Heaven has really been on my mind lately. With Rick Lanning constantly talking about it during our gospel meeting it made me long for it all the more. And, as I contemplated what is going on with my aunt, I started looking really hard at the differences between heaven and hell.
The reality is, I cannot think of any good reason why a person could justify not preparing themselves for the coming of our Lord? When I look at all heaven has to offer, I find a place that everyone should be striving to find.. And although we can not be entirely certain what heaven will be like, the scriptures do give us enough reasons why we all should strive to make it out eternal home.
We Will Be in the Presence of God
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24).
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God (Rev. 21:3).
In Gen. 3 this relationship with God was severed. However, after Judgment, all those whose names are found in the book of life will once again be with God.
Heaven is my throne (Acts 7:49). God does not just dwell there, He rules there. His will is accomplished there (Matt. 6:10). Man cannot thwart it, neither can Satan.
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thes. 4:17). Paul follows this statement with the admonishment, Comfort one another with these words (I Thes. 4:18). Is there a greater comfort be found in this world? Likely not. We can find encouragement and strength in knowing that when we are finally called home, into the presence of God, we will never be removed from it. Although Satan once tempted man, causing him to sin and be removed from the presence of God, Satan can in no way remove us once we enter into heaven. Paul assures us of that. We will ever be with the Lord.
A Place Without Corruption
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption (I Cor. 15:50). Paul here is speaking of our resurrection bodies. Our earthly bodies cannot go into heaven. He goes on to say that would be changed in the twinkling of an eye (I Cor. 15:52). A cancer ridden body will not be found in heaven. This corruptible broken flesh will put on the incorruptible, eternal body that no disease can ever harm.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (II Cor. 5:1). That which is made with our hands will all eventually cease to be. This world is reserved for fire and all things will melt with intense heat (II Pet. 3:10). Of course, all things that are made with hands can be destroyed by time, moth, and other hands. Heaven, on the other hand, we have a house that no hand, no matter of time, or moth can ever destroy.
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (I Pet. 1:4). Our inheritance is an incorruptible one. Peter confirms that which Paul pointed out to the Corinthians. Time, heat, man, etc. will not be able to corrupt that which we will be given.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev. 21:4). My favorite passage about heaven. Everything that makes this world so hard to live in, will cease to be.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Pet. 3:13). It is not just physical corruption that will be done away with. Righteousness dwells in heaven. Sin has no home in heaven. This should give us yet another reason to strive to be there.
A Place of Great Reward
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matt. 5:12). Christ wants his disciples to understand that if they take up their cross and follow Him, their reward in Heaven will be far greater than anything this world can offer.
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 8:11). Our reward will be sitting with the Great Men of Faith. Furthermore, our reward will be the SAME as the Great Men of Faith.
Grinnell church of Christ
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What is Heaven Like?
Volume 6 Issue 45