What Will Our Eternal Home Be Like?

Heaven May 12, 2024 Revelation 21:1-8 Notes


A new you – that’s what many promise to help you accomplish in this life. “You can live your best life now” the latest self-help books and gurus promise. That’s why we make “bucket lists.” We think, “If only I can experience all that this life offers, I will be happy and fulfilled.” We think, “I better live for myself now because we only get one life.”

But the best is yet to come. For the new heaven and new earth and new body that God has planned for His redeemed people will be the very, very, best life you can live! In the last two chapters of the book of Revelation, the Lord revealed to the apostle John what the eternal home of His redeemed people with Christ would be like.

Audio

Transcript

All right. Good morning. Good morning. There you are. Yeah.

So we're in part five of the "Heaven" series. I don't know how many of you have been here for all five, but it's been quite a journey, and we're glad to be here today as we continue this series entitled,"Heaven, It's Better Than You Ever Imagined." And today we're going to be asking this question of the scriptures, "What will our eternal home be like?"

What will our eternal home be like? And that's the purpose of our message today. Now, we've learned over the past five weeks we've asked these questions. The first question we ask is, "Why focus on heaven?" Why even talk about it?

Why are we doing this series? And we find our answer from the book of Colossians, where the apostle Paul says that we're to set our minds and our hearts on things above and not on things of this earth, and that we're not only to set our minds there, but that we're to seek the things of heaven. And so that's our answer. That's why we're doing this. Then we ask this question, "What's heaven like?"

What's it like? And when we were speaking of that, at that particular message, we were talking about the present heaven, the heaven now, where Jesus is standing at the right hand of the Father, where all the heavenly hosts, all the angelic hosts are present, and where the saints who have gone on before us currently dwell in present heaven. And so we talked about that. And we said that in present heaven we will be with Christ and we will be fully conscious. We will be actively engaged and eagerly awaiting.

Eagerly waiting for what? For the future new heaven and new earth. And so we talked about that. We talked about this. We said, will we know one another in heaven?

And the answer from the scripture is a resounding "yes." We will know one another. You will retain your name, although you will be given a new name by Jesus, the scripture says, but you'll retain your name. You know, Simon was given a name Peter by Jesus, and so people still remembered his name was Simon. Others called him Peter.

Some people called him Simon Peter. And so you'll get a new name, but you'll retain your name, and you'll know one another. And then last week, we asked the question, "Should we care about heavenly rewards?" And the answer from the scripture, from the apostle Paul, is he said that we should take care on how we build upon the foundation of our faith in Jesus because it will determine our heavenly reward. And so that's what's brought us to this point today where we're asking this question, what will heaven, the eternal home, be like?

And so when we look at this, we see God's ultimate plan was that He would create a new heaven, a new earth, and a new you, a new you, a new resurrection body for a new you. Now, that's kind of in fashion today, isn't it? A new you. Isn't that kind of the promise of a lot of guru's and self-help books? You can live your best life now.

The new you, you can live your best life now. And this is kind of, you know, plastic surgeons are promising this and diet books. You can live your best life now. That's why we make bucket lists. You know, let's go to visit all these places, do all these things.

We got a paraglide. We got. We got a bungee jump. We got a...

It sounds like that could be the last thing you do in your life on some of these things, right? And so we got the bucket list. And the reason we have bucket lists and the reason we buy these programs and books and schemes is because we think this is it. Even as believers, sometimes we live as if this is it. This is all there is.

And if we don't get it in now, whereas that beer commercial back in the day used to promise that you. You gotta take in all you can in this. You gotta grab all the gusto. I had to look that up. I was like, can I talk about that at church?

I don't even know what "gusto" is. I looked it up. It just means, you know, a great life or, like, something like that. I thought that this beer commercial made that word up. You only go round once in life, so you have to grab all the gusto you can.

Well, that's kind of the lie of Satan, really, because this is not all that there is. There's, oh, oh, so much more. Pastor Colin Smith says this. He says Satan's master strategy is to have people think that life in God's hands is less than life in our hands. The idea that if you hold on to it yourself, your life will be more than if it's in the hand of God.

That's the master life. That's the master strategy of Satan. That's what he pulled on Adam and Eve. He said, you know, God's told you not to eat of this fruit.

He's trying to keep something good from you. Can't you see it looks good? It's pretty. It looks appetizing. And if you'll eat it.

