CAN WE SURVIVE HEAVEN? - The Warrior's Journey®


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La Paz, Bolivia is a sprawling city. While the city proper has a population of over 835,000, the Greater La Paz area exceeds 2.3 million. Why is this a big deal? It’s because this metropolis lies at an elevation between 10,650 and 13,250 feet. This makes it the highest national capital in the world.

One feature of this city’s high altitude is its climate. Though it’s only 15 degrees south of the Equator, yet its average high temperatures only reach about 60 degrees (F). Its average lows range from cold to very cold.

But there’s another characteristic of this city’s altitude. Many residents, visitors, and even some scientists, have noted that La Paz is nearly fire-proof. Cooking with an open flame can be a challenge. There’s simply not enough oxygen to support a blaze. One noted scholar pointed out that while La Paz has fire stations, they are there more for civic pride than necessity. The fire engines inside them simply collect dust. Outbreaks of structural or brush fires are nearly impossible. They are starved for lack of oxygen.

When I read these statistics it reminded me of something. As the lack of oxygen prevents the outbreak of any fire in La Paz, so the total absence of evil in heaven will prevent any possible outbreak of sin.

Have you ever wondered, “Based on my sinful tendencies now, how will I ever survive in heaven?”  Think about it. How can we poor sinners, who’ve known nothing but a world full of temptations, provocations, and angry outbursts, ever hope to be at home in heaven? How can we deeply flawed individuals, in whom sin is ever present, ever hope to be forever safe from sinning again?

Well, one thing is certain. Whatever hope we might have of reaching and surviving heaven’s sin-free environment, it’s not to found within us or in our own abilities. Our salvation, from beginning to end, must be the work of God – and God alone.

Only the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ can raise us to God’s level. Paul the apostle assures us that we were dead in trespasses and sins and were the objects of God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). But Jesus put away our sins once for all time through the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26). As the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and the Propitiation (i.e. satisfaction) for the sin of the whole world (1 John 2:2), He suffered the full fury of God’s wrath on our behalf and forever satisfied God’s justice (Romans 3:24-26). We who were once enemies of God have now become His beloved children (Romans 5:6-10; 1 John 3:1-2).

Therefore, there is no condemnation to anyone who seeks refuge in Jesus Christ (John 3:18; 5:24; Romans 8:1, 33-34; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). God has clothed us in His own righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). Christ has made us the very righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ has so thoroughly cleansed us from sin that the same fiery presence of God which, before the crucifixion, could only dwell in the Holy of Holies now dwells within us (Acts 2:3-4).

Yet, it is also true, according to Paul, that evil is still present within us (Romans 7:21-24). It’s the force of sin within our sinful nature. You see, though our inner man has been resurrected by the power of Jesus (Titus 2:5) and is renewed day by day by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:16), yet our outer man is still unredeemed (Romans 8:10, 23). Our sin-corrupted bodies (including our brains) remain vulnerable to Satan’s temptations and deceptions. Satan can still spark a fire within “the members of our body.”

Only physical death will bring freedom from this sin-susceptible corpse. And when Christ clothes us with a new glorified body, it will be absolutely impervious to sin’s temptations. Neither sin nor death has any power over it (Romans 6:8-11).

And there’s another great safeguard against us ever sinning again. The glory, beauty, and majesty of heaven will only inspire the praise and adoration of God. As the thin oxygen of La Paz prevents any outbreak of fire, so the purely righteous atmosphere of heaven will kill any evil before it springs to life. There’ll be no temptation in heaven, nor any provocation, nor anything to injure or offend (Revelation 21:3-4, 22-27; 22:3-4). The only stimulus in heaven to make us praise and rejoice.

“But,” you might say, “didn’t sin originate in heaven, with Satan’s rebellion (Revelation 12:3-4)? If Satan could fall in that sinless environment, might not we?”  True, and the first man, Adam sinned in the beauty of the Garden of Eden.

But don’t forget. Satan hadn’t undergone Christ’s perfect redemption. Nor has he gone through God’s sanctifying work and the discipline of the Lord in this temptation-ridden world (Hebrews 12:4-11). Only God’s redeemed children will have suffered a million temptations, yet over and over chosen to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Only God’s sanctified ones will have been battle-tested. And when they reach heaven, God’s redeemed will bear His seal of authenticity and approval, reading “FIT FOR HEAVEN.”


PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, so often I lose hope for myself that I will ever be fit for heaven or feel at home there. But help me to look to Jesus at all times and fix my faith on Him. Help me to trust more and more in Your power, love, and wisdom – and less and less in my own ability. Dear Father, cause my hope to grow ever brighter, and my hope to turn to certainty, and my certainty into reality. In Jesus’ most holy name, Amen.


(Information from: Isaac Asimov, Book of Facts, p.75;;

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