What does the word “heaven” mean to you?
The first verse in the Bible says that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When we look up to the sky, we think of this creation and know that heaven in this sense is vast and it is awesome.
In Psalm 108, David says that God’s unfailing love is higher than the heavens and His faithfulness reaches to the clouds. “Higher than the heavens” is the greatest height that David could think of to describe God’s love.
How would you describe “heaven”?
In the book of Revelation, the apostle John writes that some day in a specific way, “God will wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.” That surely describes heaven.
The Bible says that no eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love Him. What words can we use to describe something that surpasses not only our knowledge, but our ability to comprehend it?
What did Jesus say about heaven?
Jesus also spoke of this place when he said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
For this to truly make sense to us, we have to believe in something called “eternal life”. Eternal life is the very core of the Christian belief that this life on earth is not all there is. We are created by God in his image which means we have a heart, soul and spirit. Deep inside us we know that we are not the same as an animal that has no awareness of having a greater purpose to their life than eating, sleeping, reproducing, repeating and then one day dying. It is the life after death where we find comfort in the words that Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will never die. I go to prepare a place for you.”
A personal word about heaven ~ a short story
On August 25, 2019, my twin sister, her husband, my husband and I boarded a ship for a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean. The cruise would take us to an island called St. Thomas (pronounced Saint Thomas) where my twin sister and her husband were married. Within the first hour of the cruise we were informed that because of Hurricane Dorian, the ship would be taking us to Mexico instead of to the Caribbean. While this was a disappointment, we decided that we had to make the best of it so we did not let this change of plans hinder our thinking that this would be a great vacation. The cruise was truly nice ~ very nice ~ but what happened on that cruise taught me a valuable lesson.
Every day, we waited for news from the Captain about his plans for keeping us safe from the hurricane. He was always very happy, upbeat and excited to share that we would remain at sea yet another day…then another…then another…like this would be the best news for us to hear. Eventually our cruise was extended to eleven days. By that time, we were all tired of eating delicious food. We were all tired of walking around looking at beautiful sunrises and magnificent sunsets. All of our needs and many of our wants were met; but by the eleventh day, we were tired of it all. It wasn’t enough.
This is when God taught me a valuable lesson about heaven. I had taken a couple of books to read on the cruise. One of those books was Hope of Glory by Sam Storms. Hope of Glory is a collection of 100 daily readings about a book in the Bible called Colossians. The theme of Colossians is our hope of heaven. On page 67 of his book, Sam Storms wrote: “If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven…?” As I read that sentence, my answer was, “NO!” I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied.
Now I want to introduce you to a word called “inheritance.”
What would you like your inheritance to be?
Usually you think of your inheritance as something of value that your parents or a family member will leave when they die. Your inheritance might be money or it could be something that has sentimental value beyond its price. Spiritually “your inheritance” means that you will receive something of eternal value. Heaven is that something of eternal value that you can inherit when you die. Heaven is not just a place that’s “better” than earth. Heaven isn’t just “greater” than what we have on earth.
What is the greatest part about heaven?
In heaven you will no longer be in a place where God is disbelieved, irrelevant or ignored. No, not at all. The Bible says that in heaven a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and tongue will stand before God and that everyone will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The greatest part about heaven is that God and Jesus will be there. That is our great inheritance!
How do you receive this inheritance?
It is important to know that heaven is the inheritance that Jesus has given to all who believe that He died on the cross to save them from sin and death. Not all people believe this. Not all people want to believe this. It is a personal choice that each one of us must make.
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth. We believe that man sinned and from the beginning this sin has separated man from God. We believe that everyone has sinned. We believe that God is holy and that he cannot just overlook our sins. We believe that Jesus was God and that he lived a sinless life, giving himself as a perfect sacrifice by dying on the cross for our sins so that we will no longer be judged as guilty. By his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin and death and opened the door to heaven to all who trust and receive His gift of eternal life.
The Bible from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation answers these questions:
- When I die, where am I going?
- Do I believe in eternal life?
- Where is heaven?
- What is it like?
- What has Jesus prepared for me in heaven?
- What do I need to receive my inheritance?
Read these verses from the Bible about heaven:
I Corinthians 2:9
Lord Jesus, you are the final sacrifice for sin. You are perfect in every way. I am not perfect. I have sinned. I confess that I cannot save myself from my sins. I confess that you died for me. Thank you for your suffering and dying on the cross for me to pay the penalty for my sin. By faith, I trust you as my Savior who died for me and I accept the inheritance and the place you have prepared for me. Thank you for loving me.