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The Real Heaven - What's Heaven Like?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2024 6:00 am

The Real Heaven - What's Heaven Like?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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April 16, 2024 6:00 am

Are you tired of injustice and evil? Are you fed up with all the suffering that happens to good and godly people? If we’re honest, we wonder if the scales will ever be balanced - if God really cares. Chip shares the good news that this isn’t all there is. Justice is coming. And the life you have longed for is yours for the taking. Starting now.

Main Points
  • As mankind was, so was the earth.
  • As mankind went, so went the earth.
  • As mankind will be, so will be the earth.
Broadcast ResourceAdditional Resource Mentions
  • Book - Heaven by Randy Alcorn 
  • Book - The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur
About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Are you tired of the injustice and the evil in the world? Ever simply just get fed up with all the suffering and the bad things that happen to good and godly people? If you struggle with this like I do at times, I've got some good news for you.

There's a day when everything gets put right, and we're going to talk about that today. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. In just a minute, Chip will pick up where he left off in our series, The Real Heaven, with part two of his talk, What's Heaven Like? But before he does, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge, or you want to learn more about what we do, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org.

You'll find resources on tons of topics and countless programs to enjoy. Well, Chip begins the second half of his message by explaining why heaven is more than an exciting place, but it's our eternal security and hope. Well, let's dive in. I've already lost both my parents. My wife's had cancer.

She came through it. But I've had some really big windows of losing people that really, really, really matter. Early on, one of my sons was in an emergency room, and we didn't know if he would make it. I want to tell you that the hope that God gives to us in heaven and Christians is this isn't all there is. There really is a place where you will be reunited, and it gives you tremendous perspective and tremendous hope.

We do grieve, and there is great loss, but our whole lives don't have to fall apart when you're a follower of Christ. And so, bam, the heart attack happens. You're ushered by angels. Immediately, you're in your God's presence.

You're conscious. You participate in this great worship. You kind of see some things that are happening on earth.

You don't know everything. You meet some people. You understand that they see you. You see them.

You know one another. And then seventh, you'll be joined by all living Christians when Jesus raptures the church from the earth to be judged for rewards at the beam of seed. 2 Corinthians 5, 10 says, For we will all appear before the judgment seed of Christ. And that's not for your sin. That's been forgiven. That's for what did you do with your life?

Rewards. And then, fast forward, I'm giving you a quick overview. There's a lot that happens between chapter 6 and chapter 19, but let's go all the way over to chapter 19, because this is something that Jesus talked about with his disciples. In chapter 19, there's a thing called the marriage supper of the Lamb. So, shortly before, the context is God's judgment is occurring.

We're up in heaven. The tribulation's coming to an end. There's going to be this great battle called Armageddon, but before that, chapter 19, there's what's called the marriage supper of the Lamb.

All the New Testament Christians are going to now, the bride with the bridegroom. So, we pick it up, chapter 19, After this I heard the sound, like the roar of a great multitude in heaven. Hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God. For true and just are his judgments.

And he's talking about those judgments. And then he skips down to verse 6. He says, Then I heard the great sound, like a multitude, like the roar of rushing waters, like loud peals of thunder and shouting hallelujah. For the Lord our God, our mighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen bright and clean was given to her to wear.

Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints. And then the angel said to me, Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb. And he added, These are the true words. And so we have this experience with God. And again, we get things so mystical. Jesus said to the disciples, I'm going to come back. There's going to be this time. I won't eat of it again until in my kingdom. And what we're going to find is shortly after this meal, and I don't know what it's going to be like, but it's got to be great.

He's going to come and he's going to do something that down deep in your heart, in my heart and everyone's heart, we really, really, really, really want to see happen. And it's our greatest frustration. And yet when we talk about it, we often have this sort of intellectual thing that pushes back away from it. Because what happens now is that we always talk very rightly about God's compassion and God's love. But God is just.

