The Reality Of Heaven

The Jews of old recognized three heavens -

  1. The aerial or atmospheric heaven, where the birds fly, the winds blow, and the showers, mists, vapors and clouds are formed (Acts 1:11).
  2. The firmament, or the region of the sun, moon, and starry host (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1; Job 38:31-33).
  3. The heaven of heavens.  This is where God dwells, and is the region spoken of as the immediate presence of God, the region of divine glory, also the dwelling place of angels and saints (I Kings 8:30; Psalm 11:4; 15:1; Matthew 6:9).  This is the Temple of he divine Majesty, where His excellent glory is revealed in the most conspicuous manner.  It is the habitation of His holiness, the place where His honor dwelleth.  This sacred mansion of light, joy and glory is the third heaven to which Paul was caught up (II Corinthians 12:2). 

 Heaven is expressly spoken of as a definite place, as well as a state (John 14:2,3).  The existence of the body of Christ, and those of Enoch and Elijah, affords further proof.  If heaven is not a place, where can these bodies be?  Where are the bodies of believers to exist after their resurrection?  Where heaven is definitely located, God alone knows.  Evidently it is above, just as hell is beneath, seeing Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven.  Heaven must be recognized for the country it is.

A Prepared Abode - Jesus assured His own that He was going to "prepare a place" for them.  While all the saints of God from the beginning of time are to be in heaven, it would seem as if within such there is to be a prepared place for the true Church.  Writing to the redeemed, Peter speaksof their incorruptible inheritance as being "reserved in heaven" for them (Peter 1:4).  Thus, in heaven, there is a prepared place for a prepared people, and to be heaven-bound, we must be heaven-born!

A Peopled Abode - What glorious company can be found in heaven!  god has ever lived there (Matthew 6:9).  Christ is there as the Center of glory (Hebrews 9:24).  Heaven has ever been the heaven of the vast angelic host (Matthew 18:10).  The godly of all ages are also there.  Of His own, Jesus said: "Where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3).

A Paternal Abode - Jesus referred to heaven as "My Father's house" (John 14:2), and as its Creator, it is His in a real sense.  But there as the Father, conveys the meaning that His abody has a warmth, love and joy about it.  What kind and tru earthly fathers mean to their homes, our heavenly Father and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ means to His Home, which we are to share.

A Palatial Abode - Heaven must possess a blaze of glory, a radiant, magnificent celestial splendor overwhelming to all who enter it.  Once we reach the realm of eternal bliss we shall discover that its glories far outstrip the most magnificent descriptions ever given by man below.  Like the Queen of Sheba, who had no more spirit in her after she beheld the glory of Solomon's palace, we shall confess, "Behold, the half was not told me."

The palace of God is transparent, it is adorned with illustrious beams of glory.  Hell is a dark dungeon where there is nothing but the blackness of darkness forever, but heaven is bespangled with light (Colossians 1:12).  In heavenly palace is the best air, which is perfumed with the odors of Christ's ointments, and a most pleasant prospect for the Bright Morning Star.  The palace is rich and sumptuous.  It has gates of pearl (Revelation 21:21).  It is enriched with white robes and crowns of glory: it never falls to decay and the dwellers in it never die (Revelation 22:5)."

A Pleasurable Abode - By heaven, we understand a state of happiness infinite in degree and endless in duration.  The joys of heaven are without example, above experience and beyond imagination: for which the whole creation wants a comparison, we an apprehension, and ever the Word of God a revelation.  Hannah Moore wrote of heaven as a place of "Perfect purity, fullness of joy, everlasting freedom, health and fruition, complete secrity and eternal good."

Reunion with loved ones, fellowship with renowned Bible saints, the absence of all sin, sorrow, pain and death, the conscious presence of God and the sight of Christ combine to make heaven the sphere of inexpressible felicity.  Christ Himself will ever be the source of our unending joy (Revelation 21:23).  How privileged we will be to bask in His radiance!

A Peaceful Abode - Undisturbed calm and tranquility reign in heaven above.  God whose home it is, is the God of peace, and can therefore allow nothing to enter His presence alien to His own being.  Wars, destroying countries below; wranglings, destroying peace in earthly homes, are excluded from heaven where peace, perfect peace, possesses its chambers.

A Perfect Abode - "My idea of heaven," says Wilberforce, "is perfect love"; "And mine," replied Robert Hall, "is perfect rest."  Heaven is entirely separated from the impurities and imperfections, the alterations and changes we are familiar with below.  Holy, eternal joy fills the hearts of all because of freedom from all evil, both of soul and body (Revelation 7:17).  Nothing that defiles can enter there.  There we are to be perfectly holy - as holy as Christ Himself (1 John 3:2).  Now we yearn for holiness of life, but sin abides.  With our entrance into heaven, however, we shall gain a writ of ease from all our sins and iniquities.  Heaven is a state of impeccability!

Think of it - in heaven, the saints never have a sinful thought!  Let no one be so vain as to talk of purgatory.  A soul purged by Christ's blood needs no fire of purgatory, but goes immediately from a deathbed into a glorified state."

Joyful and perfect service is also to be ours in heaven.  There is no idleness there.  We are to be like "angels and with the angels sing."  God's children serve Him day and night forever.  Then we shall labor for Him as we cannot now because of the sinful influence of the flesh.

