If you believe that heaven is a place where we only strum a harp while sitting on a golden curb with wings folded, you are in for a big surprise! Here is what the Bible teaches.
When we die (or are raptured), we go to the present heaven which is located somewhere in outer space. It is called a Holy City, and also the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:12). The Bible says it is about 1,500 miles wide and as high as it is wide, a massive place!
We will live there until the entire city, including us, comes down to the New Earth (Revelation 21:2). But before that happens, several climatic, world-shaking events take place here on earth. After Armageddon, Christ comes and rules the world for a thousand years from Jerusalem (Revelation 20:6).
Then the awesome White Throne Judgment takes place (Revelation 20:11-15), when the unconverted appear before the Lord, “And each person [is] judged according to what he had done” (v. 13).
Then there is a spectacular, world-enveloping event, which is described by the Apostle Peter: “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. ...
“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10-13).
It will be such a colossal, mind-boggling happening that the Holy Spirit prompted the Apostle John to also tell us about it:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. ... I saw the Holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men . . . and God himself will be with them and be their God. ...
“The old order of things has passed away ... I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:1-5)! So both Apostle Peter and Apostle John and finally God himself, foretell a New Earth—“The home of righteousness,” Peter concludes.
Alcorn, in his 533-page book simply titled “Heaven,” believes “the New Earth will have real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing, traveling, worshiping, and discovering on a New Earth. Earth as God created it. Earth as He intended it to be” (flyleaf).
In his Promise of the Future, Cornelius Venema believes “Life in the new creation will not be ... a going back to the way things were at the beginning. Rather, life in the new creation will be a restoration of all things — involving the removal of every sinful impurity and the retaining of all that is holy and good.”
Satan need not convince us that heaven does not exist. Instead, if we believe his lie that it is a boring, unearthly place, not very inviting for modern man, he has won. We are not likely to share our faith if we think eternity is ghostly. Thank God, Christ has conquered Satan, and we know God has prepared a glorious place in eternity for us, and we will spread the word!
It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. . . . He who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his God and he shall be My son.
— Revelation 21:6, 7