Some words in the English language which actively suggest warmth are mother, father, home, and heaven. The word heaven (ouranos) is found 284 times in the Greek New Testament. Jesus taught the reality and beauty of heaven when he said, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven " (Matt. 5: 12).
Jesus went to prepare heaven. Jesus consoled his dejected disciples by telling them, "in my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14: 2, 3). Some believe this is an instance in which Jesus contradicted himself. Jesus did say, " come inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25: 34). I suggest that when Jesus speaks to his disciples of "preparing a place," he means in the sense of fulfilling all the requisites, his death, resurrection, and ascension, for instance.
The Christian's inheritance is in heaven. "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you," Peter stated (I Pet. 1: 4). We learn of heaven, the one hope, in the gospel or scriptures (Col. 1: 5, 23, Eph. 4: 4). Eternal life is presented as present and yet future (I Jn. 5: 11, Tit. 1: 2). Exactly speaking, eternal life is in heaven, the Christian's inheritance, but it is so certain (if we do our part) it is spoken of as an actual, present possession (by the figure of prolepsis).
The security of the treasures in heaven. The Christian's real treasures are not on this earth (Matt. 6: 19). All that pertains to this earth is perishable and uncertain. Hear Jesus: "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (vss. 20, 21). Remember Peter's descriptive terms regarding heaven, "incorruptible," "undefiled," and "fadeth not away."
Heaven shall be a place ideally suited for the saved. Heaven will be a spiritual place. " flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," Paul wrote (I Cor. 15: 50). There will be a sweeping change from the physical to the spiritual (I Cor. 15: 51-58, 2 Cor. 5: 1 ff). This physical earth (present habitation) will be totally destroyed and there will be a new heavens and earth (spiritual habitation, 2 Pet. 3: 1-14).
Heaven will be a prepared place for a prepared people. "Blessed are they that do his commandment," wrote John, "that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22: 14, KJV). Heaven is not for the quitters but "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Rev. 21: 7).
Heaven will be a place free of death, tears, sorrows, and pain. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21: 4).
Perpetual life and beautiful, indescribable bliss will be enjoyed in heaven. Jesus promises, " I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely" (Rev. 21: 6). The tree of life will be in heaven (Rev. 22: 2). All that is undesirable will be nonexistent in heaven, "And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it " (Rev. 22: 3). The beauty of heaven is described in physical terms, I am convinced, for man's benefit (Rev. 21: 10 ff).
The wicked shall not be in heaven. "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev. 21: 27, see vs. 8). Only the saved along with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and all the majestic angels of God shall be in heaven (Rev. 4, 5, 21, 22). The saved will enjoy a direct relationship with God and the palatial light, grandeur, and bliss of heaven for an eternity (Rev. 21, 22). (Please read "Heaven" in the poems/humor section, accessed from home page.) (For additional study material, be sure to read "Death and the State of the Soul").