A Permanent Abode - Heaven, which is likewise referred to as a kingdom with a King (Matthew 18:1), is also mentioned as a city, with its citizens (Hebrews 11:10, 16; Philippians 3:30 R.V.); a country with its dwellers (Hebrews 11:16); a building and mansion of God (II Corinthians 15:1; John 14:2), is eternal in duration.  As a "Home" it will never crumble and decay because of the ravages of time, storm or war.  It is as eternal as God Himself.

A Prescribed Abode - Only "the godly in Christ" have the right of entrance into heaven.  All the wicked and Christ rejectors are disqualified for citizenship in this city without foundations (Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 22:14, 15).  To engage in the employments and enjoyments of heaven, one must have a heavenly nature, which is what the Holy Spirit supplies when He makes the believing sinner a partaker of the divine nature.

The Bible pictures all true believers as groaning after heaven, on a stretch for and living for heaven.  Is that your attitude?  Are our affections set upon things above so that we can feel the tug?  Possibly the tug is in the other direction - downward.  We are of the earth, however, are growing strangely dim, and earthly cirlces are being depleted, then the heavenly tug grows stronger with the passing of days.  May grace be ours to foster homesickness for heaven!

Because the bliss of heaven largely consists in the absence of those things which hinder happiness here below, John cites seven "no mores" -

  • "No sickness, nor pain" (Revelation 22:2).
  • "No hunger, nor thirst" (Revelation 7:17,17; cf. Psalms 36:8; 46:4).
  • "No sorrow, nor crying, nor tears."  All cause of these forever removed.
  • "No sea" (Ecclesiastes 1:7).  The emblem of unrest and dissatisfaction.
  • "No death" (Hosea 13:14; I Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14).
  • "No night."  All weariness is to vanish.
  • "No sin."  This is the primary cause of the foregoing (Romans 5:12; 8:20-23; Revelation 7:16,17; 21:1,4,25,27; 22:3,5)
  • "Fulness of joy - pleasures forevermore" (Psalms 16:11; 21:6 R.V.; 36:8Matthew 25:21,23).
  • "Rest from weary labor" (Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 14:13).
  • "Unceasing service" (Revelation 7:15; 22:3).
  • "Perfect knowledge" (I Corinthians 13:9-12).
  • "Perfect beauty and safety" (Revelation 21:19-21).
  • "Happy reunion with loved ones" (II Samuel 12:23; I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  • "The bliss of being with, and being like, Jesus" (Psalm 17:15; John 12:26; 14:3; 17:24; I Thessalonians 4:17; 5:10; I John 3:2; Revelation 22:4).

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Creator: Minister Arlee Turner Jr.

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Bible Statistics

The Whole Bible:

1)   Number of books - 66

2)   Chapters - 1,189

3)   Verses - 31,102

4)   Words - 783,137

5)   Letters - 3,566,480

6)   Promises - 1,260

7)   Commands - 6,468

8)   Predictions - over 8,000

9)   3,268 verses of fulfilled prophecy

10) 3,140 verses of unfulfilled prophecy

11) Questions - 3,294

12) Longest name - 18 letters (Isaiah 8:1)

13) Longest verse - Esther 8:9

14) Shortest verse - John 11:35

15) Middle books - Micah and Nahum

16) Middle verse - Psalm 118:8

17) Middle and shortest chapter - Psalm 117

18) Largest book - Psalms

19) Smallest book - 3 John (counting words)

20) Longest chapter - Psalm 119

21) Word God occurs, 3,358 times

22) Lord occurs 7,736 times

23) Authors - 40

24) Languages translated in - over 1,100

25) First chapter divisions made in 1227 A.D.

26) First complete English Bible - 1380 A.D.

The Old Testament

1)   Number of books - 39

2)   Chapters - 929

3)   Verses - 23,144

4)   Words - 602,585

5)   Letters - 2,728,100

6)   Middle book - Proverbs

7)   Middle chapter - Job 20

8)   Middle verses - 2 Chronicles 20:17,18

9)   Smallest book - Obadiah

10) Shortest verse - 1 Chronicles 1:25

11) Longest verse - Esther 8:9

12) Longest chapter - Psalm 119

13) Largest book - Psalms

The New Testament

1)   Number of books - 27

2)   Chapters - 260

3)   Verses - 7,957

4)   Words - 180,552

5)   Letters - 838,380

6)   Middle book - 2 Thessalonians

7)   Middle chapters - Romans 8,9

8)   Middle verse - Acts 27:17

9)   Smallest book - 3 John (counting words)

10) Shortest verse - John 11:35

11) Longest verse - Revelations 20:4

12) Longest chapter - Luke 1

13) Largest book - Luke

The Declaration

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 KJV

"To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear?  Behold, their ear is uncirumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the Word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it." - Jeremiah 6:10 KJV

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." - John 15:18,19 KJV

"The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." - John 7:7 KJV

"He that hateth me hateth my Father also." - John 15:23 KJV

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." - Ephesians 6:12 KJV

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." - Matthew 24:24 KJV

"...Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." - St. Matthew 24:11,12 KJV

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." - 2 Corinthians 2:11 KJV

"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." - 2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV

"And they will deceive everyone his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity." - Jeremiah 9:5 KJV

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV

"...Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." - Titus 1:11 KJV

"For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret." - Ephesians 5:12 KJV

"He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." - John 7:18 KJV

My Personal Promise To You

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth and because of this I will not walk in trickery, adulterating the Word of God, tampering with the gospel to make it less offensive, in order for men to commend me.  Instead, I will be faithful to the Gospel, manifesting the truth in order to commend myself to every man's conscience, with God watching...

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