“If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14, ESV).
“Job... was a man of complete integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1, CSB). Yet on a single calamitous day, this blessed family-man and once-prosperous businessman, was left alone and destitute. Struggling to make sense of his plight, he cried out before God saying, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14, ESV).
He knew the answer! A little later he declared, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand ... I will see God in my flesh” (Job 19:25-26, CSB). Job knew that he would die ... and Job faithfully believed that he would live eternally in God’s presence. Job was looking forward to life in Heaven.
Heaven remains mysterious. Indeed, “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV). Even though we are limited by our ability to imagine, the Bible has much to pique our interest and excite our anticipation.
Let’s remember three things about Heaven.
First, Heaven is a real place. At the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the disciples watched as Jesus ascended into the clouds and beyond... Two angelic messengers promised them! Their Master would return from Heaven to earth in the same way (Acts 1:9-11).
Secondly, Heaven is a real place where redeemed mankind will live forever with their Savior. The best thing about Heaven will not be the mansions (John 14:2), pearly gates, or the streets paved with gold (Revelation 21:21). The best thing about Heaven will be the scars in Jesus’ hands ... We will live in the very presence of our Savior, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the Friend of Sinners.
Jesus promised His disciples that He was going to prepare a place, “and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3, ESV).
For John, Jesus opened the glorious windows of Heaven to reveal “the holy city ... prepared like a bride adorned for her husband ... (He) heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God” (Revelation 21:2-3, CSB).
And third, Heaven is a place of rest and peace, a place where humanity will be rescued from our current toil and turmoil.
One of the interesting things about Heaven is what will be missing. The oceans... nope, not in Heaven (Revelation 21:1). Why? The tides ebb and flow. The sea is always churning and roiling. It’s never at peace. But Heaven is a place of rest... spiritual, physical and emotional.
In heaven, God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more ...” (Revelation 21:4, CSB). Heaven is the place where God will remove the ruinous effects of sin and set His beloved children free to experience all of His glorious riches.
Recognize your mortality today. Enoch and Elijah are the only humans that ever left this spinning marble without going through the doorway of death. Unless Jesus sounds the trumpet and raptures His bride, we’re all going to die! Are you ready?
As I write these words, a dear friend of mine is on his deathbed. Soon, his battle will be over. When he dies, he will live again!