It is a prepared place for a prepared people! No clearer statement can be found than that of John 14:3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” It was Jesus who said that. He had the authority to so proclaim.
Being a very practical person, I guess I should start at that point…Heaven is always treated in Scripture from a practical point of view. Herbert Lockyer noted: “The thought of Heaven becomes an Element in the Formation of Character… ‘Do not lay up treasures upon earth; lay up treasures in Heaven.’ (Matthew 6:19) Character is all that we take to Heaven. The thought of Heaven Raises our Estimates of the Values of Others…’See that you stumble not one of the least of these little ones, for their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven.’ How we treat people here depends on our perception of Heaven. (Matthew 18:10) The thought of Heaven is Associated with a Perfect Social Order upon Earth…’Thy will be done on earth.’ How? ‘As it is done in Heaven.’ (Matthew 6:10)” He, Jesus, gave us the pattern for living on earth that originated in Heaven.
‘The Apostles related Heaven to earth in several ways: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Hebrews 13:5) Not some distant star, but a realm that is close by. In Heaven there are Divine Principles Governing our Human Life. ‘Our citizenship is in Heaven.’ (Philippians 3:20) Our word for politics originates from that word citizenship…literally ‘Our politics are in heaven’. That should always be the origin of our thought pattern/conclusions. In Heaven we are shown God’s Program for Human Society. (Revelation 21) ‘I saw a new Heaven and a new earth.’ Our concept of Heaven determines our actions here and now.
Heaven is a place, and yet its exact location is not given to us. In Acts, we see Jesus ‘caught up’, Stephen ‘looked up” and in Revelation, John saw the Holy City ‘coming down’. (Acts 7:55; Revelation 21:2; Ephesians 4:10) When I look up and the Aussie looks up, we are looking in opposing directions. This is not a problem for our God who is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
While human terms were used throughout Scripture to describe Heaven, they do not always embody exactly what Heaven will be like. They give us a perspective that is understandable down here but would be beyond the realm of our thinking if exactly verbalized. Paul, the Apostle, noted this when trying to describe his vision of Heaven in Corinthians. The reason, of course, for this necessity is that there, everything is perfect. Here, everything (including you and me) is imperfect. We have the additional limitation of time and space… not so in Heaven.
We often think of Heaven and, sadly, our concepts are self-oriented; whether it is ‘what is there’ or ‘who is there’. The real beauty of Heaven is that Jesus will be there! We shall see Him in all the effulgence of His glory. We will be able to thank Him personally for dying for our sins on Calvary; for taking our place; for extending to us salvation through GRACE.
How does one get there? In the words of John 1:12,13 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Out of the multitude of verses with reference to heaven, I note: “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (Hebrews 9:24) “who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” (1 Peter 3:22 NASB) These quotes refer back to the person who said: “I go to prepare a place for you.”
Like I said at the beginning; Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.