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What Does the Bible Say About Heaven & Earth?

Eternity isn’t only us arriving in heaven. God has bigger plans for both heaven and earth!

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As people on earth, heaven feels like an entirely separate space. But in the Bible, we see a much stronger connection between heaven and earth than we realize. The Bible actually introduces us to the idea that heaven and earth are not always separate entities, but rather different realms that can overlap within the same space. 

We often give a lot of thought to how we’ll get to heaven, and you’ll find lots of discussion around the afterlife – but eternity isn’t just us arriving in heaven. God has bigger plans for both heaven and earth. Let’s explore what’s happened so far, and what’s to come! 

The garden of Eden 

The Bible's portrayal of the Garden of Eden wasthe complete overlap of heaven and earth. God and the first humans, Adam and Eve, coexisted harmoniously and partnered to create a flourishing world (Genesis 2:8-9). Or at least, that was the plan.  

Things soon went haywire when Adam and Eve faced the temptation to disobey God for the first time – and that decision resulted in immediate separation from God. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, destined to live a life removed from God’s presence (Genesis 3:6-24). It’s here that heaven and earth split.  

Connecting with God on earth 

Because God no longer lived among people, we needed a new way to bridge the gap between God’s space in heaven and the human space on earth. This is where the temple into play in the Bible. 

In a world separated from God and full of sin, the temple was the place where people could temporarily bridge the gap between heaven and earth (Exodus 25:8-9). In the middle of the temple was a space called the Holy of Holies. This room at the center of the temple was the only place where one could physically be in the presence of God. But only certain people could go in there. So unlike today, where God’s presence dwells among all of us in the form of the Holy Spirit, only a select few had that closeness with God. 

Animal sacrifices are seen throughout the Bible as a way to cover sin and allow people to come before God. These sacrifices were required because, without them, people were too unclean, too guilty of their sins and mistakes to worship God. Leviticus 16 lays out the exact procedure of purifying the temple with a sacrifice and entering into the Holy of Holies. 

This is where the Old Testament of the Bible ends. God knew this system of sacrificing in the temple wouldn’t work long-term. It was too limited. He wanted more for his people, and he devised a plan to bring heaven and earth a little closer together. 

Jesus: the ultimate bridge 

The New Testament introduces us to the story of Jesus, who changed the game. Jesus was not just a man – he was God in human form. He came to earth as a baby and grew up living a human life. He is described in John as making a home, or “dwelling” among us (John 1:14) – a word that, translated from the original language, means “tabernacle.” In other words, Jesus is a temple: the place where heaven and earth overlap. 

But Jesus wasn’t just the temple – he was also the sacrifice. As Jesus lived on earth, spreading his message and performing miracles, he created pockets of heaven where people could be in God’s presence. When he died on the cross, he became the temple sacrifice that absorbed our sins once and for all (Hebrews 9:11-14).  

Unlike animal sacrifices, Jesus has a limitless reach that spreads across time and space, allowing the reunion of heaven and earth. 

When heaven rejoins earth 

Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to return to the presence of God in heaven after we die. But that’s not where the story ends.  

The Bible also describes what will be the ultimate reunion of heaven and earth through Jesus. The book of Revelation especially paints a vivid picture of a new creation where God’s space and ours completely overlap once again. This is described as a “new heaven” and a “new earth,” and they will replace heaven and earth as they currently exist (Revelation 21:1-4).  

Understanding this narrative sheds light on the core message of the Bible – the redemption of humanity and the restoration of a harmonious relationship between God's space and ours. 


There’s so much to discover about heaven. Check out what else the Bible tells us about heaven!  


LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you! 

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