Sunday, May 22, 2016 - The Heavenly Hope!
Pastor Roger Marcos
May 22, 2016
Edited by: Kaithlyne Marcos
John Newton said that when we get to heaven, there will be three wonders: Who is there, who is not there, and the fact that I’m there!
Today, we are going to think about heaven; a future place to be for eternity. We're going to be thinking about what happens to the saint of God after He comes to the end of this earthly troubled life.
Nine year old children in Sunday school at one church were asked what they thought about DEATH and DYING. Little Bryan said, When you die they bury you in the ground and your soul goes to heaven, but your body can’t go to heaven because it’s too crowded up there already.
Another little girl said, "When you die you don't have to do homework in heaven unless your teacher is there too."
But you know, death and the afterlife is a subject that's always on the back of everyone's mind. I heard about this 92-year-old woman in a nursing home who received a visit from her pastor. And the pastor said, "How are you feeling?"
"O," said the lady, "I'm just worried sick."
"What are you worried about, dear?" the pastor said. "You look like you're in good health. They're taking care of you, aren't they?"
"Yes, they're taking good care of me."
"Are you in any pain?" the pastor asked sympathetically.
"No. I have never had a pain in my life."
The pastor said, "Well, what are you worried about?"
The dear old lady leaned back in her chair and slowly explained her major worry. She said, "Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone on to heaven. And I'm afraid they're all wondering where I went."
Text John 14:1-15 14 NIV “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Our existence upon this earth we may be able to experience heavenly joy and peace within our hearts. The journey we have is a sign leading to eternity with the Lord because we truly understand that we are not destined on planet earth.
We are heading bound for our heavenly Home that everyone hope for! The Bible does not tell us too much about Heaven, but just enough to thrill our hearts as we think of the bliss and glory.
Can you imagine, before the Lord Jesus went to the cross of Calvary to demonstrate His underserving love to His creation dying for sins, He gave His first disciples (and the NYCC people) a very clear wonderful promise to anyone that believe in Him.
John 14:2-3. . 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
It is upon this promise that we base our confidence that Heavenly place is our eternal Home that the Lord prepared.
There Are Two Significant Reasons Why Christian Should Be Encouraged to Meditate Heaven.
First: Because We Are Most Surely Going to Heaven! - Q: "Is there really a heaven? What is heaven like and where is it?" Answer: Yes, there really is a heaven.
What most people call "heaven" is actually an eternal city which the Bible calls the "New Jerusalem." It will be spectacular. As a sampling, here is what heaven will look like.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Rev. 22:1-4
1. A river PISHON, GIHON, HIDDEKEL, EUPHRATES.
The first Garden of Eden was watered by a river Genesis 2:10. The river which John saw, however, was not a river of earthly water, but of "the water of life" Revelation 22:1.
Water of Life Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about this "living water" John 4:5-15. On another occasion, when Jesus spoke of this "living water" John interpreted it to mean the gift of the Holy Spirit John 7:37-39. (READ)
Flowed from the Lamb God is "the fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 2:13). So the river that flows out from the throne of God and the Lamb represents "the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father" (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit is given to us as a down-payment or guarantee of eternal life (Ephesians 1:13-14).
In this vision of the river flowing from the throne, God is represented as...
(1) the Father -the one who sits on the throne (cf Revelation 4:2-6),
(2) the Son -the Lamb who sits with the Father on the throne (cf Revelation 3:21, Revelation 5:4-10), and
(3) the Holy Spirit -the river proceeding from the throne.
2 The Street
The street The river flows down the middle of a wide avenue. On the banks of the river grows the tree of life. This street therefore gives access to the tree of life and to the water of life. The life of faith and obedience to Christ is called "the Way" (Acts 24:14, 22, Hebrews 10:19-20). Of course we do not cease walking that Way after Christ's coming. We continue eternally to walk the Way that gives us access to the Life of Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
3 The Tree.
The tree of life In the middle of all the trees in the garden of Eden, there were two special trees: the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9). The latter was forbidden, but the tree of life was not. So eternal life with God in heaven was always man's destiny. Only when man sinned was he denied access to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24). Through Jesus Christ we regain access to eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Twelve fruits, healing leaves The tree bears fruit 12 months of the year, and 12 kinds at that. Even its leaves give healing. We can walk to the river and pick from the tree. We are not forbidden, but invited. This is the Everything Tree, the Forever Tree. It's no fantasy. It is real. It the living God, the giving God, the forgiving God.
