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August 27, 2020 2:00 am
The most important thing about heaven is who will be there. In the message "A Sneak Peek Into What's Up There," Skip shares about how you'll be able to see and experience the full glory of God in heaven.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
I know that we enjoy a certain level of fellowship with God. Now we call it a personal relationship with God. But you don't see him now.
You don't hear him audibly.
I know Jesus said were two or three gather my name.
I'm in the midst I know that I know that he said, behold, I'm with you always, even to the end of the age.
I know that is very different right now that will be right now it's very limited. All said first Corinthians 13 we see through a last darkly, but then we will see how face-to-face you ever wondered what heaven will be like connect with Skip I think today as he shares what you can expect to experience when you get there, including a special kind of fellowship with God right now want to tell you about a resource that tells a compelling story and explores affairs in the Middle East here. Skip with Joel Rosenberg to talk about this month's offer Joel's book the Jerusalem assassin Joel Rosenberg releases a new book. I can't wait to read it.
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Recently, I was able to talk with Joel about this book from his home in Jerusalem is about an American president who's about to roll out his Middle East peace Joel Rosenberg's novels are traumatic stories from the reality of today's headlines have a Saudi Israeli peace plan would be huge. That will be historic 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 Bible teaching outreach with Skip so call now to get your copy 800-922-1888. Give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. I hope you will order your copy of the Jerusalem assassin by Joel Rosenberg get a behind-the-scenes look at global events and you will be supporting. That's 809 two 288 online securely connectwithskip.com/offer opportunities to check we're in Revelation chapter 4.
When we say that God dwells in heaven, we don't mean that heaven contains God says that heaven is the unique place of his habitation.
It's uniquely his home its home base its HQ headquarters at 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 mouse into the mix.
This will be important later on. I want to confuse you but I'll throw them, 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 away. So what is that mean to us practically means your home can be gone. Calvary of Albuquerque be gone.
United States gone. Emily is gone.
Swiss Alps gone and so God can make new things in the future a new earth zipped out of 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 lots question I'll answer in the next few weeks I will leave you hanging a little bit this morning. So 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 back in the Bible.
That's always the orientation when speaking of heaven, it's up our word heaven the original word comes is 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 any 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 shut my team sure my name, same connotation, it means the heights topographically.
The place that is higher than the rest. In the New Testament the word heaven is or an office in the Greek and organizes the word that inspired the seventh planet in our solar system.
Uranus seventh planet from the sun again. 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. Look down from heaven and ask chapter 1 verse 11. The disciples stood and watched Jesus as their mouths were hanging open as Jesus ascended over the looking up an angel finally had to compensate you men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven. The same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you seen 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 to 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 about the XO sphere ionosphere. Whatever you sphere out and beyond all of that out and up his heaven researcher 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, 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 if 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 there in 27 years 20,000 mile. However, if you could go up toward the moon at the speed of light.
You make it there.
1.5 seconds, but you gotta be going hundred 86,000 mi./s, one half seconds you go up, go to the moon if you kept going up, you can make it to Venus in two minutes and 18 seconds going the speed of light. You can make it to Mercury in 4 1/2 minutes. You could go to Jupiter and 35 minutes and 18 seconds you go by Saturn keep going up up up in one hour and 11 seconds you go by Pluto four hours it's going the speed of light.
If you Going up, up, up, out, out, out, and made it to the nearest neighbor*Alpha Centauri. It would take you 4.3 years going the speed of light 4.3 ly away from the earth and if you were to go through your galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy going the speed of light.
Get this, it would take you 100,000 years to go from one end to the other end of just your galaxy. And once you get to the other end of your galaxy. You haven't even made it out of the front yard because scientists say there are as many as one source suggests 500 billion more galaxies so how long does it take to get to heaven.
