- Category: HEAVEN
Heaven - What is Heaven Like?
SO4J.com / SO4J-TV
HEAVEN - WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE? What Happens After Death? Is Heaven Real? Who Goes To Heaven? Where Is Heaven? What Is The Millennium? What Is The New Jerusalem? These Questions & More will be Answered here about Heaven.
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 "EYE has NOT SEEN, nor EAR HEARD, NOR have entered into the HEART of man the things which God has PREPARED for those who LOVEHIM."
- Colossians 3:2-5 "SET YOUR MIND on things ABOVE, NOT on the THINGS on the EARTH. For you Died, and your Life is Hidden with CHRIST in GOD. When CHRIST who is our LIFE APPEARS, then you also will APPEAR with HIM in GLORY."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 “I Want you to know what will Happen to the CHRISTIANS who have DIED so you will NOT be FULL of SORROW like People who have No Hope.”
INTRO - QUOTE BY JOHN MACARTHUR: "HEAVEN is an ACTUAL PLACE, NOT a state of SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS. That is evident because some have gone there in GLORIFIED BODIES, such as ENOCH (Gen. 5:24), ELIJAH (2 Kings 2:11), and the LORD JESUS CHRIST (Acts 1:9). That Christ is presently preparing a place for Believers and will one day return to take them to Heaven (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-17) offers further PROOF that HEAVEN is a place. The Bible does NOT give a LOCATION for HEAVEN, but views it from the perspective of the earth as up (4:1; 2 Cor. 12:2). Though heaven is far beyond the created world in another dimension, when believers die they will be there immediately (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8).
Check out some of these below QUICK FACTS in GOD'S WORD about HEAVEN... and READ ARTICLES and WATCH VIDEOS about HEAVEN. This page answers Questions like: What is Heaven Like? What Happens after Death? Who Goes to Heaven? Where is the Location of Heaven? Will we have Physical Bodies in Heaven? Will we be able to see and know our Friends & Family members in Heaven? Will we remember our earthly lives when we are in Heaven? Are there different levels of Heaven? After the End Times Events of the Tribulation and Rapture -- What is the Millennium? Who will occupy the Millennium? What are the New Heavens & New Earth? What is the New Jerusalem? Keep Looking UP! ^ (Col 3:1-4) SO4J-TV :)
- What is Heaven Like?
- What Happens After Death?
- Who Goes To Heaven? Good News!
- Is Heaven Real?
- Where is Heaven? Where is the Location of Heaven?
- Will We Have Physical Bodies in Heaven?
- Will We be Able to See and Know our Friends and Family Members in Heaven?
- Will We Remember Our Earthly Lives When We are in Heaven?
- Are There Different Levels of Heaven?
- False Visits To Heaven & Hell
- Can People in Heaven Look Down and See Us?
- What is the Millennium Kingdom? Should it be Understood Literally?
- Who Will Occupy the Millennial Kingdom?
- What are the New Heavens and the New Earth?
- What is the New Jerusalem?
1 - What is Heaven Like?
Bible Facts About Heaven
To start off, lets look at how many times HEAVEN is mentioned in the Scriptures & the various Heavens mentioned in Scripture:
1) SCRIPTURE refers to HEAVEN more than 500 TIMES.
2) The Book of REVELATION alone mentions HEAVEN about 50 TIMES.
3) The Word HEAVEN is found 276 TIMES in the NEW TESTAMENT alone.
4) Scripture refers to 3 HEAVENS (see below):
QUOTE BY JOHN MACARTHUR ON HEAVEN: "A GENUINE and STRONG longing for HEAVEN (Col 3:1-4) will maintain the VIGOR of believers’ SPIRITUAL SERVICE. Those who are NEGLIGENT in the LORD'S WORK and make only a token, MINIMAL EFFORT to SERVE HIM, demonstrate LITTLE REGARD FOR ETERNAL things. They FOOLISHLY think that the REWARD for pursuing EARTHLY things is GREATER than that for pursuing HEAVENLY things. A GENUINE and STRONG longing for HEAVEN honors God above everything else. Those who FOCUS on HEAVEN focus on the SUPREME ONE in HEAVEN. By setting their HEARTS on HIM, they HONOR the ONE whose heart is set on them."
THERE ARE 3 HEAVENS - SCRIPTURE SAYS (2 Cor. 12:2)
1) The FIRST HEAVEN is the EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE (Genesis 1:20; Job 12:7; Ezek 38:20). Most frequently referred to in the Old Testament as the “sky” or the “firmament.” This is the Heaven that contains clouds, the area that birds fly through.
2) The SECOND HEAVEN is interplanetary and interstellar space (Genesis 15:5; 22:17; Deut. 1:10; 4:19; Psalm 8:3; Isaiah 3:10). This is the abode of the: stars, planets, and other celestial objects (Genesis 1:14-18).
