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Faithlife

The Inexpressible Beauty of Heaven

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While the Bible explains the blessings that will be enjoyed in heaven, it does not give a literal description of its beauty because it is inexpressible. No words can fully and justly desribe how beautiful heaven will be. For this reason, to think of heaven's unspeakable glory should encourage us to serve God faithfully so we can enjoy it in the next life.

Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

The expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” has a unknown origin. However, the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, “A good sketch is better than a long speech” are sometimes translated from French into English as “A picture is worth a thousand words.” (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Napoleon_I_of_France). Certainly this is true. We can grasp the beauty of the sun setting behind the mountains easier by watching it, instead of reading about it. The same is not only true for observing God’s wonderful creation, but also everyday things we do. For example, it is easier to teach someone how to tie their shoes by showing them instead of telling them. Although language is vital to communication, we should understand words are limited. For this reason, they are not able to describe the beauty of heaven. It is inexpressible! Turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter twelve to read about this truth.

Paul’s Inexpressible Vision of Heaven

The words he heard were “inexpressible” and also he was “not permitted to speak” them. Colin G. Kruse writes,
2 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary 3. Visions and Revelations (12:1–10)

Paul speaks of something revealed to him which he could not utter, presumably because it was so sacred and intended for him alone.

Since he did not give a detailed description of heaven, we can conclude that not only what he heard, but also what he saw was inexpressible.
When we are unable to put earthly experiences and things into words, it always carries with it the idea of greatness and the feeling of excitement. Therefore, heaven’s indescribability should motivate to serve, arouse zeal, and instill a deeper passion for God in our hearts.

Paul “Caught Up into Paradise”

Although the beauty of heaven cannot be expressed with earthly language, that does not mean God never offers any descriptions. However, any depiction is given only so we can relate to heaven and to give merely a glimpse of its beauty. The picture we get of heaven in 2 Corinthians is found in the word “Paradise.” William Barclay writes,
The Letters to the Corinthians The Thorn and the Grace (2 Corinthians 12:1–10)

The word Paradise comes from a Persian word which means a walled garden.

Furthermore, Mr. Barclay writes about the companionship Paul had with God in this spectacular and heavenly vision in terms of a king and his subject.
The Letters to the Corinthians The Thorn and the Grace (2 Corinthians 12:1–10)

When a Persian king wished to confer a very special honour on someone specially dear to him, he made him a companion of the garden and gave him the right to walk in the royal gardens with him in close companionship.

What to Expect When We Are “Caught Up”

Turn Bible to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and read.
We will be taken suddenly by the irresistible power of God.
If we remain until Christ returns again, we will be reunited with beloved Christians who have gone on before us.
We will be given an “inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away” that is “reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:3-6).
All the sorrows of this world will be replaced with eternal joy in the presence of God (Revelation 21:3-4).

Conclusion

While the beauty of heaven cannot be expressed in words, we have some truths about it that should motivate us to serve God faithfully. Heaven will be like a walled garden, it will have all that we need and also protect us from all the harm that invades our lives in this earthly existence. Sickness and sin will not be allowed to enter into heaven because God will be there. Therefore it will be a place of eternal joy, a joy that cannot be taken away from us. Are you a Christian? If not, you do not have an inheritance reserved for you in heaven. Why not start laying your treasures up in heaven today by obeying the gospel (Matthew 6:19-21). So you can someday be “caught up” like Paul and experience such a spectacular place that no earthly tongue can rightly speak of it and describe it in way to do it justice. The glories of heaven are inexpressible and its beauty beyond our imagination. Do you not want to be with God in this place?
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