For much of my life, my head unfortunately dominated my heart. I believe I now have a good balance. However, during the time my head was too big for my own good, I spent lots of time debating whether anyone could prove that heaven exists. I always BELIEVED heaven exists, but I went through lots of mental gymnastics in trying to decide whether I or anyone could KNOW heaven exists.
I am older now. I may not be wiser, but I am certainly more experienced. And this I know: I don’t KNOW heaven exists. I BELIEVE there is a heaven, more firmly than I have ever believed. Fortunately, for me, that’s enough. I have FAITH. My faith gives me comfort and great mental and spiritual peace. So, bear with me. Everything else I will say in this article is faith, not knowledge.
Why do I believe there is a heaven? Because Jesus said so. That’s why. Read Mark 12:18-27. The Sadducees did not believe in heaven. They were arrogant about it, and they tried to trap Jesus into seeing the logic of their beliefs. In effect, though. Jesus told them they were dead wrong. He said the Sadducees’ heroes, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, had been in heaven for centuries. Jesus also said that people in heaven “are like the angels.” That’s good enough for me.
Woody Allen once joked that, after he died, he didn’t want to live in the minds and hearts of his countrymen. Woody said “I want to live in my apartment.” I find that funny. I also find it sad. As great as this life is from time to time, even in those peak moments we say we’d like to go on forever, we instinctively know there must be more. St Augustine’s famous line is appropriate here. St. Augustine said, “My heart is restless, Lord, until it rests in you.” At our core we all yearn for God, for heaven.
Try wrapping your minds around a few more of my beliefs. Theologians differ on whether heaven is static or growing. I believe the majority fall on the side that says heaven is perfect but static joy, happiness, and pleasure forever. I believe heaven is dynamic. It grows. I believe perfection in heaven is subjective, and no, I don’t believe that’s a contradiction in terms. My belief is that some of us will get to heaven as pint jars of joy, happiness, and pleasure filled to the brim. It’ll be all we know and will, therefore, be for us perfect. Others will enter heaven with the capacity of a quart. Perhaps a gallon. Maybe a 50-gallon drum. Here’s the rub. All of us will be exposed to objective perfection, God. And, because of that exposure will will become more and more like God for all eternity. Of course, we’ll never become God, but our capacities will forever grow.
Here’s a modern parable. Caroline is a good woman. She lives the great commandments of love and forgiveness. She’s a prayer warrior. She is involved with numerous ministries and charities. She tithes. One thing bothers her. She has a limited imagination.
Once, while talking with her husband, Caroline mused, “John, I wish I had a good idea of what heaven is like.” John asked, “Tell me about the most perfect moment you ever had.” Caroline responded, “Oh that’s easy. It was when we vacationed in the Alps. It was sunset and were on the balcony of our chalet. Gold beams of sunshine were dancing on the peaks of those magnificent snow covered mountains. You looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I will love you forever.’” John replied, “Magnify that moment infinitely and that’s heaven. And that moment, like my love for you, will grow forever.”
Want a good reason to be a Good Steward? Here it is. I believe with every fiber of my being that heaven exists, and whether it is static perfection or growing, subjective perfection, it will blow our minds for all eternity. I believe that because the Son of God tells me we will live like the angels.