The answers to these questions may all be lumped together in one answer. There is little said in the scriptures as to degrees of rewards in heaven. First of all we note that everyone that reaches heaven has eternal life with nothing to mar that experience. That in itself is a great reward. In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) there appears to be degrees of rewards in heaven. The best way we can explain it is to consider our lives here making for ourselves a container for our blessings. In Psalm 23, David said, "My cup runneth over" , meaning that God was blessing him to the fullest extent he was able to enjoy them. We are building our capacity for eternal blessings while we are here on earth, and whatever capacity we have when we reach that eternal abode it will be filled to running over. As a way of illustration I do not expect to have the capacity that the beloved Apostle Paul will have in heaven. He may have a "five gallon bucket" capacity and I may have only a teacup capacity but each of us will have our container completely filled and we will enjoy heaven to our fullest capacity or ability. In this life there are those who are born with certain disabilities but they enjoy life to their fullest ability, while others who have no disabilities enjoy life to their fullest ability and it appears it will be somewhat similar in eternity. My concern is not the number of rewards I will receive in heaven, my concern is getting there because I know I will enjoy heaven to my fullest ability to do so
When a Christian goes to be with the Lord what kind of activities are they doing in heaven [right now]?
When the three Hebrews where put in the fiery furnace could you tell me where Daniel was at that time?
We are not told much about what is going on with those
who have departed to be with the Lord. Jesus in
Luke 16:19-31 gives us more insight on the matter
than we find elsewhere. Here we see that Lazarus is in Abraham's
bosom, the place of rest and refuge from the evil world of the living,
while the rich man was in great torment. In
Revelation 14:13 we note that those who die in the
Lord are resting from their labors. More than that we do not
know what the sainted dead are doing in the eternal realm.
As to the whereabouts of Daniel when his three friends were in the fiery furnace we do not know. We have not been informed as to his activities at the time or his whereabouts. He may have been present being assured all the time that God was in control. Nothing stopped him from fulfilling his devotion to God.
Do you think we will recognize our family members or friends from earth in heaven? Some say 'yes', but that our focus will be on God so it is truly irrelevant if we recognize our family and friends anyways. What do you think?
You understand that it is not what I think or what I believe that matters, but what God's Word says about it. The apostle Paul expected to experience joy in the life to come because of the faithfulness of those to whom he had preached. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (1 Thess. 2:19.) "Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. (2 Cor. 4:14.)
Do animals go to heaven?
As much as people love their pets or enjoy wild animals, there is nothing to indicate that animals go to heaven. When animals were created, God spoke them into existence, Genesis 1:20-25. When man was created, he was specially made by God, Genesis 2:7. The word "formed" has in it the idea of being made by hand, so manís creation was entirely different from that of the animal world. Man was to have dominion over the animal world, Genesis 1:26. It is only man that is spoken of as having a soul, that is his eternal being. Man and animals both have spirit, or that which animates them, but only man has a soul. Jesus died for mankind, not animals. In the pictures of heaven found within the book of Revelation one finds God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, angels and saints, but not animals. In addition, though there are heavenly beasts mentioned in Revelation, these are special servants of God, not animals that have been on earth, died and gone to heaven. Animals are for our enjoyment while on the earth, and men must be good stewards of them just as with the rest of the environment.
Is the new Jerusalem on earth the home of Christians and what about heaven?
The New Jerusalem spoken of in the scriptures particularly in Revelation has
reference to heaven and not the earthly abode.
Where does it tell about the size and dimensions of heaven and the number
of souls that would be there?
Revelation chapters 7 and 14 speak of the number in heaven, however, this is
not to be taken literally as the book is written in signs and symbols to
hide its real meaning from the enemies of the Christians in the first
century. The size of heaven is mentioned in chapter 21 verse 16 of the same
book. Again this is highly figurative language as is the entire book.
Revelation is an example of apocalyptic literature. The children of God
were well acquainted with this type of literature in the first century, but
few people are acquainted with it today thus so much fanciful speculation on
the signs and symbols employed.
What must I do to get to heaven?
What are the keys to heaven that are talked about in Matthew? Why didnít Paul get them and did he ever get them back?
The mentioning of these keys is found in Jesusí response to Peterís confession of the Lordís divinity. "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:17-19)
A key was a symbol authority, and Jesus was telling Peter that he would be given the authority to open the doors of the kingdom. However, to see that this was in effect shared by all the apostles, note John 20:22-23, "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained." On the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ the gospel was preached for the first time.
The door was opened for all men to enter the kingdom. These same keys were in fact possessed by Paul, for he proclaimed the gospel also, and men were saved as a result of obeying that gospel. We possess those same keys today, for when we proclaim the gospel we are opening the door for men to be saved.
