Summary: A sermon using two pieces of chocolate to encourage Christians to share their faith in Jesus and their hope in Heaven.
"Heaven, A Home To Share"
(Give each person two pieces of foil covered chocolate. Tell them not to eat it right away. While they wait(and some will not wait), talk about how good chocolate tastes. How recent studies have shown it is an antioxidant. Lead them on for a while. Tell them to smell it. Finally, tell them to unwrap just one piece and to savor its taste and texture. Then tell them to hold the other unwrapped piece in their hand as they listen to the sermon. Tell them you are going to keep checking to see that they do not eat it.)
All of us would agree, that chocolate is delicious. During this Lenten Season, store shelves are filled with chocolate rabbits, chicks, eggs, even some chocolate crosses… Thousands of pounds of chocolate are sold and consumed at Easter. For most of us chocolate is at the top of the list of sweets that we love to enjoy and to eat. Today, I want to tell you about something that is far better than chocolate. I want to tell you about HEAVEN. The taste of chocolate only lasts for a short time on our taste buds. Our minds can imagine the taste… But those thoughts melt too quickly and they need to be replaced with more chocolate.(For some of us, far too often.) The Heaven that I want to tell you about will be the most wonderful place ever designed. And the Bible teaches us that Heaven and its joys and residents will last forever. It will be good beyond imagination.
Allow me to use five words that I discovered in a book years and years ago about our HEAVENLY HOME. Words to help you remember Biblical descriptions about Heaven. To help you remember, each word begins with the letter "P." 1. A PREPARED HOME. 2. A PURE HOME. 3. A POPULATED HOME. 4. A PROTECTED HOME. 5. A PLEASANT HOME.(Now you have not yet eaten that second piece of chocolate yet, have you? Come on now. Show it to your neighbor.)
I. A PREPARED HOME.
In the Scripture that I read to you a few moments ago Jesus was telling his disciples that he was going to leave them. The disciples did not fully understand Jesus’ teachings until after the crucifixion, Easter, and Pentecost. They had expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom in Israel where they would live in peace and rule the world. They longed to be free of Roman rule and to be able to worship God and to enjoy peace and prosperity in this wonderful world that God had created for man to enjoy. The thought that Jesus, the man that they believed to be their Messiah, was going to leave them was more than they could understand. Jesus told them in John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to PREPARE a place for you."
The man that they knew as the Carpenter Joseph’s son, Jesus of Nazareth, was telling them that he was going to build/prepare them a home in his Father’s/God’s house. The Carpenter, the Creator of the universe told them that he was making a place, a suite of rooms, for them in his Father’s house. Now I have never been invited to sleep over at the White House. Would I like to? Of course! I have stayed in a couple of luxury hotels, where they even placed chocolate on my pillow at night: But no place on earth can compare with what we will find PREPARED for us in Heaven. In John 1, John tells that all things were created by the Word/Jesus. Jesus knows the struggles that we go through down here on earth. The unfairness of life, of people, of situations, and he will make it right in Heaven. He knows how man has spoiled much of the earth. Now I still really enjoy the earth. It is beautiful. Somehow, we have to realize that this earth is not the end. That lasting rewards are not given in this evil affected world. Jesus knows all about our troubles and he will keep till the day is through.
We also have to realize that Heaven is a PREPARED place and only available for a PREPARED people. Opinion polls reveal that a large majority of people believe in Heaven. In John 6, Jesus teaches that he is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. Only those with faith in Jesus; those who have admitted that they are sinners; those who have confessed their sin and confessed Jesus as Lord; those who believe in him will be saved and allowed to claim their home in Heaven. Are you ready? Have you tried to help tell your friends how to get ready?(Don’t eat that chocolate! Just hold it.)