Q. One Heaven for All?

Q. Do people of different denominations go to the same heaven? Or is there any difference after death where different faiths go?

A. The simple answer to your question is straightforward. There is only one Heaven, and everyone who goes to Heaven goes to the same Heaven. No matter what your faith might be, if you go to Heaven, you go to the one and only. But allow me to explain a bit about the beautiful reality of Heaven and what we actually believe about it.

First, Heaven is not a “place.” Heaven is a “state of being.” That might, at first, sound a bit deep and philosophical, but it makes perfect sense when understood properly.

When speaking about Heaven, we often use language that implies it is a place we go to. Somewhere up there! But Heaven is not some location in this universe. It is, properly speaking, a state of being completely and totally united with God! Heaven, in a real sense, is a Person. The Person is Jesus Christ. Our goal in life is to enter into complete union with Him now and for eternity. Heaven, therefore, is simply the final state of complete union with Jesus after death. It is the permanent unbreakable bond or unity and oneness we will share with Him. And since He is completely united with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Heaven is a state of being fully immersed in the life of the Most Holy Trinity.

Secondly, it’s important to know that Heaven is to begin here and now. Throughout our life on earth, we are called to be continually purged of our attachment to sin, so as to walk, day by day, ever more deeply united with God. The deeper that unity, the more we are detached from sin, and the more we share in the state of Heavenly unity right now!

Of course, as long as we are alive in this world, we will always be tempted and usually be drawn back to sin on various levels. So the fullness of Heaven comes only after this life when we will never lose that full union with God again.

This also begs the question, “What is Hell?” Sadly, Hell is simply the complete loss of God, and thus, the complete separation from Him. Here and now, a “living hell” is when one lives in a state of unrepented mortal sin. In that state, there is no union with God, no joy in life, and no fulfillment. If one dies in that state, he/she remains forever separated from God.

And lastly, let me mention that Purgatory is the state of being purified of our sins and our attachment to sin. It is a process that should begin now but will be completed upon death if we still have some attachment to sin. Even though it might be painful, in a sense, to be purged from sin, it is also joyous in that we are freed from those unhealthy bonds.

I hope that helps!

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