Seven Fundamental Facts About Heaven
In the article entitled, “Seven Fundamental Facts About Hell,” we
mentioned that hell: is a real place, a horrible place, a place
where anyone can go, a place of eternal destruction, an abode of
great classes of people, a place of no escape, and a place that
can be avoided. The subject of heaven is a comforting subject. It is a
subject that is misunderstood by many. The word heaven is often used in a
derogatory way such as the expression “oh heavens!” It is a subject that
gets much attention. There are even jokes told with heaven being the setting of
the joke and mention made of “Saint Peter and the pearly gates.” Most
people believe they are going there when they die. Although, some deny that
heaven exists. Those who deny the existence of hell, must deny that heaven
exists, to be consistent. What does the Bible teach about heaven? Consider now,
Seven Fundamental Facts About Heaven.
First, heaven is a real place! The same Bible that teaches of hell, teaches of heaven. To deny the existence of hell, one must deny the existence of heaven and vice-versa. Likewise, if the Bible says heaven is a real place, then that should settle the matter! Since God’s “word is Truth” (Jn. 17:17), and God “cannot lie” (Tit. 1:2), and the fact remains that Jesus promised His disciples he would go and prepare a place (heaven) for them (Jn. 14:1-6), without a doubt, heaven does exists!
Second, it is a place of unimaginable joy! Unlike hell, heaven is a place of eternal joy and fellowship with Jesus Christ and all the righteous (Eph. 1:20). It is the dwelling place of God (Matt. 6:9). It is a place where “God shall wipe away all tears...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). It is a place of indescribable beauty (Rev. 21:17-21). There is no need for the sun, moon or stars, for it is illuminated by the glory of God — “there shall be no night there” (Rev. 21:22-26). Heaven is a place of ultimate purity; nothing vile or offensive will be there (Rev. 21:27; 22:14, 15). Truly, it is difficult for the human mind to comprehend such a place as described by the book of God.
Third, it is a place God will permit anyone to go to! Because “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8), He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). But who are the “anyone” who will be there? Only the righteous! Only those who believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ! Brethren who persist in apathy, ignorance, stubbornness and rebellion, immorality, compromise of truth, and such like, cannot expect to gain heaven (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:16-21; Col. 3:1-7; 2 Thess. 2:7, 8; 1 Pet. 4:17-18). God will permit only the righteous to be there. Jesus taught, “...strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).
Fourth, it is a place of eternal bliss! Heaven is never-ending! No man can fully comprehend eternity! In this life, time and all good things are swift and fleeting, while bad and difficult times pass by ever so slowly. During moments of joy, “time flies.” Just think how fast time passes! Just look as some family pictures take several years ago. “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas. 4:14). But, the joys of heaven will never end — they will be everlasting and shall never pass away (Matt. 25:46; Jn. 3:16, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:27, 40, 47; 12:50; Rom. 6:22, 23; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Pet. 1:11).
Fifth, it is the abode of only two classes of people, the innocent and the obedient! The innocent will be there, even the children of Andrea Yates (the Texas mother who meticulously drowned her five small children in the bath tub) will be there and others like these children who have died in an innocent state (Matt. 18:1-6). The obedient will be there: (1) Those who obeyed God during the Patriarchal and Mosaical dispensations (Heb. 9:15; 11:1-12; 12:1); (2) And those who believed and obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ without question or compromise (Acts 10:35; Rom. 1:16; 10:11-17; 1 Cor. 4:15, 16; 1 Pet. 4:16-18; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Heb. 5:9). Will you and I be there?
Sixth, it is a place where there will be no desire to escape! Those there will be in the presence of God and the righteous of all ages! Have you ever left a place because of the bad company present? There will be no bad company in heaven! It is a place of true bliss that no earthly being can fully describe! Even though the apostles were inspired, the joy of heaven was not describable even in their words. Paul spoke of the blessings of salvation as an “unspeakable gift” or an indescribable gift (2 Cor. 9:15). What then of heaven? Paul wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). Of salvation Peter wrote, “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, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5). Paul, when he wrote to the Philippians, spoke of his confidence and desire “to be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:23; Emp. mine). There could be no better place to go than heaven—the only other place will be hell, wherein is the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).
Seventh, it is a place that can be forfeited or gained! If you forfeit heaven, you gain hell! There is no middle ground — one place or the other! And, it is possible to go there! But, we must obey the Lord on HIS terms! Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Matt. 7:21-27).
Will you and I forfeit or gain heaven?