The popular teaching to-day, and from time immemorial, regarding heaven, tends to define it as a particular locality situated somewhere in infinite space, beyond the sun, moon, and stars, and to designate it as the abode of God and the faithful departed, where gladness and joy will reign forever. The Century Dictionary in defining heaven says, "In Christian theology heaven is regarded as the region or state of endless happiness enjoyed by angels and faithful departed spirits in the immediate presence of God. The Hebrews supposed three heavens — the air, the starry firmament, and the abode of God. The Cabalists described seven heavens, each rising in happiness above the other, the highest being the abode of God and the most exalted angels. Hence, to be in the seventh heaven is to be supremely happy. . . . The ancient Greeks and Latins regarded heaven as the abode of the greater gods."
This teaching assumes the absence of God from this world, a view which conduces to the sin, adversity, failure, misery, sorrow, sickness, disease, and death of mortal experience. So long as mankind is taught to believe that God is absent, it would logically follow that His manifestations and attributes, namely, holiness, wisdom, justice, love, goodness, mercy, and the blessings of joy, prosperity, and happiness resulting therefrom, must also be absent; and the only way to obtain them would be by passing through the experience called death, and that prior to this experience their seeming opposites would manifest themselves, since "nature abhors a vacuum."
But what does the Bible, the admittedly supreme authority, teach us relative to this subject? Does it not iterate and reiterate that God is ever-present, omnipotent, omniscient; that He is Spirit, eternal and unchangeable Truth and Love? Then, if God is ever-present and present everywhere, heaven, the abode of Spirit, or the kingdom of God. must be ever-present, here and now, for where God is He rules supreme and His reign is harmonious.