God’s Word on Heaven
By Pastor J.D. Link
I encourage you to read 2 Cor 5:1-9. Paul explains that the disciple of Christ longs to be with Jesus. Though we are not to have a death wish, we also need not fear death. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. This mortal body separates us from the immediate presence of Christ; but we know that when we leave this mortal flesh, we are instantly present with Jesus. This is our confidence and hope, and God’s Spirit within us is the earnest (down payment) for our redemption.
Jesus came, that we need not fear death (Heb 2:14-150. Through fear of death, Satan kept mankind in bondage; but now, Jesus holds the keys of death. We need not fear it, for Jesus has conquered the grave. We need not fear man, who can only kill the body (which Jesus will easily raise); but we are to fear Almighty God (Mt 10:28).
Heaven is a real place, and God dwells there (Job 22:12, Ps 33:13-14). He looks from the heights of Heaven, and beholds all the earth. Nothing escapes the eyes of God. Though people may hide from men, they cannot hide from God’s eyes. None of us gets away with anything in the long run, though we may seem to in the present.
God made heaven (Gen 1:1, Act 4:24). He is the Creator of all things. Where was God before He made Heaven? Everywhere. If you cannot fully comprehend that, that’s ok. Our God is so great and vast, His glory (weightiness) is incomprehensible. A god one can fully explain and comprehend is nothing more than an idol made up in one’s own mind.
Jesus dwells in Heaven, at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20, Col 4:1, Heb 9:24, 1Pt 3:22). He has gone there to prepare a mansion for us to forever dwell in (Jn 14:1-2), and has promised to come and take us there. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and we can rest assured Jesus is doing – and will do – exactly what He said He would. Disciples of Jesus have reservations in Heaven – an eternal, incorruptible inheritance awaiting for us (1Pt 1:3-4, Heb 10:34). As we walk with Jesus in obedience to His Word, we lay up for ourselves eternal treasures in Heaven (Mt 6:20).
We have great reward in Heaven (Mat 5:11-12), and whatever afflictions we may endure in this short life, is nothing in comparison to the glory and splendor of an eternity with Jesus (2Cor 4:17). Don’t grow weary in well doing (Gal 6:9). Keep fighting the good fight of faith (1Tim 6:12)! Heaven is worth whatever the cost in our brief time here!
In Heaven, God’s will is perfectly done (Mat 6:10). No pain, sorrow, tears, or death (Rev 21:4); but only blessings, peace, love and joy. It is where believers dwell (Mt 8:11). We will sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and all the saints who have gone before us. What a family reunion that will be! Heaven is eternal (2Cor 5:1). That’s a good thing, since it will probably take that long to share all the stories!
So how do we get to this wonderful place called Heaven? 1. We must humble ourselves as a little child (Mat 18:3-4). The prideful will not inherit the Kingdom of God. We must in child-like faith receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior from a sincere heart. 2. We must be enrolled (Heb 12:23, Lk 10:20, Rev 21:27, Rev 20:15). If your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you will not enter. You can’t beg, borrow, buy or trade for salvation. You must repent and be born again and washed in the Blood of the Lamb for forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
3. You have to die (1Co 15:50, 2Cor 5:8). Unless you are that generation that is alive when Jesus returns, you must die to go to Heaven. If you are alive, you still must be instantly changed and outfitted with a glorified, eternal body fit for Heaven (1Thess 4:13-18, 1Cor 15:50-53), because this corruptible body cannot go there.
Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I have a desire to depart and be with the Lord, but for me to stay here is more needful for you” (Philp 1:21-24). We have a purpose and destiny to fulfill on this earth. While we long to be with Jesus in glory, we must first fulfill our mission on this earth. To live, is to live for Christ – to die, is to gain Him fully. This is the blessing of the Christian life. Selah.