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September 18, 2020 2:00 am
A lot of people think heaven will be boring, but that isn't what the Bible teaches. In the message "Future Town, Part 2," Skip shares about the fascinating things we'll be doing in heaven and what kind of people will be there.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
The whole idea and separation of sacred versus secular is gone and everything we do is worship every activity is worship. I love that because that's what God intended life.
I believe I told you before, one of my favorite movies is chariots of fire Eric little discovers that even running a race can be a satisfying and he believed the calling of God as much as being a missionary in China and that famous phrase in the movie where he says and when I run. I feel his pleasure that many people want to simplify their lives in such a hectic and chaotic world, it seems impossible today on connect with skip-Skip gives you some encouragement about how to simplify your life is hectic and chaotic to let you know about a resource that helps you overcome life obstacles to pursue the life and opportunities God has for I've enjoyed watching the growth in the ministry of my friend Levi Lesko this month's connect with Skip resource.
Take back your life book by Levi Lesko as Levi did tell you about it's all around this idea taking back your life at the 40 day interactive journey thinking right so you can live right is going to be really powerful and special. I think some people to have this bellies in hardcover, which just makes me happy because I never had a booklist hardcover but has a ribbon so you really keep track of your progress through these 40 days. It would be in a car will get to someone who is looking to grow in their faith or for any of us you want to maybe conduit will change for your heart check up on on your wellness where you're at it all deal with internal difficulties and help you deal better with external circumstances that are challenging as we explore how we can get to the very best version of ourselves that we are meant to be the book take back your life with a donation of $35 to connect with Skip call 1-800-922-1888 online and connectwithskip.com this hardcover book by Levi Lesko will help you take back your life. It's a 40 day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right 1-800-922-1888 Revelation chapter 21 so much joy. I have a friend who lost a son recently when I was with them. You know what I read nighttime.
I hate it when it's dark because your thoughts are focused are not distracted by visible things in this world that is shown by light is to be no night there because the glory of God permeates that place.
God's majesty do you remember when Jesus in John 17 prayed that prayer and part of it is what he said. Father, glorify me with the glory that I had with you before the world was part of the prayer. Glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world was.
This is the answer to that prayer there together there glorified in its radiant it's brilliant. It's my just happened will display the glory of God gives us a little insight actually into the incarnation.
I just want you to follow me here for a moment think of what Jesus gave up to come to this earth for 33 years to get this up so when you pray, glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world was think about that. He gave all of this up to come here to be rejected, scorned, misunderstood, beaten, crucified, so that you and I could be in heaven with him forever. That's amazing.
Charles Wesley wrote a song we sing it every Christmas. Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
There's a little phrase in that song goes like this failed in flesh the Godhead see hail incarnate deity, pleased as man with man to dwell.
Jesus, our Emmanuelle it's it's picking up on this thought here is God in all of this splendor and glory, but failed by human flesh. Every now and then while Jesus was on earth you could see through the veil, you could peek at the glory. For instance, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter and James and John who wrote Revelation were there and it says in Matthew 17 he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun. His clothes became as white as the light. What was that all about.
That my friends is a preview of coming attractions. That was the trailer to this movie what they saw is what ultimately it will be like in the kingdom. Brilliant bright resplendent light of the glory of God. I've heard people say it was a miracle that Jesus shine.
Listen the greatest miracles he did shine all the time but it was failed. Just every now and then the disciples were able to see into so heaven will display its call at the unedited widescreen version of the glory of God the take your breath away.
How glory of God.
So majesty is a condition third condition I want to draw your attention to his activity. Activity number knocking to go through all these verses again but I'm just to point out a couple things.
A big question people have is okay so like what are we going to do in heaven. We covered this before, in part, like we talked about in the millennium but will do what positions will be like how will help administrate now this is this is forever. That's gone.
This is now the eternal state. What we can do like forever that worry some people as I as I work my way through the taxes a few words that pop out verse 24 chapter 21 the boardwalk were to walk the move were working to be going places probably in and out of that city may be exploring the new earth or the new heaven. Verse 26 were gonna walk and bring honor and glory into it. That's the idea. Praise and worship, which we talked about before verse three of chapter 22.
Serve as another verb. It's an action that's what will be doing will be serving him. In verse five will be raining so here's four action words that describe actions that will be doing forever.
This is just a small sampling of it but helps answer the question David head wrote an honest prayer to God. He said Lord I been active all my life. This idea of eternal rest frightens me. The beatific something or other that they talk about in sermons doesn't mean a thing to me. I shall be thoroughly miserable if all I have to do is gaze and gaze and gaze. Isn't there anything to do in heaven to question answer that we the last stuff to do in heaven. Did you know that there was an elderly gentleman. True story I read about it this week elderly gentleman using a rest home and was talking to one of the workers there younger gal. She was a Christian she been a Christian a lot longer and the old guy said we can have fun in heaven and she said oh no no and she said it like that. Like she was even dismayed that he asked the question like what you kidding me in heaven think we can have fun there said oh no, and sadly that so many people suppose heaven would be like what is be bored to tears like the little boy was talking to his buddy and his buddy said it what's heaven like a little boy said oh it's boring.