3) The THIRD HEAVEN is the dwelling place of God (Deut. 4:39; 1 Kings 8:30; Job 22:12; Psalm 14:2; Daniel 2:28; Matthew 5:34; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Peter 3:22). The location of which is not revealed, is the dwelling place of God. Jesus promised to prepare a place for true Christians in Heaven (John 14:2). Heaven is also the destination of Old Testament saints who died trusting God's promise of the Redeemer (Ephesians 4:8). Whoever believes in Christ shall never perish but have Eternal life (John 3:16).The Apostle Paul was “caught up to the THIRD HEAVEN,” but he was prohibited [kept from] from revealing what he experienced there (2 Corinthians 12:1-9).
The Apostle John was privileged to see and report on the Heavenly City (Revelation 21:10-27). John witnessed that Heaven (the New Earth) possesses the “glory of God” (Revelation 21:11), the very presence of God. Because Heaven has no night and the Lord Himself is the light, the sun and moon are no longer needed (Revelation 22:5).
The City is filled with the brilliance of costly stones and crystal clear jasper. Heaven has twelve gates (Revelation 21:12) and twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14). The paradise of the Garden of Eden is restored: the river of the water of life flows freely and the tree of life is available once again, yielding fruit monthly with leaves that “heal the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). However eloquent John was in his description of Heaven, the reality of Heaven is beyond the ability of finite man to describe (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Heaven is a place of “no mores.” There will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sorrow (Revelation 21:4). There will be no more separation, because death will be conquered (Revelation 20:6). The best thing about Heaven is the presence of our Lord and Savior (1 John 3:2). We will be face to face with the Lamb of God who loved us and sacrificed Himself so that we can enjoy His presence in Heaven for Eternity.
Source: John MacArthur & Got Questions
2 - What Happens After Death?
Question: "What Happens After Death?"
Answer: Within the Christian faith, there is a significant amount of confusion regarding what happens after death. Some hold that after death, everyone “sleeps” until the final Judgment, after which everyone will be sent to Heaven or Hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly Judged and sent to their Eternal Destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a “Temporary” Heaven or Hell, to await the final resurrection, the final Judgment, and then the finality of their Eternal destination. So, what exactly does the Bible say happens after death?
1 - First for the Believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that after death Believers’ souls/spirits are taken to Heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:16, 18, 36). For Believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe Believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If Believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of Believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the Physical Body remains in the Grave “sleeping.” At the Resurrection of Believers, the Physical body is Resurrected, Glorified, and then Reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of Believers for Eternity in the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21-22).
This Video (link above) is about the Fate of FALSE CONVERTS (APOSTATES) who come to the EDGE of Saving Faith— but they eventually REJECT or WALK AWAY from the Truth. Read Matthew 7:21-23. Go Here for: Biblical Assurance of Salvation, Q & As, & To Examine Your Faith. Go Here for: What is a Lukewarm Christian? Go Here for the: Gospel of Jesus Christ.
LUKEWARM CHRISTIANS are UNSAVED People who: THINK, TALK, LOOK like they are Saved. This Video is a 10 Min Segment of a One Hour SO4J-TV Show: Judgment Day-Are You Ready?
FYI - These Are NOT Genuinely Saved Christians portrayed in this Video— as they were NEVER Saved in the First Place. In Matt 7:21-23 Jesus says, "I NEVER KNEW you, Depart From Me, You Who Practice Lawlessness (Break God’s Laws)."
2 - Second for those who do not receive Jesus Christ as Savior, death means everlasting punishment. However, similar to the destiny of Believers, Unbelievers also seem to be sent immediately to a temporary holding place, to await their final Resurrection, Judgment, and Eternal Destiny. Luke 16:22-23 describes a rich man being tormented immediately after death. Revelation 20:11-15 describes all the Unbelieving Dead being Resurrected, Judged at the Great White Throne, and then being Cast into the Lake of Fire. Unbelievers, then, are not sent to Hell (the Lake of Fire) immediately after death, but rather are in a temporary realm of Judgment and condemnation. However, even though Unbelievers are not instantly sent to the Lake of Fire, their immediate fate after death is not a pleasant one. The rich man cried out, “I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:24).
Therefore, after death, a person resides in a “temporary” Heaven or Hell. After this temporary realm, at the final resurrection, a person’s Eternal destiny will not change. The precise “location” of that Eternal destiny is what changes. Believers will ultimately be granted entrance into the new Heavens and new Earth (Revelation 21:1). Unbelievers will ultimately be sent to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). These are the final, Eternal destinations of all people—based entirely on whether or not they had trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Matthew 25:46; John 3:36). Source: Got Questions
Watch Videos & Read what God's Word says about Hell:
- Matthew 7:13-14 (NASB) "Enter through the NARROW GATE; for the GATE is WIDE and the WAY is BROAD that leads to DESTRUCTION, and there are MANY who enter through it. For the GATE is SMALL & the WAY is NARROW that leads to LIFE, and there are FEW who find it.”
