Describe Christian Heaven

I have a feeling this question may get a bit GD’ish, but I’m actually looking for a straight answer, so I’m starting here.

What does the bible say, and/or what is standard (if there is such a thing) christian doctrine about what heaven is like? What does it look like? What are the features? How does a person spend their time? Do you get anything you want or are there limits?

As usual, when it comes to the great philosophical questions of our time, David Byrne has all the answers:

http://www.bluerodeo.com/heaven.html

The Bible mentions this in Revelation a bit, so I’ll take a shot at a factual answer to part of your question…

The River of Life Revelation 22

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

The Throne in Heaven Revelation 4

“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.”

As for what people spend their time doing, most Bible-based religions would say that those who get into heaven will spend eternity honoring God and singing praises to Him.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

Christian author Adrian Plass described being in heaven as like “going in to bat for England against Australia at Lords” - i.e. the best feeling immaginable.

Although given the quality the bowling of Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee at the moment (not to mention the pace!!) this might be a better description of hell :wink:

Gp

I’m a Christian who has a relatively loose interpretation of the bible, but still believes in the basic beliefs and such. I figure that we’re all very different people, and while we’ll be able to meet in heaven, it will look different to each of us. Everyone will see what would make them happiest…kind of a personal heaven within the larger realm. Add an overwhelming feeling of love and contentedness.

Isaiah 64:4 New International Version

IOW, it transcends the limits of human imagination. Although IMHO, the kitchen looks like the entrance room in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the Cubs always win.

According to the official teachings of the Catholic Church, every Mass that currently takes place is literally “Heaven on Earth.”

So according to the Catholic Church, if you want to know what heaven is like, just picture yourself in Mass for eternity.

Well I liked your question because unlike Jman & Crafter_Man you wanted an answer from the Bible. Now I know why I am not catholic :rolleyes: Glad Heaven isn’t where pedophiles will preach, that isn’t heaven. Beside if you think Heaven will be quiet and hush hush read Luke 19:37. When the religious folks told them to be quite looked what happened.

Here is what Jerusalem will look like. The cubits of city equall about 1500 miles (12,000 furlongs). The Eastern sea board is the size of 1 city.

Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Rev 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
Rev 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Rev 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
Rev 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
Rev 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
Rev 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
** Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. **

                                       John 3:3

:rolleyes:

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, Go Joe.

General Questions is our “just the facts” forum. Whilst we tolerate the occasional opinion or factual hijack and encourage jokes, we do not allow slams such as the above.

Be mindful of this as you continue to post in this forum. Thank you.

There’s the 72 virgins, too! Don’t forget about the 72 virgins!

OH MY GOD !!!

I hate, yes I said Hate people that are sooooooo religious they forget to read the bible.
ALL of the answers you got are only addressed from someone’s learned interpretation of the bible. And as much hurt feelings as this may cause I want them to answer this one question about heaven for you.

OH and if I didn’t know my audience I would not have to say this but, answer my QUESTION!!! Which means not a bunch of scriptures that you think explains heave BUT JUST answer my question?
In Genesis it says very clearly
“Sin entered into the world through on man:”
“The wages SIN pays is Death”

Take these two very clear statements and ask yourself this question

If man would not have sinned, ever… where would he be today? IN HEVEN! Not according to the bible.

THE Questions:

Had he not sinned where would we be? Still here?

How does where “God lives” fit into this?

Let see… we F’ed up so now we get to live with him?

Yah OK… what ever you say.

Yah OK… what ever you say.

Okay, I’m not sure exactly what you’re getting at, but first of all, calm down. If you want me to reconcile the two statements for you, here goes.

IF man had never sinned, then there would be no death, and therefore no time where we as humans would be in Heaven. In the Garden of Eden, man walked in fellowship with God, was able to talk with Him, literally. (That’s what Heaven is all about, being close to God, not getting what you want. Heaven is giving God back the glory and praise that rightly belongs to Him. The Bible says that when we see God, all we will want to do is praise Him, so that will be Heaven.)
However, because man sinned, and ate from the tree, he gave up that perfect life with God. He became fallen, and one of the consequences of this fall was death. For thousands of years, animal sacrifices were made to take our place in God’s eyes, as a way of having our sins forgiven, so that we would not have to spend eternity apart from God (Hell). It was not until Jesus that man was once again able to meet with God without the need for animal sacrifice, because Jesus interceded between us and God and made a way for us back to God. He took on all the sins of the world, and in doing so, allowed us to be made clean in the eyes of God. That’s why if you believe in Jesus and what he did by dying for you, you are able to receive the gift of eternal life that God offers.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but I think that covers the questions you had. Also, I know this looks like witnessing, but I’m only answering the questions using the Bible, which is the whole point of the post, IIRC.

Thanks for the answers. Could I develop my question a bit more?

The answers (or at least the readily comprehensible, biblically backed ones) seem to suggest that heaven is a place where all one will want to do is praise God, and given that he will be there, that will be possible, therefore one will be very happy. And also that it is a place beyond comprehension, [and that there will be fruit and water, etc etc]. OK, got that.

Where does the more popular stereotype come from, that of a place where you get everything you want, or which is tailor made (in the manner described by Jman) such that it is all things to all people?