What Did Jesus Say Or Teach About Heaven?

What Did Jesus Say Or Teach About Heaven? December 21, 2015

Did Jesus say much about heaven? If so, what did He teach regarding heaven?

The Frequency of Heaven

Jesus spoke more about heaven than hell and in fact, over twice as much did Jesus speak about heaven as He did hell in the gospels. There are nearly 140 references to heaven in the gospels and nearly every one of them came from Jesus. In the Book of Revelation, we see heavens or heaven mentioned but sometimes this refers to the first and second heaven, with the first being the home where birds fly and clouds reside but the other heaven, the third heaven, is the very presence and throne of God. The Apostle John writes about heaven forty-six times in the Book of Revelation, which is really the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1) so heaven is a subject which is important to God and so it must be for us too. With nearly 700 references of heaven in the Bible, Jesus must have said a lot about heaven, right?

The Kingdom of Heaven

The very first words out of Jesus’ mouth when He started His earthly ministry was “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) but Matthew tells us to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2). The time was fulfilled because John had just been put in prison (Mark 1:14) and he was about to be beheaded. That would mean his ministry of coming into the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord was accomplished. The “wilderness” was a spiritual wilderness of pharisaic legalism, anti-law Sadducees, and Roman barbarianism. John came to prepare the way for Him Who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and now the fullness of time had come for Jesus to proclaim the kingdom of heaven so one of the things Jesus taught about heaven was that it was associated with the kingdom of God but it required repentance and faith (or belief).

I-go-and-prepare-a-place (1)

Heaven is Real

We know that heaven is real because just after Jesus’ baptism “a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17) and it is known that God is in heaven and so heaven is a specific place where God resides as Jesus warned that “whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:33). This must be a real place that exists of which Jesus speaks. Just before Jesus was about to go the cross and return to the Father, He told His disciples “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” (John 14:3). The Greek word for “place” is “topos” which means an inhabited city, a village or a district and that’s the way the Greeks used this word so that’s the way Jesus must have intended it. Heaven is real and it’s a real place, but so is hell. Not only is Jesus going to heaven, He’s going to prepare a place for them for a real place in the kingdom of heaven and will come to take them to Himself so that where He is, they will also be.

Who Goes to Heaven?

Who goes to heaven? Jesus once “calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:2-3) but why does one have to be like a child? Jesus answers that for us by saying “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” and “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:4-5). For one thing, children are humble, very trusting, and are teachable. These are qualities that God looks for in a person because God resists the proud but gives His grace only to the humble (James 4:6). Far too many believe that they’re a good enough of a person to go to heaven because they’ve done a lot of good things but God says your best works are nothing more than filthy rags to Him. The Bible doesn’t say most of us or at least a few of us are good but “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6) and none are good, not even one (Rom 3:10)! Only those who have repented and trusted in Christ go into the kingdom of heaven because Christ, Who never knew any sin, became sin for us “so that we might become the righteousness of Christ” (2nd Cor 5:21b). That’s who goes to heaven.

Conclusion

Obviously, Jesus taught a lot about heaven and one absolute truth is that no one can go to the Father in heaven unless it is through Jesus Christ (John 6:44) because there’s no other way to be saved (Acts 4:12). As I wrote before, heaven is real and it’s a real place, but so is hell. For all who refuse to believe, they presently have the wrath of God abiding on them (John 3:36b) and whether they know it or not doesn’t matter. God will judge all who do not believe in His Son but all who believe in His Son have passed from judgment to life. We who believe have peace with God (Rom 5:1) because we’re at peace with God and don’t have His condemnation on us anymore (Rom 8:1). For others, you have been warned.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.


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  • pud

    Once again jack…”jesus” didn’t say or do or write ANYTHING! He left nothing! The most important figure of all time…left NOTHING! Delusional superstitious men in a time of apocalyptic fervor in an age of thousands of “gods” ..”said” he “said” this or that…It’s a story book jack not a documentary where every word was written down by eyewitness crackerjack reporters! WAKE UP! You don’t even know the name of a single author! They didn’t even live when your “jesus” supposedly roamed around! Get a grip jack!!

    60% of your story book can be attributed to Saul who was a murderer and sufferer of delusions! He was a crazy person jack! The rest of your NT books have no eye witnesses and you don’t even know who the crazy people were who wrote them! How can you be so gullible to buy into this?

