SERIES: Topical Messages: Heaven
SETTING: North Kelso Baptist Church
SERVICE: Sunday AM (October 4, 2015)
SUBTITLE: Heaven: Our Heart & Our Home
SCRIPTURE: Selected Scriptures
SUBJECT: The perfection of Heaven
SUMMARY: Heaven is comprised of absolute perfection
SCHEME: To prove that heaven provides absolute perfection.
Our theme is: Heaven provides absolute perfection
Proposition: Heaven is comprised of absolute perfection
Interrogatory Sentence: Why will heaven be absolute perfection for the believer?
Transitional Sentence: There are three (3) reasons why heaven will be absolute perfection for the believer.
• Because of what heaven provides
• Because of what heaven promotes
• Because of wat heaven promises
Heaven: Our Heart & Our Home
Selected Scriptures * Part 5
Edwin Bliss said, "The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time."
No matter how sincere and strenuously we pursue perfection in this life we will never obtain it nor experience it. What a waste of time and energy pursing perfect lives, jobs, marriages, homes, or even hobbies.
Praise God that one day we will experience absolute perfection! Heaven and the presence of God will be far more than “excellent!”
Why is it that most products that are offered for sale for us to buy come with a warrant or a guaranty?
Why do car manufacturers offer warranties on their cars and trucks?
Wouldn’t you like to have a mind and body that does not deteriorate as you age?
The reason most products including your cars come with warranties or guaranties is that they are imperfect. They break down or they wear out.
I want to share with you the fact that heaven provides absolute perfection in all things that prevents everything and anything from wearing out or breaking down.
This morning I want to excite you with the full comfort and encouragement that is produced by the assurance that heaven will be a source of absolute perfection for each believer.
Our theme is: Heaven provides absolute perfection
Proposition: Heaven provides an absolute guaranty of perfection for the believer
Interrogatory Sentence: Why will heaven be absolute perfection for the believer?
Transitional Sentence: There are at least three (3) reasons why heaven will be absolute perfection for the believer. Heaven will be absolute perfection…
o Because of what heaven provides
o Because of what heaven promotes
o Because of what heaven promises
[But before we dig in, let’s take a couple of minutes and…]
We are in a series about heaven. It is called Heaven: Our Heart and our Hope.
Last week we looked at what I called “The Eternal Heaven.” We looked at the character or the nature of this eternal heaven by looking at and through four different (4) lenses; the lens of implication, the lens of interrelationship, the lens of intention, and the lens of imagination.
[We say by the way of…]
• Implication – that it is obvious that by looking carefully at scripture and by looking around us at this present earth, we can garner some significant information and insight about what the re-created heaven and earth will be like by observing the implications that are visible and present. The re-created heaven and earth will be similar to the present heaven and earth. So we said to get somewhat of an idea of what the new heaven on the new earth will be like, just look around.
• Interrelationship - All that the bible describes of this coming eternal heaven doesn’t seem to fit in a temporal heaven. It can only take place on a newly re-created earth. There seems to be a real interrelationship between this present heaven and earth and the coming heaven and earth. They are inter-related in a number of ways. They both contain cities, countries, and geographical items.
• Intention - God intended from eternity past to redeem some members of the human race and he intended on breaking the curse that fell on the earth by recreating both the heavens and the earth. God spoke often of His intention to recreate this world – we noted His intention which is clearly identified in Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1.
Let’s think about God’s intention for just a minute. If God was simply going to provide a way to pass from this life into the present heaven, a place where it seems that is a dwelling place for spirit beings, why would he recreate a physical earth that takes physical bodies?
Also, God never gave up his claim on this earth. We are not going to go to this temporary heaven and forever quit the earth. God intends to bring heaven and earth together in the same location with no division or separation between them. (Gen 3:24, Eph 1:10)
God intended by and with the death of Jesus to recreate the heavens and the earth to be joined together as a permanent dwelling for him, the angels, and all the saints. So, what is God’s intention? Peter tell us that Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:21)
The prophets (in the OT) tell us that this restoration is going to take place on earth, not in the present heavens.
• Imagination – I encourage you to take what I have shared with you, all of the scripture references that I gave you and meditate with your imagination on this eternal heaven located on this newly rec-created earth. Imagine this marvelous and mammoth city with:
o 12 Gates with the name of the 12 apostles written on them
o 12 angels guarding these gates
o Numerous streets leading in and out of this great city
o The river of life flowing from the throne of God down the main street
o The numerous trees of life growing on both sides of this magnificent river
o 2 million square miles
o 600 stores high
o 1400 x 1400 x 1400 x 1400 miles in diameter
Imagine eternity in this bright, golden, beautiful, and perfect city, country where we will live forever in the presence of God!