John 10:9 Jesus—"I AM THE GATE. Those who come in through ME will be SAVED."
3 - Who Goes To Heaven? Good News!
God Loves Us So Much He Made a Way of Escape from Hell thru Jesus Christ!
THE GOOD NEWS is we do NOT have to go to Hell, and we can go to Heaven! God loves us so much He made a way of Escape from Hell!
Watch this Gospel Video & Find out More how you can Escape from Hell, and Go to Heaven!
4 - Is Heaven Real?
Question: "Is Heaven Real?"
Answer: Heaven is indeed a real place. The Bible tells us that Heaven is God’s throne (Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:48-49; Matthew 5:34-35). After Jesus’ resurrection and appearance on Earth to His disciples, “He was taken up into Heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56). “Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered Heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence” (Hebrews 9:24). Jesus not only went before us, entering on our behalf, but He is alive and has a present ministry in Heaven, serving as our high priest in the true tabernacle made by God (Hebrews 6:19-20; 8:1-2).
We are also told by Jesus Himself that there are many rooms in God’s house and that He has gone before us to prepare a place for us. We have the assurance of His word that He will one day come back to Earth and take us to where He is in Heaven (John 14:1-4). Our belief in an Eternal home in Heaven is based on an explicit promise of Jesus. Heaven is most definitely a real place. Heaven truly does exist.
When people deny the existence of Heaven, they deny not only the written Word of God, but they also deny the innermost longings of their own hearts. Paul addressed this issue in his letter to the Corinthians, encouraging them to cling to the hope of Heaven so that they would not lose heart. Although we “groan and sigh” in our Earthly state, we have the hope of Heaven always before us and are eager to get there (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). Paul urged the Corinthians to look forward to their Eternal home in Heaven, a perspective that would enable them to endure hardships and disappointments in this life. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an Eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is Eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Just as God has put in men’s hearts the knowledge that He exists (Romans 1:19-20), so are we “programmed” to desire Heaven. It is the theme of countless books, songs, and works of art. Unfortunately, our sin has barred the way to Heaven. Since Heaven is the abode of a holy and perfect God, sin has no place there, nor can it be tolerated. Fortunately, God has provided for us the key to open the doors of Heaven—Jesus Christ (John 14:6). All who believe in Him and seek forgiveness for sin will find the doors of Heaven swung wide open for them. May the future glory of our Eternal home motivate us all to serve God faithfully and wholeheartedly. “Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart full of assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
Source: Got Questions
5 - Where is Heaven? Where is the Location of Heaven?
Question: "Where is Heaven? What is the Location of Heaven?"
Answer: Heaven is most certainly a real place. The Bible very definitely speaks of Heaven’s existence—and access to Heaven through faith in Jesus Christ—but there are no verses that give us a Mapquest style location. The short answer to this question is, “Heaven is where God is.” The place referred to in this question is called the “third Heaven” and “paradise” in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, where the apostle Paul tells of a living man who was “caught up” to Heaven and was unable to describe it. The Greek word translated “caught up” is also used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 in describing the Rapture, wherein Believers will be caught up to be with the Lord. These passages have led to the conclusion that Heaven is beyond the Earth’s airspace and beyond the stars.
However, since God is spirit, “Heaven” cannot signify a place remote from us which He inhabits. The Greek gods were thought of as spending most of their time far away from Earth in sort of a celestial equivalent of the Bahamas, but the God of the Bible is not like this. He is always near us when we call on Him (James 4:8) and we are encouraged to “draw near” to Him (Hebrews 10:1, 22). Granted, the “Heaven” where saints and angels dwell has to be thought of as a sort of locality, because saints and angels, as God’s creatures, exist in space and time. But when the Creator is said to be “in Heaven,” the thought is that He exists on a different plane from us, rather than in a different place.
That God in Heaven is always near to His children on Earth is something which the Bible expresses throughout. The New Testament mentions Heaven with considerable frequency. Yet, even with this frequency, detailed description of its location is missing. Perhaps God has intentionally covered its location in mystery, for it is more important for us to focus on the God of Heaven than the description or location of it. It is more important to know the why than the where. The New Testament focuses on the purpose of Heaven more than telling us what it is like or where it is. We have seen that hell is for separation and punishment (Matthew 8:12, 22:13). Heaven, on the other hand, is for fellowship and Eternal joy and, more importantly, worshipping around the throne of God.
Source: Got Questions
Where is Heaven?
