Heaven is God’s Presence

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And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “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 (NKJV)

In this day the tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with us and be our God. This is a fulfillment of what we were supposed to experience before sin entered the world. When Adam sinned man was separated from God. When Jesus died on the cross He brought that separation to an end.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,” Matthew 27:50-51 (NKJV)

When Jesus died the veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place was torn in half. That veil represented the separation between God and man. Now thanks to Jesus Christ sinful man can by faith come into the presence of and have fellowship with a holy God.

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22 (NKJV)

While this fellowship of faith is great, it is only a taste of the good things to come. In our heavenly home our fellowship by faith will give way to a fellowship of sight. This is what makes heaven, heaven. It’s not about the streets of gold or the walls made of jewels. It’s about Jesus and living in His presence.  John Piper said that heaven isn’t for people that fear hell. Heaven is for people who love God. This idea is supported in this passage. If someone doesn’t love God, then being in God’s presence wouldn’t be heaven for them.

If the streets were not gold but gravel, if the walls were particle board and not jasper, if mud was knee deep and weeds over our heads, it would still be heaven because Jesus is there. Think about how great this is going to be. In this life we can experience a measure of His presence. What we are currently experiencing is only a shadow of the good things that is to come. But one day our faith will give way to sight and we will see Jesus and be with Him for all of eternity.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

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2 thoughts on “Heaven is God’s Presence

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  1. Pastor Ross – You wrote, “If someone doesn’t love God, then being in God’s presence wouldn’t be heaven for them.” This statement sounds similar to what I understand the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches about the afterlife… For example, If one hates God in this life, one will experience God’s hate and wrath in the next life. Or if one loves God in this life, one will experience God’s love and mercy in the next life. Or if one is convinced God does not exist in this life, one will experience God’s absence in the next life.

    This EO concept makes sense to me but I’m unsure it is totally Biblical. What do you think? Is this similar to what you wrote in today’s post?

    1. I’ve never heard that before. It does sound similar and it does seem to make sense. I would guess that those ideas are applications for salvation being by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone. For instance, someone who hates God wouldn’t place their faith in Jesus for their salvation. Therefore they would experience God’s wrath in eternity. Similarly, someone who doesn’t believe in God won’t place their faith in God’s Son for their salvation.

      I’ll have to think on this some more.

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