I am reading a book that many of you may be familiar with. It is called The Shack. I am not very far in to the book, and before I even got this far, I noticed a co-worker had the book on her desk. I mentioned it to her. She said, "I really hope this is what heaven is like." As I am reading this book, I am a little disturbed by what I am reading and that she wants heaven to be this way.
Now, I am not usually one that takes a book very literal if it is fiction. The Bible is such a straightforward piece of literature, and I know that it is God-inspired and true. I have no doubts when I read the Bible that every word in it is for me and telling me a piece of history. This book, while I have no doubt will get more entertaining, has not shown me anything about heaven. Of course, I am hardly into it. But the Bible tells me that heaven will be gold, jeweled, with crystal water and a light that never goes out.
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,having the glory of God Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.
And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;
and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 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.
But this is my favorite scene of heaven that John has described for us is in Revelation 4:5 - 11
Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME." And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
I like that the living creatures are giving God glory. The creatures are imaginative, and the description of what will happen is so astounding. I can't wait.