Heaven is one of the most mysterious places. Many wonder where this wonderful place is located and how far it could be from earth. While some people think Heaven is so far from earth, others think it is just nearby, only that we cannot see it with our physical eyes. But how far is Heaven from earth?
The Bible does not give any figures showing the distance from the earth to Heaven. It, however, suggests that it is a distance that one can see when on earth but using spiritual eyes rather than physical ones. For instance, Stephen could see Heaven while still on earth: “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Acts 7:56. Heaven is a distance where eyes can see while on earth.
In this article, we will discuss the physical location of Heaven in the universe and whether Heaven is in the same realm as earth. Also, we will see whether Heaven is a physical or a spiritual place and look at any clues from the Bible of where Heaven is located. How long can light take to travel to Heaven? Read on to find out.
What is the physical location of Heaven in the universe?
The Bible implies that Heaven exists. It was created like everything else. We find this in Genesis 1:1, which says: In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the earth. This is the first account of Heaven, which suggests that the place exists according to the Bible. The Bible also speaks of the existence of Heaven through the revelation of John, who is believed to have seen Heaven: I saw still another mighty angel coming down from Heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. Revelation 10:1-2.
The Bible does not provide a physical location in the universe. Although many people assume Heaven to be in the direction of the sky because of the description that places it above the earth, the Bible does not provide the physical location of Heaven. A physical location would mean that technological advancement would allow a man to design space rockets that can go to Heaven. The Bible has a passage that would be taken to mean a physical location of Heaven in the universe. The Bible narrated a story when men wanted to build a tower whose top reaches Heaven: And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:4. This verse suggests that if you move continually in the direction of the sky, you can get to Heaven, as these men tried to do. However, the story of the tower of babel is not about Heaven but about how diverse languages came into existence.
Is Heaven in the same realm as the earth?
The Bible suggests that Heaven is not in the same realm as earth. When Stephen was talking to the Pharisees and other Jews, he saw Heaven, and those with him did not. The Bible mentions that he was full of the spirit when this happened: But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into Heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Acts 7:55-56. Stephen claimed to have seen Heaven. If it was in the same realm as the earth, those who were with him and those who stoned him would also have seen it and would not have stoned him.
Another instance that suggests Heaven is in a different realm from the earth is in the story of Elisha. The Bible records that the King of Aram had sent his army to capture Elisha. When Elijah’s servant saw the army, he was worried, but Elisha prayed that God would open his eyes to see the heavenly army that was protecting them: So, he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:16-17.
The Bible indicates a great heavenly army that the servant of Elijah could not see because they were in another realm. Since the inhabitants of Heaven are in another realm, we can conclude that Heaven is in another realm that is different from earth.
Is Heaven a physical place or a spiritual place?
Biblical evidence shows that Heaven is a physical place. The physical aspect of Heaven is suggested by the existence of things we find in the physical world. For instance, Jesus pointed out the existence of houses and others to be built: In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 3 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 also be. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:2-4. The fact that there will be houses indicates a physical aspect of Heaven.
Additionally, the Bible indicates some physical aspect of the body that saints will receive: in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. The trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:52-54. This verse suggests that saints will be raised in their bodies, transforming them into incorruptible. The new bodies will be physical but will be incorruptible. Therefore, the new bodies with physical aspects will need Heaven with the physical aspect, which suggests that it will be physical.
The fact that Thomas could touch Jesus after his resurrection in a new body implies that the bodies have physical aspects which make Heaven a physical place. Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27. If Jesus’ body were spiritual, Thomas would not have been able to touch it. Additionally, the angels that Abraham entertained before they went to burn Sodo and Gomorrah had physical bodies. Such is implied when the Bible says that Abraham and Sarah made food for them. So, Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf he had prepared, set it before them, and stood by them under the tree as they ate. Genesis 18:6-8. Eating physical food suggests that they are physical and live in a physical place.
Does the Bible give clues about where Heaven is located?
The Bible does not provide any clue as to where Heaven is located. It, however, suggests that man can not reach there in the current body without the help of a supernatural being. Jesus told the Pharisees that they could not go where he was going: Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me and will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” John 8:21. The Bible also implies that Heaven is not in this world. You are of this world; I am not of this world. John 8:23. If Heaven was located in this world, but in a different dimension or realm, Jesus would not have said that he is not of this world.
There is no geographical location of Heaven in the Bible. It is possible that the Bible left out such facts because they would be difficult to understand. After all, our understanding of location is limited to earth and our immediate universe.
How long would it take to travel from earth to Heaven at the speed of light?
The Bible does not indicate how long it would take to get to Heaven. However, as noted earlier, the Bible suggests that Heaven is not so far away from earth. When Jacob was sleeping, he saw angels ascending and descending with a ladder from and to the gate of Heaven: a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached Heaven, and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28:12.
This verse suggests that Heaven is a distance where angels can use a ladder to climb from earth to Heaven and back. Although this verse paints a picture of the distance from Heaven to earth, it is not about the distance but God’s presence and communication with Jacob. However, it still suggests that Heaven is not far from earth because although God lives there, He can communicate with people on earth.
Do people who have died and gone on to Heaven know what’s happening on earth? If so, I’d think they’d be sad to see the evil and suffering on here. But isn’t Heaven supposed to be a happy place?
On Earth as in Heaven: A (Very) Brief Biblical Theology of Heaven
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.