Summary: To examine what heaven will look like and the joy of going there.
SBC Philippi 4/24/05 am
Rev. Jeff Simms
Heaven Rev 21:3-7,15-27
Primary Purpose: To examine what heaven looks like and the joy of going there.
I heard about one preacher who was preaching about heaven one Sunday. He was talking about the blessings of those who go to “the other side”. He paused for effect and asked, “How many of you here want to go to heaven?” All hands were raised except for a eight year old boy sitting on the front pew. The minister asked, “Don’t you want to go to heaven, too, son?” The boy replied, “Yes, but I thought you were making up a load to go right now.” (From Robert Strand, First Aseembly of God, Grand Junction, CO)
I want to talk to you about heaven today. We are going to be spending eternity there if we have put our faith and trust in Jesus. So, what can we expect to see and feel there? What is it going to look like and what are we going to do? Well, a part of that is a mystery. I can’t tell you everything any more than I can tell you what eternity will be like without sin or pain. But, here in Revelations, John gives us a glimpse into what the Lord allowed him to see while an exile on Patmos. (Read Revelations 21:3-7,15-27)
The first thing you notice is that God himself will be with us. The word in the KJV in vs.3 is the dwelling place which is the word SKENE. This is the word for tabernacle. WE see the word used in Lev 26:11-12 when its says, “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God and you will be my people.” This is a promise repeated over and over again in Scriputre (see Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 37:27). Just as it was in the garden of Eden, God Himself will walk among us. He will tabernacle among us. The word tabernacle was the same as saying the presence of God. God won’t be distant anymore. It reminds me of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 when it said, “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 now fully, even as I am fully known.”
We get a hint of who this is that will dwell among us by the names God chooses to use to describe himself. Much has been made this week of the pope’s name for himself. Would he call himself John Paul III or something else. God identifies himself here as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You might be interested to know what that means. The words don’t just means the first and the last. The word beginning here is the word arche which means the source of all things. He is the one through whom all was made and has it’s purpose and meaning. The word end is the word telos which means the goal. He is the end goal for all his creation. Paul said the same thing in Romans 11:36 when he said, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” We owe everything to him because he is the source of all things. Isn’t it strange then that men try to run their lives as if they are the source of something?
The second thing I noticed was that God Himself will take away every pain. There is no more sad feelings, crying, pain or death. These things are a part of everyday life now, but one day won’t even be remembered. In Romans 6:23 it says that the “wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We experience heart ache and suffering in this life. This is a part of the consequences of living in a fallen world, but one day those things and the wages of it will be gone. God says he is going to make all things “new” which means new in character.