Is Heaven real or is it just a myth? Or maybe it's just an ideal for us to try and create here on earth? Let's see what the Bible actually says about Heaven. Are the following verses talking about what we can make this earth like, or are they talking about a real physical place where Jesus will take us to live someday?
Revelation 21 & 22:1-5
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred [and] forty [and] four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass.
And the foundations of the wall of the city [were] garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Many people have been taught that "Heaven" is just an ideology, the ideal that we should strive to make our world like. Others have been taught that Heaven is a place where you will not have to do ANYTHING except sit on a cloud and play a harp. Many have been taught to spiritualize away the very things that make Heaven our home, but we must not allow ourselves to do that because that is not what the Bible teaches.
Jesus said in John 14:1-3 that He was going to go and prepare a place for us and that we would live with Him there someday. That verse alone tells us that Heaven is a REAL, PHYSICAL place, and so we should think about this home more. In fact, Philippians 4:8 tells us to do just that.
This should not be a topic we avoid because we think we know very little. There are many verses that tell us about Heaven and from these we can gain an idea of how real this place is. So let's look at just a few more verses and then try to understand what these might mean based on what we know from our earthly experiences.
For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
First, from these two verses we can tell that no matter how awesome we believe this place to be, no matter how grand and huge we can think of it as being, no matter how beautiful and peaceful we can imagine it to be, and no matter how far-fetched and beyond belief the ideas we might be able to dream up, Heaven will be even better. In fact, what it says is that there isn't a single human who has ever dreamed up anything as amazing as this place, and yet God will have His dream all ready for those who trust Him.
Heaven's a real place, so let's take a look at what we will be doing while we are there:
And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
We are going to "build houses"! Have you ever wished you could build a house exact how and where you wanted? One that you just totally loved? From what God told Isaiah (as seen in the above verses) we see that those who trust God will not just be sitting around "playing a harp".
Maybe you have already built your dream house, but when you finished and after a few weeks, months or maybe years, did you feel like you could have made a few changes that would have made your house even better?
And we are going to "plant vineyards". For one, this can tell us that we will not all be crammed into a tiny space. It tells us that there will be lots of room to have a garden, or even a field for growing things. This also indicates that those who love to garden and farm will get to "play" in the dirt as much as they like. (For those who have hoped that Heaven has dirt, dream no more. It's there!)
But no matter how you look at verse 21 you can tell that we will have things to do, and not just unimportant things either. The stuff that grows on those vines will be eaten by those who planted them.
"They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat". This verse tells us that we will not have to worry that someone will come and steal what we have grown. We will not have to worry that just as these vines get to a ripe old age we will die and leave them to someone else to enjoy and eat from. This also indicates that none of us will be forced to work at a job that we hate just to supply food for someone else to eat, and none of us will be forced to build a house for another person.
"They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble" tells us that there will never be something that will destroy what we do. There will not be a fire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or a thief to cause problems. In fact, there will be nothing that will cause us trouble.
"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."
We can tell from this quote that there will be NOTHING that will hurt any of God's creatures. Even the animals will be kind to one another. Nothing will destroy anything!
Here is a short list of verses that tell us a great deal about Heaven.
*Where God's throne is (Revelation 22:1 and many others)
*Where Jesus the Son is (Mark 16:19 among others)
*Where Jesus came from when He came to this earth (John 17:5 )
*A place Jesus is preparing for us right now (John 14:1-3 )
*A place where we will spend eternity (John 11:26 )
*Where the Holy City, the New Jerusalem is currently at (Revelation 3:12 and Revelation 21:2 )
*Where we will never get tired (Isa. 40:31)
*Where there will never be another death (Revelation 21:4 )
*Where we will never again experience pain, sickness, or hate (Revelation 21:4 )
*A place where we will build houses, plant vineyards and eat real food that we have grown (Isaiah 65:21)
*There are 12 gates in the city, each gate is of one pearl and the street(s?) are made of transparent gold (Revelation 21:21)
*We will not have "occupations" as we now know them. If I plant something I will get to eat from it.
*I will not be planting for someone else, nor will I be building for someone else. (Isaiah 65:22 )
*There will be no destruction of any kind and the lamb and wolf will eat with each other. The lion will eat straw like a cow. (Isaiah 65:25 )
*WE WILL LIVE WITH JESUS where He is now for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:6 )
*JESUS WILL LIVE WITH US on this new earth after the 1,000 years for the rest of eternity (Revelation 21:3 )
*At the end of the 1,000 years the Holy City will come to this earth (Revelation 21:1, 2 )
*No night in the Holy City (Revelation 22:5 )
Revelation 22:1 , Revelation 22:2 , and Revelation 22:3 tell us:
*there is a divided street in the Holy City
*the River of Life is in the middle of the street
*the Tree of Life is on both sides of the river (sounds like there are two trunks to the same tree, but only one top)
*there are 12 kinds of fruit (Either this means 1 type each month, or all 12 types ripen each month. Either way, WOW!)
*the leaves of the Tree of Life will keep us healthy
*the River of Life flows from the Throne of God
... .(which is another text that means that the Throne of God is in the New Jerusalem and not outside of it someplace)
From Revelation 4:10 & Revelation 4:11
*We are given a crown when Jesus comes
and we will cast our crowns at the feet of the One who has made it possible for us to be in Heaven.
From Revelation 21:
*The City is 1,400 miles square and 1,400 miles high and has 12 foundations.
*The City walls are about 200' thick.
From Isaiah 35:
*the wilderness will blossom like the crocus (No wilderness, not even a wilderness of water, yet lots of water)
*the eyes of the blind be opened
*the ears of the deaf unstopped
*the lame will leap like a deer
*the mute tongue will shout for joy
*Water will gush
*No ferocious beast will be there.
*We will sing in Heaven
*No one living in Zion will say, "I am ill" Isaiah 33:24
*God's people will "sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown." Zech 9:16
*We will be given a "white garment". Revelation 3:5
*We will eat at the table of Jesus. Luke 22:30
*There will be children playing in the streets of the Holy City. Zech. 8:5
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Heaven is REAL! (Click to view the 3 minute video)