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Hope When You Are Defeated – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
November 27, 2022 3:00 pm

Hope When You Are Defeated – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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I do know this, when we get to heaven, there'll be no more memories. Everything is going to be made new.

There's some of us that long for that new day, don't we? Living in the Light with Anne Graham Lotz is a weekly message from God's Word. And this week, Anne continues her messages in the book of Revelation.

If you've missed any of her messages in this series to this point, you can hear them at It's been an incredible series with Anne introducing us to this amazing chronicle of God and this vision of His glory, God's revelation of Jesus Christ. Today, Anne is in Revelation Chapter 21 with her message, Heaven is a Safe Place. I love Revelation 21 and 22, a thrilling way to end this book. So before we have the message, just pray with me, please.

Father, we come before You, and we want to praise You and thank You for the end of the story. Oh, Lord, we love Genesis, and we love the Psalms, and we love the Gospels, and we love the precious book of Ephesians, but where would we be without Revelation? We would have no real hope. We wouldn't know where we're going.

We wouldn't know what the climax of everything's going to be. So we thank You for Revelation that just spells it out for us and gives us a glimpse of the final days of human history when it's all going to be summed up in Jesus. So, oh, we thank You for the living hope we have in the resurrection, and we thank You for the living hope we have in Jesus and the fact that He's coming. He's going to take charge, and He's coming, and one day we're going to see Him face to face, and we're going to live with Him forever. So, Lord, we ask that You might breathe Your life into these verses and into this passage and that we might be encouraged to claim the hope that You offer us as we look homeward. So bless us now, we pray, Lord, we ask that You would pour it out upon us, and we know we don't deserve it, but we're going to boldly claim it, asking for it in Jesus' name and for His glory.

Amen. I love to think about going home, and I don't know what home brings up to your mind, you know, if it's where you were raised as a child or if it's a place where you went earlier. So I don't know what you think of when you think of as home, and of course I'm living in Raleigh right now, but sometimes I think of home as where I was raised right across the valley and what I now call my Father's house and wonderful place, but home really for the believer is heaven, isn't it? We're just pilgrims passing through.

This is not our home, and I love the story, and it's one I've told so many times before, but it's a true story of old Samuel Morrison, and he was the missionary to Africa. He had been there for 25 years, and he was retiring from the mission field, and he was traveling home from Africa on the same ocean liner that President Teddy Roosevelt was traveling on, and President Roosevelt had been in Africa for two weeks on a safari. So they're on the same ocean liner, and they come into the New York Harbor, and the New York Harbor, the pier, is just covered with people. They've all poured out to welcome President Roosevelt home, so there are balloons that are bobbing and flashbulbs popping.

Remember those days when we had flashbulbs popping and bands that were playing, and President Roosevelt stepped off the gangway, and there's just this thunderous applause as everybody welcomes President Roosevelt home, and Samuel Morrison steps off the boat on that same gangway, and nobody notices. He walks down it, and nobody calls his name. He walks through the crowd. He has to work his way through.

He stands on the curb. He can't even catch a cab because there's so many people there, and he said he was just complaining in his spirits. God, President Roosevelt has been in Africa for two weeks killing animals, and the whole world welcomes him home, and I've been in Africa 25 years serving you, and there's nobody here to welcome me at all, and God just whispered in his heart and said, my son, you're not home yet. We're not home yet, but one day we're going to be, and the apostle John, you remember his testimony? The one who saw the miracles and saw Jesus heal people and walk on the water and raise the dead and saw him crucified and himself raised from the dead and saw him ascended into heaven. John says, I saw heaven opened, and then he gives us a glimpse of what he saw.

So exciting. Turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 21 if you haven't already, and we're going to look homeward focusing on heaven in chapter 21, and heaven is a prepared place. You know Jesus said that in John 14. Remember, let not your heart be troubled. When you see the world falling apart and your life is unraveling and you're in that vortex of darkness and confusion and evil and you don't know which end is up, let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, you believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you, but I'm going to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again to receive you to myself so that where I am you may be also. That's what Jesus said. So in chapter 21, John says, then I saw with the same eyes that saw, you know, all the things we shared in his testimony, a new heaven and a new earth, and this is after all that stuff, earthquakes, mountains splitting in two, cities disintegrating, people crying for rocks to fall on them, Jesus coming back and taking the antichrist and the false prophet and dropping them into hell and then speaking a word and everybody else drops dead, you know, followed by the armies of heaven. So after all of that and the smoke of battle clearing and all the dead people, you know, being removed and now, a new heaven and a new earth.

