Pastor, what will heaven look like?” As a pastor, I have the pleasure of receiving many wonderful questions from people. Sometimes questions such as this may come from one of the 11 children who attend our confirmation classes. Other times, questions such as this may come from one of our more mature members as they contemplate finally receiving their blessed inheritance of eternal life. Regardless from whom the question originates, it is probably a question we have all contemplated out of faithful curiosity. What will heaven look like?

During our recent adult Bible study covering Revelation, questions like this popped up regularly. We dis- cussed whether heaven would literally look like jasper and have 12 high walls (Revelation 21) or would heaven look more like the picture Jesus Himself painted of being filled with sheep and goats (Matthew 25:32). The Bible gives us many different images of what heaven will “look” like, and there lies the challenge. The Bible is not necessarily interested in sharing with us what color scheme will be used on the walls in heaven,or what shades of green the grass will look like. The Bible is not necessarily interested in sharing with us those images of heaven, but the Bible is very interested in showing you heaven. During this time of year especially, we can see heaven.

We are currently in the liturgical season of Epiphany. We will use the word “epiphany” in our everyday speech if we have a sudden flash of insight, or we see a solution to a problem. In worship, the word “epiphany” refers in some way to Jesus manifesting His divine nature in this world.

For as much as Jesus reveals about Himself isn’t it interesting that we don’t know what Jesus really looked like. The Bible doesn’t spend time telling us the length of Jesus’ hair, but it does spend time telling us God has numbered every hair of your head. The Bible does not tell us what Jesus’ clothes looked like, but the Bible does take time to tell us we have been clothed in Christ. The Bible doesn’t take the time to tell us what Jesus physically looked like, but it does take plenty of time showing us what our new life


in Christ looks like. This takes us back to our original question, “Pastor, what does heaven look like?” I may not have a clue as to what heaven will physically look like, but I know without a shadow of a doubt WHO we will see in heaven when we open our eyes and look around. In closing, please pray the following passage which truly shows us exactly what, or better yet, “who” heaven will look like.


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 21:3-4


Rev. Daniel Carlson
Pastor ~ St. Paul’s Lutheran Church