Haley and I talking about heaven… We won’t be married in heaven… “Well I’m not sure I want to go to heaven then”
All sorts of questions about the afterlife, all sorts of questions about heaven
Some people who have had near death experience is, claim that they experienced glimpse of heaven.. Maybe some of them were just saying that to to sell some books, but maybe some of them really did experience something on the other side
Hollywood portrays heaven and a place where we sit on clouds strumming harps for eternity.
We are very curious as what happens after death.
The reality is that everyone dies, we are all dying
The book of James says we are like a vapor, a morning fog, here for a little bit and then vanishes.
Our life is as short as the dash between two numbers on a gravestone
Life is very short.
To that the godless atheist says “Lets eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” If Life is short, then lets live fast, die young, because it’s all meaningless anyway.
We live in a fallen and failing world that offers no hope, no meaning, no purpose.
But God offers us hope that this is not the only life there is, this is not the end of the story, but just the first chapter of eternity, there is more life after this life
But the reality is that our life on earth is short, every day, every breath, every heartbeat is a gift and we want to make everyday count for eternity
Maximus from Gladiator said “What we do in life echos in eternity”
The Bible says a lot about eternity and heaven and hell, Jesus spoke of heaven and hell often
Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about Heaven…
Revelation 21:1-5 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.”
First of all, the Bible tells us that Heaven will not reside in the clouds somewhere, but Heaven will reside on a new earth. That is good news because even earth is wearing out, but there will be a new earth..
But what makes Heaven heaven is that God is there.
We will see God. Now we see Him through eyes of faith, but on that day “our faith will be sight”
The essence of Heaven is the presence of God. The absence of God is the essence of Hell.
Heaven is only heaven because God is there.
God’s presence is the sum of all things good, the epitome of all things good. And where there is no presence of God there is nothing good.
If heaven is the place where God‘s presence exists, and God‘s presence is all things good, then hell is the place outside of God‘s presence completely devoid of anything good.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.
The essence of Heaven is the presence of God. The absence of God is the essence of Hell.
Someone might say, I don’t LIKE the idea of hell. Well That’s a good thing, if you LIKE the idea of hell then something is wrong with you!
Someone might say “I want Heaven, I just don’t want God” but that not possible.
Heaven is only heaven BECAUSE God is there.
In Heaven we will see God and we will MARVEL
What will that be like to see God?
I think we will worship Him like never before.
Praise and worship is a natural response of encountering God.
When we fully encounter the glory of God, we don’t even need a worship leader at that point, praise and worship just happens whenever someone encounters God.
When I was a little kid, I remember the first Time experienced a firework show on the Fourth of July.
My grandma said, Ryan why are you standing out here in the dark? And I said, grandma I’m waiting for the fireworks.
When we see God we will marvel and worship him like never before
Don’t worry, Heaven will not be an eternal church service.. I love church but…
In fact, Many times in the Bible, Heaven is likened to a wedding celebration
Revelation 19:9 Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Heaven will be like one big party.. singing, dancing, laughing, and feasting… there will be food in heaven!
The Bible compares heaven to a joyful wedding celebration… Who is the groom? Jesus!
Who is the bride? Us the church
It’s going to be one big celebration, and one big feast
Revelation 21:4 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.
- Heaven is also heaven because God’s will is done there
In heaven there will be no more pain or suffering or sickness or sorrow or death… And no more taxes! Hallelujah!
In the first two chapters of the Bible in Genesis, God creates the world and “He saw that it was good.” It was a good world. But then Adam and Eve chose to go against God’s will and they chose to sin, and from that point on the world as we know it became out of sync with God’s will and in fact it snowballed further and further from God’s will.
And that is where we find ourselves today.. In a fallen and fading world,
It’s not all bad, but it’s far from good … it’s as though we live somewhere between heaven and hell.
Jesus taught us to pray “Lord Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Heaven is where God’s will is done. We live in a world where God’s will is not done. That’s why there is so much brokenness, and heartache, and darkness. God’s will is not being done here.
If you imagine a world where there in no more pain, no suffering or sorrow or death then you are picturing a place a lot like Heaven. It is the place where God’s will is done.
And we look forward to day when God will restore and redeem all things. When He says “Behold I make all things new.” And we will find ourselves in a world that is finally and fully in sync with God’s will. And it will be good. We look forward to that day.
But in the meantime we’ve got a job to do.
It’s just about us getting to Heaven but we want to bring as many people with us as we can.
We need to maintain an eternal perspective so that we can live with eternal purpose.
Life is short but eternity is NOT.
When we get to the end of our life and enter into eternity many of the things that matter to us now will not matter much to us then..
We won’t get to the end of our life and be like “darn it I didn’t get to finish all the movies in Netflix!”
“Oh man I should’ve taken more selfie’s”
“If I had to do it all over again… I would’ve put in the French doors!”
The reality is that many of these things matter to us now, but many of these things will not matter much to us when we get to the end of our life and enter into eternity.
The enemy wins not only when he gets us to fall into sin, but the enemy also wins when he gets us to waste our life on things that don’t really matter.
Colossians 3:2-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Philippians 3:13-14 One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
“Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re of no earthly good”??
Paul was very heavenly-minded. Jesus was very heavenly minded and he got the job done he lived on earth, he was talking about the kingdom of heaven all of the time, everything he did was for the Kingdom of heaven.
When you have an eternal perspective you live with eternal purpose. You make everyday count for something bigger than yourself. You live not to make your name great, but to glorify the name of God. Our glory will fade, but God’s glory will never fade.
“Only one life, it will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” -C.T. Studd
All around us there are eternal souls.
We cannot our earn way way to Heaven, but we must put our faith in Jesus who purchased our way to heaven.
Here’s the good news, every single person on the planet is invited to heaven, every single person on the planet is invited into the presence of God, invited into the kingdom of God.
And yet every person has a choice to either take God up on his offer and spend eternity in his presence or or they have the choice to throw that invitation in the garbage and say no to God’s offer and to spend eternity outside of the presence of God.
I remember when I proposed to Haley.. The story of burying the ring in our dog helping dig it up.. and I asked Haley will you marry me and she said the most beautiful word I’ve ever heard… Yes. And that one yes meant that we would spend our life together that one yes that one decision. And Jesus has already bought the ring and He proposes to each and every person on the planet. He says “Will you spend eternity with me?”
If they will just say yes to him they will spend eternity with him.
I hope you’ve said Yes to Jesus, and I hope you’re inviting others to say Yes to Jesus to spend eternity with Him.
Whatever you do in this life, do it with an eternal perspective and do it for an eternal purpose
Because “What we do in life echoes in eternity’
At the end of my life I want to be able to say what Paul said at the end of his life….
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day.