In religious mythology, a physical or spiritual realm where people exist after they die if they have followed the instructions of their belief system. For example, certain sects of Christianity believe that the only requirement to enter heaven is accepting Jesus as your savior, while others believe that keeping the Ten Commandments, doing good works, confessing sins, and/or a number of other requirements must also be met.
The concepts of heaven and hell are the basis for Pascal's Wager.
Heaven and Hell are frequently used to reconcile the inability of humanity to mete out justice during corporeal life. The idea is that even if one can get away with violating human laws, a divine witness/victim/judge/jury/executioner will ensure that no one can avoid perfect justice.
Christians believe that if one confesses their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their savior, then they will be saved and they will enter heaven when they die. They also believe that once they die on earth, their bodies will be transformed and they will enter heaven with "glorified bodies". This idea comes from a number of biblical passages including Philippians 3:20-21, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (1). Theologian N.T. Wright further explains, “Paul speaks of "the redemption of our bodies" (Rom. 8:23)…he means: God's people are promised a new type of bodily existence…The rest of the early Christian writings, where they address the subject, are completely in tune with this” (2). Once they receive their glorified bodies and enter heaven, they will live in harmony with the Lord for eternity (3).
1. Philippians 3:20-21. The Holy Bible. New International Version.
2. Wright, N.T. “Heaven Is Not Our Home.” Christianity Today. 52, no. 4, April 2008, 36-39.
3. John 11:25-26. The Holy Bible. New International Version.