HEAVEN - American Tract Society Bible DictionaryIn the Bible, means primarily the region of the air and clouds, and of the planets and stars, but chiefly the world of holy bliss above the visible heavens. It is called "the third heaven," "the highest heaven," and "the heaven of heavens," expressions nearly synonymous. There holy beings are to dwell, seeing all of God that it is possible for creatures to see. Thither Christ ascended, to intercede for his people and prepare for them a place where all shall at length be gathered, to go no more out forever, Zep 4:10 Heb 8:1 9:24-28.In this life we can know but little of the location and appearance of heaven, or of the employments and blessedness of its inhabitants. The Scriptures inform us that all sin, and every other evil, are forever excluded; no fruits of sin will be found there-no curse nor sorrow nor sighing, no tear, no death: the former things are passed away.They describe it figuratively, crowding together all the images which nature or art can supply to illustrate its happiness. It is a kingdom, an inheritance: there are rivers of pleasure, trees of life, glorious light, rapturous songs, robes, crowns, feasting, mirth, treasures, triumphs. They also give us positive representations: the righteous dwell in the presence of God; they appear with Christ in glory. Heaven is life, everlasting life: glory, an eternal weight of glory: salvation, repose, peace, fullness of joy, the joy of the Lord.There are different degrees in that glory, and never-ceasing advancement. It will be a social state, and its happiness, in some measure, will arise from mutual communion and converse, and the expressions and exercises mutual benevolence. It will include the perfect purity of every saint; delightful fellowship with those we have here loved in the Lord, Mat 8:11 17:3,4 1Th 2:19 4:13-18; the presence of Christ, and the consciousness that all is perfect and everlasting.We are taught that the body will share this bliss as well as the soul: the consummation of our bliss is subsequent to the resurrection of the body; for it is redeemed as well as the soul, and shall, at the resurrection of the just, be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body. By descending from heaven, and reascending thither, he proves to the doubting soul the reality of heaven; he opens it door for the guilty by his atoning sacrifice; and all who are admitted to it by his blood shall be made meet for it by his grace, and find their happiness for ever in his love. See KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
A dictionary of the Holy Bible, for general use in the study of the scriptures ; with engravings, maps, and tables. New York, American Tract society. Publication Date 1859.
Author: Rand, W. W. (William Wilberforce), 1816-1909