top of page


Up Next

Overview of The Bible

What Are Demons?

What is God's Spirit?

Who Wrote the Bible?

The Names of God

The Atonement

What is Heaven?

What the Bible Teaches About Faith

A Beginner's Guide to Bible Prophecy

The Tree of Life

To the Jewish mind in the time of Jesus, heaven represented three different things. Today, it is recognized as the place where people go at death. But what does the Bible say about heaven?


More Info

Video Coming Soon

Heaven and Hell




To the Jewish mind in the time of Jesus, heaven represented three different things: there was the firmament (or the atmosphere which surrounds the earth), the starry heavens which contained all the stars and planets and galaxies, and there was the Heaven of Heavens which was God’s dwelling place.

Somewhere in between then and now, Bible readers have conflated the idea of heaven with the question of where we go when we die, but a careful reading of the Bible shows that the concept of heaven is much more intricate and far more beautiful.

The Story of Heaven

The first mention of heaven in the Bible is found in the very first verse of Genesis chapter 1, where we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And so begins a relationship that weaves its way through the entire Biblical narrative, where the heaven and the earth are seen to be almost total opposites. On the one hand, we have heaven, the dwelling place of God from which His plan and purpose are worked out, and on the other hand, is the earth, which God has made and given to humans as their dwelling place.

But these two places weren’t always opposites. When God first made the earth and created humans to live in it, he put them in a beautiful garden, and they were made in the “image” and “likeness” of God. In other words, God’s creation on earth resembled the heavenly pattern.

Clearly, the writer of Genesis wants us to see the heaven and earth as something more than just literal places because, in Genesis 2, he says: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth,” and proceeds to tell the story of how that after a man was created, they sinned against God and were driven out of the garden as slaves to mortality and death. Looking further, the Psalms describe the heavens and earth praising God or rejoicing and being glad – something that isn't literally seen in the physical places of heaven and earth as much as in the people who live in them.

You see, when humans sinned against God, over time, they became just like the earth had been before God had created the land and animals and plants – without form and void, or structureless and empty. The prophet Isaiah says the fruitful place had become wilderness - in other words, God’s people had lost their knowledge of Him and had failed to be like Him as He had commanded.

But God wasn’t always going to leave it this way. Through Isaiah again, he says that just like the heavens give the rain that waters the earth in order for it to bring forth food, 

In other words, the word that came from his mouth brought forth spiritual fruit in the people, turning them from being structureless and void to a beautiful new creation wherein dwelleth righteousness after the heavenly pattern.

Later on, Jesus tells his disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This is a verse that challenges the common Christian belief of heaven because, unlike the regular idea of heaven being a realm above the skies which waits as a reward to those who have died and were good in their life, Jesus is speaking about a time when the earth will be just like the heaven once again. In fact, the Bible says that the reward for remaining faithful is reserved in heaven, and Jesus will bring it with him when he comes back to the earth. God’s purpose, then, is not to populate heaven with people who are righteous but to restore the earth to its original glory so that it resembles the heavens like it once did.


The last reference to heaven in the Bible is found in the book of Revelation, where the apostle John sees a vision of the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, which is actually a future fulfilment of Jesus’ prayer – a time when the earth will once again resemble the heavenly pattern, in what is known as the “Kingdom Age”. This is God’s ultimate plan, and this Kingdom is a theme that spans all of scripture. During this time, Sin will no longer reign, everybody will learn about and love God, and God’s plan of a creation that resembles the heavenly pattern will finally be fulfilled.

Heaven and Hell

What is Heaven?

To the Jewish mind in the time of Jesus, heaven represented three different things. Today, it is recognized as the place where people go at death. But what does the Bible say about heaven?

bottom of page