Summary: This sermon explores what the Bible tells us about heaven.
CAN ONLY IMAGINE
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
This past week, Brother John's wife Audrey died.
Last year, Brother Gene Hulfachor died.
I'm confident that both of them are in heaven today.
Have you ever wondered what they are doing now?
What is it like in heaven?
Have you heard the song, "I Can Only Imagine"?
I'm going to play the song for you now.
(Play it on the CD Player)
Imagine what you will see and what you will do...
when you actually stand before the Lord.
Will you dance or be still in awe.
Will you stand or fall to your knees?
Will you sing alleluia or be able to speak at all.
We will all someday stand before Jesus in heaven.
What will we see or do?
Today's story is about an old country doctor that dates back to the late 1930s when doctors made house calls. Isaac Pender was his name. Everyone in the area for two reasons respected him. First, he was an excellent doctor who provided compassion care for his patients. Secondly, Doc Pender was a good Christian man. He had taught a Sunday school class at his church for years and he was well acquainted with what the Bible says.
More of that story a little later!
Point #1. Heaven is a beautiful place
John 14:2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
The word "mansions" comes from the Greek word "mon-ay".
It means an abiding place.
In fact, it means MANY abiding places!
And who has prepared these places for us?
That's right! Jesus did it!
That tells me that these "mansions" He prepared for us...
Will be better than any mansions we've seen here on earth!
If Jesus has prepared it for me, I know I'll like it!
But what about the rest of heaven?
What will it be like?
Many preachers make the mistake...
of using Revelation chapters 21 and 22 to describe heaven.
That's a mistake.
Those chapters describe New Jerusalem...
which comes down out of heaven as our eternal dwelling place...
after the days of Tribulation.
New Jerusalem has pearly gates and streets of gold,
but that 4-square city is different from heaven as it is now.
Approximately 60 years after Christ's ascension into heaven...
the Apostle John was a prisoner on Patmos Island.
That's when he had these visions of prophecy.
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Here we find a description of Jesus standing among 7 lampstands.
He wears a robe with a golden belt.
His head and hair is white as snow!
His eyes are brilliant like a flame of fire!
His feet are like fine brass!
His voice is like the roar of rushing waters!
His face glows like the brilliance of a shining sun.
The vision of Jesus was so breath-taking that John faints.
This is similar to the description of Jesus...
when He was transfigured on the mountain.
Matthew 17:2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
These descriptions of Jesus are difficult for us to comprehend.
Only those in heaven are capable of standing in His presence.
John's visions continue in Revelation chapter 4.
A door to heaven is opened!
Notice what John saw.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" 9Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11"You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power;