Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

What Did Jesus Say About Heaven?

Have you ever asked that question? Was it easy to find an answer?

While the doctrine of heaven may be firmly established by using the whole of the revealed will of God, it is interesting to me how little Jesus himself says about heaven–at least in its future aspects.

For the most part, when Jesus talks about heaven, he is not concerned with what it will be like, but rather, (1) How you get yourself ‘in’, and, (2) the fact that it has begun now–and we are called to live in light of that reality.

It’s almost like if you asked Jesus, ‘What is heaven like?’ he’d answer, ‘You’re asking the wrong question.’ He would correct us, ‘Don’t think about heaven as some ethereal future hope–ask whether or not you have reason to believe that it is your hope.’ And then he would add, ‘Heaven isn’t an ethereal future hope–it is a present reality that begins when you live under my kingly reign now and you begin to experience my blessings now.’

All that being said, if we query the text of the gospels, I think we can find some details about the future reality of heaven from Jesus’ teaching.

  • Heaven is a place. According to the Sermon on the Mount (in particular, Matthew 6) and John 14, heaven is an actual place–not bodiless beings floating through clouds. It is the place where God is and his presence is made known to bless.
  • Heaven is a place of treasures. Again, from Matthew 6 we learn that the treasures and rewards we store up in heaven now will never be taken from us and they will never cease to give joy.
  • Heaven is a place prepared for us. In Matthew 25 Jesus speaks of heaven as the kingdom which has been prepared for us from before the creation of the world. Again, then, we see it is a literal place where God is intent on blessing us.
  • Heaven is a place of joy and reward. Still in Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable where those who have been faithful with what they were given are commended by their master. The blessed words are this: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
  • Heaven is a place of justice. In Luke 16, while teaching an entirely different point altogether, Jesus tells the story of two men who receive a just reversal of fortunes on the other side of judgement.
  • Heaven is a place of single community. Luke 20 (cf. Matthew 22) teaches that humans will not be married or given in marriage in heaven. That being said, we are not community-less beings, but rather, we are like the angels, in fellowship with one another and ultimately, with God.

Can you think of any more places where Jesus talks about heaven? Any other details that can be gleaned from various places?


  1. Hey Julian,

    Sweet post brother! Do you think it is significant that many of us speak of "going off to a better place" in contrast to what Jesus says in the Lord's Prayer "your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"? It seems to me that the kingdom of God is about God's gracious and saving presence coming to earth to reverse sin and its effectsthe effects.

  2. Luke 17:21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

  3. Richard Ligarzewski

    17 November, 2012 at 3:39 am

    I believe in Heaven with my whole heart, soul and mind. My faith in JESUS is Unconditional. I myself had a near death experience at the age of seven. I was swimming in a salt water pool in Keansberg, NJ and went on a slide into the deep end of the pool. I could'nt swim and I went into a panic. I went down for the third time under water and was greated by an Angel in a tunnel of pure light. I had no fear being in his tunnel of light. The Angel was so kind and reassuring that I became calm and happy to be with her. Then all of a sudden, a girl of about 16 pulled me up out of the water and I came back as if nothing had ever happened. I believe in the many stories that people have had a near death experience and have lived to tell us . To me , these stories are a continuation of the many miricals that Jesus had performed when He was on earth.

  4. Hey Julian, it's Bill Janzen. I happened across this post via Google and was pleasantly surprised to see it was written by someone I know. Good post brother. God bless

  5. In decades of being a Christian, I never really researched this question until just today. Google has "blessed" your post by showing up high in the search results =)

    It is disappointing that so little is captured about what Jesus said about heaven. Jesus' followers surely must have asked Him about Heaven many times? Was Jesus really so silent? If not silent, His answers surely must have captivated his disciples enough to write down what He said?

    Only His response to the nagging questions from the Sadducees seems to offer any clues:

    Matthew 22:30: "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."

    Luke 20:34-38: "Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

  6. Matthew 8 10. I think it speaks of Heaven.

  7. I was stunned to notice that these words from Jesus (John 14:2) 'I go to prepare a pace for you' would seem to indicate that heaven is not yet complete!

    I was also further struck by the fact that 3 things that will remain always are love, hope and faith – interesting! Love of course because there will be relationship. But so interesting and wonderful that we will still have hope and faith too don't you think?

  8. Pastor Christian

    9 December, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Heaven I believe is going to be a wonderful place. Because the glory of God will shine and we will worship Him day and night with the angels.
    I seem to be bufuled" ( if I am correct,) that people in my country are not bothered about going to Heaven. Some are just OK where they are buy forgetting that better things are in heaven.
    God bless you Julian your post is going to help me teach little children in my community here in Ghana about heaven.

  9. love of God an Jesus an faith in your heart an mind will lead u to heaven. strange how people question heaven an want to understand what it might be like isnt it ? The answer isnt in the question its in the heart of the one that wants to know an thats why people ask it so ofen , but i say its answed by what brings the person peace that asks. example (christmas to children should make them happy for what the get , an if your a parent to a child that u give a gift u know they want an see there faces explode with exictment when they recive it then you yourself get that feeling inside u of feeeling so good !!!! that is heaven for that split sec in time, so heaven to me is that feeling by God through his son Jesus forever, so instead of wondering what is an isnt there means nothing to me.GOD BLESS ALL THAT BELIVE IN JESUS WORD AN HAVE FAITH !

  10. I have blasphemed against the holy spirit. According to the book of Matthew, this is an unforgivable sin. I'm sorry guys, I can't go to heaven with you. I'll be burning for eternity. I wish god could just forgive me but the bible is clear. I can't go.

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