Heaven—Your Future Home?
What About Your Future?
Who can think about the future without considering whether there is another existence after this life? Man cannot escape the thoughts of his state after death, but is inclined to put them out of his mind. He busies himself with the things of this life, placing thoughts of death, heaven, and hell into the distant future (Matthew 24:48, Ecclesiastes 8:11). The reality is, however, that a choice must be made. To do nothing will mean being eternally lost.
There are Only Two Destinies
The glories of heaven and the terrors of hell convince us that we must make heaven our eternal destiny. There is a choice to be made if we are to realize this reward. No sin will enter heaven; this is sure. There will be eternal punishment in hell for those who do not find forgiveness for their sins. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).
Heaven—The Home for All the Redeemed
To the redeemed, those who have been washed in the blood of Christ, heaven is a special place (Revelation 7:13-14). It is home. Their desire for heaven is like the desire of the psalmist in Psalm 63:1, “my soul thirsteth for thee…in a dry and thirsty land.” To the fleshly, earthly mind, heaven seems a distant, far-off place. To the person born of the Holy Spirit of God, heaven is close and real. He experiences a foretaste of his eternal home. The virtues exemplified by Christ, truth, humility, purity, and love, are precious to the child of God. As God graces the believer’s life with love from heaven, he is careful to be honest and humble. His heart longs for the fullness and purity of these Christian graces in the heavenly home (2 Corinthians 5:1).
Heaven—A Place of Light
Life on this earth has many shadows. We often encounter things we do not understand. We attempt to look into the future, but are not able to do so. Disappointments are often experienced in our lives. All of this could be described as darkness. Heaven has only light. It is where God dwells. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In His light is perfect understanding. Knowledge will be complete. The past and all events will be totally clear. In this light, there will be full fellowship between the Father and all those who reside with Him. Heaven is described as “the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12). Attributes of light listed in the scriptures are knowledge, holiness, and joy. This light is without interruption—forever! There shall be no night there (Revelation 21:25).
Heaven—A Place without Threat or Sin
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Revelation 21:27). Discouragement, disappointment, temptation, and sin are part of the earthly life. They will never enter that beautiful land. In Revelation 21:4 we read, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” To the Christian, heaven is the fulfilling rest, the completion of the journey. He knows that even as God has wiped away his tears on earth, so all sorrow will be taken away in the perfection of heaven.
Immortal State of the Saved
Human relations are important to us here on earth. Others’ joys and sorrows touch our emotions. Family ties are meaningful and separation is painful. All of this is a necessary part of our mortal state. When Jesus returns for judgment, everyone will be transformed. The dead will rise. The mortal body that is corrupt and subject to death will become immortal. “And the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52, 53). In this state, family relationships will no longer carry the same meaning for us. Jesus taught that there will be no marriage relationships in heaven (Matthew 22:30). The emotions of this life will pale in comparison to the joy that will be in the presence of the Lord God. Nothing will blemish the relationship between the saved and the Lamb of God. The saints shall continually look on things which mortal eyes have never seen; they shall hear things which mortal ears have never heard; and they shall know that which the heart has never thought upon.
Jesus and His Own will be Glorified
A day is coming when the Lord Jesus shall appear to all the inhabitants of the earth. Everyone will stand before Him to be judged (Matthew 25:31-34). His true followers, even though they were despised and rejected in their earth life, will be taken into glory (heaven). There they will be able to praise and glorify God without end. Mortality will give way to immortality. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). See also 2 Corinthians 5:1. In this life the saints have had many trials, temptations, and difficulties. Through grace those that have trusted in the Deliverer and persevered to the end will be taken to heaven. People from all lands and of all tongues and ages who have kept the faith will be there. This great and innumerable throng, pardoned from sin and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ, will inhabit heaven (Revelation 7:9-14). These souls who have been redeemed in this life will be glorified in heaven. How wonderful it will be to experience the marriage of His Church with the Lamb of God. This will be glory beyond compare (Revelation 19:7-9).
Heaven—Beyond Human Understanding
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). The glory and splendor of heaven cannot be fully understood or described. Our minds understand the things which we can see and feel. While we understand that heaven is the abode of the soul with God, He has chosen not to reveal all the aspects of that eternal home. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was given a glimpse of heaven. As he was being stoned for his faith, he “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Even though much about heaven cannot be explained, we know enough that we, like faithful people through the ages, desire to dwell eternally in the city that God has made. Hebrews 11:10 tells us that Abraham by faith “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Read also Hebrews 11:13-16.
Will We Be There?
Where will we go when life is over? Will we go to Heaven? The Spirit of God gently knocks and reminds us to prepare for our eternal future. We need to recognize our need of God. Through the fall of man in the beginning, man has forfeited (lost) his favor with God. Repenting of our sins and finding forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ can restore this relationship. God then accepts us as just, and pardons us. We thus become a child of God through the power of the Word and Spirit (John 3:5; 1:12). The peace that we experience is a foretaste of the fullness of rest that will be ours in that eternal abode. Every soul can have clear evidence in his heart that a mansion has been prepared for him in heaven (John 14:2-3).