Heaven

March 26, 2017Matthew 19:16 – 30Heaven     

 

   Heaven is real.  Heaven is mentioned 51 of the 66 books of the bible.   It is mentioned; 37 times in Deuteronomy, 38 times in Psalms, 73 times in Matthew and as some of you might be guessing it is mentioned a lot in Revelation 56 times.    I counted 73 times in Matthew which means that Jesus spoke of it a lot.  Since Jesus spoke of it a lot it behooves us to think about it and for preachers to talk about it also.     I hope you are looking forward to heaven.   Jesus said to keep looking for and expecting him to come.  I hope your greatest desire is to see Jesus in heaven.   I hope you are encouraged in your life day by day when at times we ask ourselves why and is it worth it.    Your labor is not in vain in Jesus.

    I find that thoughts of heaven are comforting.  Before you can imagine it we will be with him and what a blessing that will be.   We cannot even imagine how great it will be.   The mind of man cannot conceive of the wonder of heaven.   God is lavish and not cheap and it will be greater than anything down here.  In I Corinthians 2 we read no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.    In John 14 Jesus said there are many rooms in my father’s house.   I am going there to prepare a place for you and I will come back so you can be with me.  God has prepared things for us in heaven and Jesus is preparing a place for us.   Both God the Father and God the Son are preparing things for you and I.   I suspect that is going to be pretty neat.    They are not building with boards and nails so it will be ready when we get there.  

    Heaven is pictured a lot of different ways by people.   Some see heaven as a place where we sit on clouds and play our harp.  For many people that would not be even desirable.   For those that really do not understand God and know the bible heaven may seem boring to them.   Some do not like heaven because sin is the reason for living.   People love and want their idols.    Those are the things that fill their life.   But Christians have a different perspective on heaven.    God has told us we will rule with Jesus.   There will be no more struggles and fighting there.  If we suffer with Him we will reign with him.    Some that have wasted their life with sin and bad choices will finally have peace.

    Christians that have been persecuted will have peace.   All of us have labored against sin and sin will be gone.  There will be no desires for evil.   We will be released because temptation will be gone.   There will be abundance I believe of food and drink but also an abundance of beauty.   There will be an abundance of joy, glory, love and peace.    It will be a beautiful place and pleasant.   There will be no more curse and no more night.   There will be no more death, no more crying, no more mourning because the old order of things has passed away.      For those that have labored their whole lives just to put bread on the table heaven will be filled with abundance.   The sorrows that we bear will be gone.  The pain we have in our bodies will be gone.   No longer will we be paying heat bills to keep warm and we will not struggle with being too hot.    Heaven  will be filled with good things and the bad things will be gone.   Everything will always be just right.   Everything will be perfect.   Perfection will be restored.   Folks will not irritate one another anymore and Satan will be gone.  

    Heaven will not be boring.   You will not need a cell phone to keep you up to date.  You will not need face book nor net flix or movies and computer games to help you relax.  Life will be different.    We will not need a jet airplane or an automobile.  The auto companies are making some pretty neat cars these days but travel in heaven will be way beyond that.   You won’t have to worry about being late for work because of the snow storm or the doctor’s appointment.   What kind of a being or God would create something like that?  Can you imagine trying to build the perfect place for someone you loved?   Does anyone really deserve heaven?   Do we deserve to spend eternity with God in such a wonderful place? 

    Man, in general avoids God and cures God and does not want God unless maybe there is a need.   We ignore and curse God and God offers us forgiveness.  Many men hate God and God loves us.   Jesus said you did not chose me but I chose you.  Jesus came to his own and his own did not receive him.  I am not pointing to the Jews but to us, to people.  What a loving compassionate God.  God is a good, good father that is who he is.   Remember when Moses ask to see God and God told him well that is not going to happen.  I will let you see my back side.  If you see me face to face your dead.  Moses had fasted and prayed for 40 days and night.   Then Moses goes down from the mountain.

   Then Moses goes back up the mountain for 40 more days of prayer and fasting.   In Exodus 33 God told Moses I will let all of my goodness pass in front of you.   Moses I am going to hide you in a rock and cover you with my hand and then I will let you see my back.  What was the result of Moses seeing God’s goodness and his back?  In chapter 34 Aaron and the Children of Israel were afraid to go to Moses because of the glory of God shined through the face of Moses.  God’s goodness made the face of Moses shine.  God’s goodness is His glory.   His glory is in his goodness.   It was bright enough so that the church leaders were afraid of him.  Moses face shined for days maybe weeks or months but it did fade away.  God is good.  God is so good it light up Moses face.  God is good to bless us with heaven someday.  It seems like just about everyone thinks they are going there someday but that is not true.  Jesus clearly states that is not true.    

    It sure seems this old world needs a change. Have you ever wanted something new?   God is going to make everything new someday.   What would it be like to be made new?    What do you want changed?    For some of us older folks do you wish you had the body that you had when you were 19 or 20?    Ever wish you had a new car?    Ever want a new home?    Some of us wish for a new world and not a new world order.     

