Share This Episode
Cross Reference Radio Pastor Rick Gaston Logo

Believer’s Basics #6 – Heaven (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #6 – Heaven (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 917 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

November 8, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick has a topical message

Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

There's a distinction made throughout scripture, throughout the minds of men. Reason demands a better answer, a just answer, then they all go to the same place. When a man dies, where is he?

That's settled here. We have no natural knowledge of what lies beyond this life, beyond death, that iron wall. We have no natural knowledge of what goes on there. We do have spiritual knowledge. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher, Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called, The Believers Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Colossians chapter one as he begins his message called, Heaven. We are continuing our Believers Basics series. We are in Colossians, if you have your Bibles, turn to chapter one of Colossians. This morning's message is entitled, Heaven. We will take verses one through eight, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you as it has also in all the world and is bringing forth fruit as it is also among you since today you heard and knew the grace of God and truth. As you also learn from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the spirit, the text is verse five of Colossians one. What I read is of course the context of what is going on for our text in verse five, which is the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven. When they heard of God's plan of salvation, it included their going to heaven and when we preach the gospel that good news, the good news is, is you can go to heaven or not. Who would say no?

Well, unfortunately, many say no. They were going to heaven, this little church in Colossae and they knew it. It was important to them as it is to us. Furthermore, the thought of heaven energized them while they were on earth. Paul just got through speaking about how their love and their life in the spirit was known. There were evidences surrounding their acceptance of the gospel, their walk with Christ. It was clear the gospel had made an impact on their lives, changing their lives. It was clear, it was clear to the apostle Paul. Now the devil will not take this lying down. He did not take it lying down in Colossae, wherever the good news is preached, the bad news seeks to corrupt those things that are preached in the spirit from God's word.

So he began to sow seeds of heresy, false teachings, false ideas, things that did not belong in the minds of believers in this little church in Colossae. As I mentioned, he would not take it lying down then or now, but Paul explicitly again connects their salvation to their destiny. It goes somewhere. It's more than just giving your life to Christ.

It lands somewhere. What good is repentance? What good is prayer? What good is life if it just ends and that's it? Or if it ends up in a bad place?

Well, the good news is that it does not end up in a bad place. The gospel is preached, it includes heaven, otherwise why bother with righteous resistance? Why fight evil? Why fight sin?

Why fight impulses and things that are wrong? Why not just eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die as Paul, quoting one of their philosophers, made it so clear in his reasonings to the church. John's gospel in chapter 14, Jesus himself who teaches us everything, everything we know about God comes from God.

It's called revelation, not speculation, revelation. John 14, let your heart not be troubled. Do you believe in God, believe also in me? How profound is that? It smashes any teaching that Jesus is not equal with God the father. You believe in God, believe also in me.

A human being, put those words into the mouth of a human being and you have blasphemy. In my father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would not have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I wouldn't tell you such wonderful things if they weren't true.

I wouldn't toy with you this way. He goes on, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, you may be also, you are going to be with me. That's his promise. He says, well, I will come again. Well, how does he mean that for these men?

We know how he means it. You see, it illustrated in the life of Stephen, as they were stoning Stephen to death. He saw the Lord stand up to receive him. To where? Paradise. To heaven. Saved from the judgment of sin's presence and the penalty. That's heaven, and the Lord does take time to lay some of it out for us, to excite us. I don't know how mindful we are that the angels rejoice not over just our salvation, but what we are saved to. Not only do the angels rejoice that we come to Christ, that we line up with the God of the universe and all that is, but that there is a place for us, that we are saved to a destination.

Luke chapter 15. I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents because they know that sinner is coming to heaven, saved for the environment of God, the throne room of God, the place of God, his dwelling place, that kind of language is for us. It's not for God. It's everywhere, he is ubiquitous, and yet he puts it in language so that we understand that it is precise, that there is a place for us. Now, we have to spend a little time on false views of the hereafter. Man has been sold false ideas about evil, about good, about God, about the devil. They have collectively created the respectable make-believe, and that's what idolatry is.

Cain, when he offered his fruit basket to God, worshiping God his way, not God's way, he thought it was the respectable thing to do, and he should have been respected for it with his thoughts. He was wrong, but at some point in life, we consider death, although many won't face facts about it. This is on purpose, this is by design, Ecclesiastes 3, verse 11, he has put eternity in our hearts. There is that thing in man that is able to think in the direction of eternity, although many override the system and just concentrate on the here and now, hedonism then takes root, and they're not mindful of the things of God.