The definition of justice is people get what they deserve. Retribution. And all through Revelation, I wish I had time to just go through chapter by chapter by chapter by chapter. And God extends and says, will you let me forgive you? Will you let me forgive you? Will you let me forgive you?

No, come on, come on, let me forgive you. And people stiff arm, stiff arm, stiff arm, stiff arm, stiff arm. And not only stiff arm, but they're evil. And they attack the things of God. What's happening now? What is it? 26 million kids and people are slaves in our world.

I mean, can you imagine we talk about education and technology and how mankind has made progress and yet in the last century 50 million people in Russia were killed by Stalin? I was with a friend who went and did some missionary work that was, I mean, you talk about outside the box. There's a place in Africa where there's a lake and people, they come silently in the night across this lake, and they steal the kids out of these huts and homes and they go back over the lake and they're near a border and then they sell all the kids. You talk about a mission strip.

He got with a group of people that go back over and they steal them back. And it's gruesome and it's hard and they're armed and people die. Here's what I want you to get. There's evil. There's something built into our heart because you're made in the image of God about justice. I want you to see that as you're in heaven talking with family, after you've enjoyed an amazing meal with your Savior, you await God's judgment of the earth at the end of the tribulation. You will be bodily resurrected and then you will reign and judge with Christ for a thousand years on the earth. Notice chapter 20.

Are you still with me, Revelation? It says, I saw thrones that were seated and those that had been given authority to judge and I saw the souls of those that had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and not received the mark on their foreheads or on their hands.

And notice this. They came to life and they reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have a part in the first resurrection.

The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will, might circle the word, reign with him for a thousand years. God made promises and unlike us, when God makes a promise, whether you read it in the Old or New Testament, he's going to keep it. He made this outrageous promise to David about a descendant of yours will be on the throne forever.

He made this outrageous promise regardless of the geopolitical issues that happened in the world to Abraham about a piece of land and about a nation and what he would do for that nation and those Jews and those people, not just by ethnic background, but by heart relationship of what he would do for them. And Jesus comes back and you can read a little bit before because it's harsh and there's judgment and there's a battle and he makes everything right. And then for a thousand years on this earth, there's those people who made it through that. There's us New Testament saints.

There's Old Testament saints. And for a thousand years, all those promises and all those rewards, it's lived out. And I read this and, you know, I didn't grow up reading the Bible, so I grew up as a real skeptic and sometimes as I early on at least read the Bible, there was things that puzzled me like God, I mean, obviously I don't need to know, but I mean, why a thousand years? Why Christ?

Why on the earth? Okay, I get fulfill your promises. I get that, but just sort of from a philosophical standpoint. And I thought to myself, my parents were school teachers and around our table it was education every night. You pushed in the plates and great books, great authors, what was happening in the news.

That was just what they did at our house and so I grew up with all that. And a part of the educational system is that if we could just educate everyone in all the world, if people just could think rightly, if we could create an environment that's healthy and unpolluted both intellectually and emotionally and the environment, if all of that, see man is basically good and what we need to do is have enough time, enough technology and enough education to help people learn to do what is right, then mankind would really end well. That's been a core philosophy of why we do what we do and what we've used basically our technology in every generation is to kill more and more and more people and us try to be on the throne and be in control. And it's interesting, at least from a philosophical standpoint, you have a thousand years in a perfect environment where Jesus is king and he rules and people who came out of that, they marry, they have children, Satan is locked up so there's no evil for a thousand years and at the end of a thousand years, God releases Satan and demonic activity for one last time to tempt and it is amazing.

