Handbook to God's Promises

Promises about God’s Preparation

These Scripture passages and meditations focus on how to cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena. The things of this world cannot ultimately satisfy, but the promises in this section assure you that your deepest longings will be fulfilled when God brings you to your eternal home.

The Eternity of Those Who Believe

 Genesis 23:4: Still an Alien

He’s lived for over a century, but Abraham still travels as an alien. He has no permanent home to call his own, no property to speak of, and so he has to depend on the kindness of foreigners to bury his wife.

Abraham typifies life as a Christian. Though we live on the earth, this world as it stands today isn’t our home (1 Peter 2:11). We’re only passing through on our way to heaven. Though God blesses us here, we know the greatest reward will be our everlasting home in heaven, until that time when God makes the heavens and the earth new (2 Peter 3:13).

Isaiah 45:17: Saved Forever

The previous verse speaks of the disgrace awaiting those who worship idols, and this verse contrasts that with the promised reward for the faithful remnant of God’s people. Not only will the righteous be rescued from their present dilemma, but they will also be saved eternally. Likewise, when we are saved we may not be spared every difficulty in this life, but we are liberated from an eternity apart from God. Salvation is never something we achieve ourselves; it is by its very nature a free gift, something given to us “by the Lord.”

Ezekiel 48:35: Always with Us

God will never leave nor forsake us. Whereas He once inhabited an ancient holy city and temple, He now indwells our hearts. There is nowhere we can run that God cannot follow. There is nowhere we can hide that He cannot seek us out. He is always with us, and, as He takes up residence within our hearts, He promises that someday we will be with Him in heaven for all eternity.

Daniel 12:13: The Hope of Heaven

This last verse reminds us that there is an appropriate time for everything in God’s kingdom. As we learn to wait on Him, we can rise with the wings of eagles and find rest even in the midst of trouble (Isaiah 40:31). And at the end of this life, He pledges that we will indeed receive our inheritance in heaven. This is the eternal hope for everyone in the family of God.

John 7:33: Going Home

The accusing crowds and condemning religious leaders of Jesus’ day refuse to accept Him as the Christ, the Anointed One. When temple guards attempt to arrest Him, Jesus calmly assures them that in a short while He will be gone.

Jesus is referring to His anticipated return to heaven. Providentially for us, He does not stay—either in the tomb or here on earth. With His mission to humanity fully accomplished, Jesus rejoins His heavenly Father with a pledge to greet His own in heaven someday. In the meantime, He leaves His presence with us through the Holy Spirit (John 7:38–39).

Romans 6:23: The Gift

God offers us eternal life as a free gift, a spiritual endowment. We can protest “I don’t deserve it!” or “It can’t be true!” or “I need to earn that gift before I can accept it.” But regardless of our objection, the gift sits before us, free for the taking, waiting to be opened. This phenomenal truth is more than an adage: The best things in life (and death) really are free.

Romans 14:8: Going Home

While it may be excruciatingly painful to lose someone we love and natural to grieve our loss (even Jesus wept for Lazarus; John 11:35), God has defeated the finality of death for us as believers. Death conveys us from the confines of earthly time and space into a limitless eternity. But whether we continue living on this earth for the time being or are taken to heaven, our relationship with God remains intact. We belong to Him, no matter what our present state or stage of life.

Galatians 4:28: Children of Promises

Isaac was indeed “a child of promise” because many years earlier God had initiated a covenant with Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you” (Genesis 12:2). And because God had made the promise, the “impossible” became a reality—Abraham and Sarah became parents at the ages of one hundred years and ninety years, respectively.

Paul emphasizes that we are children of promise too. We are the desire of the heavenly Father’s heart, and He waits patiently for us to repent and be “born according to the Spirit” (Galatians 4:29) into His family. God holds the promise of eternal life for us, and we have only to reach out and appropriate the miracle.

Philippians 1:21: Big Gain

Paul fixes his gaze on one focal point: Jesus Christ. Temporal life for the apostle implies living for Christ, and the glorious aftermath of physical death for him is living with the Savior. The importance of the apostle’s bodily condition or location is eclipsed by his passionate desire to follow the Lord. When we surrender to Christ, we can be assured that, whether on earth or in heaven, we will experience unimaginable spiritual gain. In fact, it is only through our death that we will realize our greatest gain—that of being released from the world’s ever-prevalent pain and anxiety. As Christians we look forward to the glorious culmination of a life lived for Jesus—the ability to live richly and to focus fully on Jesus Christ, who alone epitomizes joy, peace, and prosperity.

