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Our Heavenly Home

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Last week we finished our study of 1&2 Thessalonians. We spent the past several months looking at how we are to be “Ready and Actively Waiting” for our Lord’s Return.
This morning, I wanted to share with you what we, as believers and faithful followers of Christ, have to look forward to after we are called home to the Heaven, either through the passing away of our temporary body, or by the Rapture of Church when Christ gathers us all together.
Christ says in John 14:1-3 … “1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
We love to try and imagine what Heaven will be like, but the reality is… I don’t believe our minds can fully comprehend the awesome glory that will be revealed to us on the day we enter into the presence of our Lord and Savior and take up residence in the place that He has personally prepared for us.
However, Christ allowed John, while he was exiled to the island of Patmos, to write down the things he saw as he recieved a glimpse behind the curtain… and I had Dave read Revelation 21 this morning, because that is where we find this glimpse… this brief look behind the curtain… Turn there in your Bible…
There is a lot of information packed into the 21rst chapter of Revelation, but I just want to point out some things about our heavenly home. There may come a time in the future that we do a full study through this amazing book, but this morning we are just going to scratch the surface of the 21rst chapter and pick out several of it’s verses… and in doing so, I want to show you 3 facts about Heaven…
Heaven Is A...
The first fact that I want you to know and realize is that… Heaven is a…

1. Genuine Place

vv. 1-3 “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. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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.
Heaven is not some fairy tale myth, it is not some mystical land made up by the imagination of some Hollywood producer… it is a genuine place. It is as real as Pierson Bible Church… It is as real as real as the Eiffel Tower, or the Seven wonders of the world… but here’s the kicker… it is indescribably better than anything we have ever seen.
Even the Apostle Paul, talks about being brought paradise…
2 Corinthians 12:2–4 NKJV
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Heaven is a genuine place… … It is a genuine place…

1.1 Of Rest

v. 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.
Everything that causes stress or anxiety… whatever worries that keep you up at night… gone! They have no place in our Heavenly Home. We will be able to finally rest…
The writer of Hebrews, in the “Great Faith Chapter”, describes faithful followers of God as “strangers and pilgrims on the earth”…
Hebrews 11:13-16 “13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Y’all… “This world is not my home… I'm just a-passing through… My treasures are laid up… Somewhere beyond the blue
When we enter the gates of that city, we will have laid down the burdens of this existence and gone to a place of peace and rest, a perfect place where burdens cannot follow and troubles cannot come. It is a place to rest from our labors, our cares, our worries, our trials, everything that hindered us here will not be welcome there!… It is a genuine place of rest…
It is also a genuine place...

1.2 Of Residence

Heaven is a place where people and angelic beings live. I believe that every glimpse of Heaven in Scripture, mentions the Angelic Hosts that are there. That is where they live, it is from there that the Lord dispatches them to do different tasks.
It was from Heaven that Lucifer was cast, he is no longer allowed to live there…
For us as followers of Christ, it is our eternal home. When this temporary life is done, we will begin our everlasting life in heaven. In the mansion the Christ promised to build specifically for us…
I like to remind people that it took God 6 days to create the heavens and the earth. And this world, even as beautiful as it is, has been tainted and destroyed by sin. But our residence in Heaven, our mansion over the hilltop, Christ has been working on for thousands of years and it has not been tainted, in any way shape or form, by sin… it will be absolutely perfect! … And we will live there forever.
But Heaven is not just the residence of the us and the angels…
Our Heavenly Father and Our Precious Lord and Savior live there as well.
And… “What a day that will be When my Jesus I shall see And I look upon his face The one who saved me by his grace When he takes me by the hand And leads me through the Promised Land What a day, glorious day that will be
“I can only imagine...”
Heaven is a Genuine Place and when we arrive there, it will be our forever home.
Heaven is a…

2. Glorious Place

vv. 9-27 describe this city called “The New Jerusalem”. John MacArthur says this about “The New Jerusalem”… “This is the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness. It is seen “coming down out of heaven”; and it descends into the new heavens and new earth from its place on high. This is the city where the saints will live…
There are some commentators who suggest that this is the place that Christ spoke of in John 14, that He was going to prepare…
The Apostle John, does his best to describe what he is seeing…
To attempt to describe its glories is to exhaust all the adjectives and descriptive language known to man… Magnificent, Beautiful, Spectacular, Breath-taking, Awesome… Splendiferous… yes, according to google that is a real word… We could even use a phrase that Greg Wynsma always says… Super Majestic…
But none of these words even begin to describe this Amazing place… The Apostle Paul said… 1 Cor. 2:9 “9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Here is what we do know…
Heaven is glorious…

