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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From Christian Doctrine for Every Man
from Ashland Ave. Baptist Church 2/10/95
Heaven is the final abode of the saints. While the term may be used to describe the dwelling place of the righteous during the intermediate state, the term more properly denotes the eternal state of the righteous after the resurrection. the millennium And the judgment.
A Real Place
Heaven is a real place. In the Scriptures it is called a place (John 14:2), a country (Hebrews 11:14-16), a city (Hebrews 11:10, 16; 12:22; 13:14; Rev. 21:10-27), and a house or mansion (John 14:23). Some of these expressions are no doubt figurative, but they stand for something. The Bible knows nothing of a nonmaterial, spaceless, ethereal kind of abode in eternity. Heaven is more than a condition of the soul, more than a state of mind, more than mere thoughts and ideas. It is a dwelling place consisting of material reality.
In addition to the biblical descriptions of heaven, there are two other biblical truths of the Christian faith which demand that heaven be a real place. The first is the bodily resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the other is the bodily resurrection of the believers. The nature of heaven must correspond to these two facts. It is inconsistent, on the one hand, to believe in the bodily resurrection of flesh and bones with the capacity to eat and drink (cf. Luke 24:39-43; Acts 10:41), and, on the other hand, to think of heaven as only symbolic and allegorical.
A Glorious Life
What kind of life will we have in heaven? Many things could be said at this point, but we can only mention a few selected statements.
First, it will be a life of individual perfection. We will have new, perfect bodies (I Corinthians 15:42-58); our minds will be renewed (I Corinthians 13:12); we will have moral perfection, for sin will be completely abolished from our nature and practice (I John 3:2; Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 21:27). Imperfection is such a part of our experience now that it is almost impossible for us to conceive what this life will be like.
Second, it will be a life of harmonious social relations. People from all walks of life and from all races and nations will be in heaven (Revelation 7:9), and yet there will be no quarrels, disagreements, crimes, nor wars to mar the fellowship. In heaven there will be no fear nor mistrust of one another (Revelation 21:24-27).
Third, it will be a life free from all natural evils. The body will no longer be subject to sickness, decay, hunger, pain, weariness, nor death (I Corinthians 15:53; Revelation 7:16; 21:4). The ravages of nature will no longer be a threat for there will be a new heaven and a new earth with these taken away (Romans 8:18-22; Revelation 21:1).
Finally, we know that heaven will be a life of unbroken fellowship with God. Our relations with God are so often hindered here. Sin often hides his face from us, and our limited understanding causes us to look through a glass darkly. But then we shall see Him face to face and behold Him in all His beauty (cf. Isaiah 33:7; Matthew 5:8; Revelation 22:4; I John 3:2). This will undoubtedly be the chiefest of joys in heaven, the bliss of all bliss. Oh, happy day!
An Eternal State
It is sometimes said here, "All good things have to end sometime." This is not true of heaven. Heaven is the eternal state of the righteous. There will be no end to it. There will be no danger of ever falling from that blessed state, nor having it taken away from us. It is a world without end. Amen!