And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Welcome to your new home. All that we hope for will be realized and, I think, much, much more. Have you ever experienced the thrill the first time you walk into your new home? It is an event of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. Over the years, however, that feeling fades away, especially when the roof needs repairing, or the furnace needs replacing. But my dear friends, in heaven that initial joy will continue throughout all eternity. There will be no disappointments in heaven.
Let’s examine some characteristics of God’s heaven.
The Light of the Lamb
The Bible says in Revelation 21:22-23, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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.” The sunlight will be dazzling—the glory of God and the Lamb. There will be no sunburn. 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 a light thereof.
There will be no darkness. Now, we don’t understand that because when we have night, across the world it’s daytime. But God is the light, and the light will be supreme, no shadows, no darkness. No need for candles or light bulbs or even sunlight, for the Lord God will be, by his very presence, light supreme and will illuminate this New Jerusalem and the new earth.
The river that proceeds from the throne of God, a pure river clear as crystal. This is the river of paradise with its fountain head being God and the Lamb—paradise restored. While the streams of earth are polluted, this river of life is pure and clear as crystal.
The Tree of Life
The tree of life that was found in the Garden of Eden before man ever sinned is restored to this beautiful city. The tree is in the street and on either side of the river. This Tree of Life has twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop. My father used to say, “By the time you’d gotten tired of apples, here comes oranges. By the time you’re tired of oranges, pears or grapefruit or bananas or whatever.” There will be twelve kinds of fruit, one every month that you can enjoy to the full. And there is a bonus. The leaves of the tree will be for the healing of the nations. And it is never barren.
You may recall in Genesis 2:9, that out of the ground, the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired. But of course, by disobeying God’s law, Adam caused sin to enter the world. Now this beautiful tree of life in the New Jerusalem has healing in its leaves, forgiveness to all who believe. And there’s no temptation, no more curse. Satan is relegated to the lake of fire and is no longer present. The devil is in permanent exile, and the curse has been removed as God promised (Revelation 22:3).
The City of Gold
The city will be as transparent gold (Revelation 21:18). This may be hard to imagine as nothing on earth can presently duplicate a pure gold that is clear and transparent as glass. Yet God showed John a sight of this new city, New Jerusalem, which he could only describe as having streets of gold so clear and transparent that it resembled glass.
Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost points out some things that will be in the eternal city of New Jerusalem. Number one, a life of fellowship with him. Number two, a life of rest. Number three, a life of full knowledge. Number four, a life of holiness. Number five, a life of joy. Number six, a life of service. Number seven, a life of abundance. There will be no homelessness there. They will be at home in the presence of God and the Lamb, around the throne of His splendor. Number eight, a life of glory. And number nine, a life of worship—worship such as we’ve never known on this planet. What a marvelous revelation of our new home. What a marvelous promise.
Will You Be There?
The gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, nor shall there be any night there (Revelation 21:25). Nothing and no one shall enter in but they which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You know, in Revelation 20 we see the books are open for the judgment of the unsaved dead. They are brought back in a corruptible state—a horrible thought to contemplate. But also, because God is just, the Lamb’s Book of Life will be open at the Great White Throne judgment. I do not believe a single individual who stands before the Great White Throne will be found in the Book of Life, for no unsaved person will be in heaven. There will be nothing there to defile this heavenly kingdom. All things will have passed away and all things will be new.
What greater promise is there than that found in 1 John 3:2? There, the Bible says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” We shall be like Him for all eternity. How long is eternity? Eternity is forever. We can’t conceive of this either. In this world, man must either decide to accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior or, by sinful indecision, reject him. Based upon that decision, he destines himself either for God’s forgiveness and an eternity in heaven or for God’s judgment and an eternity in the lake of fire. Try to imagine this earth upon which we dwell is nothing but sand. Now try to imagine that a little bird could fly through space from a distant planet to ours and carry back with him a tiny grain of sand. That the round trip would take a thousand years. Now imagine how long it would take for that little bird to carry away this entire earth, a grain of sand each a thousand years. The time required for all this would be but a moment in comparison to eternity.
Where will you spend eternity? Will it be in the places that God has prepared for them that love him? Or will it be a place of darkness, disorder, and torment? A place where permanent exile of the devil and his angels will be confined to some wandering star, some black hole, some literal lake of fire.
My friends, it’s all in the Bible. The Bible says that you, made in the likeness and image of God, must decide where you will spend eternity. I pray it will be in the presence of God and the Lamb, in heavenly places that God has prepared for all those who love him.
David Webber (1931–2004) was the president of Southwest Radio Ministries and the host of the broadcast from 1959 to 1988. This article was taken from a series of radio messages that have been compiled into a new book titled Heaven and Hell which is available now at www.swrc.com or by calling 1-800-652-1144.