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August 26, 2020 2:00 am
When the Bible speaks about heaven, it's speaking about either the earth's atmosphere, outer space, or the place where God dwells. In the message "A Sneak Peek Into What's Up There," Skip gives a glimpse into your future home.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Even believers rarely talk about heaven to spend forever there that have some consideration. What fills the puppets of most churches is talks about the here and now now stay married now and raise children. Now how I manage my finances now and all of that is certainly important, but there should be some consideration for heaven with so much going on in your day-to-day probably do often pause to think of eternity today on connect with Skip HiTec Skip helps you to pause and consider the very real and tangible place that is heaven you'll discover why it's so important to take time to think of your future home first Skip wants to invite you to connect with him on social media. A pastor Skip here if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest from this ministry follow at Skip Heitzig sick on base book twitter and Instagram that Skip HEITZIG now we were in Revelation chapter 4 as we dive into the teaching with Skip Heitzig for Disneyland is called the Magic Kingdom. That's a Walt Disney called Disneyland opened nine days before I was born in on opening day 35,000 people thronged into the Magic Kingdom to shake hands with Mickey and Donald and goofy and gnarly and whoever else was there and he was so excited.
Walt Disney called at the Magic Kingdom, but it was anything but magical. On the day didn't open traffic was backed up in 1955 people came, they were mad because it was hot outside was in July and that the they ran out of refreshments and Disneyland halfway to the day of Mark Twain's steamboat almost capsized on its maiden voyage. It was not a good day. In fact, Walt Disney and his crew for years to come.
Referred to opening day is black Sunday.
Now Disneyland is fun.
It's great to go there but at the end of the day your exhausted and broke and it was all just a memory. We want to turn this morning to not the Magic Kingdom at the Masters kingdom, the eternal, unspoiled, perfect place that will not be a memory but an ongoing reality for those who trust Christ that we been doing this series for seven weeks.
What we covered so far what we covered the death of a believer in the hope that we have in death. We we talked about the reunion we can have with other people who are in Christ.
We spoke about our condition prior to the bodily resurrection.
We spent a couple weeks talking about the resurrection body itself in the capabilities of that body.
We even spent a week talking about the death of children.
The death of infants in all of those we have yet to talk about heaven, we haven't touched on the rewards working to get in heaven called the bema seat of Christ.
We haven't touched at all about the throne room of God which we look at today. Haven't considered the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is a future event. We certainly haven't considered the millennium the thousand year reign of Christ on earth. And then after that, the eternal age the eternal state of the new heaven and the new earth, and the new Jerusalem, all of those future events. We now turn our hearts toward this morning when it comes to heaven. Most people really don't live with the thought of heaven at all mean if you took talk and look at the average life. Heaven isn't even on the radar screen, except when a person dies and suddenly it's all talk about heaven heaven heaven but in life whose thinking about heaven. Even believers rarely talk about heaven, even though looking to spend forever. There we had a have some consideration.
What fills the pulpits of most churches is talks about the here and now.
How do I live now how to stay married now and raise children.
Now how I manage my finances now and all of that is certainly important, but there should be some consideration for heaven. Time magazine did an article was called. Does heaven exist. David Wells from Gordon Conwell seminary said in that article quote we would expect to hear of it that is heaven, and evangelical churches, but I don't hear at all.
I don't think heaven is even a blip on the Christian screen from one end of the denominational spectrum to the other." That's that's wrong that's sad because the Bible often encourages us to consider our future.
Colossians chapter 3 verse one. If you then be risen with Christ, set your affection on things above, not on the things of the earth.
Listen to it in the new living translation. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven were Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power led heaven fill your thoughts do not only think about things down hereunder.
That's exactly what we want to do this morning and the next few weeks is fill our thoughts with the truth of our future in heaven.
What is it look like what will it sound like what will we see no better place to start. In Revelation chapter 4.
Because this begins John's extended tour of heaven. Chapter 4 and five is all what he saw already heard, what will heaven be like, well, listen to this little letter from a listener or she is in your reader to Ann Landers column is dear Ann Landers, our cocker spaniel rags, died yesterday. He was 15 years old and everyone adored him. Our son asked his rags in heaven.
So I asked her clergyman how to respond. He said tell them no. Animals don't go to heaven. I believe this is an insensitive response to a nine-year-old. Can you give me a better one signed San Juan so Ann Landers answers back dear San Juan, I checked with several authorities and the best reply came from Andrew McKenna is not a theologian but vice chairman of the Board of Directors of Notre Dame University. He said, listen to this. He said tell the boy that heaven is anything you want to be assure him that he will see everyone he wants to see in heaven, including his parents are not here to answer the question dear pets go to heaven this morning and I can review with a topic I but I share this with you because that is how most people think about heaven.
