In Colossians 3:2 we are told to: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Too many people and Christians are so earthly-minded that they are of no heavenly good. Jesus told to us to “lay up treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:20.
In view of the difficulties of this world and of the treasures of heaven, we do well to focus constantly on heaven.
Aim: 1. To show us what great things await us in heaven.
2. To comfort us concerning those who have gone to heaven.
3. To motivate us to tell people how they may get to heaven.
1. THE BIBLE TEACHES US THAT THERE ARE THREE HEAVENS
The first heaven is earth’s atmosphere, “the heaven gave rain”. James 5:18.
The second heaven is outer space, “the stars shall fall from heaven”. Matthew 24:29. The third heaven is the throne of God, “New Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from my God.” Revelation 3:12.
Paul says in II Corinthians 12:2-4, “I knew a man in Christ…caught up to the third heaven.”
2. NAMES OF HEAVEN
a) “Thine eyes shall behold the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” Isaiah 33:17.
b) “Ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” Hebrews 10:34.
c) “The city of the living God.” Hebrews 12:22.
d) “Receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15.
e) “In my Father’s house are many mansions:…I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2.
f) “Far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” II Corinthians 4:17.
g) “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:20.
h) “…a better…heavenly country…he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16.
i) “He was caught up into paradise.” II Corinthians 12:4.
3. WHEN WE DIE WHERE DO WE GO?
a) At death, the spirits and souls of believers go immediately to heaven, and the body “sleeps” in the earth until Christ’s second coming when we will be caught up to rejoin our spirits &souls.
“To be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:8. “Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” I Thessalonians 4:14. “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven.” Colossians 1:5.
“But ye are come unto Mt Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Hebrews 12:22. “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly.” Hebrews 11:16.
“Knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” Heb. 10:34
“To an inheritance…..reserved in heaven for you.” I Peter 1:4.
“I heard a great voice of much people in heaven.” Revelation 19:1.
“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:20. “Where I am (heaven), there shall also my servant be.” John 12:26.
“I go and prepare a place for you…..that where I am (heaven), there ye may be also” John 14:3
“We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved (physical death), we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” II Corinthians 5:1.
b) At Christ’s return to earth in glory, believers will return to earth with Christ. “The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Zechariah 14:5.
c) After the 1000 years of Christ’s rule on earth, God will destroy this first earth with fire. He will create a new heavens, new earth and a new Jerusalem city which will be 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long and 1500 miles high.
This is where our home with God will be forever. Revelation 21:1-3.
4. DESCRIPTION OF HEAVEN.
a) Heaven is where God’s Throne is. “Our Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 6:9.
b) It is a sinless Holy Place.
“He will hear him from his holy heaven.” Revelation 21:27; Psalm 20:6.
c) Beautiful and clean. “The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Revelation 21:21.
d) River of Life and tree of life. Revelation 22:1,2.
e) Angels reside there. “The voice of many angels about the throne in heaven.” Revelation 5:11.
f) Father, Son and Holy Spirit reside there. “They shall see his face.” Revelation 22:4.
g) Place of reward. “Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.” Matthew 5:12; Revelation 22:12.
h) Place of separation from the wicked. I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Rev. 22:14,15.
i) Believers reside there. “…an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” II Cor. 5:1.
j) We return to the days of our youth, in resurrected, youthful and immortal bodies. Job 33:25.
“This mortal must put on immortality.” I Corinthians 15:53.
k) Place of joy and happiness.
“Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Isaiah 35:10; Matthew 25:21.
l) All good earthly gifts come from God in heaven.
“A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” John 3:27. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17.
Question: Do you acknowledge God as having given you everything good?
m) God assigns angels in heaven to each child who is born in order to bring that person to hear the gospel, so that they will receive Christ as Saviour and have eternal life. Matthew 18:10.
n) God’s Word which we have in our hands is settled forever in heaven. It is heavenly and without error. We can confidently build our life on it.
“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89.
o) The permanence of our heavenly possessions comfort us when we lose our earthly possessions. Hebrews 10:34.
p) An inheritance reserved in heaven for you, that fadeth not away. I Peter 1:4,5.
q) Saved people from every kindred, tongue, people and nation will be there. Revelation 5:9. We will be reunited with saved friends and relatives, children who have died, Jesus Christ and angels.
r) We shall have a glorified body like Christ. “We shall be like him.” I John 3:2. This is Christ likeness. Our new bodies will not be subject to the laws of gravity, time or ageing. John 20:19
s) Heaven is eternal. “an eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15.
t) A place of memory.
Question: Will we know one another in heaven? Yes, David will meet his son. II Samuel 12:22,23. We shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11.
u) Satisfaction of all our needs. Revelation 7:16,17.
v) Sharing in Christ’s glory. “When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory”. Colossians 3:4.
5. ACTIVITIES IN HEAVEN:
i) Intimate fellowship with God for all eternity. “They shall see his face.” Revelation 22:4.
“That where I am there ye may be also.” John 14:3.
ii) Rest from hard labour.
“They may rest from their labours.” Revelation 22:4.
One of the results of sin was the curse of toil and the sweat of hard work.
When we arrive in heaven, we will continue to work, but the agony of labour will be gone.
iii) Exciting service. “His servants shall serve Him.” Revelation 22:3.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” Luke 16:10.
iv) Ruling. “We shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10.
“Because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.” Luke 19:17. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. II Timothy 2:12.
v) Worship. “The 24 elders……worship him that lives forever and ever.” Revelation 4:9-11. “The Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23. We will be so amazed with the greatness of God, heaven and eternity that we will respond in worship.
vi) Singing. “They sung a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy.” Revelation 5:9. “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.” Isaiah 35:10.
vii) Eating. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna”. Revelation 2:17.
viii) Marriage supper of the lamb. “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the lamb.” Revelation 19:9.
6. THINGS ABSENT FROM HEAVEN.
The “no-mores” in heaven are:
i) “No more sea.” Revelation 21:1.
ii) “The first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Revelation 21:1.
iii) No more tears. Revelation 21:4.
iv) No more death.
v) No more sorrow.
vi) No more crying.
vii) No more pain.
viii) No more sun or moon. Revelation 21:23.
ix) “No temple for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”Revelation 21:22
x) No more insecurity. “The gates of it shall not be shut at all by day” Revelation 21:25.
xi) “No night there.” Revelation 21:25.
xii) No sin will enter. “There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, or works abomination, or makes a lie…” Revelation 21:27.
xiii) No more sickness. “Leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
xv) “No candle or light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 7:16.
xvi) No more thirst, hunger or heat. Revelation 7:16.
xvii) No one who adds or takes away from the Bible. Revelation 22:18,19.
xviii) Outside are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and liars.Revelation 22:15
7. WHAT WILL BE THERE?
i) Behold I make ALL THINGS NEW. Revelation 21:5.
This means that everything will be new. It will be a new universe.
ii) “He that overcometh shall inherit ALL THINGS.” Revelation 21:7.
iii) “The Kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” Revelation 21:24. This means that there will be a new population on the new earth who will worship the Lord.
iv) Mansions. “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” John 14:2.
Question: How may we enter heaven?
We must humble ourselves as little children, and ask Christ to be our Saviour. Matthew 18:1-6 “Thou would have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water”. John 4:10.
Are you really sure of going to heaven?
Are you really living for Christ and for eternity?
Are you working to get lost people saved and into heaven?