What Does Heaven Mean?

While heaven is sometimes described as a destination, it is more often referred to as the dwelling of God with his people forever (Revelation 7:9–17). It will have “no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4).

The word heaven in the Bible can be used to describe the sky with clouds (Job 36:28), the universe with stars (Genesis 1:14-19), and the unseen Heavenly City (2 Corinthians 12:2). 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 describes the glory of the resurrection of the body, not different kingdoms or levels of heaven.

Neither is there an intermediate place before heaven. The Paradise, Jesus promised the thief on the cross “today” was heaven with God (Luke 23:43, Revelation 2:7). Paul describes departing and immediately being with Christ (Philippians 1:21).

What makes heaven so glorious is not anything we have achieved but rather the saving work of Jesus (Revelation 21:22–23). Through faith in his saving work, all believers have the sure hope of living eternally with God in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Study Heaven in the Scriptures

Revelation 7:9-17

Revelation 21:4

Genesis 1:14-19

2 Corinthians 12:2

1 Corinthians 15:40-41

Luke 23:43

Revelation 2:7

Philippians 1:21

Revelation 21:22-23

1 Peter 1:3-5

More on Heaven


How can I be sure I’ll avoid outer darkness?

Some people will say that they are physically healthy because they feel good. But a doctor wouldn’t base his answer just on how a person felt. He would give them a thorough check-up.


What will heaven be like?

Who will be in heaven? How can we be sure we have a place in heaven?


Lesson 19: A Humanitarian by Giving Us a Spectacular Eternity

These words matter. Discover why.

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