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10 Bible Facts About Heaven

by Pamela Rose Williams ·  Print ·  Email

Search the internet and you find that many people are talking about Heaven. However, even in Christian circles there are some that do not believe that Heaven is a real place. Jack Wellman wrote a great article about what the Bible says Heaven will be like. In that article Jack writes: “There is only one way for you to see heaven and Jesus Christ is the one and only access to it.” (John 6:44, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31) You can read that article here: Heaven. To know about Heaven we must go to the place where Heaven was first mentioned; the Bible. Here are 10 Bible facts about Heaven.

#1 Heaven is God’s home and He existed before His creation – this is the Heaven of heavens; the high and holy place

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:17) (also see Psalms 90:1-4; Psalms 100:5; Matthew 5:16; Revelation 1:8)

#2 Before creation, Jesus (God’s

Heaven is real — God created it

Son) and Holy Spirit lived in Heaven with God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 1 john 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.  (John 1:1-2; 1 John 5:7-8)

#3 Heaven is Real – God created it

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:1-8) (see also John 1:3-5)

#4 Jesus, the Christ came down to Earth from Heaven

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 1:14; John 6:35-40)

#5 Jesus went back to Heaven when He rose from the dead

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 5:50-53) (see also Psalms 68:18; Acts 1:9-11)

Here is a video of “When We All Get to Heaven” by the Alan Jackson that you can listen to as you read the rest of this article. What a day of rejoicing that will be!

#6 Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God (the Majesty) in Heaven

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. (Hebrews 8:1-7) (see also Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33 and Romans 8:34)

#7 heaven is also known as a place where the birds fly and the clouds float – the Bible also calls this the firmament

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20)

#8 heaven is a place where the stars, sun and constellations shine – this is the stellar heaven

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:14-15) (see also Isaiah 13:10)

#9 Heaven is where the believer goes when he leaves this planet – it is home

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) (see also Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:11; and Hebrews 3:1)

#10 Believers can look forward to a new heaven – it is the blessed hope and a perfect place

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

If you are not sure Heaven will be your home when you leave this Earth take a look at how easy it is to Come to Jesus. Claim Jesus as your personal Savior today and you are assured an eternal home in Heaven.


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Heaven is a place, just as much a place as is New York or Chicago." Charles Ferguson Ball

Everyone wants to know about heaven and everyone wants to go there. Recent polls suggest that nearly 80% of all Americans believe there is a place called heaven. I find that statistic encouraging because it tells me that even in this skeptical age there is something deep inside the human heart that cries out, "There's got to be something more. Something more than the pain and suffering of this life. Something more than 70 or 80 years on planet earth. Something more than being born, living, dying, and then being buried in the ground. Sometimes we talk about a "God-shaped vacuum" inside the human heart. I believe there is also a "heaven-shaped vacuum," a sense that we were made for something more than this life. We were made to live forever somewhere. In a real sense we were made for heaven.

There is another fascinating statistic I should mention. Not only do most Americans believe in heaven, most people expect to go there when they die. If you took a microphone to the streets of Chicago and asked, "Do you think you will go to heaven when you die?" the vast majority of people would answer, "I hope so," or "I think so," or perhaps "I think I've got a good chance. Not very many people would say they aren't going to heaven. Perhaps one modest point is in order. Whenever you talk about living forever somewhere, it would help to know for sure where you are going. After all, if you're wrong about heaven, you're going to be wrong for a long, long time.

With that as background, I turn now to consider some of the most frequently-asked questions about heaven. But before I jump in, I should make one preliminary point. The only things we can know for certain about heaven are the things revealed in the Bible. Everything else is just speculation and hearsay. The Bible tells us everything we need to know and I believe it also tells us everything we can know for certain about heaven.

I. Where is heaven?

There are three things I can tell you in answer to this question. The most important fact is that heaven is a real place. Listen to the words of Jesus on the night before he was crucified:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:1-3).

Twice in three verses Jesus calls heaven a place. He means that heaven ("my Father's house") is a real place, as real as New York, London or Chicago. The place called heaven is just as real as the place you call home. It's a real place filled with real people, which is why the Bible sometimes compares heaven to a mansion with many rooms (John 14:1-3) and sometimes to an enormous city teeming with people (Revelation 21).

