Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).
Can you imagine a place designed for you by someone who loved you so much He gave His Son to die for you? The Apostle John said, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
That’s love, isn’t it? We’re limited in our knowledge of the details about Heaven, but here are some facts God gives us about Heaven.
1. Heaven is a real place.
Heaven isn’t a philosophical idea or vague state of mind. It’s a real place on God’s map.
When Paul experienced a brief visit to Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-4), he mentioned being “caught up” (that indicates a direction) into the “third heaven” (that indicates a place). The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven surrounding our earth. The second is the stellar heaven. The third is the abode of God, a real place where Jesus ascended in His resurrection body. The first we see by day, the second we see by night, the third we see by faith. One day you’ll be there in your resurrected body.
2. The saved go to Heaven immediately at death.
Some people think the soul sleeps in the grave, awaiting the resurrection. No. The body awaits the resurrection; your spirit goes immediately to be with Jesus. On the cross, Jesus told the dying thief, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). At death, the soul goes directly into the presence of God.
3. We will know our loved ones.
People ask whether we will know one another. Of course we will know one another in Heaven. Jesus spoke of a great family reunion in Heaven (Matthew 8:11). Paul assured the Thessalonians that we would be gathered to meet the Lord Jesus as we are “caught up together” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
4. There will be joyful activity.
Heaven is rest, but it’s not laziness. We’ll be busy helping God rule the vast universe, and it will be our greatest joy (Revelation 7:15). We will also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12), and it will be thrilling.
5. Heaven is a place of absolute perfection.
God’s Word says there will be no more sin, sorrow, suffering, doubts, tears, pain, disease, or death, “for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Heaven is the presence of all that’s good, the absence of all that’s bad. Heaven is everything the loving heart of God desires, the incredible mind of God can conceive, and the Almighty Hand of God can create, the culmination of God’s creative genius.
No wonder Paul said, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
6. Jesus is Heaven’s crowning glory.
To me, Heaven is not primarily a place. Heaven is a person. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Heaven is where we get to be with Jesus.
If you’re not looking forward to being with Jesus, if you’re just waiting for an eternal vacation, you’re not going to Heaven. What makes Heaven, Heaven? To be with Jesus.
7. Only the redeemed are going to Heaven.
You must be “born from above” to enter Heaven. The redeemed have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14), having received Christ and His forgiveness. What church you belong to means nothing. The only people there are “those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27).
The only way into Heaven is to give your heart to Christ. Have you ever done that? If so, you’ll be there, and I’ll meet you just inside the Eastern Gate.