My family recently experienced the death of a loved one. As I told my young daughters, I was met with a billion and one questions. What does it mean to die? Where do we go? What is heaven like? I truly believe it is important to teach your child about heaven. For Christians, heaven isn’t a far away place in the distant future. It is our home. In fact, the Bible tells us to make it our focus.
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While the Bible doesn’t give us a lot of details when it comes to heaven and what it will be like, it does give us some basic truths. When teaching our children about heaven, we should focus on these truths first and foremost.
- Heaven isn’t just a place you go when you die. It’s where God currently resides. It’s real and it’s now. It’s easy to think of heaven as a future place we will all end up, but the Bible tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We are also told that we are currently seated in heavenly places (which, if I’m being honest, is somewhat hard to wrap my brain around), and we are told to focus on the unseen rather than the seen…to set our sights on heavenly things rather than earthly troubles. (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 3:1)
- Heaven is the way the world was meant to be from the beginning. In the Garden of Eden, all was perfect. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in a way we can only imagine today. But when sin entered the world, all that changed. Death, sorrow, pain… these things are all associated with our sin, not heaven. How amazing is it that God had a plan to make all things new again?! We will once again have access to the Tree of Life and will forever be with our Savior.
- God’s ultimate goal is for it to be on earth as it is in heaven. In the Lord’s Prayer, we are told to pray that God’s will would be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” As a child, I always knew my future home was in heaven, but what would become of the earth? It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that God was creating new heavens and a new earth. God’s Kingdom is ever growing, and we can rest assured that He is constantly working to make this world new. (Revelation 21:5)
But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. – 2 Peter 3:13
- Heaven is eternal life and is accessed only through Jesus. While the world wants us to believe that there are many ways to heaven, there is only one way… His name is Jesus. Being a “good person” won’t grant you access. All have sinned, and all need to be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
- We will all be together, and it will be better than we could ever imagine. One of the first things my daughter asked me about heaven was if she was going alone. She wanted to make sure that her family would be there with her. And while we may not all go at the same time, we will all be together at some point if we believe in His name.
- As children of God, we never die… we simply go home. Jesus defeated death on the cross. Our physical bodies may pass away, but the real person inside goes home to be with our Father. You may have heard the phrase “home is where the heart is.” But for Christians, home is where our Father is. When Jesus died on the cross, the temple veil was torn in two granting us access to God’s presence. We experience His presence here and now on earth when His Holy Spirit fills our lives. And when our bodies die, we will experience His presence in a new and exciting way.
- We are called to focus on the realities of heaven while here on earth. Heaven isn’t simply a future hope, it is a present reality for all of God’s children. We are called to make this reality our focus now… on earth… to focus on the unseen truth rather than simply what we can see with our physical eyes. You have eternal life. You have access to the presence of your Father. The Holy Spirit strengthens and empowers your life supernaturally each and every day. You have victory in Jesus name, and you are healed and restored in every way.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. – Colossians 3:1 (NLT)
It’s important to teach your child about heaven because heaven is our home…now and forever.
*Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations taken from the NASB.