Question: How Do We Know There Is A Heaven?
It’s not uncommon to sometimes have doubts or questions about the things of God. However, the good news is that God’s word helps us to answer these questions and turn our doubts into faith building opportunities. To answer this question, we must first explore what Heaven is. Here are two facts about heaven that we can be sure of:
- Heaven is a real place: The word “heaven” appears in the New Testament nearly 300 times. The Bible describes three heavens. The first heaven is most often described as the “sky” or “firmament” in the Old Testament (Genesis 1:7-8). This is the earthly realm of the clouds and sky. The second heaven is the realm of the stars and planets (Genesis 1:14-18). Finally, the third heaven is the dwelling place of God (2 Corinthians 12:2) and while Scripture does not reveal its specific location we are assured of its very real existence. Jesus told his disciples that in his father’s house are many dwelling places and he was going to prepare a place for them (John 14:2). We also see that while on the cross Jesus told the thief who put his faith in Christ that he would join the Lord that day in paradise (Luke 23:43). After Jesus rose from the grave and met with all of the disciples he ascended up to heaven and took his place at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Moreover, as the disciples watched Jesus ascend into heaven, two angels appeared and asked them “why do you stand looking at the sky, Jesus has been taken into Heaven and will return in the same way you watched him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). The Bible shows us that Jesus not only dwells in heaven, it is also where his present ministry is taking place (Hebrews 9:24) as he intercedes for us and where he reigns as the one true High Priest (Hebrews 8:1-2) (Hebrews 4:15). The question of whether heaven is real or not, has been authoritatively answered many times in the Bible. The answer is with complete certainty “Yes”! Heaven is indeed a very real place.
- Heaven is promised by God to all who trust in Christ: The Bible teaches us that upon death, the glorious destiny of every person who puts their trust in Jesus is to experience eternal life in the presence of God forever (John 3:16) (Matthew 25:46a) (John 3:36) (Romans 6:23). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Where does God dwell? That’s right….Heaven! Therefore we can face the future with confidence knowing that all believers are promised Heaven when their final day comes. I would be remiss not to mention that the sad reality for all who reject Jesus as Lord and do not accept his free gift of salvation is an eternity dwelling in a place the Bible calls “Hell” (Mark 9:43) It is the exact opposite of what it will be to experience heaven. Hell is complete separation from God and a place of eternal punishment and everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:6–9) (Matthew 25:41) (Revelation 20:10) (Revelation 20:15). This should give every follower of Christ pause, to remember the importance of sharing the Gospel with the people God has placed in our lives.
I will close with saying that because Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death every person who trusts in Jesus though they will one day die, they will never experience death. As we’ve seen above, it’s a promise from God and we can stand firmly on his promises!
Dear Lord, thank you for preparing a place for me in heaven where you dwell and reign. Your Word assures that this life is not the end and I stand firm on your promise of heaven. Help me to reach my full potential as your Child while I am here on this earth…….In Jesus name, Amen