Summary: A sermon on "coming home" to heaven, or more accurately, the New Earth, where believers will live for eternity in the new order.
A sermon on heaven
June 7, 2015
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon upon request by email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATTRIBUTION: The “Top 10 Reasons the New Earth Will Be A Blast” under the first point in my sermon is adapted from Steve Malone’s sermon, “Top Ten Reasons Why Heaven Is Going To Be A Blast,” found on SermonCentral.com.
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to John 14 (TEXT TO BE READ LATER)
What a wonderful thing coming home is. Many of you have been deployed, separated from your spouse, your kids, your church, your home—from everything that has meaning to you and gives your life purpose. What did you do?—You longed for your loved ones, your home and your things.
Illus. – And what a thrill coming home was! Your family gathers at the gym (or wherever it was when you returned). They’re told your unit will be there at 14:00, so they all gather to greet you. Then the time is changed to 14:30, and everyone is waiting with mounting anticipation, and everyone on your bus groans when they hear the arrival time is a half hour later. Then the time is changed to 15:00; then 15:30, and all the while, anticipation is building both in the gym and on the bus. But then your bus FINALLY arrives, and everyone is waiting in the gym, and finally you march in with all your fellow-soldiers, and the commander says a few brief remarks, and then…you’re finally released into the loving arms, tearful faces and long embraces of your loved ones. There’s nothing more wonderful than coming home!
But folks, as joyful and thrilling as it is to come home on this earth, that’s NOTHING compared to the thrill believers will experience when they finally come to their REAL home.I want to talk to you about that today about coming home to the place God is preparing you for; the place God is preparing for—that place we usually call “heaven.”
In John 14 Jesus tells us about His Home, our Hope and How we can get there.
Let’s read John 14:1-6 – “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
I. IN THESE VERSES JESUS SAYS HE HAS PREPARED A NEW HOME FOR US.
Jesus begins with calming words, words of comfort: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” He had just spoken of His own death and His disciples’ hearts were troubled. He was telling them, “Settle your hearts; still your anxious thoughts. You believe in God. Believe in Me also. Trust in God, and trust in Me.”
Then He says, “In my Father's house are many mansions.” The Greek word translated “mansions” here doesn’t mean mansions as we think of them today, that is, a large, impressive house. It literally means a “dwelling place” or an “abode.” In fact, the identical word is translated “abode” down in verse 23 where Jesus says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
The key point Jesus was making was not how big a place you’re going to get, but that there’s plenty of room in His home. Overcrowding will not be a problem there. You won’t see “No Vacancy” signs posted at the gates of the New Jerusalem! Jesus says there’s room for everyone who receives God’s offer of salvation.
What is this place called heaven like? Well, it’s probably nothing like what most of you picture heaven as being.
Illus. – I remember witnessing to a friend in England and he said, “I don’t want to go to heaven. The thought of endless tedium, floating on clouds, with nothing to do but strum a harp sounds boring. Hell would be much more interesting.”
John Eldridge says in The Journey to Desire, “Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service….We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky, one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual.’ We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.”