In Revelation 21:1 through 22:5, many see a graphic view of the eternal abode of the redeemed.The primary reason for the writing of the book of Revelation was to encourage those saints who were facing terrible persecution to be faithful, for in doing such they would receive the eternal abode that was written about. Today, we do not even come close to those of that time as far as persecution is concerned. However, this does not diminish the necessity of a study of heaven, and who is going there. In such as study as this, it is important to see what the Hebrew writer wrote concerning this grand theme in Hebrews 13:14, “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” In view of this, let’s consider this “continuing city” and who will go there.

WHAT HEAVEN IS – Heaven is not the figment of our imagination, as some would suggest. Nor is it a happy hunting ground, or something of the sort, dreamed or schemed up by some individual for his own personal gain. During the time contemporary with Christ, the Jews held to the idea of three heavens.

The air or atmosphere where the clouds gather – Genesis 2:1, 19

The firmament in which the sun, moon, and stars are fixed – Matthew 24:29

God’s dwelling place – Matthew 5:12, 16, 45, 48

In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, the apostle Paul alluded to something of this sort. You will notice in the text the phrases “third heaven” and “paradise”.  There is some concern as to whether Paul was speaking of heaven or, as we know it, the “paradise” side of Hades (Luke 23:43). For what it is worth, I am convinced that he was speaking of heaven, but even if not we would still have a basic picture of what heaven is all about. From Scripture, we note the following important things about heaven.

Heaven is the throne of God – Psalms 11:4

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people – John 14:1-4

Heaven is the eternal abode for all who overcome – Revelation 2:7

WHO IS GOING TO HEAVEN? – God has not created heaven and left it a mystery as to who will abide there for eternity. There are three major views that are taught by those who believe in heaven relative to the question of who is going there.

First, is universalism, which suggests that all will eventually be saved and live forever in heaven. However, when we consider the following Scriptures we see that such a position is incorrect Matthew 7:13; Hebrews 5:9; Luke 16:22).

Secondly, is the Calvinistic theory that suggests that only an “elect” few will be saved. This doctrine teaches that our eternal destination has already been decided and there is nothing we can do about it except to accept it. In other words, heaven or hell, and we have no choice or voice in the matter. However, when we consider the following Scriptures we see that this doctrine is also contrary to the teachings of the Bible (Matthew 7:24; 11:28-30; Acts 2:21; 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9).

Last, but not least, is the biblical concept of who is going to heaven as is seen in the following Scriptures (Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 7:21; Mark 16:16; Revelation 2:10). It is important that we  understand that no one is going to heaven unless he fulfills Hebrews 5:9, which includes becoming a Christian, and remaining faithful.

The question posed by Job needs answered today, “If a man die, shall he live again?. . .” (Job 14:14). Of course, the answer can be yes as far as the spiritual side of the question is concerned. Man can live “again”, but only through obedience to God.

Truly, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be”. As we conclude, we could not do so without the words of the apostle Paul as seen in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”