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March 27, 2021 2:00 am
In the early morning of his last day on earth, Dwight L. Moody, awoke suddenly and said, "Earth recedes; heaven opens before me." Those near him thought he was dreaming. "No, this is no dream, it is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go." After that sneak-peek of heaven, Mr. Moody entered his heavenly home. Today lets begin to consider our future home by glimpsing God's heavenly Throne Room.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Even believers rarely talk about heaven to spend forever there that have some consideration. What fills the pulpits of most churches is talks about the here and now now stay married now and raise children. Now how I manage my finances now and all of that is certainly there should be some consideration for heaven. Maybe you've noticed good movies don't start when Lucinda going to stop before the actual movie starts first to get to see previous a lot of reviews regardless of how you feel about the number of trailers played before the actual movie starts. It's kind of fun to get a sneak peak of coming attractions. Well today, here and correctly Skip weekend division Skip Heitzig as a snake before you is whether you want to pay attention to know before we get to the message is titled a sneak peek at what's up there to find out about this month's special resource off. It's pretty obvious that this world is filled with imperfect people and that's on purpose God is into restoring human beings he could make perfect people and populate heaven with perfect people, but he doesn't do that.
He takes people ordained up beat up bruised by time damaged by sin, and he does all resto job on complete restoration celebrate the joy and beauty of redemption. The morning that changed everything with skip. I think this DVD collection of six hope filled Easter weekend messages is our thanks to you when you get $35 or more today to help connect more people to God's word and the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. Restoration is based on redemption and redemption is tied to resurrection to give call 800-922-1888. Forgive online securely connectwithskip.com/offer your vital survival actual relationship before as you do so skip. Isaac will talk about the happiest place on earth that how it started as anything but how many of you ever been to Disneyland show of hands saying we should probably reverse that.
Who hasn't been to Disneyland. Really a few of you have and will pray for you will. Disneyland is called the Magic Kingdom.
That's a Walt Disney called Disneyland opened nine days before I was born in on opening day 35,000 people thronged into the Magic Kingdom to shake hands with Mickey and Donald and goofy and gnarly and whoever else was there and he was so excited. Walt Disney called at the Magic Kingdom, but it was anything but magical. On the day that open traffic was backed up in 1955 people came, they were mad because it was hot outside was in July and that the they ran out of refreshments and Disneyland.
Halfway through the day of Mark Twain's steamboat almost capsized on its maiden voyage and was not a good day. In fact, Walt Disney and his crew for years to come. Referred to opening day is black Sunday. Now Disneyland is fun. It's exciting. It's great to go there but at the end of the day your exhausted and broke and it was all just a memory.
We want to turn this morning to not the Magic Kingdom, but the Masters kingdom, the eternal, unspoiled, perfect place that will not be a memory but an ongoing reality for those who trust Christ that we been doing this series for seven weeks and what we covered so far what we covered the death of a believer in the hope that we have in death. We we talked about the reunion we can have with other people who are in Christ. We spoke about our condition prior to the bodily resurrection. We spent a couple weeks talking about the resurrection body itself in the capabilities of that body. We even spent a week talking about the death of children. The death of infants in all of those we have yet to talk about heaven, we haven't touched on the rewards working to get in heaven called the bema seat of Christ. We haven't touched it all about the throne room of God to look at today. We haven't considered the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is a future event. We certainly haven't considered the millennium the thousand year reign of Christ on earth. And then after that, the eternal age the eternal state of the new heaven and the new earth, and the new Jerusalem, all of those future events. We now turn our hearts toward this morning when it comes to heaven.
Most people really don't live with the thought of heaven at all mean if you took talk and look at the average life.
Heaven isn't even on the radar screen, except when a person dies and suddenly it's all talk about heaven heaven heaven but in life whose thinking about heaven. Even believers rarely talk about heaven, even though looking to spend forever. There we had to have some consideration. What fills the pulpits of most churches is talks about the here and now. How do I live now how I can stay married now and raise children. Now how do I manage my finances now and all of that is certainly important, but there should be some consideration for heaven. Time magazine did an article was called. Does heaven exist. David Wells from Gordon Conwell seminary said in that article quote we would expect to hear of it that is heaven, and evangelical churches, but I don't hear at all. I don't think heaven is even a blip on the Christian screen from one end of the denominational spectrum to the other." That's that's wrong that's sad because the Bible often encourages us to consider our future. Colossians chapter 3 verse one. If you then be risen with Christ, set your affection on things above, not on the things of the earth. Listen to it in the new living translation. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven were Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power led heaven fill your thoughts do not only think about things down here hundred.
