Summary: Description of Heaven based somewhat on the book by Randy Alcorn
What Will Heaven Be Like?
What do you think heaven will be like?
A lot of people have a mental picture of heaven,
Maybe they think of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz? Or Disneyland.
In movies it’s usually set up in clouds somewhere,
kind of like a fog bank,
with angels sitting around playing harps.
And people wonder and think sometimes,
"What about animals?"
Every once in a while,
I’ll hear the question,
"What about my dog?" "Will there be dogs in heaven?"
I’ll talk about that later,
because Isaiah mentions that subject.
Or "What about my cat? Will there be cats in heaven?"
(theologians have a serious problem with this question,
they’ve disputed this one for years)
For some people, having cats around would be heaven,
but for others, that would be hell.
Like C.S. Lewis wrote once It’s possible you could have a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for human beings in the same place.
Just before His death, Jesus spoke to His disciples about this place called heaven.
He left them with these words:
"Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Christ has gone before us
to prepare a place for us in heaven.
He wants to make sure we all know,
that if we’re followers of Christ, then we can be sure that
he’s made all the arrangements for us
to come live with him forever.
Now, lets talk about how that will work,
and I have to warn you that at first,
it may seem a little confusing,
because not very many people really teach all that the Bible says about heaven.
But hang with me, be patient, because by the end of today you’ll understand all this.
I want to recommend a book,
for those of you who’d like to do more study,
Randy Alcorn, “Heaven”
Best book ever written on this subject,
apart from the bible.
Some of my ideas today are from this book.
If you liked the Left Behind series of novels,
Jerry Jenkins who wrote those,
says this about Randy Alcorn’s book:
Randy Alcorn’s thorough mind and careful pen have produced a treasury about Heaven that will inform my own writing for years.
With that said,
lets jump in –
There are actually four different heavens discussed in the Bible,
First, there is the atmosphere just above the earth
air, clouds, etc. Second, there is the stellar heaven containing the stars and planets.
Next, we have what the Bible calls “the third heaven.”
And Fourth we have what the Bible calls the New Jerusalem.
Now lets back up a second,
and talk about the third heaven.
2 Cor 12:1-2 NLT
Let me tell about the visions and revelations I received from the Lord. I was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether my body was there or just my spirit, I don’t know; only God knows. But I do know that I was caught up into paradise…
The third Heaven is what we typically think of as heaven,
its where God’s throne is located.
It is also called Paradise, Paul uses both names to make that clear.
does anybody remember,
What did Jesus tell the thief on the cross,
who repented of his sin?
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Any believer who has already died,
or who dies before the 2nd coming of Christ,
will go straight to the Third Heaven,
straight into God’s presence there.
So if you have a loved one
who was a follower of Christ,
and they’ve died,
they are in Paradise right now.
Now this third heaven also has another name,
one that theologians and bible professors use,
they also call it the intermediate heaven.
Some of you are saying,
Ken, what are you talking about,
how can it be intermediate, that sounds temporary,
but we all know heaven is going to last for eternity.
Well, the truth is, that the third heaven, paradise, or intermediate heaven,
whichever you choose to call it,
is not our final destination where we will spend eternity.
It is temporary,
until the time of Jesus 2nd coming.
I’ll talk in just a minute about the fourth heaven
which is usually called the New Jerusalem,
but first lets talk about this third heaven, or paradise.
2 Corinthians 5:8 says To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”