The Bible tells us in Philippians 3:20 that “…our citizenship is in heaven…” It is our one true home! In the “Heaven answer Book,” Billy Graham writes, “Jesus mentions Heaven about seventy times in the book of Matthew alone. It appears from the very first verse in Genesis—“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”—to the last reference found at the end of Revelation—“[He] showed me the great city . . . descending out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10 NKJV). In fact, fifty-four of the sixty-six books in the Bible mention Heaven. Remember: the Bible is our only authoritative source of information about Heaven.” I can’t express the importance of Billy’s last exhortation for us to remember there is only one authoritative source about heaven. That is the Bible.

The certainty of its existence and my confident assertions that I have a place there has nothing to do with my living a “good” life. George W. Truett once said in a sermon on Grace, “I could not trust my hope of heaven on the best second I ever lived!” My faith, assurance, of heaven surely has everything to do with God’s grace and nothing to do with my goodness. Jesus continually made it perfectly clear that no one would enter into His Kingdom based on their own goodness. Furthermore, my certainty and hope of heaven is never verified by the visions, dreams, or stories of after death or near death experiences that often make headlines in our world today. If a subjective experience serves to verify a biblical truth, then a subjective experience may be used to falsify a biblical truth. The truth of heaven and the certainty of it being my home must rest totally and completely on the authoritative words of Scripture.

In her book on Near-Death Experience and Christian Hope, Carol Zaleski presents, as one reviewer described it, a “sustained meditation on the human right and need to imagine the possibilities of the world to come.” To her it’s the imagination that matters. The reviewer of her work even describes her premise as “truth lies in the imagination.” Jesus disagreed with her. Our imaginations and experiences are not the basis of life after death. They will give no comfort in the darkest part of the valley of the shadow of death. But God’s unchanging truth will. God made us, not for this world, but for the next world. He sent Jesus to make sure we get there safely. In Jesus great prayer in John chapter 17, he said, “They (The believers) are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:16-17) He tells us that he’s gone there to prepare a place for us. He promises to take us there! Billy Graham goes on to say, “If someone asks you about Heaven, you can say with assurance, ‘We know that if the earthly tent [body] we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands’ (2 Corinthians 5:1). What a promise! What a destiny!”