Summary: A message about heaven.
"There's No Place like Home"
Revelation 21:1 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.
How many of you remember this line from a movie that came out in 1939...The main character makes the following observation when speaking about home: "Someplace where there isn't any trouble... [tossing a piece of her cruller to Toto] ...do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or train. It's far, far away... behind the moon... beyond the rain." If you guessed "The Wizard of Oz" you would be right. Dorothy is asking her little dog Toto this question and this leads into one of the most famous songs ever written for a film..."Somewhere Over a Rainbow" This fictitious place called OZ does not exist but there is a real place that is "home" for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many of us bounced around a lot while growing up either because our parents were in the service or in ministry or other reasons so the concept of home probably means something a little different for us than for someone who has lived in the same place all their life. Home for me was a destination, a place to return to after being away; it was a place where I belonged; a place where I was accepted, affirmed and loved. The places where my dad was stationed were always "temporary" not permanent, just houses to live in, not like going home for instance to my grandpa and grandma's house. The odd thing is that grandpa was a sharecropper and moved around a lot too so I never knew where they might be living from one year to the next but it was just different when we got to their house. I knew that I was "home" when we pulled up in the yard. I learned early on that there is a difference between a house and a home! It reminded me of a song by: Southern Gospel singer Squire Parsons who writes:
Somewhere beyond the grave, there is a land
Where Jesus went to prepare by His own hand,
And for the saved by grace, there is a resting place,
And in a few more days it will be mine.
Someone said you can't go back home again,
Things will not ever be as good as they've been.
Oh, but I've got good news for you,
When heaven comes into view
Just one glimse and you're gonna know,
The best is yet to come.
Some call it heaven, oh but I call it home
Some call it dreamin' well, why don't you let me dream on,
Some call it paradise, somewhere beyond the skies,
Some call it heaven, but I call it home.
Heaven is home for all those who call Jesus Savior and Lord. Thankfully the Scriptures reveal several aspects of this place in heaven that Christians call home. I've selected just three although there are many more...First let's consider that our heavenly home is:
I. A Place with No Separation v. 1
a. We will not be separated by geography
Verse 1 states that there is "...no more sea..." The new creation has no expanses of ocean to separate us. When John saw his vision it was dangerous just to sail around the Mediterranean Sea, much less across the oceans. Think about how the people of John's day must have viewed the great oceans. We think now that the Vikings were probably the first visitors to the American continent and that they were followed many years later by Columbus with his three little ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria but for thousands of years no one dared to even attempt to cross the great oceans for fear of falling off the edge of the world (they believed it was flat) or the fear of encountering great sea monsters but eventually these attempts succeeded. These men set sail in small wooden ships not knowing if they would ever see home again, and many never did! They left home knowing that they would be separated from home and family for years or forever. But in our heavenly home we will never be separated again.