Heaven is definitely a place I want to go. But why? Is it only because it’s better than the alternative? What actually makes it “heaven”?
In 2 Corinthians 12:4, Paul describes it as “Paradise”, a place where he “heard inexpressible things.” We know there will be spectacular bursts of light, angelic beings, and believing family and friends.
Revelation 4:2-6 tells us we will stand in delightful awe before the Father as He’s enthroned on high, in the midst of flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. With crystal clear purity all around.
This all sounds enticing, but I sometimes wonder if there’s something more. What really makes it “heaven”?
Rather than give you my impressions, I thought it might be better to talk to someone who’s been there. A guy by the name of Axel Erickson. Here’s a brief outtake from our conversation:
Me: “So the things you see there are pretty amazing.”
Axel: “Yeah, mind blowing to say the least. Way beyond anything I could have ever imagined.”
Me: “But doesn’t it get a little old. Just looking at the spectacular sights. I mean, staring into the sky on a clear night is incredible, but I lose interest after a few minutes.”
Axel: “Dude. Seriously. There’s way more breathtaking stuff to look at than you’ll ever have time for. But that’s not the reason it’s so epic.”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Axel: “Think about it, man. It’s all about being with Him. Continually. Nothing compares. Not riding perfect waves on earth. Not skiing the softest powder. Or anything else.”
Me: “I’ve heard that, but I can’t totally grasp what you’re talking about.”
Axel: “I know, but you will when you get there, when you come into His presence without all that earthly junk you carry around now. When His love rushes through you like a flood every moment. When His glory drenches your soul, lifting your spirit to the highest of highs. When He empowers you with a calling so exhilarating that you’ll see mountains move right before your eyes. And there’s more. Way, way more…”
Me: “Wow . . . yeah . . . I think I get it. Being with the Lord, and all the incredible things He has for us. That does sound like paradise.”
“… in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)
(Just in case you were wondering, this Axel Erickson only lives on the pages of the novel, A Heaven to Die For)