I watch whatever you want heaven to be notes, not heaven is everything God made it to be and so we want to see what he made it to be like. So we turn to Revelation chapter 4 were disconnected at peak this morning were just gonna look to the portal this morning as we see what John saw. After these things. Verse one.
I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. Immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne and he sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance.
There was a rainbow around the throne and appearance like an emerald of this morning we only have time for just a few thoughts. That's why only chosen three verses to introduce this whole theme now of heaven.
There's a few things I want you to see from our text. First of all heaven is a real place. It's not made up if the real metaphor of a certain condition that will it's a real place when the Bible speaks about heaven when Jesus spoke about heaven when Paul, John, Peter, Paul spoke about heaven.
They spoke of it as a real place, not like you to notice some of the language that we read here John said. I looked I looked 12 times in Revelation that phrases used.
I looked another 34 times in Revelation.
John writes I saw another 12 times in Revelation.
John says I heard so his senses are engaged. He's a spectator of things that he looks at and sees and hears all of that to say heaven is not false. Heaven is a real place that you know there were two people in the New Testament that saw heaven. Two of what are the names Paul is one and John is the second Paul said he was caught up into the third heaven, he didn't tell us anything about that visit right. He says I heard inexpressible words. It's a shame it's against the law for me to even sing so you just sit zips up the whole tool experience of heaven.
John, on the other hand writes everything commanded by Jesus Christ to reveal to tell. John tells us about his extended visit to heaven. Now, rather than trying to squeeze these verses into some symbolic metaphorical condition, it's best to see it as a real place.
This is what he saw this what he heard.
I'd rather believe what John says he saw and heard than those people if they will heaven is not real, it's just a projection.
It's a wish fulfillment made up by weak people who are trying to cope with the hardships of this life. I'd much rather believe what John says he saw and heard than all of those lame jokes about Peter standing at the gate of heaven with a clipboard checking you off as you go in.
I'd much rather believe what John said he saw and heard and even books written about their experience of life after death, and those books seem to contradict each other. This is God's revelation chapter 1 of Revelation. God gives the Revelation to his son Jesus, who gives it to a messenger, an angel who gives it to John twice called the Revelation to John said I saw a door standing open in heaven know that word heaven appears in the Bible 532 times.
That's in the singular and the plural heavens.
It appears another 171 times over 700 times in the Bible.
Heaven is mentioned. It's a huge important topic and it's your future home. Paul says in Philippians 4 we are citizens of heaven, that's home sweet home that we should change the lyrics to sweet home Alabama sweet home up in heaven. Lord, I'm coming home to you can hear it at your home. Why is it your home. Your father's there your saviors there. The Holy Spirit is there everybody in Christ was died is there, your reward is there. So it's home. That's why Paul said for me to live is Christ and the die is gain because when a believer dies what is again heaven heaven. That's the reward message were opening up the topic of heaven this morning with John for me tell you this, when the Bible and those over 700 times mentions heaven.
It speaks about having three different ways.
Sometimes it speaks about heaven with the atmosphere we call this the first heaven. This is the terrestrial heaven the troposphere it's the breathable layer of atmosphere around the earth. It's what you see during the day.
Bible sometimes speaks of heaven, just as the atmosphere around the earth.
Isaiah 55, for example, as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, from the atmosphere. That's the first heaven terrestrial heaven. The second heaven is the celestial heaven's what you see at night the planets and stars the moon the Bible sometimes speaks of the heavens, meaning the beyond the atmosphere.
What you see up in space. Psalm 19 the heavens declare the glory of God. The firmament shows his handiwork. Night and tonight they reveal knowledge.
So this is space. This is what James T.
Kirk called the final frontier. It's the second heaven then the Bible sometimes speaks of the third heaven.
This is the heaven this is heaven with the H's were God hangs out is where God dwells.
So Paul said second Corinthians 12, I was caught up into the third heaven. This is the heaven. The John sees in Revelation chapter 4. Psalm 33 agrees with that the Lord looks from heaven he sees all the sons of men from his place of his dwelling.
He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth. That's why it was ridiculous. The day that a cosmonaut who went up and outer space and went to the moon stood in front of a group and an audience and said boldly, I went to space I went to the moon.
I did not see God. We didn't go far enough made his first heavens and the second heaven seated -3rd heaven, there was a there is an American astronaut in the audience said to his buddy next to him. Peter stepped out of his spacesuit, he would've seen God. Now some of you who are sharp Bible students and you like to ask questions. I love people who do that may be right about now you're thinking a way to minute. If God is on my present everywhere present. Bible says he is, then how can God dwell in heaven. In fact, how can any being whose omnipresent God be said to dwell any particular place. That's exactly what even Solomon remarked on. We built the Temple in Jerusalem and he prayed and he said, behold even heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, much less this temple which I have built while we say that God dwells in heaven, we don't mean that heaven contains God completely. It's just that heaven is the unique place of his habitation. It's uniquely his home its home base.
