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? I mean a literal physical place.
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 are without number.
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. 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.
An excellent place to begin a study is in Lukes gospel 23:39-43. We will approach this passage asking our first question.
Study #1- Luke 23: 39-43 What happens to us when we die?
These 5 verses are packed with helpful information. And, they do give us an answer to our question #1, but it 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 , day you will be with me in Paradise.”
Second: Unpacking these 5 verses:youto
1. The setting is most significant;
It is the crucifixion and Jesus and two harden crimals are
hanging on separate crosses. And!
2. It is the 3-person conversation that 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
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 !!
Luke 23:43 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 mans 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 Presence.)
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 criminals 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 HEAVEN.
Fourth: My concluding comments:
HEAVEN is a literal place where every true believer goes immediately after death here on earth.
PREPARATION FOR HEAVEN is a True belief in the fact that Jesus is the Eternal King of Kings and Lord of Glory.