It's that far up how far instantly right to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord Jesus didn't tell the thief on the cross and hundred billion years will be with me in paradise. Today, you'll be with me in paradise. So I understand that perhaps it's a bit naïve and erroneous to start measuring the third heaven distances like this because it's in a whole different dimension, but in the very least, when we say heaven is up, we mean it's up above the commonplace experiences of the earth, the commonplace conditions of the earth. It's up is the orientation. Notice how John was there, he said. Immediately I was in this spirit, and behold, a throne so he was transported to heaven by the spirit could mean that it could mean I was in a spiritual ecstatic state could mean that could also be a clue to the believers condition in heaven prior to the bodily resurrection there in spirit experiencing all of these things. Some else to notice before we remove this tour to close notice when John was taken to heaven which is John. There's is no suitcase to John pack it in think I can I take my laptop myself always want text a few people made a cup of Starbucks with our notes going on up in heaven is just John is no baggage I say that because it's true. You can't take it with you naked I came into the world. Job said make it I will leave you can't take anything with you all of the preparations. All that you do for heaven are done here and when that time comes, you go alone is why Jesus said don't store up for yourselves treasures on earth, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, you can start storing them up now so there there when you get there all right. Let's go to the third and final section of this today. Heaven is real. It's a real place.
Heaven is a relative position is always up in the Scripture.
The third thing I want you to notice is that heaven highlights a remarkable person. This is to me the greatest thing about have verse two immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, whenever you read behold means it's like saying wow. Check this out.
Behold, a throne set in heaven and one sat on the throne and he who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance and there was a rainbow around the throne and the appearance of an emerald.
What's the first thing to catch John's. I get sick throne. By the way work throne is mentioned in chapter 4 alone 13×12 times of refers to God's throne we we see that were don't think of a piece of furniture as much as a symbol of authority for the one who sits on this is home base for goddesses headquarters. This is where he exercises his sovereignty from his throne know what I'd like to get you to do in your thinking is not to think of heaven so much as a place though it is a place know it's a real place, I'd like you to start thinking of having more in terms not of a place, but of personalities, but let me give an example is a little booklet by Don Baker. It's just simply called heaven. Here's his experience, he writes I've always been fascinated with heaven when I was younger, though I thought of heaven only as a great shining city with vast walls and magnificent domes and soaring spires and with nobody in it, but white robed angels who were total strangers to me and then my beloved pastor died and then my grandfather died and then my father died and then my son died and then my father-in-law died and then one by one, my dear friends began dying three of them this past week.
He continues to write heaven is no longer walls and domes and spires with people.
People who are loved and missed people who are precious in his face as I long to see heaven is like home. In many respects, it's not what we have in our home that makes it precious, but whom that's how I like you to think about heaven in terms of not what, but whom in the ultimate whom is God himself. Folks listen. The main attraction in heaven will be God. That's what gets John's attention.
He sees the throne, and one who sat on so though you will be in heaven. If you trust Christ if he is your Savior. If not, you won't be but if you do, he will you will be, but it's not just you and heaven saw just about the people you know and heaven is not just about our your pets in heaven. The real big main attraction central focus of heaven to be God, heaven, supreme delight will be on broken fellowship with God real fellowship, listen to Revelation 21 verse three as I read it to you. Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people sexing God lives in the neighborhood. This house is right here, right down the street he's with us. John continues, God himself will be with them and he will be their God of the word dwell skating now in the Greek means to pitch a tent to pitch a tent.
The ideas to hang out with the ideas to enjoy the company of fellowship. Now I know I know that we enjoy a certain level of fellowship with God. Now we call that a personal relationship with God. But you don't see him now. You don't hear him audibly. Now I know Jesus said were two or three gather my name. I'm in their midst. I know that I know that he said, behold, I'm with you always, even to the end of the age. I know that it's very different right now that it will be right now it's very limited. As Paul said in first Corinthians 13 we see through a glass darkly, but then we will see how face-to-face face-to-face to see right now, when you pray something like our father in heaven but you won't praying like that then you won't even be praying you'll be in heaven.
It's like right there father right there right now we say wife I hear God's speaking to me he spoke to me this morning, sometimes not sure was a God's voice was at my mother's tape splaying was that what was that no mistake in heaven you'll hear you look you'll see and will be face-to-face.
