Where Heaven Is
Everyone is looking for heaven.
Be it through personal or professional success, being beautiful, or popular, or smart, or just by being nice and avoiding conflict - we are all seeking our piece of heaven on earth in this life.
In one way or another, we all seek to be happy and fulfilled, to find satisfaction, purpose and meaning in life; and that’s not a bad thing.
It is no sin to desire fulfillment, but! Our failure is in understanding the reality of our fallen world and the significance of ultimate fulfillment in heaven.
Has God promised no more pain and suffering in this life?
Has God promised heaven on earth for those who trust in Him?
The answer is no.
God has not promised heaven on earth - He has promised a new heaven and a new earth.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.
And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Is there anything greater than a bride adorned for her husband? When a man is so head over heels in love with a woman, and infatuated by her beauty, to the extent that he wants to forever be in her presence and bathe in her love; this is the expression which God has chosen to communicate His great love for His people.
God has prepared heaven for His people who love Him and God’s people are His beautiful bride in which He delights, the people Jesus died on the cross for, to cleanse us from all sin and clothe us with everlasting righteousness.
The focal point of heaven is God Himself. He is what makes heaven - heaven.
And this is when there will be no more pain, mourning and crying, and none of the things which make life in this world so terrible will never exist again.
All of the evil in this world will pass away. Like a dream it will not be remembered.
All the suffering, pain and anguish of this life will be forgotten and there will be no memory of our suffering because God will make all things new.
Do you genuinely, sincerely and wholeheartedly believe this?
Because of our sinful nature, it is indeed hard to believe but it is true; and it is only by genuinely, sincerely and wholeheartedly trusting in Jesus, that we can overcome all the hardships in this life and find the peace, joy and hope we need.
If you want happiness and fulfillment in this life; then you will not find it.
You may find temporary enjoyment and even find experiences of ecstatic joy and rapturous fulfillment, but they will not last and in the end they will enslave you to its power. Like a drug, you will need more experiences to find the same feelings and yet they will progressively diminish as you grow immune to they're pleasure.
God has clearly told us that we will suffer in this life. We will suffer as a result of evil in the world. Human beings doing horrible things to other human beings, and we will suffer because of the curse our sin brings upon us.
“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22-23).
If we have genuinely and wholeheartedly placed our faith in Jesus, that He is God and has risen from the dead, then we will suffer persecution as His children.
We will suffer because of the spiritual forces of darkness which war against us, trying to dislodge us from our position in Christ, purely because we belong to God.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).
There is no heaven on earth in this life, and although this sounds negative and discouraging, it is a vital truth we need to learn and accept, if we are to overcome the pain and suffering associated with living in a fallen world that is in willful rebellion against its Creator.
The example of Jesus' suffering was no accident or an isolated part of His mission to save us. It was an example for us to follow in His steps.
He suffered for us, in our place and for our salvation.
He gave us His all that we might not suffer the ultimate torment of eternal separation from Him.
Heaven is a destination, and that destination is where Jesus is in all His glory.
He is the Lord of all creation and has all power and authority to decide who spends eternity with Him in heaven and who does not.
So... if we want to be with Jesus in heaven, if we want to be where Jesus is; then we need to follow Jesus, and this involves suffering, persecution and some things which will be difficult and unpleasant.
Yet! When we truly trust in the reality of the glory of heaven because we trust in Jesus; then we will find the grace and strength, and the hope and motivation which following Jesus brings.
Jesus has risen from the dead and He is in heaven and He will return to take us to be with Himself, and all the pain and suffering we experience in this life will fade into insignificance when we arrive at what we have always desired to have but can never attain in this life.
Heaven will more than fulfill our ultimate hope and fulfill all the combined hopes we desire in this life. Even the hope which we find impossible to understand and even harder to express.
Yet, we long to have this unknowable and unseen hope materialize; but we must wait for it, even though we don’t know what it will ultimately be - but in Christ, we know it’s real.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Romans 8:24-25).
“...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
“though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21).