Heaven Pt 1: Gods Dwelling Place

Heaven Pt 1: Gods Dwelling Place

Heaven: Gods Dwelling Place.

The Dwelling Of God

The Vanity Of Man


Samuel W Baker was an English explorer who writes of an account in the Nubian Dessert which is the eastern region of the Sahara Dessert in the Sudan. 

Many years ago, when the Egyptian troops first conquered Nubia, a regiment was destroyed by thirst in crossing this desert. 

The men, being upon a limited allowance of water, suffered from extreme thirst, and deceived by the appearance of a mirage that exactly resembled a beautiful lake, they insisted on being taken to its banks by the Arab guide. It was in vain that the guide assured them that the lake was unreal, and he refused to lose the precious time by wandering from his course. Words led to blows, and he was killed by the soldiers, whose lives depended upon his guidance. 

The whole regiment turned from the track and rushed toward the welcome waters. 

Thirsty and faint, over the burning sands they hurried; heavier and heavier their footsteps became; hotter and hotter their breath, as deeper they pushed into the desert, farther and farther from the lost track where the pilot lay in his blood; and still the mocking spirits of the desert, the demon of the mirage, led them on, and the hike glistening in the sunshine tempted them to bathe in its cool waters, close to their eyes, but never at their lips. 

At length the delusion vanished—the fatal lake had turned to burning sand! Raging thirst and horrible despair! the pathless desert and the murdered guide! lost! lost! all lost! Not a man ever left the desert, but they were subsequently discovered, parched and withered corpses, by the Arabs sent upon the search.

The men truly believed what it was they wanted to believe despite the testament of the guide who knew that what they were chasing was a fantasy, something that is untrue no matter how much they desire it to be true.

Sadly, the conviction of this Mirage cost these men their lives, and so it is with all people who willingly choose to ignorantly believe a lie.

Many people are living their lives today believing in things to which there is no absolute authority, and one of the greatest of those beliefs relate to Heaven.

The Bible speaks of many who “became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom 1:21).

There is in many a desire for something to be true that, in spite of their own desires for proof in all other matters of life, they cannot give an inch to their hope being false.

Such is the view of Heaven for many people today.

We are going to be entering into a new study, I felt the need to park the Book of Romans yet again and attend to a topical study on one of the most important subjects of all for mankind, the subject of Heaven, and its counterpart Hell.

There will be six sermons dealing with this subject, six different topics that will bring to us clarity of 

  • what the Bible teaches, 
  • what man believes, 
  • and what choice man has on the matter.

It was only this last Friday that the topic came to my mind as vitally important to understand.

It was through the testimony of one person demonstrating a vain confidence that Heaven was a certainty for all people and that it was not really a matter of good or evil. 

The belief of another was based on what a priest told him many years earlier, and that is that there really is no actual heaven or hell, it’s just a place where pure love is and all people will go there.

My friends neither of these things have any basis for truth other than in the imagination.

If the Bible never said anything about heaven or hell we would have no reason to have ever thought it existed.

And if the bible never taught that there are people in both, we would never have considered to possibility of a personal eternal state for any of us.

What is Heaven and what isn’t it?

This is a vital question to consider before we move onto the next two subjects in this series Titled;

“Future Home”


I simply cannot do justice to the Glory of heaven, I don’t know if anyone can. The Bible however presents all that we should need to know of it and that is what I desire to do in these few sermons.

The Dwelling Of God

Our first consideration is to ask what is heaven.

Almost everyone has a concept of heaven, and almost everyone believes it to be a wonderful place, a place far better than here and also a place that will be forever.

We have enough in this understanding alone to deal with in this message.

  1. That it is a wonderful place.
  2. That it is eternal.

And yet there is so much more!

Since there has never been a person apart from Christ who has dwelt in heaven, our only knowledge of heaven must come from Revelation, in other words, from the Bible.

Turn to Deut 26:15 (We will be generally moving in one direction through scripture today)

Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey. (Deut 26:15)

We are told in this passage that heaven is a “Holy Habitation

But more importantly that the writer speaks to the one who dwells there, that it is “thy holy habitation”.

