Summary: Heaven is a wonderful promise. But there are those who think it will be boring and tedious. They're wrong - but do you know why?
OPEN: This is the last in our 9 part sermon series from Revelation.
A lot of preachers won’t preach through the whole book of Revelation (it me took me 30 years to believe I could do it) because they feel it is a confusing book - and they fear they’ll get things wrong and mess something up.
A few weeks back one of the ladies of the church came up to me and asked what my opinion was of the 4 horses of the Apocalypse (I’d just preached from that text but didn’t deal with them).
I looked at her for a moment and then said:
“Despite what you may have heard...
(pause) or what you may have sensed from being around me ...
(pause) I don’t know everything.”
And neither do the popular teachers of prophecy who populate the airwaves and book stores. If these folks tell you that they KNOW much of what they teach for certain – they’re pulling your chain. They don’t really know what they say they know.
As I've preached my way through this series I’ve tried to focus on the things I KNOW for certain from Scripture, and one of the most important things I know is this:
Jesus is coming back!
And when He comes back He’ll set everything to rights.
And when He comes back He will take us to be where He is…
He’ll take us to heaven.
So I want to take a moment and sing about that.
Sing with me:
“Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed,
He’ll prepare for us a place.
When we all get to heaven,
what a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
we’ll sing and shout the victory!”
That’s what we’re all looking forward to.
Getting to heaven!
There will be nothing on earth that can compare with all of that.
But not everyone believes that.
Mark Twain was a noted humorist and atheist in his day didn’t think much of heaven.
A couple of comments were these:
“There is no humor in heaven.” (Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven)
And he said he preferred “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”
Now, that’s what you’d expect an atheist to say.
But there are people who are even religious that have had their doubts about how wonderful Heaven might be.
ILLUS: A famous preacher named Bill Hybles said one of his earliest memories was being in a children’s choir at church. They dressed up in robes, and stood on risers, and practiced a lot. As a child he hated almost every minute of it. He hated putting that robe on, and he hated having to stand still for so long.
He said: “To make matters even worse, the Choir director told me, ‘If you don’t like singing in the choir, you’re not going to enjoy heaven.’
So as a child, I thought of heaven as putting on a choir robe and standing on a riser and singing for all eternity. So I wasn’t really all that excited about going to heaven.”
Now… is that REALLY what heaven will be all about?
I mean – there IS singing
Back in Revelation 4:2-3 we read:
“The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were SINGING A NEW SONG before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders...”
Now I can get into that.
I like to sing. In fact people will tell you that they know when I’m in the building because I’m always singing, or humming or whistling something. There’s something truly satisfying about singing for me.
I love to feel the vibration in my chest as I go for a low note.
And I love to sing harmonies, and counter-melodies and I love to throw in a little improvisation now and again.
And I especially love to sing when I KNOW THE WORDS!!!
But now, what if you can’t sing?
Well, I’ve noticed that even folks who don’t “sing” really do like to sing.
They just don’t like to sing solo… unless it is SO LOW you can’t hear them.
I've found that most folks sing in the shower or in the car and they have a favorite group of songs that they’ll hum or sing … mostly when no one else is around.
But here’s the cool part.
I’m convinced that in Heaven… everybody is going to be able to sing.
Consider this passage from I Corinthians 15:51-53 says “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.