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The Next Chapter: The Truth About Heaven and Hell

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2021 9:00 am

The Next Chapter: The Truth About Heaven and Hell

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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October 22, 2021 9:00 am

Heaven is usually portrayed as this ethereal place in the clouds full of harps and chubby cherubim. But, is that really all we have to look forward to in eternity?

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Today on the message from Pastor Jeannie Greer God is going to aside to us each very fulfilling work you have it you got your say he knows how he designed you. He knows what you love to do but suffice it to say we won't be bored. Boredom as part of the curse.

Jesus died to put away boredom, boredom one away forever. There will be more fulfilled more, engage more entertained and more alive feeling that ever for the first time some of you are going to know what it means to live according your call here on the Bible teaching ministry of pastor, author and theologian Jeannie Greer. As always, I'm your host Molly, but events okay this is a pretty easy observation. I think have you ever noticed how heaven is portrayed in art and film as a sort of ethereal place in the clouds full of chubby angels playing Golden harms the bright lights. There's always a bright light mixed in here but isn't really all we have to look forward to an eternity.

Thankfully, the answer is no.

As today.

Pastor Jeannie gives us a biblical picture of the new heaven and new earth promised in the book of Revelation. He titled this message the next chapter, the truth about heaven and hell. Let's return to God's word right or left message in this series is on evident mail because that's all John the apostle course includes the book of Revelation.

Point us toward the light that is to come, which in many ways is far more significant than the light that we have experienced here that one will say next. You're deftly not going to like.

But as your pastor, what is it anyway you were never intended. God never intended for you to learn about heaven or hell from people today who claimed to have been there every single thing that you need to know about this as well as everything else in the Christian life comes from a one book. But God said that he wrote, that was supposed to be your source of all that you need to know for life and godliness and fiber in the Revelation, John includes is pretty sober warning. We see this. Revelation 2218. If anybody adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person. The plagues described in this book so I would just be really cautious about believing somebody's got something else is not actually in the essay will pastor you tell me that all these people stories are not true. I'm not in a position to tell you that what I can tell you is that all you need to know about these things, and every other thing related to they think is in the one book Jesus authorizes a bottle to write that you were supposed to know and understand the memorized, you can put up your cube mere five minutes of this 10 minutes there and open your Bible you want to hear God speak out loud to you then read the Bible out while in your hearing God speak to you okay what that is or encouraging backdrop. Revelation chapter 21 verse one.

John said that I saw a new heaven and a new for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them now and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away and he who was seated on the throne said, behold I make all things new. Also, he said to me write this down for these words are trustworthy and true. And he said to me is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

Many people have a secret fear about heaven. They are afraid to admit mainly it sounds boring to them like an eternal choir practice where we pranced about in diapers playing the harp all day listening to Morgan Freeman read from the dictionary and quite frankly, that sounds more like hell for them than it does heaven and back. One Christian prominent Christian pastor that I know of admitted he said whenever I think about heaven.

It makes me depressed. I would rather cease to exist when I die I can't stand the idea of endless boring tedium to me.

Heaven done so much better than out. I'd rather be annihilated and spend eternity like that advised you to be honest. Many of you would say that you thought the exact same thing will the Bible gives a much different picture about the joys of heaven and the torments of hell, but you have to know how to read the symbolism and so that's what I want to try to teach you here for a few minutes. John concludes his revelation with this vision, because understanding these things will do more to shape your life and perhaps anything else in the Bible so talk first about heaven to give you five words that describe the vision that we see of heaven in these last few chapters. Five words all start with our first word is renewal renewal verse one John describes a new heaven and a new earth another two words for new in Greek, there is NIOSH which means brand-new and then there is Kailash, which means we may is this work Kailash that is usually made, not brand-new.

If a mechanic that you knew is that he got an old Corvette from a junkyard and remade it or time lost it when he showed it to you. You would not be expecting to see a fundamentally different car might everything you be expecting to see you a Corvette souped up and and and made very flashy.

That's the same thing that's happening with the new heaven and the new earth. It's not a completely new thing at the remade version of the old British theologian NT Wright says that we get a glimpse of this in the resurrection of Jesus, which is called the firstfruits of the new creation, the firstfruits are the firstfruits of the harvest to give you a sampling of what is to come after it. It tastes a glimpse. That's what Jesus's resurrection was it was a glimpse of our future. There was a glimpse of the world's future Jesus resurrection his body had continuity with the past.

