Heaven doesn’t get much press these days. If I was planning to move, you can bet I would be researching my destination quite a bit. Heaven is the place where we will be spending eternity future. Shouldn’t we be checking it out?
Randy Alcorn has stated that, “Heaven is an actual place, in a real location, designed by God with people in mind.” Below are 7 facts gleaned from the Scriptures and Randy’s book, Heaven.
1. Our spirits are carried by angels to Heaven (Ec. 12:7; Luke 16:22; 23:43). These angels could include one or more who have served and protected us while we were on earth (Heb. 1:14).
Some angels are specifically assigned to children and likely accompany them to Heaven (Matt. 18:10). (No, we do not become angels! They are a separate type of being.)
2. We are carried to the “third Heaven” located in the angelic realm, which is separated from earth. This is a temporary Heaven, awaiting the New Heaven and New Earth, which will be created at some time in the future when we receive our future, resurrected bodies (1 Cor. 15:3–54). Beings have traveled to and from this third Heaven, including Christ (John 6:33; Acts 1), angels (Matt. 28:2; Rev. 10:1), and humans (2 Cor. 12:2–4).
3. When we die, we are given some type of temporary body to house our permanent spirit and soul. This body is recognizable. Both Moses and Elijah were in their temporary, heavenly bodies when they appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Christ and were recognized by Peter, James, and John.
4. To those left behind on earth it will appear as though our body were “sleeping.” However, we will be instantly present with the Lord when we die (2 Cor. 5:8).
5. We will meet our Lord face to face (Ps. 17:15; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 22:4).
6. We will be able to know what is happening on earth (Luke 9:30–36). Remember that “dead” Moses and Elijah were attentive to what was happening on earth. (Heb. 11–12:1). We will rejoice when someone we love comes into relationship with God (Luke 15:7).
7. We will recognize and know each other and will be able to express our love for one another (Matt. 17:1–4; 1 Cor. 13:13).
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis writes, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
How does your view of Heaven impact the way you live your life here and now? (Tune in on Friday for Part 2 of this short series on Heaven.)
In Him together, Susan Gaddis
I have often given Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, as a gift to those grieving the loss of a loved one. If you haven’t read it yet, pick it up for a good tour guide to your future home.
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