Well, I have to interrupt your imagination but we need to move on to the third (3) point of this message. We have already looked in detail at The Promise of Heaven and The Place of Heaven, now we will look at…
3A THE PERFECTION OF HEAVEN
Heaven will be absolute perfection…
1B Because of what heaven provides
Heaven will provide…
1C Radiant Happiness
What do you think of when you think of or about happiness? I think that most people would think of favorable circumstances or events.
• Getting a raise makes most people happy
• The birth of a new baby usually makes people happy
• Good news from or about family members make us happy
• A clean bill of health from the doctor makes us happy
• Our favorite team winning the Super Bowl makes us happy
• Taking a long needed vacation to a special place
But happiness is temporary. It is not consistent. It is usually based on as I said favorable circumstances. Many times in life our happiness gives way to unhappiness.
• The news is not always good from friends or family
• The doctor’s report is not always what we want to hear
• Rather than getting a raise, we may lose our job
• Vacations can be spoiled by problems & trials
• Sometimes the Seahawks lose the Super Bowl
Heaven, however, will be or will consist of constant, never ending joy. We will experience in heaven a level of joy that we have never imagined or experienced in this present life on this present earth.
Did you know that the word for joy appears some 165 times in the KJV of bible? It appears some 255 times in the NIV.
Listen to Isaiah…
“So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 51:11, NKJV)
We are all hopefully waiting to hear these words from Jesus…
“…enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:21, NKJV)
Paul told the believers in the Roman church…
“…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17, NKJV)
God himself invites his children to “shout joyfully together.” (Isaiah 52:9)
All of us cry and weep at one time or another for one reason or another. But there is coming a day in the presence of God and in heaven, temporal or eternal, where joy will overwhelm us. God will cause us to laugh and even shout because of the euphoria of joy.
What a fantastic picture! Heaven promises a joy that will be so intense that it will cause us to shout! This joy will be eternal, unending – everlasting.
No matter what we do in heaven – and we will be busy and active – we will experience an at this time unimaginable joy.
The joy is so intense and so permeates our experience that even the mountains and the hills will be pictured clapping their hands in joy.
David once said, “You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.” (Psalm 65:8)
The central focus of our joy will be Christ Jesus. The presence of Christ will create joy and gladness that will be expressed in shouts and singing.
Heaven will be absolute perfection…Because of what heaven provides. Heaven will provide…Radiant Happiness
Heaven will also provide…
2C Restored Health
I have already spoken of Fanny Crosby, but let me share a bit. She was only six (6) weeks old when a man who claimed to be a doctor put a hot mixture of ingredients on her eyes hoping to remove an infection. The mixture blinded her. She never regained her sight. From six weeks old until her death at 95 she never saw a thing.
Many believers are blind, deaf, crippled, sick, paralyzed, diseased, and in pain. Many Christians suffer intense pain.
But Isaiah tells us, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue will shout for joy.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)
There is coming a time in both the kingdom of God and in the eternal state on earth, when all illnesses, diseases, and pain will be no more.
Heaven promises restored health! Doctors, surgeons, optometrists, dentists, and health-care workers will all be out of business.
We will be perfect in heaven. All of our senses, faculties, and limbs were be restored to perfect health.
Heaven will be absolute perfection…Because of what heaven provides. Heaven will provide…Radiant Happiness and heaven will provide Restored Health.
Heaven will also provide…
3C Resolute Haven
Once Irene and I left our home in Auburn, WA. I don’t even know where we had gone now. But when we got out of the car and walked up to the door we knew something was wrong. Someone had kicked in our front door. Then they went through our house and our belongings and took several items. We had been robbed.
Today, most people have either some or all of protective items such as alarms, security systems, dogs, or even guns. Criminals force themselves in our homes or cars and take things that are ours.
So we have to take a number of steps to keep from being hurt, harmed, harassed, or held-up.
Not in heaven. Heaven promises absolute haven, absolute peace and safety.
Micah tells us, “Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Micah 4:4)
The new earth will experience constant security and safety. There will be no reason to be afraid of anyone or anything.
Heaven will be absolute perfection…Because of what heaven provides. Heaven will provide…Radiant Happiness and heaven will provide Restored Health, and heaven will provide Resolute Haven.
Heaven will also provide…
4C Robust Holidays
This is one of my favorite things heaven will provide!
People often wonder and ask, “Will we eat in heaven? Well, I don’t think there is any question about it! We will! Read Isaiah 25:6, Isaiah speaks of a sumptuous banquet.
“The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine. (Isaiah 25:6)
The celebration and eating will start in the millennial kingdom and will extend into the new heaven on the newly recreated earth.