     God says I am going to make everything new.  God’s goodness and his glory is going to change things up.   In Genesis 1:1 God created the heavens and the earth.   In Revelation 21:1 there is a new heaven and anew earth.   In Genesis1:16 God created the sun and in Revelation 21 there is no need for the sun.  In Genesis 1:5 the night is established and in Genesis 22:5 we learn that there will be no night in heaven.   In Genesis 1:10 the seas were created and in Revelation 21:1 there is no longer a sea.   In Genesis 3:14 – 17 after Adam and Eve sinned a curse was pronounced and in Revelation 22:3 there will no longer be any curse.   In Genesis 3:19 death enters into God’s creation and in Revelation 21:4 there is no more death.   In Genesis 3:24 man is driven from paradise and in 22:14 paradise is restored and the Spirit and the bride say come.   Those who have washed their robes are invited in.   Sorrow and pain are introduced in Genesis 3:17 and in Revelation 21:4 there will be no more death, mourning, crying and pain.  God will make all things new.  

    There will be some wacked bodies there but resurrected.  Kristi will have a new body.  All Christians shall be clothed with immortality in the twinkling of an eye.   Jesus resurrected body showed the scars from his nail wounds but it won’t matter.  Those scars will not be negative anymore.  The missing arms and legs will not matter and may be restored.  The eyes that can’t physically see will see and those without legs will get around as easily as those with legs I believe. Those deformities that were caused by our testimony for Jesus will be points of honor.   It will be sweet beyond belief.    Flesh and blood does not inherit the heaven.  This mortality will put immortality.  

    God said behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).    We will be healed of all sin and pain.   All our brokenness will be healed.   Our relationship with God will no longer be marred by sin.   Heaven will no longer be veiled.   There will be free communication with our Lord.   We will have the intimate relationship with “God that we have wanted for so long.   We are the bride of Christ and this marriage will be pure and clean and free.  There won’t be any spot or wrinkle in our relationship with Jesus.   We will not be running from God nor hiding from God any more or anyone else.   Man has been running from God since Adam sinned.      Our longing to be in his presence and experience him will be fulfilled.   Our longing and desire to see Jesus face to face will be realized.   We will experience him in ways we never have before because we will be like him and we will see him as he is.  God said I am making all things new.   I would like a new me.  Would you like a new you? 

    I like this passage in Matthew because eternal life and heaven are mentioned several times in this chapter.  It is mentioned in Jesus comments about marriage, children, the rich young ruler and the disciples.  The rich young ruler asks Jesus about getting to heaven.  God is the place to go for wisdom.     We see in this passage a rich young man who wants to get to heaven.  I guess he figures that Jesus is the authority on it.  A lot of people do not believe that Jesus is the authority on heaven today.  It looks like he figures that heaven is a good place and that he needs to do something good to get to heaven.  Something good needs to happen so we can go to heaven that is for sure.   Jesus tells him there is only one who is good.   God is good and certainly Jesus was good.  Did this young man recognize that Jesus was good?   Did he know who he was talking to? 

    Jesus tells him if you want to enter life obey the commandments.   In other words obey God.  Do what the bible tells us to do.  In chapter 22 Jesus said the greatest commandments were to love God with all our heart mind and strength and love our neighbor as our self.  Jesus in this passage mentions the commandments on how we relate to each other.  The young man said gee I get an A for the day.  I have done all of that.  I guess he feels that is not enough so he asks Jesus what else.  There must be something more he thinks.   Jesus speaks really deep right into his heart.  If you want to go further, if you want to be perfect sell everything you have and give it away and come and follow Jesus.   Following Jesus is the path way to heaven. 

   The young man was hanging on to stuff just like we tend to do.  Does he have an idol in his life?  Is money his idol?   He could not give his money and riches up.  Was wealth his real life?   It is for a lot of people.  Well I got all this stuff and I am hanging onto it.  I may need it someday.  Proverbs 11 states one man gives freely yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.  A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.  God is no man’s debtor.  Jesus response to him walking away was it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Then Jesus said it is impossible for man to enter heaven.  It is only possible with God.  Jesus paid an impossible price for your salvation. 

   Peter at the end of this chapter speaks up and said to Jesus.   We left all to follow you.  I suspect all the disciples were at one time or another wondering what is in this for me.  It is not easy to minister to people all the time.  It was a big change for the disciples to be with Jesus all the time.  Life was full and busy.   There was lots of people and lots of travel.  I suspect they felt like endless travel.   We think in terms of what are we getting for our self.  What’s in it for me? 

    Jesus told them you will get 100 times as much as you give up.  How would you like to get 100% interest on your money?   And you will get eternal life.  Not only will you get 100 times as much as you give but you will inherit eternal life.  God is a good God.  There are amazing promises in the bible.  Soon we will be in heaven.  There is good news in the bible.  There is also some bad news in the bible.  There is a hell and that is bad news for many people.  Life is important.   Your life is important.  Before you know it we will be with Jesus. 

     When D. L. Moody, the great evangelist, was dying, his last words were, "Earth is receding, heaven is approaching; this is my crowning day."   Is your crowning day coming or does this seem a like an unknown to you?  For many Christians every day that passes brings us closer to our crowning day.