Summary: 1. God promises us a home (vs. 1-2 & 7-23). 2. God promises us Himself (vs. 3). 3. God promises us happiness (vs. 4). 4. God promises us hope (vs. 5-6).

The Sure Promises of Heaven

Revelation 21:1-23

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 16, 2012

*People are looking for a sure thing. I googled “sure thing” Friday and got over 9 million hits. -- But what’s a sure thing?

-The election isn’t sure, -- even though this is the most important election of our lifetimes, and we urgently need Godly leaders.

-The economy isn’t sure. Millions are out of work, and a tidal wave of government debt threatens to overwhelm our country.

-The stock market went over 13,600 on Friday, but it could collapse tomorrow.

*An old cliché said the only sure things were death and taxes, but that’s not true either. I’m still hoping for the rapture!

*When you get down to it, the only sure things are the things of God. And as we look into the Word of God this morning, we can see four sure promises about Heaven, four sure promises for all who have trusted in Jesus Christ.

1. First: God promises a home.

*By the end of Revelation 20 all evil has been defeated. Satan, all of his demons and all lost people have been thrown into the lake of fire. Endless perfection begins in Revelation 21, so in vs. 1 John said: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (1)

[1] Notice in vs. 1 that the first heaven (today’s heaven) has passed away.

*Why was that necessary? -- The only explanation I’ve ever heard is because sin did not start on the earth. It started in heaven when Satan and the other fallen angels rebelled against God. So the heaven and earth that exist today are going to pass away.

*2 Peter 3:10 describes at least part of this destruction with these words: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

*It will be a fire of unimaginable proportions, but Christians, we have nothing to fear! God has promised us a new home. And we need a new home, because our old home is passing away.

*We moved around a lot when I was a little boy. Eleven different houses by the time I was in the 7th grade. That’s when we settled down for a while on 248 Vista Circle in Macon, GA.

*I have fond memories of living there: Playing with my little brother, picking on my big sister, the creek behind our house, riding skateboards down those big hills. (We had to make our own back then, you know.)

*Whenever I go to Macon, I drive by, just to take a look. A few years ago, I even knocked on the door, and the nice young man living there let me go on a little tour. He was the Youth Pastor at a Methodist Church in Macon. And I guess he thought this old nut knocking on his door looked harmless enough.

*I got to go back to the house in Macon, but that’s not my home. We lived on Comanche Trail in West Monroe for 23 years, but that’s not home either.

*God is preparing a new place for us beyond compare. And Christians, He gives us a glimpse of our new home in vs. 2: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

*Our new home is going to be incredibly astounding! -- In vs. 2, the best thing John can compare it to is a bride, coming down that aisle, all dressed up for her husband.

*Then, down in vs. 9-16 the Apostle John tells us a little more about it:

9. Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."

10. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11. having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

12. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13. three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

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