How Big Is Heaven?

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10 ESV).

Today will be one of those devotionals that might make you wonder what I was really thinking as I wrote it! We are going to begin with a picture of one of the remaining original boundary markers of Washington DC. First, a little history is in order. The Residence Act of July 16, 1790, as amended March 3, 1791, authorized President George Washington to select a 100-square-mile site for the national capital on the Potomac River between Alexandria, Virginia, and Williamsport, Maryland. President Washington selected the southernmost location within these limits so that the capital would include all of present-day Old Town Alexandria, then one of the busiest ports in the country. Acting on instructions from Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Major Andrew Ellicott began his initial observations for a rough survey of the ten-mile square on Friday, February 11, 1791. As he surveyed the square area, he and his team placed a stone every mile to mark the area. These boundary stones are the oldest federal monuments. Although several stones have been moved or severely damaged, thirty-six stones from the 1790s are in or near their original locations. In my visits to DC I have seen one. They don’t compare to other “monuments” in the area, except for what they represent. They marked the place for the seat of government that our founding fathers believed would be beacon of freedom for all men. Well, it may be the only place in history thus far that we know that represents freedom to all men; but, it certainly does not give real freedom to anyone.  The only place that does that is heaven.

This bit of history then prompts me to ask, “Just how big is heaven? Scientists have not even been able to chart the size of the known physical universe. There is a photo called the XDF (eXtreme Deep Field) that was put together from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over the course of ten years. It shows a vast number of galaxies, each comprising billions of stars like our sun. Our sun is 93 million miles away from the earth. And the galaxies are very, very far apart. Andromeda, the closest galaxy to our own, is 2.2 million light years away. To give an idea of how far that is, a shuttle traveling at 18,000 miles per hour would need 37,200 years to travel one light year. The universe is absolutely huge, and God created it all. So, how big is heaven? We don’t know exactly. The Bible doesn’t give any linear measurements. When John had his vision of heaven, he wrote, “There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (v. 9). So heaven is at least big enough for the innumerable multitude. There will be no crowding in heaven. As is often the case, I ask the wrong question. It doesn’t matter how big it is. It will be big enough. The real question is “Will you be there?” Only Jesus will assure that. Trust him!