It's a lot like church only longer. It's it's it's funny to me. I've observed something I've observed that some people fancy themselves as fun-loving people.
But God is a cosmic killjoy and if you listen to them. It's like yeah I'm really finding that life is cool with me but you know it's like they're saying the worst thing that could possibly happen to you is that you become a Christian is and suddenly lose joy. I was in line one time and never forget this is only a few blocks away from here.
I was in line and there's a lady in front of me. She turned around and we have a conversation. He said will you do. I said I'm a pastor. She took a step back and seriously she said why just like that, why like oh I'm so sorry you couldn't get a real job. Could you know what the Bible speaks of the Christian life as London life and heaven is described as a place of abundant joy, fun exhilaration.
Psalm 16. Here's a hint in your presence is fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures for evermore joy pleasures.
I was that possible because they'll be many activities go to just a few that we saw when a walk together to be moving, interacting, walking together means we have to put up with each other forever, but working to be in resurrected redeemed bodies will be able to handle it within a worship together. Revelation 5 we saw that already. Chapter 4 and five, and we see it here hinted at. Is there bringing glory and honor into it and I'll remind you if you're not a singer. Now if your tone deaf.
Now don't worry your days, number three to serve God.
Verse three of chapter 22, they shall serve him. I like this.
I like the thought that part of eternity and part of eternity's worship is doing his part of it is doing this part of our worship were serving, we get to do stuff for the king as his servants. I love that because here's a thought the whole idea and separation of sacred versus secular is gone and everything we do is worship every activity is worship. I love that because that's how God intended life. I believe I told you before, one of my favorite movies as chariots of fire were Eric little discovers that even running a race can be a satisfying and he believed the calling of God is much as being a missionary in China and that famous phrase in the movie where he says and when I do run. I feel his pleasure that he discovered that all of life can be done to the glory of God. All of it can be worshipful within a feel immense pleasure in serving God in a variety of actions know what those actions are were not told been saving to serve in this way, or in capacity decisional servant to be wonderful. Some people honestly didn't get this and his wife.
The idea of heaven includes work or service doesn't set well with people in my life.
I thought about this. I think it's people who hate their jobs feel this way, like me, and I have flight work in heaven. I feel like serve in heaven. And it's because in our Western culture. Our work ethic says we work hard all our lives and the reward for that is called retirement. Yet we take like a long vacation, so we think heaven and must be just as long.
Eternal vacation will God's idea of rewarding you is more service opportunities to serve him and know what you'll love it.
You'll love it. Here's 1/4 condition of the eternal city and its diversity. I want to show you this, to me it's beautiful. Verse 24 of chapter 21 and the nations look at that word grab that word and the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it. Then in chapter 22 verse two it mentions this tree that is for the healing of the nations same word now is what I want to point out the word nations is FNA in the Greek ethnic means ethnic groups and the ethnic groups who are saved will walk in its light. Typically it's a New Testament word that is most often translated as Gentiles non-Jewish people Gentiles, the nations, but the point here is that heaven is not just for one little group of people.
It's for whosoever will let them come invitations wide open and there will be people from every tribe and every tongue, every kindred, we know that Revelation 5 verse nine.
One of the things you're going to sing. In fact, I like to tell people memorize these lyrics because this can be part of your eternal song for you have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And again. Revelation 7 verse nine John said I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb is What your point. Here's my point.
All of the cultural variety that we enjoy now from all over the world will not be lost in heaven there will be redeemed resurrected people but were not all the same were not amorphous were not blended into one kind of same entity. We will have distinctions, I believe, just as Jesus when he rose from the dead was still a Jewish male in his resurrected form. Think what is to be like in heaven to see aborigines from Australia must sigh from Kenya Moldovan's Peruvians Sudanese Navajo all gathered around saved from all of those cultures worshiping Jesus Christ all the nations gathered together.
I love this because frankly today Jerusalem is a divided city a contentious city, new Jerusalem will be united and multiracial and multicultural and ethnic distinctions and we won't resist those differences will enjoy them. Here's God's creativity and all the different kinds of people that he made will enjoy that. The fifth and final thing I want you to notice condition of the eternal city is what I called vitality vitality. Look at the 22nd chapter, and he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal. Think of it unpolluted glimmering shining proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street, and on either side of the river was the tree of life, which bore 12 fruits in each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. This is Main Street. Every City Has Its Main Ave., Main Street. This is Main Street heaven and it's a garden like environment to screen flanked by a river.
The fountainhead of the river is the throne. That's why some commentators don't see heaven as a cubit is a pyramid or a prism were at the very top you have the throne of God and cascading outward and downward. Is this river of life.
