Are You Looking Forward to Heaven?

By From a Message by Ross Rhoads   •   January 20, 2011

Fortunately, there is a solution to this dilemma: God’s grace and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. However, even greater than the joy of our rescue from the plague of sin and the shadow of death is the return of the Lord Jesus for His own. He told His disciples, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself” (John 14:3, KJV).

The Apostle Paul reminded believers: “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep [the biblical term for death]. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

So what is heaven like? Here are five common questions and their answers.

What is the meaning of Heaven?

The word Heaven appears 550 times in the Bible. The first mention is Genesis 1:1, “God created the heavens and the earth” (NIV). It is the residence of God with the people of God (Revelation 21:3) and as such, Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9, KJV).

When Jesus ascended into Heaven, the angel’s last words were, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11, NIV). Later, Paul wrote of being lifted into the third heaven, apparently a place of revelation or superior insight. The believers will be raptured, or evacuated, into the air at the Lord’s return.

Who is in Heaven?

God is in Heaven. God’s Son, the Lord Jesus, tenderly described it as His Father’s house (John 14:2). The eternal Heaven, the highest above all heavens, is the presence of God. It is the ultimate salvation, because when we have this everlasting union with God, all sin and everything that is not in conformity to God is banished forever from His presence.

The throne of God is there–the place of authority, where He rules and reigns as King forever. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18, NIV).

There is holy and glorious worship beyond description in Heaven. All glory, honor and power are given to God (Revelation 4:8-11). The angels are in Heaven, praising and serving God. They are powerful with radiant splendor and they rejoice when each sinner repents.

Will I recognize anyone there?

Absolutely! All people who knew Christ will be there. On Earth a person’s identity is his or her body and invisible soul. In eternity it is the soul, separated from the physical body. But there is a spiritual body, not made by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). In Jesus’ presence at His transfiguration, Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah, who were in Heaven (Luke 9:33, 2 Peter 1:17-18).

Stephen, as he was being stoned, “looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” to welcome him into Heaven (Acts 7:55, NIV). So we see that the saved will have an incorruptible body that can be recognized, but that body will not be in physical form (1 Corinthians 15:35-44).

All infants and children with no cognition of sin will also be in Heaven. When King David’s child died, he said, “I will go to him” (2 Samuel 12:23, NIV). When a baby is taken before birth, this story is especially consoling and comforting.

What is in Heaven?

All knowledge and wisdom are in Heaven. Here and now, we can only partially know anything. In Heaven, human knowledge will vanish, but the people of God will know fully, even as they are known (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). Inexpressible, exquisite beauty and the perfection of all things are found there.

What is not in Heaven?

“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27, NIV).

Sin will be no more, and neither will any of its consequences. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John heard a loud voice say, “God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4, NIV).

In the same chapter, we are told who will not be admitted: “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8, KJV).

It also says there will be no darkness or night in Heaven, for the Lord’s glory will eternally illuminate the city.

There is more than we can imagine waiting for us in our eternal home. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV).

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  1. Pastor Jeff Sullivan says:

    This is very comforting. I love to preach of HEAVEN. Praise God.

  2. Deborah Shrewsbury says:

    I think of heaven a lot what a joyous place no more tear or pain the lost of my dad has been hard but The Lord gives me comfort now my sister has been ill she got maybe a month but knowing heaven is there waiting for them is a blessing thank you Jesus amen

  3. Yaw Obiri says:

    This is touching

  4. Jeffrey D Evans says:

    I thank God His grace is sufficient!

  5. Becky Meredith says:

    Very comforting!

  6. Janice Bolling says:

    What a beautiful message about heaven. I always love here about where I am going in Jesus name.

  7. Teresa m Neal says:

    I’m afraid sometimes that I won’t be allowed in heaven because even as a believed in Christ Jesus and being born again I’ve done things that I’m not proud of and truth I’m ashamed and full of gulit I’ve repented and ask for forgiveness but the fear remains and I just am not sire how to handle that.

    1. LeRoy Minson says:

      You join a large family of believers. You must understand that it is not your behavior but Gods love that grants you access to heaven. Once you’ve sincerely repented, you must place your faith and trust in the love of God to forgive you..all else is accusation from the enemy, who as the father of lies is continuously trying to get us to doubt Gods love for us. I hope this helps you.

    2. Kwaku says:

      God did not give you the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

  8. Henry L. Lesher says:

    I am so encouraged by this good news.

  9. Patty flippin says:

    I enjoy these tidbits of yours makes me feel better about my self and helps me to learn. Thank you

  10. Columbus Williams says:

    I may have posted this before, but the teachings I heard Mr. Billy Graham minister over the years have a lasting effect on my life. I truly believe he is a man that was born with the anointing of God on his life. There are many wonderful teachers of the Word of God, but none that I have heard so far has the effect on me as Mr. Graham. When times get difficult I remember some words I heard him speak & it reassures me that God has me safe in his arms carrying me through the storm. I can’t describe in words the love I have for Mr. Graham. It’s not the man, but the God that’s inside the man.