He had a body that you could see and touch and get a body that people recognize it newly was the eight food get his body did not have the same limitation of the flies around. At one point he operates in the room. NT Wright says one day God is going to do with the entire cosmos what is already done with the resurrected Jesus. Jesus resurrection was the appetizer to the full course meal restoration. There was a trailer to the blockbuster film of redemption. In other words, it's everything that we loved about the old creation minus the curse of sin. The new heavens and the new are there. Everything we loved about the old heavens and older, minus the curse of said creations. Beauties are heightened its pleasures are strengthened and are limitations are removed.

Frankly summit. As I told you I get downright giddy sometimes think about what that's going to be like what does the glorified heavenly Hawaii look like it.

What we see now is the curse version was throwing a lot like a man what the glorified filet mignon things like what you like to eat of the glorified waffle house how entertaining her glorified movies. This Nicolas Cage star in every single role must be in heaven will experience pleasure without pain, beauty, untainted by the curse their ice cream and got gamy or good for you and broccoli make you gain weight as a football stadium where the Panthers win every single game right and you can finally at last like you can depend on cam Newton. Then he will let you down. Tim Keller says it this way. Heaven is not so much pie-in-the-sky as it is a feast on earth.

By the way, this ultimate version of heaven does not exist yet. It's coming to see that John says verse one that it's something that God brings after he destroys the old heaven and the old earth thinks it will light a minute. The Bible talk about God being in heaven now that it all about believers.

I'm going to have it now. Yes it does. The Bible says that wherever and however God is. That's where heaven is and it talks about when believers died to be absent when the body is to be present with the Lord second gripping 582 believers who die are in heaven now, but here's the thing. The current heaven is just a temporary holding place is like a layover. Now granted, it's not like languishing around the Atlanta airport, which is closer to the seventh circle of hell, then it is heaven, but it's a glorious holy place for that's what is the holding place until God brings the real thing. The new heavens and the new earth. Number two is a renewal number two reunion reunion. That's verse three verse three says the dwelling place of God will be with Mandy shall be his people, and God will be with them as their God. Heaven is where God and his people are reunited together in heaven were to be reunited with all of our loved ones and friends who died in Jesus. You see, one of God's purposes, and salvation was to create an eternal family united by love that never fades. We never experience heartache and we never have to say goodbye there summit church those loved ones in Jesus movement taken from us and death will be restored as a verse that I love. As I walk with several friends as they experienced on death and their family made toward one of their kids out to have several friends that have walk through at that, chapter and this verse is so precious to me as a 4922 this is what the sovereign Lord says in that last day I will give the signal to snap my fingers all I whistle or whatever and they will day. The angels will carry her little sons back to you with her arms they will bring your daughters on their shoulders, and I have to think of this refers to parents who lost children may be in an accident or a miscarriage or disease there to see their son. God says brought back by the Angels and their arms to see the loss daughters.

Back in the shoulders of angels, what a beautiful and glorious day that's going to be course, the greatest reunion is with God himself will now permanently be in our midst. Chapter 22 John goes on and says they we believers were to see his face and his name is going to be somehow written on our foreheads at night will be no more. They will need no light of lap or son, for the Lord their God will be there like the way I think the night here is more symbolic map of the earth ceases to rotate but that the night, the darkness of fear and Sam will be God's presence will be our constant light we will never feel the darkness of loneliness or abandonment or judgment.

We will bass forever in the beauty and glory of his face radiating with his truth and beauty and love will be so intimately connected to him. It's a simple, have his name attached to do our foreheads.

I'm assuming that symbolic in some way, but Tatsuo always signifies a permanent relationship right ramming us of this. Some of you know this and this will scandalize others of you, but for 15th anniversary, my wife and I got each other's initial tattoo do our ring finger. Technically she chickened out the last minutes on the lawn that has a receipt is promised to do if our next anniversary right but she will is this thing on my finger because this tells her I'm not going anywhere.

After all round like yeah that's right. If you believe me I'm going with you. I'm tattooed you to my am I doing anything about the is for B. Veronica, my friend.

Is that what happens if she dies, so will he flip it upside down. It's a for available, you know, so that's that's a joke that's a joke, but it signifies permits I'm not going anywhere I see in some way. God is his relationship with us is so secure that it's had to draw for an dear. This is in heaven's greatest joys reunion integrated greatest reunion is reunion with God himself and there we will enjoy his eternal and loving and omnipotent companionship forever and ever in our hearts will be so filled with love and delight and joy in him.

We will even know how to containment number three release release verse four he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more need to show there be mourning or crying or pain anymore, for the former things are passed away. No pain means no chronic illness.

No aching joints no tears me since I got Holly about her mother new tears means no depression, no fear, no worry, no stress, no misunderstanding, no betrayal, no talking bad about each other.

