Heaven: The Great Adventure
Friday, March 20, 2009
What will heaven be like?
Explicit biblical teaching about heaven and let see what Christians can look forward to.
1. Don’t look far. Eternal life has already begun in this life.
John 6:47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
1 john 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life
- Paul mention in Phil 3:20-21 the believer are citizens of heaven right now.
- We not even have to die to taste or encounter a bit of heaven. In a prompting of the Holy Spirit and when we truly worship God or fellowship with Him we will be able to feel a bit of heaven.
- All the good things that we experience in this life, all the good movies we have seen, good book we have read, a piece of music that warm our heart is a glimpse of heaven.
- This is all made possible by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?")
2. Heaven exist as a real substantial place
Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
- UNDER REAL PLACE ………….
- Paradise came from the Persian word “pairidaeza” meaning enclosed garden or a walled park
- In OT the world paradise used to describe the Garden of eden (Gen 2:8, Ezekiel 28:13)
- God say “ to him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in paradise of God”(Rev. 2:7) The save physical tree of life that was in the garden of Eden will one day in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth (Rev 22:2)
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ is actually the initial manifestation of eternal life.
- Heaven is actual place, it already exists.
- UNDER SUBSTANTIAL PLACE …………..
- It was reveal by the fact that the resurrection of Christ appearance were bodily in nature, and our body will be like his [(Phil. 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.), ( 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.)]
- UNDER BOTH REAL AND SUBSTANTIAL…..
- Heaven inhabitants will never experience death again ( John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?")
- This was the teaching of the resurrected Jesus.
- Believer will be like Jesus himself in this sense: They will live eternally (John 14:19; 2Cor. 5:1; Thess. 4:17)
3. All negative qualities are devoid in heaven
Rev. 7:15-17 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
- Sadness, pain, and suffering will be banished forever from our heavenly home.
4. Fellowship with Jesus
Matt 26:27-29 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
- Heaven is a place of great activity, the top of the activity list will be the fellowship with jesus himself.
- After predicting his death Jesus states that he wouldn’t drink the fruit of the vine again until he did so with his disciples in the kingdom of God
- We have also the opportunity not only to see their Lord face to face(1 john 3:2) but also to spend eternity in his presence, both in intermediate state (2 cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23) and in heaven itself (john 14:2-3; rev 22:4)
- What could be more gracious that to see jesus face to face?
5. Believer will be glorified
Eph 2:6 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
- We are raised with Jesus, seated and exalted with Him in heaven
- Several text teach that believer will be given position of honor and authority in God eternal kingdom, including reigning with him (2 tim 2:11-12 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;)
6. Continued growth in knowledge and truth
Eph 2:7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
- It increasing our awareness of God and his work.
- Paul mention that throughout the future ages believer will be shown “incomparable riches of his grace”. This conclusion concerning our future growth can also be inferred from the very nature of human beings.
- Even thought we are going to resurrect, we will still be glorified, finite human beings, not omniscient wonder. Part of our human nature as a sentient being is to learn as we live.
The imagery of Heaven
There metaphors and figure of speech concerning heaven. It implies what’s waiting in us after this life.
Matt 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation.
What is the meaningful image of heaven traced by OT, the teaching of Jesus, and book of revelation?
Psalm 23:1-3 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
- Peace is one of the deepest longing of every individual
- In psalm 23 the shepherd meets the innermost longing of his people – green pastures, quiet waters, he provided the peaceful rest.
- This theme found in john 10:1-16, where in Jesus is a Good shepherd, who calls his sheep by name and lead them out to find pasture.
- The Sheep hear, recognize, and follow him
- The shepherd also protect his sheep and give his life for them
- Let us see the revelation scene (Rev.7:15-17 And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
- Lamb became their shepherd lead them lead to spring of living water
- The believer are protected from all problems
- Then didn’t experience pain and suffering
- Heaven is final culmination of our search for peace
Psalms 68:19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
Psalms 81:6 He says, "I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.
- God remove the burden
Mat 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
- Jesus give rest
Rev. 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
- Our rest begin here on earth; it ends in heaven
SECURITY AND PROTECTION
Psalms 91:1-4 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
- Here God is the shelter of his people, who rest under the shadow of his wings.
- God is also the mighty fortress and refuge.
- The idea revolve around finding a haven of protection and security
Mat 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
- Jesus portrays himself as a mother hen who wanted his chickens to find protection under his wings.
Rev 21 – the ultimate fortress created for God’s people is unveiled. In verse 1-3 of rev 21 God lives among his people.
- Once again heaven is portrayed as the place where the need for refuge and protection is met the utmost.
1 peter 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,
On top of everything else, Peter explains that Jesus resurrection guarantees that our heavenly inheritance can never be spoil or fade.
The word “kept” indicates the guarantee on our behalf.
2 Tim. 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.