Heaven as Defined by Webster
1. The space surrounding or seeming to overarch the earth, in which the sun, moon, and stars appear: visible sky; firmament.
2. The dwelling place of God and his angels, variously conceived of as the place where the blessed will live after death.
3. Any place of great beauty or pleasure or a state of great happiness.
Heaven as Defined by Scripture
1. The atmospheric heaven - the space surrounding the earth to about 6 miles out.
2. The celestial heaven - the realm of the sun, moon, stars, and planets.
Genesis 1:1, Psalm 33:6
3. The dwelling place - the specific place in which God inhabits.
Psalm 20:6, Matthew 6:9
4. The New Heaven or New Jerusalem - the blessed eternal home for Christians.
Heaven as Viewed by Society
Researcher George Barna ( www.barna.com ) reveals current ideas concerning heaven:
There is a tendency to believe that all good people will live in heaven after they die on earth. In 2004 the public decided on the matter: 50% agree, 39% disagree. This represents little change since 2002 when 55% agreed and 38% disagreed; 1996 when 54% agreed and 38% disagreed; or 1993, when 56% agreed with this notion. (2004)
Half of all adults (54%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2004).
Heaven as Sought by Mankind
Although descriptions, discussions and popular ideas of heaven may be of great interest, only the actual truth concerning heaven really matters in the final analysis. If the after life is real, including both a literal heaven and hell, then a true grasp of this issue is simply life's main priority. It would seem unfathomable to take a chance concerning eternity, which leads to either the great joy or rewards of heaven and the unimaginable horrors of a real hell. If then both such place exist, as the Word of God reveals, obviously God have controls the each atmosphere while decide who goes where and why.
This Creator God has made His nature, plans, and dealings with mankind fully known through His word the Bible. And though he addresses there all necessary matters for this life, he includes the clear and simple path for any man or woman to enter His heaven when the earthly physical life ends.
But what escapes the typical man or woman is that Heaven cannot be earned even by an entire lifetime of good works and deeds. Heaven comes only as a free gift from God. But gaining Heaven does require something. That something is a sincere act of personal faith and trust in one person - God's Son! His plan for the forgiveness of sin and for spending eternity with Him in Heaven is briefly described below.
A. Recognize that you are a sinner before a holy God and that a penalty
must be paid.
(Romans 3:23, 1 Corinthians 15:22)
B. Realize that Jesus Christ, through His death, burial and resurrection became your substitute having paid that penalty on your behalf.
(Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
C. Receive Christ into your heart through faith in a prayer of belief.
(Luke 18:13, John 1:11-13, Romans 10:13)
D. Remain confident of God's promise of the assurance of eternal life.
(1 John 5:11-13, John 10:28)
Jesus said, "And the one who comes to me, I will by no means cast out." John 6:37
THE DANGER OF DRIFTING
"Living Life On The Edge of Disaster"
Several years ago, four people aboard a twenty-six foot boat were hurled into the turbulent waters forty feet from the edge of Niagara Falls. The group had been partying and had not noticed how close to the brink they had drifted. Each passenger frantically struggled in the swift current, clutching onto anything to avoid being swept along to their death. After their rescue, the badly shaken survivors recalled their thoughts. One spoke of desperately grabbing for rocks while being helplessly pulled along. Another related his fear of dying, as he heard the awful roar of the falls only yards away. A third passenger refused to release her firm grip on a slippery, life-saving rock, even when a Niagara Falls area firefighter arrived to save her. She said, "I'm not leaving this piece of rock."
THE CONSEQUENCES OF DRIFTING
The thought of drifting helplessly towards Niagara Falls is of course terrifying. The stark reality, however, is that how one dies is not life's main issue. What matters most is the condition of the soul when that crucial moment arrives for the Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." The danger of drifting through this life while unprepared for the next is equivalent to clutching a slippery and temporary rock while refusing the permanent rescue. Many people frantically cling to material things for security and happiness. They drift through each day depending solely on their own ability to survive and prosper during life. Then when a crisis beyond their ability to control strikes, the folly of trusting corruptible things becomes painfully evident.
Some continue drifting along as though God does not exist despite the warning of Psalm 14:1, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." Others admit to God's existence yet feel they can do business with Him at a time when life is more stable and less hectic. The Bible speaks to this attitude in 2 Corinthians 6:2 which reads, "Now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation." Remember, at any moment you may find yourself being swept over the falls of time and drifting into eternity.
THE SOLUTION FOR DRIFTING
If you have been drifting through life without God, whether intentionally or unintentionally, consider for a moment the claims of Jesus Christ. He alone can offer peace with God as Romans 10:13 describes, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name given among men, whereby we must be saved."
The only way to avoid drifting through a meaningless life and escaping eternal judgment is a saving faith in God's Son. Trust in His all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross for your sins and in simple faith call upon Him now. He will honor your sincere desire. Don't risk drifting for even another moment. Confess Christ as your own Lord and Savior today. Your decision will determine where you will spend all of eternity!
If you would like to know more about how to receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior or how to grow spiritually if you have already trusted Him, write us at the address below.