The One that can and has brought our souls thrilling joy and unspeakable satisfaction will forever be ours. The One that has been promised to us will be fully received. The One we behold now by faith, we will behold then in sight. The One has been the fountain and source of all partial blessing and joy we will savor in his fullest magnitude. God, in all his glory, with all his splendor, with all his grace, with all his love, will be our inheritance to enjoy forevermore without end.
What awaits us as our inheritance is the very thing our souls most desire, perfect fellowship with God. The description of Revelation 21 is the dramatic climax to this unfolding truth woven in the story of God’s redemptive history. From the very beginning God has desired to dwell in covenant relationship with his people. The early chapters of Genesis reveal God’s desire in building that relationship. God creates a garden and puts his people (Adam and Eve) in to this garden to dwell with them there. When Adam and Eve fall, God makes a way to maintain covenant relationship through the promise of a redeemer (Gen 3:15).
Later, as God’s covenant family grows into a nation, God provides a means of maintaining covenant fellowship through the use of a tabernacle. Through this mobile, holy dwelling place, God can dwell in the midst of his people. Once the wandering is over and Israel takes possession of their promised land, God comes to dwell with his people in a temple. There sacrifice is made for sin and the foreshadow of Christ’s atoning sacrifice is established by the blood of lambs.
In the new covenant, God comes to dwell in the midst of his people in human form in the person and work of Jesus Christ, in whom “the fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col 2:9). Jesus, the Son of God, took on human flesh and “tabernacled” among us (John 1:14). Christ was the place where God dwelt and the place where atonement for sin would take place. Today, God dwells with his people in his people in the form of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). He lives in us, guiding us and leading us (Rom 8). He is our comforter helping us in our weakness.
All of these are only temporary, earthly expressions of the eternal, heavenly reality. One day, we will meet the Lord Jesus in the air and we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And we will live forever in his presence. We will dwell forever with him in the new heavens and new earth. All the things that stand to separate us and remove us from walking in perfect communion with God will be eradicated and all there will be is perfect, holy fellowship between God and his people. Never again will we suffer pain, for our great Comforter is the very air we breathe. Never again will we weep, for our good Father is there to dry our tears. Never again will we suffer, for our living and true Provider is all that we need. Never again will we taste death, for our mighty King is our everlasting life. Never again will we be separated from God by sin, but God and man will live and dwell forevermore in perfect community.
In addition to the immediateness of God’s blessing, there is a sense in which his blessing for us has been stored up for a later date. Paul says that God has blessed those in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Our inheritance awaits us in the divine realm. Many have argued that what awaits believers in heaven are mansions or crowns. But is that really all there is to our inheritance? Did the Son of God take on human flesh and suffer and endure a horrible death so that one day we might obtain and inheritance that only consists of living in a ginormous house with a crown on our heads? The apostle Peter, concurring with Paul, states:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”
Here too, Peter sees our inheritance as awaiting us in heaven. But what could be better than a mansion? What is more glorious than a crown? What could be saved for us that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading”? The Bible indicates that there is much more to what awaits us than just a heavenly status and stuff; the Giver of all things. The description of John’s vision in Revelation 21:1-4,7 provides us with the further insight:
“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. . . The one who conquers will have this inheritance, and I will be his God and he will be my son.’”
The imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance kept in heaven for us is God himself. The eternal fellowship of, and inexpressible joy of forever basking in, the glory of God awaits us in heaven. The joy and satisfaction that our hearts long for and pursue are and will be satisfied in God. Though we experience that joy and satisfaction in part now, when this world passes away what will remain is the fullness of an eternal, inseparable, indescribably joyous, intimate fellowship with God.