Heaven here is presented as a HOLY place, a place that is perfect, a place of pure holiness and that it is a place that the holy God dwells.

Turn to 1 Kings 8:30

Here King Solomon prays to God and asks him to bless the Temple that has been built in Jerusalem, according to Gods own instructions given in the days of his father King David.

30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.

Solomon has here an understanding given about heaven, and that is that it is Gods dwelling place.

So we see that heaven is firstly a “holy habitation” and now we see clearly that it is “thy dwelling place” or Gods dwelling place.

2 Chronicles brings these two together, turn forward to 2 Chronicles 30:26-27

This is the time that King Hezekiah has instructed the people to return to Jerusalem and celebrate the long unobserved Annual Passover

So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem. 27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven

Here we see not only that Heaven is a Holy place, and not only that it is Gods holy dwelling place, but also that it is the place to which our prayers rise up to God.

and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven

In the book of Job it is written;

Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

Job 22:12

When Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray, he began that famous method of prayer instructing;

When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 

(Luke 11:12)

We cannot comprehend the place of heaven, the Bible indicates not only that it is too high physically but it is also too high intellectually, who can conceive of such a place? Who can comprehend what awaits for those who love God?

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9 saying;

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

That is the reality, we cannot comprehend heaven, but this does not mean we cannot know what the Bible teaches respecting it.

  • First we see that it is a Holy Place, it is pure, the purity of heaven;
  • Second we see that it is God’s dwelling place, it is the literal place of heaven;
  • Thirdly we see that it is where the prayers of believers ascend to, there are prayers in heaven.

When God had seen the efforts of men to build a house for him to dwell in, Isiah records his words saying;

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

Isa 66:1

The fourth item we see with respect to heaven is that it is Gods Throne, the place of power!

So now, four things we see

The Purity of Heaven

The Place of heaven

The Prayers in heaven

The Power of heaven

All this directly what the Bible reveals about heaven to us.

But there is something else, something more profound about heaven given to us in the Old Testament that is more incredible than anything else we can know of heaven.

Turn to Isaiah 57:15

15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.


That alone is the single most incredible revelation that we see in the Bible related to Heaven, that God will not dwell in heaven alone. There will be PEOPLE in heaven.

“With Him Also” tells us that heaven is a place for those OTHER than God! PEOPLE!

The text is not speaking of Jesus, it is not addressing the Spirit of God, neither of these two persons of the Godhead need to be of a ‘contrite spirit’, they have no need of contrition, no need to sorrow or repent of sin like we do

No, this speaks of ALL who would be Contrite and Humble before the living God, and that alone is a HUGE HINT of how mankind may have a share of heaven.

But just in case we missed it, the verse begins For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,

Heaven is eternal, heaven is permanent. There is no end respecting heaven.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the Sun, we’ve no less days to sing Gods praise than when we first begun

The wonderful last verse of Amazing Grace gives but a hint of the permanent and eternal scope of heaven.

The Purity of Heaven

The Place of heaven

The Prayers in heaven

The Power of heaven

The Permanence of Heaven

The People of Heaven

Let me bring this point together;

Heaven is the dwelling place of God, if God did not dwell in heaven, then heaven would not be heaven.

It is HEAVEN because God is who God is, it is because Jesus Christ is who he is that heaven is Heaven

My desire for heaven is to see my Lord. My greatest joy is knowing that I will see him, but if he were not there then there would need to be another word for heaven… other than ‘heaven’.

The Vanity Of Man

Why is it that man would dream up his own view of heaven and who it is that will enter in?

The Bible warns us of vain imaginations, ideas that are false, notions that are untrue yet believed as true, that man would chose to believe a lie, a MIRAGE that will ultimately find them parched with thirst, looking for a well of water and finding none;

Yet Jesus spoke of the true water of life, and that having drunk thereof, man may no longer thirst 

John 4:14

whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Yet far too many look to a Mirage to quench their thirst!

