Mar 28

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The subject of heaven thrills the spirit of every spiritual minded person! The thought that we may not know as much about heaven, the eternal of the saved, is most disturbing to us. There is no question that heaven is truly the eternal home of the saved and this is reassuring, even if we do not know as much about the eternal home as first we thought!
The first thing we know about heaven is that it the home of God! Here we refer to all that is God; thus, the Godhead, known to us as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:20). It is also the home of those heavenly creatures known as angels, which will come with the Lord when he comes to judge (Matt. 25:31). To the saved, heaven is the eternal abode of “the Majesty on high” and the Son who sat down on his right hand (Heb. 1:3). Heaven is the place from which we look for the Lord to come again, just as he was taken up (Acts 1:11). Yet, we are stunned to realize that we know so little about heaven itself!
It might surprise you to read that heaven is the indescribable! Why would anyone write such a things, after all, don’t we have sixty-six books in which inspired writer after inspired writer wrote about heaven? Yes, yes, we sure do! But these writers did not describe heaven itself, at least not ever much; even in those passages in the book of Revelation, which may not refer to heaven at all; as they used physically known things to reveal to us the unknown spiritual things. Physical things can never fully reveal, nor describe, spiritual things! Therefore, our knowledge of heaven is most limited!
Jesus did say, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). In these words Jesus truly thrilled our hearts, but, just what did Jesus really tell us about heaven itself? He used the Greek “mone,” which is used but two times in the New Testament and both times by Jesus in the Gospel According to John. The second time is in John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode (mone) with him.” So, we have two English words, “mansions,” and “abode.” If you are looking for an English word to describe the greatest place the human mind has ever heard of, what word do you use? If you are living in 1611, the time of the King James Version, the greatest “abode” was a kingly mansion! It is a place of many rooms, with all the best things of the times for the guest. Remember, even the Son of God is limited when it came to describing spiritual things to humans; as he could only use words we humans knew. Therefore, “mansions” is a good word, though it is still limited when it comes to fully expressing the grandness of heaven!
The apostle Paul may help us in our understanding of heaven, even though heaven is not his direct subject. He wrote: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1). Of course, the apostle is addressing our physical body, “our earthy house,” which is subject to being “dissolved;” but the apostle assures us “we have a building of God, an house not made with hands.” This requires a few words. The word “dissolved” means “to dismantle,” as one would do a tent; thus, Paul is likening the process of physical death to the dismantling of a tent-dwelling. But he does not leave us in doubt, as he reveals that which replaces the earthy is the spiritual; “a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” It is a spiritual body “eternal in the heavens.” It is totally suitable for heaven; it will fit, it will be right at home in those “mansions!” Heaven is, therefore, incorruptible and immortal. No wonder the apostle went on to write: “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” (2 Cor. 5:2).
One final thought, just here, it needs to be understood that when we die we do not go to heaven, the eternal home of the saved! No, at death the spirit being separated from the body (James 2:26); it is at this time the spirit/soul of both the saved and the lost go to Hades. There we are reserved until the second coming of the Lord and judgment; then, following judgment; Jesus said: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:46). “Life eternal” is in the eternal home – heaven!

— Frank R. Williams

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