Week 2, What we will be like in Heaven
2 Corinthians 5:9
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
“Joy is the business of heaven.” – C.S. Lewis
1. PROVIDING CLARITY
Last week we discussed several key things about Heaven…
But one thing was unclear…during questions I mentioned that there is a parable the seems to teach that people in heaven can see earth and hell. But then I added I don’t think that is true. I must not have been clear…I am sorry…to be clear. I don’t believe you can see earth or hell from Heaven. But check it out for yourself, (Luke 16:19-31)
VIDEO Heaven is for Real, Trailer.
Just some things to think about
II. THE HEAVENLY PROCESS
Heaven is Where we fix our gaze
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
We have an Eternal Perspective. 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. We endure whatever the world has to give because we know it causes that we shall have a greater weight of glory in the eternity to come. We keep our focus on that.
2) HEAVEN IS What Happens when we Die
1. We will be given Heavenly Bodies Made by God, 2 Cor 5:1
1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We have another life. We have another form, another house. Now our earthly tent is in the process of being torn down. Is it not? Sure. Somebody asked John Quincy Adams one time how he was. He gave an interesting reply. He said, “John Quincy Adams is well, sir, very well. The house in which he has been living is dilapidated and old and he has received word from its maker that he must vacate soon. But, John Quincy Adams is well sir, very well.”
Well, that’s just how it is. The outer man is decaying all the time and the earthly tent is being torn down and when that’s gone, we know we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…in the heavens. So we look to heaven where we will have that eternal weight of glory, that new house from God.
2. We will long for our New Bodies, 2 Cor 5:2
2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
He says, verse 2, “We grow weary in our present bodies…For indeed in this house we groan.” We groan in this house. I know we do. You do, I do, we all do. We groan because of the infirmities of our physical being. We groan because of the sin that reigns, as it were, in our flesh. We groan because we cannot be what we ought to be and do what we ought to do. We’re debilitated continuously in this human form and so we groan along with all the rest of creation as Romans 8 says, groan…waiting for the glorious manifestation of the sons of God, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven. We want our heavenly body.
3. Our Spirit’s will have Homes, 2 Cor 5:3
3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.
4. Death will be Swallowed Up by Life, 2 Cor 5:4
4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.
Why do you want that, Paul? Why are you so anxious to not be unclothed but clothed with that eternal body? Verse 4, “For indeed while we are in this tent we groan, we are burdened,”burdened by sin, burdened by sickness, burdened by death, burdened by tears and sorrow and sadness and pain and all the rest. We do not want to be unclothed. In other words, it’s not enough just for us to have our spirits go into the presence of God, we want our bodies as well. We want to be clothed in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
So God prepared us for this purpose and
5. God Prepared us for Heaven, 2 Cor 5:5a
5 God himself has prepared us for this…
gave us the Holy Spirit as the Promise!
6. The Holy Spirit is our Guarantee, 2 Cor 5:5b
…and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
7. Away from the Body, is at Home with the Lord, 2 Cor 5:6-9
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
Now can you say that? I mean, that’s a pretty tough statement. Can you say that the deepest desire of your heart is to be absent from the body and present with the Lord? And that’s hard for us to say because we hold so tightly to this life because it’s all we know. And because we experience love and the meaningful relationships that life brings to us, we become captive to this life. But we need to be transcendent. And my purpose, I trust in God’s grace is that our study heaven, loosens us all up a little bit in terms of our holding so tightly to this life. Imagine saying, “I prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” Notice the phrase “at home with the Lord.” That’s home for us with the Lord, that’s our home, that’s where we belong. As I said last Sunday, everything we love is there, our Father is there, our Savior is there, our brothers and sisters are there, our name is there, our inheritance is there, our citizenship is there, reward is there and our treasure is there. That’s our home and we long to go home.
Okay one more, now the two points we just made from the Bible One about fixing our gaze on Heaven, not on these earthly troubles and and the Second point was about our Heavenly Abode. Our bodies our Home. Okay, but point three is really only for those who are on earth when Jesus comes…well at least mostly!!!! Let’s look
3. HEAVEN IS OUR HOME FOREVER
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Jesus will Descend from Heaven at the Angels Cry
The Dead with Rise with Christ
Those who are Alive will Meet Christ and the Dead in the Air.
Both Groups will be with Christ forever!
I. Walking Through the Bible about Heaven
1. Heaven is God’s Home. Now let me give you a little bit of a quick trip through Matthew, just to kind of solidify some of the theology we talked about last week and this week. All right? Open your Bible to Matthew 5:16 and let me see if I can nail some thoughts down and show you how important a thought it is in the New Testament. Now please follow, Matthew 5:16, get your Bible ready and see if you can’t pick up the obvious trend. “let your light shine so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. ” Verse 34, “Make no oath, Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne.” Verse 45, “You will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.” Chapter 6 verse 1, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them, …for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Verse 9, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name…” Chapter 7 verse 11, “how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts…” Verse 21, “Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven…”
Jesus keeps repeating this. Chapter 10 verse 32, “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Chapter 12 verse 50, “Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven…, he is My brother and sister and mother.” And over in chapter 16 and even in verse 17 there, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but My Father who is in heaven.” Chapter 18 verse 10, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, a believer, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven.” Verse 14, “Thus it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” Verse 19, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they may ask, it will be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” Verse 35, “So shall My heavenly Father also do to you.”
Now you get the feeling that Jesus wants us to understand that God’s in heaven, don’t you? Over and over and over He repeats it.
2. Heaven is Where Jesus Came From (WORD SEARCH FROM JOHN 6)
In the sixth chapter of John in identifying God and heaven, Jesus says in verse John 6: 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Obviously the one who came from heaven was the Lord Jesus Christ, again indicating that that was the place where God dwelt. Verse 38, For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.” Verse 41, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” Verse 42, “I have come down from heaven.” Verse 50, “This is the bread that comes down out of heaven.” Verse 51, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven.” Verse 58, “This is the bread which came down out of heaven.”
Now what I want you to understand is that heaven is a place and God lives there and Christ came from there. It is not a figment of imagination, it is not a feeling, it is not an emotion, it is a place. It is God’s place. It is the place where God lives. In fact, now watch this thought, it is so much God’s place, follow this, this is a key to interpreting the New Testament, it is so much God’s place that heaven became a synonym for God. And you find that in the New Testament.
3. Heaven is a ‘Synonym’ for God
Let me show you it. There are several illustrations, I’ll just give you one or two. In Matthew 23:22 it says…and Jesus speaking, “And when you swear ‘by heaven,’ you are swearing by the throne of God and by God, who sits on the throne.” Heaven there is synonymous with God. You swear by heaven, you’re swearing by God. They’re really one and the same. Heaven is the place where God is and it is so much His place that you can refer to one or the other and mean both.
In Luke 15 verse 7, “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God…,” what does that mean? Joy on the part of God. Verse 18, I love this, “I will…the prodigal son comes back, Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.?…heaven.” What does he mean? I’ve sinned against God.
Now listen carefully. Whenever the Scripture refers to the Kingdom of Heaven, what does it mean? Kingdom of God. It’s just another way to express God. You say, “Well, why did they substitute the word `heaven’ for God?” It’s interesting to note that. The New Testament writers are not necessarily bound by that, they’ll refer to the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus refers to the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, but they mean one and the same.
Kingdom of God = Kingdom of Heaven
WORD ON OFFERING