A Biblical View Of The End Times #10
A GLIMPSE OF A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN
Intro: An elderly preacher had always secretly dreaded
death and was powerless to console others who were
facing that prospect. Eventually he moved from the area
where he had lived and ministered for most of his adult
life. When all the furniture and boxes had been placed
in the van, he lingered in the home where his children
had been born and where he had enjoyed so many
blessed hours of communion with the Lord. Just then
an intimate acquaintance, who had been helping with
the packing, came and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Pastor," he said, "come with us; your new home is
better than this one." The man didn't know it at the
time, but he had preached a powerful "sermon" to his
friend. His words caused the minister to see that his
home in Heaven would be far superior to the things of
this world. After that, the pastor no longer dreaded
As we come to the end of this series of sermons
centering around the end times, I can think of no better
way to end it than to end it with a sermon about
Heaven: the blessed home of the redeemed. Thank
God, there is a blessed home waiting on the children of
God that is far better than anything we have down here.
I would like for us to join John as he records the sights
and sounds of that blessed place we call Heaven. I
would like to share some of what the Bible teaches
about this place where all of those who are saved by
the blood of Jesus will spend eternity. Let's peek
through the gates together as we catch A Glimpse Of
A Place Called Heaven.
I. V. 1-3 HEAVEN IS A GENUINE PLACE
A. A Real Place - Heaven is a as real as this place
we are in today! In fact, there are really three
heavens! That's right! First, there is the
Terrestrial Heaven - This refers to the
atmosphere of the earth and the air above us.
Then, there is the Tellestial Heaven - This is
where the stars and the planets are. Thirdly,
there is the Celestial Heaven - This is the place
where God lives. The place all the saints of God
dream about. This is the place we long to be.
This is the place we call home!
It is a real place! Paul was taken there - 2
Cor. 12:2-4; John was taken there in his vision -
Rev. 4:1-5:14. That heavenly land is as real as
New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo or Morganton. It
is a real place where a real God lives, Who will
be joined one day by those who are really saved.
Heaven is real!
B. A Resting Place - Heb. 4:3-11 - The Bible tells
us that we are "pilgrims and strangers" in this
world right now, Hebrews 11:13-16! When we
enter the gates of that city, we will have laid
down the burdens of this existence and gone to
a place of peace and rest, a perfect place where
burdens cannot follow and troubles cannot
come. When we get there, we will be home! It
is a place to rest from our labors, our cares, our
worries, our trials, everything that hindered us
here will not be welcome there! We will rest
when we get home!
C. A Residing Place - Heaven is a place where
some being make their homes. The angels live
in Heaven. In fact, every glimpse into that
country features the presence of the angelic
God the Father dwells in Heaven, Psa. 11:4;
Rev. 4:1-5:16. The redeemed of the ages will
also live in Heaven with the Lord God. The night
before Jesus went to the cross to die for the sin
of the world, He gave His disciples a glorious
promise. He told them that He was going to
prepare a place for them: a mansion in His
Father's house, John 14:1-3! When we arrive
there, we will be home in a mansion prepared
just for us by the precious Lord Jesus. We will be
I. Heaven Is A Genuine Place
II. V. 1-7; 9-26 HEAVEN IS A GLORIOUS PLACE
A. Glorious In Its Beauty - Never has there been
a city described like this city! To attempt to
describe its glories is to exhaust all the
adjectives and descriptive language known to
man. Paul must have had this in mind when he
said, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the
heart of man, the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor. 2:9.
There is no way that I can adequately describe
this city in all of its glory, but I do want to just
mention three quick thoughts.
1. Its Creation - Note the use of the phrase "I
make", v. 5. This is a city built by God
Himself. He created it! He formed it! He
furnished it! It is a city that bears the stamp
of His power and personality. He built a city
that reflects His glory. The beauty, the glory,
the wealth, and lavishness of this city are
only limited by those aspects of God Himself!
Since He knows no limits in those areas, then
this city is unlimited as well. It will be more
glorious than the mind can comprehend!
2. Its Duration - All the cities of this earth
crumble and decay. Every building made by
the hand of man must constantly be
renovated and repaired! Not Heaven! It is a
city of such construction that it will never
crumble or decay, 1 Pet. 1:4. It will never
need paint, carpet or repair. It will not need
dusting, mopping or vacuuming. It will never
be turned into a slum, or bulldozed to make
way for a mall. It will stand forever! The
perfect example of what a perfect God can
do by His great power! In fact, this city is so
filled with glory that even eternity itself will not
exhaust all that God has prepared for you
and me, Eph. 2:7.
3. Its Examination - In this chapter, John tries
to describe this city as he examined it.
