How Far is Heaven?
Humanity has invented this idea that heaven is some distant place way up in the sky, but this is not the Biblical picture of heaven we find in Scripture. Heaven is simply that which cannot be seen and it is closer then we might realize. Heaven intersects and interacts with the church on multiple levels. Let me give you a few examples.
In Philippians 3:20 Christians are described as citizens of heaven. We are a community that lives out our future reality. We are a community who seeks to transform this world into that which the world cannot see. This is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We have a vision for the world that is different from all other visions. We hold the answer to the world’s problems, and we must go out and proclaim the message of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
As we strive to live out this life and proclaim this message we are surrounded by heavenly witnesses (Heb 12:1). If we ever get discouraged and think we are all alone, then we must remember Heb. 12:1. We need to know that there are faithful Christians who went on before us and who are now standing in heaven cheering us on. They want us to succeed. They want us to continue the work they began long ago.
When we do good deeds for others heaven may be closer than we realize. In Heb. 13:2 it says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” The author of Hebrews testifies to the fact that there are heavenly beings in our midst, and that we may have shown them kindness without realizing it.
Each time we gather for worship we are surrounded by heaven. In Heb. 12:18-24 the author contrasts worship under the old covenant (vs. 18-21) with worship under the new covenant (vs. 22-24). Notice what he says about our worship, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.” If we ever get the idea that our worship is dull and boring, then we need to read these verses and realize there is more going in worship than we can physically see.