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WILL HEAVEN BE WORTH IT?
Intro: I suppose everyone in this room believes in Heaven. I would imagine that we are all longing to go there some day. The thought of there being a better place for the saints of God to live after their time on earth has ended has cheered the hearts of God’s people for thousands of years.
Even Abraham, who lived some 3,500 years ago longed to go to Heaven when he died. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:8–10)
Abraham caught a glimpse of that city and said, “It’s worth it! It’s worth leaving home and family. It’s worth being a stranger and a pilgrim. It’s worth hardship and pain. Heaven is surely worth it all.”
Simon Peter had a little insight into the inheritance that awaits every child of God in Heaven, and he wrote about it, 1 Pet. 1:3-5.
Simon Peter caught a glimpse of Heaven and he said, “It’s worth it! It’s worth a total change of my life. It’s worth the hardship I have endured. It’s worth more than my very life. Heaven is surely worth it all!”
On the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John received a clear revelation of what that city looked like, and of all the glories it contains. He wrote extensively about Heaven in Rev. 7, and 21-22.
John saw Heaven and he said, “It’s worth it! It worth being exiled from home, family and friends. It’s worth the loneliness, the pain, the suffering, and the high cost I have been called to pay. I have seen that city, and Heaven will surely be worth it all!”
Paul describes an amazing experience that he had in which he was caught up into “the third heaven,” or the very realm of God. Paul was carried away in the celestial city of God and saw things that he was not allowed to repeat, 2 Cor. 12:1-10.
That one vision of Heaven was enough to strengthen Paul as he faced the many trials that came his way, Ill. 2 Cor. 11:22-32.
Paul saw that city and he said, “Heaven is worth all the pain that comes my way. It’s worth the hatred and the persecution. It’s worth the sorrow and the attacks. I have seen that city and Heaven is surely worth it all!”
The fact is, we don’t have a whole lot of information about Heaven. The Bible gives us just enough information to whet our appetites for that city. The odd part is this: while we do not know a whole lot about Heaven, there is a desire within every single child of God to go there. Isn’t that amazing?
We come to faith in Jesus. He changes our lives. Immediately the battles begin. We fight battles with the flesh, the world and the devil. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but we never stop heading toward Heaven. When the Lord saved us, He placed within us a desire to be with Him there. So, we walk, we fight, we rejoice, we suffer, we win, we lose, we stumble and fall, we get up and go on again, all because we, like those great saints I mention a few minutes ago, have caught a glimpse of palace we have never seen, and we want to be there more than we want to be here, Ill. 2 Cor. 5:1-8.
I want to look at these familiar words from our Lord today. I want to preach around the question: Will Heaven Be Worth It? I would like to give you some reasons from this text why I think it will. Let me share those reasons with you today.
I. V. 1-2 CONSIDER THE PLACE CALLED HEAVEN
A. It Is A Special Place - Jesus calls Heaven “My Father’s house.” Heaven is special because it is the place where God dwells. A place like that would have to be holy. It would have to be filled with glory. It would have to be a place of peace, blessing, and joy. It would have to be a place of love. All those are characteristics of our Heavenly Father, and anyplace that is called the “Father’s house,” would have to be a place like Him.
Just thinking about a place like that is enough to make one want to go there. After Paul saw that place, near the end of his life, he said this about his approaching death, Heaven, and his desire to go there. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” (Phil. 1:21–23)
The phrase “far better” in Phil. 1:23 literally means “very much better.” It is the highest form of superlative. Paul is saying that the best best day here will not be worthy to be compared to the worst day there, Rom. 8:18. That alone makes Heaven a special place.
B. It Is A Splendid Place - Jesus said that in His “Father’s house are many mansions.” The word “mansions” refers to “a dwelling place, and abode, a staying place.” It word can refer to “a room,” but the idea of a “dwelling place” in the “Father’s house,” bring to mind far more than a mere room. A “mansion” in the “Father’s house” speaks of opulence and grandeur that nothing in this world can compare to.
When John described the city he saw in Rev. 21, he wrote about a city so grand that it defies description.
John described the city as being like a “jasper” stone. The “jasper” stone is what we call a diamond today. The city will be like a great diamond in appearance as it reflects and refracts the light of the glory of God.
The city is surrounded by a high wall, v. 12. There are twelve gates in this wall, each gate attended by an angel, v. 12. These gates have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel inscribed on them, v. 12. The wall of this great city rests on twelve foundations named after the twelve Apostles, v. 14.
This city is astounding in its size! If one edge was placed on the Atlantic Ocean, the opposite edge would sit near Denver, CO. If the north edge of the city sat on the Canadian border, the other edge would sit somewhere around Miami, FL. It is even more amazing to consider that it is also 1,400 miles high!
This city is surrounded by a wall that measures 144 cubits, v. 17. This is 216 feet. This could refer to the height, or it could refer to the thickness of the wall.
Imagine a city where there is room for all; where there are no ghettos; no mean streets; no wrong side of town. Imagine a city of absolute beauty and sinless perfection. If you can imagine that, then you can imagine home!
Imagine, if you will, a city that gleams with the brilliance of God’s glory. Imagine that pure light as it shines through the diamonds, the gold, and all the multi-colored precious stones of that Heavenly city. It will be a glorious sight to behold!
