The idea of death can bring up feelings of fear and anxiety. While death is scary, Scripture reminds us that we have nothing to fear, especially if heaven is our eternal resting place. We can rejoice in the fact that heaven is a place of amazement, joy and delight. If you have questions about heaven, you’re not alone. We all have questions about heaven – what it will look like, what it will feel like, what it will be like. Scripture has many answers to those questions. Here are six common questions about heaven that the Bible answers.
When we die, will angels escort us into heaven?
The Bible does say that when we die, the angels will accompany us to heaven. In Jesus’ parable about the Rich Man and Lazarus, He talks about a poor man who suffered greatly during his time on earth. When he died, Jesus said that the angels carried him to Abraham’s side, referring to heaven. Angels are by our side in life and also in death.
Are our souls taken to heaven?
For believers, the Bible tells us that after death believers, souls are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by receiving Jesus Christ. For believers, death is to be a home away from the body and with the Lord. We also know from Scripture that death is not the end. The Bible often compares death to sleep. Psalm 13:3 says, “Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death.” John 11:11-14 says, “After he had said this, he went to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up’ His disciples replied, ‘Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.’ Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.’” A person who is fast asleep is unaware of what is happening around them. Likewise, the dead are not conscious of anything.
Will we still experience emotions in heaven?
In Scripture, God is said to enjoy, love, laughter, take delight and rejoice, as well as be angry, happy, jealous and glad. To be like God means to have and express emotions. Therefore, we should expect that in heaven emotions will exist for God’s glory and our good. We know that people in heaven have lots of feelings – all good ones. We’re told of banquets, feasts and singing. People will laugh there (Luke 6:21). The Bible says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). These are the tears of suffering over sin and death, the tears of oppressed people, the cries of the poor, the widow, the orphaned, the unborn and the persecuted. There will be crying no more, though we might shed tears of joy. Imagine the joy flooding from your eyes as you meet Christ and as you’re reunited with loved ones.
What is the difference between heaven and the Kingdom of Heaven?
Many of us have heard Jesus’ sayings about the “kingdom of heaven,” specifically Matthew’s Gospel, and use those to talk about an escape from this world. How does the term relate to the Kingdom of God? Is heaven where good people go? Why did Matthew use the term Kingdom of Heaven? We do well to understand that the same phrase is rendered “kingdom of God” in Mark’s Gospel – they’re synonymous terms. Matthew, speaking to a mostly Jewish audience, uses the term “heaven” as a reverent way of referring to God. He is not speaking of the kingdom as a place where we go after we die.
What is 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 all about?
The most recognized passage used to describe Christians’ eventual escape from this world is in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” This passage, when placed in the larger context of the chapter, is answering questions that Christians in Thessalonica had concerning death. What has happened to our loved ones who have died before the return of Christ to earth? What our ultimate destiny and theirs? Paul’s answer: bodily resurrection! Not an escape into the sky.
Does everyone enter heaven?
There are Christians who believe that the Bible teaches that everyone will enter heaven, but Scripture tells us not everyone will enter. In the book of Matthew, Jesus reminds us that not everyone will enter heaven. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7: 21-23). We are taught in the Bible that in eternity many people will seek to enter heaven, but will be stopped and turned into hell instead. Most religious people die with an expectation of God letting them into heaven, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to enter into heaven God’s way, which is through Jesus Christ.
We know from Scripture that Heaven is not only a real place, but also a dwelling place of God. Listen to the words of Jesus on the night before he was crucified: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” God’s throne is there, the angels are there, and the Lord Jesus Christ is there.