As you can imagine, kids have a lot of questions about heaven. Honestly, nobody's imaginations are more equipped to dream about heaven than your kids. It's a great thing to talk about. I want to give you what we know so you can have confidence about talking with your kids about heaven.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:1-4
Having a real picture of Heaven and a basic understanding of what’s coming next can give you hope in times of suffering.dsf
It gives you courage when everything in your life is difficult. It gives you perspective when nobody else has perspective. Heaven is our hope that we will end up with God forever. This life can go so drastically wrong, but we still have hope because we know that this life is not all there is. There’s something better coming!
We don't want to skip over the big topics that are hard for us. The answers aren’t perfectly spelled out in scripture, and there are only hints and glimpses of Heaven. But that doesn’t mean we give up talking about it because it’s difficult. We want to lean into these things and give our kids what we know.
So what do we know? We know that God is creating all things new. He will take this earth, this giant rock we’re spinning on, and remake it. Scripture says there will be a new Heaven and a new earth and that the old will pass away.
There won’t be any sin, death, or suffering, and all of our tears will be wiped away. We know there's going to be a lot of fun and a lot of joy. For example, look at how creative God is with the earth! From giraffes to penguins to peacocks, He is so creative! Look at the Grand Canyon and oceans and plants. He has given us so much.
Once when I was at dinner with my family, we started talking about our favorite foods. Everybody was saying normal things, but I shared that my favorite food was a really ripe, perfect juicy pear. They laughed so hard that a pear was my favorite food. But honestly I think some of the best things on earth are the things God just made.
Everything that lasts, that we use, that we’re comforted by, was all created by God. God said in Genesis that it was good! And then He said, when He made us, that we are very good. There was a good plan at the beginning. It’s not going to all be wiped away. In Heaven, we’re going to work, enjoy each other, eat together, sing and worship, and be with God as He designed it to be.
There is so much to look forward to.
Before I’d done much research on Heaven, it seemed so boring to me. I love adventure and new things and change. Heaven sounded like I would be sitting on a cloud all day worshipping God. I get restless in church, so I didn’t want to be in church forever! I just didn’t have an awesome view of Heaven.
I remember reading the book by Randy Alcon called, Heaven. He really took what scripture says about Heaven and dreamed up what it could be. It helped me not fear Heaven so much. It helped me realize there’s intention to heaven, and it’s not only clouds and harps. It’s full of work, people, and important things.
The book of Revelation talks about the new city, the new Jerusalem, having activity and streets and things to do. We will rule together without divisions, hate, and sin that has destroyed our earth today. There will also be things about Heaven that are familiar to us. I think we’ll be familiar to each other, too!
Think about it, Jesus came back in His resurrected body. At times, He was recognizable, and other times He wasn’t. Whatever we look like, we know it will be similar enough to who we are that we will be recognizable. Isn’t that really cool to think about?
There’s also a lot we don’t know about heaven, and that’s okay. Kids understand that. But we can give them enough framework to let their imaginations dream about what it could be like to eat with God, have their favorite food in heaven, be with Jesus, and celebrate with each other! We can give them big ideas about what it looks like to spend eternity with God, in friendship with Him, with His delight over us.
Here’s what I challenge you to do this week: whether it’s for yourself, with your friends, or with your kids, I want you to imagine Heaven. I want you to put words to whatever it is you hope Heaven is like. Put it into words, because that will seal it in your mind and give you a more visible picture of what it could be, so that your hope is even greater and more secure.