Summary: A homecoming sermon on what a christian can expect in heaven.
Did you ever feel as if somehow you just didn’t fit-in? A church member was having surgery. I went into the recovery room while he was still a bit groggy. His eyes didn’t focus at first, but he could hear the soft music playing somewhere in the background. He muttered, I must be in heaven. Then he opened his eyes and saw me standing over him, he said, I can’t be in heaven; Pastor Russell’s here!
There are people who don’t fit anywhere; today in all the cities and suburbs there are homeless people walking the streets. They have no set place to be, nothing to do – just survive until tomorrow; it will start all over again then. By contrast, most of the people you know have a home and family. The chief difference between the two types of people is that one has a sense of belonging – the other aimless, without purpose.
There is a parallel between homelessness in this life, and the homelessness of a life without God. People who have lost hope simply exist. Living on the street is terrible -- living an eternity without God is a tragedy.
Look at the differences Christians will enjoy throughout eternity:
A Christian is Saved
SAVED FROM SIN’S PRESENCE
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:3-5
A Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, is released from the penalty of sin even in this life (Ro 3.23). Believers struggle with the power of sin in our lives, but in the New Jerusalem, even the presence of sin will be removed. Life in its perfection will be restored, even better than it was in Eden. Adam and Eve didn’t know just how good they had it. They did not know the destructiveness sin would have in their lives. Today, as a believing part of the body of Christ, I know I don’t belong in a sin-sick world. This isn’t my home. I’m looking for a new city where the former things will all be gone.
SAVED TO BE THE SAVIOR’S BRIDE
9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:9 (NRSV)
A bride represents the closest kind of human relationship. There is nothing more attentive than a new husband. Jesus’ bride is the church. He is now busy preparing for the marriage supper. This chapter of The Revelation describes the elaborate decor of the New Jerusalem, the home Jesus said he’s going to prepare for all who love Him. We are going to the wedding!
HIS NAME IS IN A SELECT BOOK
27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:27 (NRSV)
The first time we bought a house, Elizabeth and I showed up at the closing looking like two wide-eyed does, caught in the headlights. We didn’t have a clue what was going to happen. When it was over we had a few thousand pounds of paper and a set of keys (and no money)!
Later in the month I was in the courthouse and decided to look up our transaction in the property appraiser’s office. Our name was there! I knew we’d signed papers; I knew we’d paid the money; I knew they said it would be there -- but somehow it was comforting to see it in black and white. We had a trusted attorney. He saw to it that the deed was recorded.
The Bible says we have a trusted advocate in Jesus. Beloved, when you are talking about your eternal soul, there is no one else more faithful than Jesus. Trust Him to write your name in His book.
A Christian is saved, and…
A Christian is Satisfied
NO THIRST UNSATISFIED
6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. Revelation 21:6-7 (NRSV)
1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb Revelation 22:1