W. Austin Gardner
What Is Life Like in the Present Heaven? by Randy Alcorn
We can learn a great deal about the present Heaven from three key verses in Revelation 6:9-11.
I offer here twenty-one brief observations concerning this passage:
1. When these people died on Earth, they relocated to Heaven (v. 9).
2. These people in Heaven were the same ones killed for Christ while on Earth (v. 9). This demonstrates direct continuity between our identity on Earth and our identity in Heaven. The martyrs’ personal history extends directly back to their lives on Earth. Those in the present Heaven are not different people; they are the same people relocated—“righteous men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23).
3. People in Heaven will be remembered for their lives on Earth. These were known and identified as ones slain “because of . . . the testimony they had maintained” (v. 9).
4. “They called out” (v. 10) means they are able to express themselves audibly. This could suggest they exist in physical form, with vocal cords or other tangible means to express themselves.
5. People in the present Heaven can raise their voices (v. 10). This indicates that they are rational, communicative, and emotional—even passionate—beings, like people on Earth.
6. They called out in “a loud voice,” not “loud voices.” Individuals speaking with one voice indicate that Heaven is a place of unity and shared perspective.
7. The martyrs are fully conscious, rational, and aware of each other, God, and the situation on Earth.
8. They ask God to intervene on Earth and to act on their behalf: “How long . . . until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”(v. 10).
9. Those in Heaven are free to ask God questions, which means they have an audience with God. It also means they need to learn. In Heaven, people desire understanding and pursue it.
10. People in the present Heaven know what’s happening on Earth (v. 10). The martyrs know enough to realize that those who killed them have not yet been judged.
Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum, 2011).