By John MacArthur
Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:10
Heaven is not limited by the normal boundaries of time and space. Scripture clearly teaches that heaven is a real place that can be seen and touched and inhabited by beings with material bodies. We affirm that truth unequivocally.
But Scripture also reveals heaven as a realm not confined to an area delimited by height, width, and breadth. Heaven seems to span all those dimensions-and more. In Christ's message to the Philadelphian church, for example, He speaks of the eternal realm as "New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God" (Rev 3:12). In the closing chapters of Scripture, the apostle John speaks of "the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (Rev 21:10).
The New Heaven and New Earth are seen blending together in a great kingdom that incorporates both realms. The paradise of eternity is thus revealed as a magnificent kingdom where both heaven and earth unite in a glory that surpasses the limits of the human imagination and the boundaries of earthly dimensions.
So heaven is not confined to one locality marked off by boundaries that can be seen or measured. It transcends the confines of time/space dimensions. Perhaps that is part of what Scripture means when it states that God inhabits eternity (Isa 57:15). His dwelling place--heaven--is not subject to the normal limitations of finite dimensions.
We don't need to speculate about how this can be; it is sufficient to note that this is how Scripture describes heaven. It is a real place where people with physical bodies will dwell in God's presence for all eternity; and it is also a realm that surpasses our finite concept of what a "place" is.
6 - Will We Have Physical Bodies in Heaven?
Matthew 25:46 Jesus says, "These (Unrighteous) will go away into Eternal Punishment, but the RIGHTEOUS INTO ETERNAL LIFE."
Question: "Will We Have Physical Bodies in Heaven?"
Answer: Although the Bible tells us little about what it will be like in Heaven, it seems that we will most likely have a physical body, although not in the same sense of “physical” that we have now. 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that "the dead will be raised incorruptible" and that those who are alive at the time of Christ's Return for His saints "shall be changed." Jesus Christ is "the first fruits" of those who have died (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23). This means that He set the example and leads the way. 1 Corinthians 15:42 says that our "body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption." In a precursor to the Believers’ Resurrection, some were raised at the time of Christ's resurrection in Matthew 27:52 where it says that their "bodies...were raised." Thomas, in John 20:27, physically touched the body of Christ following His resurrection, so He obviously had a body that was solid.
We can expect that all Believers’ resurrection will be like that of Christ's. What a wonderful truth! The Bible is not specific, but it seems that we will be able to eat. John, in Revelation 22:2, writes of his vision of the Eternal state where he saw that "in the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month." This seems to be a reversal of the Genesis 3 punishment where Adam and Eve, and hence all of mankind, were banned from eating from this tree. As for hunger, it appears that there won't be any. Isaiah 49:10 says that there will be no hunger or thirst in the Millennial Kingdom. This is speaking of mortal men during that period, not of translated saints, but by extension it can be said that if mortals on Earth during Christ's Kingdom do not hunger, then surely there will be no hunger in Heaven (see also Revelation 7:14-16).
Finally, Job wrote that he knew for sure that even after he dies and his skin is long gone, that "in my FLESH I shall SEE God" (Job 19:25 - all caps added for emphasis). So that means our bodies will consist of some kind of glorified flesh. Whatever form we have, we know that it will be perfect, sinless and flawless.
Source: Got Questions
7 - Will We be Able to See and Know our Friends and Family Members in Heaven?
Question: "Will We be Able to See and Know our Friends and Family Members in Heaven?"
Answer: Many people say that the first thing they want to do when they arrive in Heaven is see all their friends and loved ones who have passed on before them. In Eternity, there will be plenty of time to see, know, and spend time with our friends and family members. However, that will not be our primary focus in Heaven. We will be far more occupied with worshipping God and enjoying the wonders of Heaven. Our reunions with loved ones are more likely to be filled with recounting the grace and glory of God in our lives, His wondrous love, and His mighty works. We will rejoice all the more because we can praise and worship the Lord in the company of other Believers, especially those we loved on Earth.
What does the Bible say about whether we will be able to recognize people in the afterlife? King Saul recognized Samuel when the witch of Endor summoned Samuel from the realm of the dead (1 Samuel 28:8-17). When David’s infant son died, David declared, “I will go to him, but he will not Return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). David assumed that he would be able to recognize his son in Heaven, despite the fact that he died as a baby. In Luke 16:19-31, Abraham, Lazarus, and the rich man were all recognizable after death. At the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah were recognizable (Matthew 17:3-4). In these examples, the Bible does seem to indicate that we will be recognizable after death.