You'll be like God. And so they did. And so mankind fell into sin. And that's still the lie of Satan today - don't give your life to God.

He'll somehow keep happiness from you. You'll do better if you keep your life yourself. You can have your best life by keeping it to yourself rather than surrendering it to God. But the truth of the Bible says this, that the Bible is telling a story. It begins with those first two chapters in Genesis, and it ends with the last two chapters that we're going to be looking at today in the book of Revelation.

In fact, I have a chart. Would you like to see my chart? Fresh off the press. I just made this one this week. And those of you that know me, know that I love charts, right?

So here's a chart. Here's how things started in Genesis chapter one and Genesis chapter two, we see that God was with man. Adam and Eve was with God. He walked in the cool of the evening in the garden with them. They were in complete unity and bliss.

The creation was good. God, everything he made, he said, I did good. It's good. Everything was good. And there was no sin or death.

That was the origin. And God's plan for humanity is that we would be in union and fellowship with Him. He would dwell with us. We would dwell with Him in this perfect place. But because of satan, satan's temptation, man fell into sin.

And sin affected not only God's relationship with man, but creation. Look here, Genesis three through eleven. Genesis three through revelation 20 really describes the fallen earth in the heavens. That's where we're living today. And we see that man is separated from God.

So present heaven is apart from present earth, and so God's apart from man. Creation groans it says in Romans chapter eight that even creation has been affected by sin, so that all of the turmoil, all of the disease, all of the tornadoes and hurricanes and all the grief of this world, creation is sort of good, but not as good. It groans and there's sin and  death, but there's coming a future day. And that's the purpose of the sermon this morning, is to talk about the new heaven and the new earth this time when God once again will dwell with man, except better than ever before, that creation will be perfect. So it'll be a perfect place for a perfect, redeemed people, and there'll be no more sin and no more death.

This is what our focus is this morning. The text that we're reading from Revelation chapter one. We're talking about the consummation of all things. God's ultimate plan for His redeemed having life in Christ today. If you believe in Christ today, oh, it's so good.

It's so good to have Christ in your life today. But the apostle Paul says to be with Christ in present heaven is even better. He says,"To live is Christ, but to die is gain."  He says, it's better by far, so it's better. But this future that we're talking about, oh, it's the best.

It's perfect. And that's what we're talking about today. In the last two chapters of the book of Revelation, we see the apostle John describe the eternal home where we will live forever with the Lord. And as we look about it, he reveals several details. I believe there are four significant, four important details about our eternal home and what it'll be like.

So let's dig in. Revelation, chapter 21, starting at verse one, and then we'll unpack it together. This is the apostle John. He's been caught up into the heavens, and the Lord is showing him this new heaven and new earth. He says, Revelation 21:1-8 (ESV) 1 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

This is God's word. Amen. We're looking for four important details about what our eternal home will be like.

Here's the first:

1. It will be a new place for a new you.

It will be a new place for a new you. It will be a new place for a new you. John saw a new heaven and a new earth. We read in verse one, he saw our world and the whole universe rejuvenated radically and fundamentally transformed.

The God who first spoke all of creation into existence will now make a new earth and a new heaven. Theologians describe the way God first created the heavens and the earth. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The theologians in the Latin say, (         ). He created it out of nothing.

He spoke it into existence. And once again, God will remake the heavens and the earth. There'll be a new heaven and a new earth. The Greek word here, there are two Greek words for new in the New Testament. One is "neos." 

If you ever watch the movie series, "Matrix," Neo comes from that Greek word. It means new in the sense of chronologically new. It's newer than that which came before. It means new in that sense. But the Greek word here is not "neos."

It's "kainos," which means new in quality and has the idea of it being superior to that which came before. So this new earth and this new heaven is superior. It's perfect. It's better than any that came before. This new atmosphere, this new heaven, there'll be no tornadoes, there'll be no hurricanes, there'll be no tsunamis, there'll be this new atmosphere.

It will be a new heaven and a new earth perfectly made. If you want to know what the new heavens and the new earth will be back, be like, imagine you and your perfection, and they are made for each other, so that this new creation, this new heaven, new earth, are made just for God's redeemed people, perfectly matched for one another, but yet in continuity. It's still called the earth, it's still called the heavens. So it'll be like, but better, it'll be perfect. It's as if John took up the quill of Isaiah and the Holy Spirit reveals more to him than he did.