Joel promised the Israelites that they would have plenty to eat and would be satisfied and would praise the name of God for their food. (Joel 2:26)
Jesus predicted the time when “many would come from the ease and west and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Matt 8:11)
At the wedding feast on earth we will eat oxen, fatted livestock, choice meat with marrow, we will eat fruits and vegetables.
The gospels tell us that those who hunger now will be satisfied then. The word satisfied indicates “filled to the full.”
So, heaven will be perfect because heaven will provide a robust holiday or time of happy, relaxed, feasting.
Heaven will be absolute perfection…Because of what heaven provides. Heaven will provide…Radiant Happiness and heaven will provide Restored Health, and heaven will provide Resolute Haven and heaven will provide a Robust Holiday.
[Heaven will be absolute perfection…]
2B Because of what heaven promotes
1C Perfect bonds
We will have perfect relationships in heaven. We will recognize each other and we will live near and around people we didn’t know in this life time. We will recognize and now our loved ones.
There will be no family disputes or feuds. There will be no personality conflicts. We will all get along perfectly.
2C Perfect bodies
We have already mentioned this on the fact that heaven provides robust health.
Think about this for a minute. When Adam and Eve were created they were created perfect. They were young. They were sinless.
Paul Enns wrote that they would have been breathtakingly beautiful, perfect in every sense. It was only when sin entered their life that they began to deteriorate and die.
In eternity and in heaven our bodies will be restored to perfection.
What will your body be like? We really don’t know other than it will be restored to perfection. But listen to a couple of speculations:
“…the body shall be of that size which it either attained or should have attained in the flower of its youth, and shall enjoy the beauty that arises from preserving symmetry and proportion in all its members…overgrown and emancipated persons need not fear that they shall be in heaven of such a figure as they would not be even in this world if they could help it.” (Augustine)
Hank Hanegraff (whom I am no fan) wrote something interesting and plausible so I include it, “Our DNA is programmed in such a way that, at a particular point, we reach optimal development from a functional perspective. For the most part, it appears that we reach this stage somewhere in our twenties and thirties…If the blueprint for our glorified bodies are in the DNA, then it would stand to reason that our bodies will be resurrected at the optimal state of development determined by our DNA.”
We can’t be dogmatic or definitive. The Scriptures simply don’t tell us what we will look like or how old we will be. Suffice to say, that heaven will be absolutely perfect because it promotes the fact that we will have a perfect and gloried body.
Heaven will be absolutely perfect because heaven also promotes…
3C Perfect beliefs
The perfect belief or truth or doctrine is the fact that only those who have been granted entrance into heaven by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be there.
No other philosophy, no other religion, no other beliefs or doctrines will be present.
• The lost, the unbelieving, the unconverted will not be there
• The wicked or the evil will not be there
• The ideologies or beliefs of Charles Taze Russel, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy, Mohammed, Tom Cruise, or Oprah Winfrey will NOT be there.
We will worship God perfectly in unison with no dissension or division.
Only those who had and have the belief that Jesus is the Christ will be there. Unity will be the watchword of the day. There will be no fear of persecution or rejection because we believe that Christ Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only source of life leading to eternal redemption.
Well, heaven will be absolute perfect because of what it promises and what it promotes. It promotes perfect bonds or relationships, perfect bodies, and perfect beliefs.
[Heaven also promotes…]
4C Perfect beings
Many people wonder will there a continuity of our old earthly bodies to our resurrected bodies in heaven on the new earth?
What we do know in addition to the fact that our resurrected body will be perfect, it will be gloried.
As we have already mentioned, there will no imperfections in this new body. Everybody will be absolutely perfect. But they will be distinct and different from each other.
What people really want to know is…
• Will I be too thin like I am now
• Will I be fat like I am now
• Will I be bald or have thinning hair
• Will I be too short or too tall
• Will I be plain looking or unattractive
What we know from scripture is limited but we know…
• First – we will have a body
• Second – they will have some form/type of continuity with our present bodies
o Jesus was recognizable in his gloried body
o Thomas recognized Christ by his wounds
o Jesus ate fish and bread in his glorified body
o Personalities will continual in the gloried body
o Moses and Elijah had glorified bodies but looked like the disciples
o Memories will continue in the glorified body
o We will know one another in heaven
• Third – service and work will continue in the eternal heaven on the new earth. We need a body similar to the one we have in order to serve, worship and work. Abilities, talents, and even giftedness does not seem to end in the eternal heaven.
