Heaven: the BIG Questions !!
When anyone begins to think about Heaven
there is one question that looms large above
all others. “Is there really a Heaven?”
This question overarches all others. And!! If anyone even begins to think that maybe there is such a place … the number of questions that emerge is without number.
In this article we will examine just few of these always asked questions such as:
What happens to us when we die?
Is there literally a Heaven?
Where is Heaven?
How do you get there?
Is Heaven a truly glorious Place?
Will we know each other in Heaven?
Will there be animals in Heaven?
Now! Given this set of questions where do we go to get any answers; especially answers that can be credibly considered. This is another
transcendent question that is basic to any serious study. In these web site articles we will address this question at the very onset of out study.
After many weeks of pondering the resources available on Heaven I have concluded the following:
Two major underlying points:
1.) There is no documented resource available today that even begins to match the volume of
information on Heaven that the bible reveals.
2.) There is no documented individual who has spoken about, and taught about Heaven as much
as Jesus Christ has.
Study #1- Luke 23:39-43 “What happens to us when we die?”
A wonderful place to open our study is found In Luke’s gospel 23:39-43. We will approach this passage asking our first question.
These 5 verses are packed with helpful information. Although it does give us an answer to our question, it also gives rise to several new questions.
The setting for this scene is the crucifixion. Jesus and two hard criminals are hanging on separate crosses: one on his left and one on his right.
First: a look at the passage
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Second: Unpacking these 5 verses:
1.The setting is most significant;
It is the crucifixion and Jesus and two harden criminals are
hanging on separate crosses. And!
2. It is the 3-person dialogue that ensues that is our focus.
Each of the criminals speak and then Jesus specks.
The first makes a mockery of Jesus.
The second then severely rebukes the 1st
The 1st criminal railed on Jesus and was severe in his comments.
The 2nd criminal believed that Jesus was coming to build a kingdom.
3. But! It is Jesus’ brief but powerful words that burst open the
helpful Truths that undergirds all that Jesus said. Read verse
Luke 23:43 again !!
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, Today you will be
with me in paradise”.
Third: 4 Eternal Truths in this passage.
1. Clearly Jesus responds to the kind criminal in words that affect the
man’s Eternal Destiny: ie at his point of death. He says TODAY you
will be with me in paradise. (The word paradise is used only 3 times
in the N.T., and without exception it simply means Jesus’ literal
2. Hence, the Jesus’ words makes it clear: this criminal will be with Jesus
following his death.
3. The next obvious implied truth here is that it is not this criminal’s good life that
makes him ready for paradise.
4. Further study of the word PARADISE reveals that this special word is always
used to also mean’s HEAVEN.
Fourth: My concluding comments:
HEAVEN as a literal place where every
True believe goes immediately after
death here on earth.
PREPARATION FOR HEAVEN: a true believe
in the fact that Jesus is the King of kings
and the Lord of Glory.
As we continue our study we will discover that the scriptures clearly depict two different heavens. The Heaven we go to at death is referred to as the immediate Heaven by scholars and the final Heaven is the New Heaven and the New Earth.
This subject is compelling to the extent that others have told me that it generates a growing excitement that motivates then to study more.
See STUDY #2 The Immediate Heaven as a place.