Temple Baptist Church - 8-24-2014
1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Revelation 21:1-2
A. There are many misconceptions about this place called heaven because it has been long described by the natural man through sensual eyes.
1. By sensual, I am talking about that which can be perceived by the senses that God gave man. Heaven has become a place where sensual desires are to be met. Plenty to eat and there will be eating throughout eternity; loved ones united as a family and loved ones who are saved will be united; a place of retirement and leisure; a place where little, chubby Cherubs play their harps. The bible describes heaven much differently because heaven is a spiritual place, not a fleshly one.
2. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God because: 1) both are sinful through Adam’s disobedience (Romans 5:12) and 2) the life of the flesh is in the blood and our eternal life is not in our blood but because of His blood.
B. Our text applied shows us two things:
1. That the natural man or the unsaved has no concept of what heaven is going to be like. He can neither receive nor understand spiritual things until he or she is saved and has the Spirit to reveal truth to them.
2. That the saved man can and does understand spiritual things to some degree as they are spoken of in the bible. He or she has the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
C. Those things said, let us take a biblical look at this place called heaven. When speaking of heaven, I am speaking of the abode of God, not the heavens that we can see with the natural eye. In the bible, there are three heavens alluded to.
1. The firmament or expanse of our atmosphere that surrounds the earth and gives protection and life sustaining air that we breathe. A wonderful place where the birds fly and clouds reside while bringing life giving rain.
2. The celestial or universe where we see the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies in an incredibly large expanse called outer space. Humanly perceived as limitless and, yet, measured by the span of God’s hand.
3. The third heaven which is unseen. The abode of God. A place where God’s throne sits and the angels cry holy, holy, holy in His wonderful presence. A place where the saints of God now reside in perfect peace and harmony.
1. Heaven is a place of Indescribable Beauty!
a. Throne of God - Revelation 4:3, 5 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald … (5) And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
b. The Crystal Sea - Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
c. The River of Life - Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
d. The Tree of Life - Revelation 22:2-3 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) 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:
e. The New Jerusalem - Revelation 21:2, 10, 11 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband … (10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, (11) Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
f. Walls of Jasper - Revelation 21:11-12a, 18 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; (12) And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel … (18) And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
g. Gates of Pearl - Revelation 21:12-13, 21 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (13) On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates … (21) And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
h. Foundations of Precious Stones - Revelation 21:19-20 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; (20) The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
i. A Street of Transparent Gold - Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (The street is singular: a boulevard with the median being comprised with the river of water of life running through in middle of the tree of life.)
j. Lighted by the Glory of God - Revelation 21:22-23 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
k. Need I go on? I have not touched the “hem of the garment” this morning because heaven is greater than the finite mind can conceive!
2. A Place of Immeasurable Comfort - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
3. A Place of No More - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (One of the greatest things about heaven is what will not be there. The list would be almost limitless if we all put things together but here are just a few things that will not be there.)
No more remembrance of sin No more politicians
No more worries about uncertainties No more taxes
No more sleepless nights No more IRS
No more bills to pay No more abortion
No more doctors to see No more racism
No more hospitals to visit No more tear dimmed eyes
No more arthritis No more fear
No more ibuprofen No more loneliness
No more broken bones No more Dr. Kevorkians
No more incurable diseases No more heat by day
No more suffering No more cold by night
No sightless eyes No more hunger
No cripples No fat bodies
No retarded children No diets
No more jails to build No more poverty
No law officers No more storms
No more guns No more thorns
No more devil to annoy No more chiggers
No more funeral homes No more mosquitoes, ticks, fleas,
No more headaches No more heartaches
No more death No more confusion
No more strife and contention No more division
No more nursing homes to preach in No more broken families
No more disappointments to weep over No more temptation to sin
No more Discouragements to hinder No more fighting
No more dismal failures to condemn you No more wars
No more wicked thoughts to fight No more hurt feelings
No more filth to see No more devil to annoy
No more sinful flesh to fight No more wickedness to shun
WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE
4. A Place of All Things New - Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Nothing old or taken for granted. In the eternal moment of heaven’s timelessness, all will be forever as if we had seen it for the first time. That first glimpse of awe and amazement; the thrill of seeing the unthinkable, the unimaginable before our eyes. Oh, that will be glory!)
5. A Place of Fullness of Joy - Revelation 21:3; Psalms 6:11 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Psalms 16:11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
6. A Place of Absolute Holiness - Revelation 21:27; 22:15 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life … (22:15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
7. A Place of Uninhibited Worship - Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Conclusion: We could go on this morning but I believe that heaven is beyond my ability to know and describe! Heaven is a Prepared Place for a Prepared People!