**Update: The download form on this post has been fixed.
When I wrote Talking to Your Children about the Gospel, I had intended to write this follow-up post about heaven right away. I even made the printable and filed it away for editing. Somehow in the busyness of life I ended up right back where I was before: letting this conversation with my kids slide down the way.
This most important conversation.
It’s not really even possible to tell the gospel story to a child and end with, “And if we follow Jesus, we go to heaven and live happily ever after with God and Jesus.” At least not to a five-year-old. That’s because they immediately start asking what heaven is like. Mine have been, at least. So this conversation is a natural follow-up. But it’s a little less familiar territory for most of us. We need a guidebook for a place we’ve never seen!
Talk to your kids about heaven with the Bible
Fortunately, we have a guidebook and it paints a pretty amazing picture of this place called heaven. Heaven is depicted in the Bible as a place with a glass throne room, streets of gold, jewels everywhere, and the amazing presence of the One True God surrounded by His people. Reading what the Bible has to say about heaven takes my breath away – and that’s a pretty good place to start. Here are some of the Bible verses you can read to your kids about heaven:
A place of many rooms: John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
A place in the presence of the One True God: Revelation 5:9-13 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
A place without sorrow: Revelation 21:4 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.”
A place filled with light: Revelation 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
A place without night: Revelation 21:22-27 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
A place of beauty: Revelation 21:21-25 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
The place of our inheritance: 1 Peter 1:1-9 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, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Talk to your kids about heaven using biblically-sound books
God Gave Us Heaven by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Heaven by Randy Alcorn (for adults and teens)
Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn
Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado
Talk to your kids about heaven using online articles
Teaching Kids about Heaven at Thriving Family (a Focus on the Family ministry)
How to Talk to your Kids about Death and Heaven by What’s In the Bible