Christianity defines heaven as being in the presence of God with places prepared for the faithful by Jesus and is viewed as eternal bliss beyond that which can currently be known. Those who are allowed into heaven are given new bodies that do not decay and death will be gone. Marriage is not a part of heaven. It is also possible there are different ‘levels’ of heaven according to the apostle Paul who describes his journey to the third heaven. The conditions to enter heaven in Christianity, are defined by Jesus in the Gospel where he commands everyone to follow his laws and commandments to enter heaven and escape hell.
Although some, like Plato, imagine heaven to be a disembodied state where naked minds contemplate the eternal, unchanging ideas, in the Bible this is not so. According to Paul, the whole person survives. Even the body is raised again, so that, if it is no longer flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15:50), it nevertheless has a continuity with the present body, a sameness in form if not in material element (see Matthew 5:29, 30; 10:28; Romans 8:11, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:53).
In heaven the redeemed will be in the immediate presence of God; will forever feed on the splendor of God’s majesty, beholding the Father’s face. In the present life men “see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). And the sons of God will see Christ “as he is” (1 John 3:2). The childlike in faith, even as the angels do now, will “always behold the face” of the Father (Matthew 18:10). They will not so much glory in the presence of Supreme Reason, but in the wonder of the All-Holy One (Isaiah. 6:3; Revelation 4:8). And this God is a Father, in whose house (John 14:2) the redeemed will dwell, where “they shall be his people,” and where “God himself shall be with them” (Revelation 21:3).
Though there is much conjecture about what Heaven is like, its central core is that we will be with Jesus Himself. He has entered back into the presence of the Father and has conveyed to us that the redeemed of the Lord will likewise be with Him where He is. Paradise may be to Heaven as the foyer may be to the inner room of a great Mansion. Without a doubt, Jesus responded to the penitent thief on the cross who turning to Him and said: “Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.”, saying, “Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). He also said, “Where I am, there you will be also” (John 14:3). And speaking of the time that we will be in the presence of Jesus, John the Apostle says, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He really is” (1 John 3:2). With regard to what Heaven actually looks like, little information is given, but certain is that the reality of heaven is beyond earthly comprehension, as we can deduce from St. Paul, when he speaks to the Corinthians, saying, “That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Pope Pius XI put it in the following manner: “Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God.” (Mit Brennender Sorge #7, 1937.) Artistic depictions of Heaven are usually characterized by bright, shining light; Dante’s Paradiso is an example, although the overwhelming light there is at least partly a metaphor for divine love.
All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them. They make manifest the “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man “in the image of God,” finally transfigured “into his likeness” (Cf. Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2), who is revealed to our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ.
The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God’s gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become “children of God” (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1), “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.
The essential joy of heaven is called the beatific vision, which is derived from the vision of God’s essence. The soul rests perfectly in God, and does not, or cannot desire anything else than God. After the Last Judgment, when the soul is reunited with its body, the body participates in the happiness of the soul. It becomes incorruptible, glorious and perfect. Any physical defects the body may have laboured under are erased.
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the HEART OF THE EARTH. "The Bible is clear — Hell is inside the earth!
Scientist and Bible teacher, Henry Morris also agrees the Bible plainly teaches that hell is in this earth:
"So far as we can tell from Scripture, the present hell, is somewhere in the heart of the earth itself. It is also called 'the pit' (Isa. 14:9, 15: Ezek. 32:18-21) and 'the abyss' (Rev. 9:2). . .The Birmingham News, April 10, 1987 had an article entitled "Earth's Center Hotter Than Sun's Surface, Scientists Say". The article stated that scientists have recently discovered, "THE EARTH'S INNER CORE HAS A TEMPERATURE OF OVER 12,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT!"
The writers certainly themselves believed hell to be real and geographically 'beneath' the earth's surface. . .
To say this is not scientific is to assume science knows much more about the earth's interior than is actually the case. The great 'pit' [hell] would only need to be about 100 miles or less in diameter to contain, with much room to spare, all the forty billion or so people who have ever lived, assuming their 'spiritual' bodies are the same size as their physical bodies."
(Henry M. Morris, The Bible Has the Answer, p. 220)
"And THE EARTH OPENED HER MOUTH, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive INTO THE PIT, and the EARTH CLOSED UPON THEM:" Numbers 16:32-33
Caspar Peucer, a famous fourteenth century astronomer and physician, who also researched and documented the volcanoe eruptions at Heklafell wrote some very frightening information in his research findings. Peucer, claims (as others) that "fearful howlings, weeping and gnashing of teeth" could be heard "for many miles. . ." as these volcanoes erupted:
"Out of the bottomless abyss of Heklafell, or rather out of Hell itself, rise melancholy cries and loud wailings, so that these can be heard for many miles around. . . there may be heard in the mountain fearful howlings, weeping and gnashing of teeth."And Caspar Peucer is not alone. There are others who believe they have heard "cries and screaming" coming from volcanoes. Most have tried to ignore the obvious. Some simply explain the "sounds of hell" to some rational meaning. But they are there. . .
(Haraldur Sigurdsson, Melting the Earth, The History of Ideas on Volcanic Eruptions, p. 73)
"The fearsome noises that issued from some of their volcanoes were certainly thought to be the screams of tormented souls in the fires of hell below".Inside this earth, this very moment, there are millions of lost, tormented souls — burning, weeping, wailing — without any hope whatsoever!
(Haraldur Sigurdsson, Melting the Earth, The History of Ideas on Volcanic Eruptions, p. 73)
Look at the context and time period of Isaiah 66:22-24:
Isaiah 66:22-24:The "new heavens and new earth" of Isaiah 66:22 matches Revelation 21:1. This occurs AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement of Revelation 20:10-15! The references to "carcases"; "their worm"; "their fire" (vs 24) — is AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement of the LOST people! The reference to ". . the men that have transgressed. . ." are the LOST people AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement.
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
And at this point — they have received their NEW BODY! Notice what Isaiah says, the saved people shall "LOOK upon the CARCASES of the men that have transgressed. . ." It's worth mentioning that a "carcase" is not always a "DEAD body". For instance, two times the Bible specifically uses the term "dead carcase" (Deut. 14:8 and Ezek 6:5). If a carcase is ALWAYS a "dead" body, then why say "dead" carcase? And there's NOTHING in the context of Isaiah to imply these "men that transgressed" are "dead".
In fact, Isaiah clearly says, "their worm shall NOT DIE". Even in our language, we refer to a living body as a "carcase". For example, "Get your carcase [body] in here". Why is that important? Because when the saved people in Isaiah 66:24 are "looking upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed" — And do you know what they are SEEING? "Their worm"! The "carcase" they are seeing is "their WORM that shall not die". The end of Isaiah 66:24 is a frightening endorsement of this interpretation. What the saved people are viewing Isaiah says is , ". . . an abhorring unto all flesh". And my friend, that is not JUST a normal flesh body they are looking at! It is something that will send chills screaming through your soul at the horror. And it will happen!
And it will happen TO YOU if you die without the Lord Jesus Christ!