We can know the truth about Heaven
Published 4:50 pm Thursday, December 7, 2023
To His disciples Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. Jesus declares that his disciples can know something very special; “the truth.” The key to knowing the truth is “continuing in His word”. According to Jesus, the knowledge of these truths is accompanied by a special blessing. It is what makes men “free.” Of course, the freedom in question is freedom from the burden of sin. But there is so much more that His Word allows us to know the truth about. Heaven is one of those blessings. Consider what the Lord’s Word reveals that we need to know about Heaven.
First, Heaven is where we are to lay up treasures. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19-20 KJV). For most people in the world, the only treasure they are concerned with are those of a physical nature. Jesus assures us that the spiritual blessings play a far greater significance in our lives than the physical ones.
Paul reminds us that our “conversation” or our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). The thought here is our conduct in a general sense. That is the true child of God will live a life that embodies the life of Christ. We will not live to sin but rather to glorify God through our daily lives. In Colossians 1:5, Paul reminds us that our hope is laid up in heaven. According to verse 4 this hope is through our faith and obedience to the will of God. Peter concurs and reminds the followers of Jesus that their inheritance is reserved in Heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4). This hope is made possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These passages show the imperative nature of having knowledge and understanding of Heaven. Now let’s consider some important truths about Heaven.
The Lord’s Word describes heaven as a beautiful place. And Jesus said that He has gone to prepare a place for His followers (John 14:1-3). In His preparation of this eternal home for the saved, we are assured it will be a place that will be void of tears, sorrow, crying, and pain. There will be no physical sun or moon, for there will be no need for such in the eternal realm (Revelation 21:1-4, 23-27).
However, we are assured that there will be a river and tree of life (Revelation 22:1-2). Not a physical river or tree, but these are an indication of its enduring and everlasting nature. It is a place where the saints abide, and there they rest from their labors. There will also be a remembrance of the work they did in the kingdom while on Earth. Of Heaven, Jesus said it was a place of “life eternal” (Matthew 25:46). Eternal life is the promise of God for His people. (Titus 1:2 KJV) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. See also (1 John 2:25).
The Lord’s Word also reveals who will be in Heaven. Jesus in John 14:2 and Matthew 6:9, said that God would be there. In addition, we learn in Revelation 21:27, that those whose names are in the book of life will be allowed to enter Heaven. This includes the saved (Revelation 21:24), the obedient (Revelation 22:14), the faithful (Revelation 2:10), those who have sown to the Spirit (Galatians 6:8; 5:22-23), and those who have been “in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7:13-14, that few people will find the way to Heaven. It is not a place hidden from mankind, but it is a place that only a few will be willing to make the sacrifice to obtain. Thankfully, those who do “shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
To know the truth about Heaven and to realize its beauty firsthand we must continue in the Word of the Lord. To enjoy the pleasures of Heaven, men must be willing to come to God through His Son (John 14:6). See Mark 16:15-16, Titus 2:12
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)