In a time where all of the earth lives for themselves, it’s a poignant argument to say that some have “made up” heaven to fit in with their insatiability. The problem is not heaven but how we view heaven.
What follows is a systematic look at heaven through the Scriptures. There is little commentary, but only Scripture in this examination under categorized headings. May Christ, the Son of the living God, be extoled in our lives and among the nations.
Heaven Is Not About You
The only reason heaven exists is to manifest the gloriant radiance and glory of God. God, in His perfect counsel, chose to create a race and to elect a subset to make known the riches of His glory.
What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
Romans 9:22–24 (cf. Deut 9:13–14)
Those who have the gift of eternal salvation are not to boast in what has been given to them (Eph 2:1–10) but to boast only in the cross which saves (Gal 6:14). Carnal Christianity is built around the thought that we have inherited what we wanted (eternal life), and all we needed to do is say a sinner’s prayer and we have obtained the wonderful gifts of faith (Eph 2:8), repentance (2 Tim 2:25), justification (Rom 5:1), election (Eph 1:4–11), adoption (Gal 4:5), and I could go on. That is not what Christ declared to be enough, to obtain the inheritance you will prove your inheritance through spiritual fruit (Mat 3:8, 7:17; Col 1:10) and by following the commands of God (Gen 26:5; Lev 26:14–16; Psalm 119:35; John 14:15; 1 Cor 7:19).
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Heaven is a Gift, not a Reward
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
Understanding Heaven Involves Understanding Humility
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.“
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.“
Before The Elect See Heaven, All Will See The Wrath of God
And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “
For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The Authority Lies in Christ
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.“
Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.“
And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.“
So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
Mark 16:19 (from the Textus Receptus)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you–not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
1 Peter 3:21–22
Our Lives Are To Be Storing For Ourselves Treasures in Heaven
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“Matthew 6:19–21
And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.“
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:12–15
Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Enter Heaven
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.“
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.“
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.“
The Gift of Heaven, When Given, is Eternal
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.“
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3–5
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:10–13
There Will Be A Marriage in Heaven
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
My hope and prayer that the emphasis of heaven is not about the redeemed but about the glory of our righteous God. I hope also that the redeemed will see the importance of obeying the call of God in their short lives.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.