Heaven Is A Physical Place

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God’s Word Does Tell Us That Heaven is a Physical Place

There are some who think heaven is a physical place while others think it is not. When I was growing up and even as an adult, it seems that the specifics of heaven are not really taught in church. You really have to go looking for the information. That’s exactly what I started doing a few years ago. Learning from what God’s word tells about the present heaven as well as our final destination on the new earth.

I really didn’t think a lot about whether heaven is a physical place until a few years ago. That’s kind of strange really as I have been in the medical profession pretty much all my working life. I have seen a lot of death and have always thought of Jesus as my Savior. I guess though, I just figured He would take care of us when it was our time to leave this current earth. I remember heaven pictured as some odd looking figure sitting on a cloud playing a harp, devoid of anyone or anything else around. Just a white cloud up in the sky. You think I would have wondered more about that years ago.

Randy Alcorn explains why so many are under the wrong assumption that we cannot have physical bodies in heaven, that it is not spiritual if we have bodies in a physical place. It comes from some unbiblical views coming from Christoplatonism. If you actually go by what’s in God’s word, you quickly realize that heaven is paradise and physical. Will it be exactly like the New Earth? I think there will be similarities, but also differences.

Excerpt from Appendix of Mr. Alcorn’s book on Heaven that explains the falseness of Christoplatonic related influence…

Consider the biblical facts that give us a very positive view of the physical realm:

 

God made Adam and Eve to be spiritual and physical they were not human until they were both.

God often took on human form in Old Testament times. He was also likely in human form as he walked in Eden.

God took on a human body, becoming a man in Christ, not just temporarily but

forever.

God raised Christ in a human body with physical properties, a body that walked, talked, ate, and could be touched. He explicitly stated he wasn’t a ghost.

God made mankind in his image, and because humans are physical beings though God is spirit there must be something in our human bodies

that reflects God’s identity. Certainly there’s nothing about our bodies that repulses God, who created humanity as his crowning achievement.

God’s Holy Spirit indwells human bodies and calls them his holy temples.

God will raise people with eternal physical spiritual bodies, then come down to inhabit the New Earth with them.

 

All seven of these assertions are undeniable to most Bible-believers. Yet somehow, many Christians imagine they will live forever in a disembodied existence in an immaterial realm. As a result, they wear blinders when they interpret Scripture, and they fail to understand the richness of God’s revelation concerning the world we’ll inhabit forever.

 

The christoplatonic view of the eternal Heaven is an insult to Christ’s redemption and his resurrection. Christ did not die to give disembodied people a refuge in the spirit realm. He didn’t rise to offer us a mere symbol of new spiritual life. On the contrary, he died to restore to us the fullness of our humanity spirit and body. He rose to lay claim to and exemplify our destiny, to walk and rule the physical Earth as physical beings, to his glory. He died to lift Earth’s curse and rose to guarantee that the earth itself would rise from misery and destruction to be a realm ruled by righteous humanity, to God’s eternal glory.

At any rate, there came a time in my life that I wanted to know more about this place called heaven. Maybe you are at that place now. It could be you have loved ones there and you wonder just what they are doing up there?

When I started to want to know more, it wasn’t that I stopped trusting the Lord would take care of each of us when we left the current earth, I just wanted to know what this future home was really like. The Lord tells us he is preparing a place for us. Now, I know that it is a temporary home until eventually, heaven will come down on the new resurrected earth where we will be forever, but what about this present heaven. Is heaven a physical place or do we just float around?

Heaven Is A Physical PlaceI think there are some key scriptures in God’s word that shed a great deal of light on this question. Here are a few of them to indicate heaven is a physical place indeed.

In Hebrews 8:5, it says that they serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This tells us that heaven is a physical place. The sanctuary referred to was to be patterned after the heavenly one.

What about when Jesus was on the cross talking to the thief beside him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” First of all, paradise brings up some pretty spectacular visions. There are some magnificent things on this current earth, but with the state of this world, can you ever call anything paradise anymore here? Heaven will be paradise Jesus tells us and in that scripture, he is talking about the present heaven. The Greek word for paradise is used to describe the Garden of Eden.

Some that might argue that heaven is not a physical place say that God is spirit. Well, yes, but Jesus was both God and man. He came to us in the flesh. And he was resurrected, so wouldn’t he dwell in a heaven that is a physical place. What about the angels that come and go? They exist in a physical world, even come to earth sometimes. In Hebrews 13:2, it tells us that we may be entertaining strangers, but sometimes they are actually angels and we aren’t even aware of it.

Another scripture that points to a physical heaven is in Hebrews 12:22, that says that the New Jerusalem is currently in the present heaven waiting to come down onto the New Earth. Doesn’t that imply pretty darn strongly that heaven is a physical place? Revelation 21 also tells us that the New Jerusalem is seen coming down to earth, implying obviously that it was up in the present heaven waiting to come down.

Wouldn’t it make more sense that the things we see on our current earth would be patterned after things that already exist in heaven? Why would God pattern something in heaven from something on earth, wouldn’t it be more likely the other way around? I think our human nature is to think that we are center of the universe. I am not implying how that initially may sound, but just saying, expanding our thought process from heaven to earth opens up a wonderful fresh perspective on this.

What about the garden of Eden? Revelation 2:7 tells us this tree of life that was in The Garden is in the present heaven, in the paradise of God. This is a physical thing. Wouldn’t the whole Garden be there. Eden wasn’t destroyed. Remember after the fall of man, man was not allowed into this Garden of Eden any longer. Revelation 22:2 tells us the the tree of life will be in the New Jerusalem, on both sides of a great river. The tree of life’s presence in the New Jerusalem tells us of a physical place with physical things.

Throughout Revelation, we are told of the visions of people, animals and specific objects, which certainly teach us that heaven is a physical place.

These are but a few of the prominent scriptures telling us heaven is a physical place. The Bible and prominent Bible scholars tell us that after we take our last breath on this current earth, our next breath is in heaven, in paradise with Jesus. Heaven is a physical place, but when our spirit goes back to the God who created us, to this heaven that is a physical place, the next logical question might be, what will our intermediate bodies be like or will we not have bodies in this physical place of heaven?


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