Q.- Is Heaven a real place?
A. I should preface my response by saying that we are interpreting the use of the word heaven not as referring to the skies above where planes fly and clouds float, or even where the planets and stars are seen. We do find in the scriptures that Heaven is used to refer to those areas above earth. But for this question, we are interpreting heaven to refer to that general place where the Apostle John was translated to in his vision when he was given the book of Revelation,
Rev 4: 1-3 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Heaven – That place where most of us believe we will go after death. We believe that to be the intent of the question. As usual we give a simple answer and then provide biblical support for it. Here the answer is an emphatic “Yes, there is a real heaven” The doctrine of heaven (and hell) is clearly taught in the Holy Scriptures (Bible).
The promise of ‘heaven” for the believers of Jesus is a promise that is introduced in the New Testament under the teaching of Jesus.
We see in the Gospel of Matthew the promise of heaven connected with future rewards for those of whom Jesus speaks in the following verses. To my knowledge this is the first clear association made with Heaven for reward. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Present place - from which God Rule and Reigns
Implies a place, not a state. - Throughout the pages of the Old Testament we find clear and unmistakable references to the fact that Heaven is where God dwells.
I Kings 8:30, Attend to the supplication of your servant, and of your people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear in heaven your dwelling place: and when you hear, forgive.
Matthew 10:32-33, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father in heaven. Matt 18:10, Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
- Place of reward.
Matthew 5:10, 12, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Heaven is not a state as some would have us believe.
It is a literal place into which we can enter. Jesus gave the injunction to lay up treasures in heaven and this carries with it the implicit expectation of ultimate benefit.
Matthew 6:20 - But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Common sense tells us that we lay up treasures in the hope of being able to retrieve or use it at a later time.
Revelation 19 1-2, And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God.
- Place of perfection.
Apart from the obvious that where God dwells all is and must be perfect. Hear what the Bible says in
Revelation 21: 27 - And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
- Preferred place of rewards
Luke 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Luke 10:20 - Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Hebrews 10:32, For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
Stephen, the first martyr, saw into Heaven.
Acts 7: 55-59 5
5 - But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57, Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59, And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
- Prepared place of promise
2In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
1 Peter 1:3, 4,
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,
2 Cor 5:2, For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.
* * *We remind you to search the scriptures like those noble Berean Christians in Acts 17:11 - " to see if these things be so. "
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