We are going to start a series on HEAVEN tonight. This is going to be like a class. This is a intro . as to what the Bible teaches about HEAVEN.
We live in a society of instant gratification. People who want to delay and defer absolute nothing except payments. They certain do not want to delay or defer gratification. Just the pain that goes with it. We live in a time when everyone want what they want now. We have the credit cards that allow us to buy what we don’t have now, to go were we don’t have the money to go, to do what we don’t have the money to do. (Average 16,000 dollars on 15 credit cards in U.S.) Then we pay from then on, hopefully.
This is reflective of an attitude that says: “I want what I want when I want it now.” We used to sing songs about HEAVEN, not now. Because we are not into delay gratification. And HEAVEN is delay gratification. We are not into anything been put off to the future.
We are into instant gratification. We want it now , and we are glad to sacrifice the- future on the altar of the immediate. We don’t want to wait for anything.
As a result of this kind of society: Material indulgence. the church has fallen prey to that. And we have know longer set our affection on things above as Col 3 calls us to. But we have set our affection on things of the earth. We are really not interested in some meblus future. Some place in space. We are not committed in laying our treasure in heaven as Jesus told us to, But rather here .
TV/Radio preachers are successful in telling the people that God wants them health, wealthy and rich, now. Successful now ……….
Popular because people want it all now.
We live in a day when people want a prosperity gospel, so they just might bring back Jimmy & Tammy at PTL. They will give money to whoever is selling it. People will buy into something they think will make them wealthy, rich, and successful in this life.
In America, the church doesn’t have HEAVEN on its mind. As a result of that it tends to indulgent and selfish and self centered, weak
The church desires to be comfortable, with only passing thoughts of heaven.
Contrast that, most everything that is most precious to us is in heaven. Let me explain:
Matthew 6:9 reads:
1A Your Father is in Heaven.
- Hebrews 9:24 reads:
2A Our Saviour is in Heaven.
- Hebrews 12:23 reads:
3A Our brothers/sisters in the faith are in heaven. All O.T./N.T.
- Luke 10:20 read
4A Our name is recorded there. i.e. we have a title deed to some property there, We are citizen there.
- II Peter 1:3-4
5A In Heaven precious promises,
- I Peter 1:3 tells us that that promise is. All of the riches of God’s glory and grace are set aside in Heaven for you and me,
- Our Father is there.
- Our Saviour is there.
- Our Brothers/Sisters are there.
- Our name is there, Title deed.
- Our Inheritance is there.
- Phil 3:20 summary.. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Our Citizenship is there.
- Matthew 5:12
6A Your eternal rewards are there.
7A There Master is there.
- Matthew 6:19-21
8A The only treasure you will get is there.
- So when you thing Heaven, you are definite a place where your FATHER, SAVIOUR, BROTHERS/SISTERS, NAME, INHERITANCE, CIZENSHIP, AND REWARDS ARE THERE,
Sum it up HEAVEN IS YOUR HOME.
- Why Paul said we are just passing thought, space travelers, we are on a planet not our own. We don’t belong here.
- We are the alien beings. People meet us and we are aliens.
- We have arrived here, but our home is somewhere else folks.
- Everything we love is there,
- Everything we delight in is there.
- Everything eternal is there.
And yet, in America, today, we in the church are indulgence in, commitment in, this alien land. Self-indulgent Christianity is the kind of Christianity that has lost it heavenly perspective .
The church today, doesn’t hope for heaven, they hope that want go to heaven. They don’t want to go to heaven. Until they have had all that earth could possible deliver them. And when they have had all they can stand, and they get to old to enjoy it any more they are glad that HEAVEN will be there to receive them. “But please God, don’t sent me to heaven, yet, I haven’t been to Hawaii yet.”
- I John 2 “All those things in the world are passing away.”
If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him.”
So many people say that they love God, but by their love of the world, tell us that they are not citizens of Heaven at all.
Like the old Negro spiritual: “Everybody talk “en about Heavenant’n going there.”
But everybody going to Heaven, ant’n talking about Heaven either .
We need to learn to live in the light of Heaven. That hope should fill our life, change our life. Should with anticipation of heaven, loosen us from this passing world.
We can get so tied down in this world. We consume things that will perish. Instead of landing treasures in heaven.
Now some people think heaven is an imaginary place. A human dream, for little children, A wish, a state of mind, a project of all the good in humanity, etc.
BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT HEAVEN IS A PLACE ….. GRAB THAT.
ALL THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE GOD ARE THERE OR THEY ARE GOING THERE.
- Going there to live there eternity, and in perfect perfection.
- So we need to live in the light of HEAVEN. Let me give you a perspective on that:
- II Corin 5: (4:8-12) Paul’s life on earth. 4:16 we don’t lose heart. But in light of HEAVEN, the glory to come, all this is light.
- The greater the suffering here, the greater the exhortation there.
- 4:17 A little terminal trouble for eternal glory. A pound of trouble here, a eternal amount of blessings in heaven.
- 4:18 thus we do not look at this short time of trouble, but we see the eternal.
