What Heaven Looks Like: Unveiling the Secrets of God

The Bible says plenty about what Heaven looks like. But we won't know what God's new creation is until after it's made. So there are things we will never know until it's ready.

Everybody wonders what heaven looks like.

And if you really want to know what heaven looks like, there’s only one place to look. The Holy Bible is where God tells us a lot about what his dwelling place is like and what it is like for saints to be with him.

Since heaven is the place where the throne of God is, and the Bible is God’s Word, it’s the perfect place to look. Other sources have ideas about what heaven looks like, but the Bible is always the number one source.

From the Bible, we know that there will one day be new heavens, a new earth, and a New Jerusalem.

And there’s so much more!

What Does Heaven Look Like in the Bible?

The Lord Jesus Christ gave us quite a few clues about heaven in the New Testament. We get more clues from the Apostle Paul and later from Apostle John in the book of Revelation.

The Bible gives us a glimpse of what heaven and the Holy City or Holy Jerusalem look like. The City of Heaven is described to have:

-God’s throne from which He shines like the most precious stones and a rainbow like an emerald will be around it – Revelation 4:3

Many mansions – John 14:2-3

An innumerable company of angels in heaven – Hebrews 12:22

-An innumerable multitude clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, who will worship the Lord – Revelation 7:9-10

No need of the sun and moon because God’s glory (the glory of God) will be our light – Revelation 22:5

-Fountains of living waters – Revelation 7:17

-Various precious and rare gemstones – Revelation 21:19-20

-12 gates and 12 foundations – Revelation 21:12-14

-The tree of life (on either side of the river) – Revelation 22:2

-Streets of gold (golden streets), made of pure gold (like clear glass) – Revelation 21:21

-The walls of the city will be made of jasper stone – Revelation 21:18

From what we see here, that great city, the city of heaven, will be something like a restored Garden of Eden. Except better!

Note that heaven is not “a realm of disembodied spirits, clouds, and eternal harp strumming” as former pastor and author Randy Alcorn puts it.

Here’s where you can take a look at Alcorn’s highly acclaimed book “Heaven.” (paid Amazon link)

Can you imagine the streets of the city made of gold? Can you imagine all kinds of precious stones being present in God’s eternal city? Can you imagine the river of life, as bright as a crystal?

It’s simply mind-blowing what awaits us in our Heavenly Father’s house.

Heaven will be so fascinating and truly incredible because God will build a New Heaven and a New Earth.

It will be completely different from anything we have ever experienced! Things that are rare and precious here will be common there!

The third heaven is God’s dwelling place where believers will rejoice in the presence of God.

The Apostle Paul provides more clarity regarding the third heaven:

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.” -2 Corinthians 12:2-4 ESV

What Paul means here is that he went to God’s place, His dwelling place.

This is what people refer to as “heaven” or “paradise”. It’s where we will dwell with Christ forever.

But you’re now probably wondering what the first and second heavens are like.

Here’s the Biblical description of each of the three heavens:

First heaven – The sky i.e. the firmament on this earth, where the birds fly. (Deuteronomy 11:11; Psalm 104:12; Isaiah 55:10).

Second heaven – The outer sky, stars etc. (Psalm 8:3; Isaiah 13:10).

Third heaven – God’s dwelling place in an unknown location beyond the other two heavens (Psalm 33:13–14; Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 6:9; Hebrews 7:26; Revelation 11:19).

However, this does not imply that there are actually different levels of heaven. That’s not what Paul is saying in this verse.

There’s only one place where God’s presence dwells and where believers will reside once we receive our new bodies. And that’s the third heaven.

What do our Bodies Look Like in Heaven?

The Bible doesn’t give us specific details about what our heavenly bodies will look like in heaven, more specifically:

Whether or not we’ll have body fat.

What age we’ll be.

How big our muscles will be.

How beautiful our facial features will be etc.

But what we do know is that we’ll have new, glorified bodies that won’t be subject to aging, decay, malformations, diseases and so forth.

Also, the book of Revelation clearly states that we won’t be naked – we’ll be clothed in white garments (Revelation 3:5).

Instead of earthly bodies, we will be given glorified spiritual bodies. And no, we won’t be ghosts or anything like that.

And probably the most important thing, the sin nature that we all inherit by default from the first man – Adam, will be gone for good. In essence, our bodies will resemble Jesus’ body – His resurrected body (1 John 3:2).

Paul further reassures us that after we go through the bodily resurrection each person will receive his/her own glorified body, which will clearly resemble Christ’s resurrected body (1 Corinthians 15:49).

And what do we know about the resurrected body of our Lord and Savior? Have a look yourself:

He was able to enter locked rooms. (John 20:19)

His body wasn’t merely a spirit, because His disciples could physically touch Him. (Luke 24:37-43)

He ate fish and honeycomb, again indicating that His body was physically real. (Luke 24:40-43)

Thus, if our resurrected bodies are going to resemble Christ’s resurrected body, then we will share similar attributes.

How Old Will We Look in Heaven?