For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Our heavenly home is a prepared place. Jesus said he's preparing it and the scripture says that it's being prepared.

And it's being prepared with love and I thought about this several years ago. I've been to India multiple times but one of the times, I can't remember which trip, but anyway, I made the point to go to New Delhi and drive down to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and I'm not a touristy kind of person but that was something I wanted to see and I'm so glad I went down there. It's maybe the most beautiful, exquisitely beautiful building I've ever seen and I know now it's disintegrating and they're losing it because of all sorts of things but it's still beautiful. Carved out of white marble and it's inlaid with semi-precious stones. It sits on a red sandstone platform. There are minarets at the corners of that platform that point up to the heavens. They've got reflecting pools all around it.

It's just spectacular. It's like a jewel and it was built by an Indian Maharaja for his wife. He was so in love with his wife that he built this as a tomb in which to bury her and he'd only been married to her for 14 years and it took him 21 years to build, over 20,000 skilled craftsmen to create this tomb for his wife to whom he'd only been married for 14 years and I was sitting in a coffee shop and I was looking out the window at the Taj Mahal and I was just thinking about that and I thought, you know if a pagan Indian prince could build something like that as a testimony of his love for his wife to whom he'd only been married for 14 years, what is Jesus preparing for his bride to whom he's going to be married forever and ever and it hasn't taken him 14 or 21 years.

It's taken him over 2,000 years at this point and the Bible says eye has not seen and ear has not heard and your mind can't even comprehend. We can't possibly even imagine what Jesus is preparing for you and me and it comes out of his heart of love for you. Seeing everything you're going through here and just enjoying you know every moment of preparing something for you to make up for all the things you've not had down here.

Making up to you all the things you've given up in his name, the things that have been denied you and just enjoying thinking with anticipation of the day when you walk through and you see what's been prepared for you. It's prepared this passage says as a bride for a bridegroom and you know I was a bride but somehow I didn't grasp this until I had two daughters who were brides and what I found out is that brides are prepared in detail and the first detail is they choose the groom and I'd have to say Mara did pretty good job on that trainer so that was a good choice. Then they choose the wedding day and then the place they're going to be married and then the people that are going to be their attendants and then comes a huge day when the bride selects her wedding gown and it can be short or medium length or long. It can be white or candlelight or pink or they come in all different things. Now the veil can be you know fingertip or long or chapel length and flowers and you go and interview the florist and the flowers can be all these big heads with free stems and they're wrap stems or maybe no stems or maybe a big trailing bouquet and then you have flowers in the sanctuary or what kind of flowers you're going to have at the reception. The reception you know the food that you're going to serve and it will be a dinner or a tea or dessert or what kind of reception and then comes the invitation list who's going to get invited and who's not going to and it's just detail detail detail. I never go to a wedding the same way after I had the two girls who got married because you know that everything you're looking at somebody has thought of and it's just details and heaven is prepared in detail like that for you for you as though nobody else was coming home but you. It was so sweet since mother left and daddy had some staff that look after him and one of the things my daddy had started doing when he knows I'm coming home even if I came home and I was before my husband had his issues I was going home several days at least every month several days to spend with daddy but didn't matter if I was coming home every other week in my room at home would be a vase of fresh flowers and then there'd be a note on the desk that said in daddy's handwriting he had Parkinson's and he could hardly write but I can understand the scrawl I've kept every one of these papers welcome home and I love you and then I go down in the kitchen and on the counter there's a little silver tray has my favorite Starbucks coffee on it and mother's little China mug that I like to drink out of and I go in the refrigerator and there's the kind of yogurt that I like to have for breakfast and and my daddy hasn't gone shopping for that but he's told the people what to get and and to have it for me and so daddy wanted me to know when I came home and I walk through that door I know that I've been expected that I'm welcomed because I'm the father's child now when we get to heaven Jesus has prepared it in love in detail for you and he knows the colors that you like the best he knows the landscape you enjoy looking at if you're a beach person a mountain person you like the flat country he knows who you want to be with the music you enjoy listening to and he is preparing heaven in detail out of his heart of love for you so that when you walk through those gates and you come into heaven you will know he's been expecting you he's prepared for you you're welcomed because you're the father's child and you've come home isn't that precious you can look homeward knowing that heaven is a prepared place for you if no one else was going to live there he's going into that much detail to have it prepared just for you and heaven's not only prepared place heaven is a perfect place verse one he says in heaven there'll be no more seas and first time I read that I thought huh you know I love the beach and I like to lie out on the beach in the sun I like to walk the beach early in the morning I like to stick my feet and I'm a little afraid of the great big waves for some reason and now there's sharks on the North Carolina coast so I don't go too deep in the water but I love to watch it and I love to watch the waves come in I love to feel the sea breeze and there's just something about the awesomeness of the ocean that just I just love so I had a little hard time with that verse because I don't know about heaven if there are no more seas so maybe in my mansion there could be at least a beach you know and then I thought maybe that's not what it means maybe it means something else because I thought you know seas separate continents from each other and nations from each other and families from each other and people from each other so maybe it means when we get to heaven there'll be no more separation from each other like that no more separation from those that you love who are you separated from that you love maybe because of distance or death or maybe there's something else and then I began to think what separates us from each other down here and so I made a little list in heaven there are no hard feelings there are no hurt feelings no slander or lies no misunderstandings or critical spirits no death or divorce no business trips or military deployments no contagious diseases no diseases no fires or floods no racial prejudice no political parties no denominations no religions no typhoons no prisons or gulag nothing that separates us ever again so maybe that's what it means for the no more seas no separation from those that we love knowing of course that those that we love have died in Christ you understand no separation no scars verse 1 and verse 5 says that I'm making everything new the home that we live in in Raleigh is about 75 years old and there are so many things that go wrong with a house that age you know and even if I get it all fixed up there are dents in the woodwork and cracks in places and the tile and I just can't fix even if I paint and try to patch it still has wear and tear just the signs of age and planet earth is like that isn't it we're just showing signs of age I think human life is like that and after a while we just show signs of age and we can bear scars you have scars on your heart scars in your memory I've talked to multiple people like this but one that I'll just reference because it gets across the point that I'm making a woman years ago who came up to me after I spoke and she had tears coming down her cheeks and she said and she said when I was raised I was abused by my brothers and my father I grew up to be a very angry immoral person and then I got married and had children I abused my children and she said somebody shared the gospel with me and I found out that Jesus loved me and he would forgive me of all of my sin so I've been to the cross and I know I'm forgiven but then she said and the tears were just coming faster what do I do with the memories and I didn't exactly know what to tell her except that I know you can fill your mind with Christian music you can memorize scripture you can rebuke the demons who try to bring those memories back but I do know this when we get to heaven there'll be no more memories like that everything is going to be made new there's some of us that long for that new day don't we no more scars on our heart or scars on our mind or scars on our emotions and I can digress for a moment I want to tell you a story that my mother told me that I just love because we have