Heaven! Heaven!! Heaven!!!
We believe heaven to be where God, his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit dwell with all the heavenly beings.
The Bible starts with the historical narrative of heaven and earth in Genesis and ends with the future of heaven and earth in the book of revelation.
Why is this so important to our Christian faith?
There is hope in the calling of Christ, which accumulates to a final destination of newness and tranquility.
God’s intention was not for man to abide in heaven. He gave unto man the earth to inhabit, dominate, and replenish.
There was a change of plan after the fall of man. Man needed a temporary location until the lease period of the earth to man was due.
Within the lease period, man’s journey has transverse from rebellion to redemption and would climax in glorification.
This brings the question of where would we spend the rest of the time that precedes the lease period. And what would we do in such a place for all eternity? In this case, heaven.
If heaven is the final destination of all believers, what would we be doing in heaven? Rather, let us ask, is heaven the final destination of believers?
The Heaven, God’s Dwelling Place
“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”
“The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven.”
Why? Because moving from the realm of the seen to the unseen—moving from the creature comforts and tangible benefits, we have on this earth—it is impossible for us to grasp a world without 24-hour cycles of day and night. No gravity. No sun. No moon. No stars. No night.
Nothing that we call the familiar will be in that unfamiliar, resplendent, glorious place. So with that truth in mind, let’s try to get a feel for what’s going on in heaven right now, even before the Great Tribulation takes place on earth.
Dead In Christ, Alive to God
We have two streams of questions that we have to give or find answers to, similar to what happens in heaven.
The first question is, what are the ‘dead in Christ’ doing in heaven until the event of the rapture? The second question is, what time frames would those ‘alive in Christ’ be in heaven for, and what would they be doing in heaven?
“Into thine hand, I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of Truth.”
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”
If we can imagine what the dead in Christ on earth who are alive to God in heaven are doing now. It would give us a glimpse into what we would do in heaven.
Heaven is a perfect place designed for perfected people. Sin and all its consequences will be completely removed. We will enjoy all the good things God intended and none of the bad things that resulted from sin.
New Heaven, New Earth
What is the meaning of “a new heaven and a new earth”? What will this new heaven and earth be like? What will happen to our current heaven and earth?
The creation of the new heavens and new earth brings the promise that God “will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). This event comes after the tribulation, after the Lord’s second coming, after the millennial kingdom, after the final rebellion, after the final judgment of Satan, and after the Great White Throne Judgment. The brief description of the new heavens and new earth is the last glimpse into eternity that the Bible gives.
A major feature of the new earth will be the New Jerusalem. John calls it “the Holy City. . . Coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). This glorious city, with its streets of gold and pearly gates, is situated on a new, glorious earth. The tree of life will be there (Revelation 22:2). This city represents the final state of redeemed mankind, forever in fellowship with God: “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. . . . His servants will serve him. They will see his face” (Revelation 21:3; 22:3–4).
In the new heavens and new earth, Scripture says, there are seven things notable for their absence—seven things that are “no more”:
- no more sea (Revelation 21:1)
- no more death (Revelation 21:4)
- no more mourning (Revelation 21:4)
- no more weeping (Revelation 21:4)
- no more pain (Revelation 21:4)
- no more curse (Revelation 22:3)
- no more night (Revelation 22:5)
Seven Years with the Groom
“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.”
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is the consummation of the union between Christ and the Church, Eph.5: 27; Rev.19: 1-14; Matt.22: 1-14; Matt.25: 1-13. It is one of the greatest biblical prophetic events. It will take place before the second coming of Christ. Christ is the groom, while the living church, made up of all saints through the ages, living or dead, is the bride. They will experience the first resurrection, Rev.21: 2, 2:9-10.
Believers can experience close and eternal fellowship with God right now, from the moment of salvation. But when the Bridegroom returns to take his bride into the new heavens and the new earth—when the betrothal is consummated—that relationship will far exceed anything we can presently experience. Have you accepted Christ’s marriage proposal? Are you preparing as a bride who readies herself for her groom?
5 Significance of ‘Our Heavenly Visit.’