WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE? part 1 by Roy A. Reinhold

The glory and wonder of heaven is far beyond anything we've ever conceived. Around Zion, the holy city where God our Father sits on the throne, is an area called paradise. When new arrivals are brought to heaven, they congregate at staging areas in paradise. The rivers of the water of life flow out from the throne of God through the city of Zion, and on outward as tributaries in all directions through paradise. Alongside the waters of life grow trees of life whose fruit spiritually refreshes the inhabitants of that land, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. They eat the leaves in addition to the fruit of the tree. Those in heaven drink the waters of life directly from the streams or from fountains placed periodically along the stream. The waters also spiritually refresh the inhabitants of heaven. Much like the people of earth, the inhabitants of heaven eat and drink to nourish their spiritual bodies.

You might wonder, why new arrivals in heaven arrive at staging areas in paradise rather than directly in the city of Zion, or before the throne of God our Father? New arrivals must be prepared before they are allowed into the city of Zion or before the throne of God our Father. At each of the twelve city gates are angels guarding the city, only allowing in those who are prepared. I will cover this in another article, but arrivals in heaven due to the perfect mercy and perfect justice of God our Father, include aborted babies from every nation on earth, children and youth who died and whose parents may have included idolaters and non-believers, people with deathbed conversions, uneducated believers with only the most rudimentary understanding, and many other categories. There are already people in heaven from every nation, people group, and language on earth. Many of these new arrivals require extensive love, training, education, and help in heaven, to grow in spiritual maturity. By the way, the spiritual maturity of the inhabitants in heaven are clearly seen by all in the clothing they wear. Those who were not believers but let into heaven by the perfect justice, judgment, and mercy of God our Father, have the sheerest of clothing; they are nearly naked. Meanwhile, mature believers who bore much spiritual fruit on earth are clothed with extensive garments with embroidery.

Who trains these non-prepared or ill-prepared people? The saints of ages past are volunteer workers in this training process. If you were a pastor, Sunday school teacher, bible scholar, singer, musician, deacon, elder, or learned believer on earth, you can voluntarily train others. Loving men, women, and angels care for the little children who died or were aborted. To the degree that the fruits of the spirit were developed in the earthly life, so are you skilled in the heavenly life. For example, those who are musically inclined on earth whether with an instrument or as a singer, make the fastest progress in heaven in that area. If you sang in the choir or as a solo on earth, you will be able to aspire to be included in the heavenly choir before the throne of God our Father. Likewise, musicians are able to aspire to be in the heavenly orchestra at the throne. Meanwhile, throughout the area of paradise outside of the city of Zion are worship halls where singers and musicians perform for the worship services of those who aren't allowed into the holy city. At these same worship halls former pastors, teachers, elders, etc., are able to preach the Word of God to prepare those living in paradise. In other words, there is wonderful work in heaven for you to do if you want to or are asked to by Jesus or God our Father. No one in heaven balks when asked to work, because they know it is tasked by a loving God for their own benefit and spiritual maturing process.

What is paradise like, the area that surrounds the holy city of Zion? There are mountain ranges and plains or flat areas, and rolling hills. Although believers have a mansion in the holy city of Zion and are allowed free access everywhere, there are also places to stay in paradise. Also, there are groves of the trees of life in paradise, whose fruit is brought into the holy city. The inhabitants of paradise also have wonderful places to live, and constant access to the waters of life and trees of life. There are roadways in heaven, both in the holy city of Zion and throughout paradise. However, don't expect to see even one, "keep off the grass" sign! In paradise are fountains of the water of life and beautiful waterfalls. The plants in heaven are more varied and intense than on earth. The plants glorify God and have beautiful colors and entrancing scents. They are happy to be there pleasing the sons and daughters of God our Father.

Some might think that those who live in paradise and are not yet allowed into the holy city of Zion are unhappy with their lot, however, the opposite is true. They are most thankful and grateful to be in heaven by the mercy and perfect justice and perfect judgment of God our Father. They also know that they have much to learn, and revel in the love and help of the saints. There is not one unhappy person in heaven, because there is no crying or tears or sorrow. Unlike on earth where people are guarded and keep to themselves, the inhabitants of heaven are happy to sit and talk and share all that they have.

In heaven, the inhabitants are not the same age as when they died. Adults appear to be at the most robust age (we might say on earth that they are 25-30 years of age). No sickness, no disease, no birth defects show in heaven, the body you have there is perfect. You do see children there, the ones who died at a young age, in childbirth, or were aborted. They have a heavenly body of the same age as when they died. As they are educated in the Word of God, heavenly music, and loving care, they grow up in maturity. So let's say that a woman had a girl-child on earth die at the time she was born. If the woman lived a long life on earth, she would arrive in heaven greeted by the daughter who died at birth. Only, the daughter would be a young woman, grown up spiritually in heaven. The mother would still recognize her daughter who had died at birth on earth.

Family is important in heaven and the family members you knew on earth, would still have great bonds of love in heaven. You will be able to know your descendants back through the ages to Noah and his family, and back even further to Adam and Eve. It's likely that as you arrive in heaven, people who had known you on earth will gather to greet you. Family members, relatives, friends, co-workers, fellow church members and the like will know you in a special way in heaven. You can even choose to live near those you knew on earth. However, there is none of the tribalism so prevalent on earth, in heaven. You will know that all the inhabitants of heaven as your brothers and sisters in Jesus our Messiah, and fellow sons and daughters of God our Father. It will be more grand in heaven than you ever dreamed could be possible.

What is Heaven Like? part 2
Heaven, Are Non-Christians There?


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