhabit Eden. Keep in mind that in the original creation there was no presence of sin. There were similarities between Eden and Heaven such as, God appearing to Adam and Eve and conducting direct conversations with them. In the midst of this sinless paradise God created animals. He didn’t have to create animals but he did and he wanted man to have a relationship with animals. It was Adam who personally named all the animals. While these animals were not Adam’s pets there was certainly a personal touch to their coexistence in Eden.
When discussing this subject of animals it is very important to keep one thing in mind. God’s plan for the ages was to be carried out by man not animals. It was man, God created in his own image. It was man, God made a living soul. Neither of these two things are ever associated with animals in the Bible. Because man is a living soul and created in the image of God – Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind – not animals.
So what’s the verdict? Will animals be in Heaven? When God judged the earth by flood He preserved the animals. When Jesus establishes His one thousand year Kingdom here on earth all animals and man will once again live in peaceful coexistence. Given these facts and the reference to horses in Revelation 19:11-14 – it would seem logical to conclude animals are present in Heaven.
One last side note. Since animals do not have a soul – Heaven will not be populated with all our former pets that have died. But it does seem that animals will be present in Heaven.
Is it possible that another angel could ever rebel again and start another war again or troubled cycle in Heaven?
In order to get a better handle on the answer to this question – let’s break this question down into bite size chunks.
First the Bible clearly states that no more sin or rebellion will enter Heaven for the remainder of eternity.
“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.” Revelation 21:27
“Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” Revelation 22:15
The last verse says that those who sin are outside of Heaven – where is outside of Heaven?
The answer is found in Revelation 20:10,14
“Satan, death, and hell have been banished into the lake of fire for eternity. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.”
Did you catch it? Go back and read it again – Satan, death, Hell, followers of sin, everything related to sin is imprisoned in the lake of fire – forever and ever. It would appear that God is serious about keeping sin out of Heaven.
There is a second reason as to why we believe there will never be another cycle of sin in Heaven.
“and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” Hebrews 6:6
This verse teaches that some claimed the blood of Jesus was insufficient to keep them saved. The writer of this verse argues If that was the case then the only way they could be saved again would be for Jesus to come back and be crucified again – since no one can earn their way into heaven. Requiring Jesus to die again would put Jesus to open shame. It was on the cross that Jesus declared the work of redemption was finished. Having to die again would declare Jesus a liar. But there is another problem with saying that the blood of Jesus is insufficient to keep us saved. The Bible tells us Jesus died once for sin.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:10
Allow the full impact of this verse to hit you. Once for all – Jesus will not die again for sin – so if sin reoccurred there would be no remedy.
God himself puts an end to speculation about another cycle of sin reoccurring in Heaven. God declares that the plan of redemption is complete.
Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Revelation 21:6
The phrase, “It is done” implies the same thing as when Jesus said, “It is finished” from the cross. God is emphatically saying the history of redemption is complete. There will never again be a hint of sin for all eternity!
I have heard there will be work in heaven but it will be work we enjoy, that we were perhaps designed to do. What about doctors, nurses, funeral workers, social workers. Their jobs will no longer be needed What will they do?
It’s important for us to distinguish between who we are and what we do for a living. In this life we tend to identify ourselves by our occupation. Walk up to someone and ask them to tell you about themselves and one of the first things they will mention is what they do for a living. But truthfully, our job is not our identity here on earth. The scriptures identify us as followers of Jesus and servants of the one true God. God reminds us that regardless of our occupation our work here on earth remains the same:
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
Just as we tend to identify ourselves in this life by our occupation, by default we think of work in heaven in terms of our occupations here on earth. None of us will do in heaven what we do on earth. We’re all going to be out of a job!
The Bible is extremely non specific about what our jobs and responsibilities will be in heaven. However, we do know that whatever we do in heaven will be to the glory of God. We also know we will do our jobs perfectly, tirelessly, and joyfully because there is no sin.
I understand this blog has been extremely long – but I hope the questions you had about Heaven have been answered. Now instead of asking about Heaven – let’s go out and live for Heaven!