The Disciples' Belief About Heaven

The Disciples Belief In Heaven

Why was Heaven important to the early Church?  The early disciples of Jesus were not people who lived under a prediction of doom. They were people who because of their natural desire to be happy, and live forever, resonated with the message of Jesus.  It connected with them.   A second reason that Heaven was important to the early disciples was that they were suffering and giving their lives in death in some cases for Christ and for the Kingdom of Christ; in other cases they were forbidden to participate in society.  They needed to be sure they understood the promises of Christ as those promises related to their future. 

Thirdly, “Why is Heaven so important?  Because Hell is not a good option.”  Early people knew that life did not really end.  They understood that people left earth to continue existence somewhere else.  There has always been the kernel of truth present in every religion that some people would live in bliss; and others in torment in eternity.

When Christ came preaching the Kingdom and giving men and women a specific destination in which their lives might continue, these people accepted the invitation, because the alternative was not a good choice.  To live life in social hell-as though separated from God--and then to repeat the misery by being separated from God eternally, simply seemed unacceptable, in the face of a better option. 

Let’s talk about the Bible’s statements about Heaven.  If we can we will make contrasts with what the Bible teaches about Hell.

This is what the Bible tells us about Heaven.

Heaven has the throne of God at its center            Rev 4:2; 22:1

Heaven is being prepared for us by Christ                                             John 14:3

Heaven is only for those who have been born again                         John 3:3

Heaven is described as a glorious city                                                Rev21:11, 18

Heaven is a place of Holiness            Rev 21:27

Heaven is beautiful            Psalm 50:2

Heaven is a place of unity            Eph 1:10

Heaven is a place of perfection            1 Cor 13:10

Heaven is a place for all eternity            John 3:15; Ps 23:6

Heaven’s gates will never be shut            Rev 21:25

Heaven has no night            Rev 21:25; 22:5

Heaven is joyful            Psalm 16:11

Heaven has singing            Isa 44:23; Rev 14:3; 15: 3

Heaven has serving            Rev 7:15; 22:3

Heaven has learning            1 Cor 13:9-10

Heaven has the river of life (a symbol that Eternal life can never end)

                                                                                                     Rev 22:21

Heaven has the tree of life  (a symbol that life there will be full and meaningful)

                                                                                                         Rev 2:7; 22:19

Heaven will shine and be lighted by God’s glory            Rev 21:11, 18, 23;  22:5

By contrast, this is what the Bible tells us about Hell.  Hell is a place of Eternal conscious punishment for the wicked (Matt 25:30, 41, 46).  Jesus tells us that Hell is a place of unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43, 48; Luke 16:22-24, 28). 

The book of Revelation is very graphic in its description of Hell (14:9-11; 19:3; 20:10;).

Heaven represents the restoration of man with God.  It renews a fellowship based on love and obedience that began in the Garden of Eden (Rev 21:3, 5).

Pastor Shipman