For those who don’t believe in a real Heaven, I will not defend Jesus’ position. He believed in a literal Heaven – a place with people, animals, houses, trees, rivers, seats, thrones – the only difference is all in perfect condition.
I would only ask, “Why is your God so small that you relegate Him to the metaphorical, allegorical or symbolic? Why isn’t He both God of the physical as well as God of the spiritual? Why did He create a natural world if He didn’t really want to live in it and have us enjoy it for eternity? Why did Jesus take on a physical body if He isn’t living right now in a physical Heaven? How could Enoch, Elijah, Paul and John all go to Heaven with their material bodies if Heaven is anything less than a material place?”
Heaven can be more than our physical world, but it cannot be less!
Paul said he could not tell whether his body was spiritual or material when he was caught up to the “third heaven,” implying a) Heaven is a very concrete place and b) it is virtually impossible to distinguish the spiritual body from the material body (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). Both spirit and body co-exist in Heaven.
I look forward to Heaven in a similar way I look forward to going to a different country. I’m not afraid at all to die and go to Heaven. I think about it. I dream about it. I try to collect as much information about it as I can before I get there. The Bible says Heaven is a real place, a definite location, a prepared city for a prepared people. Jesus promised it, “I go and prepare A PLACE for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that WHERE I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3)
One thing that impressed God about Abraham’s faith was he believed in Heaven with a literal city. Hebrews 10:10 says, “For he [Abraham] waited for the CITY which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” The city in Heaven is not nebulous or airy-fairy. It is so solid, it needs strong foundations, good engineering and patient construction. It’s not slapped together. It is being prepared.
Speaking of other Old Testament men and women of faith, Hebrews 11:16 says they were willing to leave behind their country and not return because “now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a CITY for them.”
I’m convinced the more we think about Heaven, the less worry we will feel, the less stress we will experience, the more we will give, the more we will love, the more we will serve. One can practice thinking about Heaven till our personal problems seem to fade away.
Heaven is more real than our physical world. Our world originated from Heaven. Heaven contains all the best of what we love in this natural life, plus more, plus above, plus beyond. In Heaven we will experience far more pleasures and joys than we have ever known in this limited world.
Why not wake up every morning doing what the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul, “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2 NKJ).
I am waking up every morning saying these words out loud, “Good morning, my Father! Good morning, Lord Jesus! Good morning, Holy Spirit! This is the day you have made, I rejoice and I’m glad in it. I set my affections on things above, not on things beneath.”
What you wake up thinking and saying first definitely sets the mood for the rest of your day. The question to ask is not “is Heaven real?” so much as “is Heaven real to me?”
COMMENT: Do you have any tips on how you start your day? What do you think about Heaven?