Revelation 21:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
All Things Made New
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Do you ever wonder about heaven and the after life?
--There is life after life, you know. Make it heaven.
--That is why Jesus came that first Christmas, to make a way for any one to get there, who trust in Him.
--How do we know? The Bible tells us, repeatedly.
--Jesus died on the cross and arose again to show us.
--He said, "I go to prepare a place for you ..."
--A place of life eternal and all the joys of heaven!
I'll never forget when I met Florence when both were a guest for dinner with some Philadelphia church friends.
--As I walked her home, after; here was a very beautiful young lady, who knew the Lord and on her way to heaven! The Lord and His Word was our conversation.
--We met August 14, 1943, and were wed May 27, 1944.
--For over 65 years, that love has grown both for her, and together, for our wonderful Lord. And others.
--From our honeymoon we began to read a chapter or two from the Bible, and pray together. To the end.
--Never a day passed without saying, "I love you!"
I paraphrase John 1:5, instead of "man," "There was a woman sent from God whose name was" Florence.
--One whose faith was strong. She taught me much.
--What joy God gives when we have heaven's assurance!
--For "This world is not our home, we're just a passing through; our treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue." And that place is heaven. It's real.
--On my desk I have these words, "Always be ready ..to pray .. preach .. or pass away." She was ready.
--To let the Lord lead! Knowing where we're going!
What precious memories, and ministries, we have shared together. God has been most precious and good to us.
--As God says, "We sorrow, but not as others who have no hope." We shall meet again, to never part again!
You ask, "What makes heaven such a joyous place?"
--Well, there many things. Think about these things.
I. HEAVEN IS WHERE GOD IS! It is His holy city.
--Friend, there is no better place, than with the Lord.
--I know earth has some nice places, many blessings.
--"But our eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things God has prepared for them that love him" (I Cor 2:9).
--We are going to "abide with Him," as Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many mansions" (John 14).
--Maybe we don't have such down here; we will up there.
Our Lord and Savior is there, with "our Father in heaven," and the Holy Spirit. To be worshiped, glorified.
--Choirs of angels are there, singing God's praises and we who love to sing, as Florence, might join them.
II. HEAVEN IS WHERE THE PROPHETS, APOSTLES, SAINTS ARE.
--We can sit down and visit with them, learn from them.
--We can get answers from some of life's questions.
--Amazed, as they fascinate us with their experiences.
III. IT IS WHERE OUR SAVED LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS ARE.
--Those who have gone on before, to welcome us there.
--Don't you know our loved one is enjoying that!
--To be able to have fellowship, spend more time, than we each ever had on earth. Meet some we never met!
IV. HEAVEN IS THE ONLY PLACE OF PLENTY OF TIME.
--In fact, it is not "four-score and ten" or twenty or thirty or more - rather it is forever! No rushing!
--Forever, is all the time we'll ever need, for joys!
V. IT IS THE ONLY PLACE WE'LL NEVER GET OLD, OR ILL.
--I don't know about you, but that sounds, good to me!
--I know some saints down here looking forward to that and, you want to know something? I'm one of them!
--Where one stays young. Lovely. Holy. Happy.
--No more walkers. No more wheel-chairs, and helps.
--Where no one will need care-givers to care, again.
You say, "How do we know?" The Bible tells us so.
--It is God's inspired, infallible, indestructible truthful Word. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth.."
VI. IN HEAVEN THERE IS NEVER ANY CRIME, OR EVIL.
--My,friend, sin is the initial cause of problems.
--Revelation 21:1 says, "there was no more sea," which is a way of saying, there is "no more sin" in glory!
--"No more" of things that defeat. Evil is an enemy.
--But every temptation will be gone, up in heaven, and that seems to me to be a great joy. No wrong there.
VII. A JOY OF HEAVEN, THERE IS NO MORE DEATH.
--Revelation 21:4, says, "there shall be no more death"
--Imagine what that glory land of God must be like!
--"No more death." No more parting. Or dying.
Some people are afraid of death. Don't be, in Christ.
--They have questions, "What is it like to die?"
--I remember a young daughter saying, "I'm not afraid of death, or dying, since Jesus came in my heart."
--Think how often Jesus, and the Bible, say, "Fear not."
--No wonder God says, "Comfort one another with these words" (I Thess. 4:18). So many have done that.
When Jesus arose, defeating death and the devil, and the grave, "death is swallowed up in victory!" No more!
VIII. THERE IS NO SORROW EVER IN HEAVEN! WHAT A JOY!
--Look at it in verse 4, ".. no more death, neither sorrow nor crying." Imagine, no more tears, up there.
--Where the saved in the Lord are! There is joy!
--No weeping. No grieving. No tears. No heartbreak.
As a boy we used to go out in the country to my Uncle and Aunt's, on a Sunday afternoon for good times.
--They lived in an old, sort of run-down house, but so warm with hospitality, laughter, and memories.
--We rode horses. Played on the wagon and carriage.
--Made home-made ice-cream, popcorn; all the goodies.
One day that old house burned down, and much within it.
--They were spared, but we were all saddened.
--That is, until soon a beautiful, new, modern, larger home was built on the same spot. 0 so much better!
--They loved it more than ever! What am I saying?
God does that with our bodies - He gives new ones!
--A recognizable, loveable, Christ-like new body.
--For "born again" believers, receiving Jesus as Savior.
--To Mary and Martha, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). What a promise!
Surely, it applies to Florence. A believer!
--Praise God, it can apply to you! Anyone. Even me.
IX. ANOTHER JOY OF HEAVEN, THERE WILL BE NO MORE PAIN.
--"Neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away" (v 4).
--Ever have any pain? Any suffering? I've seen lots.
--God says, in heaven, "there is no more pain!"
--Our beloved Florence, is free of pain! No more.
--We can look forward to that day! Ease pain, today.
We'll be able to see clearly. Hear clearly; walk easy.
--We'll have no need for aids. Canes. Crutches.
--Never have another pill. Never know another ill.
X. ONE OF THE BEST JOYS OF HEAVEN - IT IS JUST A PRAYER AWAY. "Call to Me, I will answer you ..."
--It is not just for a few, or some "elect," but is for "whosoever will, may come." God hears all prayers.
Florence never sought one bit of prominence.
--Rather, she requested at times I speak of Jesus, not about her. But in her life, the two are entwined.
I want to be like that. Let the beauty of Jesus to be seen in you .. and in me .. as I saw it in her.
"Death may hide, but it does not divide.
For thou art on Christ's other side. Christ with us, and Christ with thee, United in Christ .. still are we."
As long as we still love the one we have lost, we have not lost the one we love. Her motto: "Not I but Christ".
--Do you really know the Lord, as your Savior?
--Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you that labor, and are heavy laden; I will give you rest." He will.
--Heavenly rest, with Him. And heavenly joys begin!
WILBERT D. GOUGH, ThD., DD. Preached on 12/10/09