The Bible declares that when we arrive in Heaven, we will “be like him [Jesus]; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Just as our Earthly bodies were of the first man Adam, so will our resurrection bodies be just like Christ’s (1 Corinthians 15:47). “And just as we have borne the likeness of the Earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from Heaven. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:49, 53). Many people recognized Jesus after His resurrection (John 20:16, 20; 21:12; 1 Corinthians 15:4-7). If Jesus was recognizable in His glorified body, we also will be recognizable in our glorified bodies. Being able to see our loved ones is a glorious aspect of Heaven, but Heaven is far more about God, and far less about us. What a pleasure it will be to be reunited with our loved ones and worship God with them for all Eternity.
Source: Got Questions
8 - Will We Remember Our Earthly Lives When We are in Heaven?
Question: "Will We Remember our Earthly Lives When We are in Heaven?"
Answer: Isaiah 65:17 tells us, “For, behold, I create New Heavens and a New Earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Some interpret Isaiah 65:17 as saying that we will have no memory of our Earthly lives in Heaven. However, one verse earlier in Isaiah 65:16, the Bible says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” It is likely only our “past troubles” that will be forgotten – not all of our memories. Our memories will be cleansed, redeemed, healed, and restored – not erased. There is no reason why we could not possess many memories from our Earthly lives. The memories that will be cleansed are the ones that involve sin, pain, and sadness. Revelation 21:4 declares, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Some point to the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) as proof that the dead remember their Earthly lives. The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to Earth to warn the rich man’s brothers not to come to hell. So he remembered his relatives. He must have also remembered his own life of sin because he never asked to be released from hell, nor did he ask why he was there or claim there had been some kind of mistake. He remembered enough about his Earthly life to know that he deserved hell. But this is no proof that those in Heaven remember their Earthly lives. The rich man’s remembrance was part of his misery. If we have memories in Heaven, they will only be of things that will bring us joy.
Source: Got Questions
9 - Are There Different Levels of Heaven?
Question: Are There Different Levels of Heaven?
Answer: The closest thing Scripture says to there being different levels of Heaven is found in 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third Heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.” Some interpret this as indicating that there are three different levels of Heaven, a level for “super-committed Christians” or Christians who have obtained a high level of spirituality, a level for “ordinary” Christians, and a level for Christians who did not serve God faithfully. This view has no basis in Scripture.
Paul is not saying that there are three Heavens or even three levels of Heaven. In many ancient cultures, people used the term “Heaven” to describe three different “realms”—the sky, outer space, and then a spiritual Heaven. Although the terms are not specifically biblical, these are commonly known as the terrestrial, telestial, and celestial Heavens. Paul was saying that God took him to the “celestial” Heavens, as in the realm in which God dwells. The concept of different levels of Heaven may have come in part from Dante’s Divine Comedy in which the poet describes both Heaven and hell as having nine different levels. The Divine Comedy, however, is a fictional work. The idea of different levels of Heaven is foreign to Scripture.
- REWARDS IN HEAVEN - WHO WILL BE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD - PART 1
- REWARDS IN HEAVEN FOR OBEYING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS (1,050 N.T. COMMANDMENTS) - PART 2
- FIVE CROWNS & REWARDS IN HEAVEN
- JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST & BELIEVERS REWARDS - PART 4
- ETERNAL REWARDS IN HEAVEN FOR GODLY CHRISTIANS - PART 5
Scripture does speak of different Rewards in Heaven. Jesus said regarding rewards, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12). Jesus said that when He comes He will have with Him Rewards to give to people on the basis of what they have done. This shows us that there will be a time of reward for Believers. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, we read the words of Paul as he closes out his ministry: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Only those works that survive God’s refining fire have Eternal value and will be worthy of reward. Those valuable works are referred to as “gold, silver, and costly stones” (1 Corinthians 3:12) and are those things that are built upon the foundation of faith in Christ. Those works that will not be rewarded are called “Wood, Hay, and Stubble”; these are not Evil Deeds but Shallow Activities with no Eternal Value. Rewards will be distributed at the “Judgment Seat of Christ,” a place where Believers’ lives will be evaluated for the purpose of Rewards. “Judgment” of Believers never refers to punishment for sin. Jesus Christ was punished for our sin when He died on the cross, and God said about us: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). What a glorious thought! The Christian need never fear punishment, but can look forward to Crowns of Reward that he can cast at the feet of the Savior. In conclusion, there are not different levels of Heaven, but there are different levels of Reward in Heaven.
Source: Got Questions
10 - False Visits To Heaven & Hell
- Revelation 2:2 Jesus says, "I know ALL the things you DO. I have seen your Hard Work & your Patient Endurance. I know you DON'T TOLERATE EVIL PEOPLE. You have EXAMINED the CLAIMS of those who SAY they are APOSTLES but are NOT. You have DISCOVERED they are LIARS.."
