Who Believes in Heaven?

July 24, 2016 No Comments »
Who Believes in Heaven?

By David Faust

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.26.19 PMAccording to the Pew Research Center, 7 out of 10 Americans (72 percent) believe in Heaven. Anyone can say yes to a survey, but when a loved one dies our questions turn serious. We want to know, “Does Heaven really exist?”

The fact that Heaven is hard to comprehend doesn’t disprove its existence. Our eternal dwelling place would lose some appeal if it were so small and inconsequential that we could fully grasp it. What is God preparing for those who love him? “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” (1 Corinthians 2:9). We can’t comprehend all of eternity’s mysteries any more than my long-haired Chihuahua can understand Einstein’s theory of relativity, but by believing in Heaven we find ourselves in good company.

Biblical Believers

King David believed in Heaven. He looked forward to dwelling “in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

Jesus promised to prepare a place for us in his Father’s spacious house (John 14:2), and he knows what he’s talking about because he experienced heavenly glory even “before the world began” (John 17:5).

Paul believed that “the dead will be raised imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:52). His motto? “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Peter wrote that God “has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:3, 4).

The skeptic Isaac Asimov complained, “Whatever the tortures of Hell, I think the boredom of Heaven would be even worse.” He must not have read the book of Revelation, for there’s nothing boring about the glorious light, angelic music, trans-cultural fellowship, and peaceful rest revealed to John—not to mention God’s rainbow-encircled throne, the crystal clear river of life, the tree that bears fruit every month, and the emotional satisfaction of dwelling where God personally dries our tears.

Modern Believers

Many smart, practical-minded individuals believe in Heaven. On the day he died my dad spoke calmly of his desire to go home and be with Jesus. The brilliant writer C. S. Lewis observed, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” John Newton authored “Amazing Grace.” His last words were, “I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon.”

Children believe in Heaven, and the aging ponder it with increasing curiosity. John Wilson ministered at First Christian Church in Springfield, Ohio, for decades. When he was approaching 100 years of age, I asked him, “Do you ever think about dying?” He smiled and answered, “Oh yes, all the time. I wake up at night and lie in bed wondering what it will be like to see Jesus, the apostle Paul, and my loved ones. I quote John 3:16 and insert my own name: ‘For God so loved John Wilson that he gave his one and only Son, that by believing in him John Wilson shall not perish but have eternal life.’”

A doctor friend of mine tells his patients, “We don’t get older; we get closer—to our eternal home.”

I believe in Heaven. What about you?

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

Daily Readings

July 25

M.

John 17:1-6, 12-15

Kept in Christ

July 26

T.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

Raised in Christ

July 27

W.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57

Alive in Christ

July 28

T.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Ambassadors in Christ

July 29

F.

Philippians 1:20-26

In Christ for Others

July 30

S.

Philippians 3:7-14

Pressing On in Christ

July 31

S.

Romans 6:1-4, 12-14, 17-23

Choose Life

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