Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Heaven: The Ultimate International Community
Heaven is more than the eternal home of the saved. Many others will forever live with us there. These include God and his angels and specific creations. Both Jews and Gentiles will live in heaven in perfect harmony. Citizens of every group and race will live in heaven for eternity. Heaven is the ultimate international community.
The Triune God
The triune God consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, according to John’s account of his experience in heaven (Revelation 14:13; 22:17).
In the Bible, angels are presented as too many to count. They are in multitudinous numbers. John “heard the voice of many angels about the throne in heaven” (Revelation 5:11). These include several kinds of angels. The seraphim, a special kind of angel who deals with God’s altar, are present in heaven (Isaiah 6:1-7). The cherubim, another special angelic group will also be there (Psalm 99:1).
In the book of Revelation, an angel escorts John as he passes through the scenes of the Apocalypse. Also, an angel reveals to John the glories of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
The Bible speaks of twenty-four elders around the throne of God in heaven. Much has been speculated concerning the identity of this group. One suggestion is that these men are twelve tribal leaders of Israel and the twelve apostles of Jesus. Another is that they represent the saved from both Jews and Gentiles. We will find out for sure when we get to heaven.
Hebrews 11 lists a number of individuals and groups who practiced faith in the Old Testament. They will be in heaven, and we will know them intuitively. We will be able to sit with Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and the other Old Testament prophets and enjoy their fellowship. We will be able to talk to Adam and Eve and even ask Noah about the flood. Jonah will be able to tell us about his experience in the belly of the great fish.
Church (the Saints)
One of the first events after the rapture will be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This is when the church, the Bride of Christ, will be present to her Groom, the Lord Jesus Christ. The new Jerusalem has been described as “the wedding ring of the church.” The size of the church is innumerable. John writes, "After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (Revelation 7:9).
We will know one another in heaven by intuitive knowledge through our souls and spirits. In fact, we will know more about each other than we could ever know on earth. We do not know the full circumstances and parameters of life on earth.
Heaven is a place of memory of other saints, but God will remove from our memory anyone who is not there. There will be no sadness or tears. Those loved ones will not be remembered. It will be as if they never existed. There can be no life without Christ. Everything is pleasant in heaven. Our unsaved loved ones are wiped from our memories forever. That is why it is so important for the saved to witness to the unsaved. The saved should let unsaved family members know that in order for them to see and remember one another after death is to be part of the heavenly family.
Who Will Not Be In Heaven?
The Bible is clear who will be in heaven. The Bible is also clear about who will not be in heaven. According to Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
When people die, loved ones are comforted by thinking people go to heaven and doing things with other deceased family members and friends. That is not true, according to the Bible.
All saved people will go to heaven at the same time. Unsaved people will not make heaven their eternal home. Deceased saves people will come up out of the grave during the rapture and will be caught up in the air with the living saved.
Leon on August 24, 2017:
This is something I wasn't sure about..... but God will remove from our memory anyone who is not there. There is no sadness or tears. Those loved ones will not be remembered.
Great message.. my pastor recently touched on a portion of this message.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 27, 2011:
shirl, thanks for reading this article and responding on what you thought was profound. Because there will be no tears or sadness in heaven, we won't remember unsaved loved ones. You are so right! We need to witness and evangelize the lost so that they too will join us in heaven.
shirl stith on March 26, 2011:
I must admit that the most profound area of interest I found was the memory of the unsaved (loved one) being wiped away from saved loved ones. This adds new meaning to witnessing to the unsaved as well as being saved in order to enjoy eternaity with those we loved here on earth. Thank you.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 06, 2011:
Ruth, thanks for reading and responding with your kind words. Sometimes I teach on sensitive subjects that cause a lot of dialogue such as "Do Pets Go to Heaven."
ruth young on March 06, 2011:
It is difficult for me to stop reading this, I have read it more than once.
Keep on teaching and sharing for your post is not invain, many,( including me ), are truly learning things that we did not know.
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on February 19, 2011:
Since you have stated your position in response to my comment, I will leave it up to you as to whether you feel it necessary to rephrase it or not.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 19, 2011:
Dave, what I wanted to convey was that ALL believers would be included even the Jews who converted to Christianity. You know Paul and Peter and all the writers of the Bible were Jews except Luke. So, yes Jews will be included in heaven; that is, those who followed Christ. Do you think people will be confused when they read this or should I rephrase it in the article? I don't want to mislead anyone.
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on February 19, 2011:
revmjm: Thank you what a marvellous picture of "Home"
You opening paragraph causes me to think though. You state that both Jew and Gentile will be in heaven and this is true, but I am assuming that the Jews we will meet will those who died during the times of the prophets, up to and including Christ's Pre-crucifixion, and those who would convert to Christianity and become born again in Christ. Please correct me if I am wrong. According to Christian teaching, through Jesus and the Holy Scriptures JOHN: 3:16-18 is how we are redeemed,and justified and returned to God as His Children.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 18, 2011:
bestforbride: Thanks for reading and responding.
bestforbride from Toronto, ON, Canada on February 18, 2011:
Interesting article. Really enjoyed reading it.