There are over 600 references in the Bible to heaven. What you believe about heaven will determine how you live on earth. Colossians 3:2 tells us, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” The enemy gets us distracted with the daily grind and we need to remind ourselves to get our thoughts on things above. Think of all the songs, Christian and secular, about heaven. How can this fixation on eternity be explained? Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “…He has also put eternity in their hearts.” Let’s use some popular song titles to look further at heaven.
This World is Not My Home
We get so comfortable and focused on this life that we forget that life is short and eternity is long. We are just strangers passing through (Heb. 11:10, 13:14). There is more to life than this life. James said this life is a vapor, a mist. Worldwide, three people die every second, 180 every minute, and nearly 11,000 every hour. That means more than 250,000 people die every day and either go to heaven or hell. Heaven is as real a place as New York, London, or the city where you live (Jn. 14:1-3, Jn. 17:24, and 2 Cor. 5:8). Hell is also a real place. It was prepared for Satan and the fallen angels. Hell is a place of torment, loneliness, and no return. Why does hell exist? Hell is where God deals righteously with the devil, demons, and unbelievers. It is the destiny of the majority of humanity. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” The strategy of the devil is to get you to believe there is no hell, and if there is, that most do not go there. It is impossible for God to be holy and not be just. Second Thessalonians 1:8-9 says, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” You can’t appreciate the glories of heaven without acknowledging the horror of hell.
It Will Be Worth It All
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Heaven is not a boring place. It is nothing like the caricatures you see of people becoming angels or babies with wings playing harps and floating on the clouds. God is not dull or boring. Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” One author defined heaven as the absence of everything evil and the presence of everything good! Our Father, our Savior, our names (Lk. 10:20), our rewards (Mt. 5:12), and our loved ones are there. It is a place of surpassing beauty. Think of the beauty of the fall leaves or the sunrises and sunsets. God created this world in seven days. Jesus has been working on a place for us in heaven for over 2000 years! There will be no more night in heaven (Rev. 21:23, 22:5). We’ll receive a glorified body (Phil. 3:21). Our bodies get old, sick, wrinkle, and wear out but one day we will have no more flaws and imperfections. Heaven is a place of peace. The lion and the lamb will eat together. Revelation 21:4 says, “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain.” Think about it. No more sickness, death, stress, fear, heartache, separation, injustice, misunderstandings. All things will be made new (Rev. 21:1-2). Murphy’s Law will be abolished forever in heaven. Whatever can go wrong, can’t in heaven. It is a perfect place as God first intended in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world.
When We All Get to Heaven
I love the old hymn that says, “When we all get to heaven,” but the truth is that all do not go to heaven. You say, “But God would not send good people to hell.” God does not send good people to hell. By nature, we are not good. The human heart is wicked. You never have to teach a toddler to be selfish. We have all lied, cheated, and stolen. If for one moment, you stood before the holiness of God you would understand your sinfulness. We inherited a sin nature. We have a bent toward sin. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is holy and God is just. He must punish wrongdoing. God is also love. Love is not just what He does but who He is. Hear it like you have never heard it before: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). Jesus will leave the 99 and go after the one. He loves you so much. He is coming after you today, not in judgment, but in love. Jesus did not come for the perfect, but sinners. Put your faith in Jesus today, not just to avoid the horror of hell, but to experience the glory of heaven. You cannot be good enough to get to heaven. But the gospel is good news. Jesus was good enough.
Randy Acorn, Heaven 2004
One Minute After You Die Craig Groeschel