Summary: Having and keeping the pciture of heaven real so as to fuel our hope that God has for us.
Close eyes think of places:
Paris; New York; Cape Town; Egypt
Picture them? What did you think of? The Eiffel Tower? The New York Sky Line? Table Mountain? The Pyramids?
Now lets close our eyes and think of one last place. Heaven – can you see it as clearly as the previous places I mentioned?
But I have never seen pictures or been there or chatted to those that have been there?
How real can it be for me?
5 days before Christmas – Late shopper – Woolworths last shopping and gifts – grabbed a few things – long queues at tills
In front of him were 2 children – boy of about 10 and his little sister.
Boy dressed in a ragged coat and tennis shoes that were far to big for his feet. Clutching a handful of coins and crumpled notes. The little girl was not dressed much better. Hair matted and tangled but cradled in her arms was a pair of golden slippers.
They arrived at the till and the attendant swiped the bar code and said it was R59.99. The boy opened his hand and sadly looked at the little had. He looked down at his little sister and said: “I guess we will have to put them back and come back another time.”
The little girl choked back a sob and said: “But Jesus would have loved these shoes.”
“Don’t cry” said her brother “We’ll come back and get them later”
The man standing behind them passed the cashier a R100 note and said “Here I will get them for these kids.”
The little girl immediately through her arms around the legs of them man and said “Thank you sir.”
The man looked down and patted her matted hair and his curiosity was aroused so he asked: “What did you mean when you said that Jesus would like the slippers?”
The little boy answered for his sister. “Our mother is sick. Dad said she might go to heaven to be with Jesus before Christmas.”
“Yes” said the little girl…”and my Sunday school teacher said the streets in heaven are shiny gold – Wont my mommy look beautiful walking on those streets in these slippers.”
The man looked down to the tear streaked face and said: “Yes I am sure she will.”
Is your picture of heaven that clear? Your picture represents your hope. That little girl had been given the hope of heaven by her Sunday school teacher. That Sunday school teacher had given her a picture. We know what Egypt looks like and yet some of us have no hope of ever going there.
Where are we if we don’t have that hope? How could we face death? How could we face life?
Let’s look at some things about heaven that we know from scripture:
1. It is the place where we will rest from all our labors.
2. It’s the place where we will be freed from all our trials.
3. It’s the place where we will be completely healed from all ailments.
4. It’s the pace of sunshine and gladness and life never-ending
If that’s real - Now that’s what it means to have hope of heaven.
How blessed we are – Old Christians knew nothing - superstitions:
Old Christians – feared – had no idea of life after. But the gospel brings a hope that every Christian can hold on to.
Faith Hope and Love:
As Christians, Hope and heaven go together. Our hope is heaven.
The precious exclusive possession of Christians – Faith Hope and Love – 3 Principle graces of a Christian.
I few know nothing about heaven but everything about hope do we really have hope?
But what is this Heaven Hope all about?
Heaven is a PLACE!
Not state of mind, its not some sort of euphoric goodness or utopian state of mind you achieve in this life. It’s a place - How do we know?
1. Jesus came from Heaven – John 6:38
2. Jesus returned to Heaven – 1Peter 3:22
3. Jesus is coming again from heaven – 1 Thes. 4:16
Bible speaks of it as place. Don’t know where it is. Bible always speaks of it as being up. Jesus came down from heaven. He ascended up to heaven. When he returns for his church we are going up to meet him in the clouds.
Our Hope in Heaven is Promised
Hope in heaven should be something sure or a certainty – It has to fill a longing in your heart because we long to go there some day.
“Are you going to heaven?” – Oh I certainly hope so. We can hope in heaven but while here on earth, we can’t just hope it will sort of all work itself out.