REVELATION 2012: #10 – THE HOPE OF HEAVEN
(Sermon Outline – April 2012 – Beausejour Church– Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download this audio message, that I shared with our church family this past Sunday morning, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Before we talk about what Heaven is like, let’s talk about what Heaven is NOT like: It’s not a place in the clouds populated by little naked fat babies with wings, people in white dresses playing harps and eating Philly Cream Cheese!
“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. (v. 1).
- Sea is what separates people and nations. No more sea/separation in Heaven.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (v. 2).
- Heaven is built by God and it comes down to us.
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. 3-6).
- 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 (all sex outside of marriage is sin), 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.
“9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Rev. 21:9-27).
- Heaven described: Streets of pure gold (v.21), God is the temple (v.22), the glory of God illuminates it (v.23), and those who are saved will enjoy its light (v.24).
- The only ones in Heaven are those whose names are written in the Book of Life.
- In the middle of the city is a garden…
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. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 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).
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, www.epm.com).
- Do you long for the coming of Jesus and Heaven? Are you ready for Heaven?
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/