Summary: As a child I was more serious about avoiding Hell than going to Heaven. My knowledge of Heaven was inaccurate. A biblical understanding of Heaven creates a longing to go there.
Exploring the Hope of Heaven Sermon #1
I. Glory Revealed
A. Color Parade
1. Jaspers, carnelians, emeralds, rainbows
2. Heaven wasn’t all white!
3. “The building material of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold like clear glass. The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The 12 gates are 12 pearls; each individual gate was made of a single pearl. The broad street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:18-21 (HCSB)
B. Continual Presence
1. The creatures and elders are always worshipping God (vs. 8-11)
2. The wonder of being in god’s presence never wears off!
a. View the glory & beauty of earth – it is meant to be enjoyed for but a short time
b. Imagine the glory & beauty of Heaven – meant to be enjoyed for eternity!
c. “But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and what has never come into a man’s heart, is what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (HCSB)
II. Godliness Realized
A. Fit for Heaven
1. Beauty alone does not make Heaven.
a. Few things are more discouraging than going somewhere special and having our sinful nature ruin the experience.
b. You have seen people arguing in beautiful places.
2. We will be made compatible with Heaven
3. “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2 (HCSB)
4. “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits —we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:22-23 (HCSB)
B. Fully in the Spirit
1. ‘In the Spirit’ (3X in Revelation)
2. Controlled by or in the realm of the Spirit
3. This was a temporary experience for John, by which he received the visions of God.
4. It will be our permanent state in Heaven!
III. Grand Reunion
A. Saints of Old
1. Hebrews 11
3. Church family
B. Savior of the World
1. Our new eyes will see Jesus in His glory and beauty
2. “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2 (HCSB)