Does the thought of heaven overwhelm you sometimes? Does it ever just seem too good to be true? Heaven is a real place but can be hard to comprehend, because it cannot be seen. Most of the time we simply live our lives seeing only what’s immediately in front of us and don’t think that far in the future. Solomon asked, “Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?” (Eccl. 3:21) In this verse, we read that there is a difference between the beast of the field and the sons of men. As with mankind, “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7). So the spirit is to go back up to God, and also heaven is actually a real place. How can we know this is true? Consider the following:
God has prepared heaven for us. Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 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.” (Jn. 14:1-3). Do we believe the words of Jesus? Christ said that heaven is very real.
The Bible teaches that Christ ascended into heaven. It states, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11). The apostle Paul said that Christ had ascended far above all heavens (Eph. 4:8-10). And when Jesus returns, he will descend from heaven once again. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thess. 4:16). Yet, one is left wandering exactly where Jesus went and will return from if heaven is not an actual place.
Isaiah said that the high and lofty One, whose name is holy, inhabits eternity and dwells in the high and holy place (Isa. 57:15). John wrote, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Rev. 4:1). The fact is that Jesus has promised to prepare a special place that cannot be denied (Jn. 14:2). Also, that which exists in heaven is greater than what is found on earth. The Hebrew writer penned, “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Heb. 8:3-5). “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). This point would be unnecessary if heaven were not a real place.
Therefore, heaven must not be thought of as a figment of one’s imagination, nor should it be thought of as just a feeling or an emotional sentiment. It is not a concept and certainly not a myth. It is a real place. It is the place where God abides (Matt. 7:21; 10:32-33). Heaven is where the Messiah is, and the wonderful truth of it all is that heaven is the place where the faithful of all the ages will abide throughout eternity. So even though heaven can’t be heard, touched or seen physically, it doesn’t make heaven any less real. Perhaps we are spending too much time contemplating if heaven is real or not, and we miss the most important question about heaven which is: How can I get there? It doesn’t matter exactly where heaven is located. It matters that it is there and that we need to be in the right relationship to Jesus and to heaven!
I look forward to that day when I’m in the midst of that numerous host that hymns their king in strains divine. Do you?