Colossians 2:13: Coming Alive

The apostle Paul declares in Romans 5:8 the incredible truth that, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” When we were dead in sin, our Savior Jesus Christ was alive in eternity. He chose to endure a grueling, hideous death on earth so that we might live forever in the grandeur of heaven. Even while we were rejecting Him, God was orchestrating a sequence of events culminating in the sacrifice of His only Son on our behalf.

Hebrews 1:10–11: Invest in the Eternal

Hebrews contains many comparisons. It explores the relationship between Jesus Christ and Judaism, as well as that of the temporal versus the eternal. The Greek words for “better” and “superior” occur repeatedly in Hebrews as the author measures the supremacy of Christ against all else.

Although God created the foundations of the world, our earth will one day pass away. But if we invest our lives in the eternal things of Jesus, instead of the temporal things of earth, we will remain with our Savior for eternity.

Revelation 7:17: No More Tears

We shed many tears on earth: for broken relationships, for the death of loved ones, for our struggle against recurring sin, for unexplained accidents and disasters, for people who live without Christ, for chronic diseases and disabilities, for disappointments and dashed dreams. But in heaven, crying will no longer be part of our experience. Sadness and pain will be taken away for eternity as God Himself will wipe away our tears. All the trials of life will vanish, and so will their marks on our souls.

Revelation 17:14: Called, Chosen, Faithful

John describes these believers as “called and chosen and faithful.” We are called to fulfill Christ’s purpose (Romans 8:28) and chosen to live apart from the world (John 15:19). We are called to be faithful because God has entrusted His very work to us (Matthew 25:21). If we cultivate the qualities John delineates, we can look forward to standing firm and tall with our Lord Jesus in the last days.

The Eternity of Unbelievers

 Isaiah 13:11: The Fatal Flaw

This prophecy against Babylon, which becomes a superpower a hundred years after Isaiah writes about it, is more than a forecast of future events. The prediction symbolizes God’s judgment of the world, of those who refuse to believe in Him. God pledges that He will humble the arrogant; ultimately, such pride is the fatal flaw of those who refuse to accept salvation. Eventually God’s wrath will humble those who will not humble themselves.

Isaiah 37:29: Consequences of Sin

God condemns Sennacherib, King of Assyria, because he has “taunted and blasphemed . . . the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 37:23). And even though this denunciation seems like a curse, it is also an answer to prayer. King Hezekiah, when threatened by Sennacherib, prays for relief. Through Isaiah, God delivers this prophesy against the Assyrians, and He then follows through by sending an angel of death into the Assyrian camp, causing 185,000 men to die in their sleep (Isaiah 37:36; see also 2 Kings 19:16–36). Sennacherib mocks God and suffers the consequences.

Jeremiah 48:42: Wrathful Defiance

This entire chapter spells out the details of God’s fury against Moab. This message echoes the prophecies against Moab, a longtime enemy of Israel, in Isaiah 15 and 16. The message is this: Those who choose to defy God will encounter His wrath.

Ezekiel 38:7: Be Prepared

Just as armies get ready for war, so God wants us to prepare for His final descent back to earth. The Father desires that everyone be saved and spend eternity in heaven, but waiting until He returns will be too late to make a decision for Jesus. We need to be prepared ahead of time. Now is the time for us to invite unbelievers to receive Christ and to accept His “no strings attached” offer of salvation.

Amos 5:6: Seeking and Living

The “house of Joseph” represents the northern kingdom of Israel that ensnares itself in idol worship. God warns the people to repent and return to honoring Him.

We need to heed this warning, too. Our idols may not be golden statues, but they can be anything from money to success to independence to influence. If we seek God first in all we do, our Lord promises that we will inherit His everlasting kingdom of life (Matthew 6:33).

What Happens after Death

 Job 26:6: Naked Death

Western culture coexists uncomfortably with death, glossing over its finality with euphemisms, beautifying corpses, and repressing negative feelings about the deceased. But God doesn’t camouflage death; it stands naked before Him. Nor does He fear this inevitable passage because He has already conquered it for the believer, robbing this destroyer of its sting and permanence. “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54), the victory Christ has won once for all over sin. Because of Jesus’ death, after our earthly pilgrimage we will enjoy eternal life in heaven.

Daniel 7:13: No Time Constraints

Our finite minds cannot conceive of an existence outside of time and space. Our limited vocabulary demands tangible terms to define when and where we are. Yet in heaven we will exist outside the realm of time as we exalt God, the Ancient of Days.

