In the days when our children were young, one of the most eventful places Cookie and I would take them was to Lake Tahoe, California. Tahoe is known for its powdery snow, creating a skier’s delight and its scenic hiking trails, mapped out for family fun. This place offered a family miles of memories that could be cherished for a lifetime. In spite of the celebrated fishing and hunting, with its national appeal, horseback riding on Bonanza’s Ponderosa, or just creating the world’s largest snow man, what arrested my attention was nightly gazing into the celestials. With Tahoe’s elevation of over six thousand feet, on cool crisp nights without a cloud in the sky, it’s almost as if you can touch the stars. The immensity of galactic observance captivated my interest to point that I wondered if heaven is up there, then why haven’t we seen it?
Along with our home galaxy, the Milky Way, NASA has viewed more than 170 billion galaxies. All observable galaxies make up the entire universe. Astronomers tell us that each galaxy measures one thousand to one hundred thousand parsecs in diameter. Now, a parsec is a unit of measurement used in astronomy that equates to 3.26 light years or 19 million miles. Galaxies numbering over 170 billion, each galaxy measuring 1,000 to 100,000 parsecs, “well you get the picture”. The enormity of distance and diameter of the universe is inconceivable to the human brain. With this we then ponder the fact of the whereabouts of heaven. In all of our looking out there for years, and looking farther and farther each generation, we still have not seen this place called Heaven. Is it really real or is it the “pie in the sky” of our dreams?
Just as the Bible presupposes the existence of God, it also presupposes the existence and reality of Heaven. However, the Bible speaks of three distinct heavens, which are unique to each other. The first heaven is the firmament that God created on the second day of creation. This we call the atmosphere. The second heaven is the celestial universe, making up all the galaxies of creation, or better known to us as “the heavens”. This is what is referred to in the Bible in Psalms 19:1 when it says, “the heavens declared the glory of God; and the firmament His handy work”. The third heaven or the place we call Heaven, exists beyond the dimensions of the universe. The third heaven, or Heaven, is a gated community occupied by God as King and His creatures of creation. Along with God and creatures of heaven, are people who have come into redemption by the work of God’s Son on the Cross.
Because we have not seen this place with our high powered super telescopes, we struggle with Heaven’s existence. If it’s real, then how can it be so far, but yet so near; how can it be inconceivably out of voice range, but yet our prayers can be heard there? The Bible is a book of faith, and all of its components must be viewed through the lens of faith. This faith, however, does not give our minds a vacation from thinking, but rather creates a deeper yearning to seek more of the mysteries of God. When we telescopically look for Heaven, we will not see it, however looking Christotelic, through the eyes of Christ, by faith Heaven is in view. For further discussion or questions, please contact Pastor Williams via e-mail at Macedonia.firstname.lastname@example.org. Pastor Williams’s current Bible study is a series on of the book of Revelation each Thursday at 7:00pm at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Alexandria.