Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” And Jesus said to the thief: “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”
You see, the man who was a thief, a sinner just like all of us, believed that Jesus was God and that He could save us from our sin, and he asked Jesus to remember him, and Jesus was very clear about the fact that “Today”, the very same day the thief died, he would be in what we call Heaven.
Have you ever wondered what Heaven is like?
Maybe someone you love, or your pet has died
And you have been told,
“They’re in Heaven now” . . .
But, what does that mean?!
Will I ever see them again?
What will Heaven be like?
What will we do?
And How do we get there?
Well now you can find out! We’re going to look at some
Real Questions that Kids just like you have been asking . .
And we’re going to give you some Real Answers!
Now, we have to remember that Jesus is God, and because He is, He may be able to do things that we aren’t able to do. But, the Bible tells us in many places, like the one you read above, that we will have bodies like Jesus, so it’s very possible that we will be able to do some of these very same things, and who knows how much more we’ll be able to do!
Yes. In the Bible, Revelation 6 talks about Martyrs, that means people who were killed because of their love and belief in Jesus. These people clearly remembered their life on Earth and asked God questions about their life on Earth and when God was going to punish the people who killed them. If they remembered that part of their life, I’m sure they remembered all of it.
Did you know that you can save up treasure in Heaven?
Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
So, what's that mean? Well, do you have a piggy bank in your room? Maybe you’re putting money in it to save for something you want to buy like a new video game, doll, or lego set, you may not spend money on other things, like a candy bar or a soda because you want to save all your money for that new toy! Many people work only to buy more and more things, but when we die we won’t be able to take any of our things with us to Heaven.
Maybe you’ll learn to play an instrument and write a new song that we’ll all sing together! Perhaps you and some of your friends will learn songs and put on a concert for God. Can you imagine how perfect that would be, to look up from your guitar and see Jesus sitting in the front row clapping His hands and singing along?!!
Maybe you can play in a musical on stage, or write a play for that matter. There will be no limit to what we can do, what a wonderful time we’ll have!
Some people get confused on this because Jesus said something in Matthew 22:30 about us being “like” Angels, but what He was saying is that we, like the Angels, won’t get married when we get to Heaven, He wasn’t saying that we “turn into” Angels, or even that we’re like Angels in any other way. Angels are beings in their own right, just like People are “Human Beings”, Angels are Angels. God made People and Angels very different. If God wanted us to all be like Angels, there wouldn’t have been any reason for Him to make us in the first place.
But, the Bible tells us what we will be like! After Jesus returns God will bring back all the Christians who died, even people who died THOUSANDS of years ago! And He’ll make their bodies perfect, better than we ever were before! Our body will be like Jesus’ body after he rose from the dead!
Or maybe you will go Horseback riding or go to an Amusement Park with friends you haven’t even met yet. And why not? Don’t you think that people who like to build things will still enjoying building things just as much on the New Earth? Things like Roller Coasters, Ferris Wheels, and Carousels. I know I’ll still enjoy riding them! The possibilities of what things we’ll be doing are ENDLESS!
John, one of the writers of the Bible, had a vision or a dream and God showed him what this new City will look like! This city is called the “New Jerusalem”, and that’s where God Himself will live! The Bible says that after God makes the New Earth, the New Jerusalem will come down out of the sky and God the Father and Jesus will both live on Earth with us! This will make the New Earth the Capital Planet of the Universe!
So Tell Me . . .
Should I Be Excited About Going To Heaven?
Why Bother To Think About It At All?
If you want to tell Jesus you trust Him and ask Him to save you from your sin and take you to Heaven someday, but you’re not sure what to say, you can talk to Him something like this:
Jesus, I love You,
And I thank You for taking my
Punishment for me so I can live.
Please forgive me and come into my heart
And help me live my life the way You want me to,
The way I should. And take me to live with You in Heaven someday.
Yes Heaven is a real place! The Bible talks about Heaven many times, and makes it very clear that people who believe in Jesus to save them from their sins will go there one day, either when we die, or when Jesus comes back to earth to get us.
