In 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV), the Scripture says: “But, as it is written no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” This verse is telling us that there are things about heaven that are so amazing we can’t even understand them. And then it goes on: “These things God has revealed to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (2:10 esv).
This means that there are certain things about heaven that the Scripture has revealed to us by the Spirit of God, and so that’s what we’re going to concern ourselves with here. We’re going to focus on the things that are really clear about heaven, things that we at least somewhat know about heaven. We’re not going to spend a bunch of time in theory and in the debatable stuff.
Heaven, before Jesus returns, is going to be a different place than after He comes back. In Hebrews 9:27 (ESV), it says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Are you in Christ? The question is not about how good you were in this life. Not how bad you were in this life. Not how much you went to church or didn’t go to church. The Scripture is clear as it can be. You’re going to be judged on one thing at the moment of your death. Were you in Christ Jesus?
If you are in that moment found in Christ Jesus, not having a righteousness of your own but that which comes through faith in Him, you’re going to go to a place immediately called heaven. The Scripture is crystal clear that when you are away from the body, you are at home with Jesus. Do not be afraid of death, Christian. Your eyes close in death, and you’re home.
Jesus said this home is going to be pretty special. Luke 23:43 (ESV) says: “And [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’”
After Jesus’ Return
In Revelation 21, it says God re-creates the earth. Most theologians believe that this new earth that God creates is like earth but with heaven wrapped up in it. Verse 3 (nasb) says: “I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.” God is going to be hanging out with us.
Some of you think that’s going to be boring. Here is what Psalm 16:11 (ESV) has to say: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”