If Jesus was really Jewish, then why don't some Jews go to heaven?
Jesus was a Jew, born of a Jewish mother, being conceived in her by the Holy Spirit. However, salvation did not then, nor does it today, come merely because one was, or is Jewish. This was a problem the Jews had in Jesus day and before. They thought that just because they were Jews God ought to bless them. That is why there are such strong prophetic condemnations of the Jews. This is not to say that there werent some Jews who were in right relationship with god before Jesus came into the world, or even while He was on earth. Not all of them believed that their relationship with God was based merely on nationality. They sought to serve God from their heart.
However, Gods plan was for His Son to come into the world that both Jew and Gentile might be united into one, Ephesians 2:14-16. The gospel was first preached in Jerusalem to Jews, Acts 2. The Law of Moses served until the new covenant brought in by Christ came into effect, Hebrews 8-10. Also, God, in the book of Romans lumps Jews and Gentiles together as sinners, Romans 1-3. Therefore, what Jew and Gentile both need to do is come to faith in Christ. They must believe in Him as the Son of God, Romans 10:10a, confess, or acknowledge that faith, Romans 10:10b, and be baptized into him for the forgiveness of sins, Romans 6, along with Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16. Salvation is not based upon race, nationality or any other such thing. It is based upon ones faith in Christ, and the obedience of that faith, whether Jew or Gentile.
Where can I find record of Satan's fall, and his being cast out of heaven?
Satan is an interesting being and the Bible tells us a good deal about
him. Apparently the devil is a fallen angel. ?(Rev. 12:7,9) "And there was war
in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the dragon
warred and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither was their place found anymore in
heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil
and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels
were cast down with him."
Paul suggests why he fell. When speaking of the qualifications of an elder in the church he said: "Not a novice lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil." (I Tim. 3:6)
Peter speaks of angels being cast down in 2 Peter 2:4. "For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." See also Jude 6.
The verses referred to here fall within the closing section of Revelation, a series of exhortations to those who would read its contents. These verses in particular speak of an entering in and a shutting out. Those who enter in, those who keep the commandments, have the right to the tree of life, that which had been lost in the Garden of Eden. They may enter through the gates of the city; meaning access to heaven is open to all.
One need not try to force their way in; the one who keeps the commandments of Christ does not have to worry about the gates being locked. Only those who are pure and holy will be inside. There will be nothing in heaven to harm or to make afraid. All of that is shut out, as are those who commit such evil. Therefore the reference here is not to what close or distant proximity hell may be to heaven, for the Bible does not inform us of this. God is saying that heaven is a place of purity and eternal life. Everything else opposed to God is outside; meaning it is not and will never be there.
As far as exploring the universe, there will be no universe to explore. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up," 2 Peter 3:10. Also, one would be too busy in heaven to have time to explore the universe. "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them," Revelation 7:15. "And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him," Revelation 22:3.
Do you know if there is a passage that describes the discharging of Satan from the heavenly realm. In the story there are keywords such as: The morning star adorned himself and set himself higher than God. He was actually the most beautiful of angels. The story goes that he rebels and is thrown out of heaven, along with about 1/3 of the angel population. I'm hoping that someone will know in what book of the bible this account is mentioned.
Many stories and fables have been told about the devil. All I can tell you is what the
Bible says. When you have what the Bible says you know as much as anyone knows about the
1. Apparently the devil is a fallen angel:
(Rev. 12:7,9) "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to
war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither
was their place found anymore in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old
serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was
cast down to earth, and his angels were cast down with him."
2. The apostle Paul suggest why he fell:
(1 Tim. 3:6) When speaking of the qualifications of one to serve the church as an elder he said: "Not a novice lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil."
3. The apostle Peter speaks of angels being cast down:
(2 Pet. 2:4) "For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
(Jude 6) "And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
Who can go to heaven?
The Bible teaches that Gods desire is for all men to be saved, 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9. This would include finding salvation now in this life as well as eternal life in heaven. In addition, the Bible teaches that Jesus came into the world to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15.
These are some of the most heartwarming scriptures in the Bible. Yet at the same time, God calls for men to make a response to the provisions He has made for man to be saved and go to heaven. While the apostle Peter was at the temple, a crowd gathered following his healing of a lame man, Acts 3:11. Peter began preaching to them, and in that preaching he told them, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord," Acts 3:19.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:8 the Bible says that those who will be punished with everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord will be those who " know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus extends an invitation for all to come to Him. Everyone can go to heaven, that is heaven is open for all who will come to God through His Son Jesus, doing those things God says in His word to do in order to be saved. God has done His part in providing the means of salvation. Man must do his part to receive that salvation.