No relational conflicts no more emergency rooms no more intensive care wards no more chemotherapy units.

No more pharmacies or children's hospitals or funeral homes.

No more homicides, departments or grief counselors or security guards. No more tax forms are weighty lines of the DMV. God is already saved us from the punishment of sin there. There we will be saved from the power of sin in the presence of sin and ultimately the pain of sin. This is the final work of salvation. One day the same hands that were pierced for.

You will wipe away gently every tear from your eyes and we will finally experience life in a world without sin, which may be the greatest Overlook benefit no said, I will finally be able to look out of these eyes without the selfishness and the suspicion of the jealousy that so plagues everything that goes on in my heart, what's it like to be sinless. What's it like a hot finally have a pure heart. Sometimes people ask what would Jesus wipe away her tears is that mean that were not to be able remember what happened on earth as I can remember sometimes my life that still make me weep and so was God's will wipe away her memory. No, there's nothing in the Bible that indicates that he wipes our memory that we can't remember what happened back then what it means is that he transforms our pain into joy. Paul uses two images to talk about how will think about our pain in heaven. These are images you should internalize they are precious images of verses in Romans eight and it's the image of giving birth is a life now is like being in labor the pains of labor that are very painful but but there almost forgotten about the moment that you hold that new child in your arms. It's not that you can't remember it. It's that they're just engulfed by the joy of this baby that you now have. That's what your life is to be like that. I have a friend who suffered greatly at brain cancer Ernie for a while. They thought he was going to die. He was on the three kids in the is and it's been a long time. Think about heaven and just reading the promises of habit and he said you know I used to think that what happened was when he got to heaven, their God would explain to you. You're the reason this happened. And here's the reason this happened and he's I guess is going to be some of that that happens, he said, but from what I read in the Bible about heaven. It's going to be that there's so much joy in the finished product of what God did that were to look back and say what pain are you talking about I can barely remember it's just been engulfed in the beauty of of what God God.

Did they nothing of told you Mother Teresa always described it. She said you know the were suffering on earth, discussing what one bad night a cheap hotel had a bad night a cheap hotel is not a good experience. My wife and I family all six of us work on a road trip and we saw the saved money by staying in a cheap motel. It was about. I mean we, I remember my son was looking on the coral room and evidently what when they flush the toilet in the room above him adrift on his face. Nobody got any sleep that night.

It smelled bad. It was lawful. Now is a joke it's a joke right because you barely even remember it because it's just this was awful when it happened but it's been swallowed up in the joy of just being together as a family missed the first image the second image Paul uses is in first Corinthians 15.

He says death death in that day is swallowed up in victory that works what you swallow something becomes part of you the food that you eat becomes you in the same way Paul says our experiences with pain and death make the end product sweeter and even more beautiful than if we had not gone through them you probably seen somebody that you love go through suffering and really grow from it. I or maybe you going through some painful chapter of your life and you couldn't understand the purpose like God.

Why is this happening, but already you look back on it, you see how it produced something good in you. Here's a question if already.

With a limited time and limit the perspective you could already see some of the good reasons for some of the bad things in your life. Don't you think given infinite time and God's perspective, you see a reason for all of it in house and get a feel in that moment when you get to heaven and see how God kept all his promises. And there was not one stray molecule he was using all things for the good purpose of your life used every moment to weave his beauty and glory into you. J.R.R. Tolkien uses a great little phrase these the writer of the Lord of the rings at Sally Lloyd Jones picked up this phrase and uses it all to Jesus for the Bible uses in that moment all the sad things are going to come on true, untrue means doesn't mean that they were true that many forget about it just means that where they once led you to think that it was devastating to see how God reward those things for a good purpose and for his glory in your good what are probably most love about this, our most loving this is the account of Joni Erickson, Donna was a quadriplegic who broke her neck as a teenager in a diving accident. She's now in her 70s. She talked about how God used that accident to bring her back to himself. She says is one of the books listen, I love this.

I hope in some way I can take my wheelchair to heaven is quadriplegic you engage arms or legs.

She controlled everything through an instrument she had in her mouth. She stood there with my new glorified body. I will stand up from that wheelchair on resurrected legs, and I will be next to the Lord Jesus, and I will feel those nail prints in his hands.

I will say thank you Jesus. He will know that I mean it because he will recognize me from how hard I leaned on him during my suffering and then I will say Lord Jesus. Do you see that wheelchair over there what you were right when you put me into what it was a lot of trouble and I hated it, but the weaker I was in that thing. The harder I leaned on you and the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be.

I do not think I would ever have known the glory of your grace.

