“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
~ John 14:1 - 7
Recently I typed in "Where is heaven?" into my google search engine, just to see what I would find. At the top of the list, the Billy Graham Society shares that no where in the Bible does a literal map location of where heaven actually exist.
Next is a response from a website, "Got Questions" where the writers share that there is "definitely" a place called heaven and that the Bible and Jesus speak of the existence of heaven.
Of course, I grew up on John Denver singing "Country Roads," and he sang that West Virginia was "almost heaven."
I think for most of us when we are asked where heaven is located, our eyes tend to focus upward, and perhaps we seem to point "out there."
That's the funny thing about heaven, isn't it? We all seem to declare the existence of a place where we will no longer know death. Where streets seem to contain dust of gold, where we will find those who have died before us, and where a mansion with many rooms that Jesus keeps sharing about, will hold all of us.
I've heard the arguments that heaven, or the Kingdom of God, exists all around us. That when we take our last breath on earth that our next will be in heaven with God. I've listened as people have shared that they believe that we go to sleep, and won't actually see heaven unto the resurrection of the dead when Jesus returns.
I believe more than anything, that we would agree there is "something" out there for us after we die.
I love how Thomas tries to get a better understanding of just where heaven is, only to have Jesus explain that "he is the way."
While our presence on earth can be pinned to a map, the location of heaven begins with our faith within each of us, and our belief in Christ. For me, it just seems pretty strange for someone to have a belief that when we die we venture to some place other than here, without some kind of understanding of who God is, or why such a place would exist without it being created for a purpose.
In the meantime, Jesus shares that there is a place where we will all gather, and that for us, even today, our ability to follow Christ brings us closer to the place where eternity exists.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, we have been taught to pray that until Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. May I come to understand that will for me in my life, and how You made a plan for me. Today, I seek to know more. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.