The Bible also tells us that heaven is the dwelling place of God. His throne is there, the angels are there, and the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven. Philippians 3:20 says very plainly that "our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." That's why Jesus told the thief on the Cross, "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Third (and I find this fact fascinating), the Bible hints that heaven is not as far away as we might think. Because heaven is a real place, we sometimes think it must be outside our present universe - which would mean that it is billions and billions of light years away. However, it's very clear that the early Christians understood that they would pass immediately from this life into the presence of Christ in heaven. How can that be possible if heaven is beyond the farthest galaxy? Hebrews 12:22-24 tells us something amazing about what the gospel has done for us:

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

The writer is here comparing Mt. Sinai with Mt. Zion. Under the old covenant no one could come near God except under very strict conditions. That's why the mountain shook with thunder and lightning. [Note: three times the writer of Hebrews uses a Greek word that means "to come near" or "to approach closely.] But now in Christ we have been brought near to heavenly realities. Think of what he is saying:

  • We're not that far from heaven.
  • We're not that far from the angels.
  • We're not that far from our loved ones in heaven.
  • We're not that far from God.
  • We're not that far from Jesus himself.

Heaven is a real place, it's where Jesus is right now, and it's not far away from us.

II. What is heaven like?

This question came from one of our junior high students. I would answer by saying that the Bible doesn't give us a great deal of information. What we have are images and pictures of heaven and comparisons with life on earth.

What is heaven like? Here are some biblical facts about heaven. It is …

Most of us have heard that heaven is a place where the streets are paved with gold, the gates are made of pearl, and the walls made of precious jewels. Those images come from Revelation 21, which offers us the most extended picture of heaven in the entire Bible. If you ask me if I believe those things are literally true, the answer is yes and no. Yes, they are literally true but no, heaven won't be anything like we imagine. It will be much greater.

Here's a delightful legend that makes the point very well:

I love the old story of the rich man who, on his death bed, negotiated with God to allow him to bring his earthly treasures with him when he came to heaven. God's reaction was that this was a most unusual request, but since this man had been exceptionally faithful, permission was granted to bring along just one suitcase. The time arrived, the man presented himself at the pearly gates, suitcase in hand- BOTH hands, actually, since he had stuffed it with as many bars of gold bullion as would fit. St. Peter said, "Sorry, you know the rules-you can't take it with you." But the man protested, "God said I could … one suitcase." St. Peter checked, found out that this one would be an exception, prepared to let the man enter, then said, "OK, but I will have to examine the contents before you pass." He took the suitcase, opened it, saw the gold bars and asked quizzically, "You brought PAVEMENT?" [Note: This story is from the sermon "Heaven" by Dr. David Leininger, March 30, 1997]

When John writes about a street paved with gold, I do not doubt his words. He simply reports what he saw in his vision. Thus his words are literally true. They are also meant to tell us that the things we value so highly in this life will be used to pave the roads in heaven.

III. Who is in heaven right now?

This question is not difficult to answer. God is in heaven because heaven is his dwelling place. The Lord Jesus has been in heaven ever since he ascended from the earth shortly after his resurrection (Acts 1:9-11). The Bible tells us that angels are in heaven. In fact there are myriads of angels-uncountable numbers of heavenly beings-all of them serving the Lord in various ways.

And the saints of God who died on this earth are in heaven. [Note: I mean by this that heaven includes the Old Testament Saints who by faith trusted in God's Word and looked forward to God's redemption at Calvary (which they did not fully understand). It also includes every true believer from every continent and every denomination. Everyone who has genuinely trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior will be there. I also think that children who died before the "age of accountability go to heaven and I would also include those born with such mental limitaitons that they cannot understand the gospel.] The Bible teaches that the moment we die we go directly into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul spoke of this in 2 Corinthians 5:7-8 and Philippians 1:21-23.

But I do not want to be ambiguous on this point. Not everyone is in heaven now. Some people won't make it. The Bible speaks of the saved and the lost. The saved are those who trust Jesus Christ as their eternal Savior. The lost are those who do not trust Christ as Savior. This is the great dividing line of humanity-you are either saved or you are lost. And there is no middle category. You will either spend eternity in heaven or eternity in hell.

