Is Heaven a Real Place?

God’s Throne Room

The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. Psalm 11:4

When you envision heaven, what image comes to mind? Do you think of a lush garden, stunning mountain vistas, or a walled crystal city?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines heaven as “the dwelling place of the Deity,” “a celestial abode of bliss,” and “the place or state of the blessed dead.”[1] Down through human history, various cultures have named this celestial place Elysium, Nirvana, or Paradise.

So is such a place the stuff of myths and dreams, or is it as solid as the planet on which we live? In Scripture, heaven is often described as “God’s throne,” or dwelling place. The first human glimpse of God’s dwelling place is recorded in Exodus. God invited Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (Aaron’s sons), and the seventy elders of Israel to approach him. They ascended Mt. Sinai and “saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky … they saw God, and they ate and drank” (24:10–11).

Other passages enhance this portrait of God’s celestial dwelling. The prophet Micaiah told King Ahab, “I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing on his right and on his left” (2 Chronicles 18:18). Several psalmists refer to heaven as God’s throne (e.g. Psalm 45:6; 47:8; 97:2; 103:19).

Jesus affirmed the existence of heaven many times, identifying it as the place where God dwelled (e.g. Matthew 5:16, 45; 6:1). He also described it as “God’s throne” (Matthew 5:34). When he taught the Twelve to pray, he declared that the Father lived in heaven, where his will was always done (Matthew 6:9–10).

Together, these passages indicate that heaven is a real place, where the God of the Universe dwells. Many of the verses also share a common image: a throne. What does a throne symbolize? The power and authority of a ruler—a ruler who is not only interested in what occurs on earth but also interacts with those on earth and influences what occurs here.

Do you see heaven as God’s throne? If so, how does that influence the way you live each day?

Denise K. Loock

Dig Deeper

Read Psalm 47. In what ways does the psalmist reinforce the image of God sitting on a throne throughout this psalm? What would you say is the theme of this psalm?

Before his crucifixion, Jesus told the Twelve about a “place” he was preparing for his followers. Read John 14:1–3. Do you think this place is heaven? Why?

Read Romans 8:34, Colossians 3:1, and Ephesians 1:18–21. How do these passages reinforce the image of heaven as God’s throne room?

This devotion is the first in our series on Heaven.


[1] “Heaven,” Merriam-Webster Unabridged, accessed 18 October 2019, http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/heaven.

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