14 Questions and Answers About Heaven

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries12 Minutes

1. Q: Is Heaven a real place?

A: Yes, the Bible describes Heaven as an actual “place” that Jesus is preparing for us (John 14:2-3). Revelation 21:1 says there will be “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” The key characteristic of Heaven is that we will live in God’s awesome presence: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God”(Revelation 21:3).

2. Q: How will life in Heaven compare with our present life on earth?

A: The Lord says in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.” This includes some wonderful benefits: “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (21:4). Heaven will be a place of great beauty and fantastic architecture, including streets of gold and buildings made of pearls, emeralds, and precious stones (21:19-21).

3. Q: What will we do in Heaven?

A: While some people have pictured Heaven as a place where we walk on clouds and play harps all day, that’s not what we’re told in Scripture. Yes, those in Heaven will “rest from their labors” (Revelation 14:13), but we’ll also fellowship with the Lord and “serve Him day and night” (7:15). Our work in Heaven will be refreshing, creative, productive, and unhindered by sin and futility. We will joyfully worship God (5:13-14, 7:9-12) and enjoy deep relationships with His people (Luke 22:29-30).

4. Q: Will Heaven be boring?

A: Absolutely not! We’ll be doing the things that make us happy, and we’ll be doing them to the glory of God. This includes experiencing new crafts, hobbies, entertainment, and vocations. As author Ray Steadman observed, “Every moment of eternity will be an adventure of discovery.”

5. Q: What will happen to our disabilities in Heaven?

A: Our disabilities will be gone! Joni Eareckson Tada observed from her wheelchair, “I haven’t been cheated out of being a COMPLETE person—I’m just going through a 40-year delay, and God is with me even through that. Being glorified—I know the meaning of that now. It’s the time, after my death here, when I’ll be on my feet dancing. The blind hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, used to tell friends not to feel sorry for her because she was blind. She pointed out, “When I get to Heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.” And Helen Keller gave thanks to the Lord that “He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”

6. Q: Will we become angels when we go to Heaven?

A: No. Although a common view, this is a complete misconception. Angels and humans are entirely different creatures, and that won’t change after our death (Hebrews 1:13-14, 2:14-16, Psalm 8:4-5). Even though Jesus said we will be “like angels” after our resurrection, the context was a reference to being unmarried, not a general statement that we’ll become angels or angel-like. Instead of being disembodied spirits in Heaven, we will be given resurrection bodies with physical substance. These bodies will be like the body Jesus had after His resurrection—able to talk, eat, walk, and be touched (John 20, John 21).

7. Q: Will a person go to Heaven or hell immediately after death or simply fall “asleep” until their resurrection and judgment?

A: At a person’s death, their spirit leaves their body (Ecclesiastes 12:7). They immediately go either to Heaven or to hell, where they are fully conscious of their existence (Luke 16:19-31). Jesus told the repentant thief on the cross that he would instantly be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:43), and Paul said he longed to be “absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

8. Q: Will there be animals and pets in Heaven?

A: There is considerable evidence of animals in Heaven. Elijah was taken up to Heaven in a chariot pulled by horses (2 Kings 2:11), and the book of Revelation makes references to horses (6:2-8, 19:11) and eagles (4:7) in Heaven. Isaiah 65:25 describes wolves, lambs, and lions. Billy Graham had a good answer when a little girl asked him, “Will my dog who died this week be in Heaven?” Dr. Graham replied, “If it would make you any happier, then yes, he will be.”

9. Q: Are people who are now in Heaven able to see the present events on earth?

A: Yes, at least to a certain degree. Several passages in the book of Revelation seem to indicate that the believers already in Heaven are aware of earthly events (6:9-11, 18:20, 19:1-5). Hebrews 12:1 describes a great “cloud of witnesses” watching us from Heaven as we finish running “the race that is set before us.” And Jesus says there will be “joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7).

10. Q: In what ways will believers be judged in Heaven?

A: All believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). The purpose of this judgment is not to determine a person’s eternal destination in Heaven or hell, for that has already been decided at their salvation. Instead, this judgment will affect the gain or loss of our eternal rewards (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, Romans 14:10-12).

11. Q: In Heaven will we recognize the friends and loved ones we knew on earth?

A: Yes. In 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, Paul says we should “comfort one another” with the hope of an afterlife reunion with our loved ones.

12. Q: How will a heavenly perspective impact our life on earth?

A: The Bible says believers are citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:20), and it instructs us, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Sometimes Christians are accused of “being so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good,” but this is rarely the case. In fact, William Wilberforce pointed out that the opposite is often true: “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.” William Shakespeare observed that “the love of Heaven makes one heavenly,” and Thomas a Kempis said, “Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.” C.S. Lewis summed it up this way: “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

13. Q: What will hell be like?

A: Jesus spoke of hell as a literal place, originally created for the devil and his fallen angels (Revelation 20:10-15). This is not just a metaphor (Matthew 10:28, Matthew 13:40-42, Mark 9:43-44). People will be fully conscious in hell, and it will be a place of unspeakable suffering and destruction (Luke 16:22-31, 2 Thessalonians 1:9). This horrible experience is described as being eternal in nature, rather than merely temporary (Matthew 25:46, Revelation 12:10). The severity of the punishment will vary according to the amount of truth that was known and the nature of the sins committed (Matthew 11:20-24, Luke 20:45-47).

14. Q: Why won’t God allow everyone to go to Heaven?

A: Jesus was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Because of His death and Resurrection, everyone has a right to repent of their sins and receive His forgiveness and eternal life.

Friend, have you made your choice to turn from your sins and accept Christ’s invitation? If not, we encourage you to pray this simple prayer:

“Jesus, You loved me so much that You gave Your life for me. I believe You are God’s Son. I believe You lived a sinless life and died for my sins. I believe You rose from the dead so that I can live forever with you You in Heaven. Jesus, please forgive me for all my sins. I invite You to be my Savior and Lord. Thank You for coming into my heart and making me a child of God.”

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