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HOPE As We Look Homeward – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2023 3:00 pm

HOPE As We Look Homeward – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Anne Graham Lotz. We can look forward to a heavenly home. This is not our home. We're just pilgrims passing through. We find hope when we look homeward. Thanks for joining us and welcome to Living in the Light with Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz. What you just heard is the outline Anne will be speaking on today, the heavenly home that awaits all true believers in Jesus Christ. Anne will be teaching on four insightful characteristics of our heavenly home found in the book of Revelation chapter 21. So let's join Anne now with her message titled As We Look Homeward. There's a wonderful old story about a missionary named Samuel Morrison. He had been a missionary to Africa for 25 years and he was traveling home on an ocean liner and on that same ocean liner was president Theodore Roosevelt who had been in Africa for three weeks on a safari. So when they pulled into the New York harbor and the ship pulled up you know beside where they would get off there was a huge crowd waiting to welcome president Roosevelt home and bands were playing and balloons were flying and cameras were rolling and president Roosevelt stepped off onto the gangway and he walked down and and there's just this thunderous ovation as it seemed like the whole world was just you know welcoming president Roosevelt home welcome home and old Samuel Morrison walked down that same gangway and nobody noticed and he slipped through the crowd nobody called his name and he got to where he was trying to catch a cab there were so many people there trying to catch the cat he couldn't catch a cabin in his heart he said he was complaining and he was just saying god I've been in our president Roosevelt has been in Africa for three weeks killing animals and the whole world turns out to welcome him home and I've been in Africa for 25 years and there's nobody here to welcome me and he said to his heart there's that little whisper but my son you're not home yet home heaven the place that we're all going if you've put your faith in Jesus this life is not all there is we're going home so it doesn't matter where you are today or what your struggles are or where you live or we're going home Jesus is preparing a place for us and I was telling my mother this it was about four months before she actually went to heaven but she had pneumonia and we thought she was going to go and so I was sitting beside her bed and staying up with her at night and stroking her hand and I've recently been to London and I've been to Westminster Abbey several times but on that trip before I was talking to my mother I'd just been and when I had been at that point entered Westminster Abbey through a small rather ordinary looking door and Westminster Abbey by the way is that royal church it's a cathedral downtown London it's where you just watch the queen's funeral it's where Prince William and Princess Kate got married and where King Charles will be crowned I think it's May the 6th so it's a grand glorious cathedral right by parliament but anyway I walked into the door and there's a small rather ordinary looking room it's the narthex and in the narthex of the foyer it was where I bought my ticket that would take me through the next door and the next door would take me into the sanctuary but it's also where I bought my guidebook that would tell me what I would see on the other side of that next door and I told mother I never saw anybody grabbing their ticket and their guidebook running out on the street and saying I've been to Westminster Abbey and I've been to Westminster Abbey the whole purpose of the narthex was to provide a transition to go from getting your ticket and your guidebook to go through the next door that would take you into the sanctuary and I told my mother this life is like the narthex and it's in this life that we get our ticket to heaven and when you come to the cross you confess your sin claim Jesus as your savior open up your heart to him and invite him to come in as your lord you receive the eternal life he gives your eternal life is not only a personal love relationship with him right here and now but you have as your birthright heaven will be your home so you have your ticket and this is your guidebook and you read your guidebook and it tells you something of what you're going to see on that other side so when it comes time to step into eternity either through your death or at the return of Jesus we just turn in our ticket so to speak and knowing something of what we're going to see on the other side and we enter into the glorious sanctuary of our father's house who wants to stay in the narthex when we're going home and we're going to live in that glorious sanctuary so the apostle john was given a eyewitness vision just a glimpse of what's on the other side of that door what's in the sanctuary what's in the home that's being prepared for us open up your bibles to revelation chapter 21 and there are four characteristics of our heavenly home that i see in this passage one it's a prepared home and when it's a physical or an actual perfect home it's a physical home or permanent home and it's a populated home it's not just a museum but it's actually where people live so let's look first of all at the fact that heaven is a prepared home and i'm going to start in verse 2 i saw the holy city the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from god prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband and just parking on that a bride beautifully dressed for her husband and and brides are prepared with love of course they're prepared in detail just for that special person and i was thinking about this uh years ago i've been to india several times but on one occasion i made the effort to go down to agra to see the taj mahala i'm not really a touristy person but that's something i wanted to see and the Taj Mahal is just this gorgeous it wasn't as big as i thought but it's made out of white marble it's engraved with black onyx just letters from the quran the muslim holy book on the inside it's embedded with symbols of islamic paradise birds and flowers and such it sits on a red sandstone platform at the corner of each one there's a minaret that points like white fingers to the sky it's on the brink of a river and has reflecting pools all around it so the you know i know it's deteriorated through weather and all that but it is just a spectacular building and it was built by maharaja for his bride or his wife to whom he had only been married for 14 years but he built it as a tomb for her it took him over 20 years to build it took over 22 000 skilled craftsmen to build it and i visited it and went inside it and then i was sitting in a coffee shop looking at the Taj Mahal and i thought oh my goodness if a pagan indian prince could build something that exquisitely beautiful as a tomb in which to bury his wife to whom he had only been married for 14 years what is jesus preparing for his bride that's you know it's taken him at least 2 000 years and a bride with whom he will live forever and ever so heaven is prepared with a heart of love and it's prepared in detail brides are prepared in detail have you been a bride have you been a mother of a bride i have two daughters and when they got married you know one of the first things they did was choose the groom and then they choose you know the time and the place and who are going to be the witnesses or attendants in the wedding and they huge day when they go and pick out their wedding gown and it can be short or you know long it can have a train to it the wedding veil can be shoulder length or mid length or chapel length and then the flowers they can be wrap stems or balls or these long flowing flowers and then the reception are you going to have a sit-down reception are you going to have finger foods you're going to have an absurd are you going to you know and the guest list is the big bear you know who gets invited and who doesn't and just detail after detail after detail right brides are prepared in detail heaven is prepared in detail does it in the smallest detail and it's prepared in detail out of love for you jesus said i'm going to prepare a place for you that's personal all of god's children who put their faith in jesus but you can just narrow it right down he's preparing it for you as though you're the only one coming to live with him when my daddy was here across the valley in that log cabin and i would go home to visit him and when i would walk in the front door and go into the kitchen on the kitchen counter was a silver tray and on the silver tray was my very favorite coffee cup it actually was the one that mother used to drink out of but that would be sitting on the tray and my favorite coffee and i would look in the refrigerator and there was the the yogurt that i like the best for breakfast in the morning and i go upstairs in my bedroom there are vase of flowers beside the bed and a handwritten note and welcome home darling i love you sign daddy and as he got older he couldn't do that himself so but he had his staff do that for me and he wanted me to know that i was expected i was welcomed i was loved he had prepared for me i'd come home i'm the father's child and jesus with a heart of love is preparing a place for you in detail he knows the colors that you like best he knows the landscape you want to see he knows the music you enjoy he knows the people you want to be with and yes those people had to put their faith in jesus but he knows who they are in your circle of friends and family and he's preparing a place just for you so when you walk through those pearly gates you will know that you've been expected that you're welcome that you've come to your home you're the father's child so praise god we can look forward looking homeward with hope because we're going to a prepared place and we're also going to a perfect place and going back up to verse one then i saw 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 and when i first read that and i thought about it i thought you know i want to talk to the lord about that because i love the ocean i love the sea and we try to take a family beach week every summer just to be about the sea and i don't go in the water so much anymore with all the shark attacks and i'm not a strong swimmer anyway but i can weigh it in but i like to get up early in the morning before dawn i love to walk the beach and watch the sun come up and i love to see the sea birds and some dance around the water and some will get their feet wet some will go up to their knees some will dive in you know i just love to feel the sea breeze and and so if there's not any seas in heaven i wonder if i'll miss that and then i thought maybe that's not what it means when it says there's no longer any sea seas separate don't they seas separate continents from each other and countries from each other and people from each other and families from each other and loved ones from each other and maybe it just means when we get to heaven