Summary: A glimpse into the wonders of heaven
What Makes Heaven Special
John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also."
Rev. 21:3-4 "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. 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."
Rev. 22:3-5 "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."
Until I had the privilege of staying a few weeks with a pastor friend and preaching in a number of rural churches in the pristine and beautiful mountains of West Virginia, I could not appreciate the words of John Denver's beautiful song, "Almost heaven, West Vir-ginia..."
Until my daughter and her family moved to North Carolina, the history, geography and contemporary nature of the place were of little interest to me. But now I find the place has a strange attraction and fascination for me. Perhaps it's because I have loved ones there.
Until I was sure God was calling me to plant churches in the great land down under, I knew very little about it, nor did I have any particular desire to make the twenty-four hour plane trip to see it. But now, since I have so many loved ones in Australia, both in the physical and spiritual sense, the Lord has given me a deep love and affinity for the country.
Of course, although there are many beautiful spots on God's green earth, none could compare to the marvelous wonder and beauty of heaven. Even so, the main attraction of heaven for the Christian is not the place but the people. The main Person Who draws us home- ward and heavenward is Jesus Christ. In heaven we shall see Him face to face. Just as our roots sometimes tug at us, drawing us back to the places and people of our origins, so does our heart draw us to that land that is fairer than day.
By faith we can see it afar. It is a real place. It is not, as some may say, just a fantasy figment of a fertile imagination. It is not just an adult version of a big rock candy mountain. Nor is it pie in the sky by and by. It is the ultimate dwelling place of God with His people. I am convinced that heaven is not only a real place, but a very SPECIAL PLACE. Let us look at what the scriptures say make heaven SPECIAL!
HEAVEN IS SPECIAL BECAUSE IT IS A PREPARED PLACE FOR A PREPARED PEOPLE. We can know heaven is a real place because our Saviour tells us He has gone there to prepare a place for His particular, peculiar and prepared people. The reality of heaven and hell are foundation principles of the faith once delivered to the saints. Remove these from the Word of God and we have no rationale for a gospel.
Paul tells us that we should comfort each other by assuring each other of the reality of the resurrection and the promise of our Saviour to return from heaven to receive us and carry us home with Him. He calls the events relative to this promise, the happy hope. The reality of heaven is the over arching eventuality that has consoled and comforted the people of God through twenty centuries of terrible trials and perplexing persecution. I believe God gives us the true story of the first martyr of record, Stephan, catching a glimpse of our Saviour standing at the right hand of God in heaven on the day he laid down his life for the Lord, in order to encourage us with the reality of our transit to those beautiful eternal shores when the day of this life is over. As the light of his earthly life dimmed, Stephan was overwhelmed by the glorious Light of the Son of God shining there in that everlasting abode reserved for His prepared people.