A Beautiful Place Called Heaven!

Introduction:  When we talk about a beautiful place called Heaven, what heaven are we referring to?  The Bible speaks of three heavens!  At 2 Corinthians 12:2, the Apostle Paul states, “…such an one caught up to the third heaven.”

  1. What are the three heavens?
    1. The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven that extends from the earth’s surface to approximately 45 miles upward and circles completely the earth.

“foul that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (Gen. 1:20). 

    1. The second heaven is the physical universe!

Gen. 1:14-18, “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth:  and it was so.  And God made two great light; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:  he made the stars also.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness:  and God saw that it was good.”

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10).

    1. The third heaven is the habitation of God.

“heaven…is God’s throne” (Matt. 5:34).

“the heaven of heavens” (Deut. 10:14).

I.                   THE APOSTLE JOHN, BY INSPIRATION, DESCRIBES THE HEAVENLY ABODE (Rev. 21:9-19a, read).

A.    A little blind girl receives an operation that enables her to see for the first time in her life.

1.      When her mother takes this young girl to where she can view the beautiful valley for the first time in which they lived.  She responded, “Mother, why didn’t you tell me it was so beautiful?”  The mother, with tears in her eyes, said, “Darling, you just had to see it for yourself!”

1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

B.    There are other descriptive terms of Heaven.

1.      It is described as being new!

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Rev. 21:1).

2.      The redeemed are portrayed as the bride of Christ.

“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:9-10).

Eph. 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

2 Cor. 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:  for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

II.                WHAT WILL OUR STATUS BE LIKE IN HEAVEN?

Rev. 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.”

1.      In Heaven, there will not be any hospitals, nursing homes, or funeral homes.

Rev. 14:13, “…Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:  Yea, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” 

Rev. 22:3, “…his servants shall serve him:”    

Rev. 7:15, “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple:  and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”

Matt. 8:11, “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”

John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

1.      Jesus speaks of providing for us mansions.

2.      In this life, there are old abandon houses.  

                  Matt. 22:30, “… in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”  

1.      The physical family relationship that we have in this life will not exist as such in the next life.

 Rom. 6:23, “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1.            If, by the grace of God, we are among the redeemed in Heaven, we will live there forever.

III.             WHERE IS THE ETERNAL HOME?

A.    Twice Jesus refers to it as a place!

John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

B.    Several passages of scripture speak of Heaven being up above the earth.

2 Cor. 12:2, “…such an one caught UP to the third heaven.”

2 Kings 2:11, Elijah, as he talked, “…there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and Elijah went UP by a whirlwind into heaven.”

Psa. 103:11, “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”

Acts 1:9, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken UP; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

1 Thes. 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Psa. 75:2, 6-7, “When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge:  he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

IV.              WHO MAY ENTER INTO HEAVEN?

A.    Answer:  Those who do the Lord’s commandments.

Rev. 22:14, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” 

Heb. 5:8, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

Conclusion: 

2 Cor. 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

2 Tim. 4:6-8, “For I am now ready to be…”

Matt. 25:34, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,…”

1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the…”  

Matt. 6:19-21, “”Lay not up for yourselves…”

--Dub Mowery

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