There is no end to the wonder and glory that He holds for us in heaven. No clock will signal the necessity for moving on to another activity. No schedule or calendar or task list will impose limitations on us. And even though we cannot comprehend this kind of existence now, we can trust and believe that we will spend eternity, uninterrupted and unhurried, in a state of perfect peace and joy.

Revelation 5:12: The Worthy Lamb

Under Old Testament law only an unblemished lamb could be sacrificed for the sins of the Jewish people. Under New Testament grace, however, Jesus becomes the perfect Lamb who dies for the sins of all. On earth the Lamb of God is the only One worthy to permanently abolish sin, and in heaven He alone can open the scroll that contains God’s judgments and counsels. Thus, our Savior is the only One deserving of our praise and adoration.

Remarkably, because we are Christ’s chosen, He places His mantle of worthiness on us, despite our inevitable failures.

The Second Coming of Christ

 Luke 21:25–28: Clouds of Glory

Jesus Christ ascends into heaven in a cloud of vapor (Acts 1:9) and promises to return one day in a cloud of glory: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7).

Jesus wants us to prepare for His return. People will experience fear and anxiety as the world crumbles and nation fights against nation. But people who follow the Lord can embrace peace. These individuals need not fear Jesus Christ’s second coming—because He will be bringing heaven to earth.

Acts 1:11: In the Air

When Jesus visits the earth, He arrives as a helpless, dependent baby. After His crucifixion and resurrection, He departs as the triumphant Savior, ascending into heaven with divine power. His next appearance will also be victorious, when He appears in the clouds to call believers to their eternal home. He promises that we will meet Him in the air, and that He will take us to spend eternity in God’s presence (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Romans 13:11: The Last Day

Although we are living in that indefinite period referred to in Scripture as the “last days,” we have no idea when the actual “last day” will come. But we are wise to keep in mind that each day is a precious, never-to-be-repeated gift from God—and that one day the last earthly sunrise will set the stage for our Savior’s long-awaited, glorious return.

Revelation 10:7: Mystery Accomplished

In heaven we will understand God’s hidden truths, including the greatest mystery of all: God’s astonishing plan to redeem us from sin through the death and resurrection of his Son. Paul explains that this mystery “for ages has been hidden in God” (Ephesians 3:9). Although we comprehend the implications of Jesus’ death sufficiently for us to receive salvation, the full story will unfold only after His second coming. Only then will all of God’s mysteries be fulfilled and revealed.

Revelation 22:20: He’s Coming

The book of Revelation—and the entire Bible—closes with hopeful words. The author quotes Jesus’ statements in the seventh and twelfth verses that He will be returning soon. Nearly two thousand years later, we still await the Lord’s return. This time frame may not appear to constitute “soon” to us, but it is helpful for us to remember that “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8). We cannot know the hour or day of Jesus’ second coming (Matthew 24:36), but we can be assured that He is indeed coming back.

Why? Because God has promised.

Rewards for Faithfulness

 Joshua 14:11: Vigor in Prayer

Though we may not experience the physical strength of the eighty-five-year-old Caleb when we’re that age, we can marvel at his enthusiasm to do God’s work and his commitment to accomplishing what he had set out to do some forty years earlier. Caleb lived his entire life trusting in God’s strength; why should he stop now?

As God’s people, we’re never too old to engage in His work. We can, “with every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18) for the strength to accomplish what God has called us to do. God wants to empower His people—no matter what their age—to do His work in the world. All He needs is a willing heart, and He will lead us to the rewards of doing His will.

Job 40:4: Unworthy to Reply

When God nudges back the veil and someone encounters His grandeur, the person immediately feels unworthy. Our finite minds can’t comprehend the Creator’s infinite glory, as Moses discovered (read about Moses’s experience in Exodus 33:18–23). Our sin can’t coexist with God’s holiness, so Isaiah cries out in despair (Isaiah 6:5). Our imaginations can’t conceive of the Lord’s power, so Job falls speechless (Job 40:5).

But here’s the good news. Even though we are unworthy, God deems us worthy through Jesus Christ, His Son and our Savior. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12). And because we are joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), all things that belong to Him will someday be ours too.

Psalm 21:6: Eternal Blessings

Some blessings linger momentarily; others last for eternity. For example, when God supplies our daily bread, it lasts for that day. When He gives us the Bread of Life, His Son Jesus, that blessing endures forever. In the next life we will receive other blessings, such as a new body and home; these too will last eternally.