FALSE VISITS TO HEAVEN & HELL— Book Reviews, Article, Audio - How Spiritual Experiences Undermine God's Word. Are Visits to Heaven & Hell & Afterlife Experiences Reliable? NO. RE: FALSE VISITS of— Jesse Duplantis, Bill Wiese, Mary K Baxter, Rick Joyner, Kenneth Hagin, Rebecca Springer, Richard Eby. Why Claims of Afterlife Experiences are NOT Reliable & Unbiblical. Book Reviews of: 23 Minutes in Hell—Bill Wiese, and 90 Minutes in Heaven— Don Piper. Author Bob DeWaay Examines (ARTICLE & AUDIO) the Unbiblical Claims of: Mary K Baxter— A Divine Revelation of Hell, and Jesse Duplantis— Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind. So Many people claim they've talked to Jesus & others Face to Face. God's Word must NEVER be Undermined & Trumped for Personal Spiritual Experiences & Extra Biblical Revelations, and Visions (Gal 1:6-12). We must rely 100% on God's Unfailing Word (Heb 1:1-2).
"Don't Be Deceived, Be Biblically Discerning!"—SO4J-TV & Video Productions
DON'T BELIEVE & FOLLOW WEBSITES on the INTERNET that are PROMOTING: EXTRA BIBLICAL REVELATIONS, VISIONS, and CLAIMS of AFTERLIFE EXPERIENCES through: BOOKS, AUDIOS, DVDs, VIDEOS, ARTICLES, LINKS— these Visions are Unreliable! Many of these Websites & Bookstores that are Promoting these items might seemingly have all the Right Motives (we don't doubt some of these Ministries Sincerity), but they are Being DUPED & DECEIVED— they Mix UNRELIABLE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES with the TRUTH. GO TO: Beware of False Teachers. "Don't YOU Be DECEIVED— but be BIBLICALLY DISCERNING!" (Acts 17:11) Remember, God Might Be Testing You, Obey & Trust ONLY GOD'S WORD— NOT Your FEELINGS (Deut 13:1-2,3-4,5-18, Prov 14:12), and Especially NOT these Unbiblical Mystical Spiritual Experiences & Visions. We say these things out of LOVE—especially for God's people (2 Timothy 2:23-24,26)— HIS Sheep (John 10:3-17, 26-29)— those who might have Strayed Unknowingly into these False Revelations & Visions. May the Lord Bless & Strengthen Fellow "SO4J" Believers as we CLING to JESUS, & TRUST & OBEY ONLY GOD'S UNFAILING WORD! (1 John 2:3-6)
QUOTE: "Even if the Purpose of Books like Mary K Baxter’s (Bill Wiese, Jesse Duplantis, Kenneth Hagin, Rick Joyner, Rebecca Springer..) is to Motivate us to REPENT, they do MORE HARM than Good in that they UNDERMINE the FINAL & COMPLETE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE." —Bob DeWaay - Critical Issues Commentary
WARNING! HELL & HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE!
What Does the Bible, & Jesus say about Hell?
VIDEOS & ARTICLES: What Does GOD'S WORD say about HELL?
11 - Can People in Heaven Look Down and See Us?
Question: Can People in Heaven Look Down and See Us?
Answer: Hebrews 12:1 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses...” Some understand the “cloud of witnesses” to be people looking down on us from Heaven. That is not the correct interpretation. Hebrews 11 records many people whom God commended for their faith. It is these people who are the “cloud of witnesses.” They are “witnesses” not in that they are watching us, but rather in that they have set an example for us. They are witnesses for Christ and God and truth. Hebrews 12:1 continues, “...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Because of the faith and diligence of Christians who went before us, we should be inspired to follow their example.
The Bible does not specifically say whether or not people in Heaven can look down on us who are still on the Earth. It is highly unlikely that they can. Why? First, they would sometimes see things that would cause them grief or pain, namely, acts of sin and evil. Since there is no grief, tears, or unhappiness in Heaven (Revelation 21:4), it does not seem that observing Earthly events would be possible. Second, people in Heaven are so preoccupied with worshipping God and enjoying the glories of Heaven that it does not seem they would have significant interest in what is happening here on Earth. The very fact that they are free from sin and experiencing God’s presence in Heaven surely is more than enough to captivate their attention. While it is possible that God allows people in Heaven to look down upon their loved ones, the Bible gives us no reason to Believe this actually occurs.
Source: Got Questions
12 - What is the Millennium Kingdom? Should it be Understood Literally?
MORE GO TO: MILLENNIUM - 1,000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST
Summed Up Info on the Millennium & After - from SO4J-TV:
Millennium - is the 1000 Year Reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth, which will occur right after the Great Tribulation.
