Seeking the Truth About Heaven

HOW attractive the prospect of going to heaven can sound! The hope of life after death is held in various forms by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, members of Christendom’s churches, and even many who are not interested in religion. Heaven is usually imagined as a place of beauty and pleasure where people gain relief from suffering and are reunited with “departed loved ones.” And yet, for most of mankind, the old adage is true: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there. Why is that so?

If we were designed to die and go to heaven, would not more people look forward to it as much as a child looks forward to growing up or a youth looks forward to getting married? But most people do not want to die.

Even so, preachers claim that after our short sojourn on earth, heaven is where we are intended to live. For example, Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., was quoted as saying: “This life is not what we’re made for. We’re made for heaven.” Similarly, a former president of the U.S. National Association of Evangelicals was quoted as saying: “The purpose of life is to glorify God and go to heaven . . . ’cause heaven is our home.”

Those who believe in an afterlife in heaven commonly base their faith on scant information. George Barna, president of a company that researches religious opinions, found that many people adopt “views of life and the afterlife based upon ideas drawn from disparate sources, such as movies, music and novels.” An Episcopalian pastor in Florida was quoted as saying: “We don’t know anything about heaven except that heaven is where God is.”

Heaven, however, is an important topic discussed in the Bible. According to God’s Word, what is heaven like? Was man made to live in heaven? If people do go to heaven, what will they do there?

[Blurb on page 3]

Why do many want to go to heaven, but few want to die to get there?