there'll be no more separation from those that we love who've put their faith in jesus so i made a list of things that can separate us that won't be in heaven there'll be no more hard feelings no hurt feelings no misunderstandings no slander no lies no different languages no critical spirits no death or divorce no business trips or military deployments no mass no social distancing no quarantines no isolation no sickness at all no fires no floods no racial prejudice no political parties no denominations no religions make your own list what's separating you from someone that you love separating you from a family member a friend when we get to heaven that person has put their faith in jesus there'll be no more separation and yes that question i believe according to the old testament when we die we're gathered to our fathers we're gathered to our families we're going to somehow be in family units and i was thinking you know some members of my family i'm not sure i want to spend eternity with and then rachel ruth reminded me when we get to heaven that old nature is going to drop off and we're going to be perfect so it's going to be okay we're going to be like jesus but no separation from those that we love and heaven is not only a perfect home and that there's no separation there are no scars in verse 1 and verse 5 he says behold i'm making everything new i live in a home that's i'm not sure how old it is it's about 75 80 years of age and so you know they're dancing the woodwork cracks in the towel there are things i'm always fixing up and patching and even though i do it still bear signs of age and i think planet earth is like that we're showing signs of age and human life can be like that where we just have signs of age and we can carry scars on our hearts and our minds on our bodies and when we get to heaven there'll be no more scars years ago i spoke to a large convention and afterwards this woman came up to me and she had tears in her eyes and she said and she just gave me a little bit of her testimony and said that she was raised in an abusive home and she said that she was raised in an abusive home her father and her brothers sexually abused her while she was growing up she became very angry and she ended up getting married having children and then she abused her children and then somebody told her about the love of jesus somebody told her that she could come to the cross and she could be forgiven of her sin and cleansed and made right with god and so she had put her faith in jesus but now the tears were slipping down her cheeks and she said but and what do i do about the memories and to be honest i didn't know what to tell her i know we can play worship music you know all day we can memorize scripture we can pray that god would rebuke those demons that are trying to bring those memories back and put us in bondage and tell them to send those demons to the abyss from which they came but in the middle of the night the memories come back so i don't know if there's somebody here if you have memories like that either you were abused or you've abused somebody or something awful has happened when we get to heaven there'll be no more memories like that everything is made new so just to digress for a moment my mother told me a wonderful story it's a true story there were some fishermen in the highlands of scotland that had gone fishing and they came into the little pub at night they ordered their drinks and while the barmaid was getting their drinks they started telling their fish stories and this one fisherman was describing the fish that got away and he flung out his arms to see how big it was just as a little barmaid was bringing the tray of drinks and his hand hit the tray and the drink smashed up against a whitewashed wall there's this crashing glass and this ugly brown stain that developed on the wall and everybody in the pub is just looking they're sort of stunned and a man in the corner got up another guest and he reached in his pocket he pulled out a piece of charcoal and he began to sketch around the ugly brown stain and transformed the ugly brown stain into this magnificent stag running across the highland meadow and then he signed it his name was sir lancer he was great britain's foremost wildlife artist they put glass over it they say i don't know if it's still there or not but he took an ugly brown stain and he turned it into a masterpiece i went to balmoral castle i wasn't invited i went as a tourist and walked down that long driveway into the castle and in the big public room they let us go in their paintings drawings by sir lancer that hang on the walls my mother gave me a print of a stag signed by sir lancer that reminds me that whatever the ugly brown stain is in our life if we surrender it to the master artist he can turn it into a masterpiece of his grace what's the ugly brown stain in your life i can stand up here and guess you know what it is just surrender it to jesus i was thinking of johnny erickson tata she's just a very great lady and when she was what 17 18 years of age she dove into that lake and broke her neck paralyzed from the neck down and she's my age now and she has lived as a glorious testimony of god's grace and his glory she's got a worldwide ministry for those who are handicapped she has wheelchairs for the world she's written music she's written books in fact she has a book out goodness i wish i could remember the name of it but it's it's a book for christmas that you might want to look to give to somebody for christmas and she's taken the psalms and she's taking the hymns and it's just singing and