This generation is asking questions relating to eternity, the validity of heaven, and how to get to heaven. The Bible is very distinct in using the phrase “get to heaven.” That’s more of a modern-day phrase or way to talk about it.
Rather, the Bible talks about having “eternal life” or being “saved.” In Acts 16:30-31, someone asks how he can be saved. The answer is: “Believe in the Lord Jesus.”
“Salvation is the passport of citizenship that grants access into the realm known as heaven that God. Here, the Father dwells in all of His majesty and sovereignty”
There is an old story about a pastor asking midway through his sermon on a warm Sunday morning, “How many of you want to go to heaven when you die?” Everyone raised his hand except one man, obviously asleep. Focusing on the sleeping man, the pastor loudly asked, “How many of you would like to go to hell when you die?”
Sensing the change of tone in his voice, the man abruptly awoke, stood to his feet, looked around sheepishly, and said, “Pastor, I don’t know what I’m standing for, but it looks like you and me are the only ones for it!”
You don’t have to die first to have the assurance that heaven would be your dwelling place.
Is Heaven Real?
No other identifying location was mentioned. Though there were times when John the Beloved in the book of revelation referenced looking down at what was taking place on earth. Is Heaven real? Where is heaven? Who resides in heaven?
Yes, heaven is a place!
We first find out about heaven in the Book of Genesis 1:1. The Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” There are different dimensions of heaven. We see the sky as a heaven. If we go beyond the earth’s stratosphere, that is another heaven. Where the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost reside, is the heaven where we attain to go (Ephesians 5:14).
In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, the apostle Paul referred to this heaven or “paradise” as a heavenly realm or as the “third heaven.” This location was separate from the first heaven (the skies above) and the second heaven (the expanse of outer space). This is the heaven where God dwells.
According to Revelation 7:1-4, heaven is clearly beyond the earth and larger than the earth, since the angels were standing at the four corners of the earth.
Revelation 4 offers a vision of the apostle John entering heaven through a door in the sky. He then finds himself in heaven before the throne of the Lord. Again, this is a vision in which John is in the spiritual realm beyond this world.
Who is in Heaven?
We read that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50); only Spirit-beings can reside within it. Even a righteous man like King David, whom God called a man after His heart, is not in Heaven. “For David did not ascend into the heavens” (Acts 2:34). Jesus Christ confirmed this when He said, “No one has ascended into heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13).
It is the “third heaven” that most people think of as “Heaven.” This is the Heaven where God the Father resides (1 Kings 8:30; Psalm 2:4; Matthew 5:16).
Pathway to Heaven
No one knows where heaven is. Some people have written books about their revelation of heaven. We just must take their word for it. We do know that wherever the Trinity resides is heaven. No one has been given the geographical coordinates of where heaven is. Rather, we have been given the access permit in a person that would grant us a connection to the reality of heaven and its inhabitants.
We know that you must be saved to get to heaven. Being saved means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Heaven is the reward for living a life that is pleasing to God according to the Bible. We also know that those who are a part of the Abrahamic covenant will be in heaven.
Philip said to him (Jesus), “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us”—John 14:8.
Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”—John 14:6.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation”—2 Corinthians 5:18-19.
Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of Heaven obviously emphasizes the future life of Christians in heaven. And the kingdom of God emphasizes that God the Father owns the kingdom.
The Kingdom of God also called the Kingdom Of Heaven in Christianity, is the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king, or the fulfillment on Earth of God’s will. Though the two are used interchangeably, we must distinguish between the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven.”
The “Kingdom of God” is the “Reign of God” in the Universe over all His creation and creative manifestations, which includes time and eternity, heavens and earth.
In the “Kingdom of God,” there is a mixture of good and evil. ‘Wheat’ and ‘tares.’ ‘Good fish’ and ‘bad fish.’ ‘Wise virgins’ and ‘foolish virgins.’
The “Kingdom of God” is both of the heavens and the earth. That is, it is universal, consisting of both limited and unlimited boundaries of the domain. Whereas, The “Kingdom of Heaven” is spiritual and yet territorial in expression on the earth. The “Kingdom of Heaven” is spiritual and “cometh not with observation”—Luke 17:20-21.
It is entered by the “New Birth”—John 3:5; and is not ‘meat’ and ‘drink,’ but “Righteousness and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost”—Romans 14;17.
Christ the Beloved
The ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is that part of the ‘Kingdom of God’ headed by the Father, that was established by Christ Jesus on the earth. That he began to preach in the gospel of ‘Good News.’
When a man gets born again, he becomes a member of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ headed by Christ Jesus.
Everyone who is received in Christ is accepted in Christ, the one that the father called the beloved at baptism.
Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom right from the time of John the Baptist. To those that believed, he gave them the power to become the sons of God.
The kingdom of heaven at incarnation has become the kingdom of His dear son at glorification—Colossians 1:13.
How do we know this?
God said to the son, “thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom”—Hebrew 1:8.
The scepter of righteousness means the authority and reign of his kingdom are signified by righteousness.
God affirming that the righteousness of man is as filthy rags—Isaiah 64:6—makes all doing of man a fall short of the beauty of holiness.
“For Christ is the end of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” — Romans 5:17.
“Even the righteousness of God which by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all those that believe: for there is no difference:”—Romans 3:22.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”—Ephesians 1:5-6.
Christ Is The Way
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” — Romans 10:9-10.
“Therefore as by the offense one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the gift came upon all men unto justification of life”—Romans 5:18.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast—Ephesians 2:8-9.
Only Being in Christ can you be brought into the reign of his domain.
“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit”—1 Corinthians 6:17.
Being joined with Christ is becoming one in spirit with him, and where he is, so shall you be also – the Kingdom of Heaven! – John 12:26.