Laurie's note: I’ve been doing some study since last April about the promise of Eternal Life for believers. My sweet friend and cancer patient, Lisa, and I explored the concepts of Heaven in God’s Word. She has since gone to that place I dream of. Now that others are facing this transition, I thought I’d publish some notes and verses worth sharing.
God’s Word on Heaven & Eternal Life :
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
However, as it is written:
No eye has seen,
No ear has heard,
and no human mind has conceived
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
John 15: 9-11
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
2 Corinthians 5 : 1-7
Awaiting the New Body
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God,
who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corin 5:8
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be
away from the body and at home with the Lord.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.
Revelation 22 (NIV)
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.
I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
More Biblical Facts on Death
Believers can face death without fear.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,
this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Believers enter the Lord's presence at death.
In essence, the moment we die, our spirit and soul go to be with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies,
for then we will be at home with the Lord. (NLT)
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.
I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. (NLT)
Believers will dwell with God forever.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV)
Believers Who Have Died
And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am." (NIV)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (NIV)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!” (NLT)
The death of a believer is precious to God.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (NIV)
Believers belong to the Lord in heaven.
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.
So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (NIV)
Believers are citizens of heaven.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control,
will transform our lowly bodies so
that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)
After their physical death, believers gain eternal life.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (NIV)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
I and the Father are one.”
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 5:11-12
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life;
whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Believers receive an eternal inheritance in heaven.
1 Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation
that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (NIV)
Believers receive a crown in heaven.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.(NIV)
Eventually, God will put an end to death.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ... I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God ... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (NIV)
Why are believers said to be "asleep" or "fallen asleep" after death?
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
1 Corinthians 15:20
The Bible uses the term "asleep" or "sleeping" when referring to the physical body of the believer at death. It is important to note that the term is used solely for believers. The dead body appears to be asleep when it is separated at death from the spirit and soul of the believer. The spirit and soul, which are eternal, are united with Christ at the moment of the believer's death (2 Corinthians 5:8). The body of the believer, which is mortal flesh, perishes, or "sleeps" until the day it is transformed and reunited to the believer at the final resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:43; Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:51)