Isaiah. He keeps writing. Look what Isaiah says about this. This is 700 years before Jesus. Isaiah says, Isaiah 65:17 (ESV) “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind."

So this is not new. God's always been planning to do this. He told Isaiah about it. He told him. Isaiah wrote it again in Isaiah 66:22 (ESV) “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain."

And so Isaiah saw this, and John sees it. With greater detail. And so we're talking about what God's always meant to do with us. This is the consummation of His story.

The present heaven that we have right now is not the end. Many call it the "intermediate state." It's in between. But this future is the new heavens and the new earth that we will be dwelling with the Lord. He says that this new heavens and new earth has to come because the first heaven, in verse one, the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

Passed away. That's how you talk. If someone you know dies, you say, well, she passed away. We say, he passed away. Except we're not talking about a person here.

We're talking about creation. So whatever the earth was, whatever the heavens were, they aren't that anymore. That version passed away. There'll be continuity. There'll be continuity with your body.

You will, you know, people knew Jesus when they saw the resurrected Jesus, and He's the firstborn from among the dead. He's the prototype. What kind of body are we getting? We're getting a body like Jesus. So they didn't recognize Him at first sometimes, but then they would when they'd hear Him speak, or they'd see Him break bread like the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

So there's continuity. It's still Jesus, but yet better. And that's how we'll be, and that's how the new heavens and the new earth will be. They must first pass away, however. But now, even now, creation groans for this new future.

This is what Paul talks about in Romans chapter eight. He says this, Romans 8:22-23 (ESV) "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

So it's not just us. The Holy Spirit within us is groaning for that future, when we have bodies that are fit for the new heavens and the new earth.

But creation is groaning like a woman in her ninth month laboring to give birth. The creation wants what God has in store for it. Paul says, it groans, but first it must pass away. The apostle Peter describes this in greater detail in his second epistle. Let me take a minute.

Just read some of this. 2 Peter 3:4-7 (ESV) 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

He says, you know what? They conveniently overlook the fact that God's done this before, that the former earth passed away under the flood during the time of Noah, and the whole earth was deluged. It was all the peoples on the earth were judged and died, that old form of the earth. And many look at that, and they say, well, that earth, many just look at the continents and how they've separated. We can kind of see evidence of that geologically.

Maybe there was one continent, some call it Pangaea, but there was this one continent, and everybody was together there. And maybe there was an atmosphere that allowed people to have greater longevity. So that we see those great ages that we see Methuselah and others live to. And because this came canopy was like this, filled with this water, and so that there was water underneath and water above, and so it protected from the sun's rays in such a way, so there was greater plant life so that dinosaurs could live and all this. And so this pre-Noah season, that earth perished.

It passed away. And it says he broke up waters from the deep and also from above. Many suggest, looking at this, that maybe they had never seen rain before, but that the, the earth was actually watered by dew prior to that. But when the canopy broke loose, they saw rain. And so then when Noah comes out of his ark, he sees a rainbow for the first time ever, because such things wouldn't have happened until there was a new atmosphere, that there was a blue sky now, rather than this cloud, this canopy of water that stayed gaseous in the air, but now there's a rainbow.

And so God says, the reason I put that rainbow in the air is to remind you I'll never destroy the earth again by water. That's what Peter's talking about. And so he says, but that doesn't mean he won't destroy it by fire. And then Peter goes into detail about that, continuing in chapter three, 2 Peter 3:10-13 (NKJV) 10 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."

So Peter goes into greater detail, doesn't he?

Reminds us that God's done it before with Noah. Right. And what He's getting ready to do again is new and better, and this new heavens and new earth will come. Now, John points out one more detail of all the things he could have seen in the new heavens and new earth. This is what struck him.

And the sea was no more. Now, I love the beach and I love the ocean, and so that troubles me a little bit. Like the sea was no more. The sea is no more. And so, Lord, help me work this out.

So one way to look at it is what do you take literally, and what do you take metaphorically? Figuratively. Does he mean there really was no sea, or does he mean that the sea as a symbol of chaos? Because throughout the book of Revelation, it is a symbol of chaos, human rebellion and danger. It's out of the sea that God's enemies rise up out of the sea.

That are all these things. The wicked nations ply their trade and rule the earth and the sea. All the effects of human sin and treachery and God hating seem to come up out of the sea. So perhaps he means that. But because I tend to be more of a literal person when I read things, and it doesn't seem like he doesn't really say as the sea as this is, and the sea was no more, perhaps it just means there is no more sea.

