Many of our questions about Heaven fall into categories that are very speculative. “Will my pet be with me in Heaven? It wouldn’t be Heaven if (Fill Your Pet’s Name in Here) isn’t there with me.” Don’t know. It would partially be necessary for animals to have eternal spirits which the Bible does not teach. If they did, we should never eat them! But then we know there will at least be a horse. Jesus will return riding a white one! And what about your neighbor’s teen-aged son who has a 12 foot boa constrictor he keeps as a pet in his bedroom? Should Slinky the Snake get to go since Fluffy the Kitty does?
You see how ridiculously the reasoning could go on. I know it’s an important subject to many on an emotional level. The Bible seems to be silent on the answer. And what about Starbucks? Can it really be Heaven without really pricey coffee to drink during fellowship time? (And yes, I was actually asked that once).
For some, our thinking about and envisioning of Heaven is limited to blowing up the things we enjoy on earth to eternal proportions. In other words, if you really love to eat, you get to eat all you want and not gain weight. If you like to drink, the drinks flow freely in Heaven. You get the point: any pleasure you knew on earth gets magnified exponentially in intensity times eternity.
And yet we forget something important. While the joys of earth are in large measure, “good and perfect gifts,” that have come from the hand and heart of a loving Father, they can only hint at a larger but probably very different experience awaiting us in Heaven. There is continuity but also disconnect from life in the physical world.
This is what Paul taught us. If you can imagine it then it isn’t even close! Even the picture of the New Jerusalem is a hint at the reality but describing it strains human language. To literalize that description is to minimize the reality.
A greater existence awaits us in Heaven. What it will be we truly can’t even imagine!
FOR MEMORIZATION: Eye has not seen, ear has not heard nor has it entered the heart of man the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
FOR REFLECTION: Are your mental images of heaven too “earthbound”? As you meditate on what the Bible reveals to us, ask God to help you see what He wants you to see about your eternal home.