Heaven, Will You Be There?
  The mention of the word heaven raises at once a number of questions. Is there really such a place? If so, where is it? What is heaven like? Will everyone go there, or just a certain privileged few? Only the Bible can answer these questions and the writer will seek to point out what God says about heaven.

As for the scoffers these questions are not relevant. They scoff at the idea of life after death and ridicule belief in a heaven of eternal bliss and a hell of everlasting punishment. They are convinced that man's existence ends at the grave.

For the Christian, those that believe God and are born again (John 3:3), questions like these are Olive Grove simple to answer. They believe in a beautiful place called heaven, and they look forward to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them (1Peter 1:4). They anticipate the joys that await them in their eternal home. This comforting thought brings healing to the wounds of their earthly existence and quenches their sorrows. In heaven, God not only accepts the worship of His people on earth, but He also receives the adoration of the heavenly hosts who dwell there with Him. In Hebrews 12:22, for example, we are told of an innumerable company of angels who abide in heaven. The Bible portrays them as constantly worshiping and serving the Lord.

The word heaven in its singular and plural forms occurs more than 600 times in Scripture. We are given much information about our eternal home.

Yes my friend, there is a place called heaven far above what our naked eye can see, stars that are light years away and galaxies that cannot be numbered. The great mystery of the universe baffles the minds of men, as they are limited both in knowledge and depth of the heavens, as we know it. But far above that is God's "habitation" and declares that He dwells there. "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place...(Isaiah 57:15).

From heaven the Son of God descended to become Incarnate, (John 3:13,31;) and to do the will of the Father that sent him (John 6:38). Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins to bring us back to God and was buried and rose from the tomb on the third day. In His ascension Christ "passed through the heavens" (Hebrews 4:14), and He "ascended far above all the heavens," (Ephesians 4:10) and "was made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26). He "sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1).

In the Book of Revelation a breathtaking description is left with us in chapters 21 and 22. The city glowing with the glory of God, what an awesome sight! The Master Designer who has made an eternal home for His people now reveals it, as an artist would uncover his priceless painting.

From the outside of God's city we see the massive jasper walls, the twelve gates of pearl, and it's jeweled foundation comprising of twelve layers of precious stones. Within the city there is a throne, and the Majesty of heaven sets there, described as the "Lamb of God." The redeemed are there and He calls them His people and they shall dwell with Him forever. The entire city is of pure gold like unto clear glass with a pure river, clear as crystal proceeding out from His throne. A third item of special interest in the city will be the tree of life. When Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord God drove them from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). One reason He did this was to prevent them from having further access to the tree of life. They had rebelled, bringing the curse of death on themselves and the entire human race. The tree of life was therefore out of bounds for them. But in our eternal home we will once again be free to partake of the fruit of this tree.

In heaven the effects of sin is removed. There will be no tears, no death, no sorrow, nor crying, and no pain, (Rev 21:4). There will be no night there, no need of a sun or moon to light the city because the radiance of God's glory and the Lamb will illuminate it brightly.

During His life here on the earth, the Lord Jesus told his disciples that He was going away and said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:2-6). The Father's house mentioned here is heaven of which He has gone to prepare for a prepared people.

What do we mean by "a prepared people?" God's habitation, called heaven, is off limits to any sin. Man and his sins cannot enter there. God forbids it! That is the reason Christ came into the world, to save them from their sins (1 Timothy 1:15). At the cross God punished His son for your sins that you may be justified in His sight, as if you had never sinned. Remember my friend, if you'll ever be in heaven, you'll be there because you trusted Christ as your own personal Saviour. Nothing else will do.

The bridge to heaven is Christ. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Timothy 2:5,6).

Although we are limited to write more of heaven, we would center our thoughts on you, the reader. Will you be there? A good question for you; a serious question that should be of a high priority in your life. Hopefully you will consider your latter end and will make heaven your choice. Remember your choice will be for all eternity.

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. John 3:16