Summary: Looks at a Holy place, created by a Holy God for His Holy people.
October 3 2001
Central Christian Church
St. Petersburg, Fl
Heaven- The Holy City
Revelation 21: 1-7
Song: Joe Bedy Ed Rogers’ duet
We know very little about heaven, but I once heard a theologian describe it as "an unknown region with a well-know inhabitant," and there is not a better way to think of it than that.
Richard Baxter expresses the thought in these lines:
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim,
But it’s enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.
To those who have learned to love and trust Jesus, the prospect of meeting him face to face and being with him forever is the hope that keeps us going, no matter what life may throw at us.
In one of his books, A.M. Hunter, the New Testament scholar, relates the story of a dying man who asked his Christian doctor to tell him something about the place to which he was going. As the doctor fumbled for a reply, he heard a scratching at the door, and he had his answer. "Do you hear that?" he asked his patient. "It’s my dog. I left him downstairs, but he has grown impatient, and has come up and hears my voice. He has no notion what is inside this door, but he knows that I am here. Isn’t it the same with you? You don’t know what lies beyond the Door, but you know that your Master is there."
A.M. Hunter, Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 208.
So my subject tonight is "heaven."
But at the same time, I know that I’m going to fall short because words are just not adequate to describe what God has prepared. In fact, the apostle Paul expressed this same idea when he wrote, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).
OPEN YOUR BIBLES
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. One thing is for sure this place earth is going to be destroyed as is the heaven that surrounds it.
Seas were a dangerous place In John’s day. In heaven there will be no danger.
We’ll never have to worry about locking our doors, or about children being abused, or about crime in our neighborhood. It will be a community beyond our wildest dreams & imaginations - a place of peace that passes all understanding. The lion and the lamb will lay down together and the Cobra will be no threat to your children.
Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them,
Rev 21:4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
We’ll receive comfort there, too. John says that God will wipe away all our tears. All the tears & sorrow & pain we’ve experienced as we traveled this dusty road of life will finally be gone. The hurts will be mended. The broken hearts will be whole. And God will be with us & be our Comforter.
Rev 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said^, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
Rev 21:6 And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
First of all, we must understand "It is done", we’ll never have to be concerned about our salvation again. Nobody, nothing, can take that away from us. We’re secure in the Lord, & He gives us freely from the water of life. We’ll drink from it, & it doesn’t cost us anything.
We’re not used to that. We’re used to working & paying our bills & making it on our own, & feeling like we’ve earned it & we deserve it. We are used to fighting the battle between this Spirit led life and this old nature always trying to tear us down and pull us back from holiness.
But there we won’t earn it, & we won’t deserve it. But it will be ours as a gift. No more sanctification, Christ will have completed the hagiasmos- no longer are we a work in progress, no longer are we in preparation for perfection, in heaven we have arrived and we are there in perfection, just like Christ. Wow- does that blow you away?