Thoughts on Heaven
As we mourn the loss of our brother, Don Walton, it's good for us to remember that Don really is in a better place, a place where all believers will one day join him. Here are some thoughts on heaven, where Don Walton lives today:
- It's a glorious place. Jesus called heaven "Paradise" (Luke 23:43), a place of extreme beauty and eternal joy, happiness, and pleasure.
- It's God's special dwelling place. As the omni-present One, God fills the universe at all times, yet God's presence is especially manifested in heaven (Psalm 11:4, Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 6:9). The resurrected and ascended Lord, Jesus Christ is also in heaven (Mark 16:19; John 14:3; Acts 2:33; Acts 7:56; Rom. 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rev. 3:21). In fact, believers prefer being with Christ in heaven than being in this world (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23).
- It's a holy place. That's because God is there (Is. 66:1-3). Because it's a holy place, there is no sin in heaven (Ps. 5:4-5; Ps. 11:4-7; Ps. 24:3-4; Hab. 1:13). There is nothing to cause corruption, sorrow, or suffering (Rev. 21:2-4; Rev. 22:3). The angels in heaven are called "the holy angels" (Rev. 14:10). The people in heaven are described as "the spirits of the righteous made perfect" (Heb. 12:23).
- It's the goal of the Christian life. Christians are called to live our lives now in light of our future destination in heaven (Matt. 6:33; 2 Cor. 4:18; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:1-2; Heb. 11:13-16; 2 Pet. 3:11).
- It will one day come to earth. In this present age, death for Christians means that our souls go to be with the Lord in heaven while our bodies decay (Gen. 3:19; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; 2 Pet. 1:13-14). In the future, however, even our bodies will be redeemed and we will live on the new earth in glorified bodies in the presence of the Lord (Job 19:25-26; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:20-54; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).