Read: John 14:2-4 |
Calvin Miller reports that he once led a man to Christ who loved the sunny country of common sense, but he could not put up with the mysteries of faith.
One day he said, “Pastor, you know this new eternal life I have — well, I’ve been thinking about it. What are we going to do all day long for eternity?” “We’ll praise the Lord,” I said. “Forever – for ten million years! –we’re going to stand around and praise the Lord?” “Well, yes,” I said. “For millions and millions of years?” he said. “Couldn’t we just stop now and then and mess around a while?” Though his questions were sincere, how meager was his understanding of praise and Heaven!
Given the increased mention of Heaven in movies, TV, books and articles, I was drawn to study and research the subject from a biblical perspective.
As I read biblical accounts, along with books and articles on Heaven I was challenged. In compiling my research I found that there was not complete agreement by all theologians on some of the key discussion points. In these cases, I read more to ensure I either present both sides or understand and agree with their point. Since I limit myself to roughly 620+ characters per post, I will never be able to share everything I have learned on this glorious journey. Maybe someday, up yonder, I will tell you about it
I have attempted to condense my findings into at least five postings. During this series, we will walk through the topics:
- Preview of Heaven
- Profile of Heaven
- Purpose of Heaven
- Promise of Heaven
- Parables of Heaven
Heaven exists, though there are no verses in the Bible that give us a GPS location of Heaven. We know it is a real place because Jesus tells us that is where He is going [Mark 16:19; Acts 1:11] and He is preparing a place for us (John 14:3). In fact, Revelations 21:15-16 even notes the dimensions of the city of New Jerusalem in Heaven.
Believers agree that Heaven is for real. However, some theologians believe it exists in another dimension, a sort of 4th dimension [William Anthony Granville “The Fourth Dimension and the Bible”;“Heaven — Where Is It? How Do We Get There?”, ABC News]. Others counter that since we are to be re-united with our bodies at the rapture[1 Thessalonians 4:14-17], our bodies are not designed for a different dimension.[Randy Alcorn, “Heaven”, John MacArthur, “The Glory of Heaven”] Yet, all sides agree that Heaven is for fellowship and eternal joy and most importantly, worshipping around the throne of God.
For a believer Heaven is the holy kingdom of our living triune God and King and His followers. Believers believe in a Heaven and a Hell. For non-believers, Heaven has a variety of meanings by culture and denomination. In fact, some believe that life on earth is Hell enough!
Survey of Biblical References
The Scripture presents Heaven in many ways, including a garden, a city, a paradise and a kingdom. Heaven appears in the very first verse in Genesis—“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”—and in the last reference found at the end of Revelation—“[He] showed me the great city . . . descending out of Heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10 NKJV).
Jesus mentions Heaven about seventy times in the book of Matthew alone. The authors of Acts to Revelations reference Heaven over 120 times. In fact, fifty-four of the sixty- six books in the Bible mention Heaven.
Satan is a lie! When it comes to Heaven, Satan does not need to try to convince a believer that Heaven does not exist with a complete lie. He only needs to convince us that it is a boring place to spend eternity. If we believe that lie, we rob ourselves of the joy, the anticipation and the expectation of Heaven. The “good news” of the Gospel merely becomes “news”.
Reject the lie and half-truth! Live this life anticipating the joys of Heaven where Jesus will welcome us someday. Why, because…, it really is “Good News”!
Borrowing from statements in Randy Alcorn’s book “Heaven”: From the beginning, I want to make it clear that it’s vitally important that this posting be true to Scripture. I believe that most of my conclusions will stand up to biblical scrutiny. Inevitably, however, some may not. Thus as the apostle Paul says, “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5: 21). Knowing that my intention is to never mislead you, it is still up to you to test by God’s Word what I say. Hold on to the good, and reject the bad.
At the same time, leave me feedback/comments, I could have transcribed my notes or cited a source incorrectly since I had to review multiple articles, books and the Bible to arrive at the condensed words on these posts.
A. Was any of the presented information new to you? What was your reaction, update the comments below and share.
B. Is your day-to-day Christian living connected to your citizenship in Heaven?
A. Do you live your life as if seeing Jesus and going to Heaven is “Good News”?
B. How do you filter the information about Heaven from the TV and Movies?
A. Ask your prayer partner to complete the sentence “Heaven is _____”.
B. What did they say, can you share it in the comment box below?