Popular theology tells us that our ultimate destination is heaven--a place much better than this earth in which we live. In "heaven" everyone is kind and generous, and good deeds overtake each other. There is no suffering, no pain, no illness and no sin. And, in "heaven," God's abundance is always present in the life of everyone.
More importantly, in the context of modern theology, heaven is a place where you can continue to be who you are, yet God meets your every need, causes every negative thing to become non-existent, and ensures your personal happiness for all eternity.
So is this heaven a genuine location in the universe? Or is it "devil theology" - a figment of our vivid imaginings? Three biblical principles debunk this caricature of "heaven." First, Adam and Eve, the first humans, were never in the heaven that is God's dwelling place. Nor is there any evidence that they ever visited heaven. They lived on earth in the Garden of Eden where God visited them, then outside of the Garden after they disobeyed God. Second, Jesus' millennial reign will be on the earth (Revelation 20). Third, at the end of Jesus' millennial reign, the Bible states that God will come to live with man in a new earth (Revelation 21). There is no mention of us going to live permanently in heaven, but only of God coming to the earth.
"Heaven" is God's description of what the earth was designed to be before sin and depravity took control and pointed us in a different direction. It is the place that we ourselves must begin to recreate now and during the thousand years of Jesus' millennial reign. We must decide to progress toward God's original architectural plan for the earth and away from the devil's original blueprint.
The heaven that most individuals are claiming is what Satan says you cannot have until after this present life, if you are one of the lucky ones. The heaven that God wants for you exists at this very moment in your solar plexus. It is within you (Luke 17:21)--a peaceful surrender of self, followed by full communion between God's Spirit and yours. It is a heaven in which you decide that you want nothing less than God's best for you and for others. When each person who claims to be a disciple of Jesus rises to this level, we will indeed have heaven on earth.