A faraway place that it not accessible unless you die. This has been the belief about heaven that we are basically taught since birth typically regardless of your upbringing. There are also many bits of speculation out there about heaven… we’ll call these “heaven myths”. Hopefully in this blog we will shed some light on what we actually know about heaven and what culture has brought to the table.
When I was a little kid I asked my parents about heaven, their answer is what I suppose would have been the typical answer based on what they believed in the early 80’s. “Heaven is where Jesus is. It’s a very bright place and when you die you go there to be with Jesus”. This concept didn’t go over so amazingly well with me when I was a kid because I wanted more details. “How do I actually get there? Where does the light come from? Will I have my toys there also? Who else will be there?”. These were some legit questions that plagued me as a little kid. So I searched on… I asked my Grandma… “Where is heaven? She replied: It’s in the sky. I said: Where in the sky? She said: Whenever you see a giant cloud in the sky… that’s heaven. That’s where Jesus is”. As you could imagine this messed me up a little bit too because now I believe that Jesus is out there Surf'n on the clouds where he lives. Sometimes I think that as humans we are still trying to get all the facts. Some of us are able to just be content with the concept that Jesus is in heaven and that heaven is “up”, you go there when you die. But not all of us. We want more answers. The nature of the knowledge of good and evil is the driving force over our free will and our thirst in this world for power and knowledge. So as a mere mortal human whose life is a vapor or a mist, we are forced to base our knowledge on 3 primary things. #1: Biblical knowledge of heaven. #2: Personal belief of heaven. Or #3: Cultural belief of heaven.
Let’s tackle a little bit of each of these shall we?
Just to let you know… there are waaaaay too many verses to list so we will hit just a few to help round it all out. Let’s start with the early biblical definition of heaven in the book of Genesis. God divided the waters which were under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament. And he called it Heaven (Gen 1:7-8) So God made it early on. We also hear it described throughout the bible as the “kingdom of heaven” which also implies that this is where God rules from on high. Jesus states in John 14:2-3 “In my father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so then would I have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” We also get a pretty apt description of what it will be like when we get there. Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, and there will be no more pain: for the former things are passed away” We hear also of Jesus describing it as paradise (Luke 23:43), as well as a description of the “New Heaven” in the book of Revelations 21:21-25. So we have what we can find in scripture as a point of reference, but there aren’t too many descriptions of the place. I encourage you to search the Word for additional scriptures and learn for yourself what Jesus has to say about this magnificent place!
#2: Personal Belief.
This topic can get pretty messed up pretty fast. There are a lot of people shouting out what they believe to be the truth. With books on people who have died and gone to heaven and back. To the latest movies out there titling involving something about it being “real”. I’m not here to dispute that or to say that they are wrong. All I’m saying is that some people are easily led astray on what heaven is actually about. I know a family who believes 100% that when you go to heaven that you will not be conscience of your surroundings. That you will have no “will” and you will not know anyone. That all you will do is bask in His presence and not have any other purpose or anything. Almost like a drone or something. That, to me, doesn’t make sense. Yes, we will be basking in His presence, able to see him physically in front of us and converse with him. That’s AWESOME! But I believe that we were meant for SO much more than to become a “Holy Drone” for Jesus. If he doesn’t want us to be that way here on earth, why would he want us to be that way in the promised land, a.k.a. Heaven?!
#3 Cultural Beliefs.
Here is where we (humans) have made such a simple topic and concept so complicated and confusing by adding our own 2 cents worth and acting like it is factual by coming up with some kind of “supernatural” explanation to back it up. A vast majority of people are convinced that it's in "space... the final frontier..." lol. Probably one of the most common childhood beliefs is that when you die you become an angel. Another is that regardless of what you have done or what you believe when you die you will go to heaven. There are other cultural beliefs that we could list in regards to other religions such as Muslim, Hindu, Buddhism, etc. But the biggest belief in today’s culture is that if you are a good person then you are automatically granted a free ticket. How you get there doesn’t matter and that “All paths lead to heaven”.
It can be a very slippery slope in today’s world. But the cold hard facts about how to get there and whether or not it is real can be summed up by Jesus. Words written in red: John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
To conclude: Do your own research. Don’t believe blindly what the world or even your friends tell you. In the end the buck stops with Jesus. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life. So dig deep in the Word and find the truth.
Derek, Sarah, & David
The Nameless Movement