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The Early Church Fathers on Heaven.


  • Early Church Fathers
  • From the Scriptures



  1. St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220)
St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220), Greek; theologian, a scholar of Pantaenus, to whom he succeeded as head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, Egypt. His writings display great acquaintance with the Gentile philosophy. He wrote with the express design of hiding the mysteries of the Christian religion from the Pagans, and the uninitiated, while at the same time, laboring to show the immense practical superiority of the Christian code of morals over that of every Pagan sect and system of philosophy.

"Oh pupils of a blessed education, let us complete the beautiful person of the Church, and let us run, like children, to the good mother; and if we are hearers of the Word, let us glorify the blessed economy, through which man is instructed, and sanctified as the child of God, and becomes a citizen of Heaven; his instruction having been carried on below, and he then receives, as a father, Him whom he learns on earth. The Word both does, and teaches, all things, and acts the part of the Pedagogue in all things And since the Paedagogue, having brought us unto the Church, has united us to Himself, to the Word, the teacher and universal overseer, it would be well for us, being there, to send up to the Lord, as a return of just thanksgiving, praise befitting a good education."

Padag. L. iii. pp. 310, 311.

For it is said, ‘To him that has shall be given' (Matthew 25:29; Luke 19:26): to faith, knowledge; and to knowledge, love; and to love, the inheritance. And this takes place¸ whenever one hangs on the Lord by faith, by knowledge, by love, and ascends along with Him to where the God and guard of our faith and love is. Whence at last (on account of the necessity for very great preparation and previous training in order both to hear what is said, and for the composure of life, and for advancing intelligently to a point beyond the righteousness of the law) it is that knowledge is committed to those fit and selected for it. It leads us to the endless and perfect end, teaching us beforehand and future life that we shall lead, according to God, and with gods; after we are freed from all punishment and penalty which we undergo, in consequences of our sins, for salutary discipline. After which redemption the reward and the honors are assigned to those who have become perfect; when they have got done with purification, and ceased from all service, though it be holy service, and among saints. They become pure in heart, and near to the Lord, there waits them restoration to everlasting contemplation; and they are called by the appellation of gods, being destined to sit on thrones with the other gods that have been first put in their places by the Saviour.

Stromata, Book 7, Chapter 10



Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face. (1 John 3:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:4)

In the glory of Heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5; cf. Matthew 25:21, 23)


The Church's Scriptures on Heaven:

Jesus thanks His Father, Lord of Heaven and earth

25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; 26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.


Matthew 11:25-26

Jesus speaks of His Father in Heaven

17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven".


Matthew 16:17

The Commissioning of the Disciples

18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

Matthew 28:18-20

The existence of Heaven

Isaiah 65:17
"I am about to create new heavens and a new earth"
Matthew 5:18-19
"until Heaven and earth pass away ... least in the kingdom of Heaven."
Luke 15:7
[More joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner than 99 righteous.]
Luke 15:10
"rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents"
Luke 16:19-25
[Parable of the rich young man and Lazarus.]
John 3:5
"no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit"
John 3:18-21
[Whoever believes will not be condemned.]
Hebrews 9:24
[Christ entered Heaven to appear on our behalf.]
1 Peter 1:3-4
"new birth to a living hope ... inheritance that is imperishable"
2 Peter 3:13
"we await new heavens and a new earth"
Revelation 21:1
"I saw a new Heaven... the former Heaven and the former earth had passed away"

Also read:


The Joys of Heaven

Psalms 16:11
"abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand"
Daniel 12:3
"wise shall shine brightly ... shall be like the stars forever"
Matthew 5:12
"your reward will be great in Heaven"
Matthew 13:43
"righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
John 12:26
"where I am, there also will my servant be"
John 14:3
[Jesus says he is going to prepare a place for us so we can be with him.]
John 17:24
[Jesus tells his Father that he wants us to be with him and see his glory.]
1 Corinthians 13:12
"see ... face to face ... then I shall know fully, as I am fully known"
Revelation 7:16
[No hunger or thirst in Heaven, no sun or heat shall touch the saved.]

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