There are many questions about Heaven, and what will happen after a person dies. The comments on the Bible vary strongly in this area. Some assume that Heaven will really be New Heaven. Others assume that Heaven will come down to the New Earth, where believers will dwell. General the believe is that the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will dwell in the New Heaven with the Lord.
The Bible is concerning this subject "vague". In fact, it is also not an important subject, because the major subject in the Bible is that man is a sinner, an enemy of God. God's Will is however that the sinner confesses his/her sins and recognizes that he/she is not capable to bear the punishment upon the sin and that only salvation is possible through the blood of Jesus Christ. By believing that Jesus Christ died for your sin at the Cross of Golgotha.
Since with many lives the question, what happens now really after dead, we will to share a vision, going with you what is stated in the Bible about this subject. But remember it is a personal view. If someone wishes to know more, he/she consult God in prayer.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, "Whence have you come?" Satan answered the LORD,"From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it. "And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" Then satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nought?
What does this mean?
Clearly it shows that God dwells in Heaven as well as God's angels, but also Satan and his fallen angels still have access to God in Heaven. Despite the fact that man (with all human technical equipment) is not capable to observe angels or Satan upon earth. Universe is immense huge, that also with the present technical equipment, like radarscopes, one is not capable to see into nor measure the utmost corners of universe, nor to listen, let alone that man can observe Heaven.
We do not think, that God will allow this to human beings. God has given man a limited view and hearing, within human beings can see and hear. So you do not need to wonder why man cannot observe Satan, demons and angels directly on earth.
From the Bible, we know however that Heaven exists and the angels have access to God, but here it is also shown, that God's angels as well as Satan himself even have access to earth and is capable to understand the human language (in all languages and dialects).
What is the task of angels?
- Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:7)
- Messengers of the good news (Luke 1:19, 26; 2:13-14, Acts 1:10-11)
- Singers in Heaven (Luke 15:10, Revelation 5:11-12)
- Guards over Gods children (Daniel 6:23; 10:10-13, Matthew 18:10, Acts 5:19)
- Worshippers of God (Revelation 7:11)
- Taking the body of the believer to Paradise (Luke 16:22)
- Warriors against the fallen angels and Satan (Revelation 12:7-12)
- Fulfillers of Gods judgments (Revelation 8 en 9)
There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead'".
What does this mean?
From this story by Jesus, it shows that there are two places where man can go to, after death: Or to the place where also Abraham is, or to Hades. The chasm between these two places is fixed so that none may cross it.
It can be explained this as follows:
- After death, man is buried and returns to the dust (Genesis 3:19 You are dust, and to dust you shall return). That is the end of the present sinful human body.
- If a person has accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Saviour, he or she goes to paradise? From this story, is clear, that before the Rapture of the Church, human go to father Abraham or to Hades. Therefore we assume that the believer remain sleeping or goes to heaven (paradise 1 Corinthians 4?). But not yet to HEAVEN where God and Jesus Christ is.
For at the Coming of Christ, those who are asleep, will rise first and then those who are still alive, will be united with Jesus Christ in the sky (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
- If a person has not accept Jesus Christ as his/her person Saviour, then one goes to Hades, the place of torture. And at the day of judgment to the place that is destined for Satan and his fallen angels: the lake of fire.
- But what about the human being who was never reached with the gospel? In Europe and America there are so many churches, and also on television the Christian faith and gospel is broadcasted, so there is no excuse to listen or to search for. God reveals Himself through nature, the human being and universe is so complex, that a Creator must exists (a car and an airplane are so complex, that nobody will even consider that not an intelligent person was required to develop (created) it). The evolution theory is just a way-out for persons to deny the existence of God.
What happens with a person who is never reached by the gospel and had not way of knowing? That is something we must leave up to God. The Bible tells a little bit about it perhaps in Revelation 20-1-6, but it remains darkness. It is not of any importance, what will happen with the persons who are not reached by the gospel. That is not to man, but up to God !
Important is what do people who where in the position to hear the gospel and could have taken notice, yes even worse those who heard the gospel and had not taken yet a decision and died without accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
- Then there are the theologians, who claim that after death, there is no body. From the above verses in the Bible, it is clear that believers in Christ will receive a body after death. Supposedly, a temporary one, until the Lord Jesus Christ comes and meets His church in the sky and takes into Heaven and the believers receives an imperishable body, alike angels (Matthew 22:23-30).
