The Third Heaven

What is the “third heaven?” It is the abode of God.

The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven that surrounds the earth. The second heaven is where the planets and stars are located. The third heaven is the focal point of the universe and the place to which Christians go when they die.

Paul was stoned at Lystra and it is generally thought that he died during this stoning and then was resurrected. See Acts 14:19-20. Approximately fourteen years later he wrote the words of our text. Most feel he was looking back to that experience. Answering a question concerning this in his book “Bible Questions Answered,” Dr. William Pettingill said: “…if we believe, as seems very probable, that Paul is discussing his Lystra Experience in II Corinthians 12:1-10 we must leave the question unanswered as to whether he actually died under the Lystra stoning, for he says he cannot tell whether or not he was in the body. Comparing the dates between Acts 14 and II Corinthians 12 you will find that just about ‘fourteen years’ elapsed between them. (See II Corinthians 12:2.) Whether the stoning was actually to death or not, it is certain his recovering so quickly and so fully was miraculous, and that the infirmity of the flesh resulting from the experience, was given him only that he might not be ruined in his testimony by undue exaltation.”

Reflecting on the experience, Paul said that paradise was unspeakable. He couldn’t find words to describe it. Some future for Christians!

We’re headed for the “third heaven!”