HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: THE REALITY OF HEAVEN
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
“Here is a small fact: You are going to die. I am in truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing in me, no matter my protestations… Of course, an introduction. A beginning. Where are my manners? I could introduce myself properly, but it’s not really necessarily. You will know me well enough and soon enough, depending on a diverse range of variables. It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms… I will carry you gently away… At that moment, you will be lying there (I rarely find people standing up)…” Quote from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Discuss book & movie “Heaven is for Real” and people who have visited Heaven – &/or claimed to visit Heaven.
No one likes to talk about death, but that’s the doorway we have to go through to get to Heaven!
“1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 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. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:1-6).
QUOTE: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (C.S. Lewis).
THE BIG IDEA: Every believer has the promised hope of living forever in Heaven. “Since we have been raised to new life with Christ, we should set our sights on the realities of heaven and let heaven fill our thoughts.” (Col. 3:1-2, NLT).
1. THE HOLY CITY: NEW JERUSALEM: Revelation 21
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.” (v.1-6).
- Believers will live together with God, enjoying sweet fellowship with Him, face to face.
- In Heaven, God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.
- There will be no more sorrow, crying or death. Death was never meant to be a part of life.
- Now we cry when people we love die. God says, “I will make all things NEW!”
- No more pain. Now we experience pain and suffering, the consequences of sin.
- People in the world drink from the toilet of religion or perversion.
- God promises to let us drink of the fountain of the water of life freely = satisfaction.
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
- Those who overcome sin are those who will inherit the Kingdom.
But the cowardly (unfaithful), unbelieving, abominable (sinful), murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers (magic, astrology, witchcraft and drug use), idolaters (worship anything other than Jesus), and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (v. 7-8).
- Does this mean that anyone who has ever told a lie will not go to Heaven? No.
- This is referring to those who live habitually in a lifestyle of sin and rebellion.
- Everyone lives forever; it’s just a matter of geography – Heaven or hell.
2. THE GARDEN: Revelation 22:1-6
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.” (Rev. 22:1-6).
- In the middle of the garden is the throne of God the Father and Jesus the Lamb.
- The river of the water of life = the refreshing presence of the Lord.
- The tree of life = bearing twelve fruits, and leaves for the healing of the nations.
- We will see God’s face, and bear His name. This speaks of intimate friendship.
- We will reign with Him forever and ever – we are training for reigning on Earth.
- In the middle of the garden is a throne, and on the throne is Jesus…
3. JESUS: Revelation 22:7-21
- From beginning to end, Revelation is all about Jesus!
“7 Behold, I am coming quickly! (Do you believe that He is coming soon? He made a promise!)
Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Worship God, repent of sin!
8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” 12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city…
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev. 22:7-21).
APPENDIX: SCRIPTURES ON HEAVEN:
- Heaven is the dwelling place of God and His angels (Deut. 26:15; Matt. 6:9; Heb. 12:22).
- Heaven is the dwelling place of God’s people from earth (Rev. 4-5; Luke 16:22,25; Heb. 12:23).
- At death, the human spirit leaves the body (Ecc. 12:2) and goes immediately to heaven or hell (Luke 16:22, Luke 16:22; Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 6:9-11; Phil. 1:23).
- Heaven is an actual place, to and from which Christ (John 1:32; 6:33; Acts 1:2), angels (Matt. 28:2; Rev. 10:1) and in rare circumstances people, even prior to their deaths, have traveled (2 Kings 2:11; 2 Cor. 12:2; Rev. 11:12).
- Heaven is consistently referred to as “up” in location (Mark 6:41; Luke 9:51). We do not know whether it is a place “in the heavens” or entirely outside the space/time continuum.
- God’s people should long for heaven. This pleases our Lord, who has prepared a place there for us (Heb. 11:13-16; 2 Cor. 5:2). We should be ever-motivated by the anticipation of heaven (Phil. 3:14; 2 Tim. 4:8; Col. 3:1-4).
- The redeemed in heaven are described as “shining” and wearing “white robes,” indicating their moral purity and righteousness (Dan. 12:3; Matt. 13:43; Rev. 3:4; 6:11).
- Heaven is a place of great joy and pleasures for the redeemed (Psalm 16:11).
- The wicked, those whose sins remain uncleansed by the blood of Jesus, will be excluded from heaven (Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; Rev. 22:15).
- Heaven’s central draw is our anticipation of being with Jesus (Phil. 1:23).
- Heaven holds the promise of our anticipation of ultimate reunion with Christian loved ones who’ve gone before us and will come after us (1 Thes. 4:14-18).
- In heaven, we will worship God along with the angels and redeemed people from every race and background (Rev. 4:9-11; 5:11-13; 7:9-12).
- In heaven, we will sing praise songs along with all the rest of God’s creation (Rev. 5:13).
- In heaven, we will have eternal rewards, permanent possessions and positions which vary from believer to believer (Matt. 6:19-25; 25:20-21; Luke 19:17-19).
- Heaven contains some animals (including wolves, lambs, lions, leopards, goats, horses, cows, bears and oxen), (Isaiah 65:25; 11:6-8).
(Several Scriptures in this list are from: What Does the Bible say about Heaven by Randy Alcorn, http://www.epm.com).
- Do you long for the coming of Jesus and Heaven? Are you ready for Heaven?
- ALTAR CALL FOR SALVATION.