After Jesus comes back to Earth He promises He will bring us back to live with Him on the “New Earth”! Earth He says! A Real place with Water, Grass, flowers, and Trees that you can touch, feel, taste, smell, hear, see . . .
Just think, if you were trying to describe someplace that you had been, but none of your friends have been there, you would probably tell them about it by comparing it with someplace you all knew and had been. Say you rode an amazing ride at Disney World, you might compare it with some of the rides the Carnival had when it came to your town.
Now that you’ve heard about Heaven,
Jesus, and what He’s done for us so we can get there,
I hope you will trust Jesus with your life.
Remember all you have to do is believe and trust Him, talk to Him,
and try your best to do what you know is right so you can make Him proud.
“Don’t you fear God? We deserve to die for our crimes, but This Man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
But Jesus didn’t just die for us, you see, Jesus rose from the dead and walked out of the grave to show that sin and death no longer has any power over us! And although we may die here on Earth, He will bring us back to life in Heaven and will bring us back to live with Him on the New Earth!
If you believe in Jesus, and trust that He took your punishment for your sin, you will go to Heaven.
You should talk to Jesus. Praying is not some big deal that only grown ups can do, praying is just talking to God, like you would talk to your brother, sister, or your best friend. You don't have to kneel to talk with God. You can talk to Him anywhere, anytime, about anything! Tell Him how your day went; ask for help when you feel scared or when you’re doing something hard. Tell Him you’re sorry if you’ve done something bad, and then try not to do it again.
God’s not going to kick you out of Heaven because you did something bad, not if you have put your trust in Jesus to save you. We all make mistakes, even after we become a Christian, but we have to try to do what is right, what we know inside our heart that God would want us to do.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:22
“According to the law . . .
without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”
This means that without punishment, or blood, we can’t be forgiven, that’s why Jesus came from Heaven. He Loves us so much that He wanted us to have a way to be forgiven from our sins; He didn’t want us to die!
Jesus came from Heaven, was born as a baby and grew up on earth, just like all of us! But, because Jesus is also God, He never sinned, not even once! He was perfect in every way so that He could die and take the punishment we were supposed to get.
Would you like to go explore it? Well why not? If we have astronauts that can go to the moon now, just wait until we have our new bodies and minds that can understand so much more than we do now. There will be no limit as to what we can do and where we can go!
Maybe you’ll be the first to walk on planets like Mars or Jupiter. And because the universe is always expanding maybe you and some of your friends can explore a galaxy that doesn’t even exist yet. Then you can come back to the New Earth and tell everyone about it!
How Do I Get To Heaven?
Just How Good Do I Have To Be?
It’s like your Mom or Dad, they wouldn’t kick you outside to sleep out in the dark and cold in the yard because you spilled red soda on the new carpet. They may be disappointed in you that you didn’t listen when they told you to stay at the table and don’t take your drink on the new carpet, but they love you, and will most likely discipline you and not let you have red soda for a while, but they will still let you live inside the nice warm house with them where you belong. And you will still be their child, no matter what!
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 Says “We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet Him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
And Philippians 3:21 says “Jesus will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own”.
Now, when you think of a meal what do you think of? If you’re like me, I think about DESSERTS! I know that God promises to give us better things than we could ever think of, so if you get to Heaven and want some Oreo cookie ice cream or some chocolate cake I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be there, hey, maybe I can have some with you!
Have you ever watched a movie, or a TV show that showed Heaven? Maybe they showed people with wings and a harp sitting on a cloud, or even people who had died and turned into angels coming back to earth to help people and “earn” their wings. But, this is not what the Bible tells us is true at all.
Yes, Angels do exist and they DO come to earth and help us, but they are not people. The Bible tells us all kinds of stories about Angels coming to earth, helping people, delivering messages, and even fighting with other spirits to protect us!
What Happens When We Die?
We’ve talked a lot about the New Earth, but the Bible actually says that God will make a New Heavens and a New Earth.