This is some kind of new reality where this new earth is not completely 75%, at least covered by ocean. I'm not sure what John's telling us here. That's all he says, so I'm not going to worry about it. I've talked to the Lord about it. Lord, you know, I love the beach.

I love the beach, I love the ocean. But you've told me that this perfect world will be perfect for me. It's going to be better. So whether I look at it symbolically or if I look at it literally in my heart. I know it's going to be okay after all.

Later he says, there's a river in the new Jerusalem, so maybe we can go tubing. I don't know. So this is what you know. So as I'm reading it, I know it'll be best. It'll be best.

That part's a little confusing to me. Maybe it is to you. But now, what about this new Jerusalem, verse two? "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." This is the bride of Christ.

This new Jerusalem, it's the prepared place that Jesus went when he ascended to the Father. He says, "I go there to prepare a place for you." The new Jerusalem is the place. And it's coming from where? It's coming down out of heaven, from God to the earth.

And who's in it? The bride of Christ. That's who's in it. That's all the saints who've gone on before, all those who are with the Jesus. This is a prepared place for us in the Father's house.

As he says in John 14:1-3 (NKJV) 1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 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. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

This a prepared place. And I believe this new Jerusalem that's coming down out of heaven is that prepared place that Jesus has built for his church. And it's us.

And now heaven is coming to earth. The new Jerusalem is coming down, and it's for a new you. Only those who have these resurrection bodies can live in such a place. First Corinthians talks about these resurrection bodies. In fact, some people must have been asking Pastor Paul about it.

1 Corinthians 15:35, 42-53 (NLT) "But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” … Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory… But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies."

It's a new heaven, it's a new earth, and it's a new Jerusalem come down, which represents us in our new bodies. It's a new you. Can you imagine that? Think about the Garden of Eden, what little we know about it.

In chapters one and two of Genesis, we know that God, before the fall, before sin, God gave Adam a couple of jobs. One is, I want you to rule over things. I want you to be a sovereign over this planet that I've given you charge of. And I want you to work in the garden. So work was not out of sin.

Work was a thing given to us before sin. Work is good. And so I want you to work in the garden. And by the way, I've got an admin job for you. I want you to name all the animals.

That probably took a minute, you know, to go and look at all the animals and maybe organize them. Maybe he wrote it down. I don't know. He gave several. These are all before the fall.

And so it's this beautiful place, and perhaps, you know, I don't know if they made. I don't know if they made apple pie and eat, you know, apples are good, right? But, you know, apple pie is really good, too.

Whatever God gives us, He gives us, then the creativity to use that which He's given us so that we add to it. And I think that's a glorious thing. When you think about this new place and the new, you don't think of an angel soft toilet tissue commercial. We're not floating on clouds of toilet tissue playing harps with little naked angels flying around us.

That's a toilet tissue commercial. That's not the new heavens and the new earth. The new heavens and the new earth is built for you in your resurrected body. It's a real place with a real redeemed people, and it is not boring and some weird thing.

No, it's this real place. It's wonderful. Believer. What will our eternal home be like? It will be perfect.

Not only good, not only far better. It'll be the best. And here's the second detail. The first detail is that it's a new place with a new you. The second is:

2. It will be a new family where God dwells with us.

Where God dwells with us. Let's look a little closer at this new Jerusalem, and then we'll look at the next verse, verse three, to see what God says about dwelling with us. This new Jerusalem is not only, like I say, a new place, but it's a new people, a new redeemed people. And the description of this place, he gets very detailed about this. In fact, most of what we.

All the hymns we sing and a lot of stuff we sing about streets of gold, gates of pearl. It's all right here in the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven onto earth.

Revelation, chapter 21. Starting at verse nine, one of the seven angels comes to John and says, Revelation 21:9-21 (ESV) “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass."

Commentary on Revelation 21:9-21 (ESV: "I will show you the bride, the wife of the lamb."  Who's that? That's us. That's the church. "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed."

So you got all the twelve tribes. You got Reuben and Simeon and Levi and Judah, and all the way down to little Benjamin. Each one got a gate that represents the Old Testament saints. They got their names on the gates, and at the gates, twelve angels, the names of those.

And on the east, there were three gates, and on the north there are three gates, and on the south there were three gates, and on the west, so there's three gates on each side of the square. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles.

