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It's a Real Place

Author: Pastor Thomas G. Wilson
June 05, 2020

2 Corinthians 12:2 KJV [2] I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
Heaven is a real place.  The Apostle Paul visited heaven; yet he only spoke of his visit in very general terms.  He doesn’t talk about what he saw but what he heard while there.  However the Bible in many different verses does give much more specific detail about this place called heaven.
Paul says he is “caught up” to a place he refers to as “the third heaven”.   This sheds some light on the use of the word “heaven” in the scripture.  There are three heavens referred to in scripture:

  1. God’s dwelling place.  The Bible says: "The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all" (Psalm 103:19).
  2. The home of the planets and the stars (outer space).  The Bible says: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained" (Psalm 8:3).
  3. The atmosphere that surrounds the earth (sky).  The Bible says: “And God made the firmament…And God called the firmament Heaven.” (Genesis 1:7-8)

So when Paul says he was caught up to the third heaven…he visited God’s dwelling place.  It is also the place Jesus went after His resurrection (Acts 1:11).  Heaven is the place Jesus referred to as “His Father’s house”, which has many “mansions” (dwelling places or abodes).  According to Jesus’ very own words, He went to heaven with the specific purpose of preparing dwelling places or abodes for His family; so that where He is there we all may be (John 14:1-3).  The knowledge of Jesus’ plan and preparation should bring comfort.  However this knowledge doesn’t bring comfort to everyone, even Thomas, one of the twelve, was uncertain about how to get there.  Jesus reassured Thomas that He was the way to get there, the truth about how to get there and the life sacrificed so that all that receive Him as savior will get there.  Heaven is a real place.
For further reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-4; Matthew 6:9; Genesis 1:1-8