Someone once wrote to columnist Ann Landers because his son asked if his dog would be in heaven. She consulted someone from Notre Dame University who said, "Tell the boy that heaven is anything you want it to be. Assure him that he will see everyone he wants to see in heaven, including his pets." A lot of people think that heaven will be everything they want it to be---but that's wrong. Heaven is everything God made it to be. That's the essential difference, because the focus of heaven will be God alone. When we see Him, everything else---everything---will pale in significance.
We've all heard the dumb jokes with St. Peter at the gates of heaven holding a clipboard, checking off names. And we've all seen the silly cartoons of people sitting on clouds playing harps. Rather than believe any of that (or any of the supposed "life after death" experiences that contradict Scripture), I'd listen to what John the apostle said. In the book of Revelation, this eyewitness wrote over and over, "And I saw..." John was shown a vision of heaven by Jesus Christ, the very One who died and came back to life---and He ought to know!
Heaven is described as a place of perfect sinlessness, perfect fellowship, perfect worship, perfect service, perfect glory, and perfect government.
And we will have perfect intimacy with God. The book of Revelation speaks about it: "And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God'" (Revelation 21:3). "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him" (Revelation 22:3).
We'll have immediate access and intimate communion with God. When we are resurrected, our new eyes will be face to face with Him!
We may have great worship or devotion now, but full intimacy will not be reached until we see Him in heaven. That will be total satisfaction! (See Psalm 17:15.) Never again will we have to push distractions away to focus on Him. Never again will anything tempt us away from God or compete for our time with Him. Never again will we depend on a style of music to get us in the mood. Never again will we read a Bible, or listen to a sermon, or even close our eyes to pray!
Heaven's main attraction will not be the golden streets, or the angels, or the pearly gates, or meeting Paul or Moses---or our pets. It will be God Himself. What could be better than that?
Skip Heitzig is the founder and senior pastor at Calvary Albuquerque. His teachings are heard across the country and around the world on The Connection. Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Janaé, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.