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The Real Heaven - Why Heaven Matters, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2022 6:00 am

The Real Heaven - Why Heaven Matters, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 15, 2022 6:00 am

Ever stop and wonder what heaven will be like? What comes up on your mental screen? Clouds? Some kind of mystical place where all people do is sing and have really long church services? Well, that isn’t even close. Today on Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, Chip explores what the Bible says about heaven and why it will change how you live today.

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Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like what comes your mind, your mental screen is a clouds sort of mystical place where all people do is say like really long church services will let me tell you that isn't even close to for the next several broadcasts to explore and talk about what the Bible says heaven is really like, don't want to miss stay with welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians in just a minute will begin our series, the real heaven with the Bible actually says if you're like most people you have some vague idea of pleasure and excitement that you state that open God's word and revealed why heaven is an amazing place. Why we should look forward to being there someday have a Bible open out of John chapter 14 and let's join Chip for his message why heaven matters. My dad died from a very unusual and rare disease called Shea Drager's and the combination of Lou Gehrig's MS and Parkinson's disease is for the last few years of his life. He watched and deteriorating lose mobility be in a wheelchair than into a bad my dad came to Christ in his 50s and was had a thorough relationship with Jesus. But as he was ending the end of his life.

You know when you have a son who's a pastor you expect him to know some things and some sit next to his bed, and it's a time where he's really getting less and less and less mobile when he can't get up and he just confides in these as I'm afraid to die, and said I know I have a relationship with God.

I know my sins are forgiven, but when I think about heaven. It's just a blank. She's on just different. It's just I don't get it and all that unknown. That sort of vague sense of you go somewhere and you know I get. Jesus is going to be there. In the alternative is not good, but I'm afraid I remember realizing his son who is a pastor couldn't say all dad. This is what heaven is like. And this is specifically what will happen and this is what you experience in like I probably could on a number of other issues as I realize I never studied heaven back I realize it in seminary read and study heaven much and I gave my dad a book titled later about the impact of that book in terms of his life in his heart, but as we start the study about heaven. I can tell you in advance. It's not what you think exactly ask you this, just little inventory before we get going. How often do you think about heaven. Have you thought about heaven yet today this week.

How many times did you think, oh yeah heaven heaven future.

If I ask you, what are the three main things that happen in heaven.

I mean, other than maybe some singing. What would it be if you met a little boy that's 10, 11 years old leukemia and was gonna die and he looked you in the eyes and said we'll explain to me exactly what heaven is like and what it's going to be like because I really want to be there. What would you say to what I can tell you is for most of us we don't know coming. Archaeologists have studied every culture in the world and here's what I can tell you but every culture and all mankind.

There's an absolute conviction of an afterlife whether it's painting on caves thousands of years ago, or whether it's tombs with treasures or whether it's some story in almost every culture about when people are good, after they die. Some good things happen to them if people are evil some terrible things happen to them all across the board. God says eternity has been planted in the heart of mankind. And so what were going to do his work. In a study what's heaven like, not what books say not what movies say not what we've heard, not what we might unconsciously think but what does God say heavens like are you ready open your notes and let's jump in together why study heaven only give you three compelling reasons. Reason number one is our misconceptions are crippling us. We have some false thinking some misconceptions about heaven, for example, we have a misconception. We think we can't know much about heaven. It's mysterious, it's all just about, you know, floating clouds, and people will quote a verse in first Corinthians 2 that says I haven't seen her ear heard, or entered into the heart of man, all the good that God has stored up for those who love him and they say so you can't know what can happen in the name of that song you can only imagine Melanie tell you for sure.

You can only imagine because it's way beyond what we can comprehend, but the very next verse in context says but we have the mind of Christ. Actually, the Bible is very clear about what heaven is. But I will tell you it's different than most of us think it is. Another misconception is that it's an otherworldliness. It's these disembodied spirits floating around, playing harps and eternity sort of earning our wings. There's angels every movie you know you can never see people's feet. There's always the fog machines going on in this floating clouds and people were in white and it's a serial and not about you, but part of that sounds attractive for 1/2 hour, maybe 45 minutes or I think worship pastors are gonna love it. But if heaven misconception number three is one very very very long church service. It might be really boring.

I actually have read in a book where a pastor a Bible believing pastor actually confided in another pastor. You know what if it's just one really long church service I want to be with Jesus.

And I want my sins forgiven, but I'm not sure I just want to actually go to heaven. How I've talked to people when they're young.

