Heaven, Paradise, or refers to a place meant for angels and souls with goods deeds who also believe in God. Needless to say, it is beyond the earthly realm.
Thus, it is believed that when a person dies, he leaves the physical body and his soul descends to Heaven based on his merit.
With Heaven, there has got to be its counterpart, that is, Hell which is meant for Satan and souls with bad deeds who do not believe in God or His authority. Hence, souls that are not fit to be transferred to Heaven are sent to Hell.
Another difference between the two is that there are varieties of pleasures and enjoyment in Heaven whereas in Hell, there are different types of punishments.
However, it is hard to believe in any sense of pleasure or pain after death without the body. This indicates that the soul must have senses in order to enjoy in Heaven or suffer in Hell.
Most religions unanimously state that there are numerous pleasures in Heaven and atrocities in Hell; the most popular being, the one in which the souls are cooked in boiling oil. Greek mythology, too, mentions similar places; they are called Elysium and Tartarus.
It is imperative to distinguish between the soul and the spirit soul as the soul is on a subtle material platform whereas the minute spirit soul is an eternal and completely spiritual entity.
Another important point to consider is that the Heaven we are discussing here is different from the eternal kingdom of God because when one resides in the latter, one selflessly dedicates one’s entire existence to God, and lives to please Him, not one’s own selfish and sensual desires.
The spirit soul is meant to have a relationship with God and this relationship is the source of bliss experienced in the kingdom of God where He resides with His associates. Heaven, however, is directed at providing pleasure for the soul.
Interestingly, some people have reported having spiritual experiences during near-death experience and coma.
Here are some scriptural quotes about heaven and hell.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
“Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:”
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;”
2 Peter 2:4
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
“and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”