Experiencing Heaven, Here and Now

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)

We all wonder about heaven. Look around and imagine what this entire world would be like without sin and death, suffering and corruption. When I think of heaven, I see it as the place of complete and ultimate fulfillment of joy, satisfaction, and perfect relationships. The ultimate reward will be to see the beauty of the Lord face to face and all the godly people who have gone before us.

To try to understand and even attempt to explain heaven apart from Scripture is presumption. The most beautiful quality about heaven is God, and He is there. He is what heaven is all about. In Psalm 43:4 (NKJV), the psalmist says, “I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy.” And Psalm 16:11 tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Occasionally, I have the privilege of sharing at funeral services, or as I like to call them for believers in Christ, celebrations of life.  Because they knew the Lord here, they are now complete and enjoying their heavenly home. Often, I will read a quote from Dietrich Bonheoffer’s sermon, “Stations of the Road to Freedom.” The last station is heaven. He refers to heaven as our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, and the everlasting kingdom of peace.

Bonhoeffer died at the hands of Hitler two two weeks before the end of World War II. As he was led to the gallows, he said to another prisoner, "This is the end—but for me, the beginning—of life.” Bonhoeffer understood what awaited him. The ultimate believer’s reward.

John Newton, who wrote the song “Amazing Grace,” said, “When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there. The first will be to see many there whom I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many who I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.”

C.S. Lewis wrote, “I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”

Heaven is what you were created for and is your forever home.

DIG: How are you daily practicing the indwelling presence of God in your life?

DISCOVER: To experience heaven here, are you being satisfied and filled with joy in the Lord presently?  

DISPLAY:  Scripture tells us to “prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12). Make that a daily goal. Heaven is not that far away.

About the Author

Jeff Seward