We talk for the return of Christ or what would happen if you died out that people say I want Jesus to come back until I get married I have even had sex yet or I talked to an elderly couple who were two or three years away from this big moment again to go to Hawaii. I want Jesus to come back as we haven't even gone told why yet know what we don't know what heaven is like, but it can't be better than married sex or Hawaii. That's kind of a limited view, don't you think those misconceptions then lead to some predictable results. One, we have very temporal perspective instead of eternal perspective. There's a reason why the church the old word used to be worldly.

We live for the now. The first two millennium of the church. Heaven was a central topic teaching was paramount about heaven and hell and judgment and clarity and what it would be like, and in the last hundred years is all share in a minute. There's been very little teaching on heaven, let alone the new heaven and the new earth.

Second, and since we don't know what's heavens like we don't study it much. We don't think about it much mean when I when I meet people that have cancer.

When I talk to people with debilitating diseases. When I go to third world countries where situations are very, very difficult.

They actually think a lot about heaven. Most of us don't heaven holds very little hope for peace or longing for home unit sense that for some of you that travel travel travel travel you been on planes in different countries and you know you finally get home and not usually in your own bed for one night to get the next morning goat is so good to be home. Multiply that infinitely that's what heavens can be like. But most people it doesn't create any longer any hope I gave this book are probably the most definitive work in recent years Heaven by Randy Alcorn but he literally read 140 books all written within the last 200 years on heaven then studied all the Bible and put it together and came to conclusion, I never heard any of this.

That's the book I gave my dad he read when he could get by him self for a while and then he got where he really couldn't sit up and read very well his wife. That's pretty thick book. She read it out loud him and I'll never forget. It was a few months later I came back in the days were getting really close and we knew he would live long in my dad went through horrendous times as a young man in or to some other issues, and he was paralyzed most of his life by fear of any of you had come World War II dads but I would remember every night. My dad would get up and he checked all the locks in the house 20 minutes later he get up and check all the locks in the house you're thinking like they were locked.

The last time that he had been through so much. She lived with overwhelming fear and I remember a nurse came in you, he read this book on heaven.

She was talking to him about you know what they might do and could extend his life in resuscitation and I mean he could move his legs now and he turned to her and said lady no matter what you do, don't use any extreme means don't resuscitate me. Don't put any feeding tubes down me. Here's what I want you know it's all written down. I'm going to heaven and it's great when you understand what heaven really is. It changes how you live life now.

In fact, that's why. The second reason we need to study.

I ready for this work commanded me.

This is a suggestion work commanded to think about heaven.

Colossians 3. Follow along as I read.

Therefore, if you been raised up with Christ the Lord your Christian you died with him even raised up with him, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Notice this command set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth, why, for you have died in your life is hidden with Christ in God. We Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. A lot of the issues. A lot of the anxiety. A lot of the lack of peace do we have Christians have a lot of the temptations that we struggle with if we had a crystal clear picture of not this floating around in clouds and maybe playing some harps are some boring forever, church service, which is completely different to what the Bible teaches we would have a longing for heaven, and it would allow us this eternal perspective to make wiser priority decisions. Now, in fact, the final reason is not just the misconceptions and not simply to commanded, but our faulty view of heaven destines us to a wasted life on earth who think of it now. That's true that strong a faulty view of heaven destines us to a wasted life on earth. Open your Bibles if you will Gospel of John, who had just open right there in the middle. I want to give you little context as you find it.

Matthew Mark Luke John right there in the middle New Testament. Now Jesus has common selected 12 one is betrayed him by now.

In John chapter 13 he's washed their feet. It had the Lord's supper. This is his last night on the earth. He's got 11 committed guys about 120 people that are semi-committed that when he is resurrected the lease get on the team and he has one final night to talk to group of people in the God of the universe who made all that there is his take on human flesh lived the perfect life. He's gonna die for the sins of all people of all time. Three days later you can arise from the dead, and is preparing these 11 guys mostly blue-collar workers to transform the world what to get Otello what to tell him he knows are to be rejected.

He knows every single one of them, save one will be martyred for the message and the mission and the one that isn't martyred, ends up on a rock writing the book of Revelation. He realizes he could have have courage and be sustained through the most difficult times they can live in a world where there's persecution in Rome where there's immorality like the world is never known where there's a different God on every corner and so this is what he says to them. Chapter 14 let not your heart be troubled you believe in God believe also in me. In my father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would've not told you, for I go to prepare a place a specific place for you if I go and prepare a place for you notice here's the key. I will come again. I will receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. What he understood was a crystal clear view, not a floating around not applying harps not of some ethereal experience, but a crystal clear view of what heaven is like and that new heaven on a new earth with real relationships and specifically what it's like would sustain them to the most difficult time in all of human history, and they persevered because they were waiting and living for Hebrew says city.

