Heaven, And Why I Want To Go There -
Heaven is a real place. Some say we can’t know this because no one has ever gone there and returned to tell about it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Heaven is just as real a place as God is real who lives there. I have never seen God in person. No one has ever looked upon His face and lived Jn.1:18. Yet, God has given us abundant evidence that He is true and alive. The evidence for God is found all over creation Acts 14:17; Ps.19:1-2; Rom.1:19-20.
In the same manner God has given us a book that declares His nature and will for mankind. We call this book the Bible. If the One who gave us the Bible is true, living and real, then the Book He gave us is also true and real. Therefore the place called heaven, described in the Book, the place God has prepared for His own, is also real. It is true that the description of heaven is often presented in imagery that makes it difficult for the human mind to comprehend the wonders of heaven in finite terms, i.e., streets of gold, a pearl the size of a gate, a tree that bears fruit of 12 different flavors year round, etc. The imagery doesn’t mean that heaven is not a real place. So, I believe that heaven is a real place because God’s Book tells me it is real.
I believe heaven is a real place because I believe the testimony of God’s Son. He told His disciples that He was going there to prepare a place for them Jn.14:1-3. He came from heaven and was going to return to heaven to do so. “To prepare” means He has gone to make reservations. It is like going to a motel after reservations are made. The owner doesn’t build new rooms. They are already prepared for the guests. So it is with heaven. It is a place ready and waiting for those of us who are God’s people. Abraham saw its reality through the eye of faith Heb.11:10-16, for he “waited for the city which has foundations, who builder and maker is God…a better, that is a heavenly country…for He had prepared a city for them.” The apostle John in a vision describes what he saw through the door opened in heaven Rev.4. What did he see? “A new heaven” Rev.21:1 f; 2.Pet.3:13. A holy city Rev.21:2, 10, 18-21, a righteous city, where there was no sin or lawlessness.
Thinking about heaven being a place where there will be no sin or lawlessness, most people, regardless of the fact that their loved ones lived a life of sin and rebellion against God while on earth, still believe they will still go to heaven when they die. But, just believing something does not make it so. Remember heaven is a prepared place for prepared people and few people really make preparation for heaven. The majority will be lost because they chose to follow the wrong path in life Matt.7:13-14. But when they die, their loved ones bury them hoping for something that will not happen.
This reminds me of a little girl who had gone to a cemetery with her parents. As she walked around she read the tombstones, “now an angel of God,” “died and gone to heaven” and other such phrases. She didn’t read any that said, “gone to hell.’ “no rest for the wicked” and so forth. In her innocence this puzzled her, so she asked her parents, “Where do they bury the wicked people? Makes us wonder, doesn’t it?
Rev.21:27; 22:3 teaches us that heaven is a place where there is no pain, sickness, dying (no hospitals, funerals, cemeteries) Rev.21:4. A city with the tree of life and the river of water of life Rev.22:1-2, with no night, for God is the light Rev.21:23, 22:5. Heaven is the eternal kingdom Matt.25:34; 2.Pet.1:10-11; with God as the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings, Lord of Lords 1.Tim.6:15-16. Heaven is a real place, a real city, a real country, a real kingdom. But it is not earthly. When we think of how heaven is described we can joyfully sing, “How beautiful heaven must be.”
So, where is heaven located? I don’t really know. I’ve never seen it. No one I know has ever seen it. The people who built the tower of Babel did NOT finish their tower they were building that was to reach to heaven Gen.11:4, 8. None of the astronauts ever got far enough into space to see heaven. Heaven can’t be seen with the naked eye or with the Hubbal telescope. It can only be seen through the eye of faith. All I know about its location is that it is “UP.” Jesus was taken “UP” Acts 1:11. Paul was caught UP to the 3rd heaven 2.Cor.12:2. The Lord looks down from above Ps.14:2. When Jesus returns saints will be caught UP 1.Thes.4:17. Even though we can’t see it, I am fully confident God will let us know where it is when the time comes.
Yes, heaven is a real place for real people Rev.22:14; 1.Cor.6:9-11; Rev.17:14. No one defiled or unclean will be there Rev.21:27. Real people will be in heaven. Their bodies will not be flesh and blood, but incorruptible 1.Cor.15:50-53; 2:Cor.5:4. We sing the song, “When we all get to heaven.” Think of those who will be there. Jesus Acts 1:9; Enoch Gen.5:24; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob Matt.8:11; Moses and Elijah Lk.9:30-31; 2.Kgs.2:11; Stephen Acts 7:60; Lazarus Lk.19: 21; all the faithful Rev.2:10; 6:9. All who overcome Rev.21:7; 7:9, 13-14. Will we know each other in heaven? I think so. The body will change, but we will still have our memory. We will know Christ 1.Jn.3:2. Apostles recognized Moses and Elijah Matt.17. God is the God of the living Matt.22:23-30. David said about his child, “I can go to be with him 2.Sam.12:23. What if others we know don’t get there? God will wipe away all tears, sorrows, why not the memory of the lost. Yes, heaven is real and I want to go there? How about you?
In my next article I want deal with the question, “Is your name written there?”
By Tommy Thornhill
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