There are many misconceptions about heaven. This week we will begin a series on heaven. We need to understand that there are three heavens, that heaven is a real place, and that God built it.
1. Firmament or sky that covers the earth
This is the realm of birds and clouds that surrounds the entire earth.
2. Where the stars, sun, moon resides
This is the space beyond the earth and it covers the entire universe.
3. Where God resides
This is the unseen and is the residence of God, including Jesus Christ. This is where the dead martyrs and saints are today. This is the location of the throne of God and where the holy angels surrounding His throne sing day and night, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord our God.
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
Someday soon all believers in Christ will be transported to the third heaven. It may be in the rapture or at death, but it will happen.
Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Death (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Are you ready to be transported to the third heaven?
Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin, through His blood, to pay our sin debt.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
We must repent of our sins and trust Christ as Savior and Lord.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
Salvation is not by works, but by the grace of God, through faith.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Have you trusted Christ as Savior and Lord? This is the only way to arrive in the third heaven!
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001