Kenny Chesney recorded a song that included this hook line, "everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now." Cute song, but sadly too true. Ask anybody around you if they would like to go to heaven, I dare say the answer is almost always, yes! Ask them, OK, how about right now?" Watch all of them sputter like an arc light. There is just something about that word "now" that puts a whole different spin on it, doesn't it?
Sadly, most believers do not have a biblical view and understanding of heaven. Unfortunately a large portion of that fault lies with the Elders and teachers in the church. Sermons and series on heaven should be included in the preaching plan of every body of Elders in order to help prepare people for heaven.
Having made the statement, I don't have the time or the space today to do a series on heaven. I may work on that as a project for "Sundays in the Study." Today, I would simply like to share five (5) thoughts or facts from God's Word about this wonderful place called heaven.
Heaven is the dwelling place of God. God dwells in a place the bible calls the third heaven. The bible calls this place the heaven of heavens. The apostle Paul was "caught up" and transported to the third heaven and given a small glimpse of heaven's glory. (II Corinthians 12:2) The apostle John was also transported into heaven where he saw many wonderful things. (Rev 4:2) Heaven is where God dwells. Heaven is a specific place. (Matthew 6:9; John 14:2-3). Study these scriptures and ask God to illuminate your spiritual understanding about this real place where God dwells. We will one day live where God lives and with God!
Heaven is a place of unmatched peace and beauty. We have a brief sneak peek at the beauty and glory of this wonderful place in Revelations 21:1-Revelations 22:6. Take some time to read this section today. Notice in this passage that the holy city called New Jerusalem descends form heaven. Look at the description; New Jerusalem is adorned or dressed as a bride who is adorned or dressed for her husband. Guys, I don't know about you, but I can close my eyes and see Irene in her white gown at the back of the church coming down that aisle towards me. She was beautiful. Her dark hair flowed down around her brown shoulders and that white dress - isn't it something that when God wanted to emphasize the beauty of New Jerusalem He chose a bride as an example? There is no more pain, sorrow, tears, or death.There is a beautiful spring available. There is in this account a description of a beautiful crystal river that flows from the throne of God. Meditate on this passage and the cross references and drink in the peace and beauty of heaven.
Heaven is the current dwelling place for all those in Christ who have died. All who have died, before the cross anticipating by faith and those after the cross having been given faith are immediately transported to this place when their regenerated spirit leaves the body. (Phil 1:23; II Corinthians 5:8; Matthew 17:3-4). Every family member and relative, every friend, everyone we have known who died in Christ is there enjoying all that God has provided. So many have gone on before us and we miss them. One day, we too shall cross that great divide (those who are in Christ) and we shall join them in that splendid place. "What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q51R0UdtqSk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kshw-OnxDns Take the time to listen, will you? I can't wait, can you?
Heaven is be a place where we will be very busy. Unfortunately, many people think of heaven as place of harps and clouds. Some even think we will be very bored sitting around for billions of years on soft fluffy clouds. Study the scriptures and see just how busy you will be for eternity. First, of all, heaven doesn't stay located beyond the atmosphere. Heaven comes down to this earth. Here are some of the things that will keep you busy:
- We will worship God. (Rev 5:12)
- We will rule and administrate. (I Cor 6:2-3; Ro 5:17, Rev 22:5; II Tim 2:12
- We will rebuild cities. (Amos 9:14; Isaiah 61:3
- We will build houses. (Isaiah 65:21, Isaiah 32:18
- We will work. (Rev 7:15, 22:3; Titus 2:14
- We will farm. (Isaiah 30:23; Hosea 2:22; Isaiah 32:20)
- We will care for orchards. (Isaiah 65:21; Amos 9:13-14; Isaiah 55:13
- We will raise livestock. (Psalms 8:3-9; Isaiah 30:23; Joel 3:18)
- We will fish. (Ezek 47:10)
So, you won't have to worry about sitting around on some cloud for a billion quatrillion gazillion years plucking a harp. Some of you are going to look good feeding cows and riding horses. But wait, there is more, wait to you see me holding a hammer building a house.
Heaven's anticipation teaches us how to live now. There is no doubt that we live our current life on this earth. Regardless of where we were born and what our nationality might be or what our citizenship is, we as blood bought redeemed children of God are citizens of heaven. (Phil 3:20) All believers have "dual-citizenship." Lynn's and Chesney's songs remind us that nobody wants to go heaven now. We are way to "rooted" in this world and this life. However, Paul told the Colossians to not let the thingss of this world capture your mind. Think on heaven and think on it often. Anticipate heaven. Live life today for heaven. C. S. Lewis wrote: "Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist...If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world...Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing."
Does this life arouse you for heaven?
Do you have a spiritual longing and desire
for that which only heaven can satisfy?
How are you preparing for heaven right now?