God’s Dwelling Place and Ours
“I will dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15
When we think of heaven we often reflect upon a place that is beautiful and where all will live eternally with God. This is a place where hopes will be realized, blessings will be given through God’s gracious hand and encouragement awaits. Heaven in itself brings healing and calms sorrows. But what and where is heaven? How do we understand this eternal resting place?
Different scripture passages describe heaven as: God’s habitation, God’s home, God’s dwelling place, where God’s throne is and is from where God reigns. God dwells in heaven yet His presence is everywhere. He abides in heaven and yet is present throughout all His creation.
God also hears the prayers of His people from heaven and it is where he accepts the worship of His people on earth. Heaven is also home to the angels who continually go back and forth from earth and heaven and heaven to earth. Heaven is also home to the cherubim and seraphim and other types of angels.
Heaven is also the place where God’s saints dwell forever. Heaven is ‘our eternal home”. When we die our bodies no longer function, but our souls lives on. For those who believe, the soul at death immediately enters forever into the presence of God. And this is where things differ in terms of belief. Some people refer to those who die as being ‘asleep’ and that their souls cease to exist until some time in the future. This refers to soul sleep which a soul with no existence apart from the body could not be sleeping-. Death involves physical and spiritual separation. Physical death is when the soul is separated from the body. Spiritual death is the eternal separation of the soul from God. The believer in Christ may physically die but he can never die spiritually because he will never experience the separation of his soul from God.
John 5:24-26 Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
Heaven is the habitation of God and is the home of departed saints where they abide forever in the presence of Jesus. The only condition to enter that eternal home is faith in God’s Son Jesus.
What is it you think of when you hear the word ‘heaven’? Is it where God and saints live together or where God is alone? If God is in heaven, how do we experience “His presence on earth”?
Holy God we praise you for your promise to us that we will one day be with you where you dwell in heaven. Help us to understand what this means as we seek to have faith and believe. Enable us to understand ‘God’s habitation’ and what we might understand heaven to be like. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
RESOURCE: Richard DeHaan. Heaven: An Eternal Place of Hope, blessing and encouragement. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers 2014.