Summary: True, we must all die. It is the fate of all humans, because we have sinned. But THANKS BE TO GOD, in heaven there aren’t any cemeteries!
"There Aren’t Any Cemeteries in Heaven"
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: Revelation 21:1-8, KJV
Purpose: True, we must all die. It is the fate of all humans, because we have sinned. But THANKS BE TO GOD that Jesus Christ His Son has given us the new birth; so that death no longer has its sting nor its victory. We have life eternal. And in heaven, there aren’t any cemeteries!
I have for the longest time wanted to preach this passage of Scripture. This passage gives me such hope and assurance. It gives me the assurance that the present pain and suffering and death that we all experience ARE NOT FOREVER!
There will come a day, so very soon, when we who are God’s true followers shall know a life that has none of the awfulness of this earthly life.
At each and every funeral where I have been honored to bring the Word of Hope to the grieving family and friends, I have quoted Revelation 21:3-5. It gives hope. Now, don’t worry! This is not a funeral sermon, though I suppose it could be. It is a message about a certain future that all Christians have.
On this Memorial Day weekend, I feel it is appropriate to think about the reality of an earthly death, and the more-than-equal reality of life eternal for all who will trust and live in Christ Jesus.
Our Scripture is Revelation 21:1-8, which reads as follows:
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
5 And He that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said unto me, "Write: for these words are true and faithful." 6 And He said unto me, "It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:1-8)
DEATH HERE, BUT NOT THERE
Last week, Vicki and I had the privilege of touring the famous landmarks of our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. Our Pastor and his wife from Greenville, Texas, Rev. Marvin & Fran McDaniel, were here in Baltimore, Maryland, visiting with us; and we all enjoyed seeing the sites.
Arlington National Cemetery
One of the famous sites we toured was the Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery location was originally the farmland of the Civil War’s southern General, Robert E. Lee. Today, it is acres of well-cared-for property where our nation’s honored military and civil servants are buried.
To be there and see the thousands of graves, is to be overwhelmed. So many men and women have sacrificed their lives to make and to keep our country a free country. But, no matter how you look at it, it is still a cemetery, where people who were once living are now dead and buried.
Saved from the Second Death
Now, we certainly hope that the souls of all of those folk buried in Arlington National Cemetery are in heaven with the Lord. In fact, I hope that the souls of all persons buried, cremated, or lost at sea are with the Lord. We know our God desires that all persons would get right with their Creator.
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
Sadly, though, I know what you know. Not all persons leave this earthly life situated in God’s grace. Super-sadly, they will experience the first death, the earthly death that all of us will go through; and then those ungodly persons will experience "the second death" for all eternity.