Do you want to go to heaven? This is the third sermon in a series of sermons I have preached as we near Easter (Resurrection) Sunday. If you want to go to heaven, we have seen that we must eat of and digest the bread of heaven. Choosing not to eat of the bread of heaven leads to a place of torments. In last week’s sermon, we saw that Hell is not a place that is meant for us!
There are only two options for us when it comes to where we will dwell eternally. I want you to think on that word (eternity) for a moment. It feels as if we don’t have a full grasp of what that word means. I believe it is because we have trained our min
Eternity, however, is never ending. Think on that thought for a moment – never ending. Where would you want to dwell eternally? Last week we saw that Hell will be a placed filled with misery, anger, hate, wrath, and sorry. Do you want to really live in that type of atmosphere for all the days of your spiritual life? I certainly hope not! I want to focus on a different place – a place that is actually meant for you.
Heaven is not a made up place
As I said last Sunday, there is this idea that all of this (God, heaven, and hell) is “made up”. To many, it is foolish to believe in the “man in the sky”. In my opinion, it is foolish to not believe you, this world, and this universe does not have a Creator. People can choose to believe in what they believe in, of course, but I choose to have faith in the Lord.
I want to tell you about the place that I believe in. You may ask me, “how do you know that heaven is real?” I believe in heaven because I believe in God. God came to this world, manifested as Christ, and told us – in person – about His house!
It’s hard to talk about this topic and ignore this scripture. I want you to understand that we have God (the Son) speaking to man about God (the Father) house. A house, we all know, is the place where we dwell. Where does God dwell? We saw in the first sermon of this series that Jesus He descended from heaven (John 6:33). Jesus even says that He came down from heaven to do the will of Him who sent Him (John 6:38).
So, God the Father sent Him from where Jesus was dwelling to earth. Jesus was clearly dwelling in His Father’s house. His Father sent Him from home which means that His Father was at home in His house – a place that Jesus has referred to in scripture as heaven. In other words, we have been given an eye witness account of heaven! I choose to believe in this eye witness account (testimony) of the Lord’s house!
A prepared place for us?
I want to point out in this scripture that Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” My dad once preached a sermon, “Heaven: A Prepared Place For a Prepared People”. What is going on here in this scripture? Why does Jesus say He has to prepare a place for us? “Doesn’t heaven already exist?” you may ask.
If we turn in the Bible to the book of Revelation, I want to point out to you why Jesus is preparing a new place for us. Revelation 12 points out to us that there was a war that was fought in heaven (Rev. 12:7). We often think of heaven as this bright place in the sky with rainbows, right? I want to point out to you that the devil sinned his first sin in the Lord’s house. In other words, Satan had defiled (polluted) God’s house with his mess!
Satan then waged war against the faithful angels of the Lord in heaven! Consider the image that you have had of heaven for all of this time, and now imagine that war. The devil and his angels would later be thrown out of heaven down to this world (where he operates), but that stain of what Satan did is still present. In fact, we know that the devil has even visited the Lord after his downfall – we see this in Job 1. Would you want to go and dwell in that place eternally? We all would probably say yes, but God wants better for us!
As I said last Sunday, the Lord has always wanted to dwell with mankind! However, God is not going to dwell with us in a heaven that had been defiled by Satan’s sin. Where Hell was never meant for us, we see that Heaven is meant for us! We know this because God says He is making this place specifically for us! God is making something incorruptible for all of those who genuinely believe in Him!
In Revelation, we are actually given confirmation of this new creation. John says that he saw a new heaven and a new earth and that the old (first) heaven and earth had passed away (Rev 21:1). God does not care for things that defile. We ourselves don’t like to live in a messy home, right? We clean out our homes and try to make it look as new as possible. God is going to throw away this sin-filled universe for the brand new that’s made just for us.
What will this new heaven be like?
There are many who often wonder what will heaven look like and what will go on there. Let’s take a moment to look at what heaven will be like and compare it to that place of torments.
Fellowship with the Lord
Last week, we saw that the Lord’s presence will not be in Hell – that is why it is called outer darkness. It is revealed in Revelation that this new heaven will be a place where God will dwell and fellowship with mankind.
3 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.Revelation 21:3 NKJV
One beautiful picture has been shown to us in this scripture. God created us to dwell with us, and it will have taken some time to get to that point, but we see that God gets there. We are going to fellowship together with one another and praise God together! There is going to be so much joy in heaven. This is also shown to us in the very next verse:
4 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.”Revelation 3:4 NKJV
I want you to remember that Satan and his angels, the Antichrist, False Prophet, Death, and Hades will all be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10, 14). “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” is how Jesus often described Hell. Why? Because God will not be there to wipe away the tears in that place. However, in Heaven, there will be no such thing as tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain – all those don’t exist! Why would you not want to go to this place?
Heaven on earth can’t compare
There are many people, for whatever reason, who believe they can have that kind of heaven here in this world. If they had it there way, they would live in these mortal bodies, in this universe, forever! I’m sorry, that is just not a way to live! This universe is simply too corrupt for me to want to live in forever!
Just consider how defiled this world is by the nature of sin. Because of sin we just barely manage to live among each other. We kill and take life like it is absolutely nothing. There is a misconception that we are living in a time of peace but I honestly don’t see the peace. I know that peace will never exist in this world so long as the devil’s influence and presence is over this world.
We will be the gem of heaven
There is one more thing that I want to touch on about heaven and that is about us, the true believers – the church. In heaven, there is going to be a whole lot of love going around, but especially for those who believe in the only begotten Son of God.
John says this about the church:
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.”Revelation 21:9 NKJV
The bride of the Lamb – that is Jesus – is the church. The church is the collective group of those that believed in Christ during the age of the church.
Here is the bride of Christ:
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.Revelation 21:10 NKJV
The heavenly Jerusalem will be the centerpiece of heaven! The bride of Christ will be there and just take a look at her! She, the church, will have the glory of God! John describes her light (glory) like a precious stone! This reminds me of when Jesus spoke of the merchant that sold all he had to purchase a gem of great price.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.Matthew 13:45-46 NKJV
The merchant, I want you to know, is not representative of us. No, the merchant is representative of Jesus Christ! Jesus had to pay a great price for that beautiful and great pearl which represents the church. He gave His life for His bride! Jesus will view His bride as the pearl of His eyes and the rest of the citizens of heaven will know that we are His pearl! Understand this: you are special to the Lord! The question is whether or not you will accept the invitation to become His. Do you want to go to heaven and be a part of His kingdom?