Sing the wondrous love of Jesus
Sing his mercy and his grace
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place
When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory
There are a lot of songs and hymns about heaven. A LOT. Some depict Jesus on his throne with angels surrounding him singing praises. Others attempt to describe the longing for a better place, one with no tears, no sadness, and full of God’s glory and light. Still others are full of the beauty that heaven will surely hold and plans for eternally praising God and living harmoniously with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you feel like you don’t know much about heaven or maybe experience some anxiety about your life after death, that’s okay! Being on a road with a roadmap without fully understanding your final destination can cause some trepidation. While we cannot begin to know the full extent of what the “home of the soul” holds for us until we get there, God divined a way for us to have some idea of our eternal dwelling until we arrive.
Here is what the Bible says about heaven so that we can better understand what’s in store…
God Created Heaven
In Genesis 1:1, the Bible tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. This means until he spoke it into being, the place called heaven— and it’s “beings”— did not exist. God made himself a dwelling place and created beings— angels— to help him. We also know, from Psalm 33:13-14, that God can see us from heaven. And while we, his temporary temples, carry his Holy Spirit in our hearts, God the father is currently reigning and residing in heaven.
God’s Laws & Commands Stand in Eternity
According to Matthew 16:19, everything taught by Jesus and his apostles applies to heaven as well. This simply means that when Jesus came and fulfilled “the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 5: 17-20) everything he lived and preached should be practiced in order for us to have access to an eternity with God. If we are true disciples of Christ and live God’s word daily, we will inherit an eternity in heaven.
Dwelling in Heaven is Only Available Through Full Obedience
The Bible is clear on just who will and will not be in heaven after Jesus returns. Matthew 7:21-23 tells us that though some people may think they have admittance on faith alone, it will be the ones who also do the will of God. Just because someone “calls on the name of the Lord” doesn’t mean they’ve lived according to his will. Even the angels must obey and can have their admittance to heaven revoked (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 12:9). In Luke 10:18, Jesus describes how he himself saw Satan “fall like lightening from heaven.” So then, our eternal habitation depends upon our eternal obedience to God (1 Peter 3:21-22).
Jesus, Our High Priest, Will Return to Take Us There
After his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53). No one has ever done this, which makes Jesus the only way we can ever have access to God and the inheritance of heaven (Hebrews 4:14, 8:1-2, 9:24). But we are promised, in Philippians 3:20-21 that when Jesus does return, he will transform us to be like him so that we can join him in heaven.
We Don’t Know Everything… Yet
Even John “the revelator” himself couldn’t give us a full description of what he saw first hand in his vision of heaven! He uses many metaphors to try to convey its attributes, but even he was perplexed by the beauty and glory of heaven. Imagine a city where gold is used as pavement to be trod upon. A habitation where precious jewels are used as brick to be manipulated and in such quantity to be used for fortifications. John, bless his heart, did his utmost to describe the unfathomable perfection that heaven is and will be. And as we’ve read, Jesus is there preparing this glorious place for us.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ ”
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day— and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” –Revelation 21:22-27
As we continue our scripture plan for this month, read back through your thoughts and see what you’ve learned about heaven.
-What themes or questions have come up that you’ve never noticed before?
-What was revealed about God or Jesus that you maybe didn’t realize?
-Has there been much rejoicing in your heart about your heavenly home?
(I know there has in mine!)
If you don’t mind, share them all with us! Since “this world is not our home, we’re just passing through,” let’s discuss and praise God for an eternity with him!