A question I have often been asked is, What is Heaven going to be like? I must confess that my answer has ultimately been, I don't know. I then add that describing what Heaven is going to be like is similar to trying to imagine something beyond imagination.

 The answer to that question is a mystery that will never be answered in any of the languages of this world. It is simply beyond our imagination and has never been revealed to us in terms we can understand from the Bible, or for that matter, by the deepest research Biblical Scholars and Theologians of any Christian church body has done. However, if you want to read about what Heaven is going to be like, there are hundreds and hundreds of books that have been written - enough to equal many volumes. But these books are not Scripture. They are simply the opinions and philosophies of men trying to impress others with their own ideas that go way beyond what the Bible actually reveals. I, personally, believe that in the preface of any of these books that the following statement should be prominently displayed in a large, bold print, and highlighted: "Do not follow my writings as holy Scripture. When you find in holy Scripture anything you did not believe before, believe it without doubt; but in my writings, you should hold nothing for certain." This was stated by the great Augustine whom many of these writers hold dear to their hearts (Preface to Augustine's Treatise on the Trinity).

 So, let's examine what the Scriptures say. We start with the Old Testament has to say first. The Hebrew term for Heaven is shamayim. In researching the term wherever it appears in the Old Testament, and in context, there is no distinct or definitive description given whereby we can get a glimpse of what Heaven is going to be like. It's like searching through a haystack looking for a needle that is not there. The only concrete thing we can say is that Heaven is the place (not an idea) where God dwells, along with his angels; and that it is up there beyond this universe we are located in. We can say this for the simple reason that it is not located in what God created - the Earth, Moon and Stars. One positive revelation (see Isa. 11:1-9) should be mentioned and understood. Our future dwelling place, if this is a description of Heaven, is 1) that nature(?) turns peaceful and benevolent, and 2) that the (new?) earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord Himself.

 Let's now turn to the New Testament Scriptures and see if it gives us something more to enlighten our knowledge of Heaven. But be on your guard: if what we find is new, then it's not true, and if our research is true, then it's not new. Think on that.

 The Greek term used for our word Heaven is ouranos, which is the translation for the Hebrew word shamayim. This Greek word doesn't really tell us much in itself. In the New Testament Scriptures the term appears 284 times. 84 occurrences appear in Matthew's Gospel account, and 54 occurrences appear in the book of Revelation. 15 times Matthew uses the word to depict the place God the Father dwells (Who is in Heaven). 32 times he uses the expression kingdom of Heaven.

 While this short response to the question posed at the start is not intended to expound upon each and every verse containing the word heaven, we will condense and only list some of the conclusions of what is actually revealed. The New Testament does give us a glimpse of some things that we can be assured of as to what little is revealed about Heaven.

 According to the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15:35-58, our new resurrected bodies will be spiritual bodies (yes, we will have bodies!). And our bodies will be immortal, i.e., no longer subject to death. As we had earthly bodies, we then will have heavenly bodies, just as Jesus appeared with. The Apostle John wrote that at Jesus' coming "We shall be like him, for we will see him as he is" (1John 3:2). The Apostle Paul affirms this by saying that Christ "Shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory" (Philippians 3:21). Believe this!

 What there will not be in Heaven! In Revelation, chapter 21, we find that there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (vs. 4); no cowards, unbelievers, wickedness, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, or liars (vs. 8); nothing impure, shameful or deceitful will be found in Heaven (vs. 27). One can also say that there will be no more weariness, fatigue, hunger, thirst, disease, or suffering of any kind. Believe this!

 Only once did it seem that Jesus was about to speak of Heaven. The evening before his crucifixion he spoke to his Apostles, saying,

 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God; trust in me also. There are many rooms in my Father's house; otherwise, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going" (John 14:1-4).

 That is as close as Jesus got to talking about God's house before he was interrupted by Thomas and then Philip asking some diversionary questions. It seems that if he wasn't interrupted he may have given us more information, but that wasn't to be.

 In II Cor. 12:1-4 the Apostle Paul relates about visions and revelations from the Lord. He speaks about a man he knew 14 years earlier (is he speaking of himself?) who was caught up to the third heaven (presumably God's dwelling place, or paradise) where he heard things - inexpressible things - that were not permissible for a man to speak about. From this we can rightfully agree that "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him" (I Cor. 2:9, ref. Isa. 64:4).

 The answer to the question posed at the start can justly be answered with the simple and short expression that "We don't really know." The only things we do know, and that because they have been revealed to us, are concerning the body of a believer and what there will not be in Heaven. Those are things we can believe!

 However, let you imagination run free, considering the few things we know are true. Imagine being in God's presence bodily, and seeing him face to face. Imagine, if you can, what God has prepared for those who love him. Imagine what your new body will be like and what it may be capable of doing - like appearing in a room without going through a door. Imagine exploring God's new creation. Yes, let your imagination soar and see new horizons. You will know the truth of what Heaven is like - when you get there! But, and this is important, don't put your imaginations and opinions forth as something others have to believe!