Count your blessings today. Which are for today, and which will last into eternity? Thank God for them all.

Psalm 112:5: Give It Away

When we’re generous with others God is generous to us. The person who gives and lends freely will be secure, without fear, and “look with satisfaction on his adversaries” (Psalm 112:8). This is hardly an approach taught by business schools today. God’s way to wealth works backwards and may appear ludicrous to a skeptical world. But His sure promise is that those who are generous to others will experience God’s blessing and prosperity. However, He requires that we exercise faith and do our giving first, not knowing when or how He will bless us back.

Proverbs 25:21–22: Loving and Changing Enemies

This is one of the most repeated promises in the Bible. Jesus weaves it into parables (such as that of the Good Samaritan) and again and again exhorts us to love our enemies. The apostle Paul makes the same entreaty in his letter to the Romans in a section about community: “So far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people” (Romans 12:18).

We receive a heavenly reward for loving our enemies, but we also gain an immediate benefit. By treating our neighbors, and indeed our enemies, with respect, we open the door for the Spirit to change and influence them for Christ. And we grow and change through the process as well. When we are faithful to Him and His way, God draws us into deeper community with Himself.

Proverbs 31:30: Godly Praise

In a world obsessed with almost impossible standards for our physical appearance, we can easily forget that beauty is fleeting. The temporary nature of physical attractiveness keeps many of us chasing after youth. This passage in Proverbs describes the woman who is more concerned about being molded in her character by God than being contoured in her face or body according to the world’s standards. The Lord honors the woman who is truly devoted to Him, and so do her family and community. Proverbs 31 describes a woman of strength that flows from her reverence for the Lord, not from the advantage of a pleasing external appearance.

Isaiah 3:10: All Is Well

Sandwiched in the middle of a chapter detailing the consequences of God’s wrath on Jerusalem and Judah comes this beautiful reassurance. In a message that appears to be almost an aside, the Lord instructs Isaiah to “say to the righteous it will go well for them.” God is never capricious, nor is His anger random. Sin inevitably bears consequences, and the Lord is about to unleash them on people who have “done evil to themselves” (Isaiah 3:9). But faithfulness and righteousness reap consequences, too. “[The righteous] will eat the fruit of their actions,” declares God in this verse. Even in the midst of meting out justice, God allows His love for His people to shine through.

Jeremiah 39:18: Double Rescue

God offers this promise to Ebed-Melech, the Cushite eunuch. In the previous chapter this man courageously stands up for Jeremiah and rescues the prophet from the cistern where his political enemies have thrown him. Just as God rescues His chosen servant Jeremiah from death, so He spares the life of this man. No matter what our station in life, the sovereign King rescues and rewards the faithful.

Jeremiah 50:20: Redeeming the Remnant

God promises to restore the remnant of Israel to their land and position as His people. Their guilt and sin will not only be forgiven but completely obliterated from His memory. God also promises that their oppressor, Babylon, will be destroyed. Although His people are living in captivity, God pledges that if they wait, He will redeem them. Likewise, although we have been slaves to sin, He has already redeemed us and calls us His very own.

Lamentations 3:27: While We’re Young

We human beings are particularly teachable while we are young. Proverbs 22:6 exhorts parents to instruct their children while they are still at a tender, responsive age so that they will know how to behave as adults. Even very small children can make a connection between misbehavior and its consequences.

Although sins committed by children can cause hardship, the results do not usually affect the rest of their lives, unless repeated sin goes unnoticed and undisciplined. To learn the laws of cause and effect, it is infinitely better to suffer minimal consequences as a child than to suffer them during adulthood when decisions can significantly impact the quality of life for self and others. Parents help their children by holding them accountable from an early age.

Daniel 1:8: The Rewards of Resolution

During the Jewish exile to Babylon, Daniel stays with a specially selected group of exiles who enjoy King Nebuchadnezzar’s finest dining. However, the king offers portions from his table to idols—a practice that according to Jewish tradition contaminates the food. In reverence to God, Daniel chooses not to defile himself by eating this rich fare, regardless of the outcome. This requires much courage, and God consequently shows Daniel great favor.

In many circumstances today we, too, can resolve not to pollute our minds and bodies. This effort also requires courage, but it is pleasing to the Lord, and the prospect of receiving His rewards should make it well worth our while.

