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Heaven:  What do we need to know about it? 

Gary Googe Apr 22

I hope you’re not disappointed, but the Bible doesn’t tell us much about Heaven.  There’s quite a bit about the Kingdom of Heaven that will be on Earth that God has promised to regenerate Israel, but not about our home in Heaven as members of what is called the church which is the Body of Christ.  Your primary concern in this life here on Earth needs to be to make sure you’re going to get to go to Heaven, because everyone is NOT.  Most of the people you’ve met in your lifetime will not be there simply because they’ve never accepted the provision God made for them to get there.  Because of their own rejection of God and His provision, they’ve been blinded to the truth of the matter.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

3 But if our gospel [EUANGELION = good news] be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [Emphasis added]

Contrary to some false teaching that seems to go around in every generation, VERY few people are going to get to live there when they leave this Earth. But you’ll be glad to know that God’s provision has made it possible for you and anyone to spend eternity there.  You just need to be sure you know and accept by faith the provision God has made for you to make that possible.  I assure you no one is going to like the one other alternative to Heaven.  I say “the one other” because the places called purgatory, limbus patrum [father’s limbo], and limbus infantum [infant limbo] do not exist.  For some more information on that please see my article about it.

Purgatory: Does it exist?

Therefore, you’ll either be going to Heaven or Hell and the Lake of Fire.  Jesus Christ couldn’t have made that any clearer when in the time of His earthly ministry He told the story of Lazarus and the rich man [Luke 16:19-31]. If you have any doubts or questions about this, there too, please see my article that addresses this subject.

Hell:  How can a loving God send people there?

Because we’re all sinners, no one is worthy of Heaven. But because God is love, He’s provided a way, just one way, for anyone to get there.  That way is through Jesus Christ, but only through Him.

John 14:6

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [Emphasis added]

That may seem narrow, but this is the truth of the matter.  We don’t need but one such passage but there are numerous ones that tell us this.  They all need to be believed.

Acts 4:12

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [Emphasis added]

Again, many other verses of Scripture in the Bible speak of this, but I’ll cite here one that’s quite well known along with the two verses that follow it.

John 3:16-18

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [Emphasis added]

For more information about what it means to believe on “the name” of Jesus Christ please see my article about it.

Jesus Christ:  What does it mean to believe in His name?

Then we have Scripture like this next one that’s specifically addressed to us today.

Romans 3:23-24

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [Emphasis added]

Therefore, it is ultimately through Jesus Christ that anyone can be saved and end up in Heaven.  However, apart from Him there’s no hope.  Things like church membership, water baptism, striving to keep the Ten Commandments and other good works have nothing to do with it.  I would think that anyone would be glad to know that the salvation that gets people into Heaven is free.  It is a gift that comes by grace through faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and what He did to make it available to all.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added]

Multiple passages of Scripture written by the apostle Paul tell us this.

Romans 4:4-5

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. [Emphasis added]

But if you go to some non-Pauline parts of the Bible, you’ll find some passages that say something different.  They don’t just SEEM to be different; they ARE different.  That’s because in times past God demanded certain works for one to manifest or show one’s faith.  Faith has always been the heart of the matter, but how one was to express one’s faith has not always been the same.  It seems that the most commonly quoted passage used to reject salvation by grace through faith alone comes from the writings of James [James 2:17-20].  But for a clear understanding of this please read again the above verses or go to my articles where you can read more about all this.

Salvation: Does it have to be earned by good works?

Works: What about verses that seem to demand them for salvation?

Works: How important are they?

Grace: Is our message new?

Today, in this timeframe that is called the Dispensation of the Grace of God, no works of any kind on our part are necessary for salvation and getting to Heaven.  This next passage of Scripture and others make all this clear.

Romans 11:6

6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. [Emphasis added]

Again, could it be made any clearer? The Bible is not contradictory! The book of James where it says faith with works is required for salvation is addressed to Israel in a former time and for the coming sevenyear period of time called The Tribulation, not to us today.

James 1:1

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. [Emphasis added]

Are you a part of one of the twelve tribes of Israel? No, you’re probably a Gentile to whom the apostle Paul writes, letting us know exactly what God requires for our salvation today.

Romans 11:13

13 For I [Paul] speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [Emphasis added]

Therefore, we need to follow his directions on this and more.  As believers and members of this which is called the Body of Christ, we are now citizens of Heaven and have a home there in which we will someday live.

Philippians 3:20

20 For our conversation [POLITEUO = citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

Unlike the situation with the regenerate people of Israel who have been promised a kingdom OF Heaven, we, as members of what is called the Body of Christ will get to live IN Heaven.  Unlike church age believers, the born-again people of Israel have been promised a NEW Earth in which to live, not a home in Heaven.

Revelation 21:1-3

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride [regenerate Israel] adorned for her husband [Jesus Christ].

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. [Emphasis added]

To make way for all this, this present Earth and “heaven” above us [the sky and outer space] will be destroyed and then made new.

2 Peter 3:9-12

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord [Christ’s Second Coming] will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? [Emphasis added]

Again, all this will begin at what is typically called the Second Coming of Christ. That which follows is typically called the Millennial Kingdom because it lasts for a thousand years.  Satan and his angels will be bound through that time, but Satan will be released for a short time at the end of the Millennium, but will soon be put down again.