Sometimes we hear from people, who during an operations had an external body experience and have been in front of the Heaven gate. It may not be impossible. It is the duty of the believer to pray for unbelievers that they will come to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and not in general, but specific by name. God listens to the sincere prayers of believers, and no doubt He will do all to bring the by name called person to see the sight and to convert. In first instance, the believer has the duty him- or herself to tell the unbeliever about Jesus Christ and Salvation, but sometimes we are too shy, or not in the opportunity (for example: a long distance), to reach that person yourself with the gospel. In some case, the related person is very stubborn and does not wish to accept Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour, then the persistence prayer of the believer will force God to taken more sever measurements, such as a (serious) illness or accident, or outer bodily experience.
One thing is definite, there are more than one Heaven. And only one person has been there, who was in the (third) Heaven and returned to earth, namely Paul. Just considering that the apostle John just had a vision, and went to Heaven in vision and not really being in Heaven (Revelation of John).
But God is Love, He will send nobody to the lake of fire?
God's Love is revealed for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. But the punishment upon sin is DEATH. As with a mother who loves her children, she will punish her children when they are disobedient. Also criminals go into prison. So too with God, God is Love, but also righteous.
God cannot let go sins. We, man, would not want that Hitler, who is responsible for the death of millions, would remain unpunished. Also Hitler must account to God. Every individual has to account for and in front of God. If the person, despite hearing or in the position to hear the gospel, and reject God's love and grace by not accepting Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour, that person must bear the consequence and accept him/herself the punishment upon sin: the lake of fire. That is his or her person free choice. That is righteous, one can accept or rejects God's Love, Accepting means being in peace with God, rejecting means rejecting God's Love and accepting God's punishment: eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth in the lake of fire. Like a mother who loves her child, but when the child does not wish to listen, the child must bear the consequence, and accept punishment.
And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is THE SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire; and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
What does this mean?
The lake of fire is in the first place meant for satan and his followers (the fallen angels). But everyone who conscientiously have rejected Jesus Christ as his/her personal Saviour, have to face the consequence of that act. For that person there is no salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ possible, and he/she has taken the side of Satan and will end in the lake of fire.
Those who have received the mark of the beast in the great tribulation and has also taken the side of Satan, wilfully against God, they too will end in the lake of fire.
Those who will rise from the dead and are not written in the Book of Life, they too did not choose for God and whose conduct in life was evil, they too will join Satan for eternity in the lake of fire, where it will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Bible is very clear in this matter: God has revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ, Who was born as human being, and let Him died for the sin of man at the Cross of Golgotha, and risen Him from death on the third day. After which He was taken up in Heaven. The Bible states it very clearly in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
There is no other entrance to Heaven possible, other than through the Lord Jesus Christ. Who rejects this grace offer from God, He himself or she herself must bear the consequence, accept the punishment upon sin, namely the second death: the lake of fire.
For those who were not in the position to hear the gospel, (and no excuse I was too busy, if you can work or feast taking care of your life on earth, the more time you should devote to eternal life and search for God's existence revealed through nature and hear the gospel), those who lived isolated, they will be judged upon their works. God reveals Himself in all sorts of way in nature. Through the violence of nature: storm, hurricanes, thunder, lightning, or the beauty of nature: flowers, fishes, birds and man with his intelligence capabilities. That all makes it clear, there must be a God, Who must be searched for and worshipped. Man has given a conscience, he/she can freely choose between good and evil. Man can choose freely for God or for Satan.
But man has also given a brain, so he/she can begin to look for God. And God has promised, that all who seek Him sincerely, He will be found (Matthew 7:7-8). But God ask man to seek for Him, and man must ask God to reveal Himself, but the promise is there, if man knocks, then God will be found.
But man must take the initiative. Most people just look once, twice and then give up. That is not what God means by searching for Him. He checks if man is sincere in his/her intentions. Most people, wherever on earth, have the opportunity to look for God, almost all over the world there are churches, so people are able to hear the gospel. The Bible is translated into many languages and dialects. A labour that is still continued and expanded. So yes, God let Himself find. Therefore there is no excuse for man not to search for and find God. And all those, who really could not find Jesus Christ (that is could not hear the gospel) they will be judged upon their works.