Were it not for the weakness of that wheelchair. So thank you Lord Jesus for that. Now if you like you can send that thing off to hell. That's how you feel about your pain number four for reassignment reassignment 222 verse three. Like I mentioned at the beginning. Lots of people had this image of being really bored and heaven imagine that we sit around all day. Stroman Harbison Donald nor pharaohs into the sky. Looking out heaven gets described in chapter 22. They are his servants will serve him or servants to board with their busy there constantly going places and doing things work.

You see, was part of God's original creation work was not added because of the curse. When I got was that also meant the job now know I was part of how God created us to be fulfill. We did work in paradise which means it when God restores the earth. Work is going to be a part of the new creation to except it won't be like it is here filled with worry and struggle and toil and bad bosses.

God is going to assigned to us each very fulfilling work in heaven. She got theirs how your shape. He knows how he designed you. He knows what you love to do. Maybe you're already doing it. Not many people had the privilege but maybe you already know exactly which are created for you love building buildings and you're doing that you love, inventing or producing or leading is only two kinds of jobs that we know will be there will be doctors because nobody sick and I will be any evangelist because everybody safe to you doctors and seminary students.

Bad news working out to find something else to do but suffice it to say we won't be bored. Boredom as part of the curse.

Jesus died to put away boredom, boredom, torn away forever.

There will be more fulfilled more, engage more entertained and more alive feeling than ever for the first time some of you are going to know what it means to live according to your calling because you get to experience it here on earth.

Maybe life maybe bad decisions of yours or maybe just the way life went you're in a job, you'll never be the job or your real potential is released. They are going to worry about not finding that on earth because there God will have you working at your fullest potential will be reassigned. Number five last one rain range of 20 verse five there there will reign forever and ever not be totally honest with you I'm not quite sure over whom we rate some of said it means angels mother said it means over creation itself. Arena recreation CS Lewis thought it might be that we reign as kings and queens over other beans and other universes that God created my favorite part of all the Chronicles of Narnia is how Lewis in his book 7, the last book and those that series is a very human so for us this is the end of all the stories and we can truly say that they all lived happily ever after buffer them. It was only the beginning of the real story all their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia have only been the cover and the title page. Now at last they were beginning chapter 1 of the great story which no one or no one on earth is red, which goes on forever in which every chapter is better than the one before. I'm not exactly sure whom we reign over how we reign but I am looking forward to finding out the point I want you to take away from this is, you are destined to be royalty your destined to leave your desk in the rain, not destined to be an insignificant groveling peon with no importance or no responsibility God created you to be a reigning prince or princess start acting that way elements are bulging each other around. I mean, like me, servants also but I mean that you begin to see that you are created with the dignity of being a son or daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of lords renewal reunion release reassignment rain before I conclude this section money to draw just a handful of things I think this means for us right made me reflect on it with you is A put up your bucket list is a bucket list all the things you want to do before you die because you assume you'll never have a chance to do them again. That's not true for a Christian when Jesus says he's making all things new, would not include all the mountain stars, rivers, oceans, planets, animals, cultural arts, music, architecture, and even extreme sports that you never got to experience on earth does your Bible have an asteroid by the word all that lead you to the fine print of all the things are not included in the word all all means all church music.

For those of you who are single, the joys of marriage and family will be in some way even more greatly fulfill their goods all means all Revelation 2126 even says that we will bring into heaven the glory and honor of the nations which were scholars. They means the best of culture means we will have the best of the Italian food in heaven right to mount about one-stop measurement of the best of Arabian and colonial architecture, which are my personal favorites the best of the Renaissance painting best Disney World the best of Mardi Gras meant to be a much but it will be there. Even the man-made things we did get to experience on earth work in my experience there is only one thing that we can do there that we can do here tell people about Jesus. That is the one thing we will not get a chance to do their so why not give your life to pursuing that instead of some silly bucket list item. You can experience a better version of in heaven. Anyway, winning people to Jesus on your bucket list to make the last chapters of your life about pursuing that not pursuing something in you get a better version of my head to the next thing God gave us this picture in his word, however confusing it may seem. He wanted to know you're listening to pastor Jeannie Greer in a message titled, the next chapter on Senate life. When you give today will show our thanks by sending you a custom Senate life Bible comes in a custom reading plan to take you through the Bible in a year if not dated, so you can start using it now goes through 52 free verse, ask for the Senate life Bible when you get a one time gift when you become a monthly cost today, the coming think think 335-5220 866-335-5224. Give online Jeannie Greer.com.

Finally, I can be anything that answers to tricky question find it online. Molly benefits serving with. Enjoy your weekend worship and join us again Monday clear title called the whole story right here on Senate my Jeannie


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