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What proof is there that heaven exists?
Thank you for your question. It is undoubtedly an important one - there is hardly a person in this world who doesn’t want heaven to be a reality, and more importantly to know that they are going there one day.
Unfortunately, the honest truth is that the answer to your question is that no matter how hard we search for concrete, scientific proof that heaven exists, we will always come back empty handed. The Bible gives us no indication that heaven is a place we can physically look for and find, and I’ve never heard of any astronauts lost in space who are suspected to have ‘found heaven’ and come back! There are a few people who claim to have been to heaven (or sometimes hell) in some kind of out of body experience, but there is no way of verifying what they’re saying, so their stories are by no means proof. While this is potentially disappointing news, in reality it brings us to the essence of what Christianity is all about - faith.
The Bible defines faith for us in this verse in Hebrews 11:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is not about what is all around us, shown to us by our natural senses - faith is an assurance that something is real, despite the fact that we can’t see it, touch it, taste it, or smell it. We actually have faith all the time - your friend tells you that the restaurant they went to the other night has amazing food, and assuming you trust your friend, you may well head down there to check it out - why? Because you have faith in what your friend has told you. We’re not talking about faith in something so trivial here though, we’re talking about faith in something that can literally transform your life and eternity.
So, a basic question is this: who is it that we’re trusting to believe that heaven is real? The answer is clearly God - if no human being can ever discover heaven, and those who may have gone there aren’t coming back to tell us, then it’s only God who could ever testify to us of the reality of heaven, and that’s exactly what He’s done for us in the Bible. God has told us that heaven is real, and that it is available for all those who will come through the Lord Jesus Christ - look at these verses in John 14:1-6:
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".
Jesus categorically states in the Bible that heaven is real - He calls it His ‘Father’s house’, and it’s open to anyone who will travel through Him to get there. So, the crux of our question comes down to this - can we really trust what Jesus says here - can we really trust the Bible?
In short, the answer to this is yes, absolutely we can trust the Bible - it is God’s Word, and divinely inspired to teach us the means by which we can enter into God’s family, and ultimately into heaven. Maybe you’ve heard it said that the Bible is a completely unreliable book - just a bunch of fairy stories, that, even if they were true, have been changed down through the years. Let me tell you that this is all complete nonsense.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)
Don’t get the idea from what I’ve said above about faith that to become a Christian is just to leap into a huge black hole of unknowns where there is no evidence for what we believe at all. Far from it - in fact, all the evidence points towards the fact that what we hold in our hands is exactly what God intended us to have.
Is there absolute proof that the Bible is authentic? As with any history, there isn’t absolute proof that would satisfy every question, but there is more than enough evidence.
The Bible is a miraculous book, different to any other - it’s actually not just one book, but 66 different books, written by over 40 people, over about 1500 years. You would expect a book like this to be full of contradictions, errors, and differences, but that’s not the case - the message of the Bible is completely unified despite a large proportion of the authors living in different time periods, let alone actually meeting each other. There is also ample evidence that the Bible hasn’t been changed over the years - the New Testament was copied and translated so widely when it was first written that we can be extremely confident that what we hold in our hands is what the original authors actually wrote.
There are many books out there that deal with this issue of the reliability of the Bible, and I’d urge you to study this more if it’s something you struggle with - we can be amazingly confident that the book we are able to read today really is the Word of God Himself.
The Bible is a primarily a history book - and as with any history much of it can be verified with other records of the time period, and other evidence discovered since - none more so than the life of Jesus Christ Himself, the climax of the message of the Bible. Roughly 2000 years ago the ultimate evidence of the reality of God was born - God Himself was born of a virgin. Jesus, the God-man lived a perfect life for 33 years, and once He became a travelling teacher at the age of about 30 showed over and over again proof of a His deity. He taught with great authority, commanded the wind and waves with equal authority, and also showed His power over sickness, demons, and even death.
You would think the world would embrace a man with such power, but we didn’t - Jesus stirred up much opposition against Himself from jealous religious teachers, and eventually was illegally tried and put to death though He was innocent of any crime. The Bible tells us though that as Jesus died He was paying the penalty that you and I deserve because of our sin - the wrong we have done against God - so that we could be forgiven. Jesus gave His life because He loves you, and didn’t want you to be apart from Him forever. He died, so that if you trust Him you could come into a relationship with God and know complete forgiveness for all your past, present and future.
The story doesn’t even end there either - Jesus rose from the dead three days later, and with reliable historical evidence pointing to the reality of this event, Jesus showed us without a shadow of a doubt that God is real, and that He really can give us hope that goes beyond death. Heaven is most certainly real, and there is nothing more important than knowing you are going there through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, the question I will leave you with my friend is this - will you take God at His word when it comes to heaven, and everything else that the Bible teaches? I urge you to do just that, whether for the first time, or as a re-affirmation of a faith you’ve had for some time, we can never go wrong if we simply take God at His word - we can never trust Him too much, and we can be sure that He will be faithful to back up every promise towards us that He has ever made.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- John 20:24-29
- Hebrews 11:1-12:3
- Revelation 21:1-4
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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