In one Sunday’s comics back in October, the “Dennis the Menace” strip asked the question, “What do you guys think Heaven’s going to be like?”
The answers varied greatly among the four characters who answered:
Gina: “I think it’s gonna be a humongous amusement park!”
Joey: “It’s gonna be like a big football game… and I’ll be star quarterback!”
Margaret: “Well, I think it will be like school… except there’ll be no dismissal bell!”
And then Dennis, taking a verbal jab at Margaret, gives his reply: “It’s gonna be a green beautiful valley with lakes an’ hills and a big sign in front that says… NO RED-HEADED KNOW-IT-ALLS ALLOWED!”
It is no secret that a common trait of humanity is that we make our own gods. Even we who believe in Jesus Christ tend to personalize our own perception of Him–in depictions, He’s been Jewish, black, white, long-haired, short-haired, bearded, majestic, lowly, strong, weak, and so much else. Such variety in god-making can be found concerning just Jesus, let alone the seemingly endless pantheon of other believed deities.
And so it is with Heaven. Like with Jesus, we have clear and accurate descriptions in the Bible. And yet, like with Jesus, we so often allow ourselves to stray from such strong truths to create a Heaven all our own. For instance, I oft envision Heaven has having beautiful ocean stretching as far as the eye can see, being so beautifully crystal clear that every creature, stone, and shell can be seen upon the seashore. I’ve never been to such a place here on Earth, so such an environment easily falls into the realm of imagination and fancy, yet I know well enough that the place I will spend eternity–the New Earth–will have no sea.
Rarely do I envision Heaven as having a city, yet one of the key locales of our eternal abode will be the majestic and glorious city known as the New Jerusalem. I imagine city life here to be one of the worst fates a person could subject himself to, so why would I envision such a place to be where I will spend eternity?
I’ve often been told that everyone makes their own gods, that in essence, the object of our faith is subject merely to our whims rather than being something steadfast and unchanging that our faith may anchor us to.
I don’t have to make a Heaven, for the Bible already describes for us a beautifully new Heaven and Earth within which God will fellowship with His saints and angels forever and ever.
I don’t have to make a god, in my own image or otherwise. The Bible already describes a loving Father who created us and loved us while we were yet sinners, eventually sending His Son to die so that those who believe in Him might spend eternity with Him.
In an age of relativistic and pragmatic beliefs, I have an indelible testimony of who God is and what Heaven is like contained within the pages of the Holy Bible. Rather than conforming the eternal to my own imaginings, my hopes are conformed unto the eternal, anchored to the solid Rock of Ages. Where do your hopes lie? What will your Heaven look like?