Revelation 22 the throne of God and the Lamb are in it and they shall see his face to see how different that experience will be than this one. We live by faith. The Bible says right now, not by sight, not in heaven you would by sight, not by faith, full fellowship on broken eternal fellowship now will briefly notice. John then goes on to describe God and it's an interesting description because he says nothing of this form. Nothing of his features just describes God in terms of what he knows on the earth.
The jams that are so brilliant and resplendent satellite show.
He is sat there was like a jasper, what's that like some like the modern jasper which is a bit clouded in the little green the ancient jasper, we believe was crystal clear. Probably what John saw was a diamond refracting all the brilliant colors of the rainbow. That's the clearest jam we have and back in Revelation 21. The word jasper is using is what it says. I saw Jasper as clear as crystal.
So you probably saw this brilliant diamond like appearance of God.
Second, and like a sardius stone sardius stone is Ruby red baby would be better to say was blood red. Most theologians will say this infers the redemptive nature of God.
The blood that was shed to get people to heaven providing sacrifice for sin.
Then I saw a rainbow like an emerald a rainbow dominated by a green hue.
So think of it. John gets to heaven, and he sees a throne and it's like out ultimate light show the ultimate light. If you have never heard of this term and throw it out.
Some of you have heard of it.
If you read some theology books theologians call this some do the beatific vision and if you've ever heard the term the beatific vision and the beatific vision was an old theological term that describes direct contact with God.
It's the definition of it is is those in heaven beholding God or perceiving God face-to-face be able to see and hear the beatific vision. Thomas Aquinas said the beatific vision is the ultimate experience of any human being that Charles Spurgeon himself. I preached a sermon entitled the beatific vision.
Here's a snippet the things for which I pray above all others would be for ever to behold his face for ever to know that I am his forever to dwell with him.
Yes, one short glimpse one transitory vision of his glory. One brief glance at his exalted and beaming countenance would repay almost the whole world of trouble, like all the bad stuff you see God site who cares, it's gone in an instant to Spurgeon so it's safe to say that heaven will display the glory of God.
And I mean fully display the glory for 100% uncut, unedited, take your breath away while seeing the glory of God.
And here's what I want to end with this glorious brilliant sovereign resplendent being the John sees he's your father he's your father. Jesus said in my father's house at seven are many mansions as your father. You have a relationship with the glorious all-consuming one is your father. You live in a God's house to be moving in with him, and noticed something about your father to have a lot of kids in his house.
Lot of us children running around in heaven, but that doesn't mean heaven is to be impersonal God is like a busy dad got all day home late at night never sees his kids absent father. Even though heaven is real in heaven is big, that will not take any of the intimacy away from it. The Bible often will describe heaven is that intimate, face-to-face closeness with God and friends, folks, I don't think were African to get tired of it will ever get used to it will ever be in heaven. After a couple thousand years.
Think whether this got things get a little old now. Been a long time is anything else as the Bible describes heaven is always new behold I make all things new. It's a continual idea. So this is his kingdom. This is the Masters kingdom slot better than the magic kingdom better than a memory better than any ticket in Disneyland. If you can remember that far back.
This is the kingdom of the Lamb.
It's a lot better than the kingdom of the mouse is the kingdom, your father has prepared for you now understand this, God's purpose in creating you to get to their get to their the way that he gets you there.
The only way to get there this and by making up heaven.
What you wanted to be your being a good person are making up your own way to get there is only one way to get there has to be God's way is it's his heaven to his house. You can just decide to go there unless he invites you and he has invited you, and the provision is made for you to get there is for you to just simply believe in his son receive his son as the payment for your sin as your Savior as your Lord and you get to heaven if you haven't done that I want today to be the day you do that you haven't done that.
I don't care if you race religiously.
If you haven't made personally price your Savior. You make that decision today that wraps up Skip Heitzigs message from his series from the edge of eternity you Skip to share how you can help this broadcast going strong connecting with people like you to God's truth. God sent his only son to die on a cross for our sins, just so we could be with him forever. That shows us just how amazing his love and grace really is.
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