Notice some of the things he tells us about
this glorious place called Heaven.
a. v. 15-17 It's Size - Ill. The city - 1,500
miles square. Possibly a cube, or a pyramid! Perhaps a sphere! Would have
a diameter larger than the moon. If it were set along the east coast, is would
stretch from the Atlantic to the Colorado,
and from the Canadian border to the Gulf
of Mexico. Ill. The Wall stands
approximately 216 feet tall. Beauty rather
than protection is the basis for the
design. Ill. Jasper everywhere! The glory
of God will radiate and be reflected from
b. v.18a The Wall - Clear Jasper.
c. v.18b The City - Pure Gold. (Ill. Pure
gold is transparent!)
d. v.19-20 The Foundations.
1. Jasper - Clear - (Ill. Icicles)
2. Sapphire - Clear Blue
3. Chalcedony - Yellowish Green
4. Emerald - Deep Green
5. Sardonyx - White with layers of red.
6. Sardius - Fiery Red
7. Chrysolyte - Golden Yellow
8. Beryl - Sea Green
9. Topaz - Greenish Yellow
10. Chrysopasus - Golden Green
11. Jacinth - Violet
12. Amethyst - Purple.
Ill. The brilliance of the glory as the light
from Jesus Christ Light and Power blazes
through the 12 foundations and is
reflected and prismed by the Jasper of the city. (Ill. The Rainbow - The City will
be a brilliant testimony to the great glory
e. v.21a The Gates - Gigantic pearls.
f. v.21b The Street - Transparent gold. Ill.
Only one street!
g. Suffice it to say that this city is far more
glorious than anything the human mind
can ever hope to comprehend. The best
thing a man can do is make the
necessary preparations and go see it for
B. Glorious In Its Blessings - While all the glories
of Heaven mark it a place unique from any other
in the universe, It isn't the physical attributes of
this city that make it so special! There are two
great truths mentioned in these verses that tell
me that Heaven is the place I am looking for.
1. V. 3, 22 The Presence Of God - According
to these two verses, and Rev. 22:3-4, when
we get to Heaven, we are going to see God
Himself! Right now, we are separated from
Him by this flesh that we wear. One day, we
will stand in His presence free from this flesh
and we will see Him in all of His glory!
In that day, we will be able to bow at the
feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One Who
willingly left Heaven above and went to the
cross for me! Friend, that will be enough for
me! I really think that everything else will
fade away when He comes into view!
2. V. 4-5 The Promise Of God - These verses
tell us the precious truth that all the things
that hinder and ruin life here will not be
allowed into that place. None of the things
that bring tears to our eyes will be there!
Even the tears themselves will be forever
banished from that land! What a glorious
future awaits the children of God!
I. Heaven Is A Genuine Place
II. Heaven Is A Glorious Place
III. v. 4-27 HEAVEN IS A GUARDED PLACE
A. Guarded For The Saved - "To an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth
not away, reserved in heaven for you,", 1 Pet.
1:4. Heaven is an exclusive place! Really, it has
been created for a select group of individuals!
Only those with the proper credentials will be
allowed within the gates of that city! In fact, the
entrance requirements are so strict that there is
only one way to get in! If anyone tries to get in
another way, they will be forever banished from
that city! There is only one Door, John 10:9,
and His name is Jesus, John 14:6.
The only way to get into Heaven is through
faith in Him! You see, the Bible says, "You must
be born again.", John 3:3; 7. This means that
you must trust Jesus and Jesus alone to save
your soul. Religion will not work. Church will not
work. Being good will not work. The only thing
that will save you is a personal relationship with
Jesus Christ, Acts 16:31. Are you saved this
morning? Are you sure that if you died today
that you would be granted access into Heaven?
If there is even the shadow of a doubt in your
mind, then I beg you in the name of Jesus,
please get that thing settled today!
B. Guarded From Sorrow - I have already touched
on this thought today, but you need to know that
nothing from this world will enter that world! In
fact, in these two chapters there is an extensive
list of "No more" things. Notice a few of them:
1. V. 1 No More Sea - Division and separation
2. V. 4 No More Sadness - Tears
3. V. 4 No More Sleep - Death
4. V. 4 No More Sorrow
5. V. 4 No More Suffering
6. V. 22 No More Sanctuary - Temples
7. V. 23 No More Sun - Not needed!
8. V. 25 No More Sundown - No night
9. 22:3 No Scourge - No curse there!
(Ill. Hallelujah! That sounds like the place I want
to go! How about you?)
(Ill. An elderly Christian lady lay dying. Her
beloved husband sat by her bedside tenderly
holding her hand. They both knew that the end
was near and that they soon would be parted.
As their eyes met, a tear flowed down the old
woman's wrinkled cheek. Gently, her husband
wiped it away. Then, with a quaver in his voice,
he said, "Thank God, Mary, that's the last!"
