Summary: Homecoming day at church is always an enjoyable day that allows us to reflect upon our past as a church. It is also a day for us to look forward to the ultimate homecoming that will never end! (Used sources from Sermon Central to aid in preparation of this message).
I Wanna Go Home
Today, as we celebrate homecoming here at Grace Baptist, I want us to take time to remember all that God has done for the church. I want us to recognize the hard work that has gone into bringing the church to the point it is today. Stacy & I have only been here a short time but it is clearly evident that there is a great love here for people and for this church. It is obvious there has been an intense labor of love put into everything that has been accomplished here and we should genuinely be thankful as well as proud of all that has been accomplished.
This morning, I want us to think ahead though as well. I want us to think about what is awaiting us. What the final homecoming that never ends is going to be like. Many of you are familiar the lyrics to the song “Detroit City”. The First line goes “I wanna go home. I wanna go home, oh how I wanna go home.” I can honestly say that this phrase has become a resounding theme in my heart and mind.
In our text this morning, we see Solomon expressing his utter amazement at the fact that first of all, God allowed him the opportunity to build the first temple. But also at how God in Heaven – the all powerful God – the creator of everything – the sustainer of life – El Shaddai – Jehovah – could ever dwell in a house built by man on earth. He continues on to ask that God would set His eyes upon the house and allow His presence to dwell there – and that He would hear His people when they pray in that place.
“…And hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place...”-I Kings 8:30.
There are three different heavens discussed in the Bible, First, there is the atmosphere just above the earth…air, clouds, etc. Second, there is the stellar heaven containing the stars and planets. Finally, we have what the Bible calls “the third heaven.” The third Heaven is where God’s throne is located. It is the place called Paradise, where the saints of God are waiting for the resurrection of their bodies.
Where is Heaven? How do you get there? What is it like?
Well, we don’t know all the answers, but we know that Heaven is always referred to as “up.” We know there’s no stairway leading there. We can only imagine some of the answers…we should take some time and just imagine…but the Bible tells us quite a bit as well:
I. What does it look like?
There are windows in Heaven. The windows are always spoken of as being open to pour out things from God. Sometimes blessings are poured out Mal. 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”, sometimes curses Isa. 24:18 “And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.”
Concerning the door in Heaven, John tells of his experience in Revelation.
Rev. 4:1 “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” .
The first thing he saw was a throne. Rev 4:2-3 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
This is God’s throne. He was sitting on His throne. It looked like a jasper, sardine stone, with a rainbow around the thrown looking like an emerald (vs3). It is hard for the finite mind to grasp infinite things. We cannot imagine the beauty and radiance of God.
Consider the famous Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian. A thick, shatterproof glass wall and an armed guard protect it. Stacy has a “hope diamond” too…one she’s hoping for. The many people that wait in line to see the Hope Diamond express an awe, and a feeling of rapture seems to come over those who view it. A spirit of excitement is set off by the thought of the tremendous value.