Summary: Second message looking at the reality or Eternity and joy of heaven.

Glimpses of Heaven

Series: Driven by Eternity

Sunday Sermon / September 16th 2007

Intro: Last week I shared my concern of many people’s weak, uninspiring and unbiblical ideas of Heaven. I told you this week we will look into the Bible so that we could look into Heaven. God has told us many things about heaven and I want us to focus on what Heaven will be like. We will spend eternity there, don’t you want to know what to expect? Fat little baby angels with wings? Floating on clouds playing harps? Choir ropes and hymn books? Yawn, Right?

In order for us to understand what the Scriptures teach about our Eternal Destiny, let’s take a quick look back to God’s design for us in the beginning:

Alcorn writes, “God placed mankind on Earth to fill it, rule it, and develop it to God’s glory. But that plan has never been fulfilled. Should we therefore conclude that God’s plan was ill-conceived, thwarted, or abandoned? No. These conclusions do not fit the character of an all-knowing, all wise, sovereign God.”

To that I say, “Amen” How about you?

Did God fail in His creation?

Did Satan catch God off guard? Did Satan win? Did he win ANYTHING?

Take a look at some of the Bible’s vocabulary:

• Reconcile, redeem and restore; Recover, return and renew; Regenerate, resurrect.

Each of these Biblical words begins with the “re” prefix, suggesting a return to the original condition that was ruined. This is God’s math; This is God’s Plan.

Redemption – to buy back what was formerly owned.

Reconciliation – the restoration or reestablishment of a prior friendship or unity.

Renewal – to make new again, restoring to an original state.

Resurrection – becoming physically alive again, after death.

No matter how broken, crushed, disjointed human become, God NEVER gives up on the Original design. He is always working us forward so that we can go back to the Plan, only better.

1 Corinthians 15:50-53 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

Even if you died today and you entered Heaven, you would still be looking forward to the Resurrection:

I. All God’s Kids get New Bodies.

a. The Gospel is Resurrection dependant

1 Corinthians 15

13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

35But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" 36How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body…

42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead…

44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

b. We will be raised with “Spiritual Bodies”

i. Some people may call that an oxymoron. Spiritual / Body.

ii. Aren’t those two words exclusive? No.

iii. The word ‘spiritual’ doesn’t negate the word ‘body.’ It’s an adjective describing what kind of body we will have.

iv. Here in lies most of our misconceptions of Heaven

v. Most people view “spiritual” to mean, Non-physical. The Bible doesn’t teach this.

Does the Bible give us any examples of ‘spiritual bodies?’ Answer: YES

1. We just read it in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus was the first raised from the dead.

2. His resurrection body is our example:

Philippians 3:20-21 “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

vi. The final chapters of the Gospel narratives show us what Jesus’ body was like:

Luke 24:39 “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

vii. Supernatural and Physical (Tangible) Not ghostly

viii. He ate, walked, talked, worked etc.

ix. It was suited for life on earth, interacted with the disciple’s mortal bodies.

x. “It is I myself!” Same likeness, person, even the same scars.

xi. Our New Bodies will be completely us, only new. Restored to pre-accident condition!

xii. Remember, God is taking us forward to fulfill the original plan.

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