1 Peter – Chapter One XX

by Ed Urzi

“to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4 ESV).

1 Peter 1:4 speaks of an inheritance that is reserved for us in heaven. But what is heaven? Well, the Biblical word “heaven” possesses several meanings that depend upon the way this word is used. For instance, heaven can refer to the area within earth’s atmosphere, the realm where birds fly from place to place throughout the sky. It may also to refer to outer space, the expanse where the sun, the moon, and the stars reside (Psalm 19:1).

But here in the context of1 Peter 1:4, “heaven” identifies the place where God dwells (Matthew 6:9) along with the angels (Mark 13:32). Heaven is a place that Jesus described as “paradise” in Luke 23:43. Heaven is where we see God (1 Corinthians 13:12) and enjoy eternal life with Him. However, “eternal life” does not simply mean unending life; it also encompasses life in all its fullness without the sinful limitations or restrictions we experience today.

The Scriptures tell us that we will worship God in heaven (Revelation 19:1). In heaven, we will have a perfect understanding of God’s love and perfection, unlike now when we know relatively little, along with the tendency to sin. Since God reigns in heaven, it also possesses the characteristics of His kingdom: love, joy, peace, and righteousness.

Interestingly, there are several Biblical references to feasting in heaven as well (see Matthew 8:11, Luke 22:30, and Revelation 19:9). We also have this intriguing promise from Jesus Himself…

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

The word translated “mansions” in the passage quoted above refers to a dwelling, or a place to stay. Thus, heaven will satisfy the desire of everyone who seeks the comfort and acceptance of a permanent home. Jesus has gone to prepare such a place for us, even as He prepares us to inhabit that place.

Finally, heaven is a place where God will grant us leadership responsibilities in some respect. Jesus offered a preview of that future in His Parable of The Talents

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21).