Hosea 10:12: Sowing Righteousness

God’s perfect sense of order manifests itself through the principle of sowing and reaping. It is impossible to grow a watermelon by planting tomato seeds—or to reap a right relationship with God by sowing seeds of rebellion. However, when we do sow righteousness, He promises that we will reap the benefits of His unfailing love and that He, in turn, will shower more righteousness upon us.

Haggai 1:7: A Slower Pace

Ours is a microwave world. Fast food, fingertip access to all kinds of information via computers, and carry-anywhere cell phones reinforce our expectations for immediate gratification in nearly every area of life. Patience is not just a virtue; it has become a scarce commodity. Haggai speaks words we would do well to heed. To give careful thought to our ways means to slow down, to seek counsel, to consider consequences, and to seek God’s direction—all of which require patient discipline. There are spiritual benefits to leading a more thoughtful life.

Acts 7:48–51: Taking a Stand

Although we clearly distinguish between the Old and New Testaments, the early Christians have only the Old Testament, and they value the historical record of God’s words. With death imminent, Stephen quotes Isaiah 66:1–2 to demonstrate that his persecutors, like their Old Testament forefathers, refuse to yield to the God who created everything.

With stones in hand, these Jews stand in danger of God’s wrath and judgment. How much better to take our stand with Stephen, who in eternity gains everything from the Creator who made it all. Where do you stand?

Acts 14:22: The Final Exchange

In this verse the word tribulation means “hardship” or “pressure.” Paul may be referring to specific instances in his own life, but he also realizes that all believers experience trials. Perhaps he wants them to keep in mind the eventual reward: membership in the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 7:14 paints a picture of this reward: Those who stand firm through the pressures will be clothed in white robes washed clean, ironically, by the crimson blood of the Lamb. Christians can look forward to exchanging life’s hardships for eternity’s peace.

1 Corinthians 9:25: A Spiritual Purpose

As Christians, our earthbound lives strain upward toward a spiritual purpose. Life is not about amassing all the money and possessions we can; our reason for existence is all about training to receive an eternal crown that will never pass away.

How many recipients of earthly trophies eventually pack them away and forget that they exist? Isaiah 55:2 asks why we labor for “what does not satisfy.” But when we run the race with God, the reward constitutes our eternal joy and fulfillment.

2 Timothy 4:8: Heavenly Crown

As Paul sees his years as an apostle coming to an end, he looks forward to what God holds in store for him. As believers we can hear Paul’s words as encouragement to keep running the race before us. Then at the end of our earthly lives, we’ll joyfully realize that by God’s grace we’ve finished our course, leaving nothing undone. As we stand before our Father, He’ll reward us with the crown of righteousness.

Hebrews 4:9: Eternal Rest

God’s Sabbath rest is eternal and complete, while our rest on earth provides only temporary and imperfect relief. The writer of Hebrews compares the respite offered to the Israelites in the Old Testament with that offered to us as believers through salvation in Jesus Christ. The eternal rest through salvation is a blessed release from toils and troubles, allowing the saved to enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with God. Perhaps that is why God urges us to continue with such perseverance through this life, knowing that in the end we will enjoy complete refreshment.

Hebrews 10:35–36: The Coming Harvest

In Hebrews 10:32–34 the author implies that the new believers who will read his letter are zealous and confident in their faith, offering assistance to those less fortunate and accepting persecution with joy. While we are not made aware of the cause for their current discouragement, the writer encourages them to persevere in spite of trouble. The author to the Hebrews also exhorts us to persist and not grow weary in doing good. As Paul declares in Galatians 6:9, we will reap a harvest if we resist the temptation to give up.

Revelation 3:8: Forever Open

The Lord praises the Philadelphian believers because they face “an open door” for ministry and are not shrinking back from it. Despite meager strength, the flock in Philadelphia is proving faithful to God’s call, and because of their endurance Christ will spare them “the hour of the testing” (Revelation 3:10), the testing of unbelievers when He returns to earth.

We encounter daily opportunities for ministry, too. Jesus challenges us: “Behold, I tell you, raise your eyes and observe the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:35). And Paul writes, “Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary” (Galatians 6:9). God needs workers in the harvest; will you answer the call?

Revelation 14:13: The Blessed Dead

A voice from heaven reaffirms one of Jesus’ Beatitudes: Martyrs who willingly relinquish their earthly lives for the sake of their faith are blessed. Their unwavering faith and obedience will receive acclamation at the last judgment, and their deaths will be remembered and celebrated forever. When we “die in the Lord,” we never die in vain.