Revelation 20:1-3

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. [Emphasis added]

This “little season” is at the end of the thousand years.  These thousand years begin with only believers on the Earth.  All others will have been removed with that which is called the Baptism of Fire at Christ’s Second Coming.  But there’s marriage and reproduction of people in this kingdom here on Earth, so that by the end of the thousand years the Earth is again heavily populated. Satan then stages another revolt leading the unbelievers on Earth born in that period to be a part of it.  The revolt is short-lived with Christ being the victor.  From that point on things move to the eternal state of things.

Again, the eternal home the people of Israel will enjoy isn’t IN Heaven but OF Heaven.  As members of the Body of Christ, it will be us who will live IN Heaven.  Again, we gained our citizenship for it the moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.  We will someday live there in a resurrected body.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our conversation [POLITEUO = citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. [Emphasis added]

Some years ago, I bought what I thought was a very large book that was supposed to be about Heaven.  The problem was that it was hardly at all about Heaven.  It was about this earthly kingdom God has promised regenerate Israel that is said to be OF Heaven.  Again, you may be disappointed to know this, but the Bible tells us hardly anything about what Heaven will be like.  Therefore, you won’t find any big books on it.  All we know is that it will be a wonderful place for us to spend eternity, being far better than anything we ever experienced or enjoyed here on Earth.  Please notice our apostle Paul’s words about it.  Here he clearly expresses his excitement about it as we should too.

Philippians 1:23-24

23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. [Emphasis added]

Paul actually got a preview of Heaven but then wasn’t allowed to talk or write about all that he had seen and experienced. Yes, the apostle Paul got to go there for a visit within the time frame of his lifetime here on Earth. It is believed that this occurred right after he was stoned to death at Lystra but was soon after resuscitated.

2 Corinthians 12:1-4 

1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 I knew a man [speaking of himself] in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven [our eternal home].

3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

4 How that he was caught up into paradise [PARADEISOS = paradise], and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. [Emphasis added]

Paradise is simply a word used to represent that blessed wonderful state in which God’s people will eventually find themselves after they’ve left Earth.  Still again, the details of Heaven for us as members of the Body of Christ are not given.  Apparently, Heaven is so wonderful that there are no words in our temporal and material world that could be used to adequately describe it.  Furthermore, I’ve believed for a long time that if we knew more about it, we’d be in too big a hurry to get there.  God has a work He wants each of us to do here first serving as Christ’s representatives, God’s ambassadors.

2 Corinthians 5:20

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [Emphasis added]

Still again, Heaven is fundamentally little known to us.  The pearly gates and the streets of gold are all about Israel in the coming earthly millennial kingdom, not Heaven.  The regenerate people of Israel will have no part in Heaven.  Their future is on a new Earth.  We just know Heaven will be much better than anything we’ve ever experienced in this life now.  We’re told that for us there’s a sense in which we’re already there.  Experientially we’re still here on Earth, but Scripture tells us that positionally we already reside in Heaven because we are said to be IN Christ who is seated there at the right hand of God the Father.

Ephesians 2:6-7

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [Emphasis added]

When a believer dies today, they enter Heaven in a disembodied state.  The real you is not your physical body.  As believers we are trichotomous, having a spirit, a soul, and a body.

1 Thessalonians 5:23

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added]

At physical death the soul and spirit leave the body and enter Heaven to be with our Lord and Savior.

2 Corinthians 5:1-4

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this [earthly body] we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house [our new resurrection body] which is from heaven:

3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

Being “naked” in this case is being without the resurrection body in which we will eventually live.

4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. [Emphasis added]

We are all still in this “tabernacle” or tent that is terminology used to speak of our temporary earthly body.  Someday we’ll shed that “tent” and go to Heaven to be with our heavenly Father and our Savior forever.

“Paradise” is mentioned only three times in the Bible. Christ told the thief on a cross with Him he’d soon be with Him in paradise [Luke 23:43], Paul was caught up to it [2 Corinthians 12:4], and the Apostle John said he was caught up to it [Revelation 2:7].  In each case it represented a wonderful change in one’s location and environment. This is also apparently the place Lazarus and all Old Testament saints went when they died.  The story of Lazarus and the rich man [Luke 16:20-25] shows the contrast between the suffering of unbelievers in the torment of hell and the blessed state of all believers after physical death.  There are numerous articles about all that on this website.


Whatever Heaven is like, it will be a far superior situation to what anyone has ever enjoyed in life here on Earth.  In our time it is faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the sole basis for one’s salvation that secures a place there for all eternity.

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [EUANGELION = good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved [SOZO = delivered from danger], if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

If you’ve not put your faith in Him for your salvation, why not do that right now. It is a decision you’ll never regret. The salvation and place in Heaven you’ll gain could never be earned by any works of righteousness on your part.  It is strictly by God’s grace and His provision for you that you are saved from all the suffering associated with eternal condemnation.  A life in Heaven will serve as an undeserved gift you’ll get to enjoy forever.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added]

For more information about all this please see my other articles on this website.  Here are the names of several of many.

Hell:  Will the suffering last forever?

Jesus Christ:  Why is His crucifixion good news?

Salvation:  Can a person be certain they are going to Heaven?

Salvation:  Is it really a gift?

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