Scripture doesn’t provide a specific age.

Some say we’ll be at the age we were when we died here on earth. Logically, this means that there’ll be babies, teenagers, middle-aged people and older folks in heaven.

Others speculate that we’ll all be 33 years old, because it’s commonly assumed that Jesus was 33 years old when he was crucified. The Bible doesn’t specifically mention how old He was when this happened.

Still, when we add up the different facts provided in Scripture, we may draw the following conclusions:

Christ began His ministry at the age of 30 (Luke 3:23)

He attended at least three annual Passover feasts, meaning His ministry lasted for 3-3.5 years (John 2:13, John 6:4, John 11:55-57)

The parable of the barren fig tree gives us more subtle clues on the subject (Luke 13:7).

Related Content: Jesus’ Blatant Claims to be God

Regardless of what age you’ll be in heaven, your natural body will be done away with. No more death, pain and sorrow. 

Don’t you just look forward to this? I know I do!

Will We Look Like the Angels?

Not really and there’s not Scriptural basis for such claims.

Angels are a different form of creation, which serves a different purpose in God’s kingdom. In fact, Hebrews 1:14 lets us know that angels are servants, sent to help those who will inherit salvation i.e. believers in Christ.

We won’t simply turn into angels when we go to heaven. Especially since 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says that we will actually judge them.

So, even if our sinful physical bodies will be no more, we won’t be transformed into angels. We’ll receive something greater – a glorified body, which resembles Christ’s resurrected body.

A glorified body is a new body that each believer in Christ will receive in heaven.

These new bodies will be suited for eternal life and as previously mentioned each human being will be given a body that resembles Christ’s resurrected body.

In 1 Corinthians 15:42–53 Paul describes our current bodies as “perishable… sown in dishonor… is sown in weakness”.

This won’t be the case when we receive our glorified bodies, which won’t be affected by diseases, genetic predisposition, aging, weakness etc.

We’ll still be able to physically interact with things, just like Jesus did when He presented Himself to the disciples in His resurrected body after He rose from the dead.

But at the same time our bodies will be spiritual, without being subject to death and sin.

What Do the Gates of Heaven Look Like?

John’s account in Revelation 21:21 gives us a specific description of what the gates of heaven will look like:

“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

As you can see, God’s word describes the gates as made of pearls. One pearl for each gate for a total of twelve. These gates were part of the high wall and at the gates were twelve angels.

Also, the walls of the city had twelve foundations, while the streets were made of pure gold. Wow indeed. 

Basically, our eternal house, so to speak, called New Jerusalem will be truly a magnificent place. Something that we cannot really wrap our minds around.

This city will become the dwelling place for believers as it will come down out of heaven as part of the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:2).

When you calculate all the dimensions listed in Revelation it turns out that New Jerusalem will be around 1382 miles in height, length and width. This means that it simply cannot fit on planet earth in its current form.

And don’t mistake the present heaven for the one to come – the new heaven. The location of the current heaven is unknown, although that’s God’s dwelling place and where His throne is.

To put it simply, the old order of things will be done away with.

Heaven FAQs

1. Are there cats and dogs in heaven? 

Many people want to know if they will see their beloved pets in heaven. We know that horses show up in the Book of Revelation because Jesus rides a horse during the Day of the Lord. 

So it’s possible that there are cats and dogs in heaven, but the Bible never exactly says. But we know heaven is a glorious wonderful place. And we know God declared his creation good. So we can be confident He’s got it all worked out. 

And if you don’t find your pet in heaven, you’ll probably have something much, much better. After all, it’s heaven!  

2. Can you go to heaven with tattoos? 

When Jesus promised the thief on the cross that he would join him in heaven, he didn’t say he could only go to heaven if he had tattoos. Yes, you can go to heaven with tattoos. 

And the marks people made on their skin in the Old Testament that the Bible warned against were a different thing. Wanna know more about going to heaven with tattoos? Here’s a really good article about it.

3. How many heavens are there?

There’s only one heaven at the moment. It’s where God’s throne is and where He dwells.

However, after Christ’s second coming, after the thousand year reign, after Satan’s defeated once and for all, and after the Great White Throne judgment when the big books will be opened, a new heaven will come down on the new earth.

This new heaven will be the final destination for believers and where we will be with the Lord forever and ever.

4. Did Adam and Eve go to heaven?

Scripture doesn’t explicitly mention whether or not Adam and Even went to heaven after they died.

However, some believe that God extended His grace toward them, even though they committed the initial sin that brought all the pain and suffering that our world currently knows.

This comes from the Genesis 3:21 account, where God clothed Adam and Eve after their nakedness was revealed as a result of committing sin. Some interpret this verse as how God essentially covered the shame from their sin, implying that due to His grace, they’re now in heaven.

5. Do you have to be baptized to go to heaven?

No, all that you need to do to go to heaven is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).

The Catholic church and Eastern Orthodoxy have some weird man-made rules about being baptized to be saved, but that’s not a Biblical doctrine.

