Summary: Contrasts between the glory of heaven, and the horrors of hell.
Your Choice, Heaven or Hell (Rev 21:1-27)
I'm going to tell you about your future. About the choice you make, and where you will spend that future, and just what that future place will be like. I've spent some time here, teaching from the pulpit, telling you what Hell looks like. Today, we will look at a place seen only by a few human eyes: Heaven.
I've heard it said, that there are two things that are certain, death and taxes. Maybe we could add to this short list that we will not only have taxes, but more taxes. But, seriously, there are two more things that are certain--the decision that you make regarding Jesus Christ, and what happens because of that decision.
First, let's look at what happens. Once you die, one minute after you die, you will either be happier than you could ever imagine or you will be sadder and more scared than you ever thought possible. Let's take a look at the good side--Heaven.
Now when I talk about heaven today, I will be talking about what heaven will look like for eternity, after the world is gone and the new earth and universe is in place. There are many events that occur in between that are really important, like the Bema Seat judgement, which I have already preached on, the triumphant return of Christ with His saints, the millenial kingdom and the final battle with Satan, but I hope to preach on this at another time soon.
When we see our new place of habitation, heaven, we will see things that are beyond our wildest imagination. And, what I tell you about today is only a small piece of what awaits for you in heaven, if you so elect to go there.
Jesus tells us in John 14:2 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.
For the saved, Jesus has prepared a place just for you. And we see this place is referred to a mansion. Now a mansion is not what you may think. In the Greek, the word for mansion is mon-ay', which means:
1) a staying, an abiding, a dwelling, an abode
2) to make one's abode
This leads us to believe simply this--it may not be a mansion. It may be more like an apartment, or a house, and yes it may be a mansion. But I guarantee you this--it will be without comparison. There are no homes like it here on this earth.
Each one of us will have our own personal place to live. Any saints that were homeless on this earth will never be homeless again. There will be no rich section, no slums, no vacation homes or hotels.
Where are all of these homes located? What will heaven look like? Let's look at today's scripture, Revelation 21:
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Let me repeat part of that scripture--for the first heaven and first earth had passed away. Why? Because the first earth and first heaven were polluted by the presence of evil. And there also would be no sea. There will be plenty of water and probably some small lakes, but the seas will be gone. Right now, only a small part of the earth is usable land. The oceans take up most of the surface, and mountainous and desert areas take up a large part of the land. This will be changed.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Note that it is prepared as a bride for her husband, but New Jerusalem will not actually be the Bride. The bride of Christ are you and I, those that are saved. This is discussed earlier in the Book of Revelation.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
We will be with God, directly in His presence.
4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
As we discussed a few weeks ago, when we are Raptured by Jesus Christ, we will receive new glorified bodies, ones that resemble that of Jesus Christ. But this takes it one step farther... Can you imagine what it will be like to be in a place where you will never be sad again? No more grieving the death of a loved one, because death is wiped out. No more betrayals by friends, sin will be gone. No more insults; sin will be gone. No more sorrow; there is indication that God will remove the painful memories that we will have of those that are unsaved that didn't make it to heaven.