A significant population out of a perfect environment with the best education and the great relationships with a thousand year track record turn away from the God who loves them to sit on their own throne and rule their own lives. And I just thought, isn't it like God just to say, you know what, let me explain to you the heart of man. Remember Jesus when people were asking him some questions and he denied them, he said, no, no, you don't understand, I understand what's in the heart of man. So we all basically think we're a little bit better than we are, in fact we think we're a lot better than we are and yet you find people that have been in desperate situations and you read his stories under the right circumstances and amazing duress, it is almost unthinkable what the human heart can do. You read the stories of what happened in Nazi Germany and we all think that's those other evil people, that's in the heart of human beings when threatened and control and power and greed and God says, I'm gonna deal with that, in fact there's gonna be justice, in fact finally you will witness the justice of God at the judgment of Satan, angels and the wicked dead at the great white throne and there's a cataclysmic end to it all and this is what he says, then I saw a great white throne and him was seated on it, earth and sky fled from his presence, there was no place for them and I saw the dead both great and small standing before the throne and the books were opened and another book was opened that was called the book of life and the dead were judged according to what they had done, recorded in the books and the sea gave up its dead, death and Hades gave up its dead, each person was judged according to what he had done and then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire, the lake of fire is the second death and if anyone's name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. And you know it's interesting we've gotten so sophisticated and I hear people talk about you know those old days somewhere somehow where people talk about you know damnation and hell and people don't talk about that anymore, the Bible does.

But C.S. Lewis, the great atheist agnostic who came to Christ and wrote Narnia and many other things near Christianity, his perspective is so right on, he said what people don't understand is hell, the lock is on the inside of the door. Everyone who is in hell wants to be there, God is just, anyone who long seeks for wants to be with God, oh he's loving, he sent his son, opportunity, he's forgiven, hell is for a place who say I don't want you God and so God says thy will be done.

And to people who say oh God help me, your will be done. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and before we continue Chip's message on heaven, if this topic intrigues you and you want to learn even more, keep listening after the teaching. Chip will talk about some resources we've created to help you better understand, appreciate, and be excited for what awaits us in eternity.

You won't want to miss it. Okay here again is Chip. I don't know if you've ever been around people who've been through I mean gnarly, nasty, ugly, violent divorce, but I mean I mean it's visceral. I mean there's name calling and there's attorneys and I mean it's, it's, it's, I mean they steal which one of others kids I mean it's ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly. That's the way it is between mankind and God. It's not like there's a group of people in hell going, Oh, I want to be there I want to be there.

They don't want anything to do with God or light or goodness, and God in His mercy and grace to you and your dignity mind gives us the freedom to choose in love, or to reject. And you're going to be in heaven. And you're going to realize that the things that bugged you way more than just bugged you that viscerally was so wrong it was so evil. There will become a day when every wrong will be made right. And there'll be justice. There was forgiveness offered. But there's justice. Every wrong is made right. Once, and for all. Everything's now fair.

And we all want it fair. Human history as we know it has come to a close. It's taking your breath away. And then there's this moment where, out of the sky, a new heaven and a new earth. Look at verse one of chapter 21, then I saw heaven, a new heaven and a new earth, for the first earth and the first heaven had passed away. And I saw no longer any sea and 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 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying now the dwelling of God. This is the, this is his point. Now the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them, and they'll be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Now, okay, let's stop. What you've experienced is what theologians call the intermediate state. What we're now going to talk about is what your experience will be like forever and ever and ever. Heaven, two words, is a country and a city. They look for a country. They hope for a city whose architect is God. Jerusalem comes down. God does this massive thing where he makes a new earth, new heaven, new galaxies.

Last time all I did is speak and it happened. This is no big deal. And then there'll be the city. It's a huge city.

It's 20 stories high. And then there'll be gates that are open and there'll be kings and countries and commerce and art and books to be written and songs to be sung and jobs to be created and nations that come together and treaties and life and work and you doing what you were designed and made to do at a level like never before. And my body will be resurrected so the earth will be restored. The Apostle Paul says we have natural or earthly bodies.

Okay, they fit for this earth in a fallen situation. We're going to have spiritual bodies that will fit the new heaven and the new earth. So this earth is going to be just like you're going to be resurrected. Well, we'll still be able to recognize you. You still have your personality.

