Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house aremany mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I goand prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, thereye may be also. And whither I go ye know , and the way ye know.
– John 14:1-4
Can an educated person believe in heaven?
No thinking person can be satisfied until he has an answer to the three great questions of life: Where did I come from? Why an I here? Where am I going?
Human reasoning attacks heaven
“Religion teaches those who toil in poverty all their lives to be resigned and patient in this world and consoles them with the hope of reward in heaven.” (Vladimir Lenin)
“Religion is the opinion of the people.” (Karl Marx)
Christian faith makes believers dissatisfied with the status quo and gives motive to change. Everything that is done in the world is done in hope. Where there is faith there is hope. Where there is hope there is motivation. Where there is motivation there is change. C.S. Lewis said, “Since Christians have ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in, aim at earth and you will get neither.”
Manifesto: “Promises of immortal salvation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self actualization, and from rectifying social injustices.”
Spirit filled people put their faith into action in the bitter here and now because they expect to live in the sweet by and by. Christian hope is not escapism but rather an incentive to “roll up your sleeves” and tackle your task. Christ’s message was to repent. Christians are committed to change. Changed people change their world. Biblical Christianity follows the One who went about doing good. He never lost hope. He charged His followers to go into the world and penetrate society like salt.
“Can you imagine anything more appallingly idiotic than the Christian idea of heaven?” – Dr. Alford North Whitehead, Harvard
God has a warning we would do well to heed, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
In other words, do not let someone rob you of your hope of heaven with human philosophy!
Human existence demands heaven
If I find in myself a desire, which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
There no instinct in animals, no intuition in man that does not respond to a fact. Who taught the kitten, and the birds? We have eyes there is light, we have ears there is sound, we have hunger there is food. Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists:
- God never made a tree before He fixed the earth for it to grow in
- God never made a bird before He made an atmosphere for it to fly in
- God never put the longing for immortality in the soul of man before He made a heaven to satisfy
The human soul has always believed there was such a place. The Indians, Egyptians, there is something within man that says, “This can’t be all there is to life; there must be more.”
The best developments in life are only fragmentary; the soul needs another life in order to go on to perfection. Paul summarized the feeble logic of all men when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If our hope in Christ does not take us beyond this present life, then we are of all men most miserable.”
Divine revelation discloses heaven: 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
- Paul’s experience – 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
- John’s experience – Revelation 4:1; 21:5b; 22:6
- Jesus’ testimony – John 3:11-13; Luke 23:43
- Jesus’ resurrection – 1 Peter 1:3-4; Acts 1:3a
- Jesus’ ascension – Mark 16:19
Ascension proves two things:
- Church is here because the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and is a confirmation of Jesus’ presence in heaven (Acts 2:33)
The house of God on earth, the church, proves the house of God in heaven.
- The Christian scriptures are here. The 27 letters were written because Jesus, in fulfillment of His promise, sent the Holy Spirit to guide His chosen penmen (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; Ephesians 3:1-5)
Heaven which we have not seen, is as certain as the divine book, which we have seen.