The Heaven Answer Book
by Billy Graham
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.
? 1 Peter 1:3-4
Does the Bible say very much about Heaven?
Jesus mentions Heaven about seventy times in the book of Matthew alone. It appears from the very first verse in Genesis – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – to the last reference found at the end of Revelation – “[He] showed me the great city … descending out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10 NKJV). In fact, fifty-four of the sixty-six books in the Bible mention Heaven. Remember: the Bible is our only authoritative source of information about Heaven.
Shortly before Jesus was arrested and crucified on the cross, He told His disciples that after His death they should not be discouraged because He would live again. He then assured them He would return to His Father in Heaven to prepare an eternal home for all who would believe Him. He said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were no so, I would have told you.’ Then He left this promise: “I am going there [to heaven] to prepare a place for you … that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).
The Old Testament prophets wrote about Heaven; Psalms mentions Heaven more than any other book in the Old Testament; the apostles spoke of Heaven from divine inspiration from the Holy Spirit. The Bible doesn’t tell us everything we’d like to know about Heaven, but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know about Heaven while we are here on earth. We should believe what the Bible says about Heaven and take comfort from its promise that we can spend eternity with Jesus Christ in His heavenly dwelling.
If someone asks you about Heaven, you can say with assurance, “We know that if the earthly tent [body] we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (2 Corinthian 5:1). What a promise! What a destiny!
What is Heaven?
Heaven is the place where God dwells – it is God’s holy habitation. He created it, He lives there, and some day, so shall all believers.
Moses prayed that God would “look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place” (Deuteronomy 26:15). Solomon, the wisest king to ever live, prayed: “O Lord my God … hear from heaven, your dwelling place” (1 Kings 8:28, 30). Abram said, “God Most High, Creator of heaven” (Genesis 14:22). Nehemiah prayed to “the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 2:4); King Nebuchadnezzar praised the King of Heaven (Daniel 4:37); and Jesus opened our hearts to the reality of Heaven when He lifted His eyes and prayed, “our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9 KJV). Heaven is occupied by the presence of Almighty God. This makes Heaven the supreme destination for those who long to worship Him as their Creator, God, Lord, King, Father, and Savior.
This is admittedly hard for us to comprehend; after all, the Bible tells us God is a spirit and is infinite, so how can He be confined to one place? In spite of this mystery, the Bible assures us that His presence fills all of Heaven, and in Heaven we will be safely in His care forever.
The apostle Paul wrote, “How we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. How I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Heaven is the Father’s house (John 14:2). Heaven is the dwelling place of Jesus Christ His Son (1 Peter 3:21-11). Heaven is the city of the living God and the redeemed (Hebrews 12:22-23). If this does not fill your heart with hope and a desire for that better country, I urge you to examine where you stand before God, and turn from doubt to belief. If you love Jesus Christ, you will want to follow Him all the way to the place called Heaven. “Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction … Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:18-20). Paul urges others to follow Him.
Listen with your ears to the voice of God (Ecclesiastes 5:1). Answer Christ’s knock on your heart’s door (Revelation 3:20). Enter into fellowship with the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:9).
This is Heaven.