I Believe in Heaven
Click here for sermon audio
We don't have a lot of information about Heaven in its current state. What we do know is as Randy Alcorn says, "Heaven is God's central dwelling place, the location of His throne from which He rules the universe (Heaven)."
If you trust and believe in Jesus Christ while you are here on earth, you are promised to be in Heaven when you die. The moment you give up your last breath, your soul immediately passes into Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1, 6, 8; Phil. 1:23). Jesus calls Heaven paradise (Luke 23:43). Your body will rest in the grave until Jesus returns and gives us a new, glorified body (Job 19:26-27). But, Heaven is much better than earth in its current form.
That's why Paul says, "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8)" and "To live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)."
Theologians call the current heaven the intermediate heaven because Revelation 21:1-5 describes a new heavens and a new earth that will form after the current heavens and earth pass away. When the new heavens and new earth comes, we will have new bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
What we know about Heaven to come is...
1. Heaven is Fun.
A common misconception about Heaven is that all we do is sing and play harps all day. If that is the case, who would want to be there for eternity? We often forget that God is the author of fun.
Think about it:
- Who made the beach?
- Who made the lake?
- Who made the mountains? Snow?
- Who made food?
- Who made music? Well, men and women did, but who made men and women?
Heaven is going to be awesome because we are with a God who knows how to have fun, and He wants us to enjoy His presence. Dave Radford says, "God is infinite and can be infinitely enjoyed."
2. Heaven is Beautiful.
Think about the most beautiful places you've ever been to. Even in its beauty, there are still imperfections because we live in a fallen world. Heaven will be the most beautiful place we've ever seen. It's described as:
- A city of pure gold, clear as glass (Revelation 21:18).
- A wall in the city built of jasper adorned with every kind of jewel (Rev. 21:18-19).
- Having 12 gates with 12 pearls (Revelation 21:21).
- Having no darkness or night at the glory of God gives off light (Rev. 21:23, 25).
- Its radiance is like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal (Rev. 21:11).
- A river of the water of life, clear as crystal (Rev. 22:1).
Revelation 21:2 says, "The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband."
When I saw Stephanie walk down the aisle at our wedding, she was the prettiest, most beautiful sight I have ever seen! Multiply a beautiful bride times infinity and you'll get Heaven! What a beauty!
3. Heaven is Perfect.
We are living in a world where everyone groans. Groaning is a mournful sound that is uttered in pain or grief. It's a sound that is given in disapproval. It's a sound we make when we are overburdened and overwhelmed.
Romans 8:22 says, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up the present time."
What happens when a woman is in labor? Groaning.
What happens immediately when a child enters this imperfect world? Groaning.
From right when we enter this world until right when we leave it, we groan.
Heaven is a place free of groaning.
No more death.
No more mourning.
No more crying.
No more pain.
Jesus will make everything new (Revelation 21:4-5).
We love new things, don't we? The smell of a new car, walking into a new house, starting a new dating relationship, starting a new job. New is good. Jesus is going to make this imperfect world perfect. He's going to turn an old world into a new one. He's going to give us new bodies that are beautiful to Him.
When we get our new bodies, Alcorn says, "We won't have to try to look beautiful. We will be beautiful." No more make-up, no more achne, no more insecurity about our stomachs or hair (or lack thereof:). God will decide what our new bodies will look like, and that's enough.
Heaven is an incredible place. The new heavens and new earth will be a place that is fun, beautiful, and perfect. I hope to see you there one day.
For more on Heaven, check out my blog post: 5 Truths About Heaven.