As soon as the words were out of his mouth, I was shook. To my core. My mouth fell open. My head jerked his direction.
"There won't be any oceans in heaven."
Those were the words that shook me to my core.
"What?!" I asked. My eyes wide with disbelief.
He continued. "In Revelation 21 it says, 'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea.'"
While I was still processing this literal revelation, he added: "Yeah, the surfers won't be happy when they find that out."
I'm a native Californian. I LOVE the ocean. I live 45 minutes away from the ocean but I go to it monthly, like a pilgrim returning to the holy water. I feel like it re-centers me, calms my soul and reminds me to put life in perspective. I am small. Ocean is big. God is in charge. My mom tells me that when my parents would try to get me to come out of the ocean as a child, I would act like I couldn't hear them so I could stay in longer. I am not a surfer, unless you count the time I tried to surf in Hawaii and fell off my board and scratched myself up on the coral. But I was a boogie-boarder. For my thirteenth birthday I got a new boogie board and insisted my Dad take me to the beach that very same day so I could try it out. My birthday is in February.
The thought of no ocean in heaven was shocking. I stammered my disagreement.
"But wait, God created the oceans; why wouldn't they be in heaven?"
"Well, it doesn't appear there will be oceans in heaven according to Revelation, maybe rivers or lakes but not oceans...oceans were very destructive in ancient times. We're kind of romantic about them now but they meant floods and storms and shipwrecks to the people of the Bible."
"True, but water in general can be destructive and even the earth with earthquakes and what about fire? All that is destructive too. Isn't that just because the world is not the way it is supposed to be after the fall? I mean wouldn't heaven have a perfect ocean - one that doesn't destroy? No storms, no tsunamis? My goodness, no ocean. What about all of God's creatures in the ocean? The dolphins and fish and..." I was trying real hard to save the whales.
He continued: "Hard to say. There is a river in heaven based on Scripture...that has to run somewhere."
The dogs barked at a package delivery person at the door and the conversation ended. At least out loud. The voice inside my head was still talking. What? No ocean? NO OCEAN? Do I even want to go to heaven if there is no ocean? How can this be? God created the ocean and he said it was good. Now he's just going to get rid of the entire ocean and all the creatures in it? What a waste!
When I got home, I cried. Sobbed actually. No ocean! I felt like a kid who waited his whole life to go to Disneyland. Mom and Dad pack him in the car, they drive in, park and run to the front gate only to find out Disneyland is closed. FOREVER.
As soon as I could pull myself together, I had two thoughts. One, GET TO THE OCEAN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE GIRL. The darn thing won't be around forever. Even to type it now it makes my eyes water.
My second thought? I am going to have to look into this theory about no sea in heaven. Does every Christian believe this? Read Revelation this way? Could this be true?
Then I prayed a short prayer to God. "God please help me know if this is true and Lord, honestly I pray it isn't."
The first Christian I ran across online who believed there WAS an ocean in heaven was a giant of the faith--Charles Spurgeon. The "Prince of Preachers" says something so beautiful and comforting I am going to share it verbatim here: