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R1385 The Bible and Heaven

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2022 8:00 am

R1385 The Bible and Heaven

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton about the Bible and Heaven.

Okay, you're saying that sounds very simple. What do you mean the Bible and Heaven? Well, let me tell you where we're headed, and that'll be why you want to stay around for the next few minutes as Dr. Don Wilton goes to Revelation 21 and talks about the Bible and Heaven. As we open God's Word together, know that we're available for you. 24 hours a day on our website at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. Right now you'll find today's message as well as other messages from Dr. Wilton that you can hear and share with friends. Plus, you can sign up for the daily encouraging word email right there on our website at www.tewonline.org. Absolutely free.

That's online at www.tewonline.org. Now, Dr. Don Wilton. All right, are you ready? Open your Bibles to Revelation 21. Revelation chapter 21. You're going to need your Bibles today.

Let me just say this before I read to you. I'm going to speak to you this morning on the subject, the Bible and Heaven. What does the Bible have to say about Heaven? What does the Bible say? I preached a message entitled, What would God say to us today?

It's always the operative question. A lot of people have opinions about Heaven, don't they? And if we were to take a survey here in the United States, for that matter, around the world and say, tell us what you think about Heaven. You're going to get every kind of opinion one can possibly imagine. Some don't believe it.

They just don't believe it. They'll say, get a life. When you die, it's over. I'm glad I'm not in that category. You know, I'd say, let's see, I've got how many years left?

You know, and then it's just blank. Some just don't believe it. Some sort of believe it. They say, well, you know, maybe, if, possibly.

But I fall into the third category. Some absolutely believe it. Friends, we're living in a very rapidly changing and deteriorating world. One of the questions I'm getting frequently asked of me, and I know you're getting the same, is Jesus getting ready to come back.

This question is so important. The end of this year, I'm going to Israel, going to go right there into the battlefields of Armageddon and the Mount of Olives and the Kidron Valley. Is Jesus about to come back? What a subject. I'm trying to resist the urge to speak to that subject. I'm going to say to you, it's looking very much more and more like the time is getting there.

And I'm not just saying that, even though nobody knows that. But if you look at the signs of the times, think about marriage. You might say to me, who's more important, a mother or a father?

I'm going to say both. You show me a family where the father is weak, and I will show you consequences that reverberate through the family. America today is weak. We are a weak, insipid nation.

We are not prepared to lead. We call ourselves a superpower, but we certainly don't act like one. And what we export to the world is sending a message to the world.

We export our brand of democracy. We're telling the world, fight with each other, kill one another, hate one another, watch pornography, demean everybody. And above all, what we're telling the world is get God out of everything you possibly can. And just look at our world. Just watch our world. Look what the world is doing.

The world no longer is concerned or bothered by we, America. We've got a weak daddy in this world right now. But a weak father, and the family is falling apart. Look, you either lead or you don't. You don't want to lead, get out of the leading business. You don't want to be a father, don't get married. Just don't bring children into the world. Just live in your own environment.

There's nothing wrong with that. So what we've got today is we've got a collapsing Europe, regardless of all the opinions related to things going on. Europe is becoming now an increasingly fertile ground for the rise of Antichrist. All Europe needs is a strong man, someone who will rise up and say, I'll fix you, follow me. They're all falling over each other. They're all holding each other accountable, but not willing to allow each other to become strong.

So you've got a fertile seed bed. You've got collapsing markets, cash economy. You've got a ramp up of the anti-Israel movement and the United States to the best of our ability, sit here and say nothing and do nothing. In fact, the very opposite.

We just simply put our arms around the adversaries of Israel and give them billions of dollars to rebuild their arsenals. So heaven becomes a very important subject. It's also an important subject because every week I have the privilege, it seems like, of participating in another funeral. And it's a great privilege to be able to love on people. And there's nothing more wonderful than loving on people when their loved ones have been taken into the presence of the Lord. Heaven, just a couple of things.

