Sunday Morning 11-11-2012

Posted by Sherry


HEAVEN - THE END IT ALL CELEBRATION
Revelation 21:1-5
CBC 11/11/12 SM


Human history began in paradise…the Garden of Eden. And it will all end in paradise…the New Jerusalem.

v. 5 this sums up the last 2 ch’s of Revelation…all things will be new.
v. 6 “it is done” 
What began in Genesis is brought to completion in Revelation.

GENESIS REVELATION

1:1 - heavens & earth created 21:1 - New heavens & earth
1:16 - Sun created 21:23 - No need for the sun
1:5 - Night established 22:5 - No night there
1:10 - The seas created 21:1 - No more seas [exiled on Patmos!]
3:14-17 - The curse announced 22:3 - No more curse
[satan, serpent, soil] 
3:19 - Death enters history 21:4 - No more death
3:24 - Man driven from paradise 22:14 - Man restored to paradise
3:17 - Sorrow & pain began 21:4 - No more tears or pain

Don’t you look forward to going to heaven? “What a day that will be…”
TEXT: 21 Then I saw a new [a]sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former [b]sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea.(A)
2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband;
3 Then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God.(B)
4 God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.(C)
5 And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).
Facts about The New Jerusalem:
1. Heaven is a Real Place
liberals deny existence…say it’s a state of mind/wishful thinking…but Jesus said “I go to prepare a PLACE for you…there you shall be also” [Jn. 14]
It’s literal, tangible, described in detail. The emphasis is on what John SAW…w/ literal eyes.
v. 1 “saw”
v. 2 “saw”
Heaven is as real as Decatur is…but may smell different!

And we’ll have real bodies…glorified bodies! Jesus rose from the dead in His glorified body. He could pass thru walls, but yet he could touch people, sit down and eat…praise God!
It will be a different existence, but as real as it gets!

2. Heaven is a Remaining Place
v. 1 “passed away”
Nothing you see on this physical earth is going to last…nothing will remain. We like to have nice things and we should enjoy them, but don’t get too attached…they are not permanent. In the end, all we have left is our soul! All we will have in eternity is the treasures we send ahead.
“Only 1 life…”

Ill.—[fictitious] 2 women died. One was stingy/miserly. She was a Christian, but very greedy…and when she gave it was grudgingly. 
She had a maid working for her…she didn’t have much, but loved to give, and looked for opportunities to do so. 
Both women died. An angel escorted the wealthy woman around. He said, let me take you to your new home, and on the way we’ll pass by your maid’s house. Down the golden street they went, and as they approached a great mansion she said wow, and that’s just for my maid?! I can’t wait to see my place!
They moved on to a cardboard shanty. “What is this?”
“Sorry, we did our best w/ the materials you sent us!”
Jesus said we send ahead of us treasures--by how we serve, how we give now.

Every stain of sin, every evidence of evil will be vanquished as well when the old earth is destroyed! And all that will be left is our souls and our spiritual investments, stored up for us.

One of the most precious experiences we will have in heaven is being approached by someone who says, I got saved because of your witness, your testimony, your missions giving, your prayers, etc.!

Heaven is a real place, a remaining place…

3. Heaven is a Readied Place
v. 2 “prepared”
I’ve done a lot of weddings…and it takes the bride a long time to get ready…hours and hours…w/ someone just for dress, hair, makeup, etc.

And the Lord has spent a lot of time, and is sparing no expense in readying heaven for us. [2,000 years compared to 6 days of creation! And there’s some great beauty in this earth…even tho’ it’s been cursed!]
R.G. Lee—“Heaven is the most marvelous place the wisdom of God could conceive and that the power of God could prepare.”

The butterfly, the sculpted rose, the stars and planets…all in 6 days…and by comparison to heaven, the Grand Canyon will be an infected wound!

Ill.—little girl born blind/only beauty she knew came from her mother’s descriptions/flowers in spring, trees in fall, snow in winter, ocean in summertime/girl could only imagine/at 10 years of age, had experimental surgery to help her see/bandages for several weeks/moment of truth came…bandages removed and she saw/ran to the window and stood breathless/ “mother, why didn’t you tell me it was so beautiful?”/ “I tried to, but words just wouldn’t suffice!”
I believe that in heaven we’ll run around breathless, and when we see the apostle John we’ll say, “why didn’t you tell me?” and he’ll say, I tried, but words wouldn’t suffice!
1 Cor. 2:9 
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 

4. Heaven is a Place of Relationship
v. 3 This is what makes heaven heaven! If the streets were not gold but gravel, if the walls were particle board and not jasper, if mud was knee deep and weeds over our heads, it will still be heaven because Jesus is there!
If you’re lost, this thought should terrify you, not just that you would go to a fiery hell, but that you would go somewhere cut off from God! A lost person would be terrified even in His presence at the Great White Throne, but being face to face w/ Him is a precious contemplation for the believer…that’s what Heaven is!

And there we’ll see the only “man made” thing in heaven. As we study about all God is preparing for us, let’s not forget the paralyzing sight we’ll behold in the nail scarred hands and feet of Christ! [a constant reminder of how we got there!]

Heaven is not a reward for those who are faithful…we can’t work our way to heaven. We’ll be elated, yes, but only because we’re RELATED! Heaven is a place of relationship…

5. Heaven is a Place of Relief
v. 4-5 no more crying, sighing, or dying! No hospitals or graves! And Satan will not be able to get a passport. He will be in the bottomless pit. All the fallen angels will be chained up. There will be no aging, wrinkles. The fountain of youth will be there. One drink and all signs of age gone. Nothing will ruin, rot, or rust. There will be no thirsting, or hungering. No itching, no blindness, no deafness, no diabetes, no cancer, or heart attacks, or scars, no witchcraft, no drugs, no alcohol, or tobacco! No divorce, child abductions, accidents…and no more bills!

Ill.—5 year old girl had never stayed the night w/ a friend before/was nervous, but gave it a try/she did fine during the daytime, but when it got dark she got nervous in a strange place/ friend’s mother perceived this: “honey, are you getting homesick?”/with childlike innocence she replied, “no ma’am, I’m getting here sick!”

And the more you may go thru down “here”, the sweeter heaven will be for you!
Romans 8:18 
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

Some call it heaven/new Jerusalem/pearly white city/Glory/and some call it “home”.
“I’m kinda homesick for a country…”

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