Most people would live much more loving, fruitful and productive lives on earth if they would realize more the reality of heaven and live in light of it. We were born (again) with a destination in mind. It is time to reckon with the truth of heaven.
Heaven is the dwelling place of God. Heaven is where some will go at death (but others will never see). When the spirit leaves the human body, heaven becomes the believer's one true, eternal Home. Those who believe in Jesus are meant to happily anticipate heaven each day with great fervor and delight. For heaven is eternal joy! Heaven is forever.
I believe contemplating heaven is both wonderful and fascinating. The Bible has many encouraging and sobering truths to share also about eternal rewards and eternal judgment. The revelation of all the ages (God's Word in the Bible) was written to reveal to our hearts a place which is eternal. We were born to go there. When we die we will.
I hope this message will stimulate you to give serious thought (perhaps for the first time) to Heaven! (It should probably be noted that popular notion as well as many of the world's religions and cult groups typically distort clear Biblical truths about heaven and the basis for arriving there. So it becomes extra important for you personally to know what God says about your intended eternal home. Watch out for liars and false spiritual soothsayers. Pretenders who do not truly know or affirm Jesus for Who He really is. (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2:15; Prov. 30:5-6, Is. 8:19-20) Rejoice in the truth. Search it out fully. Prepare your heart. Get your ticket. Jesus is the Way to Heaven!
A summary of the scriptural teaching on Heaven follows...
Heaven is a place which can be understood and revealed. The Bible describes times and ways which God supernaturally gives glimpses and revelations of heaven to people here on the earth (see: Revelation, the last book of the Bible). Jacob, in the Old Testament had a dream and revelation about heaven. (Gen. 28) Saints all through the ages have glimpsed eternity (common, ordinary folks like you and me who believe in Jesus). I myself have received two dreams which described heaven to me. In one, the Lord showed me Psalm 16:11 (made alive and dramatized), that heaven is being FILLED WITH JOY in God's Presence forever. Hallelujah!
Jesus is coming soon! Angels
(Matt. 28:2; Rev. 10:1)
and - in rare circumstances - people, even prior to their deaths, have traveled to heavenly places (2 Kings 2:11; 2 Cor. 12:2; Rev. 11:12).
At death, the human spirit leaves the body (Eccl. 12:2) and
goes either to heaven or hell
(Luke 16:22ff) There is immediate conscious existence after death, both in heaven and hell (Luke 16:22ff.; Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 6:9-11; Phil. 1:23). It is doubtful that there is a state of "soul sleep" or any period of unawareness preceding heaven. "Fallen asleep" in 1 Thes. 4:13 is probably a euphemism for death, describing the spirit's departure from the body, which ends our conscious existence on earth. Ecclesiastes also seems to reinforce this notion. It speaks similarly when it describes death (as it appears from the perspective of those who dwell "under the sun.") Paul said that as soon as we are absent from the body, we will be present with the Lord. Hallelujah! (2 Cor. 5:1-11)
At death the believer is ushered into heaven. Apparently by angels (Luke 16:22). Death is a relocation experience (during which we may be accompanied by ministering angels).(Dan. 8:16-26; Luke 1:26-38; Dan. 10:13, 31; Rev. 12:1) (2 Kings 6:17) (Dan.9:21, 23; 10:12-13; Rev. 12:7) (Gen. 18-19) (Heb. 13:2, Heb. 1:14)
* Heaven is the dwelling place of God's
children. Christ promised his followers they would live with
him in heaven (John 12:26; 13:36; 14:2-3).
Believers in Jesus & faithful followers of the Lord who have died now live there in His presence (Rev. 4-5; Luke 16:22, 25; Heb. 12:23). The names of Christ's redeemed are written in heaven (Luke 10:20; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 20:15).
* Heaven is the Christian believer's "country" of citizenship (Heb. 11:16; Phil. 3:20). Christ is our King. Eternally! Despite how earth-engrossed some of us are, earth is only an alien "country" where believers temporarily reside. (1 Cor. 7:29-31) We are aliens, foreigners, pilgrims and strangers. (Heb. 11:3) Yet while here we are God's ambassadors on earth (2 Cor. 5:20). Healthy, fruitful living begins with remembering our stay here is brief. Temporary. The Bible frequently urges us to fix our minds and hearts on what is eternal. (Col. 3:1-4, Ps. 73:23-28) Ambassadors & foreigners identify themselves in heart with their home country (not their temporary, foreign reside). How desperately we need to plan our lives with this focus: ever glimpsing eternity, always maintaining love and allegiance to our One true King, ready and prepared for relocation to our eternal country.
God's people need hearts which long for heaven. This quality of heart (longing for heaven) is instructed all through scripture and pleases our Lord, who has prepared a place there for us (Heb. 11:13-16; 2 Cor. 5:2). We are meant to live ever-anticipating heaven (Phil. 3:14; 2 Tim. 4:8). The Bible encourages us especially to long for His appearing (the bodily coming of Jesus upon the clouds in power and great glory). He is coming soon. His Second Coming is very near. Right at the door! Hallelujah! Heaven & the Lamb at its center are worthy of being regular & central to our attention. (Jn. 1:29, Revelation 5) Our hearts or minds are urged to be set on "things above" where Christ is - in heaven, not on "earthly things." (Col. 3:1-4)
Note: The popular adage about Christians being "so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good" is a myth. And helps perpetuate other lies in half-hearted Christianity. On the contrary, most people are so EARTHLY minded they are of no heavenly or earthly good. C. S. Lewis said, "It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one." God commands us instead to be heavenly minded. Setting our minds on things above helps put daily life and issues in better perspective, frees us from discouragement and misdirected energies and priorities. Heavenly meditation makes us more sensitive to Jesus, His voice and Presence. Jesus is our power to live and be fruitful on earth (John 15, Heb. 11:26-27). Heaven gives the struggling Christian peace and a happy heart even in the midst of life's greatest trials.
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