The gates of that city are made of pearls, v. 21. The pearl is formed out of pain. A grain of sand is trapped in an oyster. That sand irritates the oyster and the oyster begins to build up layer upon layer of calcium around that grain of sand. After a long while a pearl is formed.
The pearl is the only gemstone made by a living organism. The pearl is the oyster’s answer to its pain.
Those gates will remind that while salvation and the Heaven it provides are free, neither was cheap! Everything we have was born out of the pain of our Savior on the cross of Calvary. Every time we enter that city we will be reminded of the price He paid to redeem our souls. Heaven is our Lord’s answer to the pain of His cross!
Even the street of Heaven will be glorious to behold. We will walk about on a street that is paved with the purest gold. What a city awaits the redeemed when this life is over.
C. It Is A Safe Place - Jesus said to His men, “Let not your heart be troubled.” This is just a reminder that Heaven will be a place of peace for the people of God. None of the many afflictions of earth can touch us in glory. Ill. 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.”
No one will die. No hearts will break. No one will weep. No one will hur. No one will have to work and strive just to make it in this world. Every saint of God will enjoy the perfections of that city, along with the awesome presence of our Savior and His Father!
All this is enough to make we want to go there, but there is more!
I. Consider The Place Called Heaven
II. CONSIDER THE POPULATION OF HEAVEN
A. The Sovereign God Will Be There - Heaven is the “Father’s house” and He will be there. One day, we will be with God in His house, and we will see Him there, Rev. 22:3-4!
That was Job’s hope. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25–28) It is our hope as well, 1 John 3:2!
B. The Son Of God Will Be There - Jesus said, “…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The redeemed saints of God will spent eternity with the very Lord Who paid the ultimate price for their redemption when He died on the cross. We will see Him and we will worship Him in perfect bodies, sing His glories with perfect voices, and shout His praises in perfect holiness in Heaven. Ill. Rev. 4-5.
By the way, while I am looking forward to all the glories of Heaven, the greatest glory will be seeing the Lord Jesus and our Heavenly Father. They are what will make Heaven Heavenly!
C. The Saints Of God Will Be There - Jesus said, “that where I am, there ye may be also.” The pronoun “ye” is plural. It refers to the while group. Notice that He is going to prepare a place for each individual saint; and He is coming back to receive each individual saint of God, but when the individual saints get to Heaven, they will join all the others in His presence. In other words, we are not going to Heaven alone!
The saints of God from the Old Testament will be there. The saints of God from the New Testament will be there. The saints of God from the church age will be there. Our redeemed loved ones will be there. Friends, family and foes will all join us in that land someday. Not a single redeemed saint of God will be missing. Not a seat at the table in glory will be empty! 1 Thes. 4:13-18 speaks about how this will take place!
These two reasons are more than enough for me to cause me to want to go to Heaven, but there are more!
I. Consider The Place Called Heaven
II. Consider The Population Of Heaven
III. CONSIDER THE PROMISES CONNECTED WITH HEAVEN
A. The Promise Of Rest - “Let not your heart be troubled.” When the Lord speaks about that Heavenly home, he indicates that it will be a place free from the troubles of this life. We have already talked about this, but the fact is, in Heaven, we will rest from our labors. Here is the promise we find in Rev. 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
The word “rest” means “to stop.” The word “labors” carries the idea of “trouble.” It literally means “a beating.” It tells us that our Christian life will be a life of exhausting work as we strive to serve the Lord.
It’s not always easy to work for the Lord. Sometimes your labors are unappreciated. Sometimes you are misunderstood. Sometimes you give everything you have and it appears to accomplish nothing. Yet, you labor on because you want to honor the Lord with your life. You labor on because you know it’s the right thing to do. You labor on because you know something better is waiting down the road. You labor on because you know that Heaven awaits. You labor on because you know there is a place of rest.
One day our work will end, and we will reach that place of rest. We will meet our Lord and give account of our service to Him. We will either be rewarded, or suffer loss of reward, depending on how well we carried out His will for our lives. Ill. 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12.
Let us labor for Him while we can so that when we meet Him we will hear Him say, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)
B. The Promise Of Rescue - Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you unto myself.” One day, Heaven will invade earth and Jesus will return for His people. The living will be caught up and taken to be with Him in Heaven. The dead will be resurrected and taken to Heaven to be with Him also. One day, we will be delivered from this world. Wether we leave here through the door of death, or through the Rapture, we will be delivered!
When that rescue comes, and we leave this world, none of the evils that trouble us here will be allowed to follow us there! Listen to His promise in Rev. 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
C. The Promise Of Reunion - Jesus made this promise to His men: “That where I am, there ye may be also.” We will be with Him, and that will be Heaven for us!
By the way, not only will we be with Him, but we will also be like Him. We will receive new bodies and we will be changed. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changedIn a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor. 15:51–54)
Conc: I think Haven will be worth it all, don’t you?
There’s a song we sing from time to time that goes:
Often I'm hindered on my way,
burdened so heavy I almost fall
Then I hear Jesus sweetly says,
heaven will surely be worth it all
Many the trials, toils, and tears,
Many a heartache may here a pall
But the dear Lord so truly says,
heaven will surely be worth it all.
Toiling and pain I will endure,
Till I shall hear the death angel call
Jesus has promised and I’m sure,
Heaven will surely be worth it all.
Heaven will surely be worth it all,
Worth all the the sorrows that here befall.
After this life with all its strife,
Heaven will surely be worth it all.