Focal Passages: Rev. 21:1-5, 22-27; 22:1-5
John's description of heaven tells us more about what is not there than about what is there. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. There is no sun nor moon, nor night. There is no need for a temple because the Lord God and the Lamb are its temple. Our words are terribly inadequate to express the realities of heaven. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (2 Cor. 2:9).
What we are told is that "They will see His face" (Rev. 22:4). John Bunyan wrote in his classic work, The Pilgrim's Progress, "I see myself now at the end of my journey, my toilsome days are ended. I am going now to see that head that was crowned with thorns, and that face that was spit upon, for me. I have formerly lived by hear-say and faith, but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be with him, in whose company I delight myself."
Several years ago my brother-in-law helped open a new hotel in the Durham area. My family was invited to participate in the grand opening. It was a fancy affair and admission was by invitation only. As we walked across the parking lot we realized we had left our invitation at home. Fortunately, as we approached the doorman, we saw my wife's brother just inside the door.
"We're with him," we said, and he allowed us in. When we get to heaven we need only say, "We're with Jesus."
We try so hard to make ourselves worthy of heaven. We attend church, give our tithes and even study ahead for our Sunday School lessons, thinking that God will take notice and allow us into heaven.
The truth is that we do not qualify according to the standards of heaven. "Nothing impure will ever enter into it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful."
We all have impure hearts. We all have done shameful or deceitful things. The good news is not that God recognizes our goodness. The good news is that when we trust Jesus as our Savior it is His righteousness that God sees in us (Phil. 3:7-9). The only question God will ask us when we stand before Him is, "Do you know Jesus?" Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter heaven (Rev. 21:27).