Turn to Romans 1:16

Paul here speaks of the wonder of the Gospel and how he is perfectly unashamed in the preaching of it. Because the Gospel is the truth, it is the very words of God, but many choose rather to believe a lie than they do the truth;

Romans 1:16-25

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

The guide that was hired by the soldiers in that great Numibian Dessert knew the truth, he knew that the men were seeing a Mirage, a false image of water, an image that was inline with what they wanted to be true. 

But rather than believe the man who knew the truth, (whom they hired to lead them to safety), they killed him.

This is what occurs every time someone says “your friend, your father, your brother, mother, son, sister, daughter etc, is in a better place” even if they were never shown the way. 

Or if they were shown the way often, but often rejected the way and turned, like sheep, to their own way.

Paul goes on and writes;

 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

It was not only heaven that they could not get right, but it was primarily the way to heaven that they corrupted. 

They brought glory of vanity, to a creature and not to Christ, they “changed the truth of God into a lie

And to what purpose?

No matter how committed those soldiers were to the water, they nevertheless perished in the sand


That is where the world of godless man is today.

Psalm 81:12 says;

So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

Proverbs 14:12 says;

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.


BUT, when men would rather pursue a mirage, God leaves them to their own devices. 

Lets take a biblical look at some examples.

When God was angered with the people of Israel who continued to seek after him through vanity, God pronounced to them in Isaiah 47:12-13

Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. 13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.

Vain are the attempts that mankind has to find God through another way turn with me to Jeremiah 10:3-16 as I draw a close to the works of those who deny reality and turn to vanity.

For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. 10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. 11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. 12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. 13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. 14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

It was Jesus who told Nicodemus in John 3 that gave the reason this all occurs.

Jesus told Nicodemus why it is that people prefer to make up their own version of heaven and how to get there. 

It is not due to lack of knowledge

It is not because they have not been told

John 3:19

It is verse 19 that gives the reason, but it is vitally important to know the context of the most famous Bible verse in the world.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The Preacher of Ecclesiastes wrote;

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. (Ecc 7:29)

Turn to Eph 4:17-20

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; (Eph 4:17-20)

Reality is an incredibly stubborn thing, it is immovable no matter how hard people scream to believe a lie.

But deception is the mark of the last days, but deception has a limited government, it will not and cannot reign.

Who Goes There?

So we have seen what heaven is, and we have given consideration of what it is not. No we have not gone into specifics, we have not spoken of the Nirvana of the east, nor the mysticism of the New Age, nor the Purgatory of the Catholic, or the evaporation of the destructionists or the vanishing of the materialists; Vanity is Vanity and there is little point identifying its children.

The real question that is before us is Who Goes There?

From what I see in the Bible there are only two types of people who certainly WILL NOT be in heaven;

  • It will not be those who believe they deserve to be there!
  • It will not be those who prefer darkness to light.

Isaiah 57:15

15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

It is clear that there will indeed be people in heaven. And those identified in the text are the those “of a contrite and humble spirit”.

Those who think less of themselves that others do of them.

Those who might be greater in the eyes of others that in their own eyes

Those who are no quick to place themselves on a pedestool

Those who penitent, remorseful, even ashamed of their sin before the one who is “high and lofty that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy”!

These will be in heaven with God.

It will be these who have heard the opportunity of the Gospel, the forgiveness of sin through that name that is above all names Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the “Holy one of God”, such is the confession even of the devils, he is the first born of the children of God, he is Just and Good, Holy and Righteous.

Jesus is the name above all names to which every knee shall bow.

He is the one who died to pay the penalty of the sins of the whole world, and “whosoever” believes in his name shall be saved. Beloved, mankind is not saved by default, though the salvation offered by Christ is a gift, it must be claimed.

Salvation is available to all the world, but many will reject the provision

The mother sets the table for the whole family, but if you reject the provision for life you cannot live.

But WHO?

John 3:14-19

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Acts 8:36-37

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 16:26-31

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Rom 5:1

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Rom 10:9-11

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


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