Even though heaven is a basic belief of Christianity, not much is said about it in churches and there is not an abundance of books available on the topic. Atheism, of course, offers no information about heaven because of no belief that God exists.
Some religions faiths have beliefs about death and the afterlife, but this is based on some individual’s thinking which evolved into a religion. However, there is an exception to this. This exception is Jesus Christ who came to earth. He made significant comments about heaven which are recorded in the Christian scriptures.
Heaven, where God lives, and our earth were peaceful places until one powerful and beautiful angel called Lucifer made a decision which has affected our world and all humanity to this very day. Lucifer became enamored with his own beauty, wisdom and capability to the extend that he thought he could upstage the very God who created him. The scriptures tell what happened in Ezekiel 28:15 & 17. “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.” “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.” (NKJ)
Lucifer was exiled to our world with a third of the angels whom he misled. It is generally thought that these angels became demons and now do his bidding to lure as many humans as possible into hell in their afterlife.
Jesus said he came down from heaven to provide salvation for the human race. He said, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me” Jesus also told his disciples that he was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them. He further said if it were not so he would have told them (John 14:2-3). One can read various opinions about Jesus Christ but one cannot find an accusation that he was a liar.
Since there is a heaven where Jesus now is and where the throne of God is, then heaven has a location. Heaven can’t just be everywhere in general and nowhere in particular. The word “heaven” is used in the bible in three distinct senses. In the scriptures we read of three heavens. The first heaven is the air which completely surrounds our earth. The second heaven is the region of the planets and stars. This is where some principalities and powers of evil are, as explained in the bible, in Ephesians 6:12 which says, “We wrestle…. against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The third heaven is where God lives. Jesus in Mathew is quoted as saying “Our Father in heaven….”. 1 Kings 8:30 calls heaven the dwelling place of God.
Lucifer when he made his mistaken assumption spoke of the “congregation in the sides of the north….”. When Jehovah visited the prophet Ezekiel it came with a whirlwind which “came out of the north” (Ezekiel 1:4-28). Job 26:7 states, “He (God) stretches out the north over the empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.” (NKJ) North in scripture is an important direction and indicates where God lives.
There are many founders of world religions, but one can not find one where the founder came down from heaven, died to provide salvation for mankind, rose from the dead, then went back to heaven to prepare places for his followers who accepted his death and forgiveness of sins. Furthermore, He rose from the dead. His tomb became empty after 3 days. No other religious founder can make such a claim.
Since no other religion can make the promise that Jesus made regarding heaven, one of the main beliefs prevalent in the world is reincarnation which postulates that there are endless rebirths. There is no clear explanation who or what is in charge of assuring that this belief system is a fact. There are even contradictions of belief about reincarnation among those who believe in it. But this is material for another post in the future.
Death is the separation of soul and body. The Christian scriptures clearly teach that we have a soul and depending on the decision we make about Jesus determines where we go in our afterlife. That our soul/spirit exists can be shown by the following scriptures: Gen. 25:8; Luke 23:46; 1 Kings 17:20-22; Luke 8:49-55; II Samuel 12:19-23; 2 Cor. 5:6-9; 2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Peter 1:13-15; Phil. 1:21-24; James 2:26. Virtually all translations of the bible contain these references.
Many people who have not researched the topic of the afterlife and heaven think that believers go to heaven and will be in this heaven forever. But this is not all there will be, because the scriptures clearly indicate that there are further plans that God has for those who have accepted what Jesus accomplished by his death and resurrection. That will be given in the next post, Heaven Two.
If you are not a Christian you can take a step that will guarantee that you will go to heaven when you die.
Below is a sample prayer, but you can speak to Jesus in your own words too.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for coming down from heaven and dying on the cross and rising from the dead so I can have forgiveness of my sins. I now receive you as my Savior.”
If you do not have a bible, try to get one and read the New testament, because it has the information you need to get to heaven.
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