Summary: My simplistic description of Heaven does not even come close to Truth, but hopefully it gets you thinking about some questions about Heaven or perhaps reminds you of questions you have always had about it.
WHAT WILL HEAVEN BE LIKE?
This month we are talking about the question: “You are dead… now what?” The purpose of John and I’s sermons all month long are to answer questions that you may have about what happens after we die… that is the purpose of our time together in God’s Word each Sunday morning. Hopefully you are encouraged along the way or perhaps convicted, but more than anything we want your questions to be answered if at all possible. John preached one message about the destination of our souls after death and one sermon about Hell. There are significant questions when it comes to the afterlife. What have we learned thus far?
* We talked about how all of us are made up of body, soul, and spirit and upon our death we all continue in one way or another.
* There are only two places when you die. Hell or Hades is a place where God is not. Heaven is the place where God is always.
* Since the afterlife is definitely real, if you aren’t sure where you are going, it is not safe to die.
* Hell is a solitary garbage dump of emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual suffering.
Since everyone thinks they are going to Heaven, Heaven is the place that seems to have the most questions about it and the strongest emotions attached to it. To be honest, Scripture is VERY clear that only those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior are going to Heaven. In John 3:3 Jesus tells us, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” and in John 14:6 Jesus makes it so clear, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It is only by the Grace of God and the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that any of us have even a glimmer of hope in reaching Heaven. One of the biggest questions about Heaven I can answer right away… NO… not everyone goes to Heaven and you have this life to choose where you eternity will be spent.
ILLUSTRATON… The Right Side (sermoncentral.com illustration)
The story is told of a little girl who had lived her life in the city and was acclimated to the many street lights at night. She had opportunity to go to the country on a vacation. One starlit night, she and her mother stood gazing up into the sky without any street lights to conceal its aura. The child was awestruck by its sparkling beauty. She exclaimed, "Mama, if heaven is so pretty on the wrong side, I wonder what it looks like on the right side!"
So what will Heaven be like? Well, since I have not been there, I must take my cues in describing it to you from those prophets and servants of God in Scripture who have seen glimpses of it. To be honest, I personally do not read books about accounts of Heaven or Hell or memoirs about near death experiences because the authoritative Word on the things of God and spiritual issues is the Bible and no other book or account or experience can be trusted fully. We find glimpses of Heaven in passages such as Isaiah 6, John 14, Revelation 4, 11, 21, and 22. I’d like to mention that this is my brief description of Heaven based on these passages.
Heaven is a place that has at its center the Throne of God in a Holy City dedicated to Him. There is a river of crustal clear water springing up from under the throne and flows all over Heaven. The presence of God lights the entirety of Heaven and there is no need or a sun, moon, or even stars and His presence fills all of Heaven. Around the throne are angels with six wings constantly praising God over and over singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." From this center of Heaven, light flashes out across the sky, sound thunderclaps, and all Heaven shakes with the Awesomeness of God Almighty. A rainbow of green surrounds God and spreads out as far as one can see and the brilliance of God is unmatched by the brightest light you can imagine. All around the Throne of God are lamp stands flaming with God’s power and presence, people falling down in worship casting crowns before Him, and songs of praise non-stop. Roads of gold lead out from the Throne of God to the rest of Heaven. Away from the center of the Throne of God, Heaven looks like Earth, but not like anything we could imagine. Everything is perfect. Plants, countryside, buildings filled with banquet halls, whatever is there is absolute perfection. Existence is perfect and there are no tears, no sickness, no pain, no curses, no death, and no sin. Everything has been made new for us and we dwell with God forever. There are mansions and space for all in Heaven and plenty of heavenly perfect food and fellowship with others.