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Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series and is a sermon describing our true citizenship as Christians which is heaven.

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Sunday Morning July 8, 2001 Bel Aire Baptist Church, Hobbs, NM

Series: Out Of This World [#3]

CITIZENSHIP

PHILIPPIANS 3:20-21

Introduction:

1. With this being the Sunday after the 4th of July, I am in a sense obligated to preach a patriotic type sermon; but since I am preaching a series, I am also obligated to continue in that series.

2. The great thing about this sermon is it does both. See, as Christians our true citizenship is not in this country, but in heaven, which is the subject of this sermon.

3. Let’s read our text: Philippians 3:20-21.

I. The Capital Of Heaven

In the Bible we read of three heavens.

A. The First Heaven- home of the birds and clouds.

B. The Second Heaven- home of the sun, moon, and stars.

C. The Third Heaven- home of God.

1. This is the heaven that we as Christians refer to.

2. It is important to note that man’s brainpower has been able to transport man kind from the first to the second heaven. But no space vehicle can ever be devised which will take him from the second to the third heaven!

3. This journey can only be affected by blood (Jesus’ blood), and not by brain! In fact, Jesus told Nicodemus a man could not even see this heaven, let alone enter it, apart from the new birth.

II. The Characteristics Of Heaven (New Jerusalem)

A. The shape of this city.

“The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide…” (Revelation 21:16, NIV).

B. The size of this city.

“He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long” (Revelation 21:16, NIV).

1. According to our present-day measurements this city would be roughly 1400 miles long, high, and wide!

2. To help you out a little bit, this is over 15 times the combined surface of the entire earth, including both land and water area!

3. It has been estimated that approximately 40 billion people have lived on our planet since the creation of Adam. Of this number, over 4 billion are living today. Studies of city populations assure us that every single one of these 40 billion could easily be accommodated on just the first “foundational floor” of this marvelous place.

C. The inhabitants of this city.

1. The holy and elect angels.

2. The 24 elders.

3. The Church.

4. Saved Israel.

5. The Father.

6. The Son.

7. The Holy Spirit.

D. The foundation of this city.

1. The city rests upon twelve layers of foundation stones with each layer being inlaid with a different precious gem.

2. These twelve foundations were not only inlaid with costly gems, but each foundational layer carried the name of one of the twelve apostles in the New Testament.

E. The walls of this city (Revelation 21:17-18).

1. The walls of the New Jerusalem are some 216 feet high and are made of jasper.

2. The wall is obviously not for protection, but for design and beauty only. In comparison to size, a 216- foot wall around a 1400- mile high city would be like a one-inch curb around the Empire State Building!

F. The gates of this city (Revelation 21:12-13, 21).

1. There are twelve gates to this city, three gates on each side.

2. On each gate is the name of one of the tribes of Israel.

3. Each gate is composed of a beautiful solid white pearl.

G. The main street of this city (Revelation 21:21).

1. The central boulevard of the New Jerusalem is composed of pure transparent gold.

H. The throne is within this city (Revelation 4:2-3, 6).

I. The river of life is in this city (Revelation 22:1).

J. The tree of life is in this city (Revelation 22:2).

K. The activities of the redeemed in this city.

1. Heaven will be a place of singing.

2. Heaven will be a place of fellowship.

3. Heaven will be a place of serving.

4. Heaven will be a place of learning.

What will we learn about in heaven?

a) We will learn concerning the person of God.

b) We will learn concerning the plan of God.

c) We will learn concerning the power of God.

Conclusion:

1. As terrible as it was to preach on hell last week, it is that much more wonderful to preach on heaven.

2. Out of all of the songs we sing, our favorites are those about heaven. Out of all of the sermons we hear, our favorites are those about heaven.

3. As the old hymn says, “What a day that will be”. I look forward to heaven every day.

4. Unfortunately, there are many who will not enter into the gates of heaven because they never made Jesus the Savior of their life. Remember, there is plenty of room for everybody and God does not want any to end up in hell separated from Him.

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