After the Millennium - Satan is loosed from his Prison. One final Rebellion occurs. The Rebellious are destroyed. Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. The Heavens and the Earth pass away. The Great White Throne (which is the Judgment of the Unsaved) is held. Then comes the End. A New Heaven and Earth comes forth. The New Jerusalem, the City of God, comes forth and then Eternity.
Question: "What is the Millennial Kingdom? Should it be Understood Literally?"
Answer: The Millennial Kingdom is the title given to the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth. Some seek to interpret the 1000 years in an allegorical manner. Some understand the 1000 years as merely a figurative way of saying “a long period of time,” not a literal, physical reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth. However, six times in Revelation 20:2-7, the Millennial Kingdom is specifically said to be 1000 years in length. If God wished to communicate “a long period of time,” He could have easily done so without explicitly and repeatedly mentioning an exact time frame.
The Bible tells us that when Christ Returns to Earth He will establish Himself as King in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32-33). The unconditional covenants demand a literal, physical Return of Christ to establish the Kingdom. The Abrahamic covenant promised Israel a land, a posterity and ruler, and a spiritual blessing (Genesis 12:1-3). The Palestinian covenant promised Israel a restoration to the land and occupation of the land (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). The Davidic covenant promised Israel forgiveness—the means whereby the nation could be blessed (2 Samuel 7:10-13).
At the Second Coming, these covenants will be fulfilled as Israel is re-gathered from the nations (Matthew 24:31), converted (Zechariah 12:10-14), and restored to the land under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the Millennium as a perfect environment physically and spiritually. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2), and no poverty or sickness (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 2:28-29). The Bible also tells us that only Believers will enter the Millennial Kingdom. Because of this, it will be a time of complete righteousness (Matthew 25:37; Psalm 24:3-4), obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and fullness of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29). Christ will rule as king (Isaiah 9:3-7; 11:1-10), with David as regent (Jeremiah 33:15-21; Amos 9:11). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 19:28), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3).
Revelation 20:2-7 gives the precise time period of the Millennial Kingdom. Even without these scriptures, there are countless others that point to a literal reign of the Messiah on the Earth. The fulfillment of many of God’s covenants and promises rests on a literal, physical, future Kingdom. There is no solid basis to deny the literal interpretation of the Millennial Kingdom and its duration being 1000 years.
Source: Got Questions
13 - Who Will Occupy the Millennial Kingdom?
Question: "Who Will Occupy the Millennial Kingdom?"
Answer: There will be two distinct groups occupying the Earth during the Millennial Kingdom—those with glorified bodies, and those with earthly bodies who lived through the tribulation and on into the Millennial Kingdom. Those with glorified bodies consist of the Church, receiving glorified bodies at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, 51-53), and those who are resurrected after Christ returns to Earth (Revelation 20:4-6). Those who have earthly bodies can be subdivided into two groups: Believing Gentiles and Believing Jews (Israel).
In Revelation 19:11-16, we find the Return of Jesus Christ to Earth, known as His second coming. The rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) is an appearing of Christ in the air, not His second coming. I mention this to make a distinction between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. There is no mention in Revelation 19-20 of any kind of rapture event. The implication is that saints who are on Earth when Christ Returns will remain on Earth to enter the Millennial Kingdom in their natural bodies. If the rapture or any kind of event where a living Believer receives a glorified body were included in the second coming of Christ to Earth, one would expect to find reference to such a major event in Revelation 19. But no such reference is to be found. The only event that results in Believers receiving glorified bodies is found in Revelation 20:4-6 where those who became Believers during the Tribulation and were killed because of their faith are resurrected. It is also Believed that at this same time Old Testament saints will be resurrected, also receiving glorified bodies (see Daniel 12:2).
Matthew 25:31-46 is another passage that should be considered. This passage is commonly called the separation or Judgment of the Sheep and the Goats. The sheep and goats refer to righteous and unrighteous Gentiles. Christ will Judge the unrighteous Gentiles (goats), and they will be cast into the lake of fire for Eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). Therefore, no unbelieving Gentile will survive to live on into the Millennial Kingdom. The righteous Gentiles, or sheep, will live on into the Millennial Kingdom. They will give birth to children and will populate the Earth. However, these are not the only ones who will be producing children during the Millennial Kingdom.
The impression is given that when Christ Returns, all Israel will trust in Him (Zechariah 12:10). They, too, will not receive glorified bodies (as did those who were raptured prior to the tribulation and those resurrected afterward). They also will produce children during the Millennial Kingdom.
So, Believing Gentiles, Israel, and Resurrected/Raptured Believers (all of whom have glorified bodies) will occupy the Earth. It should be noted, however, that Believers with glorified bodies will not be reproducing. There is no marriage after this life (Matthew 22:30).
