by Kevin V. Rutherford
The book of Revelation is a book filled with signs and symbols (Revelation 1:1).† Through a series of symbols this book shows the triumph of Christianity over evil.† While that is the main theme of Revelation, we are also treated to some symbolic glimpses of heaven.
In Revelation chapter four we see a figurative picture of the throne of God. God is represented as jasper (perhaps like a diamond) and sardius (red) stones in appearance.† Around the throne is a rainbow with the appearance of an emerald.† Surrounding Godís throne are twenty-four thrones with twenty-four elders dressed in white, and wearing golden crowns.† From the throne comes lightning and the sound of voices and thunder.† Seven lamps of fire burn before the throne and a sea of glass spreads out in front.† Surrounding the throne are creatures having six wings, many eyes, and each with a different appearance. The creatures and the elders worship God.
In chapters twenty-one and twenty-two heaven is figuratively pictured as a beautiful city.† It is pictured as a city with a glow as clear as crystal.† There is a wall made of gold that surrounds the city.† In the wall of that city there are twelve gates which are never closed.† Each gate is made of pearl, and the gold of the walls is so pure it is transparent.† The streets and buildings of the city are of the same transparent gold.† The twelve foundations of the city are adorned with gems of various colors.† There are various shades of green, turquoise, blue, red, yellow, etc.† This city is lit by the glory of God and running through the city is the river of life with the tree of life on either side of the river.
One does not need to go in depth in an effort to figure out what all of the symbols mean to understand one basic truth.† Heaven is a place more beautiful than we can imagine.† It is the glorious home of God and His angels.† It is the final reward and resting place of the righteous.† The figurative pictures given to us of heaven in the book of Revelation ought to motivate us to faithfully serve the Lord.† After all, heaven is only for those who do (Revelation ; -15).
This great beauty is not the only aspect of heaven which should draw men to that place.† That which shall not be found there ought also to motivate men to sacrifice anything necessary to obtain a home in heaven.† Tears, death, sorrow, pain, and sin will all be absent (Revelation 21:4, 27).† Surely we suffer enough from those things now.† Surely we would want to be in an eternal place where sorrow does not exist.
The book of Revelation reveals only a little bit about heaven.† However, what it does reveal ought to be enough to create within us a determination to live there forever.† Are you on your way to heaven?