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Heaven and its features

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Summary: - Heaven is a real place where Triune God and His angelic beings dwell. That is the place where all the born again believers will reach after death. Knowing its features will help us to live and hope for heaven. This study includes three main sections: Ten things about heaven; Description of heaven & our response.

Introduction: -
     Irrespective of religious affiliation every believer hopes to reach heaven after death. Man is willing to pay any amount, perform any ritual so that the soul will rest in peace!
     Many do not consider such things till death knock at the door! Some others think heaven & hell is in this world itself. For them any enjoyment or peaceful life is heavenly life and life full of hardships is hell.
     But carefully look at our life, everyone at any stage in life experiences happiness and as well as difficulties in life. You cannot find everlasting bliss or even sufferings in this world.
Heaven is real
      The Bible very clearly speaks about heaven as well as hell, real and distinct from the known world. Let us search the word of God and see what the Bible says about heaven.
     In short we can say heaven is just opposite to what hell is. It is the place where God and His angels dwell, place where the righteous will live forever. Where there is no evil, no sorrow or pain. It is the goal & hope of a Christian. Heaven should be the thought and meditation of a believer.
Three layers of heaven. 2Corinthians.12:2.
     i. 1st heaven. The atmospheric heaven and the clouds. Sky- ‘heavens declare the glory’.Psalm.19:1

     ii. 2nd heaven. The solar / stellar spaces—beyond the cosmological space, where the supernatural angelic beings abode.

     iii. 3rd heaven. The very dwellings place of the triune God. Paul was taken to this heaven. This is the heaven we ought to consider.

Ten things about heaven:-

1. It is the dwelling place of the heavenly father and the angels. Matthew.18:10; 9:6
2. The place from where the Lord Jesus Christ came. John.6:38
3. The place to where He returned. Acts.1:11
4. The place where Christ appears for us today. Hebrews.9:24
5. The place from where Christ will return. Act.1:11 1Thessalonians.4:16,17
6. The Place where Christian believer’s name is written. Luke.10:20
7. The Place where believers have their citizenship. Phiippiansl3:20
8. The place where believers should invest their possession. Matthew.6:20
9. The place where believers have an eternal house. 2Corinhians.5:1
10. The place to where He shall take us to. John.14:1—3

Description of heaven.
How does heaven look like? Of course it cannot be like hell, then how?
      Though we have many Bible verses that describe heaven I think it is better to dwell more on the way heaven is described in the book of Revelation. In Revelation chapters 4 & 5 we have a scene of heaven. Apostle John is called to come up and view the condition and the functions of the heavenly places. You can see the glory of heaven along with the greatness and the majesty of God portrayed there.
Five things are noteworthy:-
1. Heaven is a royal place. Revelation. 4: 2.
A throne is found in heaven and God is seated on that. There are many kings rule over the nations today, but remember God Almighty rules over all. He is in heaven on the throne. Isaiah 6:1; 66:1; Psalm.11:4; Daniel.4:35.

2. Heaven is a glorious place. Revelation. 4:.3
      John finds it hard to narrate the scene. So compares to Jasper and sardius stones. Jasper is a diamond which ‘refracts all the colors of the spectrum’. Sarduius is a fiery bright ruby stone. Both demonstrate the glory of God. Also we find lightening, lamps burning, and sea of glass. Vs. 5, 6. All together heaven has a glorious scene.
      We should not forget the main reason for such glory? It is the very presence of God Almighty Himself. Revelation.22:5. All the born again children of God are going to reflect this glory in heaven. Philipians.3:21. Considering this glorious future, Apostle Paul says that the present sufferings are nothing. Romans.8:18; 2Corinthians.4:17.

3. Heaven is a place of worship. Revelation. 4:8.
     The creatures and the elders in heaven, together they worship God day and night. In Revelation chapters 5, 19 & 22 also we have such worship scenes. Thus we can say, heaven is a place of continuous worship.
      Apart from the angelic beings the redeemed people of God also shall worship God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ in all perfection perpetually. 22:3, 4.

4. Heaven is a beautiful place. Revelation. 21:1, 2.
      It will be a new heaven and new earth. Nothing unclean and unholy is found there. It looks like an adorned bride.

5. Heaven is a place of comfort and satisfaction. Revelation.7:16, 17; 21:3, 4; 22:1—5.
      All the pain & sorrow will disappear; all tears will be wiped. No more curse, hunger and thirst. We will be rewarded for all our labors in His name. We shall see the of the Lord Jesus and be satisfied. What a place that would be.

Our response: -
In view of these facts what shall we do? Four things are crucial.

a. Need to be prepared to reach in Heaven. How?
     Make sure our name is written in heaven. Revelation.20:15; 21:27. It is a prepared place for prepared people. Bible says that because of sin and its consequences heaven is not the natural destination of mankind.
     Deceived by Satan, man is going to the eternal hell fire. But the Lord God Almighty had mercy on us and opened a wonderful way to forgive, redeem and translate us to the heavenly places. That is through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
     The one who accepts his sinfulness and receive the salvation that God offers will be forgiven and his / her name will be written in heaven. Without having this experience no amount of ritual before or after death can bring a soul to heaven.
      Do you suppose that one can live in wickedness & rebellion and after death someone’s prayers can transfer your soul to rest in peace in heaven? Bible does not say so! The Lord Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. “ John 11:25, 26. We need to settle this issue when we are alive.
      It is foolishness to wait till the end of our life to think about life beyond death. Notice, to reach hell you don’t need to do anything, you are going there step by step, but to reach heaven you need to stop your ways, amend your evil deeds and then take a fresh turn by accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

b. Invest in heaven today. Matthew.6:19, 20.
      If we truly believe that the present world and all its pomp and glory are being disintegrated, it is wisdom to live and spend our resources for the cause of heaven. 1John 2:17.
     What an irony it is to notice that many Christians on one hand sing they are waiting eagerly for the coming of Christ and their entrance to the heavenly bliss, but on the other hand, busy with accumulating wealth for many generations to come! Many do not consider investing for eternity.
     Life is short and heaven is real, and then let us live for heaven. If so we shall not be ashamed as we stand to receive rewards for our deeds.

c. Live like strangers and pilgrims in this world. Philipians.3:20.
      Another responsibility in view of our heavenly life is our attitude while on earth. Scripture refers to this essential outlook of a Christian. Our citizenship is in heaven, which will be permanent residence. If that is true, then our approach and reaction to earthly things should reflect that reality. We cannot copy or follow the worldly fashions and standards, which is dominated by carnal attractions. Romans 12:1 – 3. We ought to be heavenly minded in real sense. Colossians 3: 1—3.

d. Be under the rule of the government of heaven. Matthew.6:10
We belong to heaven so let heaven rule our life. Though we live in this world our primary goal must be live for heaven, according to the standard of heaven. The world and all its lust are passing away, but those who live for heaven will abide forever. 1 John.2:17. All our efforts for the sake of heaven will stand for ever and duly rewarded

Conclusion: -

 What is your idea about heaven?
 Are you sure that you will be in heaven once you leave this world?
 Do you just hope that some ritual by your relatives will take you to heaven after death?
 Do you live for heaven or this perishable world?


Related topics: Hell & its features // Salvation: - According to the Bible - A study // “Be Saved” - Apostle Peter’s Passionate Call based on Act 2:40' // Now you can be saved



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Heaven and its features