I have had the immense advantage growing up in a Christian environment and having heaven opened to me from my earliest days. I still had to make my own commitment to Christ, but the way was shown. Look at the first verse of this lesson.
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. (Revelation 19:11–ESV)
John said that he saw heaven opened which only makes sense if it was usually closed, right? From this and other verses the Holy Scriptures teach us that heaven is not just another part of our universe. We are not to expect that with the proper equipment we could transfer our molecules to a place called heaven. In Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan speaks allegorically of a long journey to a celestial city. In Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader the valiant mouse Reepicheep gives a farewell to Lucy, Edmond, and Eustace and paddles his coracle to Aslan’s country.
These two stories are wonderful and important in their own right, but the real heaven is not like that. Getting to the real heaven is not achieved by a long walk, paddling a boat or getting on a spaceship. When John heaven opened something different was happening.
That different thing was not like my family opening an understanding of heaven and who is in it. It is not like them teaching me that of my own need to respond to God’s offer. In Revelation 19 it is something entirely different. In this vision we will see that those who have responded are behind the rider on that white horse and those who have not responded are standing on earth arrayed in enmity against that white horse.