Heaven - Imagine
Imagine you are taking a walk with your best friend. Imagine when you look around everything is in mint condition. The flowers unwilted, the grass undying, the blue sky not polluted. People are smiling and joyful, not angry, not depressed or empty. Think about the most beautiful place you can imagine – complete with- maybe rivers, mountains, waterfalls, palm-trees. Think of friends and family members who loved Jesus and are now with him. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have power full bodies, stronger than those of athletes. You are talking, laughing, playing. You reach up a tree and pick an a fruit. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so great! Now you see someone coming. It’s Jesus with a big smile on His face. You fall to your knees in worship, but He pulls you up and embraces you. At last you are with the person who you were made for, in the place you were made to be. Everywhere you go, you meet new people and places to enjoy, new things to discover and survey. What’s that smell? A feast, a party and you are invited. There’s exploration and work to be done – and you can’t wait to get started…………
There is a future Heaven and a present Heaven. The present Heaven is the place where believers go when they die. When you say things like “Grandma is in Heaven”, we are referring to the present Heaven. The future Heaven is described in Revelation 21:1-5. The present heaven is a place, awaiting Christ’s return. The new Heaven and new Earth will be our final destination. As you see in the scriptures in Revelation, in the end the New Jerusalem will be relocated, coming down from heaven – where it is right now - to Earth. The new earth will become God’s kingdom.
What happens after we die? Will we be conscious? Yes we will. Jesus said to thief on the cross: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” And Paul said that to die would to be with Christ and to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Will we recognize people in Heaven? Yes we will. The bible tells us in Matthew that we will be introduced to and join Abraham, Isaac & Jacob at their feast. This tells us we will recognize them, we will have our own names, like Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. We will keep our own identity.
Will we become angels? No, Angels are spirits with their own history, names and memories. But they are not flesh & blood like people on earth. Angels serve us on earth and in Heaven human beings will govern over angels according to the bible.
Where is the present heaven? The present heaven is normally invisible to those living on earth. The bible teaches that sometimes humans are allowed to see into Heaven. When Stephen was being stoned because of his faith in Christ, he gazed into Heaven and saw God’s glory and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Scripture says that Stephen saw this. He did not dream it. Heaven is like a space/time universe that is normally hidden, but sometimes opens up and we see or hear a glimpse of it. At Jesus baptism we read that the Father spoke with a voice from Heaven. Its kind a like the hidden kingdom in the closet of Narnia. You go through the door and there is another world out there. Heaven is not just a “spiritual place”. Heaven is a real physical place.
What will we look like? Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is essential to our faith. It was a physical resurrection. After His resurrection Jesus even needed to affirm with His disciples that he was not a ghost/spirit. Than later when John meets Jesus again and receives the Revelation, he meets Jesus in his glorified body. - In Phillipians Paul tells us that our lowly bodies will be transformed, so that they will be like His glorious body. So what does this mean? Our new bodies that we will receive will be like our current bodies, but then in glorified – perfect form. So some of the current physical features we have, we will still have. But they will be made perfect.
What will the new Heaven & Earth look like? The New Jerusalem is described as a city and a country. We all can describe a city: Buildings, Streets, Culture, Art, Music, Activities, Goods Services, Events and People engaged in activities, Gatherings, Conversations and Work. We can also describe a country: It has territories, rulers, citizens, etc.
Does Everyone go to heaven? No - What would keep us out of Heaven? The bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Sin separates us from a relationship with God. No one goes to Heaven automatically. Unless the sin problem gets resolved in your life, your destination will not be Heaven (See Learning page on "Hell"). We should not cross our fingers and hope that our names are written in the book of life. Many assume that they are going there. Perhaps because of what they have done or of who they are. On that day all what matters is - if you have accepted Christ’s invitation. Don’t put it off if you haven’t. One day you may regret it. But for all who have accepted Christ’s invitation, Heaven awaits us.
Do we face Judgment? Yes - The initial judgment depends on our Faith. Have we accepted Christ’s atonement for our sin or not? God’s forgiveness is a free gift that we need to accept. There is also a final judgment based on works. The Bible states that all believers will stand before Christ and give an account of their lives. Our works do not affect our salvation/our place in Heaven, but they do affect our rewards.
Can I be sure? Yes - The bible shows that God wants you to go to Heaven. He also made atonement by Jesus' death on the cross for you. All you need to do, is receive His free gift of Forgiveness by asking Him!
If you want to learn more about - How?: Open the presentation of the "Four Spiritual Laws" on right and follow the arrows.
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Other Learning Pages:
<Jesus>; <Bible-Why Believe it?>;<Bible-What's in it?>; <Bible-Why read it?>; <Sex-Why wait?>; <God give me Directions>; <Hell>; <Angels>; <Spiritual Warfare>; <About Religions>; <Self Respect>; <Origen of World>; <Science pointing2God>; <End Times>