"-on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." So here we have Peter, James and John and all the rest, right? Their names are on the foundation of the city. So that represents the New Testament saints.

"And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold." That's pretty cool. He's got like a gold tape measure or something here. This angel does.

It's like gold is as common as anything in this heavenly city to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies four square, its length the same as its width. And so when we say four square, we're kind of talking like a cube. And he says, and he measured the city with his rod, and it was 12,000 stadia and a stadia. If 12,000 stadia, that's like 1380 miles.

Someone after the first service told me that they had heard that's the distance from the coast to the Mississippi river. So that's how wide, how long and how tall the city is, this new Jerusalem. Just imagine how amazing this city is that's coming down out of heaven to earth. Its length and width and height are equal.

He also measured its wall, 144 cubits, which is 200ft thick, by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement. I find that an interesting tidbit, that angels and humans use the same measurement. That's just an interesting tidbit by John. There. The wall was built of Jasper.

While the city was pure gold, like clear glass, the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. Then he begins to list the twelve jewels that each gate is unique. The first was Jasper. The second, sapphire. The third, agate, the fourth, emerald.

The fifth, onyx. The 6th, cornelian, the 7th, chrysolite. The 8th, beryl. The 9th, topaz. The 10th, chrysaphrase, the 11th, jacinth.

And the 12th, amethyst, which is my wife's birthstone. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl. And the city and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. John sounds like he took a walk in the city.

There's not that kind of detail of any other city in the entire Bible. Isn't that amazing? This is the new Jerusalem. This is the bride of Christ coming down. And Christ is the bridegroom.

This is us in that place that he went to prepare for us coming down to the new earth. Can you believe this? This is where we're headed. This is the city that Abraham and the Old Testament saints were looking forward to. In the Book of Hebrews, it says, Hebrews 11:10, 16 (ESV) "For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. …they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city."

 He's preparing a city for us, where we will live forever. And then, in verse three, it says, there's a loud voice. It's that Greek phrase again, "phōnēs megalēs."

It's where we get the word, "megaphone." And this is not the Lord, because it speaks in the third person about the Lord. It says,"I heard a voice from the throne saying," so he's beside the throne. If it's Jesus, he's speaking about God in the third person. But we don't know who this is.

It's somebody with a loud voice. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God."

That's the singular, most important reality about this new place is we have a new family where God dwells with us. And this is the declaration from the throne of God.

In fact, this is God's desire that  He would dwell with us. It says in Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."

That's always been God's desire, that we would be one with Him, that He would dwell with us, and we would dwell with Him.

I would repeat to you what Jesus promised in John 14:3 (NKJV) "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

One big family, with the Lord as our Father and the Lord Jesus as our elder Brother, all living in perfect unity. I carry this carnation, this white carnation today to remind myself of the gift of my sweet mother. And I think of her often. I guess I rarely go through an entire 24 hours without her not passing through my memory.

You only get one mom, right? But when I think about the reality of this new destination, I haven't lost her. In fact, I would never ask her to come back. She's in a place that is far better, and she's waiting for that new reality, just as we are. When Jesus comes again and when He prepares this new heavens and new earth and our new reality, our new bodies, with our new family, the new Jerusalem, and this will not have the meaning it does now.

It will be changed. That reality will be changed, and I will be with her, and she will be with me, and it will be great reunion. But both of us will be in line to talk to Jesus, because I know she loved Him more than she loved me now. She loved me, and I loved her. But the love we had came from always came from the love we have shed upon us through Jesus.

That'll be a good line to be in, believer. We have a new family made up of the redeemed of God, who will live forever with the Lord Himself. Here's the third detail. It's a new place with a new you, a new family dwelling with the Lord forever.

And then, number three:

3. It will be a new existence without pain and death.

We're at verse four. A new existence without pain and death. A third detail, verse four. That "megaphone"  voice had more to say. Not only are we going to dwell with God, but he says, He, speaking of God, speaking of the Lord, 4 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

This new reality with the Lord, there'll be no more death. The former things have passed away, no pain. Do you feel any pain today?

I heard a couple "Amens" on that one. I got up this morning. I made a little sound as I got up.

My wife said, "Did you say something? I said, "Ugh." She goes, "Oh, that's what you say every morning." I didn't used to. I just been doing it more lately.

But it's not just physical pain, isn't it? Isn't it also relational pain from a broken relationship? Isn't it also emotional pain? Because we struggle with all kind of things today with depression and discouragement.

