“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
(2 Corinthians 12:2&4)
Caught up into paradise! Here Paul is not only proclaiming that there is such a place; he also states that he has been there! Furthermore, Paul reveals where Paradise can be found, the third heaven.
The reference to paradise can be found in many secular songs. Always its meaning associates with one's heart's desire, pleasant of course. Take for instance this lyric, "this is paradise having no work to do" or "there's trouble in paradise;" expressing one's affections for another. These gems of carnal wisdom may sell songs and touch an emotional cord in one's heart, but they are a fraudulent misuse of the word "paradise." Paradise is not an emotion. It is an actual place created by God for his favorite children to dwell with him until the new heavens and new earth are arranged.
So, is there any way to have a personal experience with its' existence on earth? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) While he was on the cross and the thief who recognize Jesus for who he was received this oration, "today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Not only did Paul visit God in a place called, "the third heaven or paradise," but Jesus, the thief and many others have gone there. As we see Jesus on the cross, where he bore the sins of many, allow his resurrected power to take us to where he sits at the right hand of God, then we are seeing paradise.
Dr. Thomas Snyder