Revelation 15:4: Worldwide Worship

Even the most culturally mixed gathering on earth will not begin to compare to the congregation in heaven. Christ’s followers from every race, tribe, nation, and continent—believers from all ends of the earth—will bow in unison before the Lord in adoration.

Can you visualize the diversity? Can you envision the praise? Will you strain your ears to hear the singing? The magnitude of this gathering boggles the human mind. Still, if we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and persevere in the faith, we can look forward one day to participating in this global, ecumenical worship service. Hallelujah!

The Destruction of Satan and All Evil

Jeremiah 51:29: Ultimate Victory

In Revelation (written by the apostle John), an angel pronounces, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the great” (18:2). In the cultural context of that book, Babylon may be a pseudonym for Rome, yet another historical oppressor of God’s people.

In Jeremiah’s day, John’s day, and our day, God’s ultimate plans are to destroy all evil and oppression. When we look around and wonder whether God will indeed right the world’s many wrongs, we can be reassured by His promise: God’s purposes against evil will prevail. The final victory is in His hands.

Revelation 6:17: Great Day

The Lord is relentlessly long-suffering, but someday His benevolence will give way to wrath for the unrepentant wicked. God is so pure and holy that He cannot allow sin to come into His presence or penetrate His dwelling place. Thus, the wicked will ultimately be punished and the righteous rewarded for their actions on earth.

Although like our heavenly Father we have no desire that anyone should have to suffer in hell (2 Peter 3:9), as the Lord’s redeemed we can look forward to a time when He will banish sin and when evil will no longer stalk us. The great day of wrath will usher in a perfect and peaceful eternity.

Revelation 11:15: Changed Kingdom

When Lucifer (Satan or the devil) rebels and God casts him from heaven (Isaiah 14:12), the fallen angel roams the earth to deceive and destroy God’s creatures and creation (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9). However, Satan continues to exist only because God allows him to, and when Jesus Christ returns in victory, He will quash the devil’s tyranny. The world and its wickedness will submit to God’s universal rule. The good news of Revelation, the final chapter in God’s revealed Word, is that in the end God’s triumph is inevitable.

A New Heaven and a New Earth

Psalm 24:1: The Lord’s Earth

We are to care for the earth; it is one of God’s blessings to us. Working to preserve this resource in the Lord’s name pleases Him. However, as the ozone layer changes and rain forests diminish, we can remember that the earth belongs to the Lord. He is ultimately responsible for it, and someday He will create a new heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:13) that will not be subject to erosion or depletion. Eventually the earth as we know it, along with its inhabitants, will pass away (Matthew 24:35), but God’s purpose and faithfulness will endure forever.

Hebrews 12:26–28: Unshakable Kingdom

On the day described in this passage, where will we stand? Are we already permanent residents of the kingdom of God, which is firmly grounded, or do we teeter precariously on the brink of destruction as inhabitants of the kingdom of earth that will crumble? Citizens of God’s kingdom can even now be at peace and find cause for eternal rejoicing.

The Glory and Beauty of Heaven

Ezekiel 20:6: Real Beauty

The true beauty of God’s chosen land is not the loveliness or grandeur of its physical features but rather the reality that God dwells there. If God’s presence in an imperfect world can be so meaningful, imagine our wonder when we see Him in heaven! No sin or imperfection will distort our view; we will stand in awe and enjoy an unobstructed look at the perfect One. No words can describe the wonder of God’s being, so we use inadequate phrases such as “milk and honey” to illustrate the richness of God’s presence in the afterlife.

Zechariah 14:9: The Kingly Name

A popular praise song (“Shout to the Lord”) declares that the “mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of [God’s] name.” What a glorious picture of heaven: the rhythmic swell of the Pacific Ocean reverberating the name of Jesus; Mount Everest bowing in deference at the mere sound of the Word; all that is dark becoming bright as day at the whisper of the name of Jesus. Truly, our Savior’s wonderful name is cause for the world to stand at attention.

John 14:2: Royal Accommodations

The Bible offers a fleeting glimpse of heaven when it describes God’s dwelling as “Paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:4) and “a better country” (Hebrews 11:16)—an eternal home where we will enjoy inexhaustible joy, peace, and rest. Jesus is indeed preparing magnificent accommodations for us.

We cannot even begin to fathom how incredible our new home will be, but our knowledge of God’s infinite creativity assures us that it will be more spectacular than the most stunning royal palace on earth. We can already now begin to plan for and celebrate our new home!