A Very Brief Introduction to Heaven
The Three Heavens
There are three heavens. The first heaven is called the atmosphere. In Isaiah 59, we are presented with the first heaven is where the clouds are and the snow comes from. In Genesis, we see the second heaven. The second heaven is where the moon, sun, planet, and galaxies are. We call it space. There is a third heaven. That’s the heaven we’ll talk about here today.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
The third heaven means “the garden of God”. In heaven, we’re going to receive our eternal rewards. On earth, we’re told to bear our burdens, but in heaven, we’re going to receive our inheritance that is the same as Jesus. We will inherit paradise as brothers and sisters with Jesus Christ.
Revelations 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
We’re going to heaven to enjoy our rewards.
Everything you do, no matter how insignificant, Jesus will remember and you will get credit. We know that salvation is by faith. All you have to do to be saved is trust and believe in Jesus and His resurrection and invite Him into your heart. You have a contract that’s been signed by the blood of the Lamb. Salvation is by faith, but rewards are by works. How much are you investing in your eternal life?
There will be two judgments after we die. There will be a judgment for Christians and there will be a separate judgment for those who haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. The judgment seat of Christ is for Christians. This judgment is to determine your status in heaven.
Everything you do on this earth builds up credit in heaven. For Christians, there will be a judgment by fire. This is similar to how they refine gold. If you refine gold, they hit the gold until they get all the impurities out. Our works will be refined. Some of our works will be completely burned, but we will still be saved. The reward of being saved is still greater than anything we can imagine.
Matthew 6:19-20 Invest in heavenly things, don’t invest in earthly things because they can be stolen.
The things in heaven cannot be stolen. Satan can’t steal your eternal reward. Invest in heaven by getting involved in ministry. Invest in your children, your family, your friends, telling them by Jesus, praying for them, and serving others.
I put my friends first. When I need them, they are willing to put me first. Invest in heavenly things, and put others first. It will pay off. What will life be in heaven? Life in heaven will be fun. There’s nothing that compares to a fun day in heaven. We’re going to be with Christ. Christ will transform our bodies that are frail and decay, into a glorious body just like His body. The same body that Jesus has, we will have. All the amazing things that Jesus could do, we’ll be able to do. Right now on earth, things get worse over time. Our bodies decay and get worse over time. In heaven, there will be no second law of thermodynamics, things will be the same forever and ever. Heaven will be an amazing place.
We will have a new body.
We will have an identifiable body. After his son died, King David said, I will see him again. When Jesus met with Elijah and Moses, they recognized them as Elijah and Moses. After the resurrection, Jesus had his new body. When the apostles were together, Jesus met with them, but the doors were locked. He was able to tele-transport. When we go to heaven, we will be able to tele-transport from one place to another.
The New Jerusalem will be 1500 miles wide and 1,500 miles high. In New Jerusalem, there will be enough space for 8 trillion people.
What will we do in heaven?
- Fellowship – God created us for fellowship with Him. There is a terrible thing about loneliness. I went to New York alone, the first day I was excited, but on the second day I was fine, but on the third day I was bored and lonely. We need community. We like to be around people we love, so we’re going to be fellowshipping in heaven.
- Access to Jesus – Jesus wants to be with you in heaven. We will spend time with Jesus one on one, in addition to celebrations. Heaven will be without sin and without limitations.
- Enjoy God’s creation – Jesus told the man being crucified with him that he would be with him in paradise. Paradise means “God’s garden”.
- Eat and Drink – We will eat the best food ever
- Learn – We will have a memory that never fades away. We will have intelligence beyond all humans put together. In heaven, we’ll always be making new connections. We’ll have millions of people to talk to and hang with and enjoy. It won’t be like on earth, where we’re always busy. We’re all going to have to experience death. Death is a painful and heartbreaking experience.
- We’re going to do God’s work. We’re going to have missions from God. We can only imagine how cool and fun those missions might be.
- We’re going to govern. God will give us rule over certain things and places. We’ll be responsible for some things.
- Build and Plant
The alternative to heaven is hell. Hell is the opposite of heaven.
The other judgment in the Bible is called the White Throne judgment for those who did not follow Christ. Those who did not follow Christ will be thrown into a lake of fire. So, if you’re not 100% certain, that you’re going to go to heaven, you have an opportunity to turn that around.
When you put your trust and belief in Jesus, and confess that you believe in Him and repent and give your life to Him, your name will be written in the Book of Life and can never be erased.
When you trust Jesus, you gain a heavenly inheritance in Christ Jesus. This is a gift, you don’t have to earn anything. Your salvation is granted. It’s for sure. You are going to spend eternity in heaven. There is no way you’re going to lose it. Your name cannot be erased from that book of life. All you have to do is make the simple prayer.
One day, you’ll see your family and loved ones again. We’re going to meet the disciples. It’s going to be glorious. There will be no more separation. When there’s a funeral, you dont care about the body, you care that you won’t be connected to that person anymore.