Summary: It’s nice to be able to look forward to something. When we were kids we got excited waiting for Christmas or our birthday to come. We as Christians are looking forward to something too. We eagerly await our arrival into our heavenly home. But what exactly
INTRODUCTION: It’s nice to be able to look forward to something. When we were kids we got excited waiting for Christmas or our birthday to come. At this time of year we looked forward to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. Although I’m sure by the end of August our parents eagerly anticipated the beginning of the next school year. We as Christians are looking forward to something too. We eagerly await our arrival into our heavenly home. But what exactly is it we looking forward to.
1) How do we know heaven is real? There are plenty of people, atheists and non atheists alike, who don’t believe in an afterlife. So how can we know that heaven is a real place?
• The bible talks about it. There are over 400 references to “heaven” in the bible. God definitely wanted us to know about heaven. And it’s written about all throughout the bible. 44 of the 66 books talk about heaven. The bible is the infallible word of God. Its contents are proven and they can be trusted.
• Jesus assured us. John 14:1-3. We can be sure heaven is real because Jesus is real and he doesn’t lie to us about anything. Jesus’ word is authenticity of the existence of heaven. Besides, who better to tell us about heave than the one who came from there! John 3:13, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven-the Son of Man.” 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” Jesus came down from heaven. Jesus came from heaven, he tells us about heaven, so therefore, we can believe in heaven. (Apostle John’s Revelation-Rev. 21-22)
2) What will heaven be like?
• There will be newness. We know what it’s like to experience newness. We know the excitement, the joy of that new thing. No new thing can compare with heaven. Rev 21:1-5. In heaven we will look forward to the “no-mores”, no more crying or pain. Rev. 7:16 tells us there will be no more hunger or thirst. Instead, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. And part of that newness will be us. 1st Cor. 15:50-54. Many of us are dealing with bodies that identify with what Paul said, “Outwardly we are wasting away”. What a joy it will be when we receive our new bodies. No more pain and ailments. No more disease and debilitations. We will be strong, fresh, energetic, alive; new.
• There will be purity. Rev. 21:27, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” No sin or temptation will be there. No filth, no evil. Satan is not allowed on the premises. Everything is beautiful, nothing is ugly or disgusting. We will be pure, therefore, there will be pure harmony, pure fellowship among all of us. Galatians 3:8, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In the world you have divisions, cliques, racism, hatred and discord. In heaven, there will be no distinctions of color or ethnicity. We will all truly be one big happy family. There will be pure harmony with all God’s creatures. Isaiah 65:25 says that the wolf and the lamb will feed together and the lion will eat straw like the ox. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain says the Lord. There will be purity with all of heaven and the relationships therein.
• There will be understanding. 1st Cor. 13:12, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I as fully known.” Elie Wiesel said, “Heaven: where questions and answers become one.” We have a lot of questions unanswered here on earth. We might have a lot of ‘why’ questions about events in our life. We might just be inquisitive about many things the bible is silent about. In any event, we look forward in eager anticipation for our questions to have answers to them.
• There will be beauty. Rev. 21:9-22:6. We see the beauty of God’s creation here but I’m sure that pales in comparison to the beauty of heaven. Rev. William Meeker said, “There is no more comparison to be made between heaven and earth than there is between a piece of rusty iron and refined gold.” There was a rich man who was distressed on hearing he could take none of his riches to heaven. He pleaded with God to make an exception. Finally, God said, “Okay, whatever you can fit into a garbage bag can be brought in.” The man immediately thought of gold. He joyfully went and spent his time accumulating gold. Then, it came time for him to die. He went to the pearly gates, black garbage bag filled with gold in tow. When the angels questioned him about the bag the man declared that God allowed it. When it was confirmed they asked him if they could see what was so special inside this bag. The man proudly opened the bag to show them its contents. The angels looked at each other in bewilderment. Then one of them asked the man, “Why did you bring pavement?” Gold is a hot commodity here on earth but in heaven it’s only pavement.