Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why There Has to be Heaven

So earlier today some of my friends and myself ran across a man who claimed that heaven was not a real place, and that once we die, we stay in the ground until judgement day; that we didn't actually go to heaven when we die. 

He was a nice guy overall, and knew a lot about the Bible. He encouraged us to "Do good and h-ha-h-hate e-evil." He stuttered... I was okay with everything he said until he mentioned two things. He said that Jehovah's Witnesses was a good religion, and that  Heaven was not a real place.

Heaven is a real place, and here are 3 reasons why!

Before I go through the 3 reasons, I want to point out some obvious things. God lives in heaven (Matthew 23:9 and about 100 times in the Gospels). There are three tenses that the word "heaven" is used in the Bible: "heaven" as in the sky, "heaven" as in space, and "heaven" as in the perfect celestial dwelling place of God Almighty. I am obviously going to be talking about "heaven" in the third tense. Also, the "kingdom of heaven" and heaven are different terms, and don't confuse them.

1: There is an actual heaven that Christian go to because it is where we lay up treasures! 

Matthew 6:19-20
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

The "heaven" that Jesus was talking about is a place that is eternal. This is the place, the storehouses, that the rewards for the saints lies. It must be a place apart from earth because it stores things.

2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

God has a place for us, that is eternal in the heavens. 

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

"Heavenly places" makes my point. 

1 Peter 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Our inheritance is reserved for us in heaven.

Conclusion. Heaven must be a real place because it is where our inheritance is; God promised it to us.

2: People saw heaven.

Acts 7:56and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Stephan, the first martyr, saw Jesus sitting by God the father before dying as he was being stoned.

2 Corinthians 12:2-3
 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—

Paul was actually talking about himself. Paul was caught up in the "third heaven." 

Revelation 4:1
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

John, in the last book of revelation, spent a long time in heaven. 

Conclusion: Clearly people have seen it. Major players in Christianity have seen heaven, and if you discredit their testimony, you shoot yourself in the foot. Furthermore, Enoch and Elijah were both caught up and taken to heaven without actually dying.

3. Christians will, and are living in it. 

There is actually a lot of debate about this. In fact, I would say there is more debate about this point than about my two other points. With this said, I would like to make concrete several things. First of all, immediately after death our bodies are.... (wait for it) dead, and stay in the ground until the rapture, but our spirit is with God. Our bodies are then taken up to heaven/paradise after the rapture. Secondly, there is a difference between Abrahams Bosom and heaven. Abrahams Bosom was where believers were before Jesus died on the cross. All references to Abrahams Bosom were before Jesus died. Furthermore, he told the thief on the cross that 'Today you will see paradise,' meaning that Jesus would that day take the believers from Abrahams Bosom to heaven. That is what Jesus did during the three days his body spent in the grave.

Ephesians 4:7-10But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:“When He ascended on high,He led captivity captive,And gave gifts to men.”(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

Jesus, after dying on the cross, "descended into the lower parts of the earth," which is Sheol, and lead the captive. 

If heaven is the dwelling place of God, and the spirits of Christians are immediately present with God after death, then we can conclude that we are immediately in heaven after death.

I hope this made a strong enough case to at least convince you that heaven is real. I can guarantee that there are at least 100 references of heaven that I have left out. Most importantly, I wanted to provide a sustainable and true argument that Christians go to heaven.


1 comment:

  1. Dude, that's a great argument. I was nodding my head with agreement all the way through. You even raised a few points I hadn't even thought of myself. Excellent work, bro!