scars and we have things that have happened to us and wounds that we bear and she told me a true story up in the highlands of Scotland that these fishermen had gone out fishing and they came in the evening and they were in a little pub and they were talking about the fish that they had caught that day and one fisherman was describing the fish that got away so he had ordered their drinks and he threw out his arms like this to describe the fish that had caught away and when he did the little barmaid was coming with a tray of drinks and his arm flew out and it hit the tray of drinks and the drinks went flying against the whitewashed wall and they heard this crash of glass and all this stuff dripping down the wall and everybody looking at the ugly brown stain that was on this whitewashed wall and so people just froze for a moment just looking all of a sudden at what had happened and before most people could move this man in the corner jumped up and he reached in his pocket he pulled out a piece of charcoal and he began to sketch around this ugly brown stain and he transformed the ugly brown stain into this magnificent stag who was running across a highland meadow and then he signed it underneath and his name was Sir Lancere he was Great Britain's foremost wildlife artist I have one of his drawings it's not an original but hanging in my house of a stag that my mother gave me and the illustration is that you can have an ugly brown stain in your life but when the master artist gets hold of it then he can turn it into a masterpiece of his grace so what is the ugly brown stain would you surrender it to him just submit it to him ask him to transfer you know he can use it so that you're a minister to others who perhaps have those same types of brown stains he can deepen your compassion soften your heart so I don't know what it is but I know when we get to heaven there are going to be no more ugly brown stains everything is made new there's no separation and no scars and there's no suffering have to read verses three and four and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying now the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them they will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God he will wipe every tear from their eyes there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away praise God there is coming a day when there'll be no more pain no more suffering no more tears what do you shed tears over what makes you cry on your pillow at night and what way are you suffering physically emotionally mentally relationally in heaven there'll be no more suffering or things that cause our suffering so again I made a list so you might make your own list but of course no more death or pain no more betrayals no more hospitals no more funerals no more walkers or wheelchairs no more grief no more broken homes or broken hearts or broken lives or broken hopes no more famines and starvation no more physical handicaps or muscular dystrophy or blindness or lameness no more deafness no more diabetes no more heart disease no more renal failure no more paralysis no more cataracts no more strokes no more cancer no more aids just fill in the blank nothing ever again that would cause you to suffer it's all going to be wiped away and I love the tenderness of God the Father getting up off of his throne and coming over and wiping the tears from your cheeks and saying my child you're home you're safe there'll be no more suffering here so heaven is a perfect place you can look homeward knowing that it's prepared for you it's perfect and it's permanent it's built to last verse 15 the angel that was speaking to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city its gates and its walls and I won't give you the measurements but I think two things here I think one it's implying that if you could go to heaven right today it's somewhere in the universe and you could walk it off so it's a literal actual physical place ok this isn't a vision a fantasy a dream a whim this is a real place and this angel was walking it off if we take the measurements of the angel gave then it's a city that's 1500 square miles so it would stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rockies from Mexico to Canada and it's as wide and long as it is high so it's a cube and if there were 20 billion residents of heaven which is not going to be because well not at this point they're not that many people who lived in the history of the human race and we know that not all of them are going to heaven anyway so but if there were 20 billion residents of heaven every resident would have 75 acres to herself or himself and that still leaves rooms for public parks and buildings and streets and so that's what Jesus said in my father's house there are many rooms many mansions it's a great big place it'll never be overpopulated so you can feel free to invite every member of your family and every member in your neighborhood and every member in your city and you just share the gospel freely because everyone is invited to come live in heaven forever great big place and as John begins to look at it the angel takes him in verse 9 one of the seven angels and this is one that had the seven bowls can you imagine what a joy this was to the angel after pouring out those bowls of wrath now look what he gets to do he came and said to me I'll show you the bride the wife of the lamb and he carried me away in the spirit to a mountain great and high and he showed me the holy city drew some coming down out of heaven from God it's shown with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel like a Jasper clear as crystal in other words it looked like a diamond the whole city it had a great high wall with 12 gates and it goes down in verse 17 the wall is a great high wall it goes around this city that's 1,500 square miles and the wall is 200 feet thick so the first thing that catches John's attention is this incredible wall made out of something that looks like Jasper it looks like a diamond but it's huge it's magnificent so one of the things that's telling us is that heaven is spectacular but I think that it's telling us something else I think it's telling us that heaven is a safe place now here's Ann with this final word every person born into the human race no matter how wealthy powerful or knowledgeable he or she becomes no matter how small insignificant he or she feels will ultimately be defeated by death death is the great equalizer but the vision of the glory of Jesus gives hope to you when you're defeated by death it gives hope to you because you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ your name has been written in the Lamb's Book of Life the vision of his glory gives you hope because it reveals that this world is not your home that death does not have the final word that one day your faith will become sight and you will see the gates of pearl flung open for you and then best of all you will hear your king say welcome you are safely home you can hear living in the light with Ann Graham lots weekly and for ways to experience the God filled life as you pursue your personal Bible study go to Ann Graham she'll help you get started with free resources you can use and share with others join us here each week for living in the light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 16:08:03 / 2022-11-27 16:17:34 / 10

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