Study Materials

 

Where is Heaven?

            Heaven is a real place, but often it is overlooked because it cannot be seen. Solomon asked, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth” (Eccl. 3:21)? By this verse, we know that there is a difference between the beast of the field and the sons of men. As with mankind, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). So, the spirit is to go back up to God and also, heaven is a real place up there. But, to know that this is true, consider the following:
            God has prepared heaven for us. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (Jn. 14:1-3). Would God create some place that could not be located? Certainly, heaven is a spiritual realm, but this does not mean that heaven is fake! Christ said that heaven is very real.
            The Bible teaches that Christ ascended into heaven. It states, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen 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 shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” (2 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). Furthermore, it cannot be denied because 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). Now, this point would be unnecessary if heaven were not a real place.
            Therefore, heaven must not be thought of as one’s figment of their imagination, nor should it be thought of as just a feeling or an emotional sentiment. 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, the fact that heaven cannot be touched with hands, heard with our ears, seen with our eyes, smelt with our noses or tasted with our mouths does not in any sense of the word make heaven any less real. Perhaps we are spending too much time contemplating if heaven is real or not and miss the most important question about heaven which is: How can I get there? It matters not 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.
Robert Notgrass
 
 
 
 

Back