In some ways, emotional pain is worse than physical pain.

There's all kind of pain, but it all comes from sin. Because of sin, the wages of sin is death. And because there's death, and even these bodies are even now dying, and death faces every one of us. And these bodies must pass away, just as the heaven and the earth must pass away, so that the new heaven, the new earth and the new you can be raised. And when that day comes, He's going to wipe away the tears, and there'll be no reason to cry anymore.

Oh, it's hard to imagine, isn't it? It's hard to imagine. The Book of Isaiah talks about this new place where the former things have passed away. You know, this time that we're in this new heavens and new earth, let's just remember when it is, the rapture has already happened. The tribulation has already taken place.

After the rapture, those that are dead in Christ have been raised. Those who are alive have been changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, they've appeared before the Bema seat of Jesus. They've received their commendation and their reward. All this has already happened.

Not only has that already happened, but God has already set up His great white throne judgment, and He's judged the unbelievers. And so that he's cast sin, death, hades, and the devil and all unbelievers into the lake of fire. This has already happened. And now here we are in the new heavens and the new earth, with the new Jerusalem coming down. Those former things have all passed away.

It's happened before. We get to Revelation 21, and Isaiah talks about, in Isaiah 25, he actually sees some of this. He says, Isaiah 25:6-8 (ESV) "On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken."

So Isaiah saw this 700 years before Jesus. Isaiah saw this, and then John sees it. And so we see a great meal taking place here. I had somebody in my small group ask me this week, "Is there going to be eating in heaven." And I was kind of thinking like, well, if there's not, I'm not sure it'll be all that great. But, you know, I'm thinking from an earthly point of view.

But I think there is eating in heaven. Isaiah talks about eating in heaven. John says there's a feast. Jesus talks about the feast of the bridegroom.

I think there's eating in heaven. And so the person that asked me this at my small group this week, now, this is the person, mind you, that's been asking a lot of questions that I've been trying to share with you. "Well, if there's eating in heaven," he asked, "does that mean there'll be brussels sprouts in heaven?" That's what he wanted to know. "Will there be brussels sprouts in heaven?"

Now, some of you are like, I hope so. Won't be heaven without Brussels sprouts. And some of you like, I feel kind of like it'd be the other place if there was brussels sprouts. Now, my wife made brussels sprouts last night for my dinner, and they were awesome. Do you know why?

She mixed bacon with them. And bacon makes everything good. I don't know if there'll be bacon in heaven. I don't know about that. I don't know.

There's no death in heaven. I think a pig has to die, so I'm not sure. Maybe there'll be some sort of vegetarian version of bacon. I hope there is. Well, I'm not sure.

We're having a little fun here. But I will say this. I do see evidence of eating,  this new reality Isaiah prophesied of this new earth and this new existence. And this answers another question that some people ask is, "Will there be animals in heaven?" And then when I speak of heaven, I'm speaking of this new heaven and new earth, which it's heaven and earth together.

Do you understand? God is with man. Man is with God. The new heaven, the new Jerusalem has come down out of heaven, and it's right there with earth. So there's no separation between heaven and earth now.

It's a new place. Will there be animals? Here's what Isaiah says in Isaiah eleven, he says, Isaiah 11:6-9 (ESV) "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." So, yes, there'll be animals in the new heaven and the new earth.

And a little child can put a lion on a leash and lead him down the streets of gold. I don't know. This is a crazy place. This is a wonderful place. It's the best place.

It's the most perfect place. I don't know if you've ever been to Disney World, but this makes Disney world look like a slum. This is the new Jerusalem. Come down. This is the new heavens and the new earth believer.

We'll have a new existence where there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more tears. And then finally, this final reality:

4. It will be a new reality for only the redeemed.

We're in verses five through eight. We're going to go quickly on these final verses now. The Lord speaks from the throne of God. This is the Lord Jesus speaking from the throne of God about this new reality for the redeemed.

Verse five says, And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

 Not just a few things, making all things new. I'm making all things of a superior, perfect quality. I'm making all things new. And then he says to John, write this down. 5 Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

I think John was already writing everything down, but He says to  really write this down. Like, really write this down. 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. "

Remember on the cross when He said, "It is finished?" This is the same Jesus talking.

That was Him. I've paid for salvation. I've paid for your redemption. But now he's saying, I've done it. I've done all that I meant to do.

