Summary: A sermon on the wonders of Heaven.
Reaching For Heaven
This morning, I want to talk about the ultimate goal of the Christian life. This morning we are going to reach for Heaven.
The outline of this sermon is taken from the famous sermon by the Nazarene preacher L. B. Hicks entitled "There Must Be A Heaven Somewhere". One Sunday morning before church, God gave him the main points of the sermon, he jotted them down on the back of an envelope, and preached a glorious message on the subject of Heaven.
Some may ask, "How can you be sure there is a Heaven?". There are several answers to such a question:
1. Because the soul has always longed for such a place. Whatever culture you stumble across, whatever time period of history, you will find some sort of belief in the afterlife. I don't believe God would plant in the soul a universal longing like that without making some provision for it.
2. Because the soul has always felt there was such a place. Like the little boy flying his kite and the kite was out of sight and someone asked him where it was and he pointed up to the sky. They asked him how he knew it was there if he couldn't see it and he said, "I know it is there because I can feel it tug." We can know in a similar way that there is a Heaven, because we can feel the pull of it, the tug of it in our souls.
3. Because God says there is such a place as Heaven. I'd rather have God's word about anything than the opinion of all the philosophers and scientists in all the world.
For the next few moments, I want to talk about Heaven, and why each of us should want to go there.
I. Heaven Will Be Ready.
We won't have to wait in line for St. Peter to open the gate to let us in. There will be no lack of fruit on the free of life. There will no lack of water cascading through the city.
Heaven has been prepared for us from the foundations of the world … it is ready for our arrival. There will be no "under construction" signs when we arrive!
There is a story told about a 5-year-old African-American boy who will never be forgotten by those who knew him. He was dying of lung cancer, which is a terrifying disease in its final stages. The lungs fill with fluid, and the patient is unable to breathe. It is terribly claustrophobic, especially for a small child.
This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the long ordeal. She cradled him on her lap and talked softly about the Lord. Instinctively, the woman was preparing her son for the final hours to come. Gracie told me that she entered his room one day as death approached, and she heard this lad talking about hearing bells. "The bells are ringing, Mommie," he said. "I can hear them."
Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away. She left and returned a few minutes later and again heard him talking about hearing bells ringing. The nurse said to his mother, 'I'm sure you know your baby is hearing things that aren't there. He is hallucinating because of the sickness."
The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, "No, he is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened — when he couldn't breathe — if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of heaven ringing for him. That is what he's been talking about all day."
That precious child died on his mother's lap later that evening, and he was still talking about the bells of heaven when the angels came to take him. What a brave little trooper he was!
There will be no scurrying around trying to find a mansion for you, if the Lord were to call you home today. Because Heaven will be ready.
II. Heaven Will Be Resplendent.
Turn to Revelation 21:10-23 …
I recently read of a man who visited a distinguished artist at his studio. He found the artist there with an open Bible in front of him while he was arranging squares of colored glass. "I have made a singular discovery," he said, "these are the precious stones in the foundation of the New Jerusalem, and when placed in the order described in the vision they form a perfect harmony of color. Were a convention of artists called to produce a perfect color-scheme, they could not improve upon it."
God loves beauty or He wouldn't have put so much of it in this world. Who painted the butterfly's wing with all those gorgeous hues and threw around the evening sun her drapery of a thousand colors? Who put the red on the robin's breast? From whose pastel were the colors mixed that gave the rose its blushing charm and touched the lily with its dreamy white? Who taught the raindrop to take a ray of light from the sun and pencil it on the sky in one huge arch of bewildering elegance? God did it all! He made everything beautiful and only sin has marred it, and in Heaven you'll find God's beauty at its best!