Summary: HEAVEN IS A HOLY PLACE!
ETERNITY MATTERS PART III:
THE GLORY OF IT ALL
JANUARY 26, 2003
INTRODUCTION: As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev’s wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.
Gary Thomas, in Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26.
We know very little about heaven, but I once heard a theologian describe it as "an unknown region with a well-know inhabitant," and there is not a better way to think of it than that.
Richard Baxter expresses the thought in these lines:
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim,
But it’s enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.
To those who have learned to love and trust Jesus, the prospect of meeting him face to face and being with him forever is the hope that keeps us going, no matter what life may throw at us.
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.
TRANSITION THOUGHT: As we continue to discuss Matters of Eternity, I hope we all realize, Eternity Matters! One day we will all go into eternity and as always the question is not will we life for eternity, it is where will we live for eternity. Today I want to continue to focus on Heaven. Our text for this day points to the Glory of it all. Heaven is a place described as indescribable. But, none-the-less, John the Revelator opens up our understanding of this place we all hope to attain. What is it that he desires to teach us? I think it might be summed up with this one thought:
THESIS SENTENCE: HEAVEN IS A HOLY PLACE!
IF HEAVEN IS A PLACE OF HOLINESS, HOW ON EARTH CAN WE GET THERE??
I. HEAVEN IS AN INVITATION VV. 1 & 2
A. AN INVITATION IS AN OPEN DOOR (verse 1)
1. If we were to move back two verses, we would read, ¡§Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me (Revelation 3: 20).¡¨
2. It appears that we have the power to open the door!!
3. The truth of heaven is that the door is open, it is God¡¦s desire that we make it to our true home, not one made by hands, but one made in the eternals by Christ himself.
4. Don¡¦t forget John 14: 1-7. This is the same writer, the Apostle John.
5. Hear this awesome word again, ¡§After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven.¡¨
6. Heaven is an invitation to an open door!
B. AN INVITATION IS A REQUEST TO COME (verse 1)
1. Not only is the door open, the voice of a trumpet said, ¡§Come up here¡K¡¨ 2. There is no doubt now, we are invited.
3. John here alludes back to the one who first spoke to him. To find out just who this is, we must look back at chapter 1: 10 ¡V 18.
4. Of course, the one who invites us to heaven is none other than Jesus Christ, the first and the last, the living ONE who was dead and is now alive for ever and ever. 5. Not only is HE alive, He¡¦s got some KEYS!!
6. He alone can open the door, ask us in, and make us at home.
7. ¡§No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).¡¨
C. AN INVITATION IS A PROMISED RESPONSE (verse 2)
1. Did you notice what happened in verse 2?
2. This reads like the gospel of Mark, there is no wasted time here!!
3. Immediately, ¡§At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.¡¨
4. When Jesus invites you to the party, He doesn¡¦t make you wait. This isn¡¦t Christmas; this is eternal life!!
5. What God promises, HE DELIVERS!!
ILLUSTRATION: Jesus entire ministry might be summed up with the term ¡§INVITATION¡¨. Here are a few examples: