We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20)
Surprisingly, Paul never mentions Heaven in his description of the afterlife. He does, however, use the word “resurrection.” Paul’s hope was that he would one day experience a physical resurrection, much like Jesus did (he wasn’t a ghost—he ate a fish!).
What then is Heaven? How does the Bible explain Heaven?
- Just like Earth, Heaven was created (Genesis 1:1)
- There will be a new Heaven (2 Peter 3:13)
- It is referred to as Paradise (Revelation 2:7, Luke 23:43)
- Jesus came from Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:47)
- The Father dwells in Heaven (and higher) (Matthew 6:9, 1 Kings 8:27)
- It is our eternal dwelling (2 Corinthians 5:1)
The Bible rarely (if never) uses language like “going to Heaven” that we often hear in Christian circles. Instead we will hear, “eternal life” and talk of bringing heaven to earth. Jesus tells one of the criminals beside him on the cross that “today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). And Jesus describes our future state as dwelling with the Father because of Christ (John 14)—this is not uncommon.
People have written entire books on Heaven and the Resurrection, so I encourage you to study the Bible and find out what Heaven is really like, because it is an incredible hope that anchors our soul—keeps us rooted firmly in Christ. Heaven, as I understand it from the big picture of the Bible, is a temporary dwelling where we dwell with God and eagerly await our bodily resurrection. Read Revelation 21 and 22 to see how God plans to ultimately bring Heaven to earth.