Now, I'm going to say this for this is a huge subject. Revelation 21 at the end of the Bible is God's announcement concerning the final picture of heaven. This is what the Bible says in Revelation 21. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more. By the way, the word sea is the word for separation. What does the sea do? The sea separates us from England, right?

If you want to go to England or Ireland, you have to get on a plane and fly over there. I'm going to walk there. Final heaven, there's going to be no separation.

Gravity will be gone. If you want to think about heaven in the final picture, think about God before the book of Genesis, the in the beginning God. Where was God before he created?

He always is. Now, it's hard for us to wrap our minds around that, isn't it? I want to tell you about heaven today because I want you to give your life to Christ. Some of you are fixing to die. You have to know Jesus. All of us are going to die. You must know Christ. I saw the new heaven, new earth, the first heaven, first earth had passed away.

Watch what happens here. And then I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven. Because right now heaven is up there. Heaven is up. We know that because Jesus went up. The disciples looked up. That's where heaven is.

You've got to go through. You've got to defy gravity in order to get into heaven now. But at the end of the world, God says heaven is going to come down from God, prepared as a bride adorned for a husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne. This is God speaking saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. So heaven up there is going to come down. Headquarters are going to be in Jerusalem.

This is important stuff. And listen what God tells us. Verse four, he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. Neither will they be mourning, crying, pain anymore. For the former things have passed away.

They've died. So let me show you what the Bible tells us. This is what the Bible tells us.

Just some very simple things. First of all, the Bible previews heaven. When you go into the Old Testament, there are quite a number of passages and illustrations where God previews heaven. For example, in 2 Kings chapter two, and some of you who are very quick flippers of your Bible pages, 2 Kings chapter two, the story of Elijah and Elisha.

Listen to what the Bible says. This is a preview. This is God telling us back in the beginning before Jesus came. God is previewing heaven.

How many here today, my hand's going to go up. How many of you have a loved one that's in heaven right now? Okay, you and I cannot see them physically, but we are going to be with them because that's why Jesus came and died on the cross for us, to make that possible.

Because in Christ, we're made alive. We're going to see one another again. Now I know for some of you, that's going to be a real disappointment because the person you're seated next to, no, I'm just kidding you. You're going to be, so the Bible number one previews heaven. The number two, the Bible populates heaven.

All right, let's ask the question. Who exactly is going to be in heaven with us? Now this is a big subject because I hear people all the time pass comments about who exactly is in heaven. Well, the Bible tells us who exactly is going to be in heaven.

So I've just isolated four categories. People, if you don't mind. First of all, God himself. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton. Please forgive the interruption.

Don't go away. We'll be back with the conclusion of today's message from Revelation 21 in just a moment. But Dr. Don wants me to remind you, we're here for you, connecting in a number of ways, keyboard to keyboard on our website at tewonline.org. That's tewonline.org, a place you'll be able to hear today's message and other resources on audio and video form from Dr. Wilton, what we call On Demand.

You can just click and listen right away. You can also sign up for some tremendous insight from Dr. Wilton that comes out on a daily basis. It's the daily encouraging word email from Dr. Don Wilton. Comes out about six o'clock every morning. You click on the devotion tab of our website, tewonline.org to sign up today, and we'll do our best to get in your mailbox within the next two days.

You can also order a physical copy. If you'd like to have a quarterly version sent to you, we'll be happy to do that absolutely free. All of that is on our website at tewonline.org.

That's tewonline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. I've just isolated four categories, people, if you don't mind. First of all, God himself. Obviously, God is going to be there.

I read that to you a minute ago. Revelation chapter 21 verse three. God himself, he said, I myself will be with you.

And this is for another day now. God is going to be God one in heaven as he was in the beginning. God in the beginning, before he created the heaven and earth, was always God Father, God Son, God Holy Spirit, but we see him as one. He is one God. This is the trinity.

