What a wonderful day it must have been when Israel settled Canaan. “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there.” (Joshua 21:43) Yet Canaan was only a foretaste of a greater land. There remains a more blissful land for the people of God. We call this land heaven, or, to use the Apostle John’s terminology in the Book of Revelation, the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21:1-5).
Many Christians do not think about their celestial homeland as much as they ought. Some Christians even talk about heaven as if it is some boring place, where a bunch of chubby babies sit on clouds playing little harps or where a bad worship service goes on ad nauseum. The Bible presents a dramatically different portrayal of heaven. While our present minds cannot fully comprehend the glories of heaven, the Bible gives us ample fuel to imagine it.
In heaven, people will behold the Lamb who was slain for their sin. Their sweetest moments of communion with him here on this earth will pale in comparison to the unhindered communion they will enjoy with him in heaven.
Heaven will be a city more exquisite than any place you could ever live here on earth. Around every corner, new things will awe and fill the mind with wonder.
In heaven, the Father will tenderly wipe away every tear of pain that his children experienced on this earth. In our heavenly homeland, people will never need to say goodbye to a loved one ever again. Their best memories with family and friends on earth will seem like nothing compared to the times they will have with each other in heaven. There will be no more mourning, crying, or pain. Old worn-out bodies will be switched out for glorious ones. People there will run without getting weary.
The curse over work will reverse. No more shall one make their livelihood by the sweat of their brow, entangled with the thorns and thistles of the ground. All work in heaven will be pleasurable, more like a beloved hobby than a chore.
Worship services will make the greatest shows on earth seem cheap and empty.
In this fallen world, we are tempted to forget the promises of God. If Joshua and his generation celebrated the land of Canaan given to them, how much more will we rejoice in our heavenly homeland?