But those who willingly and knowingly did not look for God (they who cling to evolution theory and say there is no God?), they after dead will rise and go to the lake of fire. There will be eternal (Matthew 25:41) weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then there is no way back, and man has to accept his/her destiny. God is LOVE, but God is RIGHTEOUS as well, God canNOT leave sin without punishment. Man must search for God and accept God's love, or he/she can reject God's Love and then that person must accept the consequence of his/her act.
How do we need to imagine the lake of fire?
Well, the Bible tells that there will be eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth and darkness. It means an eternal separation (Hades means separation) of God, and the place where Satan and his followers will be.
It too is the place OUTSIDE the Marriage (feast) , the place together with (Hades means also: together) with Satan and his fallen angels.
Fire is associated with fire. Fire of which the Bible says that it cannot be extinguish, that it continue forever.
You might wonder if fire and darkness is not a contradiction. For fire gives a lot of light. But you might consider that fire is also consuming (digesting), so another explanation ought to be given. You may consider other sorts of fire:
Nuclear power gives radio active radiation. A Fireplace gives heat radiation. Both can be very painful and give very severe burnings. That can happen in complete darkness!
At great heat or fever (such as with a virus or a flu), man yearns of thirst. We speak of a burning thirst or a burning fever. With high fever, we think that we are burning up completely, sometimes accompanied by a burning throat and it looks like your head is on fire. Can you imagine that this will be everlasting, forever, eternal, without an end?
So it is quite well possible to think in these terms. How it will be, the best thing is to prevent it that you will end up in this place (lake of fire), and to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and to recognize your sins, and your sinful nature.
|Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.||For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.|
Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
There men will weep and gnash their teeth.
|There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil||things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'|
|I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven --whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into||Paradise -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows -- and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.|
Considering that here is spoken about a third Heaven, we may assume that there is more than one Heaven. And why not? The universe is so huge with more than one solar system that it can contain more Heavens. There are so many who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour (during two thousand years), that according to me that believers go to different Heavens. Where perhaps in between one can travel? The Bible does not reveal any more, only a tip of the veil is lifted with the words: the third Heaven.
|Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare||a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.|
What does this mean?
Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, has risen to Heaven, where He is seated now at the right hand of God (Hebrew 12:2). Jesus Christ went to Heaven, to prepare rooms for the believer (born-again). Therefore, I assume, that the believer in Christ, will be taken up, at the Coming of Christ in the sky, into the (New) Heaven where we will dwell together with the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, opinions differ on the meaning of rooms. The Greek word "oikia" has the meaning of residence. Other translations give: room, residence. This word refers to the permanent residence of God in Heaven (1 Kings 8:39), the temple (Matthew 21:13) and in John 2:16 Jesus says when He turns the tables in the temple: My home (my Father's) will be called a place of worship. Therefore this word would refer to the temple. Another explanation would be that here is spoken about the new body that the believer receives after the Rapture of the Church. The believer is after all a temple of the Holy Spirit.
The room will be able to refer to the temporary residences that the priests had during the attendance in the temple. The priest Zacharias remained in his temple home after the angel spoke to him until the end of his service (Luke 1:23).
A free translation could be: In the temple of My Father there is room for many priests.
The New Jerusalem (Revelation 21) measures twelve stadia in length and width. A stadia is approximately 185 meters. The New Jerusalem would measure about 2200 km by 2200 km, a very large city on the New Earth.
The question arises: Who are the inhabitants? Who are the inhabitants of the New Earth? Theologians claim that these are all people whose names are written in the Book of Life and all believers. They claim that the believers in Jesus Christ will live on earth. I disagree with this view. What is the purpose of the New Heaven, which remains empty or filled with the angels of God? Why does the believer receive a sinless incorruptible body? I think in order to live in the New Heaven.
In short, the Bible does not give a clear answer. That is not necessary. The Bible says that man is a sinner and eternally separated from God the Father. Unless man accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior and acknowledges that He died for sin. Then one receives forgiveness and eternal life. On the New Earth or in the New Heaven that is currently of no interest to know. It is important that one builds with gold, silver or precious stones on the foundation of Christ (1 Cor.3:10-15).
|But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.||For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.|
|The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother must marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.' Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and||third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? For they all had her." But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.|
|Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been||beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.|