- 5:1 Thus we have a house in heaven. we have another house.
Our tent is in the process of being torn down. Life is that way.But God has a new house waiting for us that will be made of God, and that will be made by him, and will last, graciously for eternity.5:2 We groan today, and we longed to be clothed with our new house in heaven. Or is it we long or desire to he at the mall to be clothed with whatsoever is on sale.
WHERE IS YOUR DESIRE , your longing?
- Not to many in the Church of Jesus Christ are walking around groaning to be in the present of Jesus in Heaven.
- Paul was a man who longed for a body in its heavenly form. Longing to be in that eternal place.
- Heaven is a down payment on our salvation. Its the plead of the Father, upon receiving him as our Saviour.
- 5:6-8 can you say that. Can you say that this is your deepest desire. “absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
- It is very hard for us to say that.
- My desire over the next few weeks is to loosen us up a little in terms of us holding so tightly to this life .
- “I prefer to be with the Lord, at home with him.”
- I long to be home. Right. This is the heart attitude that we are after. We want to get to the point in our own hearts where we groan to be cloth with our heavenly form, and to be with the Lord. To get to the poing of where we are more concern with the eternal weight of glory than the light affliction here. Where we are conscious of laying all our treasure in heaven, so that we can enjoy it forever. Then laying it on earth and leaving it here.
BASIS THINGS ABOUT HEAVEN
1A Heaven is refer to in the scripture about 550 times.
2A If we are going to be heavenly minded we must know a little about it. So we can have something that will pull us that way.
Heaven in the O.T. means “The heights” in the N.T. it means “That which is raised up.” Something that is high and raise up.
We look up in the sky, we are look up at heaven.
II Cor 12:1-6 Paul was caught up to the third heaven. 3 heaven
IB First Heaven: clouds/ air we breath. 20 miles limit up Isa 55:9-10 Rain and snow come down. Rain comes down.
2B Second Heaven: Stars, moon, etc. Planets move around in. Gen. 1
3B Third Heaven: Divine Heaven, where God dwells………. lives.
- I Kings 8:27 note: i.e. all of heavens could not contain God.
Isaiah 57;15; God dwells in a place, a real place. Heaven,
Psa. 33:14 “For the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.”
33:13 “The Lord looked from heaven:”
Psa. 102:19 “For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary from heaven, did the Lord behold the earth.”
Rev. ‘3;12; The name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven.”
GOD LIVES IN HEAVEN, YET HEAVEN DOESN’T CONTAIN GOD.
MATTHEW 5:16 read: God is in heaven . vs. 34 vs 45, 6:1, 9 7:11, 21 10:32,33 12:50 16:17 18:10, 14, 19, 35
You get the feeling that Jesus want us to know that God is in HEAVEN.
John 6:33, 3_8^ £1 4_2 5_0 51 5^
WHAT I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND IS, THAT HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE. God lives there, and Christ came from there.
It is a place, so much a place of God, that heaven became a synonym fro God.
Luke 15:7, 18^
The Kingdom of Heaven, refers to the Kingdom of God.
Why would that be, Heaven instead of God.. In a period between the O. and N. They begin to fear of using the Hebrew word for God. To holy to come through their lips. So they substituted a word. And sometimes it was HEAVEN. Instead of saying I worship God they would say “I worship Heaven.” “Call upon the name of Heaven.”
A PLACE WHERE GOD DWELLS AND RULES……
HEAVEN IS A PLACE.
EPH. 1:3 2:6-7 We aren’t in heaven yet, heaven is a place.
Though we are not in heaven, we are in the heavenly. Which means? Heaven is where God is, we are not in the place called Heaven, but we are presently in the place of dominion of the King of Heaven.
We come under the rule of God in the heavenly.
So when you go saved, and inherit eternal life, and become a believer in Christ, you enter into the kingdom of God. You are under his rule. Not in heaven, but in the heavenly.
Thus we are to be preoccupy with the heavenly things. We have a heavenly life. Our new life in Christ is a new life in the heavenly. That is, it is under the dominion and rule of God.
WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE?
IB Heaven is a new order.
2B Heaven is a new community of holiness.
3B Heaven is a new fellowship of harmony with the Lord and God.
4B Heaven is a place of joy and peace, and holiness, and love and fulfillment.
And in part do we not experience that here. Isn’t the holy spirit
the pledge of that. Hasn’t the Holy Spirit produce in us,Gal. 5:22-23…joy, peace, long-suffering…… …….”A foretaste of heavenly divine.” the song goes.
The future heaven that we will be, we are tasting now.
IB We have the pledge of the Holy Spirit in us.
2B We have the life of God within us.
3B We have the rule of God over us.
4B We know joy and peace , and love, and goodness, and blessings.
5B We have come into a new kind of humanity, fellowship, family.
WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE;
· We are now experience a taste of that now.
· We have come out of darkness, and into the light of his son.
- · We have a new life principle. A New creature II Cor 5:17
- · We are members of a new family.
- · We are children of God.
