Here are some of the “key features” of heaven:

1) Heaven has a capital CITY. In Hebrews 11:9-10 we read, “By faith he (Abraham) lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise, for he was LOOKING FOR THE CITY which has foundations, WHOSE ARCHITECT AND BUILDER IS GOD” (NASB). This city was a “heavenly city” for as we read on we see that Abraham and his sons were “strangers and exiles on the earth” and that “they desire a better country, that is a HEAVENLY ONE” (verses 13 & 16a). And finally we read in verse 16b,c: “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has PREPARED A CITY FOR THEM.”

2) Heaven’s city is populated by ANGELS and REDEEMED SINNERS (and, of course, God). We see this truth in Hebrews 12:22, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to THE CITY of the living God, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to myriads of ANGELS, to the GENERAL ASSEMBLY and CHURCH of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to GOD, the Judge of all, and to the SPIRITS OF THE RIGHTEOUS made perfect, and to JESUS, the mediator of a new covenant.”

3) The heavenly city is LARGE and BEAUTIFUL. This heavenly city is described in great detail in Revelation 21:10-22:5, which I would encourage you to read. I will quote 21:16 to show us just how large this city is, “The city is laid out as a square, and it length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES; it’s length and width and height are equal.” So, this city is not only 1500 miles LONG and 1500 miles WIDE, it is also 1500 miles HIGH. Commentators believe it is either a CUBE or a PYRAMID; to my mind this is describing a PERFECT CUBE. Here is what one commentator has said of the size of the heavenly city: “The New Jerusalem is a fifteen-hundred-mile cube with twelve foundations or levels. This means it’s THREE BILLION SQUARE MILES IN SIZE. The present population of earth is 5.3 billion people (he wrote this some years ago, for today is close to 7.5 billion people). With 90% of the people who have ever lived in history alive today, if even if three billion people are in heaven, there will be enough room for each person to have one square mile. It’s HUGE!”

4) The heavenly city will have NO SUN OR MOON for light. “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (see Revelation 21:23 along with 22:5).

5) The heavenly city will be CLOSED TO SINNERS. “And nothing UNCLEAN, and NO ONE WHO PRACTICES ABOMINATION AND LYING, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). In other words, NO SIN is allowed in heaven!

6) The heavenly city will have NO MORE effects of sin. “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men…and He will WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR from their eyes; an d there will no longer be any DEATH; there will no longer be any MOURNING, or CRYING, or PAIN; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:2-4)

7) Last, but certainly not least, the heavenly city will have Jesus Christ, the LAMB OF GOD, as the CENTRAL OBJECT of praise and worship. “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elder, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain….the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb…and they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to God” (Revelation 5:6, 8-10…NKJV).

I believe we can say that without Jesus Christ, heaven would not be heaven; that is, it would not be the heavenly Paradise that we long for. He is the One we especially look forward to seeing! To be “with Him” is to be “in heaven!” This is why Jesus said, “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, I will come again and RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF; THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO” (John 14:2-3). This is why Jesus told the dying, penitent thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.” And this is why the Apostle Paul could say, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For am hard pressed between the two, having a desire TO DEPART AND BE WITH CHRIST, WHICH IS FAR BETTER” (Philippians 1:21-23).  To be “with Christ” will be “pure bliss,” as we see in Psalm 16:11, “In Your presence is FULLNESS OF JOY; at Your right hand are PLEASURES FOREVERMORE.”  (399.5)  (DO)