1. Truly Born Again John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again
2. Blood Washed. 1 Jn. 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin
3. Believer is Bound for the Heavenly City. Our names are already written there. Luke 10:20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
4. and many of God’s children are already living there Ephesians 3:15. Is it not natural, therefore, that we should want to know something about the country to which we are travelling and in which we are to live with our Lord and all the company of the redeemed? 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
However, the Real Beauty of Heaven is this: Rev. 21:2-4
.2I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.”...I am making everything new."
Second: because this is our Lord’s prescribed cure for a troubled heart. See how this chapter begins John 14:1! Our hearts are often troubled, perplexed or burdened, and surely it helps us to think of Heaven and Home! We would be happier, healthier Christians if we spent more time viewing ‘the land that is brighter than day!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me”.
In John 14:2-3 our Lord tells us three simple facts about Heaven:
1. HEAVEN IS A PLACE FOR BELIEVERS. As children of God, our primary focus should be on the dwelling place of our heavenly Father. Ira Stanphill wrote a popular song that we often sing entitled "Mansions Over the Hilltop'. The third verse of the song reminds us that we are just pilgrims and sojourners on this earth; "Don't think me poor or deserted or lonely, I'm not discouraged, I'm heaven bound; I'm just a pilgrim in search of a city, I want a mansion, a robe and a crown". How true is that! This earth is not the home for the children of God. We merely labour, as did Joseph, in a strange land awaiting the day when we will be united with our heavenly Father.
Our Father is waiting for us to come to Him so he can welcome us into the glorious home He has prepared for us. The scene of that precious moment is beautifully illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. The prodigal son lived in sin in a strange land (Luke 15:13). He abused his father's kindness and neglected his service. However, without hesitation, his father received into his home his sin laden son when the prodigal repented (Luke 15:18). Our heavenly Father is willing to do the same for us. He wants us to enter the home He has prepared for us if we will return by repenting. That brings us to another aspect of the complete heavenly home. It is a prepared place.
A. Accommodation. Arrangement for first class have been made in advance. In my Father’s house are many mansions..I go to prepare a place for you. JN.14:2
B. Passports. A persons seeking entry will not be permitted past the gate without having a proper credentials and having their names registered with the ruling authority. - Rev. 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
C. Immigration. All passengers are classified as immigrant since they are taking up permanent residence in a new country. THE QUOTA IS UNLIMITTED. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrew 11:16
D. Luggage. No luggage whatsoever can be taken. WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD; AND IT ISCERTAIN WE CANCARRY NOTHING OUT OF IT. 1 Tim. 6:7
2. HEAVEN IS A PREPARED PLACE.
Nearly 2000 years ago the Saviour said, “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” What a glorious place it must be!
1 Corinthians 2:9 - In our Lord’s simple statement we have a wonderful revelation of His great love for us. He is preparing for us- who are so unworthy! He wants us to be forever with Him.
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him.
John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
1 Thessalonians 4:17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Many years ago God led Noah to prepare an ark for the saving of his house Hebrews 11:7
God prepared a great fish for the saving of His disobedient servant Jonah Jonah 1:17
Matthew 25:41. Heaven is prepared for every true believer; Hell is prepared for every unsaved soul.
3. HEAVEN IS A PREPARED PLACE FOR PREPARED PEOPLE.
The Lord Jesus said, “I am going there to prepare a place for YOU that is, for all who believe on Him as their Saviour and Lord, and who come to the Father by Him John 14:1-3,6
1. Reservation. Booking is now open. Apply at once. Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:2
2. Coronation Ceremony. The high light of the journey is the welcoming reception and coronation which await each arrival. THERE IS LAID UP FOR ME A CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH THE LORD THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE SHALL GIVE ME AT THAT DAY; AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM ALSO THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING. 2 TIM. 4:8
Everybody will go to Heaven!
Heaven is the Home of Heaven’s people. Are you one of Heaven’s people? If not, you may become one by trusting the Lord Jesus as your own personal Saviour.
John 14:6 and if so, may you enjoy days of Heaven upon earth’s as you travel to your heavenly Home!