2.1 In It’s Beauty

Again, There is no way that I can adequately describe this city in all of its glory, but I do want to just mention three quick thoughts… and you can add these to your notes...
First of all…
- Heaven is beautiful in its Creation
v.5 “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.
This is a city built by God Himself…
• He created it!
• He formed it!
• He furnished it!
• It is a city that bears the stamp of His power and personality.
• He built a city that reflects His glory.
It will be more glorious than the mind can comprehend!
Heaven is Beautiful in it’s Duration…
All the cities of this earth crumble and decay.
• Every building made by the hand of man must constantly be renovated and repaired!
• Not so with Heaven!
• It is a city of such construction that it will never crumble or decay.
• It will never need paint, carpet or repair.
• It will not need dusting, mopping or vacuuming. (Some of you are like… oh that does sound like Heaven!)
• It will never be turned into a slum, or bulldozed to make way for a mall.
• It will stand forever!
Heaven is Beautiful in it’s Construction.
John tries to describe the construction of this beautiful city.
He describes its size…
vv. 14-17 “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
Converting the measurements listed here into measurements that we use today, Bible scholars agree that…
The city is - 1,500 miles square.
o If it were set along the east coast, is would stretch from the Atlantic to the Colorado, and from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.
According to v. 18 “the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
John MacArthur says this… “Unlike earth’s gold, this gold will be transparent so the overpowering radiance of God’s glory can refract and glisten through the entire city.”
The walls of the city would stand 216ft tall.
again, according to v. 18 “The construction of its wall was of jasper
Which is another beautiful gem that God’s Glory can shine through…
John goes on the describe the foundations…
v.19 “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones...
and then he lists these precious stones… all of which will reflect and magnify the glory of God…
Heaven is glorious in its Beauty…
It is also glorious…

2.2 In It’s Blessings

While all the glories of Heaven mark it a place unique from any other in the universe, It isn’t the physical attributes of this city that make it so special!
• There are two great blessings mentioned in these verses that tell me that Heaven is the place I am looking for… I touched on them a little bit earlier, and you can add these to your notes as well…
The First and ultimate blessing of Heaven is the Presence of God.
The end of v. 3 says “God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Right now, we are separated from Him by this flesh that we wear… But, one day, we will stand in His presence free from this flesh and we will see Him in all of His glory!
At that point, I believe that all of the beauty of the walls and the rest of the city will fade away as we are able to meet the One who created us and loves us with an everlasting love.
I can only imagine What it will be like When I walk by Your side I can only imagine What my eyes would see When Your face is before me
Surrounded by Your glory What will my heart feel? Will I dance for You Jesus Or in awe of You be still? Will I stand in Your presence Or to my knees, will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine
The second blessing is the Promise of God…
No more tears, no more pain, no more death, no more crying…
The things that make this life seem unbearable… gone! never to be seen or heard from again!
Heaven is a glorious place!
Lastly this morning…
Heaven is a…

3. Guarded Place

v. 27 says “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Heaven is an exclusive place. It is Guarded…
First of all…

3.1 From Sin

How wonderful it will to be forever free from the presence of the devil, of temptation, of this old flesh and from all sin!
On of the main consequences or effects of sin, is the fact that we have sorrow… There will be no more of that…
“An elderly Christian lady lay dying. Her beloved husband sat by her bedside tenderly holding her hand. They both knew that the end was near and that they soon would be parted. As their eyes met, a tear flowed down the old woman’s wrinkled cheek. Gently, her husband wiped it away. Then, with a quiver in his voice, he said, "Thank God, my dear, that’s the last!"
God has pledged to protect that city from all sin and any effect of sin!
The only way to enter that place is to have your sins washed away in the blood of Jesus and the only way to get that done is to receive Him into your life by faith.
Which leads us to our final point…
Heaven is guarded…

3.2 For the Saved

Only those with the proper credentials will be allowed within the gates of that city!
In fact, the entrance requirements are so strict that there is only one way to get in!
If anyone tries to get in another way, they will be forever banished from that city!
Thankfully we know the way… John 14:66 Jesus said to him,I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The only way to get into Heaven is through faith in Him!
John 3:3 “3 Jesus... said… “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.””
This means that you must trust Jesus and Jesus alone to save your soul.
- Religion will not work.
- Church will not work.
- Being good will not work.
- The only thing that will save you is a personal relationship with Christ… Do you have that relationship??? Are you living for Him??… If you are unsure then we have plenty of folks in this building, including myself that would love to help steer you in the right direction.
Believe me when I say… There is nothing here that is worth missing heaven in order to keep.
Many of us have lost loved ones in the past couple of years and even though they have made their journey to their Heavenly home, it is still very difficult to continue on in this life without them. But even as we grieve because they are gone, we can also be joyful in knowing that we can see them again and also, we can rejoice knowing that they are no longer suffering in this sinful world.
I will close with this…
The great 18th century Bible commentator Matthew Henry, anticipating that some would unduly mourn his passing, wrote these words of comfort and assurance: "Would you like to know where I am? I am at home in my Father’s house, in the mansions prepared for me here.
I am where I want to be--no longer on the stormy sea, but in God’s safe, quiet harbor. My sowing time is done and I am reaping; my joy is as the joy of harvest. Would you like to know how it is with me? I am made perfect in holiness. Grace is swallowed up in glory.
Would you like to know what I am doing? I see God, not as through a glass darkly, but face to face. I am engaged in the sweet enjoyment of my precious Redeemer. I am singing hallelujahs to Him who sits upon the throne, and I am constantly praising Him.
Would you like to know what blessed company I keep? It is better than the best on earth. Here are the holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. I am with many of my old acquaintances with whom I worked and prayed, and who have come here before me.
Lastly, do you want to know how long this will continue? It is a dawn that never fades! After millions and millions of ages, it will be as fresh as it is now. Therefore, weep not for me!"
Where will you be when you die? Will you go to Heaven with all of its glory?… The answer depends on what you do with Jesus!
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