I agree with Randy Alcorn when he speculates, “Because there will be continuity from the old earth to the new earth, it’s possible we’ll continue some of the work we started doing on the old earth. I believe we’ll pursue some of the same things we were doing, or dreamed of doing before our death…Others, however, may continue with work similar to what they do now whether as gardeners, engineers, builders, artists, animal trainers, musicians, scientists, crafts people, or hundreds of other vocations.”
Even though much of what he wrote is speculation and we can’t prove it all, I do believe that we will be engaged in some sort of work in addition to worship. This requires perfect beings in a perfect environment to carry out God’s eternal purpose for us.
And so, I think that there will some carry over from this life and body to our heavenly life and body in order to recognize one another, remember things, enjoy each other, work and to serve and to worship. So heaven promotes a perfect being.
Heaven will be absolute perfection…Because of what heaven promotes. Heaven promotes…Perfect Bodies heaven promotes Perfect bonds, heaven promotes Perfect beliefs, and heaven promotes Perfect beings.
Heaven will be absolute perfection…
3B Because of what heaven promises
I think we can understand the concept or the idea of perfection but we have a hard time seeing it in our minds eye. The reason is that everything we know is not perfect.
When the curse is removed and the earth has been recreated and we are in our resurrected bodies everything will be absolutely perfect.
Heaven is a perfect place for people who have been made perfect by God.
Secondly, heaven also promises…
The unique and wonderful thing about our salvation is that God begins transforming us the instant he saves us. The HS instantly gives us a new heart with new desires.
He transforms our will, opens our hearts to the truth, enables us to believe God’s word, and actually gives us a desire for righteousness.
The new birth, being born again (above), conversion transforms the inner person. God begins the job of making us like Christ.
This is the evidence that there is real salvation in a person’s life – transformation.
So, we will be transformed physically when we our spirit is re-united with a resurrected body made fit for the eternal heaven on earth.
We do not have to worry or fear that we will live in heaven in a body that is not transformed or perfect.
Thirdly, heaven promises…
It is obvious from the scriptures and from this life that God made human beings with a soul and a body. Gen 2:7 tells us that God formed a body and then breathed the breath of life into that body and man became at that point a living creature.
As MacArthur puts it, “we consist of an inner self and an outer self.”
So, when we die, our spirit goes immediately into the presence of God in temporal or temporary heaven. Our bodies remain in the grave, or in an urn, or scattered/lost on the earth.
At the first resurrection our spirit will be reunited with our body which will be raised from death and will be glorified. Our new bodies will be perfected and glorified.
We don’t know what that body will look like but it will be similar to the body of Jesus. We do know that we will have a body that is suitable for the eternal heaven on earth.
Lastly, heaven promises…
What I mean by this is we will have and enjoy for all of eternity unbroken fellowship with God. We will be in complete unity or harmony with God!
I agree with John MacArthur when he said, “Without a question, the most marvelous thing of all about heaven – heaven’s supreme delight – will be that we get to have unbroken fellowship with God.”
1 John 5:13 defines salvation as unbroken fellowship with God. Listen, “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
When God made us alive by his Holy Spirit we entered into a unique relationship and fellowship with God through our union with Jesus Christ. The life of God became our life. We are united with God through Jesus Christ.
But right not that union has not realized its fullest potential. Even Paul said we see through a mirror or glass darkly or dimly. Or we know in part. Our union is clouded by sin and the imperfections of this life and body.
One day our union will be fully realized when we are in the presence of God. See, perfect fellowship with God is God’s eternal purpose.
Revelation 21:3 says, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place1 of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,2 and God himself will be with them as their God.3 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:3, ESV)
So, heaven promises perfection, transformation, glorification, and unification.
We can safely state that Heaven will be absolute perfection…
• because of what heaven provides
• because of what heaven promotes
• because of what heaven promises
[What do you say we wrap this up?]
Let me conclude with this statement, the reason that heaven makes such a little impression on most believers is that they only think on it in very general ideas. You must think or mediate about heaven in very definite and specific details. Walk the golden streets, take a drink from the river of life, and pluck a fruit from the tree of life, fellowship with those made perfect who have gone on before us. Heaven is perfect.
What Should You Do? (Application)
First of all, ask yourself, “How is your confidence meter in regards to the perfection of heaven?”
God tells us in a number of places in Scripture that we will experience absolute perfection in heaven. All imperfections will instantly be gone and everything, including our spiritual being, physical bodies, geography, and anything else you can think of will be absolutely perfect. All former things will pass away.
Second, believe God and His word. Trust him and look expectantly toward the perfection that the eternal heavens will bring. Don’t doubt it. The word of God tells us that heaven will be perfect beyond our imagination.
Third, continue to meditate on these truths! Let them comfort you during difficult times, trials, tribulations, and suffering.