The God was building that they were actually had the sense of the future that was clear and tangible and real and attractive. Now, turn the page because here's the question on ask and answer if heaven is so important to Jesus therefore command to think about heaven, how in the world did we get so misinformed in the last hundred years. How many people have heard a sermon on heaven before while three forehands. I think that will first of all, the father of lies wants us to get sucked into a world system but he's behind so you know he's behind this second somewhere along the line and it happened to you. Teacher study church history you have centuries that bleed this way and they focus on a few things and to the neglect of this and then the pendulum swings back a couple edge centuries, and yet you see this what I have here is nearly every pastor in America. These are classic theology books at every pastor. The teaches like I teach has these here's a six volume by Schaefer six volume see all the volumes and read. There are two pages on the new heaven and the new earth.

This is the book off classic systematic theology 737 pages. There's one page on the new heaven and new earth.

This is called Mrs. Baxter's explore the book. That's a thick book. There's about four pages. Near the end. Hodge has three volumes. He has three pages on the new heaven and the new earth and Rye Ray who is one of my professors who talks very clearly about all the end times tribulation admitted in posting all the issues you get to the new heaven and new earth and not included. We haven't taught people in seminaries about the new heaven and the new earth and what heavens really like, so pastors haven't taught it to the people and so most people. Why in the world is the church so gravitated toward now is all that matters. I gotta get it. Now I deserve a break today, right now is the only thing that counts. Why our priorities do they get so skewed. Why is temptation so hard to resist on to suggest that, unlike the early apostles, and unlike the first two millennium of the church, we really have no idea what heaven is really like. So let's dig in a theology of heaven do little research together. The word heaven if you're just opening your Bible and you read the word heaven.

There's three different ways that it's used.

Sometimes the word heaven literally means just the atmosphere of the sky. Okay I mean it's the heaven. Sometimes the word heaven is used as the stars in the galaxies. The third use of heaven is the abode of God and other work.

It's where God is. It's where God hangs out it's a specific place. If you open up to the book of Revelation you read chapter 4 and chapter 5 and it has the throne and the elders and literally what theologians call that the intermediate heaven will talk about that in a minute but that's that's where God is the abode of God, heaven, so just to get our term straight working to talk about the third phrase. Notice I just did a little a topical study for you, the promise of heaven and just look at these verses heaven seems to be very important to God. Even though we don't know much about it. Let me just go through.

According to the Scripture here some promises related to heaven. It's a real tangible place. John 14. The father is there.

Matthew six-member our father who art in heaven. Jesus is at his right hand, Hebrews 9 bleeding love ones are there. Hebrews 12 our names are recorded there.

Luke 10 we have an inheritance anything about an inheritance mean if your dad was a billionaire and he just told you. I just want you know I'm leaving everything to you wouldn't be a little bit of excitement that when he's gone. There's something coming your way. God says you have an eternal inheritance.

Those are just kind of bubbly, godly little words.

The something real that you get our citizenship is there. Philippians 3 specific eternal rewards are given.

It's the best of earth better. It's very tangible. It's very real. There's an old earth that's fallen working to learn. There's a new earth, sin, death and sorrow are absent. Revelation 22 and then something that most of us don't think about adventure work discovery and rulership await us when the new heaven comes down on this new earth really will be heaven.

So I don't know about you, that's a pretty important list of things that are coming my way that I do know about those major issues in core themes in Scripture. The confusion comes when we lock, how we think about heaven, the abode of God in the intermediate heaven and the new heaven and the new earth.

We tend to lump all those things together they'd never been separated and explained and so because it's not clear. It provides very little real tangible sense of this is what heavens like so let me give you next heaven and historical context. When I use the word heaven don't think just of this intermediate heaven where people go right now what you think of heaven as the abode of God. What you think of the key with heaven. Every time when you read heaven, it's where God is where God is and so there's three major themes historically of heaven.

You have eaten God has created a perfect world and he takes mankind in this perfect world. He creates a garden.

It's pleasing to the eyes. There's a perfect place and God from heaven visits mankind in all likelihood, the pre-incarnate Christ or what theologians call a theophany and he walks with them in any talks with men and they have relationship and you have Adam and Eve in this perfect environment and they name animals and they're told to rule and multiply, and had this amazing experience, and God created mankind in this perfect environment with the stipulation don't eat from this one tree. So God comes and visits mankind on earth. It's perfect, there's no hurricanes there's no synonymy there's no earthquakes. It's perfect, memo moved to chapter 3 and sin enters the world. Romans access sin not only impacted the separation from man and God, but impacted all of creation. Creation groans and so now we have these dysfunctional things that happen in the creation as its groaning. We have man is separated from God.

