“What is Heaven?” Ask twenty people this question and you could receive twenty different answers.
God our Creator doesn’t want us to be confused about Heaven. He desires for us to know the truth so that we may go to Heaven when we die. He wants us to live with the hope of Heaven. This enables us to endure the trials of life. It motivates us to live a holy life that will bring God glory and testify to others that God is real.
God has given us the truth in His inspired Word, the Holy Bible. The Bible is the only authoritative source of information about Heaven that we can trust.
What is Heaven? In the Bible, we find numerous references to “heaven” or “the heavens”. Genesis 1:1, the very first verse of the Bible reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
There are actually three places referred to as “heaven” in the Bible. The first heaven is the atmosphere around our earth, “the sky” (Psalm 147:8). The second heaven is where the sun, moon, and stars are (Genesis 1:14-17). The third heaven is the Heaven where God dwells (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). This is the Heaven that I am going to talk about.
Heaven is a real place, created by God to be His “holy habitation”. Moses prayed to God, “Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven” (Deuteronomy 26:15). Jesus continually referred to God as “My Father in heaven”.
In Isaiah 57:15, God described Himself and Heaven in this way: “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place…’” Scripture tells us that He has prepared a place for us and we will join Him in this place when we die if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
God is omnipresent (present everywhere) and cannot be contained in any one place (1 Kings 8:27). Then how can He dwell in Heaven? Heaven cannot contain God, but He has chosen to make Heaven His home, His base of operations. Psalm 33:13-14 says, “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth.”
Describing Heaven, the writer of Hebrews 12:22 refers to “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Most of the biblical descriptions of Heaven, however, focus on God’s throne. God’s throne, described in terms of inexpressible glory and beauty, is the center of activity in Heaven. Around the throne are living creatures, elders, myriads of angels, and people from every nation, all worshipping God and His Son Jesus Christ.
As wonderful as Heaven is, the Bible tells us that this is not our final destination. After God’s final judgment on sin, the earth and the universe as we know it will pass away. God will create new heavens and a new earth, perfect, without any taint of sin (2 Peter 3).
The apostle John saw a vision of the new heavens and the new earth. He saw the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven to the new earth. This is where we will spend eternity. God and Jesus will come to dwell with us in this city (Revelation 21). We will have everlasting joy and peace, without sin or sorrow.
Have you trusted in God and in Jesus Christ, His remedy for sin? This is the way to Heaven. Read “How Can I Know God?”
What Do You Think?
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