That's exactly what we want to do this morning and the next few weeks is fill our thoughts with the truths of our future in heaven. What is it look like what will it sound like what will we see no better place to start. In Revelation chapter 4. Because this begins John's extended tour of heaven. Chapter 4 and five is all what he saw already heard, what will heaven be like, well, listen to this little letter from a listener or she is in your reader to Ann Landers column is dear Ann Landers, our cocker spaniel rags, died yesterday.
He was 15 years old and everyone adored him. Our son asked his rags in heaven. So I asked our clergyman how to respond.
He said tell him no. Animals don't go to heaven.
I believe this is an insensitive response to a nine-year-old. Can you give me a better one signed San Juan so Ann Landers answers back dear San Juan, I checked with several authorities and the best reply came from Andrew McKenna, who is not a theologian but vice chairman of the Board of Directors of Notre Dame University. He said, listen to this. He said tell the boy that heaven is anything you want to be assure him that he will see everyone he wants to see in heaven, including his parents are not here to answer the question dear pets go to heaven this morning and I could deal with that topic. I but I share this with you because that is how most people think about heaven. What's heaven might well it's whatever you want heaven to be.
It's not heaven is everything God made it to be and so we want to see what he made it to be like. So we turn to Revelation chapter 4. What is going to get a peek this morning were just gonna look to the portal this morning as we see what John saw. After these things. Verse one.
I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. Immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne and he who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance and there was a rainbow around the throne and appearance like an emerald. This morning we only have time for just a few thoughts. That's why only chosen three verses to introduce this whole scene, now of heaven. There's a few things I want you to see from our text.
First of all heaven is a real place. It's not made up ethereal metaphor of a certain condition that will it's a real place when the Bible speaks about heaven when Jesus spoke about heaven when Paul, John, Peter all spoke about heaven. They spoke of it as a real place now, I'd like you to notice some of the language that we read here John said. I looked I looked 12 times in Revelation that phrases used.
I looked another 34 times in Revelation.
John writes I saw another 12 times in Revelation. John says I heard so his senses are engaged.
He's a spectator of things that he looks sad and sees and hears all of that to say heaven is not false.
Heaven is a real place, you know, there were two people in the New Testament that saw heaven to a what are their names. Paul is Juan, and John is the second Paul said he was caught up into the third heaven. We didn't tell us anything about that visit right.
He says I heard inexpressible words. It's a shame it's against the law for meeting same.
So you just sit zips up the whole tool experience of heaven. John, on the other hand writes everything commanded by Jesus Christ to reveal to tell. John tells us about his extended visit to heaven.
Now, rather than trying to squeeze these verses into some symbolic metaphorical condition, it's best to see it as a real place. This is what he saw this what he heard that rather believe what John says he saw and heard than those people say will heaven is not real, it's just a projection. It's a wish fulfillment made up by weak people who are trying to cope with the hardships of this life. I'd much rather believe what John says he saw and heard than all of those lame jokes about Peter standing at the gate of heaven with a clipboard checking you off as you go in.
I'd much rather believe what John said he saw and heard and even books written about their experience of life after death, and those books seem to contradict each other. This is God's revelation chapter 1 of Revelation. God gives the Revelation to his son Jesus, who gives it to a messenger in Angel who gives it to John twice called the Revelation so John said I saw a door standing open in heaven know that word heaven appears in the Bible 532 times. That's in the singular and the plural heavens.
It appears another 171 times over 700 times in the Bible. Heaven is mentioned. It's a huge important topic and it's your future home. Paul says in Philippians 4 we are citizens of heaven, that's home sweet home that we should change the lyrics to sweet home Alabama sweet home up in heaven. Lord, I'm coming home to you can hear it at your home. Why is it your home. Your father's there your saviors there. The Holy Spirit is there everybody in Christ was died is there, your reward is there. So it's home.
That's why Paul said for me to live is Christ and the die is gain because when a believer dies what is again heaven heaven. That's the reward now since were opening up the topic of heaven this morning with John for me tell you this, when the Bible and those over 700 times mentions heaven. It speaks about having three different ways. Sometimes it speaks about heaven with the atmosphere we call this the first heaven.
This is the terrestrial heaven the troposphere it's the breathable layer of atmosphere around the earth is what you see during the day.
Bible sometimes speaks of heaven, just as the atmosphere around the earth. Isaiah 55, for example, as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven it's from the atmosphere. That's the first heaven terrestrial heaven. The second heaven is the celestial heaven. What you see at night the planets and stars the moon the Bible sometimes speaks of the heavens, meaning the beyond the atmosphere.
What you see up in space. Psalm 19 the heavens declare the glory of God. The firmament shows his handiwork.
Night and tonight they reveal knowledge. So this is space. This is what James T. Kirk called the final frontier. It's the second heaven then the Bible sometimes speaks of the third heaven. This is the heaven this is heaven with the H's were God hangs out is where God dwells.