This is the consummation, the perfection, the new heavens, the new earth, the new you, the new Jerusalem. All things. I've made all things new. And now we're together. It's done.

And who is this speaking? Just to be clear, He said, I am the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega. The first and last letters in the Greek alphabet.

The beginning and the end. I'm Jesus. He goes, I'm the one who to the thirsty,  I give them the spring of water, of life without payment, because I paid for it. That's what he told the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman.

In John chapter four, he said, John 4:14 (ESV) "Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

This is that Jesus, He's talking to John. He says to write this down. You're going to live forever and I tell you who's going to inherit all this. It's those who conquer.

And He says, 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Who's the one who conquers? Well, that's everyone who believes in Jesus. Remember what John wrote in his first Epistle? He says, 1 John 5:4-5 (ESV) 4 "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Now, that word, "overcomes," is the same as the word, "conquer,"  in the Greek, it's "nikaō."  I wore some "nikaō"s last week. Remember that? Nikes.

I wore some "nikaō"s last week. And that's the Greek word right here. The one who "nikaō"s will inherit all this. But John is writing here in first John, he says, "For everyone who has been born of God." "nikaō"s; overcomes the world.

And this is the "nikaō,"  the victory that has "nikaō"ed the world. Overcome the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God? Who is the conqueror? Who is the overcomer, who's the victor?

Jesus in us. So everyone who believes in Jesus will inherit all this new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem, new body. But then in verse eight, he says, "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The faithless, the sexually immoral, the sorcerer, the idolater. That's not their portion.

They'll be cast into the lake of fire. They won't be there now. When I see that, at first it hurts my heart because I've been an idolater. I've been a coward, I've been a liar, I've had sexual immoral thoughts, I've lusted.

I guess I've been a murderer, because Jesus said, "If you call your brother "empty head"... guess I've been a murderer. I think I broke all that stuff. Does that mean I don't get this? I'm not an overcomer?

How do I work this out? Well, Paul helps us with this. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) 9 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

So who's going to heaven? Nobody's going to heaven. But then he says, in verse eleven, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." So these people that won't be in heaven are the ones who weren't washed, weren't sanctified, weren't justified.

They rejected Jesus. They decided to take their life in their own hands and to have their best life now. And they will appear before the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will be cast into the lake of fire. "Depart from me. I never knew you," Jesus, will say to them, but to those who have been washed, those who are overcomers, through Jesus, they've been sanctified, they've been justified.

To those He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your master's happiness."

Of course, He can't allow the unrighteous into this new reality. Of course He can't. Do you not read the scripture? Do you not know what happened the last time that He destroyed the earth and He didn't clean up the people first? Noah. I'm just going to start over.

I'm going to do a "do over"  with you and your family. Just you, your wife, your three sons and their wives. Let's do a "do over."  And He judged the whole earth. And then finally the floods recede and the ark is sitting on Mount Ararat.

And then Noah goes out and plants a vineyard, and he makes some wine. And what happens he gets drunk. Noah, the righteous man, he gets drunk and he lays naked in his tent, and his son goes to check on him. Ham, the son, goes to check on him, and he sees his nude father lying there drunk. And instead of helping his father, he goes and gossips to his two other brothers.

Hey, come check dad out. He's drunk and lying naked. It didn't take long.

You're gonna have a new heaven and a new earth. You gotta have a new people. There better be a new you. And of course, he can't. Of course he can't bring them in, because it would just be the same old story over again, believer.

We will have a new reality. There'll be a new heaven, a new earth, a new you, a new Jerusalem, a new place where there's no more death, no more crying, no more pain, and no more unreconciled relationships, no more war, no more not getting along with each other, no more lying, no more sin.

It's pretty good right now being in Jesus, isn't it? To be with Him in present heaven would be better by far. But, oh, this new place is the best. Oh, this place where God's taking us. This place in Revelation 21 and 22, at the end of the book, I would join with John, the writer, "Even so, Lord, come quickly."

Let's pray. Lord, thank You for Your word. Thank You for Jesus. I pray for that person first of all today that's never made their reservation for heaven.

You've never given your life to Jesus. You're still controlling your own life. You've taken your own life into your own hands, but you've never given it to him. Would you surrender your life to Jesus today? You can do it right now.

You can do it through prayer right now. Just pray like this. Dear Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner. I'm a liar, I'm a cheat. I've broken Your Ten Commandments.