Children born during the Millennial Kingdom will have the responsibility of faith in Christ as all people of past ages have (faith in Christ since His coming; faith in God before—Genesis 15:2-6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 3:20). Unfortunately, not all of the children that are born during the Millennial Kingdom will come to faith in Christ. Those that do not will be led away by Satan into rebellion against God at the end of the Millennial Kingdom when Satan is let loose for a short time (Revelation 20:7-10).
Source: Got Questions
14 - What are the New Heavens and the New Earth?
Question: "What are the New Heavens and the New Earth?"
Answer: Many people have a misconception of what Heaven is truly like. Rev 21 & Rev 22 gives us a detailed picture of the New Heavens and the New Earth. After the events of the end times, the current Heavens and Earth will be done away with and replaced by the New Heavens and New Earth. The Eternal dwelling place of Believers will be the New Earth. The New Earth is the “Heaven” on which we will spend Eternity. It is the New Earth where the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City, will be located. It is on the New Earth that the pearly gates and streets of gold will be.
Heaven—the New Earth—is a Physical place where we will dwell with glorified Physical bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). The concept that Heaven is “in the clouds” is unbiblical. The concept that we will be “spirits floating around in Heaven” is also unbiblical. The Heaven that Believers will experience will be a New and perfect planet on which we will dwell. The New Earth will be free from Sin, Evil, Sickness, Suffering, and Death. It will likely be similar to our current Earth, or perhaps even a re-creation of our current Earth, but without the curse of sin.
What about the New Heavens? It is important to remember that in the ancient mind, “Heavens” referred to the skies and outer space, as well as the realm in which God dwells. So, when Revelation 21:1 refers to the New Heavens, it is likely indicating that the entire universe will be created—a New Earth, New skies, a New outer space. It seems as if God's Heaven will be recreated as well, to give everything in the universe a “fresh start,” whether physical or spiritual. Will we have access to the New Heavens in Eternity? Possibly, but we will have to wait to find out. May we all allow God’s Word to shape our understanding of Heaven.
Source: Got Questions
15 - What is the New Jerusalem?
Question: "What is the New Jerusalem?"
Answer: The New Jerusalem, which has also been called the Tabernacle of God, the Holy City, the City of God, the Celestial City, and Heavenly Jerusalem, is literally Heaven on Earth. It is referred to in the Bible in several places (Isaiah 52:1, Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 11:10, 12:22-24, and 13:14), but it is most fully described in Revelation 21.
The Bible is a unique, supernatural book, and while what we see in nature and the physical universe is God’s natural revelation to man (Romans 1:19-20), the Bible is God’s special revelation to man (2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20). It tells us of the creation of our universe and of the creation of man. It tells of man’s falling away from God and the sin nature that we all inherit because of that fall (Romans 3:23). It also tells of God’s plan for man’s redemption through the person of Jesus Christ, God incarnate (John 3:16).
However, the Bible is much, much more than that. The Bible teaches us how we should live through various examples of the recorded history of the Jewish people, God’s chosen people. This is exemplified through seven different dispensations of time. In each one of these dispensations, man is given a responsibility, and in each one man fails. This is God’s way of showing us just how hopelessly lost we really are.
The Bible is the manual of life for the Christian, and it is the only sacred writing of any of the world’s religions that proves itself by its predictive prophecy. But it is not a book for everyone. Admittedly, while everyone can profit from the wisdom contained in the Bible, only the Christian, or rather the “born-again” Believer (see John 3:3), will truly profit from the Bible (see 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 1:13-14, and John 16:13).
But, by the time we reach Revelation 21, the recorded history of man is at its end. All of the ages have come and gone. Christ has gathered His church in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). The Tribulation and the Great Tribulation of the book of Revelation have past. The Battle of Armageddon has been fought and won by our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:17-21). Satan has been chained for the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ on Earth; he was released and deceived the nations once again, causing them to rise up in rebellion against God once more, but God has defeated Satan again and Satan has received his just punishment, an Eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:1-10.) The Great White Throne Judgment has taken place, and mankind has been Judged (Revelation 20:11-15).
Now in Revelation 21 the New Heaven and the New Earth have come, God the Father then brings Heaven to Earth in the New Jerusalem where He dwells with His own for Eternity. Only God’s children will be with Him in the New Jerusalem (John 1:12). Do you belong to Him? In Ecclesiastes Solomon tells us of the futility of our pursuits in this life. Verse 3:11 tells us that since we were made for Eternity nothing in time will fully and permanently satisfy us. Aquinas wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and we are restless until we find our rest in you.”
The New Jerusalem is where Believers in Christ will spend Eternity. The New Jerusalem is the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises. The New Jerusalem is Heaven, paradise, God’s goodness made fully manifest.
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Source: Got Questions
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"HEAVEN" ARTICLES by: SO4J-TV, GOT QUESTIONS & JOHN MACARTHUR of "Grace To You"