It's HQ headquarters, a base of operations is the place where his throne is the place from which he operates. That's why when we pray we say our father in heaven. That's uniquely the place of his dwelling out, throw some else into the mix.
This will be important later on.
I want to confuse you but I'll throw it in, though heaven is real heaven doesn't seem to be permanent. What I mean by that is even this heaven seems later on to be replaced.
I listen carefully. Both Old Testament and New Testament, Isaiah, Peter, John, all speak about not just a new earth, but behold a new heaven and new earth seems to indicate that there's going to be phases of the eternal glory. Some of those things we want to discuss in the next few weeks.
These different phases.
Even Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass. What is that mean to us practically means your home be gone. Calvary of Albuquerque to be gone.
United States gone Himalayas gone Swiss Alps gone and so guys can make new things in the future a new earth. As if God is saying you think this is cool when you see what I got, new heaven Newark. Why would God ever make a new heaven, what's wrong with heaven as it is earth. We understand it's been polluted by sin, etc. why a new heaven, that's a question I'll answer in the next few weeks I will leave you hanging a little this morning. Go back to our text. Heaven is a real place. Number one, number two.
Second thing I want to point out is that heaven has a relative position. I want you to notice this verse one after these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here where is heaven. I was asked that question last week where is heaven simple answer. Heaven is up fact in the Bible. That's always the orientation when speaking of heaven, it's up our word heaven the original word comes, it's an Anglo-Saxon word heaven comes from. Keep on.
I know you don't say well when you die, you go to heave on to sounds weird so we say heaven but heaven comes from heave on and heave on means to be lifted up or uplifted. That's the original term in the Anglo-Saxon origin, but the term heaven goes all the way back to the Old Testament, the Hebrew word sham my team sure my team same connotation, it means the heights topographically.
The place that is higher than the rest. In the New Testament the word heaven is organized in the Greek and organizes the word that inspired the seventh planet in our solar system.
You are in this seventh planet from the sun and get it means to be up in a way, the idea of heaven. While at orientation, we find throughout the Bible. Here's a few examples. Deuteronomy 26 verse 15 listen to how the Israelites were to pray they would say look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the land that you have given to us down from heaven and ask chapter 1 verse 11.
The disciples stood and watched Jesus. Their mouths were hanging open as Jesus ascended over the look up an angel finally had a common say you men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven.
This same Jesus was taken a lot from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you see them going to heaven.
Ephesians 4 verse 10 he who descended came from heaven, the incarnation is also the one who asked ascended far above all the heaven the rapture of the church.
The combination of Jesus coming down and those who are on the earth going up first Thessalonians, for the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first and then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, thus we shall always be with the Lord in this orientation continues all the way through to the very end when in the eternal state.
We see the new Jerusalem.
Revelation 21 verse two says I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. So heaven is is up called up in the Bible how far up.
Well here's a clue. In Psalm eight you have set your glory above the heavens above the troposphere above the atmosphere above the stratosphere above the mesosphere above the XO sphere ionosphere.
Whatever you sphere out and beyond all of that out and up his heaven searcher glory above the heavens know let's just take a little imaginary journey to just play with us last night if he saw the moon pretty beautiful. It's not quite follow it's it's a waning gibbous. It's called about 90% full but is pretty big in the sky. The moon is about 200,000 miles from us, give or take a few. You could actually walk to the moon.
There was a bridge to the moon you can make it at about 27 years. If you went 24 miles a day on foot you can walk 24 miles a day get them 27 years 20,000 miles.
However, if you could go up toward the moon at the speed of light make their 1.5 second but you got me going hundred and 86,000 mi./s. Second, you go to the moon that Skip the message from the series from the edge of eternity.
We want to share about an exciting resource that tells a compelling story explores affairs in the Middle East here Skip with jewelry is about this month's offer Joel's book Jerusalem assassin Joel Rosenberg releases a new book. I can't wait to read it. He never disappoints. Recently, I was able to talk with Joel about this book from his home in Jerusalem, and American president who's about to roll out his Middle East peace Joel Rosenberg's novels are dramatic stories from the reality of today's hand have a savvy Israeli peace can be huge. That will be historic.
Let's do a summit in Jerusalem Jerusalem assassin. What's amazing about that is this is a plausible scenario for Jerusalem assassin by Joel Rosenberg is our special offer. This month your hardcover copy of the Jerusalem assassin is our thinking gift you give $35 or more today to help expand this vital teaching outreach with Skip so now to get your copy 800-922-1888.
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