Now, the way people thought and wrote back when the Bible was written, the Heavens meant the sky, the stars and moon and planets and galaxies! So, when the Bible says that God will make a New Heavens, that may mean that He’s going to make New everything that is out there in space!
Well, this is what some of the writers of the Bible did to help us understand what Heaven is like. They describe Heaven as; a “City”, “Paradise”, a “Garden”, a “Resting Place”, the “Kingdom of God”, a “Heavenly Country”, “The Kingdom of Heaven”, and “The Future Dwelling Place of the Righteous”.
This place will be beautiful far beyond anything we could ever dream about! But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try! Just close your eyes think of the most beautiful and fun place you have ever seen? What made it beautiful to you? Why is it so fun? Thinking about what Heaven may look like will make you dream about it and get you even more excited to go there!
Everyone we know that has already died, if they believed and trusted in Jesus to save them, has gone to this place called Heaven. And someday, Jesus promised to come back to Earth and make it NEW, and then everyone who loves and believes in Jesus will live with Him on the New Earth!
“And the streets of the city will be filled
with boys and girls at play.”
“The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.”
Yes. The Bible has so many places where it talks about playing music and singing, and yes, even dancing for God! It even talks about Jesus singing with His friends. You see, everything we do will be to praise God, we’ll sing songs that we know now, along with some new songs that will be written later.
Have you ever gone on a vacation with your family, and your parents showed you a picture and told you where you were going and what fun things there would be to do when you got there? Finding out about where we’re going helps us get excited & look forward to going.
The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:13 “We are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth He has promised” But we won’t really look forward to that place unless we know something about it and what we get to do when we get there, right?
Yes. The Bible says in John 14: 2
"In My Father's house are many mansions . . .
I go to prepare a place for you."
Jesus said this to His friends, and to us. In this verse the “Father’s House” He is talking about is Heaven and it tells us that there are “many Mansions”, or “Rooms” that Jesus is going to prepare for us.
So since “The New Heavens and New Earth”, will be your home someday, wouldn’t it be a great idea to learn all you can about it now? Well the good news is that God has given us a book, called the Bible that tells us all kinds of things He wants us to know! Not only about Heaven, but about Himself and Jesus, His Son, and things we should do while we’re here on earth until He comes back to get us. We’re going to tell you some of the things God tells us about Heaven from the Bible, including How to get to Heaven!
We know from the Bible that when we die, we are not “Gone” but just living in another place, Heaven.
The Bible tells us when Jesus was dying on the cross there was a thief who was dying on a cross next to Him. There were people making fun of Jesus and laughing at Him while He was dying, but the thief said to them:
Since God is so creative I would imagine that Heaven will be filled with houses that are as unique as each of us. And the Bible says that God knows the desires of our hearts, so if you’re a “country boy” or a “city girl” at heart God knows that, and I’m sure when you see the place He has made just for you, it will be even more perfect for you then you ever imagined, it will be “Home”.
Romans 8:20-21 Says, “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
This tells me that ALL God’s creation, including animals, are looking forward to the day when God makes the Earth New again, and we can all live without death or hurt or anything rotting away!
Mary and the Resurrected Lord
Artist Harry Anderson
The bible also says,
“The wolf and the lamb will live together;
The leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling
Will be safe with the lion,
And a little child will lead them all.”
On each side of the River grows the Tree of Life, this tree used to be in the Garden of Eden, but God moved it when Adam and Eve sinned, and He will bring it back to Earth one day and we will be able to eat it’s fruit again. I can only imagine how wonderful that fruit will taste! Now, there will be many other cities on the New Earth, but none quite like this Capital City. I can’t wait to see it for myself!
That’s right, He flew!
Will We Eat In Heaven?
“The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed”.
Can you imagine a world without animals? No Birds in the sky, or building a nest in the trees? No Dogs in the yard, or Horses in the pastures? My home in Heaven just wouldn’t be complete without my cat sleeping on the sofa! Well, the Bible tells us that there will be Animals living with us on the New Earth!
There is no reason why we won’t still have toys in Heaven, as long as they are not something that would be disrespectful to God.
