If someone asked you, “What is the most important aspect of Heaven,” what would you say?
The Bible gives us numerous glimpses into the wonders of Heaven. For example, “Heaven is a beautiful paradise where there is no sin, sorrow, pain, fear, or death – only love, joy, and peace” (my paraphrase from Revelation 2:7, 21:4; Romans 14:17; 1 John 4:8,18).
As humans, we naturally gravitate toward descriptions of Heaven like the one above. They give a sense of peace and comfort. What human being wouldn’t want to live forever in a beautiful paradise and enjoy a glorious new body and unending happiness? If we’re not careful, though, we can get caught up in these aspects of Heaven…and miss what is truly important.
There is only one reason Heaven is unimaginably wonderful: God dwells there. God, the Holy, Most High God who lives forever, has His throne in Heaven. His glory fills and illuminates Heaven (Revelation 21:23). His Presence defines what Heaven is. God – His glory and presence – is what is truly important about Heaven. This is the aspect of Heaven most emphasized in Scripture.
Three biblical authors – Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John – had visions of Heaven and recorded what they saw. All three focused on God’s glory. They described the awesome, transcendent beauty, majesty, and radiance of God and His throne, and the beings that attend Him. Their response to these visions was fear and shame. (Isaiah 6:1-4; Ezekiel 1,10; Revelation 4-6)
Compare this to the stories of heaven currently being produced. These stories focus on enjoyment and pleasure, with little reference to God or His glory. We must look to the Bible for a complete description.
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, received a glimpse of Heaven moments before he was stoned:
Acts 7:55-56, 59
“But being full of the Holy Spirit, he [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” …They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
Whether we are on earth or in Heaven, God wants our focus to always be on Him and on His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Through the sacrifice of Christ, God has made it possible for us to receive forgiveness of sins and a personal relationship with Him. He has opened the door to Heaven for us so that we can live with Him forever. Shouldn’t our praise, our thanks, and our devotion be to Him?
The apostle Paul understood that relationship with God is paramount. He considered that the most important aspect of being in Heaven is to be with God. In Philippians 1:21, Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” He told believers in Corinth that while he was at home in the body he was absent from the Lord, and he “[preferred] rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Jesus Himself emphasized relationship when He comforted His disciples the night before His crucifixion. He told them:
“In My Father’s house [Heaven] are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
As wonderful as Heaven will be, it is the prospect of spending eternity with our God that should stir our hearts – for that is what stirs God’s heart. If we build our relationship with Him while we are on earth, we will have a greater desire to be with Him in Heaven. We won’t miss what is truly important.
1 Corinthians 2:9
“…Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Do you have a personal relationship with God? Do you have assurance that you will go to Heaven? Read “How Can I Know God?” today.
What Do You Think?
So what do you think?
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