By Randy Dillon
Isaiah 64:4 “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither with the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”
Isaiah 65:17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind.”
I Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Recently we studied the Transfiguration of Jesus as recorded in Matthew. The inner glow of the deity of Christ and the message from the Father was revealed to Peter, James and John which startled and terrified them. It also revealed how far God is beyond our ability to completely fathom. Humans are so limited in our physical, sinful existence and in our fallen world that the experience of that which is heavenly and spiritual in existence is transcendent to our nature. Our existence and understanding is wrapped in a fog of our temporary reality from which we cannot fully comprehend the eternal. So it is with our understanding of heaven.
The post vivid description of heaven is perhaps in Revelation. John expresses as completely as language can allow a description of the holy city, the New Jerusalem. Yet, exciting as is his description, it is grossly inadequate because words cannot capture the essential nature of the heavenly city. Heaven cannot be sufficiently explained in our limited language. We are so much a captive of our humanity and our earthly life that even the most profound description of heaven and the new earth can scarcely begin to enter our minds. We comprehend our bodies and our environment in purely physical terms. But we cannot fully absorb the eternal existence and the eternal dwelling place of our eternal life with God.
Just as we cannot truly “see” the eternal residence that God has prepared for us, likewise we cannot comprehend heaven from what we “hear” about it. The best we can do is to attach a mental picture to the words which are used to describe heaven. Like sight, however, it is completely inadequate to the reality of an eternal existence. Moreover, as desirous as are our “hearts” to developing an understanding of what eternal life will be like, our human existence limits our ability to receive a fully appropriate picture of eternal life. We simply cannot perceive how wonderful that eternal life will really be.
When we arrive at that glorious destination we are told by Isaiah that we will not even remember what this life was like. So compelling will be heaven that our earthly life will not even come to mind. Like a long-ago event that is buried so deep in our subconscious that we completely forget it, so will be our existence in eternity. We forget so many things in this life of a few decades (at best.) How far away will the events of this life be when we have been in heaven tens of thousands of years in eternal communion with our Savior and Lord Jesus.
Since all of heaven is prepared by God for us, and we have been forgiven for all of our sins by the precious blood of His Son, we lean on the parse words of scripture anticipating our eternal reward. We do so not by sight or sound or feelings, but on faith alone, solo fideles.