So Paul said second Corinthians 12, I was caught up into the third heaven.
This is the heaven that John sees in Revelation chapter 4.
Psalm 33 agrees with that the Lord looks from heaven he sees all the sons of men from his place of his dwelling.
He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth. That's why it was ridiculous.
The day that a cosmonaut who went up and outer space and went to the moon stood in front of a group and an audience and said boldly, I went to space I went to the moon. I did not see God. We didn't go far enough made his first heavens and the second heaven, he did make it to the third heaven, there was a there is an American astronaut in the audience said to his buddy next to him.
If you just stepped out of a spacesuit he would've seen God. Now some of you who are sharp Bible students and you like to ask questions. I love people who do that maybe right about now you're thinking a way to minute. If God is nigh, present everywhere present. Bible says he is, then how can God do well in heaven.
In fact, how can any being whose omnipresent God said to dwell any particular place. That's exactly what even Solomon remarked we built the Temple in Jerusalem and he prayed and he said, behold even heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, much less this temple which I've built while we say that God dwells in heaven, we don't mean that heaven contains God completely. It's just that heaven is the unique place of his habitation.
It's uniquely his home its home base. It's HQ headquarters at base of operations is the place where his throne is the place from which he operates.
That's why when we pray we say our father in heaven. That's uniquely the place of his dwelling. Now, throw some else into the mix. This will be important later on.
I want to confuse you but I'll throw it in, though heaven is real heaven doesn't seem to be permanent. What I mean by that is even this heaven seems later on to be replaced. I listen carefully. Both Old Testament and New Testament, Isaiah, Peter, John, all speak about not just a new earth, but behold a new heaven and new earth seems to indicate that there's going to be phases of the eternal glory. Some of those things we want to discuss in the next few weeks. These different phases. Even Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. What is that mean to us practically means your home be gone.
Calvary of Albuquerque and be gone. United States gone Himalayas gone Swiss Alps gone and so guys can make new things in the future a new earth. As if God is saying you think this is cool when you see what I got, new heaven Newark. Why would God ever make a new heaven, what's wrong with heaven as it is earth.
We understand it's been polluted by sin, etc. why a new heaven, that's a question I'll answer in the next few weeks I will leave you hanging a little bit this morning. Go back to our text. Heaven is a real place.
Number one, number two. Second thing I want to point out is that heaven has a relative position. I want you to notice this verse one after these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here where is heaven. I was asked that question last week where is heaven simple answer. Heaven is up back in the Bible. That's always the orientation when speaking of heaven, it's up our word heaven the original word comes, it's an Anglo-Saxon word heaven comes from. Keep on. I know you don't say well when you die, you go to heave on to sounds weird so we say heaven but heaven comes from heave on and heave on means to be lifted up or uplifted. That's the original term in the Anglo-Saxon origin, but the term heaven goes all the way back to the Old Testament, the Hebrew word sham my heme show.
My heme same connotation, it means the heights topographically.
The place that is higher than the rest. In the New Testament the word heaven is or an office in the Greek and organizes the word that inspired the seventh planet in our solar system here in this seventh planet from the sun enemies to me in a way that I did have a trip to Disneyland is always fun for the happiest pushover travel tuition found anywhere on earth, but only in God's presence. So do you have your admission pass.
You can get one for free, but only through Jesus Christ.
That's all the time we have for today but if you'd like to get a copy of today's teaching for the entire series from the edge of eternity. Simply contact us at 1-800-922-1888 to place your order. You could also order firstname.lastname@example.org or write us. That's PO Box 95707, Albuquerque, NM 87199 you can always connect with Skip in your social media for regular updates and encouragement like Skip on Facebook. Follow him on Twitter and add into your Instagram feed and the hub for all that is connectwithskip.com you can also find out about this month's special resource offer. The aftermath of 2020 has left so many of us wrestling with questions about the future and wondering what next year skip. I think that's a question by the way that people ask anytime there is a catastrophe any kind of catastrophic event causes people to ask the question, what's next. There's a car accident that happens while what's next I'm going to be able to walk after this disease strikes someone. What's next my going to be sure somebody we love dies, we ask what's next. My going to be able to go on. We want to help you live with confidence no matter what the future holds by sending you a powerful collection of Easter weekend messages from on the hope of the resurrection. Anything is possible if the one who said he's going to die and rise again, died and rose again. That means all of the promises Jesus ever made possible and can come true. That's why it's called a living hope the morning that changed everything with skip. I think it's a DVD collection of six life-changing Easter message is. Thanks for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to the living hope of Jesus Christ to get online securely visit connect with.com/offer port call 800-922-1888 continuer sneak peek of what heaven has in store for us next time. So I hope you'll set aside some time to join us here in connect with Skip weekend division.
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