Gladness & Joy

A Happy Place

by Eric Kreye

Heaven will be a fun place--but more!

In my reading, all of Scripture has a very definite focus. First comes Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for humanity. Everything in the Old and New Testament revolves around the goodness of God in giving His only Son for the salvation of mankind. (See John 3:16.)

The second focus throughout Scripture is that there is a bright and glorious future waiting for those who accept heaven's mercy and grace. Much of the writings of the Bible show a distinct and perfect way to a life of challenge and victory now, and the happiness of heaven at last!

God is waiting to reward a real heaven to real people. The Bible has this delightful promise for the weary pilgrim on his way to the heavenly city:

"The ransomed of the Lord...
will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away."
--Isaiah 51:11

That sounds like a happy place to be--singing, joy, gladness!

Jesus is even now preparing a beautiful place for those who want to be with Him, and He is coming soon to take them there:

"In My Father's house are many mansions;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
that where I am, there you may be also."
--John 14:2, 3

"'s hearts failing them from fear
and the expectation of those things which
are coming on the earth,..."
--Luke 21:26

(For specific things the Bible says about the closing signs of Christ's coming, see Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13.)

What will heaven be like? Scripture gives many choice promises. Here are several:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared
for those who love Him."

--1 Corinthians 2:9

"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom....they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God....Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap [jump for joy] like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert" (Isaiah 35:1, 2, 5, 6).

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy....the sound of weeping...will be heard in it no more.

"They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands" (Isaiah 65:17-19, 21, 22).

(For a detailed description of the New Jerusalem, see Revelation 21.)

No more brutality, no killings, no wars, no floods or fires that destroy, nor massive landslides or scary sinkholes, no abuse of any kind, no more wrenching pain or heartaches--a good place to be! Heaven is a safe place:

"My people will dwell in a
peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings,
and in quiet resting places,..."
--Isaiah 32:18

Who will qualify for heaven? That is exactly what King David asked in Psalm 15:

"Lord, who may abide in
Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;..."

I close this feature with these words by Beth Stuckwisch, words which have inspired many weary pilgrims on their way to the New Jerusalem:

When I come to heaven
How joyful it will be!
For on that day at last
My risen Lord I'll see.
No greater happiness than
To see Him face to face,
To see the love in His eyes
And feel His warm embrace.
Then why should earthly cares
Weigh down upon me so?
They'll be a distant memory
When home at last I go.

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