With two deaths in my extended family recently, I’ve had reason to think about heaven. Pause, for a moment, and consider that word.
Heaven. It seems so far away, so unreachable, and even a bit mysterious. But faith binds The Ponderers together, and one thing we can do is search the Bible to find answers about that mysterious yet glorious place. I’d like to share a few of my discoveries.
Heaven is mentioned in the Bible over 500 times. It ranks up there high in importance, I think. II Corinthians 12:2 gives a surprising comment from the Apostle Paul about a man caught up “to the third heaven.” Third? There’re three heavens?
I suggest that the three heavens are these: 1. The place where the clouds hover and the birds fly. 2. Where the stars and planets exist. 3. God’s dwelling place. I present a few verses to support this.
First heaven– where clouds hover and birds fly. “Sings praises to our God…who covers the heavens with clouds.” Ps. 147:7 & 8
Second heaven -- where the stars and planets exist. “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”
Third heaven -- God’s dwelling place. “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.”
The Bible gives a few more heavenly tidbits:
--God’s word is settled forever in the heavens (Ps. 119:89)
--God has reserved the inheritance of believers in heaven (I Peter 1:4)
--Someday the Lord Himself will descend from heaven to take the believers there. (I Thes. 4:16)
--God has prepared a dwelling place for us there. (John 14:2)
Sir Thomas More once wrote: “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” When I read these passages in the Bible, I’m inclined to believe it.
However, it doesn’t have to be troubles to make us desire heaven. Maybe we’d just like to finally see Jesus.
What about you? Have you learned something else about heaven? What’s got you longing for heaven recently?