Question: Where is Paradise? How do believers attain paradise?
Paradise, the Garden of God
The word Paradise occurs only three times in the New Testament (Luke 23:43, 2 Cor 12:4 and Rev 2:7) and has a direct connection to the Hebrew word Eden.
Paradise – NT:3857 paradeisos (par-ad’-i-sos); a park, i.e. (specifically) an Eden (place of future happiness, “paradise“)– Strong’s Concordance
Eden – OT:5731 Eden (ay’-den); “Paradise,” “a place of delight” The Garden of God from which Adam and Eve were expelled by reason of their sin. .– Jones Dictionary of OT proper names
Paradise and the Garden of Eden are one and the same. Now, the Garden of Eden allegorically represents the Heart, Mind or Thought of God.
God said, “… Return unto Me, and I will return unto you …”Malachi 3:7 & 4:5-6
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the Father to the children, and the heart of the children to their Father, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
The Children of God returning to the heart of God is the purpose of creation.
“For the earnest expectation of the whole creation waits for the manifestation of the children of God.”Romans 8:19
As a child you must approach the Kingdom of God with an open mind, dropping all your preconceived ideas.
“Truly I say unto you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no way enter therein.”Luke 18:17
The Children of God know what sin is and cannot sin. Click here to find out what sin is.
“Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for the seed remains in them: and they cannot sin, because they are born of God.”1 John 3:9
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.”Luke 8:11
The Children cannot sin because the Word is in their hearts and minds.
“For this is the (new) covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people:”Hebrews 8:10
So, Paradise is the Garden of Eden which is the heart of God and you attain it when you turn your heart to God and He writes His Laws in your Heart and Mind. It is not a physical place.
Now consider this:
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If you are Christ, save yourself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss. And he said to Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today shall you be with me in paradise.Luke 23:39-43
The first man tested Jesus saying “If you are Christ, save yourself and us.” …Give us a sign… and save my physical life.
“They (Pharisees) said therefore to him (Jesus), What sign/indication do you show then, that we may see, and believe you? What do you work?”John 6:30
Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign …”Matthew 16:4
The second man rebuked the first saying “Do you not reverence God? … this man has done nothing wrong” and to Jesus he said “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” By these statements he shows that he understands Jesus was Christ having authority over the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the book of Matthew, Peter came to the same conclusion:
He (Jesus) said to them (apostles), Who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father which is in heaven.Matthew 16:15-17
Jesus told Peter that he was blessed because God had revealed to him who he (Jesus) was. That day Peter was with Jesus in paradise because God had blessed him with understanding making him spiritually alive.
In the Crucifixion the men on either side of Jesus represent two types of people. Those who seek to save their physical life and those who seek to save their spiritual life. Those who murder the messengers of God and those who follow the messengers of God into Paradise.