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A Biblical View Of The End Times #10

Revelation 21:1-27


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 dying.

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.


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 host.

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 forever home!

I. Heaven Is A Genuine 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 every surface.

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 of God.

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 himself!

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


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 allowed in.'

"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 adamant, `Never!'

"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!)

Conc: 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?

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