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Scripture presents us with these beautiful visions, giving us all something to long for.
As humans, we all desire Heaven, a place where our tears will be wiped away and our suffering will finally end. However, it is impossible to imagine it, since Heaven is completely beyond, as St. Paul tells us, our human experience.
Some may have been given glimpses of Heaven through near-death experiences, but many admit words can never accurately describe it.
The best place to find an authentic picture of Heaven that gives us a little taste of what God has in store for us is in Scripture. God chose at least seven different ways to present Heaven to our mortal imaginations, encouraging us as we daily strive to follow his will in order to spend eternity with him.
God the Father’s house
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)
A beautiful city, the New Jerusalem
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)
“And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:9-11)
“And [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:43)
“To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast.” (Matthew 22:2)
“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9)
Better country, the true Promised Land
“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.” (Hebrews 11:16)
“[W]hen you pass over to enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you.” (Deuteronomy 27:3)
A place of light
“And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)
A place of peace among all creation
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)
“[T]hey shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)