It's the mystery. It's the dynamic of the triune God. And then when we work through the Bible, Jesus comes down. So God the Son leaves God the Father, but is God and is born in Bethlehem. Then when Jesus dies, God raises him from the dead. He goes back up into heaven and he sends to this earth the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity. Then when Jesus comes in the clouds in 1 Thessalonians chapter four, when he comes in the clouds to precipitate the tribulation period, God tells us that he will withdraw his spirit from the earth. So during the tribulation period, God who is in heaven, he has never left heaven up there, is now rejoined by God the Son and God the Spirit at the end of the seven year tribulation period in Revelation chapter 19 and verse 11. Heaven opens and Jesus the Son comes back down to earth again.

Man's on the Mount of Olives, Battle of Armageddon, the thousand year reign, the great white throne judgment, Revelation chapter 20 and verse 15. And when we get to the passage that we were reading just a minute ago, God comes down out of heaven and joins the Son and the Spirit to become one. That's the in the beginning God.

This is the recreation. We're going back to the original creation of the world, the Garden of Eden, because now everything is perfect. So who is in heaven?

God himself, number two, four living creatures. Well, just look at Revelation chapter four. If you've got your Bibles, just go there quickly.

I've got to turn back there too. Revelation chapter four and verse six. Revelation chapter four and verse six. The Bible says, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass like crystal and around the throne, got the picture here.

This is the throne of God around the throne. God tells us of four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind the first living creature like a lion, the second like an ox, the third at the face of a man, and the fourth like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings are full of eyes all around within and day and night they never cease to sing holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and who is and who is to come.

So who's going to be in heaven? I've just got to in the interest of full disclosure here this morning tell you the Bible talks about the four living creatures. Now the four living creatures are spoken of three times in the Bible. First of all Ezekiel speaks about them. Then Daniel speaks about four living creatures. And then the book of Revelation speaks about four living creatures. And this is a huge Bible study. The parallels, what is the context in which it is said.

But here's the bottom line. If you were to ask me today what do these four living creatures do? They worship. They celebrate God's holiness. They lead us in worship.

They represent us. The four living creatures. So God's going to be in heaven. The four living creatures are going to be in heaven.

Are you ready for the third one? Twenty-four elders. Twenty-four elders. Okay stay in Revelation chapter 4 and go to verse, let me see verse 4. Revelation chapter 4 and verse 4. Bible tells us about these people.

Around the throne were twenty-four thrones and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders clothed in white garments and with golden crowns on their heads. By the way they've spoken of five times in the book of Revelation. So the twenty-four elders who are going to be with us we might as well get to know them.

I intend to go up to all of them and say hey I know all about you. They're going to be with us. The number of things I'm going to say to you in bullet fashion, they represent the church. When Jesus spoke to the church in Sardis in Revelation chapter 3, he said I'm going to give you crowns and I'm going to clothe you in white garments. They represent the church. They reign with Christ. Did you note that they are seated on thrones?

That's a sign of reign, of rulership. They serve as ministering spirits. The whole issue of serving in heaven is huge. They sent out for all who are saved and all who will inherit heaven and eternal life. They dressed in white. They wear crowns. They are symbols of the promise of God to all of us who have given our lives to Christ that we can be assured that we are going to be in heaven.

All right here it is. Who's in heaven? God himself, four living creatures, 24 elders. By the way there's a lot more if you go back into the Levitical law. There are tremendous parallels between the 24 elders and the Levitical law of the Jewish people in the Old Testament presentation. All right so the third group of people that are part of our group in heaven are angels.

So if you take for example, where can I take? Go to chapter 5, Revelation chapter 5 and verse 11. I'm just picking on one of a hundred passages. Revelation 5 and verse 11. Then I looked, remember now John's looking around heaven.

