“*When Paul refers to his experience in paradise, he spoke of being in the “third heaven.”
The Hebrew scholars of Paul’s day taught there were three layers of heavens: First, the physical atmosphere we inhabit; Then the second heaven, where the stars are; And finally, the third heaven, where God and paradise are.
All I can say for sure on this subject is that Jesus ascended to “The heaven above all heavens.” And He told us He’s there now preparing a place for His people. He also said, “I’m going to come again, and I will take you there. Where I dwell, you will dwell.”
In short, beloved, I can’t tell you what heaven is like. And I don’t know much about what’s going on there. I have no new revelation to offer, no Paul-like vision. But I can tell you what heaven isn’t like, and what is not there, because that’s Scripture offers. And, as you’ll see, what this reveals gives us reason to rejoice!
We begin with the Apostle John’s vision in Revelation 21.
John tells us we won’t find the following things in heaven, (here on earth, after the 1000 year reign):
- There will be no more seas.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.” (Revelation 21:1, my italics). John isn’t saying there will be no more water. He’s stating that there won’t be any more threats from the earth’s large bodies of water: No more hurricanes, typhoons, or killer tsunamis.
In fact, the only water that’s mentioned concerning this new earth will be a river of gladness that flows through the streets of the New Jerusalem. John says of it: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (22:1).
2. There will be no handkerchiefs in heaven on earth. We won’t have any need for such things, because Scripture implies we won’t even need tear glands. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (21:4). According to John, tears simply won’t exist in heaven.
Likewise, there will be no more funeral parlors, caskets, or cemeteries. Why? “There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” (21:4). Think of it: No more standing in front of caskets, grieving for lost loved ones. No more sorrow, crying or mourning, because in heaven we will never die. Once we have been raised up from the earthly grave by Christ’s resurrection power, we can never die again.
3. There will be no more drug stores, hospitals, doctors, nurses, ambulances, painkillers, or prescriptions. John writes, “There shall be no more pain” (21:4). I’m reminded of a mother and her disabled daughter who visited our church. This woman’s son had committed suicide after seven years of enduring excruciating pain that no doctor could diagnose. During that time, he had to take heavy narcotics just so he could endure each day. The source of his pain was never found.
Now the daughter is showing the same symptoms. She is a gifted dancer and a brilliant student, who won honors and was offered scholarships. But her condition has so deteriorated that she is in constant, excruciating pain.
Like her brother, this young woman lives with such a high degree of pain that doctors say it measures, “fourteen on a scale of ten.” She was told the narcotic she would need for the pain would have to be so strong, it would kill her within months.
I rejoice that a glorious day is coming when this young woman will never again know pain.
I’ll never forget the last days on earth of our precious granddaughter, Tiffany.
My granddaughter’s pain from her brain tumor became so severe that it caused her limbs to shake violently. She had awful seizures, and I had to help her dad hold down Tiffany’s arms and legs during that awful time. The pain was simply too much for her, and in truth it was too much for her grandparents, too. Finally, Tiffany told her mom and dad that the Lord had spoken to her heart, telling her, “I want you to come home. With me, there will be no more pain.”
John’s verse has special meaning for me: “There shall be no more pain” (Revelation 21:4 NKJV). As Tiffany’s granddad, I rest in the knowledge that this is where my granddaughter is right now: With Jesus, where there is no pain.*”
We will continue in Part 3. CHRIS
*This message was delivered at Times Square Church in New York City, April 30, 2007, By the late David Wilkerson.