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Is Heaven a Physical Place?
Is Heaven a physical place?
Before this question is answered, let's examine an ancient Greek view that is still popular today. It states anything physical is corrupt while anything spiritual isn't. Because of this, a common view is Heaven must be spiritual and not physical.
This view is understandable considering physical things deteriorate. Buildings eventually collapse after a time, even the strongest ones. Metal rusts or corrodes and wood rots. Most of all, our bodies decay with age.
We and this world seem to pale in comparison to what's spiritual. Angels are spirits(Heb. 1:14) and are powerful. Above all, God is spirit(John 4:24) and is eternal.
However, the problem isn't something is physical but the Curse. After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God cursed ground they were on, and it would produce thorns and thistles(Gen. 3:17-18). Metal, wood and other materials come from the ground. Adam would have to work for his food and live by the sweat of his brow(Gen. 3:19), resulting in the life we know today.
Evidence of physical objects Heaven
There is evidence of physical objects in Heaven:
- Enoch(Gen. 5:24) and Elijah(2 Kings 2:11-12) were taken directly to Heaven without ever leaving behind a body
- Horses are in Heaven(2 Kings 2:11; Rev. 19:14)
- Earthly tabernacle was a copy of the one in Heaven(Heb. 8:5)
- The holy city of New Jerusalem is in Heaven(Heb. 12:22)
- Palm branches are mentioned(Rev. 7:9)
- A temple is in Heaven(Rev. 15:8)
- The tree of life is physical and in New Jerusalem(Rev. 22:2)
Taken together, these strongly supports the idea Heaven is a physical place to at least some degree.
Physical object from Heaven on Earth?
If a physical object can be untouched by sin and the curse, this leads to the question: what if something perfect from Heaven came to Earth? The closest thing that would fit that description would have to be the tablets God carved the 10 Commandments on after Moses brought them up the mountain(Exo. 34:1-2,29). Anything from God is so holy we are not worthy to look upon it. Those who looked inside the Ark to see the 10 Commandment tablets were killed(1 Sam. 6:18-19).
Physical isn't necessarily bad
Physical is not necessarily bad while spiritual is not always good. Even the spirit can be corrupted due to sin. Jesus has a physically resurrected body now in Heaven(Acts 1:11). Eden was without sin, yet it was physical. In the Eternal Heaven we will live on New Earth in resurrected bodies. As for angels, they are above us now, but we won't have to be spirits to be above them. In the Eternal Heaven we will be above angels since we will judge them(1 Cor. 6:3).
Last updated 1/8/2011