The Reality of Heaven
Text: John 14:1-3; et al.
Thesis: To look at the Biblical teaching about Heaven in order to be encouraged to begin and finish the race of a Christian in order to receive our reward.
(1) About Heaven, some have said:
(a) “Heaven … is a delusional dream of the unsophisticated minds of the ill-educated clergy” (Madalyn Murray O’Hair)
(b) “There is darkness without, and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere; only triviality for a moment – then nothing” (Bertrand Russell)
(2) Thankfully, this type of thinking could not be further from the truth.
(3) Today, we will look at the Biblical teaching concerning the real place called Heaven.
I. The Purpose of Heaven
A. God wanted fellowship with man (Eph. 1:4-6, 12).
1. However, God desired true worshippers (John 4:23).
2. Therefore, earth was created as a place where man could choose to serve God and thereby secure their eternal reward.
3. In Heaven, God and man will be together as God always intended (Rev. 21:3).
B. Heaven was created as the eternal reward for the righteous.
1. It is prepared by Jesus (John 14:1-3).
2. It is truly our home (Phil. 3:20 – citizenship is in Heaven).
3. It serves as our motivation.
- C. S. Lewis said: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
II. The Place of Heaven
A. What is it like?
1. First, it is a place of reward.
a. Here, we receive our crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 2:10).
b. Here, we receive word of commendation from God Himself (cf. Matt. 25:21 – “Well done, good and faithful servant!”).
2. Second, it is eternal.
a. Psa. 23:6 – Dwell in the house of the LORD forever
b. 1 Pet. 1:4 – An inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade
c. Matt. 6:20 – Where moth and rust do not destroy & where thieves do not steal
3. Third, it is free of all pain & sin.
a. Rev. 21:4 – No tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, no pain
b. Rev. 21:8, 28 – Nothing unholy, only purity
4. Fourth, it is breathtakingly beautiful.
a. Rev. 21:18ff. – City of gold & is decorated with every kind of precious stone
b. Its light is the glory of God & the Lamb is its lamp (Rev. 21:23).
c. It is more wonderful than we can even imagine (Rom. 8:18; 1 Cor. 2:9).
B. What will we do there?
- Story: An elderly man in a nursing home once asked a female worker, “Will we have fun in Heaven?” She very quickly replied, “Oh, no.”
1. First, we will rest.
a. Rev. 14:13 – Blessed are the dead in Christ for they shall rest from their labors
b. Matt. 11:28-30 – Jesus promised to provide rest for us
2. Second, we will worship.
a. Rev. 4:8, 11 – 4 living creatures & 24 elders worshipping God
b. Rev. 7:10, 12 – The redeemed & angels worshipping God
3. Third, we will work.
a. We will serve Him (Rev. 7:15).
b. We will reign with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12 – reign with Him; Rev. 3:21 – sit on throne with Christ; Rev. 2:26 – given authority over the nations; Rev. 5:10 – made priests & kings to reign).
4. Fourth we will fellowship (cf. Matt. 17:1-5; Luke 16:23).
a. Imagine the reunion with our loved ones in Christ.
b. Imagine the conversations with the heroes of the faith.
5. Fifth, we will have fun.
- God will fill us with joy & eternal pleasure (Psa. 16:11).
III. The People of Heaven
A. First & foremost, the Godhead will be there.
B. Second, the faithful angels and other heavenly beings.
C. Third, the saved from both the Patriarchal & Mosiac Dispensations.
D. Fourth, the dead in Christ.
E. Fifth, all of the living people who are Christians.
(1) Indeed, Heaven is real and you can really go there.
(2) Are you a Christian today with your name written in Heaven?