The Bible teaches that after this earthly life is over there is a hereafter that consists ofHeaven for all those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ, and hell for those who have refused.
Many in the world think there is nothing after death. Many others think everyone is going to Heaven because God would never send anyone to hell. Oddly enough, many think that Heaven will be a place of eternal harp playing and sermons; i.e. boring, boring, boring. There are many ‘opinions’ on Heaven and hell, but there is only one correct answer, and that answer comes from God in His Word we call our Bible. The first paragraph above explains God’s ‘opinion.’ So what is in store in the hereafter for all Christians?
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
I love this passage from Job. Read it again, slowly. I’ll wait. Look at the truth in these two verses! Jesus lives (that’s the Redeemer Job was referring to). Jesus will return and stand upon the earth (prophecy). When we die our earthly bodies will rot away, but in Heaven we shall see God, for ourselves, in our own Heavenly body and with our own eyes.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
Again, we have a Rapture passage, but we also can see that Christ takes us to be with Him when we die. When we get to the other side, we have a home already prepared just for us by Jesus.
“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:23-26)
Jesus says that even when we die, we shall live, and then goes on to say that when we believe in Him we never die. On the other side of that portal is life. There is no more death. Death cannot enter Heaven. It is not allowed. Only life exists in Heaven, and after we die (our earthly bodies), we really find out what living is all about.
“But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:7-9)
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:2 that he actually was permitted to visit Heaven. From that visit he is telling us that Heaven is so beyond anything we can imagine words cannot even begin to describe its grandeur. There is more joy awaiting the Christian than is conceivable while here on earth.
“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
The moment we die, we go home to be with the Lord. There is no purgatory. We don’t float around in some nether world. We don’t sleep until the resurrection. We are immediately taken to Heaven upon our earthly (physical) death.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
If you are a Christian, you are already a citizen of Heaven. There is already a place in Heaven prepared just for you with your name on it.
When we do receive our new Heavenly body, it will be like Jesus’ glorious body. It will be without sin. It will be flawless. It will be designed to live in the Heavenly realm. Obviously, these new bodies will not be hampered by locked doors, walls, space or anything else.
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)
A city exists in Heaven called the New Jerusalem which during the Millennium will be brought down to earth. Whether the New Jerusalem rests on earth or functions like a satellite over the earth as the sun and moon do today, the Church will reside in this city, and travel back and forth from Heaven to the New Earth.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
Isn’t it great to know that Jesus is holding for us an “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading? It will never perish. It is pure and undefiled, and it will never fade away.
In this world everything fades away. Houses deteriorate, vehicles rust, wealth can disappear overnight, bodies die, and everything eventually dies. But what Jesus has prepared for each of us will never fade away.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)
The most wonderful thing I can envision is that we will actually see God. Not only that, but we will be called, as we are now, the children of God the Father and be like Him. Moses only saw His back, but we will see Him face to face.
If you are afraid of death, there is no need to be afraid, if you are a Christian. When the last breath leaves the body, the Christian is immediately with the Lord Jesus in Heaven.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Look to Jesus and never be afraid of death again. He has broken the power of death and we, in Him, are free from the slavery of fear in this matter.
To get a glimpse of Heaven read Revelation 21:1-27. Due to the longevity I will not print these verses here, but in these passages we are provided a photograph of the New Heaven and New Earth.
Next time we will see what the Bible says in closing.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com