A Tangible Place
I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:3–5)
Periodically books are written in which people claim to have had visions of heaven. But there is an instance of someone’s writing about heaven that we know is legitimate. The apostle Paul went there, and he wrote a few verses about it in 2 Corinthians 12.
Certainly a topic as exciting as this would have merited its own book, with a title and byline such as The Book of Heaven by the Apostle Paul. He could have told us all about it. But he didn’t.
That is not to say there are no descriptions of heaven in the Bible, because the apostle John spoke at great length about heaven in the book of Revelation and gave us descriptions of it that are a little bit difficult, quite frankly, to wrap our minds around.
But all Paul would say about heaven was, “I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell” (2 Corinthians 12:4).
The word “paradise” that Paul used here appears three times in the New Testament. The first time we see it is when Jesus spoke to the criminal on the cross next to Him and said, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
Another time it is used is in Revelation 2:7, to describe our future dwelling place. It is sometimes translated as the royal garden of a king, which means there was no verbiage to really do justice to the meaning of the word. There was really nothing you could say to express it.
But here is the thing we need to know: Heaven is a tangible place, not a state of mind. The King James Bible uses the word heaven 582 times in 550 different places. Heaven is a real place.
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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