Summary: This sermon looks at the false views of heaven and presents a Biblical picture of heaven.
The Apostle John’s Vision of Heaven
One of the earliest Christian Creeds written by early church Fathers in the 2nd to 7th Century gives a statement of faith that defines the Christian Faith from Non Christian Faith.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.
The Apostles Creed pulls together the basic beliefs of the New Testament. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried and on the third day rose form the dead and ascended into heaven.
The Apostle John in Revelation 21 gives us a picture of heaven. Death is not the end, but the beginning of a personal presence with Jesus Christ.
The Reader’s.Digest quoted from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen’s autobiography "Treasure in Clay."
I stopped to ask a few boys for directions to the Town Hall where I was giving a lecture. They told me where the Town Hall was and then asked, "What are you going to do there?"
"I’m giving a lecture on heaven and how to get there. Would you like to come and find out?"
"You’re kidding," one boy said. "You don’t even know the way to the Town Hall."
There’s a song that goes: "Heaven is a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace - I want to see my Savior’s face, Heaven is a wonderful place... I want to go there"
"Us News and World Report" commented on a 1990 survey which indicated that 78% of Americans believed in heaven - and believed they were going to get there.
There is only one place to find out about life after death. God’s Word, the Holy Bible is the only place to find what the future holds following death. Jesus proclaimed that He was going to prepare a place for us. John 14:2 - “There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.” That after his ascension he would be in heaven and when the believer dies the believer goes to be with the Lord. Jesus said, “Where I am there you will be also.”
God’s Word states that Heaven is a Wonderful place.
I. Heaven is a Wonderful Place
Revelation 21 talks about the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. Chapter 21:1-2 The prophet Isaiah gave a picture of heaven in Isaiah 65:17. “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth – so wonderful that no one will even think about the old ones anymore.”
Peter spoke of a new heaven in 2 Peter 3:11-13. “Since everything round us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! You should look forward to that day and hurry it along – the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.”
Stories outside the Bible make heaven a very boring place. For eternity you will float around on a cloud and play a harp.
Bill Hybles, pastor of the Willow Creek Church near Chicago, says that among his earliest memories of church was being in a children’s choir. They dressed up in robes, & stood on risers, & practiced a lot. And he says that as a child he hated almost every minute of it. He hated putting that robe on, & he hated having to stand still for so long.
"To make matters even worse, the Choir director told me, `If you don’t like singing in the choir, you’re not going to enjoy heaven.’ So as a child, I thought of heaven as putting on a choir robe & standing on a riser & singing for all eternity. So I wasn’t really all that excited about going to heaven."
C.S. Lewis writes, “There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of heaven ridiculous by saying that they do not want to spend eternity playing harps. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them at all. All the scriptural imagery—harps, gold, and so on—is of course a symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible… People who take these symbols literally might as well think that Christ told us to be like doves, he meant that we were to lay eggs.”