- (Photo: Vitaly Manzuk)
Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live.
— John 14:1-3
Heaven is an actual place.
It isn't an "idea" or a "state of mind"; it's a location, like Miami or Chicago or Paris. We often think of heaven in sort of a mystical way, and our minds gravitate toward the Hollywood version, where people in filmy white robes float around on clouds with little halos over their heads, strumming harps.
How boring! That is certainly not the heaven of the Bible. The Bible uses a number of words to describe heaven. One word it uses is paradise. In the Gospels, we're told that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. When one of those thieves, in the last moments of life, put His faith in Jesus, he said, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). And Jesus replied, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (verse 43).
Heaven is also compared to a city. In Hebrews 11:10, we're told that this city's architect and builder is God Himself. And then Hebrews 13:14 says, "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (NIV).
Now, we know that cities have buildings, culture, art, music, parks, goods and services, and events. Will heaven have all of these things? We don't know. But we can certainly conclude that heaven will in no sense be less than what we experience here on earth—with the exception of all things harmful or evil.
Heaven is also described as a country. Hebrews 11:16 says, "They desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God."
Heaven is a paradise, a city, a country . . . and so much more that we can't begin to wrap our finite minds around it. But one thing I do know: Jesus is expecting me, and He's prepared a place for me. What more could I ask for?
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