TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Revelation 21:1 – 22:5
BOTTOM LINE: Heaven is going to be INCREDIBLE! But not everyone is going to get to HEAVEN!
QUESTION: Are we praying and living w/ an Urgency for those who will not experience Heaven and all it’s Glory when Jesus comes again?
Written in this style of Apocalyptic Literature… which was popular in his time … Revelation is really a word of HOPE addressed to Christians under Persecution.
It’s almost like John’s saying, Hang in there! Yes, things are tough, and they’re likely to get worse before they get better. But The GOOD NEWS is God’s in Charge, and God WILL have the last word!
So be Brave! Keep the Faith! Never lose sight of the Vision for which we strive … The Kingdom of God on Earth!
It’s this really powerful Lens and Picture to sort of imagine ourselves huddled together w/ a small group of other Christians … maybe in a home somewhere, or some sort of remote Hideout… and reading John’s words here and picturing this VISION that he casts as he writes.
Most of the OT passages picture a time of great blessing on earth … referring to the 1,000 year reign of our Lord … which precedes this last great event, and there’s very little said at all in the OT about Heaven.
But here it is, in these chapters, following the Great White Throne Judgment in chapter 20…John sees an entirely new Creation spring into being.
- We Don’t Go to Heaven so much as It Comes to Us.
- Heaven Should be Thought of More in Terms of a PERSON than a PLACE.
- Heaven is a God-Like Place.
- Heaven is a Unique Combination of Some Things Very Old … and Others Entirely New.
- Heaven will be the Place Where We Will Be Reunited with Loved Ones in the Lord, from Whom we Were Separated by Death.
- While Heaven is a Place of Rest, It Is NOT an Existence Characterized by In-Activity.
That’s a little about what Heaven is Like. I want to warp up today and at least mention a few of the different Misconceptions about the Heaven that might be out there too.
- Heaven can be our Present Experience.
- Christians, who can become so Heavenly Minded that they are No Earthly Good.
- Do You Go to Heaven if You Commit Suicide?
So, How do we Respond to the complete package of Heaven and ultimately … what do we do?
Future events are always foretold in order to bring about changes in our Present, and one of the things Heaven brings is this offer.
We have to remember this … we can’t somehow leave this impression that the Joys of Heaven are assured for all people! In this last 3 chapters of Revelation … we see this constant contrast of the True Believer and the Un-Believer… people who reject Christ will not spend eternity w/ God.
John’s telling us Life and Death are at stake. Heaven is going to be INCREDIBLE! But not everyone is going to get to HEAVEN!
Let’s be praying fervently this week: God, open doors for invitations! Open hearts for Your Love to penetrate their life, and we’ll trust You w/ the results!