I don't know which it is hugs take a wait-and-see approach. Either way, it looks pretty cool just from this description there is a great Psalm Psalm 46 that interfaces dovetails beautifully with this as part of David said there is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, for God is in her midst, but here we see the city, the new city of Jerusalem and part of it is this beautiful garden, like paradise without river running through it. Beautiful trees and it it brings us back. I hope in our minds to the original garden of Eden. The original paradise when it was a river running through it that the movie the garden and it branched off into four rivers that watered the garden and so like that original paradise heaven is reminiscent of that. Even the tree of life is that paradise do you remember when Jesus was on the cross and that that one a criminal, trusted in him.
And Jesus said today you will be with me and what paradise you know the word he used the Aramaic term translated the Greek comes from a Persian word that literally means a walled garden today. You'll be with me in paradise. The meaning a walled garden. Here's a there's a beautiful picture of heaven the city with walls and gates in the garden paradise. The tenant now I'll just say this, there's not a C right in the new heaven and new earth's notion that there is no see there's no hydrological cycle right so that means that this river is not replenished by rainfall the come from a hydrological cycle that comes from having to see so I'm just throwing that out because people. How could there be a river. I don't know God can figure that out the obviously the source of its replenishment of that is needed is God himself. Proceeds from the throne is replenished by him. Look at verse two it says in the middle of its street, and on either side of the river was a tree of life linguistically. This is an awkward sentence fact is I describe mosey my way through it make sense of it.
I have difficulty why discovered the word Street us out of really great translation literally at half in the middle of its path and on either side of the river. So here's just how I'm picturing this river. Okay, this is me.
I'm picturing a river and in the middle of the river and island path so that essentially you have two forks are two streams with a landmass in the middle and then flanked by the banks on either side in the middle is this tree of life which is large and covers both sides and extends on both side, beautiful eternal river notice, though, it says the leaves are for the healing of the nations this this poses a problem to some as a read this and they say why do the nations need healing up. There is no curse right that would be a problem again this work. Translation helps the best rendering of that isn't healing, or healing, in the sense of her somebody sick the need to take some medicine to get better.
The word is there a payout therapy's well-being or therapy or vitality so summerlike nations are sick because there's no doubt there's no pain there's no sorrow. There's no tears says the first part of Revelation 21. Why because it says here there's no curse and so that the nations don't need to be healed of any curse that's gone. It's simply therapy for their vitality or well-being. Whatever's inner on these leaves is simply to enrich life to enhance life.
Look at it like supernatural vitamins people to take vitamins because they're sick and they want to get better just enriches their lives for the healing of the nations so the Bible opens with the garden.
The Bible closes the garden. The Bible opens with paradise lost. The Bible closes with paradise regained. The Bible opens with man banished from the tree of life. The Bible closes with people invited to partake of the tree of life, closer this thought you think about it the whole history of the world hinges on three trees. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life, both in Genesis 2 and the third is the tree in which Jesus Christ was hung on Calvary's hill 2000 years ago the first tree took away man's spiritual life right in the day that you eat thereof, you will surely die man died spiritually that day we took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The second tree. The tree of life threaten to keep man in that separated condition forever if they were either that's why the cherubim said you not to touch the tree of life will forever be in this condition, but the third tree.
The tree the Jesus hung on on Calvary makes it possible to have life restored again all of that to say this, you know that forever and ever and ever in heaven.
We can always be looking back to that tree of Calvary as well as this tree of life, because the only reason were in heaven is because of what Jesus did for us. So how is it that were always there to be looking back to that tree because Jesus is called what here the Lamb that sacrificial language. John said, behold the Lamb that was slain or the Lamb of God, it takes away the sins of the world. In Revelation 4 John Turner five and he said I saw a Lamb as though it had been slain, it's Christ. So, forever and ever looking to be always grateful for the fact that were in heaven because of what the Lamb did for us on that tree, which gave us access here to this tree of life. William Barclay puts it this way, the cross is the proof that there is no length to which the love of God will refuse to go to win men's hearts. If the cross will not awaken love and wonder in men's hearts. Nothing will know what, that's so true. If your heart is not awaken by the thought that Jesus left this glory to come to planet Earth for 33 years. He gave that up so that we could be saved if that doesn't awaken love and response in your heart. Nothing will. God loves you, loves you enough to make it possible for you and everyone else was ever live if they trust in Christ to get to have, but he will make you go to if you want to go. You have to want to go there is provided a way for you then conclude Scripture text message from his series from the edge of eternity you Skip to share how you can keep these messages going strong people to Scripture living as a citizen of heaven and earth can be tricky. That's why every single believer needs God's word to guide and that's why we make these Bible teachings available to you to connect you with the uplifting truths of Scripture but your help is critical to keeping them on the air in your generous support means that we can keep going strong for years to come. Here's how you can give right now.
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