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Summary: What’s Next after we die? What is Heaven Like? Heaven is an Awesome Place! Part 2 of 7

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INTRODUCTION

Special Music – I Can Only Imagine…

1. I Can Only Imagine…

• (eg) It’s as if we are unable to see -- and have never seen the sunset and yet, a friend, who has seen and experienced a sunset, is trying to tell us what it looks like.

• Or we have never seen the Grand Canyon… never been there. Never seen photos or artist depictions – what words would or could be used to describe it?

• Or how do we describe the beauty of a piece of music to someone who has never heard any sound…

• Words seem to be limited… when we seek to describe that which is limitless…

• And yet, We have God’s Word that Reveals to us – what Heaven is like… just glimpses of this glory.

2. The reason I wanted to lead us in this study – What’s Next? is so that…

• We would deepen our Hope for Heaven and deepen our Hatred of Hell.

• That we would know that Heaven is an Awesome Place! And that Hell is Awful Place…

• Oh that we could grasp that Heaven is far better than anything I could describe or say and that Hell is far worse than anything I could ever communicate and articulate…

3. What’s Heaven Like? Let’s begin our study in this way -- When a Follower of Jesus dies – do they go straight to Heaven? The answer is YES… but there’s more to understand…

• Dennis, last week, you spoke of 2 Eternal Destinies… So, there’s Heaven and Hell, right? Right… but there’s more to understand…

4. We are going to explore Revelation 21 --- but for now, notice what 21:1 says. John, who is having this incredible Revelation of spiritual things and future things, says this – 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…

• There is a first Heaven and there is a New Heaven…

2 Peter 3:10-13 – 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

• There is a Heaven Now and there is a New Heaven Later…

There is a Heaven Now… The Present Heaven….

• Is where God Is and dwells --- Remember what Jesus answered the disciples question about how do we pray – Jesus said, pray this way – “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed is your Name…” Matthew 6:9

• Jesus is dying on the Cross and He tells the repentant thief on the cross – “Today, you will be with Me in paradise…” Luke 23:43

• In 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – for the believer in Jesus, to be away from this body, separated from the body, is to be at home with the Lord.

Philippians 1:21-23 – 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; …

• Stephen, a follower of Jesus, was being persecuted for His belief and His preaching is about to be martyred by stoning… Acts 7:55-56 – 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

• In this Paradise Heaven, this Present Heaven – we are still awaiting the Coming of Christ and the resurrection of our new, glorified bodies…

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – 13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

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