Have you been thinking about heaven recently? Revelation 21-22 gives us a vivid description of the place, and John 14 gives us a tremendous anticipation for going there. Many other passages give glimpses and glimmers of heaven.
But today as I prepared for Steve Greenwood’s Ordination Service on April 26, I stumbled across the best definition of heaven I’ve ever found. It’s in Hebrews 11:38-39, the passage that sums up the heroes of the faith: These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
The spiritual heroes of Hebrews 11 were merely strangers and pilgrims on earth; God has planned for them and for us SOMETHING BETTER.
I was stuck by those two words. The biblical definition of heaven is: SOMETHING BETTER.
- SOMETHING BETTER than the trials and triumphs of this planet.
- SOMETHING BETTER than the white-speckled landscape of dogwood trees out my back window.
- SOMETHING BETTER than the bittersweet ups and downs of our present relationships.
- SOMETHING BETTER than the strain of present toil, the fret of earthly care.
- SOMETHING BETTER than today.
Despite the glorious description given in the last two chapters of the Bible, we can’t fully visualize the New Heavens, the New Earth, or the New Jerusalem. Though we have much information, we yet have unanswered questions. But even with our best days, loftiest vistas, and happiest times, we can be sure of this. Heaven will be…