In 1991, Eric Clapton wrote and recorded “Tears in Heaven,” expressing grief for the then-recent death of his 4-year-old son, Conor. Now, it is probably one of the songs he is best known for, and I want to take two statements and one question posed by the song to guide us in a quick lesson about the place the Bible calls Heaven.
Life in Heaven
Would You Know My Name?
In I Corinthians 15:51-53 (as well as many preceding verses), Paul emphasizes how we will be changed when the resurrection comes. Our natures will be altered, and we will take a form completely unlike our current selves. The question is valid. If we have been changed, will we know each other?
In the parable of the rich man & Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man can recognize Lazarus and Abraham across the gulf in Paradise. Additionally, in Matthew 17:1-5, the apostles with Jesus on the mountain recognize Moses and Elijah for who they are – despite these two having died centuries prior.
These are only two examples, but I think they support the fact that we will know each other in Heaven. When we reach that shore, we will have the joy of being reunited with loved ones and have the opportunity to meet heroes of ours from the Bible. Heaven will be a homecoming.
I Don’t Belong.
Two very familiar passage illustrate the fact that we, in no way, deserve Heaven. Romans 6:23 tells us sin is worthy of death. Exactly three chapters prior (Romans 3:23), it is stated, in no uncertain terms, that each and every individual is guilty of that sin deserving of punishment. If this is true, how can any of us hope to attain Heaven?
If we continue reading around Romans 3:24-26, Paul explains that we have been redeemed by grace and that those who have faith are justified, their sins passed over by God. Ephesians 2:4-10 reinforces the roles of mercy and grace in our salvation. We cannot earn Heaven. God grants us Heaven.
No, we do not belong in Heaven in that there is no way we can earn salvation. There is no way we can atone for our sins all by ourselves. However, God grants those who believe and obey Him the mercy and grace sufficient to allow our entrance into Heaven.
There Will Be No More Tears.
Revelation 7:16-17 & Revelation 21:4 state that every tear will be wiped away. Sorrow will be absent in Heaven. There will be no longing for somewhere else. There will be no depression or disease. Furthermore, Revelation 22:1-5 imagines Heaven as a place similar to Eden – that place where man once had a perfect relationship with God.
There will be no tears in Heaven. Whatever sorrows and heartaches we may have suffered in this life will be erased when we go to be home with our Lord.
In John 14:1-6, Jesus tells his apostles and us that He is preparing a place for His followers. He goes on to say that we can make it to this place through Him alone. Both Romans 6:1-6 and Galatians 3:26-29 emphasize the role of baptism in entering into Christ, and that is the first step toward Heaven. Will you put your faith into action and begin the journey home?