You have your memories. So with the earth, my new body, what's it going to be like? It's going to be like Christ. 1 John 3 says, We do not know what we will be like, but this is what we know. When we see him, we will be like him. Now, we don't become God, but we're going to have the same kind of spiritual body that he had.

Well, what was his like? Jesus' resurrected body ate and drank. It had flesh and bone.

It had new capabilities. This is a different view of heaven. I mean, this is like you have meals together. Jesus said, Could I have another piece of fish? He says, Does a spirit have flesh and bones? This is not some floating around.

This is a new earth, a perfect earth, a perfect environment. You have a supernatural body. You'll eat. You'll drink. You'll talk. You'll have activities. You'll run. You'll walk.

But there's some new capabilities. Jesus went through walls and he was this place and then he was this place. This will be like Star Trek on spiritual steroids. Do I know exactly what it's like? I don't.

But here's the deal. God gives us hints and inkling. Everything that you love most about the earth has been just a tiny little hint of what God is like.

He wants to meet the deepest longings of your heart, the best relationship, the best marriage, the best moment with a kid, the best moment on a walk, the most amazing sunrise, the best hike you've ever had, the best deal you've closed, the best shot you've made. All those are tiny little tastes of a creature made in the image of God and God wants you to now get to experience what's that like in a perfect environment? No sin, no false motives, no comparison. Well, it's going to be a lot like the new you. Second, it's going to be a lot like the old earth. The new heaven and the new earth is familiar.

Now, follow along. Genesis chapters one and two, God visits the earth. Jesus came to the earth. There's a new heaven and a new earth. You know, like at Wimbledon, there's center court.

In the Bible, center court. Even in all of Revelation, they keep talking about what? What's happening on the earth. God made mankind in a perfect environment and the perfect environment was the earth. It's now a tainted, corrupted, fallen earth and there's going to be a new earth where you thrive. The old earth passed away, not annihilated.

He's going to cleanse it. But the things that you love most about this earth will be there exponentially, better, improved. Like the old me passed away, so the old earth passes away.

The scripture says if any man, if any woman is in Christ, right? The old things pass away, behold all things become new. Well, my old chip passed away, but there's a lot that looks a lot like the old chip, right? It's the same with the earth.

The best. The new earth is going to be new, better, different, but with continuity from the old earth. And here's a little phrase. As I've studied this, it's helped me the most of thinking about a heaven that's where I want to be, where I want to do in my life now, what positions me for the greatest possible experience. As man was, so was the earth, right?

Innocence. As man went, disobedience and sin, so went the earth. It groans for that day of redemption.

As man will be, so will be the earth. There's two really big questions you should be asking yourself. Question number one is do I know for absolute certain if I had a massive heart attack the moment I opened my car door in the parking lot, do I know for certain that I have trusted what Christ's work has done for me by faith in His grace, received forgiveness, so that I would instantaneously be ushered by angels to heaven? Because there is an alternative that the Bible talks about, and it would break God's heart.

He's gone to extraordinary lengths. Second question you ought to be asking yourself, us as believers, is there's only one throne in heaven. There's only one throne in the universe.

And there's two things that are pictured on that throne. The majesty, the glory, the holiness and the power of God and the work of the Lamb, Christ. And the question all of us ought to ask ourselves, since we're going to be worshipping around that and our priorities and time and energy and dreams will be aligned around who God really is then, how are we doing now? Because your reigning, your reward, your experience is directly related to how you live that today. And the byproduct, by the way, is since God created life to work that way, when that's true, those relationships with other people, those relationships with things, the peace in your life, the longings that you want now, all that is aligned when He's not just a God you believe in, but He's the personal Lord of your life.

He really cares about you. I mean, it's like someone created and made things. Imagine if you would like a maze and He says, here's an open book test. Here's all the ways. Here's where to go. And by the way, you can stop here. It's awesome. When you get here, it's even more awesome. And by the way, the end is beyond your wildest dreams.

