Heaven is currently populated by God the Father, Jesus at His right hand, the un-fallen angels and the righteous human souls of those who have lived in the past. Some argue that those who died before Jesus are currently in a place called Abraham’s bosom which has all the positive characteristics of heaven, but are separated from the believers in the church age who have died. I’d rather see Abraham’s bosom being absorbed into the larger context of heaven. Thus, Abraham’s bosom and paradise are just two other names for the place where God’s chosen abide with him. Hebrews 12:22-23 says, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect…”

This place called heaven could be either a physical place or another dimension. The Bible Scholars are divided on this subject. Those who argue in favor of a physical place beyond the first two heavens would refer to Paul’s argument about having visited the third heaven. In Scripture the sky and the clouds are referred to as heaven. When Jesus ascended he ascended into clouds into heaven. The blue skies, the white clouds, or our atmosphere is called the first heaven. The Bible also tells us that Jesus will return in the same manner and same place from which he left. The second heaven is the night skies. When God created the world he put the sun, moon, planets and stars in the heavens. Thus, the galactic night skies would be the 2nd heaven. The third heaven that Paul refers to is, as Geisler writes, “…may be somewhere in a far corner of the space-time world, shrouded from human view behind a cloud of God’s glory…”

Others believe that heaven is an entirely different physical dimension. There were several times that Jesus seemed to materialize out of nothing as if he stepped from one dimension into our own. In John 20 when the Apostles were locked away in a private room Jesus miraculously appeared in their midst. Also, Jesus seems to have disappeared in a similar way when the travelers on the road to Emmaus recognized who he was when he broke the bread (see Luke 24:31). Another passage in favor of an invisible dimension all around us is the story in 2 Kings Chapter 6. Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, was not able to see what was actually present. Elisha prayed that God would open his eyes and Gehazi saw that the attacking army was completely surrounded by the Angels of God. The idea of heaven being an invisible dimension carries incredible implications. (Read tomorrow’s devotion)