Read Isaiah 11:6-9
6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all.
7 The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
8 The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes
9 Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea,
so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. (NLT)
None of us can precisely say what heaven is like. It is certainly not some ‘spiritual’ place in the far corner of the universe where we waft away eternally on puffy white clouds. We can sense from what Paul says in Romans 8 that it is more ‘earthly’ than we might have imagined. A bit like this earth with all the badness removed and all the goodness indescribably enhanced.
A similar picture emerges in our text today. The writer is trying to describe a world where ‘natural’ enemies are now reconciled. ‘Normal’ dangers are neutralised. There is no harm to be seen in the new heavens and new earth. So while we may rightly view heaven as more down-to-earth than the traditional picture, it is a place where the harmful things of earth are no longer with us.
We will only know the details when we get there. Till then, we need to be sure we will in fact get there: which is only through the perfect goodness of Jesus rather than our own imperfect goodness. Till then, we can only believe that our eternal destiny will be even better than we can imagine. A place filled forever with the goodness of God. All our enticing imaginative speculation can only hint at the reality.
What is heaven like? Think of the best possible existence—and then recognise it is even better than that.