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The Essential: Heaven
February 03, 2013
This is the 22nd installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, righteousness, faith, pride, election, revelation, atonement, adoption, sanctification, incarnation, idolatry, the church, holiness, salvation, and judgment.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.’” (Revelation 21:3)
Perhaps the most essential thing the Bible teaches us about heaven is that heaven is where God is. This truth explains most (if not all) of the other things we learn about it.
Scripture teaches us that where God is, two things must be true:
1) Wherever God is, there is perfect happiness.
In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:10)
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
2) Wherever God is, there is unending worship.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. (Revelation 22:3)
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8)
Whatever else is true of heaven, this is what is most essential: Perfect happiness and unending worship in the company of — and on account of — the Triune God. This is the eternal destiny of all who love Jesus Christ.