"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand" (Col. 3:1, NLT).
We have many misconceptions about what heaven is like. You won't be an angel. You won't have wings. You're not going to be a little chubby cherub, wear a white robe or float on clouds.
We need a right view of heaven. The Bible says in Colossians 3:1 (NLT), "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand."
So what does the Bible say about these "realities of heaven"?
- Heaven is where God lives and rules. The Bible calls heaven "the dwelling place of God," "the house of God" and "the city of God." It's where God lives, but Jesus also calls heaven "the kingdom of God" or "the kingdom of heaven" 31 times in Scripture.
- Heaven is a real place. Heaven isn't a state of mind. It isn't a state of being. And it isn't a place where your essence floats around like a ghost. In fact, the Bible says in heaven there will be streets, trees, water and homes. Many Scriptures allude to the fact that animals are there. We'll have our physical bodies, renewed through our resurrection. Matthew 6:20 says we're storing up treasures in heaven. You can't store up treasures in a place that isn't real.
- Heaven is designed for you and me. God didn't design heaven for himself. He designed it for us. When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about heaven. The Bible says God made the entire universe because he wanted a family to spend eternity with. Heaven is the place he's designed for his family. We weren't meant to live on Earth. You and I were made for heaven!
When it comes to heaven, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). The realities of heaven far exceed any of our misconceptions!
Talk It Over
- How has your understanding of heaven changed after reading this devotional?
- Consider how this statement influences your thinking about God: "God didn't design heaven for himself. He designed it for us. When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about heaven."
- What most surprised you about the three realities of heaven from this devotional?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
This article originally appeared at pastorrick.com.
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