Home > Biblical Theology, Eschatology > What Is Heaven Like, Part 1

What Is Heaven Like, Part 1

I recently read a review of Don Piper’s book, 90 Minutes in Heaven.  It reminded me of Mary Baxter who wrote two books several years ago, one about how she went to heaven and another on how she went to hell.  I have not read any of these books, so I don’t claim to be an expert on their content, but it seems that all three books are more concerned about something other than a biblical perspective.  I know many Christians will argue with me and say, “how can you discount their experience; how do you know these things didn’t happen?”  All I can do is appeal to Scripture.  Paul, the great apostle, was allowed to see paradise and was given a thorn in the side of his flesh to keep him humble.  Furthermore, Paul says that the things he saw are inexpressible; things which a man is not permitted to speak (2 Cor 12:1-10).  Given that Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit, I tend to believe what he had to say and; therefore, I have a hard time believing what others say. 

Even outside Christian circles people are obsessed with heaven and what it is like.  The television show 20/20 ran a special about heaven a year ago, interviewing several “experts” from various religions (Ted Haggard was the Christian voice).  On television you always hear people mourn for lost loved ones by saying, “at least they’re in a better place,” with the assumption that place is heaven.  While there is so much curiosity about heaven, there is also a sense of bold confidence about the place where “good people” go after they die.  In both Christian and non-Christian circles there seems to be a lot of speculation and sensationalism, rather than biblical fidelity.

Well, I’m here to say that I did go to heaven and can tell you what it is like.  Just kidding.  Actually, what does the Bible teach?  I am going to start a series of posts on heaven, where it is, and what it is like.  I think my conclusions will be quite different than what some of you have heard growing up.  I believe that the only way we can properly understand the idea of heaven is when we understand redemptive-history.  When we see that what was lost in the garden is going to be one day regained in the new heavens and new earth, then we will have a proper perspective on heaven.  We have so trivialized (e.g., a big house up in heaven) and misunderstood heaven (e.g., walking on streets of literal gold) in our churches that many of our beliefs lack the kind of perspective and potency that the Bible teaches concerning this subject.  Stay tuned for part two. 

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