To start with, everything that is precious to us as Christians is in Heaven.
The Father is here. This is why Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father, which art in Heaven. (Matthew 6:9)
Jesus Himself is seated at the Father’s right hand (Luke 22:69; Acts2:33, 7:55; Hebrews 9:24, and many other scriptures)
Luke 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Do these references mean that there is a temple in heaven, which will be one of the glories of heaven as Solomon’s Temple was one of the glories of Israel, or the Temple which Herod had extended and embellished in the time of Jesus was one of the glories of the Israel that was then known as Palestine?
This is a point many are confused on.
In Revelation 7:15, one of the twenty-four elders, speaking of the saints that have come out of the Great Tribulation, tells John, “Therefore are they before the Throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple; and He that siteth on the Throne shall dwell among them.” So Christians in Heaven will serve God forever in His heavenly Temple.
Revelation 11:19 however speaks of “The Temple of God which is in heaven” and “the ark of His covenant … in His Temple”.
Revelation15:5 speaks of “the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven”
The confusion arises because in Revelation 21:22, describing New Jerusalem, John writes “And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it.” But the rest of Revelation and other scriptures like Hebrews imply that there is a Temple in Heaven.
The mystery is resolved when we read “The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof.”
In other words, the glory of God both illuminates heaven and also defines it as a temple. All heaven is the Temple and the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of Heaven.
Both Ezekiel and John are struggling to describe the indescribable. That is why Revelation 3:12 says that the overcomers will be pillars in the Temple of God. Who wants to be an immoveable pillar that can never leave the Temple? But as soon as we realize that He is the Temple of which we are pillars, it fits in with Jesus’ promise in John 14:3, “I will come again aand receive you unto myself that where I am you may be also.” And this also accords with Paul’s teaching that after the Rapture “we shall ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Many brothers and sisters in Christ are there.
Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
So our departed loved ones who were born again are there. Also, every Old and New Testament saint who has died is in heaven.
For that matter, our names, if we are born again, are written there already.
Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Therefore we have a title deed to property there, which is our inheritance.
1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Not only do we have inheritance there which is waiting for us, we are already citizens of heaven, as we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s dear son.
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Contrary to the prosperity gospel, heaven doesn’t exist so we can enjoy ourselves on earth! We are here on earth so we can transfer treasure to heaven:
Matthew 6: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Incredibly there are “Christians” who say they don’t want to go to heaven until they have enjoyed all that this world has to offer! I heard of one who prayed “PLese God, don’t take me to heavn yet, I haven’t even been to Hawaii!”
Such “Christians” think that when they have done all that they want to do, or when age or sickness make it hard for them to enjoy life on earth, then they’ll be ready for heaven.
If a person lives his life without a love for heavenly things, will he ever be “fit for heaven”?
What did John say?
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The thought and hope of heaven should fill us with such happy anticipation, that our affections will be loosened from this passing world.
Perhaps the happiest description of heaven doesn’t look like a description at all.
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Does this refer only to showing for all eternity just how despicable we were in our sins, and our rich His grace was to bring us to heaven in spite of our sins?
What does the text say? He wants to show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us.
Think of it for a moment. Every good thing we know here on earth is a result of God’s grace.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
And we who know Christ are going to heaven for this specific purpose, so that God can display the infinite riches of His grace. How? by showering His goodness and kindness on us endlessly. How much more wonderful the riches of heaven than the pleasures and even glories of earth!