They may be anything from Building Blocks, Video Games, Dolls and Doll Houses, Legos, to other games like, playing Dress Up, Hide & Seek, Chase, Tag . . .
You can go Swimming or play games you didn’t even know existed yet!
John tells us in the book of Revelation Chapter 21, that the City is 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide, and 1,500 miles high. A city that size that was sitting in the middle of the United States would go from Canada to Mexico and from Georgia to the California border! Now that’s what I call a capital city!
John also tells us that the city has walls of Jasper and the city itself was pure gold as clear as glass! The foundation, that’s the part the city is built on, like the concrete your house is sitting on, is made of different kinds and color of Jewels, and the gates to the city were made from one solid Pearl!
What Is Heaven?
Is It A Real Place, Or Just A Fairy Tale?
When We Go To Heaven
Will We Remember Our Life On Earth?
So, for us to know what Our new body will be like, we need to know what Jesus’ new body is like. Let’s take a look at what the Bible said about it. When Jesus rose from the grave after He died for us, He said to His friends in Luke 24:39 . . .
"Look at My hands, look at My feet, it’s really Me! Touch Me and you will see that I am not a ghost. Because ghosts don’t have bodies as you see that I do.”
Jesus had a Real body that people could touch and see; He walked on Earth and ate with His friends! The Bible also tells us that Jesus had some amazing abilities, He could appear to his friends in a locked room, He could disappear when He wanted, and when Jesus left the Earth to go to Heaven He wasn’t held down by gravity, but He went up into the air. This was called His “ascension”.
Besides the friends we will take with us, we can lay up treasure in heaven by doing other things like giving out tracts that tell people about Jesus or giving money to help send Bibles or missionaries to other countries so they can tell people about Jesus. We can help older people we know with chores that may be too hard for them to do any more like taking out the trash, carrying in grocery bags, or mowing the yard. You can put on a play about a Bible story for your family, or give clothes or food to others who can’t afford it . . . you get the idea.
Jesus really just wants us to help each other and tell others how to get to Heaven, and by doing this He says He will reward us when we get to Heaven. He doesn’t really say what He will give us, but we can only imagine how wonderful a gift would be that God made special, just for us!
Will We Have Our Own House To Live In?
If you can imagine every beautiful place on Earth, the Grand Canyon, Rain Forests, the Smoky Mountains, the beaches in Hawaii, they’re all only a small taste of what the New Earth will look like! The trees will be taller, more fun to climb! The grass will be greener, the sky will be bluer! And speaking of the sky, that’s where the most beautiful City on the New Earth is going to come from!
John also describes there being a river flowing down the middle of the main street, this is what is called the River of Life. He said it flowed from the Throne of God and the water was crystal clear, can you imagine a flowing river that was so clear that you could look down and see the bottom? And everyone will be able to drink from the river. I’m sure it will be better than any water we’ve ever tasted before!
Yes! Have you had a Pet that has meant a lot to you? A dog, cat, bird, hamster, rabbit, horse . . . I believe we will have out pets with us in Heaven, or on the New Earth, here’s why.
Animals have always been an important part of God’s creation, from the time He first made Man. He put animals in the garden with Adam and Eve to keep them company. God made animals to be our friends, and He cares about them even more than we do. God says that not a single bird can fall to the ground without Him knowing it, Matthew 10:29.
“…Leap for joy!
For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”
“…How much more will your heavenly Father
give good gifts to those who ask Him.”
What Does It Mean To
Store Up Treasure in Heaven?
Of course we will. God made us with a playful side! Even when we get grown up we still like to play games. The Bible says:
Just think, have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride on the back of a lion?! Or pet a polar bear?! Or run through a field with a pack of zebras?! Well someday, you may just do that!
Will There Be Animals In Heaven?
What About My Pets?
Ephesians 2:8-9 says
“God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Yes! The Bible talks many times about meals we will share together in heaven. It also talks about fruit trees and Rivers. Isaiah 25:6 talks about God’s Angels setting a table for everyone to eat with the Finest Food and Drinks!
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When We Get To Heaven What Will We Be like?
