Heaven is a fascinating topic to read, understand and dream about. The sad part is that most of our religious leaders are blind to this idea. Instead of focusing on the eternal world, they lose their focus and get indulged in the materialistic temporary world - earth. As a result, they fail to resonate the truth about our final resting place and do a poor job of preparing their followers.
To fill that gap, Hollywood took steps in portraying the image of heaven with clouds, saints walking around in robes and angels playing harps, etc. They had to create an earthly image of heaven which people will understand. However, what they showcase is an extremely boring heaven.
First off, let us get this straight - heaven is a real place, both physical and spiritual.
God created us with a body and soul. Upon death, our body will be separated from the soul. The soul then travels to a place which is outside the time dimension, and will be held in waiting. This waiting place is not the ultimate heaven. That time will be similar to how we dream - our body resting at one place and our mind travelling somewhere else.
Recall Jesus telling the thief crucified next to him:
Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."Let's get this straight - Jesus cannot by lying; He is speaking the truth. The the word 'Jesus used on the cross to describe time after death, 'Paradise' is rare in the Bible. It is a Persian word meaning “enclosure” or “park” or “garden”. Paradise is the sinless and painless Garden of Eden described in Genesis.
Paul in his letter to Corinthians spoke about a man being seized by Christ and swept in ecstasy to the heights of heaven. On that occasion, he used the word 'Paradise'.
2 Corinthians 12:3-4 And I know that this man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows - was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.John, in the book of Revelation described the heaven he saw in awe-inspiring detail. In his account, he quoted Jesus promising:
Revelation 2:7 "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."Majority of Christians refer to Paradise as Heaven. This is the place we go to, right after we die. The Paradise, though it is fabulous, is not our final destination. We are not meant to live just as souls; we are supposed to be re-joined in our bodies.
After Paradise, there will be a time of resurrection. This time is unknown to all of us - only God knows the exact time. At that time, we will be joined back into our new bodies. He will then direct us to the real Heaven. That real Heaven is called the 'New Earth'.
You will not be going to this new place as a ghost. The person who'll be going to this New Earth (Heaven) is your body and your soul. Body and soul, makes up the single entity - you! This is why we are told (by God) to keep our body pure.
Get used to the term, 'New Earth' - that's our final destination.