Where on earth is heaven?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Is heaven a glorious place in the sky, where we will play harp and sing songs for all eternity? Not naturally endowed with a musical talent and used to challenging work, that sounds very boring to me. How on earth can one do that for millions of years? Fortunately that is not the truth. It is based on a wrong perception.
What we call heaven will be a physical place, in this case, the renewed earth. In Rev 21:1-5 we read, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.... Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.... He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”. God is going to restore the earth to its initial glory, at the end of the present age, by cleansing it with fire. God, who is eternal is presently invisible to us. The visible earth that we now live on is temporary. At the end of this age, the invisible eternity of God will become a visible country where God will be among his people.
Where is God now? In heaven. It is natural to talk about it like that, because it is the teaching of the Bible. But look at God’s brilliance. Who would be able to just sit on a cloud for all eternity? It would be terribly boring, even to God. He is known as a busy God, and in His wisdom He planned a physical world where we will keep on tending the earth. Initially that was man’s command: rule over the world, subdue it, and fill it (Gen 1:28). On the new earth it will be very different: there will be no evil, no death, no struggles, no disease, no marital problems, but only bliss (Rev 21). And that for all eternity! Many people wonder why the Bible does not give more information about the creation at the beginning, and about heaven. It would greatly enhance our faith. But God has given enough information for our needs. He is more concerned that we make the right choice and be there in the new eternal world. That is made possible only by Jesus Christ. So the Bible was written with this goal in mind: a relationship with Jesus, without which we will never see God.
Theologians speculate about many matters: the Rapture, when, how, where, the Tribulation, the Millennium, et cetera. That is wonderful. But in the end, God has planned everything perfectly. He knows how we will be kept busy for all eternity, so don’t spend too much time speculating about it. Make sure you are there: that is God’s main message. Once you are there, you will be given all the small details that intrigue us so much here.
Conclusion: heaven is not a pie in the sky, but a real physical earth on which we will work, play and live for eternity. It is worth going for it.