Will We Become Angels?
Now, having “Stuff” isn’t a bad thing, but God wants us to be more interested in things that will last FOREVER! So you may wonder, “What will last forever?”
In fact, since God is going to make us perfect when we get there, we should be able to remember things even better than we do now! Just imagine never forgetting someone’s name, or forgetting where you left your favorite toy at. Maybe we’ll even realize how God and His Angels helped us while we were here on Earth and we didn’t even know it!
I Feel My Saviors Love, Art By Greg Olsen
"What's this on your hand?"
Such an innocent and concerned inquiry from a little child
surely would bring forth a tender answer from the Savior.
He might reply, "That's a reminder of just how much I love you."
We won’t have to worry about taking too long, or running out of things to do or learn, we will have FOREVER to do it, and more places to go and more things to do than can ever be done!
Will We Have Toys In Heaven?
Our friendship with Jesus and friendships that we make here on Earth will be things that last forever. Just think, if you have a friend here on Earth and you tell them about Jesus and how He wants to save them from their sin too, and you help them to know Jesus, then you and they will be friends forever in Heaven!
Maybe you can play hide and seek, or build sand castles together on a beach, or even go exploring with them on some other planet! The more friends you take with you to Heaven, the more exciting it will be for all of you when you get there!
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Will We Explore Outer Space?
Will We Learn New Things In Heaven?
Will There Be Music In Heaven?
Can We Sing and Dance?
God says in Isaiah 65:17 in the Bible: “Look! I am creating New Heavens and a New Earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.”
The Bible tells us that Heaven is just as real as the Earth where we live now. God even calls the place where we’ll live forever the “New Earth”. So how can we know what Heaven is like? Well, the Bible tells us!
Yes. Some people seem to think that we’ll know everything when we get to Heaven, but how boring would it be to know everything, if we never had to learn, and everybody else knew everything that you know. The Bible says God will be continuing to show us things, this means that we will forever be learning new things! What would you like to learn to do? Ride a Horse? Play the Piano, or some other instrument?
This is like when you were born, you were not born because you had done anything good, you weren’t even around yet! Your parents had you because they love you and wanted you, and now that you’re getting older and can understand how much your parents love you, you want to obey them and do what they say so they will be proud of you and you’ll make them happy.
This is how it is with God, He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to save us, and now that we understand that He loves us so much that He came from Heaven and He died in our place, we should want to please Him too, and really make Him proud of us.
This would be like if your big Brother had seen you do something bad, like say you were throwing a ball in the house when you knew you shouldn’t be, and you knocked over an expensive lamp! When your Dad found out about it and was going to punish you, your Brother took the punishment for you so you wouldn’t have to. In this same way, Jesus took our punishment when he died on the cross for us. Now THAT’S Love!
And because we’ll all have new bodies that won’t get tired, maybe some grown ups can join in with you. How would you like to play a game of Baseball or Football with your Mom or Dad? Maybe even some of your favorite Bible story friends will play too, like, Adam and Eve, Mary, Paul, Jonah, or Rebecca. You could go Water skiing with Peter, he’s had a little practice walking on water!
Jesus said at the last supper He had with His Friends before He died for us, that He would not drink wine again until He drinks it with us at the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb”, that’s one of the many meals the Bible says that we will all share together when we get to Heaven.
The Bible has many other places where it talks about animals in Heaven, but I think you can see from this that not only will they be there, but we will be friends with them.
Maybe your family has never been able to have a pet, the building where you live won’t let you keep one, or someone in your family is allergic to them, well in Heaven you won’t have to worry about that, and you may have the pet you’ve always wanted!
Have you ever done something that you know inside is wrong? Have you ever disobeyed your parents? Or told a lie, or taken something that belongs to someone else, or even been mad at someone without a reason. We’ve all messed up and done stuff like that, this is what the Bible calls “Sin”. Many people believe that if they’re good they will go to Heaven, but the Bible says that no one can ever be good enough to get to Heaven! It says that Every sinner deserves to die, and we are ALL sinners, this means that we All deserve to die.
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