Last night a man I do not know called me to talk about the moral crisis currently engulfing our community. "You're on record," he said, "as saying you don't believe that people who disagree with you will go to hell." "That's right," I replied. "My job is not to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. That's God's job. I'm in sales, not administration."

I simply want you to know what God has said about heaven and who will go there. The saved of all the ages will be there - and that vast throng will no doubt include many people who would surprise us if we knew it now. Certainly heaven will be more wonderful than our imagination and it's population more diverse than we expect.

But I am sure of this one truth. No one will go to heaven except by the grace of God and through the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ. If a man says "No" to Jesus, he has no hope of heaven.

IV. Will we know each other in heaven?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about heaven. I would like to share an answer given by a Bible teacher of another generation - a man named William Pettingill. [Note: see the book 1001 Bible Questions Answered, William Pettingill and R.A. Torrey, Inspirational Press, 1997, p. 157. This is a reprint in one volume of two books first published many years ago. I highly recommend it as a handy reference tool for Bible students and Sunday School teachers.] He said, "We may be sure that we shall not know less in heaven than we know here." In proof he quotes 1 Corinthians 13:12, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." How does God know us? Answer: He knows us completely, intimately, thoroughly, inside and out, with nothing hidden but everything seen as it really is (Psalms 139:1-4; Hebrews 4:12). When we get to heaven we'll know each other as God knows us because all the imperfections of this life will be removed. In this life sin causes us to cover ourselves-not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. But when sin is finally lifted from us, then we can be ourselves with no shame, no pain, no embarrassment, and no covering up. Dr. Pettingill concludes that in heaven we will know every person in heaven and all of them will be friends and loved ones to us.

In his very helpful book on heaven, W.A. Criswell makes the additional point that individual personality survives into eternity. I'll be the same person then that I am now-only with all the imperfections and limitations of sin finally removed. This is a wonderful thought-that the essence of who we are will remain throughout eternity-yet vastly improved by God's grace. [Note: W.A. Criswell and Paige Patterson, Heaven, Tyndale House Publishers, 1991, pp. 33-38. He also says that in heaven we can eat all we want and not get fat. I certainly hope he's right about that.]

That helps me think about a related question that people sometimes ask: How old will we be in heaven? I once heard a preacher say that we will all be 33 years old because that's approximately how old Jesus was when he died. Of course there is no scriptural support for that statement. The truth is, there won't be any age in heaven in the sense we speak of age on the earth. Growing old is a function of the decaying effects of sin. I do not believe that babies who die in infancy will be babies for eternity nor do I believe that people who waste away of cancer will appear emaciated in heaven. It will be something else entirely - which I can barely explain and certainly do not understand.

In heaven we will know each other intimately. That's why Peter, James and John recognized Moses and Elijah, even though they had been dead for hundreds of years, on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9). I don't think they had nametags on. I think there was something about those two men that made Peter, James and John recognize them even though they had never seen them before.

That's why a wife whose husband died when she was young will be able to pick her husband out of a crowd of billions of people, even though she hasn't seen him for 50 years since he died on the earth. In heaven she will say, "Sweetheart! I knew it was you." And he will know her.

How this can be I do not know, but I believe it to be true. In heaven there will be no strangers.

V. What will we do in heaven?

One of our more honest junior highers put the question this way: "Worshipping God forever in heaven sounds boring - is it wrong to feel this? Is heaven going to be fun?" Again, the Bible doesn't tell us everything we would like to know, but of this we can be sure: Heaven won't be boring and it will be more fun than the best party you ever attended.

So what will we do for all eternity? The answer is, we're going to help God run the universe. Do you remember the story Jesus told about the man of noble birth who gave his servants money to invest? One servant had doubled his money so the man said, "You will rule over ten cities." The next servant had seen a 50% increase so his master said, "Rule over five cities." And the man who hid his money had even that amount taken from him in punishment (Luke 19:11-27). The story is a picture of what heaven will be like. We will use our gifts to administer the new heaven and the new earth. Bakers will bake, teachers will teach, singers will sing, and I suppose that preachers will preach. For all I know, soldiers may march off to battle and quarterbacks will throw passes. Think of the flowers the botanists will study. Gifted astronomers will go from galaxy to galaxy studying the wonders of God's creation.

