Out of the north comes golden splendor; around God is awesome majesty.
Where is Heaven? Can you locate it on a map? The Apostle Thomas had that question. After Jesus said, “I’m going to prepare a place for you,” Thomas asked in John 14:5, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” That is a logical question. Jesus told them they were going to the Father’s house–where was that? And how would they get there?
Jesus helped the disciples recalibrate their spiritual GPS. Since they wanted to know how to get to Heaven, Jesus said in verse 6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” In other words, “Do you want to get to my Father’s house, this place called Heaven? Follow Me.”
Where is Heaven? We have a few clues in the Bible about the location of this place called Heaven. First of all, the Bible seems to indicate Heaven is up. How do we know this? Satan told us so. Now I know, you cannot depend on Satan for a lot of things; most of the time he is a liar, but kind of like a broken clock is right at least twice a day, Satan is right about a few things. According to Isaiah 14:13, when Satan mounted his rebellion against God, he said, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God.” Wherever the throne of God is, it is up. Satan was saying, “I am going to ascend to where you are, God.” In Acts 1:9, Luke recorded that Jesus was lifted up, while the disciples were looking on, and a cloud received him out of their sight. So we can say that Heaven, wherever it is, is up.
Second, the Bible indicates Heaven is north. Of course, north is a different direction depending on where you are standing, but north is where Heaven is. In Isaiah 14:13, Satan said, “I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.” Job 37:22 says, “Out of the north comes golden splendor; around God is awesome majesty.” In some sense, Heaven tends to be north.
Is Heaven a place that actually exists in time and space, even though it may be a gazillion miles away? Is it an actual place in this universe, or is Heaven in some other dimension that we cannot even see right now? I read with great interest recently that analysts from the Bank of America, one of the most respected financial institutions in the world, say there is up to a 50 percent chance that right now we are living in a computer-generated virtual reality game that was created using artificial intelligence. It is kind of a scary thought. I hope I do not make virtual deposits that disappear! But they are saying we could be in a computer-generated virtual reality game created with artificial intelligence, and because we are inside the game, we will never know that we are inside the game. Some people wonder, “Is Heaven like that? Is it in a whole other realm of existence that we cannot see right now?” To answer that question, we need to understand the difference between the present Heaven and the future Heaven.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Is Heaven A Real Place Or A State Of Mind?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)