Heaven is a Real Place

Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans believe in the existence of heaven. Admittedly, some of this belief may be wishful thinking or based on made up stories, or accounts of near death experiences in books and movies.

The best source of information is the Bible and the word of Jesus. He said, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man” (John 3: 12-13).

“I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).

“I have come here from God. I have not come on my own. God sent me” (John 8: 42).

Jesus taught that heaven is a definite, specific place. It is not a state of mind, a fantasy, or an illusion. Jesus said to his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:3). He called heaven a “place.” The word in Greek is topos, which gives us the English word topography, a word used by  surveyors, civil engineers, and explorers.

Most of us have a sense of place. My wife’s is her small hometown in the Virginia Highlands. We love going back there year after year. It feels like home. We possess an oil painting of the house in which I grew up in Tennessee. It is a reminder of the place where my brothers and I were reared.

Last year Connie and I moved from our pleasant home place in Oklahoma City after 32 years there. We now live in Valdosta, Georgia, to be near our daughter Carrie and her family. Last week we moved into a new house in a new neighborhood. Again we are adjusting to a new place.

Heaven is the place where God is. King Solomon dedicated the temple in Jerusalem with these words, “Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place, Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive” (1 Kings 8:30).

The apostle John spoke of heaven as the New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God and redeemed humanity when he wrote, “Look, God’s dwelling place is now among the people and he will dwell with them. They will be his people , and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).

Jesus promised the dying criminal on the cross next to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The man was promised a place in heaven because he trusted in Jesus and asked for salvation. You and I may have the same assurance of heaven if our faith is the Savior who came from heaven to take us there.

Heaven is a real place populated by real people. I hope to see you there.

Pastor Randy Faulkner