So where exactly is Heaven? Is it “up there” somewhere or “out there” in a place we cannot reach? Or is it a place at all… maybe just a “state of mind” or another dimension of reality we don’t know how to think about.
One thing we know for sure about Heaven: it is a literal place. When Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you,” the translators, led by the Holy Spirit, inserted the Greek word “topos” to translate what Jesus was talking about.
It is a literal place. A point of geographical existence. “Topos” emphasizes that reality. Revelation 21-22 point to the concrete reality of the “heavenly city” with dimensions such as a wall that is 740,000 stories tall. The city can literally be broken into square feet, occupying a space half the size of the United States. That’s a big city and yet still the Bible says, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
So even though it is literal and we are given specific dimensions and building materials, we are still only seeing a pale reflection of the reality in Revelation. We are not going to spend eternity in a formless, cloudy void. We will be in a real place, with real people around us.
It is a literal place. It is a place where the glory of God lights the world day and night with His Presence. It is more real and more enduring than anything else we can know today.
And it is a joyful, festive place. Hebrews 12:22-24 says,
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
It will be a joyful, festive city… filled with living souls and angels, and at the center of it all… Jesus Christ Himself. We are looking for a city… a country… and a kingdom who’s builder is God Himself. Where ever it will be, it will be real… and it will be glorious.
You won’t want to miss it!
FOR MEMORIZATION: “But you have come to Mt Zion, to the city of the living God….” Hebrews 12:22
FOR REFLECTION: Who have you recently invited to join you in that city?