From Washington Post:
By Bishop T.D. Jakes
When people ask me to describe my idea of heaven, the thought itself can be quite daunting. Not because I doubt its existence, but because we have nothing here on earth that can equate to or even come close to the utopia that we would consider heaven to be. It’s above luxury, exceeds flawlessness and it’s far beyond breathtaking. In Chapter 21 of the book of Revelation, we find a detailed and precisely measured picture of heaven, called the New Jerusalem. Verse 21 tells us that “the street of the city was pure gold, as it was transparent glass.” It’s interesting to note that gold, the very element that we consider to be one of our standards of wealth here on earth, will be used as mere asphalt in heaven. However, it isn’t the opulence of the environment that draws the weary life’s traveler to yearn for those gates to open. One thing life teaches us is that it is not what we have, but with whom we share it!
It isn’t the house but the host. Christ is the paint and heaven’s rudiments only the canvas. To describe the real estate and ignore the relationship would be comparable to showing the canvas without the paint!
For the real beauty of heaven is not the aesthetics of the Holy Kingdom, it is the presence of Christ. The healing light of His presence heals the iniquities, inadequacies and the emptiness of men.
Some focus only on the joy of seeing loved ones who have gone before us. As great as that may be, that love doesn’t heal the heart nor set the spirit free. Others see heaven as the righting of injustices and the long awaited goodness to the impoverished. Yes, these are all the fringe benefits of eternal life but for many of us the main thing is experiencing His presence more than His presents!
Actually, it is the psalmist David who provides a more defined and clear-cut painting of heaven. For he says in Psalm 15:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” For this reason, His presence is of paramount importance. This is the fountain of joy, the peace of being in harmony with one’s own creator, nothing to prove and nothing to hide. Heaven’s occupants are accepted in the Beloved.
Finally, we find complete contentment, perfect and lasting peace, unquenchable and indescribable love and everlasting mercy. As a believer, I have experienced firsthand a fragment of His glorious kindness. The fragrance of His impeccable goodness and His faithful presence has been with me all the days of my life and when I cast my glance toward heaven, it is not the place heaven that enraptures my soul, yet it is the thought of dwelling with my Savior that enthralls me most. Heaven is where God dwells, and like the Garden of Eden, He designed it with us in mind. He knew that through His redemptive power that we would be joined back to Him.
Read the full story here.