Thinking of Home: What is Heaven? 11
What are the names for Heaven? The Bible contains several names for Heaven. They include the following from not only the Old Testament, but also the New Testament.
First, heaven is referred to as a barn or a granary in Matthew 3:12 and Matthew 13:24-30. This is because God views believers as His wheat or treasure.
Secondly, heaven is called the kingdom of Christ and of God/Beloved Son. The following Scripture references refer to this particular description of Heaven.
Thirdly, heaven is also called a heavenly country/kingdom. Fourthly, one of the most beloved concepts of heaven is that of our Father’s house.
Fifthly, heaven is noted as being a place of rest. Additionally, heaven is commonly referred to as Paradise.
Luke 23:43. One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43, ESV).
Paradise was often a hunting ground or a park. Regarding eternity, it is the upper reaches of heaven and the dwelling place of the departed righteous.
Not only did Jesus refer to heaven as paradise, but so too did the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. The text reads, “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.” (2 Corinthians 12:1-4, ESV).
The third and final occurrence of paradise in the Scriptures is found in Revelation 2:7. “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary.
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 2:1-7, ESV).