And so now God sends his son. He becomes fully God buddies. He's already God fully man and he comes to live among us to rescue us lives a perfect life dies upon the cross pays for sin so that we can have relationship the moment a person dies during this window of time between Genesis 3 and Revelation 20. You immediately go to the presence of God is called intermediate heaven you might jot your notes. Philippians chapter 1 verses 20 and 21 Paul Paul says I don't know what to do he thinks is can be executed if I die I'll be immediately with Christ is much better but maybe I should stay to minister to you. You might jot down second Corinthians 56 it says to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord so there's no soul sleep. There's no delay, but when you die in the present your immediately in the presence of God. But you don't have a resurrected body. The resurrection comes later the future. What we have beginning in chapters 21 and 22 is there is a new heaven and a new earth and in resurrected bodies we will live on this new heaven and this new earth and and sometimes if I told you that you have an old car but I'm going to give you a new car in your old car is 15 years old and it breaks down and has problems and I said I'm going to give you a new car. I don't think you would say I have no idea what a car is now what you know it's going to drive better. It's going to be more comfortable but is can have a lot of the same characteristics as the old car.

Here's what I want you to see the heaven that God has planned for you is very akin to the heaven that was when he came down and created a place where he wanted to be with man that he visited and then this old perfect environment God long for relationship, but there was life. There was focus. There was beauty, there was work. There was a discovery there was learning there was naming there was ruling it was real life with real people on a real earth. God promises in the future.

Heaven literally will look at it minute will come down and we actually heaven on earth, the new Jerusalem, and there is a new earth with none of the problems of the fallen Earth.

Let me show this to know if you're looking at me with that weird look it's okay because this is foreign to most Christians that I mean most of us have not been taught that is what I don't want you to think is I think Ingram just went off the deep end is this application just listening to the first part of his message.

Why heaven better series the real heaven with the Bible actually says sat down and thought about heaven. I mean, what it will really be like to have a new body to reunite with loved ones and be in the very presence of God.

The fact is, many Christians are excited enough about heaven, which just shows how little we understand what awaits us through this three-part series chip uncovers what God wants us to know about heaven. The indescribable beauty, fulfilling relationships and what were actually going to do. There will also dispel the myths about heaven and encourage us to actually look forward to returning the let me encourage you to really dig deep into the series, the real heaven, whether that's through chips book the MP3s or the small group video study for complete details on all of our resources go to or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or hapless nurse Special offers will chip in the series you're tackling a pretty complex subject, but as you said today it's really important that we know as much as we can about heaven, so would you take just a minute sure why this series is important and how it came about, will day that you know honestly, it probably goes back to the illustration that I shared the very beginning when my dad was dying. And here's this guy that tough guy Marine been through the war thoroughly had come to Christ as life and really changed. And yet when he got down to the very last years of his life in moments of honesty. It was like now, I'm afraid. And when he thought about heaven is the only view he really had was I think a lot of Christians have is sort of clouds and floating and yes, Jesus is going to be there and that's going to be awesome but nothing that could grass that would really make a difference in his life and and I realize that you know as a pastor I never studied.

I certainly knew there was a new heaven and new earth. And I knew that to be absent from the bodies to be present with the Lord and I had a very clear theology of heaven, but I would probably have to say I erred on the side of vagueness probably more informed subconsciously by movies and the idea of you know, there's clouds everywhere and all that. And so, as I study this. I got super excited and begin to find all these verses about what God is actually said. Set your mind with things that are above and and how when you understand what heaven is like and how real and concrete and what you will do and and the huge impact that how I live today will have on my future in heaven. It really excited me and so I taught it, and then out of that grew the small group resource that were really encouraging people to get and then I wanted to be a short book and I wanted to be what the Bible actually says there's all the stories of all these people with all these experiences, I wanted people to this is what the Bible says and so I would highly recommend people get the book. In fact, get one for a friend and then I would say to do the small group you would be shocked how motivating it is when you have a crystal clear picture of the heaven that God has prepared for you by next year. Well, I hope you'll be with us for this entire series and to learn more about some of the series resources chip just mentioned, go to or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or visit hapless nurse Special offers. Just before we close. I want to thank those of you who regularly give to the ministry of Living on the Edge you're making a big difference in helping Christians live like Christians you're enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge but argued on the team would you do that today.

You can set up a recurring donation by calling us at AAA 333-6003 or visiting hapless nurse Donate. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do what I hope will be with us again next time when scriptures part two of this message why heaven matters until the thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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