suffering something like that beautiful and gift book and she took her ugly brown stain and she gave it to the lord wasn't easy but she surrendered it and look what he has done with her life so whatever the ugly brown stain is just surrender it to jesus and see what he can do he can turn it into a masterpiece of his grace yes he can there are no more scars in heaven no more separation there's no more suffering 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 so in what way are you suffering emotionally physically mentally some other way so i just made a list include some of the suffering in my family some of that i thought you might have and the list has begun in verse four no more death or mourning or crying or pain so let's keep going no more hospitals no more funerals no more wheelchairs no more walkers no more ventilators no more viruses no more ventilators no more viruses no more diabetes or dialysis no more grief no more broken homes or broken hearts or broken lives or broken hopes no more betrayal no more abandonment no more rapes no more violent crime no more famines or failures no physical handicaps no blindness or lameness or deafness no covid no heart disease no heart attacks no paralysis no cancer no aids no muscular dystrophy no multiple sclerosis no more fentanyl or drugs that destroy our children no more refugee camps or poverty or chemical weapons or biological weapons or nuclear weapons actually no weapons at all there'll be no suffering in heaven and god himself will take your face in his hand you know wipe the tears from your face and he said there's no more suffering here my child you've come home so heaven is a perfect place no separation no scars no suffering that's what the bible says and heaven is not only a prepared home a perfect home it's a physical permanent home and i point this out because the angel now is going to take john and you're going to measure it off and i think the point is that if you could go where heaven is today you could walk it off it's an actual place it's not a dream it's not a fantasy it's not a hope so this is an actual literal place so he says in verse nine one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and so just think about that we've skipped six to nineteen but those seven bowls of wrath were the last of the judgments and that's when god pours out his wrath on the world it is really ugly and the same angel that poured out those bowls of wrath now look what he gets to do i just think you know he goes from that to this he carried me away in the spirit to a mountain great and high and showed me the holy city jerusalem coming down out of heaven from god and down in verse 15 the angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city its gates and its walls and when he measures the city i'll just tell you what the measurements were you're given in cubits but it's 1500 square square miles and it's laid out like from the southern border with mexico to the northern border with canada from the rock east to the atlantic ocean and it's in a big square but it's just as high as it is wide and long so it's a cube this enormous cube and if there were 20 billion residents of heaven which there won't be because that's more than people who have lived on planet earth the entire existence of planet earth plus not everybody's going to heaven but if there were 20 billion residents of heaven every resident somebody's figured this out would have at least 75 acres to themselves and that still leaves room for public buildings and parks and streets and and the whole point i believe is to tell us not only it's an actual place but that it's a big place it's not going to be overpopulated so listen to me you can invite your every member of your family every neighbor in your neighborhood everybody who lives in your city you know it's not going to be crowded so feel free to invite people to go to heaven heaven is a great big place and then john just you see him beginning to focus and he sees the enormous city but then he sees the walls around that enormous city and in verse 12 it says they were great high walls they were 200 feet thick and they were made of jasper jasper we said last night it's like a diamond so can you imagine walls that go around this 1500 square mile cube and the walls are 200 feet thick and they're made out of material that looks like a diamond that is spectacular but i think it means something else heaven is a safe place nobody's going to break through those walls and steal or rob or rape no drive-by shootings no guns no bombs no terrorists no missiles no wars at all no violent crime no flash mobs it's a safe place and as our world gets crazier and crazier and the violence seems to creep into even our neighborhoods we're going home to a place where we'll never have to be afraid never worry about who's going to as we were robbed years ago they busted down my front door took everything of value in my house within about an hour's time and since then i've put in a security system in the right west but but if somebody wants to get you know they can get in but we're going to a place where somebody can't get in if they're not supposed to be inside heaven is a safe place be sure to take advantage of all that's available for you at anne gramm lots dot org for man's blog her messages bible studies books and videos all will give you a deeper richer relationship with jesus through god's word and thanks for joining us today for living in the light
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-23 16:17:15 / 2023-04-23 16:26:33 / 9

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