I don't want anyone to miss it. So here's the test. Here's the book.

Here's the map. And a lot of people just say, I'd rather do it like this. And then we can't figure out why when we hit walls and go over cliffs and relationships break down and money evaporates and depression comes up and life seems just out of control.

We just say, God, where are you? And He's saying, it's an open book. Do it my way. Let me help you.

Let me love you. Today, before we move forward, I think you and I need to have a very private and personal talk. But you need to have a very private and personal talk with the God who made all that there is, who sent His Son specifically for you because He wants to be with you. And we talked about life being sort of an open book test and God wants you to pass.

And this isn't like some little test. This is about life and death. This is about time and eternity. And God would say to you at this moment as you're listening to My voice, He has you listening right at this moment because He's God and He knew where you would be and how you would get this message and what would be happening in your life. And here's what He wants to say to you. Would you let Me forgive you?

Would you let Me love you? Would you be willing to open your hands and your heart and say, I believe today, Lord Jesus, that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, that you're the Messiah and Savior who's coming into the world, that you died in My place to forgive My sin, and that you offer Me eternal life if I will believe. Today, I am mindful of that very simple but transformational truth that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever would believe, would trust in Him, wouldn't perish but have everlasting life. And in your heart of hearts and wherever you're at, whatever you need to do, if you need to pull the car over, if you need to stop the workout, if you need to just do whatever right now, you need to turn to God and say, Lord God Almighty, I ask you to forgive me based on Christ's work.

I believe He died and rose for me personally. Come into my life right now. Make me your son.

Make me your daughter. And then I pray for the power and the grace to follow you all the days of my life. The Bible is clear. Those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Call upon Him today.

Thanks, Chip. Well, if you just prayed to receive Christ with Chip, we have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands that was uniquely created for new believers. This tool will help you understand what it means to trust in Jesus and what to do next. Request this free resource by calling 888-333-6003 or by visiting livingontheedge.org, then clicking the New Believers button.

That's livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. Let us help you get started in your faith journey. Well, Chip's still with me in studio. And Chip, you know, we've all seen various depictions of what heaven will be like from movies or pictures. But unfortunately, much of what we think we know isn't in the Bible at all. So why is it important that we understand what heaven is really like? Well, Dave, there is a lot of sort of bad information about heaven. And there's not many sermons about heaven. And the Bible says probably more about heaven than most people really understand. But let me tell you, it's not one long church service. It's not, you know, someday we're going to sit on clouds with angels and play a lot of harps.

And it's not just sort of this ethereal concept. It's an actual physical place where Jesus is. You learn there's a new heaven and there's a new earth that's as real and as concrete as this earth except God's original plan.

It's absolutely spectacular. And when people get a clear view of heaven, Dave, there's hope. And if there's ever a time with losing of loved ones and all the chaos in the world that we need to really understand what heaven is like, it's now. And so I wrote a book called The Real Heaven, and we later turned that into a small group that people can get on DVD or they can stream it. I've just seen God use this book and this content like few things we've ever produced. I just really encourage you to get it.

Thanks, Chip. Well, if you've been searching for some solid biblical answers about heaven, let me encourage you to get plugged in with our resources for this series. Whether it's Chip's book, The Real Heaven, or the small group study, you're going to walk away with a more accurate and exciting view of the place God's preparing for us. For complete ordering details, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. Atlas Nurse taps special offers. Well, before we go, let me take a second and thank the generous people who support this ministry every month.

Your faithful gifts help us inspire Christians to live like Christians. Now, if you haven't partnered with us, would you prayerfully consider joining the Living on the Edge team? You can set up a recurring donation by going to LivingOnTheEdge.org or by calling 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. Atlas Nurse tap donate. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Druey and I hope you'll join us again next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-16 04:08:43 / 2024-04-16 04:20:05 / 11

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