- · We are children of a new place. Gal 4:26
- · We have a new citizenship: Philippians 3:20
- · We have a new affection.
- · We have a new storehouse. Our treasure is to be in heavenly
YES HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE, BUT WE NOW HAVE A SPHERE WHERE GOD
RULES. AND GOD GIVES US A FORETASTE OF GLORY DIVINE
The best of your spiritual experience is a taste of what will be common place in Heaven.____
Your highest high spiritually, your greatest blessings spiritually, would be the commonest things in heaven. We are tasting in a small way of the things to come.
But we now live in the heavenly, and we need to live in that heavenly mind set. We are part of a
- · A new order
- · .. a new community
- · a new fellowship
- · a new life principle
- · a new family
- · a new citizenship
- · a new affection.
And we are just passing thought this life. Until we can get to the place where all the heavenly reality will be just that for us.
It is now a sphere where we live under the rule of God and in the blessings of His Spirit, it someday will be that and a place where we will actually set our glorified feet and walk a real place
- John 17:24….Jesus prayed. Beautifully … read……..
- John 14:1-3 Jesus wants us to be with him forever, so we can see his glory, and the glory of his father.
- Jesus is getting ready for us a place, a real place, with many rooms. A real physical place.
So we are looking for that place.
- A real city. A city whose maker is God.
- In the Bible times a city was a place of safety. A place of refuge. Inside the walls were brotherhood, harmony, protection
- While walking in the desert, they were exposed to the elements of the day, after weeks of this kind of life, how refreshing it was to enter into the protection of a city. There to find security, fellowship, harmony, etc. That is from the Biblical point of view.
Today it is decency, crime, all that is wicked, and people in the city are looking for a country.
But in those days people in the country were longing for a city.
WE NEED THAT MIND SET.
We need to see ourselves as pilgrims, and strangers, wandering in this land, looking for a city whose builder is God. A real place, where we will really go, and live with Christ.
We are now only experience a foretaste of that place. In the joy of walking with Christ, whom not seen we love, in the joy of knowing the Lord lives with us, the pledge that some day will come to that place.
The moment that you live this life as a Christian, you go to that place. There is no limo place.
What is your desire?
We should live in the mind set, the degree, that we long for the fullness of all the spiritual blessings could possible be. Do you rejoice over the work of Christ in your life? If you do, then you will want more, and that is in heaven.
I want to have the longing of Paul, to get out of this body and into the clothed form of the heaven. I want to get out of this world and on to eternal bliss.
And I hope you will want the same thing by the time this series is over. I hope it will have a profound effect on your outlook of living lif
HEAVEN, Part 2 (Extra)
How vast is our universe?
It is so vast that it takes a beam of light (which travels some 700 million miles per hour) over 100,000 years just to cover the distance length of our galaxy called the Milky Way. But our galaxy is only one among many billions in the known universe. To illustrate the size of our U. consider the following four example. IB a paper stack model:
Let us say the thickness of a sheet of paper represents the distance from the earth to the sun (some 93 million miles)
- To represent the distance to the nearest star we would need a 71′ high stack of paper.
- To cover the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy would require a 310 mile high stack.
- To reach the edge of the known U. would demand a pile of paper sheets 31 million miles high.
2B Orange and grain of sand mode1
- Here an orange would represent the sun.
- A grain of sand is the earth, circling the orange at a distance of 30′
- Pluto is another grain of sand, circling the orange at 10 city blocks away.
- Alpha Centaur (the nearest star is 1300 miles away from the orange.
3B Ho11ow sun i1lu stration
- If the sun were hollow, one million, 300,000 earth earths could fit in it.
- A star named Antares (if hollow) could hold 64millions of our suns.
- In the constellation of Hercules there is a star which could contain 100 million of Antares,
- The largest known star • EPSILON, could easily swallow up several million starts the size of the one in Heculesl
4B the relative speed illustration
- Our earth is traveling around it own axis at lOOO mph
- It moves around the sun at 67,000 mph
- It is carried by the sun across our galaxy at a speed of 64,000 mph
- It movers in orbit around our galaxy at 481,000 mph
- It travels through space at one million, 350 thousands mph
- Every 24 hours we cover 57,360,000 miles.
- Each year we travel 20,936,400,000 miles across empty space.
All the above is of course but a feeble attempt to illustrate the magnitude of space and of a U. which contains as many starts as there are grains of sand on all the seashores of the world. What is even more shocking, is that we are told that God has both number of the stars and names for each star.Ps. 147:4 Isa 40:26
One other interesting fact:
- Our destination is ALPHA/CENTAURI (our closest stat) would take 3.6 years at speed of light but 10 years lapsed on earth.
- Center of the Milky Way. 21 years traveling, but 50,000 years earth and Andromeda Galaxy (our nearest galaxy) 28 years to travel there, but 2 million years of earth years gone.
- Time-light mysteries: As an object reaches the speed of light, we are told, time slows down. Thus a rocket ship manned by several men set out to explore the U. traveling at near the speed of light would do the above.