Paul will tell these Colossians, put your mind on the things above, think about heaven, think about where you're going, what it means to belong to the body of Christ. Job asked a question that is as old as death. I'll read it from Job 14, verse 10. But man dies and is laid away, indeed, he breathes his last. And where is he?

Then what? Where is the man once he leaves this life? Once this life leaves the body, where is the man? Where is the soul? Where is his ability to think, to be, to exist, man, mankind, we live in a vast cemetery, this life. It is a graveyard of dead empires, dead races even, dead civilizations, ages and ages of dead vegetation, generation after generation, life sails out of people into the fog of death. Still, lost man believes it's just something that happens or comes up with a concocts explanations with no basis, just handed down maybe from father to son or created on their own, their own human creativity, but having no fact. We have a lot of fact to back up to Christian faith, prophecy being one of the greatest facts. And in our day, in our age, again, I say it often, we have just to look across at Israel, the nation and see that it is a fulfillment of promises, not a single promise. There's so much that goes into the promise of Israel existing as an invincible nation with so many enemies around her. Man dies and where is he?

That was the question Job asked. Are we to accept the fact that, well, the false fact, take for instance, the two last leaders and the present leader of North Korea, these are diabolical men, evil to the core. Are we supposed to believe that they will be rewarded at death with something? Some reward awaits them.

Are we to believe that Ivan the terrible or Pol Pot of the killing fields, Al Capone? Are we to somehow accept that they go to the same place as little children who depart this life? That's irrational. That violates my sense of justice, which the animal kingdom does not have. Humans have this sense of justice, this conscience, or they can ruin it. They can override it.

They can callous it, sear it with a hot iron. But it's there violates conscience to say yes. They all end up in the same place or they're all end up in oblivion somewhere. Psalm chapter or pardon me, there are no chapters in the Psalms, there are whole Psalms. Psalm one verse four, the ungodly are not so. There's a distinction that's made that fourth verse of Psalm one, the ungodly are not so. They're not blessed.

It continues, but I like the chaff which the wind drives away. People of the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. Well, Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. There's a distinction made throughout scripture, throughout the minds of men. Reason demands a better answer, a just answer, then they all go to the same place. When a man dies, where is he?

That's settled here. We have no natural knowledge of what lies beyond this life, beyond death, that iron wall. We have no natural knowledge of what goes on there. We do have spiritual knowledge.

We have revelation. What good is intellect without morality? What good is being intelligent and knowing how to do things if you are immoral and what good is morality if there is not immortality? I started out by asking, why fight this righteous fight against sin if it just doesn't matter?

Well, it does matter, and I think any honest individual will say that it does, but a lot of folks are dishonest on this because they do not want to give Christ the satisfaction. They do not want to surrender to what we know to be the word of God for various reasons. Something must be done about humanity. It cannot go on forever. Technology is telling us, man is beginning to overreach, he's becoming dangerous more than ever before. Humanity cannot sustain this, it stands to reason. Romans chapter two, verse one, in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel, says Paul, according to the good news, God is going to judge man and Christ will be the standard.

Your neighbor will not be the standard. Comparing yourself to some other human being is not good enough to be forgiven by God. You will be compared to Jesus Christ and there is no comparison. You need a savior, if you are still lost in your sins, this is the gospel message. God's punishments are not vindictive, they're not, oh, I'm just going to get a lot of satisfaction and I'm getting even with you, that's humanity. They are, you could say they are awards on injustice, they are merciful nonetheless, they are judgments, they are sound and they are true and God puts a lot of energy into getting man to avoid these coming judgments and God may delay his purposes, but he never abandons them and man thinks because justice is delayed, justice is denied.

Don't be discouraged by those things. Galatians chapter six, we're almost done with the view, some of the views of the world and I'm looking forward to getting out of this section of my own outline, but I think these things have to be addressed in churches from time to time. Galatians six, do not be deceived. God is not mocked, but whatever a man sows, that he will also reap, for he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the spirit will of the spirit reap everlasting life. Now, maybe one of you say, are saying to yourself, I try to sow to the spirit, but the flesh is so powerful, it is such, it is such a port for iniquity and passions that are forbidden.

Well that's where the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin, but those without the blood are stuck, they're deceived, they're cheated, they're ripped off. The true view of the hereafter comes from God to man, it is deliberate, it is beneficial. Psalm 16, you will show me the path of life in your presence, his fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. You see, when the psalmist says forevermore, he's not talking about just this life, he's gone beyond this life, in the presence of God, here there is joy, but you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait till you get to heaven, we're going to bring up joy at the end of the message and I think, well we'll bring it up at the end of the message and we'll see what you think. What is in heaven?