I can guarantee you this: No one will be sitting around on a cloud eating grapes and polishing his halo. No, we'll all be too busy for that.

Here are five things that will occupy us in heaven. We will …

  • Worship without distraction.
  • Serve without exhaustion.
  • Fellowship without fear.
  • Learn without fatigue.
  • Rest without boredom.

[Note: this is not original with me. I found this list in a sermon by David Burns, Minister at the Homer Church of Christ, called "Heaven is a Wonderful Place," Feburary 25, 1996.]

The best part of heaven will be seeing Jesus himself face to face. We will worship the Son of God and celebrate his great victory over sin while the endless ages of eternity roll on and on. The best music you've ever heard will pale compared to the music of heaven. The most awesome worship you've experienced on earth is but a dim reflection of the praise we will render around the throne of God.

VI. How can I be sure I am going to heaven?

This is the most important question of all. Here is a wonderful truth: God has made it easy for you to go to heaven. He did the hard part when he sent his Son to die on the Cross for you. He paid the price for your sins so that you could one day stand before God in heaven. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). He also said, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved" (John 10:9, NASB). Jesus is not only the way to heaven, he is also the door to heaven. If you want to go to heaven, you've got to go through the door marked "Jesus Christ." There is no other entrance.

Several years ago Dr. D. James Kennedy, pastor of the famous Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL, joined other evangelical leaders in a meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. During the meeting Dr. Kennedy asked the president this question, "Suppose you were to die and found yourself standing at the door of heaven. If God were to say, 'Why should I let you into heaven?' what answer would you give?"

Before I tell you how the president answered that question, let me ask how you would respond. Picture the scene. You are standing at the very gates of heaven. It's more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible. This is where you want to spend eternity. This is where you belong. But before you enter, the Lord himself asks what possible reason you have to claim admission. You pause, knowing that all eternity hangs on your answer. What will you say?

Back to the White House. The President paused, thought for a moment, then replied, "Well, I guess I'd have to answer with John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." That is indeed a good answer because your only hope of heaven is through the Lord Jesus Christ. [Note: I have heard this story from several sources and was reminded of it by something Paige Patterson wrote in his introduction to the book he co-authored with Dr. Criswell.]

Let me make this very personal. If you were to die tonight, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven? I've already said that this is too important to say "I think so" or "I hope so." If you're wrong, you're going to be wrong for a long, long time.

What we need is solid ground on which to stand. And we have it in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our entire hope of heaven is wrapped up in what Jesus did when he died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday morning. [Note: Charles Ferguson Ball, Heaven, Victor Books, 1980. Dr. Ball served for 30 years as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of River Forest, IL. This little book is a wonderful compilation of truth about heaven. His last chapter - "What is your hope of heaven?" - is a wonderful presentation of the gospel.]

One of our most beloved hymns puts it this way:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

That says it all. If you want to go to heaven, you must base your hope on the solid rock of Jesus' blood and righteousness. Are you standing on the Rock this morning? Are you wholly leaning on Jesus' name?

One final word and I am done. No one goes to heaven by accident. Heaven is God's prepared place for prepared people. We prepare for heaven and then God prepares heaven for us. I've already told you that most people believe in heaven and most people think they are going there. But are they on the right road? Are they building their lives on Jesus Christ-the solid rock? Too many, I fear, are standing on sinking sand and do not know it.

What is your hope for heaven? Mine is Jesus Christ. I've staked everything I have on him. If he can't take me to heaven, then I'm not going there. What about you? When the dark night falls, the lights go out, and the waters of death swirl around you, what will happen to you then? If you know Jesus, you have nothing to fear. Put your trust in Jesus. Run to the Cross. Stand with your full weight on the Solid Rock of our salvation. May God help you to trust in Jesus Christ and him alone for your salvation. And may God grant that we will all meet one day in heaven.

Safe at home. In heaven at last. I'll be there. What about you