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1. Where is heaven? 2 Corinthians 12:2 NKJV
“Such a one was caught up to the heaven.”
The Bible speaks of three heavens. The first heaven is the atmosphere around the earth (Genesis 1:6-8). The second is outer space (Genesis 1:16, 17). The third heaven is the place where God and the angels live and where the saved will go (Isaiah 63:15; Deuteronomy 26:15; 1 Kings 8:39).
2. What does Jesus promise? John 14:1-3 NKJV
“In My Father’s house are many 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 again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jesus promises that He is coming back to take us to live with Him in heaven throughout eternity. For all who follow Him, He has prepared a mansion for them to live in.
3. When will we go to heaven? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an arch angel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall be with the Lord.”
All of God’s people will enter heaven at the same time when Jesus returns. Angels will accompany us on the journey back to heaven and will welcome us to our new home.
4. What must change before we go to heaven? 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 NKJV
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption…. The dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
We must receive immortality before we can dwell in God’s presence. All our sin damaged genetic material will be removed and we will be given perfect, immortal bodies.
5. How does the Bible describe these new bodies? Philippians 3:20, 21 NKJV
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to glorious body.”
Our new bodies will be similar to Jesus’ resurrection body that had real flesh and bone. “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39-43 NKJV). While He had a real body, He wasn’t limited by time and space. Jesus traveled from heaven to earth without the aid of a spaceship. He walked through a wall to enter a room whose door was locked. Since the disciples recognized Jesus’ appearance, we also will recognize one another (John 20:19, 20 NKJV).
6. How will our new bodies differ from what we have now?
a. “And ye shall go forth, and up as calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:2, KJV
b. ‘Then the eyes of the blind shall be and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb .” Isaiah 35:5, 6 NKJV
c. “And the inhabitant will not say, ‘I am ‘ ” Isaiah 33:24 NKJV
Our new bodies will not have any physical defects or handicaps. We will grow to the original stature that God created mankind to possess. Before the flood, people were giants (Genesis 6:4). Children who go to heaven will have the joy of growing up in a perfect, blissful environment.
7. Will we live in heaven throughout eternity? Revelation 21:1, 2 NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. . .. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming out of heaven from God.”
At the end of the millennium God transfers the heavenly New Jerusalem to earth for the final judgment. After it is purified by fire, God recreates the earth in its original splendor. The new earth becomes the eternal home of the saved and God establishes His throne here as the center of the universe. This fulfills the promise, “The meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
8. How is the New Jerusalem described?
a. “The city is laid out as a its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thou sand furlongs.” Revelation 21:16 NKJV
b. “Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits.” Revelation 21:17 NKJV
c. “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones.” Revelation 21:19 NKJV
d. “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:2 NKJV
e. “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light…. (There shall be no there.)”. Revelation 21:23, 25 NKJV
f. “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:27 NKJV
The New Jerusalem is 375 miles square (a furlong is 1/8 mile) and is large enough to hold 39 billion people. The city walls are made of solid jasper and are 216 feet high or 20 stories. (A cubit is 18 inches.) The city foundations are precious stones forming every color of the rainbow. There are twelve gates-each made of a single pearl. The streets are paved with pure gold and God’s presence provides light for an eternal day. We will never fear crime because sin has been destroyed.
9. What tree is in the middle of the city? Revelation 22:1, 2 NKJV
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of , which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
A beautiful river flows from the throne of God and waters the earth. God’s people are again permitted to eat the fruit from the tree of life that once was in the Garden of Eden. It produces different fruits every month that perpetuate eternal life. Every month we will eat of the tree’s new fruit as we worship God for providing the gift of eternal life (Isaiah 66:23).
10. What will we do in the new earth? Isaiah 65:17-19, 21, 24, 25 NKJV
a. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to ” Isaiah 65:17
b. “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” Isaiah 65:20, NIV
c. “The voice of shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” Isaiah 65:19
d. “They shall houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” Isaiah 65:21
e. “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
f. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” Isaiah 65:25
All of the painful memories of our former life will be overshadowed by the happiness of the new earth. Age will be irrelevant since we will live forever. Children will not die. And a one-hundred-year-old will be just leaving his childhood. We will build houses in the new earth that will fulfill our every dream and we will also have a house in the city. We will enjoy the fruits of our vineyards and gardens. We will have instantaneous communication with God. All of the animals will live in harmony and there will be no death or destruction. If you’ve ever dreamed of riding an elephant or playing with a friendly lion, you will be able to do it there (Isaiah 11:6-9).
11. Will we go to church in heaven? Isaiah 66:23 NKJV
“And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to before Me.”
Throughout eternity, Sabbath worship Will remind us that Jesus created us and then died to save us.
12. What else does the Bible tell us about heaven? 1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who Him.”
Even after reading all that the Bible says about heaven and the new earth, we still are unable to fully comprehend all the wonderful things God has in store for those who go to heaven.
13. Who will get to enjoy all this? Revelation 22:17 NKJV
“And the Spirit and the bride say ! ‘And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
God invites everyone to go to heaven. But not everyone will fulfill the conditions. The Bible describes who will be in the city and who will not (Revelation 22:14, 15). We can be sure to be in the city if we accept Jesus as our Savior (1 John 1:9) and Lord (Romans 6:22). It is not enough to call Jesus “Lord.” We must also trust and love Him enough to actually allow Him to be Lord (Matthew 7:21-27).
Do you know why God will not allow those who have not made Jesus Lord of their lives into heaven? They would rebel against God’s government. Jesus is going to be king of heaven and the new earth. If He allowed people to enter who have not allowed Him to rule their lives here, they would certainly not allow Him to do so in the new earth. Then sin would rise again, and we would be right back in the same situation we are in now. But the Bible promises that God will not allow the curse of sin to rise again (Nahum 1:9).
What a wonderful privilege! To be safe for Jesus to take to heaven! Though we can never do this by ourselves, we can cooperate with the Spirit’s work, which Jesus has promised to carry out within us. Surely there is nothing that can compare with this!
14. How does heaven help us live for God now? 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 NKJV
“For our affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Knowing how wonderful heaven will be helps us endure the “light afflictions” we experience here. God gives His people a reward that far exceeds the trials of this life (Romans 8:18). God encourages us to set our sights on gaining heaven and not to let anything in this world get in our way.
God invites every one of us spend eternity with Him in heaven. Let’s accept His invitation today so that we can be there in heaven together.
15. Will you allow God’s Spirit to lead you to heaven?
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