    Worse jack! You worship this invisible thing who threatens to torture you until the end of time unless you “believe” in the most absurd propositions! It’s like worshiping Hitler! How can you be so dumb to this which is so obvious?

    Imagine jack….you were a country bumpkin from Kansas who never heard of any kind of religion whatsoever. You meet a person who begins to give you the “good news” He tells you that you MUST “believe” in the following or else! …That an invisible being created the universe 6000 years ago because he was lonely. He created a magical garden and a man from dirt and a woman from the mans rib. The two people were tricked by a talking snake to eat some fruit they weren’t supposed to so this invisible “god” put a curse on all their descendants who would get sent to a lake of fire if they didn’t believe in a human sacrifice whereby this “god” sacrificed himself to himself to forgive you! YOU WOULD THINK THIS PERSON INSANE!!

    But you live for this nonsense! And you tell it to others for a living! JACK!!

    • Falcon23

      How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?

      Since absolutely no Bible prophecy has ever failed (and there are hundreds), how can one realistically remain unconvinced that the Bible is of Divine origin?

      How was it possible for the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to have predicted the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14) 700 years before it occurred?

      If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what motivates you to care and to live honorably in the world?

      How do you account for the origin of life considering the irreducible complexity of its essential components?

      If Jesus’ resurrection was faked, why would twelve intelligent men (Jesus’ disciples) have died for what they knew to be a lie?

      How did 35-40 men, spanning 1500 years and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible?

      Is it possible that your unbelief in God is actually an unwillingness to submit to Him?

      What would be required to persuade you to become a believer?

      I will certainly pray for you Brother, believer or not, I was in a bad place for most of my life and until I finally submitted to GOD and believed in him and that JESUS is our Lord and Savior I will never was happy or content with myself. I had it all at various material things in my life, money, cars, houses and so on, I worshiped material things and thought I could be happy in my own ways.

      • pud

        That the Red Sea and Syria exist is not a secret. Herod was an actual ruler…so what?

        Your “prophesy” nonsense is exactly that…rubbish. Everything you hold up as “prophesy” fulfilled was done so because the NT was written knowing what it was supposed to say! DUH! There was no “virgin birth” as that is impossible. The NT narrative STORY was written to conform to the OT DUH!

        There is no such thing as “irreducibly complex” and that lame argument has been defeated multiple times years ago. Not even crazy christians try to pull that absurdity anymore…get with the times! lol

        The resurrection was not faked…IT NEVER HAPPENED! duh. It’s a made up story just like many others nearly exactly in other mythologies way before yours.

        They didn’t “author one unified message” The CHURCH manufactured it by vote from hundreds of ridiculous writings.

        My “unbelief” is because there is NOTHING to believe in. I don’t believe in Zeus, unicorns, bigfoot or your version of god.

        For me to “believe” what your brand of cult believes? Extraordinary evidence. You don’t have any evidence at all.

        • Falcon23

          You should try becoming a Christian and make up your judgement then, do your research, make a commitment, if you truly give your life to Christ I am 100% certain you will have a change of heart. Save your Soul Brother!

          I respect your opinion and hope you find your way and will pray for you, and glad we could have this discussion.

          • pud

            LOL! You should become a muslim and then make your judgement..or a mormon or a zen Buddhist or a Jane. What a stupid comment.

            If you give your life to Allah you can be saved! The muslims say that only in this way is there salvation. Can you not see the abject absurdity of your claims?

            I don’t mind conversing but I do not respect your opinion and I am certain that you waste your bleating to the almighty asking for me to join your delusional cult..ain’t never going to happen. I am a free man and a free thinker not a hostage or a slave

          • Falcon23

            My proof is what is my own heart and soul, I need no other proof than that. I am not a hostage nor a slave of my religion. I know with out a doubt when I die I will live in a better place for Eternity, I will see my Mom and Dad who was devout Christians, I look forward to that Day. I too am a FREE man and Thinker.

          • pud

            You KNOW no such thing. You “believe” and that’s all. Tell me what you and mom will do for the first trillion years in this better place.

          • Falcon23

            Take care Brother. Nothing you can say can change what is in my heart and soul as it seems I can not change yours either.

          • pud

            I know. That is proof that you are nothing but a brainwashed indoctrinated drone. I truly feel sorry for you and your kind. I am not your brother.