Heaven is a place that holds great mystery and fascination for Christians. We all long to know what eternity with God will be like in the heavenly realm. One question that often comes up is just how big is heaven? What do the scriptures reveal about the size and dimensions of God’s dwelling place? While the Bible does not give us precise measurements, it does provide some vivid imagery that gives us a glimpse into the vastness and grandeur of heaven. In this comprehensive blog post, we will survey what the Bible says about the size and scope of heaven and what it tells us about God’s kingdom.
- Heaven is a place of immense size that far surpasses the scope of the physical universe.
- Descriptions of heaven emphasize grandeur, brilliance, and incomprehensible scale.
- Heaven is a holy dwelling place expansive enough for all God’s people across time to reside.
- The enormous size of heaven reflects the infinite glory, power and majesty of God.
- The expansiveness of heaven shows us that God’s plans for His people are far more glorious than we can imagine.
- Key Takeaways:
- Glimpses from Scripture
- Descriptions of Heaven's Vastness
- Heaven Accommodates All Believers Across History
- The Vastness of Heaven Reflects God's Infinite Nature
Glimpses from Scripture
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The scriptures use various images when speaking of heaven that convey a sense of huge scale and dimension that far exceeds anything we have ever seen on earth. Let’s look at some of these passages:
Heaven as a Vast Kingdom
In Matthew 13:24, Jesus describes heaven as a kingdom which expansive scope:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field…‘The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.” (Matthew 13:24, 38 NKJV)
Here, Jesus equates the scope of heaven to the scope of the entire world. His parable envisions heaven as an enormously vast kingdom encompassing the whole earth.
The image of heaven as a kingdom is developed further in Hebrews 12:28, which describes it as an “unshakable kingdom.” The language conveys heaven’s vastness and permanence in contrast to the temporary kingdoms on earth. It is an “unshakable” kingdom that endures forever, far surpassing the greatest kingdoms known to man.
Heaven as a Great City
The book of Revelation provides one of the most vivid images of heaven when it describes the New Jerusalem as an enormous city of stunning dimensions:
He who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. (Revelation 21:15-16 NKJV)
In today’s measurements, 12,000 furlongs equates to approximately 1,400 miles! This describes a city of incredible size, far larger than any city on earth. The immense cube-shaped city is a picture of heaven’s enormity.
The description continues in verses 17-18:
Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. (Revelation 21:17-18 NKJV)
A wall of over 200 feet high surrounding a city of over 2 million square kilometers conveys an incredible scale beyond anything known to the apostle John. He struggles to describe heaven’s immensity using the grandest images and measurements available to him.
Heaven as a Country
The writer of Hebrews uses the image of a country to capture the expansiveness of heaven:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10 NKJV)
Abraham’s search was ultimately for the “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” This heavenly city is described as a “country” to emphasize its vast territory. It is of such incredible scope that even a vast country on earth cannot compare!
Heaven as God’s Dwelling Place
Isaiah 66 depicts heaven as a place of grandeur and magnificence, befitting God’s infinite glory:
Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?” (Isaiah 66:1 NKJV)
Heaven is described here as God’s throne. The imagery conveys that heaven is not some small residence but a place of majesty fitting for the Ruler of the universe. As earth is just God’s footstool, we can only imagine the infinite scale and dimension of God’s heavenly dwelling place.
Descriptions of Heaven’s Vastness
In addition to these images, Scripture describes heaven with language emphasizing its immense and incomprehensible scale:
The dimensions given for heaven are often described as measurements of eternity, conveying endless scope. In Revelation 21 the city walls are described as being 144 cubits, the number 12 squared (Revelation 21:17). The number 12 is symbolic of the people of God, so this is meant to convey the inclusion of all God’s people for eternity. Heaven’s measurements transcend finite numbers.
The writer of Hebrews describes the inhabitants of heaven:
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect. (Hebrews 12:22-23 NKJV)
The language of an “innumerable company” emphasizes how vast heaven’s population will be, exceeding any number we could assign. This conveys that heaven’s dimensions are vast enough to accommodate every believer.
All Nations, Tribes, Peoples
In Revelation, John gets a vision of an enormous crowd in heaven:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9 NKJV)
The population of heaven is described as an uncountable multitude from every nation on earth. This emphasizes heaven’s incredible capacity, implying dimensions large enough to accommodate billions of believers.
Light of the Glory of God
Heaven radiates the brilliant glory of God, conveying to us the heaven’s grandeur:
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:23 NKJV)
The dimensions of heaven are meant to exalt the infinite glory and majesty of God. Heaven’s grandeur reflects the One who dwells there.
Heaven Accommodates All Believers Across History
One of the most significant implications regarding the size of heaven according to the Bible is that it demonstrates heaven’s capacity to accommodate all believers across human history. Scripture describes heaven as the glorious culmination of God’s redemptive plan spanning generations:
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13 NKJV)
The immense size and scope of heaven show us that God has prepared a holy dwelling place expansive enough for the fulfillment of every promise to every believer across time. Heaven is the ultimate place of eternal dwelling for every generation of God’s people. The vastness and grandeur of heaven display the infinite nature of God’s redemptive purpose.
The Vastness of Heaven Reflects God’s Infinite Nature
Ultimately, the biblical descriptions of the enormous scale and scope of heaven are meant to reflect the infinite nature of God. As Isaiah 40 declares:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
…Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
And are counted as the small dust on the scales. (Isaiah 40:12,15 NKJV)
For God, even the infinite expanse of the universe is but a small speck. How much more immense and glorious then must heaven be as the place where His fullness dwells? The Bible’s descriptions of heaven symbolize its infinite dimensions as the dwelling place of the infinite God. Just as God transcends human comprehension, so heaven transcends the grandest human measurements.
The vastness of heaven also signifies the infinite scope of God’s redemptive purpose, which continues through eternity as His people worship Him in the splendor of the New Jerusalem. As Charles Spurgeon expressed, “The largeness of God’s heavenly city, and the vast population that shall inhabit it, are indications of the immensity of His love.” Heaven’s enormity displays the enormity of God’s love and the glory He plans to share with His beloved children for eternity.
While Scripture does not give us a precise measurement, it overwhelmingly conveys that heaven is a place of immense and incomprehensible size and grandeur. The images of a kingdom, city, and country point to a holy dwelling place expansive enough for every believer across history. Descriptions of brilliant light, uncountable inhabitants, and measurements of eternity emphasize heaven’s transcendent glory. The enormous scale and dimensions signify heaven as the home of the infinite Triune God whose glory fills it. As we read these scriptural images, we can rejoice that God has prepared a place for us of such overflowing abundance that we will spend eternity marveling at its beauty and immensity. The vastness of heaven beckons us forward in hope and awe of the glorious eternity awaiting all of God’s people.