Read: Psalm 103:19 |
God’s home address is Heaven. It is His abode, His holy habitat. He did not and does not need a single location to call home because God is omnipresent. He can be everywhere at one time.
Nevertheless, He created Heaven as the heavenly haven for the Angels he made and mankind whom he created in his own image (Genesis 1:27). Since we cannot be every at once like Him, He prepared a place for His prepared people to abide with Him [C.H. Spurgeon]. Heaven is the holy kingdom of our living God reserved for those who confess and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and King (Romans 10:9,10).
As we start our study of what the Bible says about Heaven, it is important to lay the foundation. We will establish the different meanings of the word “Heaven” in the Bible and establish who the citizens of Heaven are.
Heaven is Shamyim in the OT and Ouranos in the NT
The NIV Bible lists over well over 600 references to Heaven. There are multiple meanings of the word Heaven in the Bible. The Hebrew word usually translated “Heaven” is shamayim. It is a plural noun form that literally means “the heights.” The Greek word is ouranos and refers to that which is raised up, or lofty.
The terms may also refer to air, sky, the atmosphere and the stars of the universe [Strong’s Concordance]. The correct meaning of the term derives from the context of the specific Bible verse.
The meaning – spiritual Heaven – is clear in Psalm 103:19, “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” Whereas, in Genesis 8:2, “Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed,…” clearly refers to the sky. These brief examples illustrate that interpreting the word “Heaven” in scripture requires a contextual scan. When in doubt, use a concordance, BibleGateway.com, BibleHub.com or a favorite trusted biblical site to ascertain the meaning.
Heaven requires a Citizenship Test
We are born in sin when we first enter the world (Romans 6:23). Thus, our citizenship is marked as “Hell”.
Based whether or not we believe, confess and accept Jesus Christ on earth, determines if our citizenship status changes from Hell to Heaven (Romans 10:9,10; John 3:18).
At the resurrection, we will be given new names, new imperishable bodies and we will be clothed in the white robes of righteousness. We will be glorious living stones; pillars in the eternal temple of God (I Corinthians 15:52; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 3:12).
The renowned 19th-century English preacher C. H. Spurgeon told this story about King Cyrus, the man who conquered Babylon and freed the Jews from captivity:
A visitor who was admiring Cyrus’ gardens said it gave him much pleasure. “Ah,” said Cyrus, “but you have not so much pleasure in this garden as I have, for I have planted every tree in it myself.” Spurgeon then commented, “One reason some saints will have a greater fullness of heaven than others will be that they did more for heaven than others. By God’s grace they were enabled to bring more souls there.” Those words should cause all of us who know the Lord to do some serious thinking. How many people will be in heaven because of us? Our desire should be that when we reach our eternal home, some will say to us, “I’m so thankful for you. It was your testimony, your life, your invitation to accept Christ that accounts for my being here today.” [Gerald Flury, Why Are You Standing Around?]
Prayerfully, we will each experience the joy of greeting others that were lead to Christ by our faith, testimony and actions. Each day, our goal is to help someone get his or her citizenship changed to Heaven!
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. Everyone wonders, where is Heaven. How much if any does “where” Heaven is matter to you and your faith?
B. Are all of your family members citizens of Heaven? If not what are you doing to share the Good News with them
A. Ask your spouse or prayer partner if any part of your life or lifestyle does not resemble behavior befitting a citizen of Heaven?
A. Have you done any personal study on the subject of Heaven?
B. What have you learned, please share.