When ties of love are broken, tears flow
freely, and this is as it should be. But for the one
who is going to heaven, as well as for us who
remain, the parting is not final. Our hearts rest in
the assurance that one day separation and tears
will give way to unending joy.)
C. Guarded From Sin - Verses 8 and 27 tell us
the precious truth that there will be no sin in
Heaven! What a blessing to finally be free from
the wickedness and wretchedness that marks
this old sin cursed world! How wonderful it will to
be forever free from the presence of the devil, of
temptation, of this old flesh and from all sin!
That will be glorious!
However, as great as that will be, we must
also acknowledge the fact that there will be no
sinners in Heaven either! There will not be one
single person who has denied the Lord Jesus as
his personal Savior! You see, God might as well
allow the devil into Heaven as to open the gate
to one unsaved person! They would defile that
glorious city and bring it crashing down in ruins.
Heaven would become Hell if just one sinner
were allowed inside!
God has pledged to protect that city from all
wickedness and sin! The only way to enter that
place is to have your sins washed away in the
blood of Jesus and the only way to get that done
is to receive Him into your life by faith. Have you
done that? If not, what are you holding on to?
(Ill. "There was an old man on the isle of Crete,
and during his lifetime he loved many things. He
loved his wife, his children, and his job, but most
of all he loved the land. He loved the very
ground he walked on, worked, and fought for.
When it was time for him to die, he had his sons
bring him outside his stone cottage and lay him
on the earth. He reached down, grabbed a
handful of Crete's soil and was gone.
"He arrived at the gate of heaven, and the
Lord came out dressed in the long robes of a
judge and said to him, `Old man, come in.' As
the old man moved toward the gates, the Lord
noticed something in his hand and asked, `What
are you clutching in your hand?'
"He said, `It is Crete. I go nowhere without it.'
"The Lord said, `Leave it, or you will not be
"The old man held his clenched fist up and
said, `Never!' And he went and said beside the
outside wall of the heavenly city.
"After a week had passed, the gates opened
again and the Lord appeared a second time, in
the guise of a man wearing a hat, looking like
some of the old man's buddies down in Crete.
he sat down next to the old man, threw His arm
around his shoulder and said, `My friend, dust
belongs to the wind. Drop that piece of earth
and come inside.' But the old man was still
"During the third week the old man looked
down at the dirt he was clutching and saw that it
had begun to cake and crumble. All the
moisture of the earth had gone out of it. Also,
his fingers were arthritic and could hardly hold it.
The earth began to trickle through his fingers.
"Out came the Lord, this time as a small
child. he came up to the old man and sat next to
him and said, `Grandfather, the gates only open
for those with open hands.'
"The old man thought about this, finally stood
up, and did not even look down as the crumbled
dirt of Crete fell out of his hand. The child took
his hand and led him toward the glorious gates.
As the gates swung open, he walked in. Inside
was all of Crete.
"Now don't build a theology on this story for it
is only a story to illustrate a point many of us
must be reminded of from time to time. There is
nothing here that is worth missing heaven in
order to keep. Whatever it is that you are
allowing to stand between you and an eternity in
Heaven, believe me, it isn't worth going to Hell
over! Mark. 8:36-37. My friend, allow nothing to
keep you out of Heaven!)
: The great 18th century Bible commentator
Matthew Henry, anticipating that some would unduly
mourn his passing, wrote these words of comfort and
assurance: "Would you like to know where I am? I
am at home in my Father's house, in the mansions
prepared for me here. I am where I want to be--no
longer on the stormy sea, but in God's safe, quiet
harbor. My sowing time is done and I am reaping;
my joy is as the joy of harvest. Would you like to
know how it is with me? I am made perfect in
holiness. Grace is swallowed up in glory. Would
you like to know what I am doing? I see God, not as
through a glass darkly, but face to face. I am
engaged in the sweet enjoyment of my precious
Redeemer. I am singing hallelujahs to Him who sits
upon the throne, and I am constantly praising Him.
Would you like to know what blessed company I
keep? It is better than the best on earth. Here are
the holy angels and the spirits of just men made
perfect. I am with many of my old acquaintances
with whom I worked and prayed, and who have
come here before me. Lastly, do you want to know
how long this will continue? It is a dawn that never
fades! After millions and millions of ages, it will be
as fresh as it is now. Therefore, weep not for me!
Where will you be when you die? Will you go to
Heaven with all of its glory? Or, will you go to Hell?
The answer depends on what you do with Jesus! If you
need to be saved, if the Lord is dealing with your heart
this morning, I beg you to come. Don't wait! Don't
hesitate! Just come! One day, you will leave this world
and you need to ready when that day arrives. Where
will you go when that time comes?