Then I looked and I heard around the throne Here it is again. The four living creatures and the 24 elders and the voice of many angels numbering myriads of myriads and thousands upon thousands all singing with a loud voice worthy is the lamb who is slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessings and I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea and all of them that are in it singing to him who sits on the throne and to the lamb be blessed and honor and glory and might forever and ever and the four living creatures said amen and the elders fell down and worshiped and that's when the lamb of God begins to open up the seals that precipitate the three series of judgments that are going to take place. The seal judgments followed by the trumpet judgments followed by the bowl judgments increasing in severity and then heaven opens accompanied by the chorus of these angels. What a choir that's going to be.

If you think we're going to have a wonderful time at choral festival and on Sunday morning our choir this morning led by Jim Henry was just magnificent. I think it's going to pale into insignificance compared to what we read about. So the angels are going to be in heaven. That's a huge subject. I've been doing another study on angels. I fear to say there's so much about angels it's unbelievable. Great subject.

Get to know them. We're going to heaven. They're going to be all around and then of course the fourth group of people are us. All the redeemed people of the world. Chapter seven we could go on look at chapter seven and verse nine. After this I looked and behold a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, every tribe, every people, every language standing before the throne and before the lamb clothed in white with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice singing and saying salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the lamb and all the angels and the elders and the four living creatures they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God saying amen blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and forever and forever and forever.

Isn't that something? That's like winning the national championship about heaven. What does the Bible say? If I may say something very loving, very respectful to whomever is living, listening right now beginning with me. Does it really matter what I think?

Can you hear the question? You know all these opinions I will tell you honestly in all of that and all the thoughts that I have one of the very first things I always ask myself is I wonder if those people that died so tragically I wonder if they went to heaven. So the Bible says heaven is real and it's the bottom line you know.

I want us to really be a people who fix our eyes on the Lord. Listen my friend you know you may be going through dark waters today. You may be ministering to someone who's very very ill. You may be battling in your marriage. Maybe facing a divorce. You may be really struggling with a son or a daughter.

You may be dealing with addictions. You know when you study about heaven I don't know what it for me when I study heaven I think about heaven and I believe what God says in his word. It puts a like the right balance back in my life. I just I keep coming back to where it really matters.

Doesn't declare life and the things that we have to do and the issues that we have to deal with. We're gonna listen. We're gonna celebrate. We're gonna mourn.

We're going to opinionate. We're all coming at it and we need to we're all engaged and we all have but keep your focus. If you lose your focus you're going to become no better than the chaos that you talk about. Keep yourself out of the chaos.

The way you do that is trust the Lord. Love one another. Be kind to one another. Serve. Give. Go out of your way. Keep your keep your focus.

Don't become discombobulated. Question is have you given your life to Christ? Do you know him? I'm I'm passionate about these things but I want to be passionate in my own heart. Indeed he is passionate about these things. Dr. Don Wilton is who you've been listening to and I can testify after knowing him now for over 20 years that he is as passionate as he's sharing Christ in a restaurant or on a walk in a neighborhood as he is in the pulpit. Do you know Jesus?

You've heard Dr. Don as he's been teaching and preaching. Now open your heart to what he wants to share with you next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. My friend I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you just prayed along with Dr. Wilton moments ago to give your life to Christ or maybe rededicate your life to Jesus we want to celebrate with you. Dr. Don wants to pray for you and put free resources in your hands if you'll call us right now at 866-899-WORD. The number is 866-899-9673. We'd love to put these in your hands right away if you'll call us or meet us online at www.tewonline.org.

That's www.tewonline.org where you'll find great resources like this. What an incredible privilege to be the friend and pastor of Dr. Billy Graham for so many years. That's why I have just written Saturdays with Billy.

This is not a biography. It is my experience with this most precious man who has changed my life and the lives of thousands of people around the world. You want to get a copy right now Saturdays with Billy. That's such a powerful book and it's just one of many great resources on our website at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. One of the current resources is about praying for our children and grandchildren. It's there as well www.tewonline.org. And we want to thank you for the many of you who have begun to prayerfully and financially support the ministry as we share the love of Jesus and the encouraging Word of God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 18:51:56 / 2023-05-21 19:01:51 / 10

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