By Elizabeth Prata
This past week, I published 6 essays looking at what heaven is from the Bible. I did this because I sense that in my world here in America it’s darkening at an extremely rapid pace. Our once free and open capitalist society is sliding down fast into socialism and totalitarianism. John MacArthur said
“The evil of society is the outworking of the wrath of God.”Source
So these six essays were a reminder to believers that though we may mourn our nation’s crumbling, our friends’ rejection of Jesus, and the sin all around, this is not our home. We have a better country to look forward to. It’s bright. It has Jesus face to face. Our loved ones, friends, and saints that preceded us will be there. We will meet the angels. We will see the throne room. It will be joyous beyond belief. More than your wedding. More than your child’s birth. More than college graduation. More than that promotion. If we bunded every joyous moment in our entire lives into one, getting to heaven will still seem paltry and insignificant compared to that.
ICYMI, my “Heaven Week” essays on the blog & podcast.
Heaven 1: We’re headed there!https://the-end-time.org/…/heaven-week-1-saints-were…/
Heaven 2: It’s a real place, https://the-end-time.org/…/heaven-week-2-its-a-real-place/
Heaven 3: We won’t have timehttps://the-end-time.org/…/heaven-week-3-heaven-wont…/
Heaven 4: Rest, https://the-end-time.org/2021/08/12/heaven-week-4-rest/
Heaven 5: A tiny glimpse of New Jerusalem, https://the-end-time.org/…/heaven-week-5-a-tiny-glimpse…/
Heaven 6: What we can’t understand and what we can, https://the-end-time.org/…/heaven-week-6-what-we-cant…/
Below is a set of resources on heaven. There is a lot written and sung and preached about heaven that is inaccurate or even extra-biblical. These resources are solid.
Jonathan Edwards Heaven: A world of love. Edwards is famous for his fire & brimstone sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, but did you know he wrote about heaven quite a lot more? This link brings you to the online essay Heaven: A World of Love.
There is also a small pamphlet/book in the Pocket Puritans series so you can buy Heaven: A World of Love in hard copy.
Randy Alcorn has taken an interest in the topic of Heaven and wrote a thick book on it. He seems to be a go-to guy for resources on Heaven. He also wrote a smaller, almost cliff’s notes, of the same book.
Alcorn took Charles Spurgeon’s devotionals on heaven and combined them and added his own thoughts too, titled: We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven (50 Daily Reflections on Eternity from the Prince of Preachers with Additional Insights from Randy Alcorn).
Alistair Begg delivered a message at the 2009 West Coast Conference of Ligonier. Seattle, WA in 2009 called Our Heavenly Dwelling based on the text from 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.
Chris Powers at fullofeyes.com depicts verses in art. He has some thoughts on some of the verses in Revelation which He draws in art and writes his Artist Statement underneath. Here is his artistic interpretation of Revelation Revelation 22:3-4, “…the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city], and His servants will worship Him. They will see His face…” Browse around on his site for other artistic renderings f verses related to Heaven in Isaiah and Revelation. His art, devotionals, and study curricula are available to download for free.
The painting The Plains of Heaven by John Martin painted around 1851 hangs at the Tate Gallery in London. Here is the Tate’s explanation of the piece. Go to the link to view it.
This is the second picture in Martin’s triptych. Unlike the others it is characterised by tremendous tranquility and harmony. In the central panel, The Last Judgement, the good are shown assembling in ‘the plains of heaven’. The celestial landscape continues into this picture, representing salvation. Martin included a number of poets and artists among the good, who are seen in white on the crest of the hill in the foreground of the picture. Behind them stretches the deep blue expanse of a heavenly lake, filled by the rushing water of the distant falls, and surrounded by majestic mountain scenery.”
The book Heaven on Earth: What the Bible Teaches about Life to Come by Derek Thomas is not one I’ve read, but I know Thomas as a teaching fellow at Ligonier and have heard his teachings and sermons. The book blurb says, “The importance of ‘heaven’ does not consist only in it being the alternative to ‘hell’. It is not just an abstract future state into which we will slip, it is a physical reality which can give us joy and hope even now as we look toward it.”
Video answering the question “What is Heaven? 4-min clip from John MacArthur
Mat Boswell song, We’re Almost Home