But you should still get baptized after you have committed to follow Jesus Christ. Baptism is an important sign that a believer has made this commitment.

6. Did Moses go to heaven?

Moses is in heaven as recorded in the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

7. Will short people go to heaven?

Absolutely! Height is not a factor as to who can be saved or not.

This question stems from a wrongly interpreted passage from the OT – Leviticus 21:20.

However, this verse talks about certain requirements for the levitical priests at the time, not about dwarves (short people) being irredeemable.

8. How far is heaven from earth?

The Bible doesn’t mention how far heaven is from earth, but we do know that it’s the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).

It’s where God resides and where His throne is.

9. What do angels look like in heaven?

The Bible describes angels as spiritual beings that can take different forms:

Human form (Hebrews 13:2).

Animal-human hybrid form (Revelation 4:6-8).

Their appearance is unlike anything we’ve seen here on earth and that’s not surprising. They are living things, yet spiritual.

10. What was Lucifer’s job in heaven?

Satan’s job before he fell was to be a guardian angel – a Cherub (Ezekiel 28:13). He was also supposed to represent God in the garden of Eden, while guiding Adam and Eve (Ezekiel 28:13).

Related Content: Who is Lucifer in the Bible?

Moreover, he was among a group of high-ranking angels called the Cherubim, so he wasn’t just “any” angel.

11. Does everyone go to heaven?

No. Only those who believe in Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross will go to heaven (Romans 10:9).

Furthermore, Acts 4:12 lets us know that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ and Him only.

Basically, not all good people will go to heaven because we’re not saved by works, but by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).

12. Did Solomon go to heaven?

The Bible doesn’t provide an answer so we can’t be certain whether or not Solomon went to heaven.

We do know that Solomon committed some pretty horrible sins against God (1 Kings 11:3–13).

But his conclusive words in Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 suggest that he realized his mistakes and turned to the Lord:

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14, ESV)

Remember that salvation is only in the hands of the Lord as he looks into the hearts of men (1 Samuel 16:7).

13. How many people go to heaven?

The Bible never mentions a specific limit for how many people will go to heaven.

Matthew 8:11 mentions that many will come to sit “with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven”.

14. Is heaven capitalized?

You do not have to capitalize the word “heaven.”

In contrast, the term Kingdom of God is often capitalized.

But don’t worry – this is not a salvation issue.

15. Is Adam and Eve in heaven? 

When God sent his angels to remove Adam and Eve from heaven, He covered them with animal skins. So God sacrificed animals to cover their sin and declared that a day would come when the seed of the woman would return to make everything right. 

Adam and Eve could have looked forward to that day with joy. It seems likely they would have ended up in heaven but we can’t say 100% for sure because there just isn’t enough information.

16. Why was Lucifer cast out of heaven? 

Satan was cast out of heaven due to his pride (Isaiah 14:13-14). 

Lucifer was extremely prideful. He exalted himself against God and wanted to usurp God’s position as sovereign Lord of All. And he is still working to usurp God every chance he gets.

17. How many heavens are there according to the Bible?

In ancient times, they spoke of 3 heavens:

First heaven – The air above where the birds fly.

Second heaven – The place where the stars and planets are.

Third heaven – The place where God makes his home.

18. Will we recognize each other in heaven?

Yes, we will be able to recognize the people we knew here on earth in heaven.

One great piece of Scripture that can serve as example comes from the book of Matthew:

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.” -Matthew 17:3-4, ESV

Peter, James and John could clearly recognize Moses and Elijah, even if they were already in heaven.

19. Is Judas in heaven?

No, Acts 1:24-25 clearly suggests that Judas went to hell after he committed suicide after he hung himself:

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”

Clearly, this prayer reveals that the disciples believed that Judas went to the deserved to go – hell.

20. Will I see my loved ones in heaven?

Yes, we will be able to recognize our saved family members and those saved people we love in heaven.

Here’s the passage from Scripture, which supports this:

“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:17 ESV

21. When you die do you go straight to heaven?

Yes, we go to be with the Lord the moment we physically die here on earth.

Some believe in the doctrine of soul sleep (an indication of a memory wipe) or the purgatory. However, all of this is refuted by Jesus Christ Himself when he answered the thief on the cross:

“And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:39–43 ESV

Christ didn’t say “you will be in heaven after a while”. He said that the thief will be in heaven on the very same day.

Thus, you won’t have to wait a long time to enter heaven once you pass away.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, heaven is a real place. We know a great deal about what heaven looks like, because of the insights we have from the Bible – the eternal word of God.

Heaven will be simply magnificent, not made by human hands. We can’t really imagine the good things that await us believers in that glorious place (1 Corinthians 2:9).

But there’s only so much we can know this side of heaven. 

When the day of the Lord comes all who have the Holy Spirit in them will rejoice. We – God’s people, will be at the most amazing place. The best place ever – heaven!

There’ll be a new earth and a new heaven. The glorious New Jerusalem will arrive.

Don’t you want to be a part of this? Well, I do!

Is your Faith Founded on Fact? Have you committed to follow Jesus?

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