What is the Bible? What does the Bible tell us about heaven? Well it says that it is paradise, that is a descriptive name. The Greek really is, it's a garden, the idea of Eden before the fall, no sin.

It is not physical, it is spiritual, but it is real, the spiritual realm is not this disembodied realm, it is still real, another dimension. Revelation 2, Jesus speaking to the church and what he said to each church in Revelation 2 and 3, he says to all churches, if the application is necessary, he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, to him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God, a great distinction there. Paradise of God, not some man-made idea of what paradise is, but God's word, God's description, that is a great authoritative description from the Son of God himself, from God the Son himself. Then on the cross again we have this word, paradise, in regard to the dwelling place of Jesus Christ, where the saints go when they die. These believers in the church at Colossae, they were alive. They are referred to as saints, a saint contrary to what anybody else teaches, a saint according to God is someone who has given their life to Jesus Christ, who was born again, who was washed in the blood, who is going to heaven. That is a saint, and I would encourage anyone to reject anything contrary to that, regardless of who is saying it. Luke chapter 23, we all know this, there is Jesus on the cross, but at his side there is someone who is surrendering to him.

Wasn't as instant as we would like to have seen it, but it happened. Jesus said to him, surely I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise. Who would stand up and say liar? Many do. Why?

To what benefit? Whatever thoughts we have about heaven, they will be proven inadequate. We shall miss nothing about this life, nothing, not a speck.

It is carnal to suppose that you're going to miss the fall foliage on the trees. It is carnal to think you're going to miss sunsets or the sea or the mountains or the refreshing breezes that come with them or food or friends or churches or anything else. If you miss anything in heaven, you've gone to the wrong place. Missing involves pain to long for, to wish you could have the sorrow that could accompany those thoughts, to miss what we love is painful and that is not going to be the case in heaven. Heaven is paradise supreme.

It defies description. Though there is variety in heaven and God makes that very clear in his word. So we come now to the characteristics that the scriptures give us about heaven. It is called in the New Testament and Corinthians and Ephesians, the third heaven, because there's the blue sky and then there's the outer space where the stars are.

And then there is glory, that spiritual realm of heaven, which no spaceship can enter. Believers go to be with Christ at death. Paul said, it's good that I'm here for you, but it's better to be with Christ. Philippians chapter one, verse 23, he struggled with that. He knew that his assignment was here. This was his duty station and he was to be active here, but he could not wait to get to heaven yet.

He never, we have no evidence of him ever becoming imbalanced through spiritual thoughts. The throne room of God is in heaven. Isaiah chapter six lays that out right for us, but revelation 22, and he showed me a pure river of water, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the lamb. Now, when we get to revelation 21 and 22, talking about New Jerusalem, but there's a blend, there's a blend of New Jerusalem in heaven.

And so you really can't mess it up, but you can get a little off with the distinctions between the two and to no disadvantage, it just cautions the reader to think it through a little more. But Jesus did not ascend to the throne in heaven. He returned to it. You see, when the Kings and Israel, when a King died and his son would come through the throne, he would then ascend to the throne, having never been there before. But when Christ Jesus came to earth and ascended to heaven, he returned to the throne that had been his since forever past. And there he is.

And it is an active throne and it is active on our behalf. Thus again, when Stephen was dying and going to heaven, Jesus stood up. There was activity in heaven on behalf of Stephen, on behalf of any of the saints. In fact, when Jesus said, Saul, Saul, why are you messing with me?

He had Stephen in mind, yes. But every other Christian that was persecuted in Christ, heaven is immeasurable. The New Jerusalem, that portion of heaven, heaven light, heaven mobile, it is 1500 miles cube, 1500 miles north to south and east to west. I get to get my hand motions to match north to south, east to west.

I know the difference is testing you. This is just again the abode of the righteous, the abode of those who are saved. This is where you will live. My place is going to be better. I'm putting a lot of work in it to make sure because competition is critical to me.

Of course, if you don't know me and you think I'm being serious with that, I don't know what to say. But anyway, best back to this. The tree of life is there. The tree to the Christian is an emblem of life and the curse. The first tree you weren't to eat from, that tree in the garden, the first specified tree, God said to Adam, and of all the trees, of all these trees, you can have anything you want except one. Is that too much to ask, Adam? Is that too much to ask, Eve?

Evidently it was, but actually it was not. That tree the man was not to eat from, the cross, we are to come to the cross. We are to commune with the cross. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 07:08:01 / 2022-11-08 07:13:09 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime