Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Jesus addressing the issue of heaven w/His disciples. And what we’re going to discover are some reasons we can have confidence that heaven is an actual place.
Intro: Lee Strobel had an interview in his 1994 book “What Would Jesus Say?” w/Donald Trump. This interview took place in 1989 when Trump was on top of his game. One writer asked Trump what else there was left for him to conquer in the business world. He very confidently responded, “Right now, I’m genuinely enjoying myself. I work and don’t worry.” The writer then said, “What @ death? Don’t you worry @ dying?”
-Trump quickly replied, “No. I’m fatalistic and I protect myself as well as anybody can. I prepare for things.” After he said this, Trump started walking upstairs to have dinner w/his family.
-When he got to the top of the staircase, he turned back around and looked at the writer and said, “No, I don’t believe in reincarnation, heaven or hell—but we go someplace.” Again there was a pause and he said, “Do you know, I can’t for the life of me figure out where.”
-I think one of the major questions every person thinks @ at one time or another is “What happens to me after I die? Is there life after death or is this it? Is there really a place called heaven?”
-Today we’re beginning a new series of messages entitled “Heaven.” And thru this series it’s my hope we’ll have a better understanding of heaven and also a confidence that it’s a real place and we can get there.
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Jesus addressing the issue of heaven w/His disciples. And what we’re going to discover are some reasons we can have confidence that heaven is an actual place. We’re going to discover some reasons why VillageChurch holds to the teaching that heaven isn’t just a figment of the human mind’s imagination.
TEXT: JOHN 14: 1-4
Bckgrd: At this point the disciples were distraught. Jesus had just told them He was getting ready to be executed and that one of His disciples was going to betray Him. This was tough for these guys to swallow. They’d looked to Jesus to be the conquering hero. They’d looked to Him to be the one who was going to bring freedom to their nation. Not only that, but they saw Jesus as being invincible.
-But now He was telling them He was leaving. And I’m sure they began to wonder, “What’s going to happen to us? What does this mean for our futures? Do we even have a future?”
-It’s in the midst of this that Jesus gave them assurance that He was going to take care of His people. Now you might be like the disciples wondering if you’re going to be taken care of. You may have the real basic question of, “Do I have any reassurances in the Bible that there’s going to be life after death? Do I have any reasons to believe that heaven is a real place?”
-Well, here’s the good news. Our Scripture points out to us 3 reasons we can have confidence that heaven is an actual place. The 1st reason we can have confidence heaven is an actual place is b/c:
DIV. 1: JESUS SAID IT WAS (vv. 1-2)
Exp: Now I’m not a proponent of believing everything you hear. As a matter of fact I’d encourage most people not to take others words at face value. Before you place your confidence and trust in someone I think it’s wise to find out how they’ve operated in the past. B/c a person’s past performance is typically a good indicator of their future performance.
A. If someone has a track record of lying in the past then you need to be cautious w/what they tell you in the future. So what did Jesus tell the disciples in our text?
1. He told them He was going to prepare a place for them. Where was this place? Was it somewhere in Israel? Was it some tropical paradise He was talking @? No! Jesus had just told His disciples that He was getting ready to die! He wasn’t getting ready to go on a building frenzy in Israel. He wasn’t going to be staying on earth much longer.
a. So where was He going? Jesus was returning to heaven. And it’s here Jesus said His followers would join Him after they died. Now here’s the big question. Why in the world should we believe what Jesus said? I think it’s a great question to ask. Let’s take a look at Jesus’ record on speaking the truth.
b. Heb. 4: 15 says of Jesus, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize w/our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet w/o sin.” Jesus never sinned, which means He has never lied! He always tells the truth. Titus 1: 2 tells us God cannot lie.