I'm a sinner. But I believe You died on the cross for my sin, that You were raised from the grave and that You live today. I believe that. Come into my life, wash me, sanctify me, justify me, make me a child of God. I want to follow You all the days of my life, and I want to dwell in the house of the Lord with You forever.

If you're praying that prayer of faith, believing, He'll save you, He'll make you a child of God.

Others are here today, and you know this. You're a follower of Jesus. You love the Lord, but you've lost your focus. You've not been living for Him as you should. You know Him.

You've got a reservation in heaven, but you've taken your eyes off the prize. Would you repent right now and say, Lord, I rededicate my life to You today. Oh, it's coming. And I know You're coming soon. Lord, help me to realign the rest of my days so that I do everything for You.

We pray it now, in Jesus name for His sake. Amen.

Audio

Transcript

Good morning, church. It's good to see all of you this morning. Happy Mother's day. I'm so thankful for moms this morning. So thankful you're here, and you've decided to crash with us today.

I hope you got a donut on the way in, if that's your cup of tea. They were the small ones, but they were pretty, so I kind of like them. Anyway, you didn't need a whole one or eat two if you needed a whole one. All right. Anyway, heaven's where we're going to be today.

We're in heaven for the next this Sunday, and next Sunday, we're finishing up this series simply called Heaven. It's better than you ever imagined. And if you were wondering, you know, this morning, as you were listening to worship and thinking, that drummer is terrible, I don't blame you at all for that. I wasn't supposed to be on drums today. Our drummer got sick this morning, so y'all pray for her.

But hopefully I didn't get in the way too much. And you were able to begin the process of worship this morning, because that's where we're going to be today as we dig into this topic of heaven. We're going to be in the book of revelation, which is, for some of you, you're, like, eyes wide open this morning. I can't believe I haven't. I don't normally come to this church, or it's been a while, and here we are at the end of the book of Revelation.

But it's gonna be a real joy as we dig into this topic. And the question really we're trying to answer this morning is, what will our eternal home be like, this eternal heaven? We spoke a few weeks ago. If you missed that, you can go back and catch up on Eastgate church. I've got all those posted there.

But we were talking about the idea of the present heaven, that those who pass away now, those who have gone on before you, are in this place that we certainly call heaven. But it's this present iteration of heaven, and there's a time coming where Christ will return and bring about the eternal heaven, which is slightly different than the current present heaven. So that's where we're gonna be today, really investigating the end of the book, the end of the Bible, and what it has to say about these new heavens and new earth. Now, the key, really, the key word today is new. That it's gonna be new, the heavens are gonna be new, the earth is gonna be new, you're gonna be new, and for some of you in the room, you're like, praise God, I'm gonna be new.

Still you. But things that ache right now, things that are broken right now, no more. I'm pretty pumped about that already. I know I've got a long way ahead of me, but already the metabolism slowing down a little bit. I missed the days when I could eat a whole box of fudge rounds and lose weight.

I mean, those were good days, and they're long behind me. But a time is coming where all things are gonna be new. Now, this is interesting because so much of what we read and watch and so much of what we look into is about creating a new you. This is a popular topic. In fact, you'll hear not just among, you know, your coworkers and among, when you watch shows, you'll hear this idea of, you can live your best life now.

You hear this all the time. In fact, we have a phrase, it's probably already dead because I'm always behind now, but there was a phrase that was popular for a little while. Yolo. Y'all ever heard of Yolo? If you haven't, I don't blame you.

It's silly, but you only live once. That's what that means. But this conversation of, you can live your best life now is commonplace language, and it's very interesting. So you can go to the bookstore now, or you can go to Amazon and check this out. You will find millions of self help books about how to improve your personal life, how to improve something you're working on.

There's guru after Guru that promises your best life now and then. We make. As we get older, we might make these bucket lists. And it's curious. I don't blame you for that.

I don't find it odd at all that you're thinking, you know, before I kick the bucket, I would like to go see the pyramids, or, I'd like to do this. I want to dive out of an airplane. That's how I want to end my life, you know? Okay, that's interesting. We've got all these crazy things on our bucket list.

Maybe some of you are like, I just want to sleep my way out. I don't know what your plans are, but we have these kick the bucket lists. And if only I could experience all that this life offers. If I could soak up every last ounce, I'd be happy and fulfilled. I could live my best life.

Now, this is gonna be interesting here on Mother's Day in the book of revelation, talking about heaven. And I'm about to tell you something that's just an atom bomb. As a christian, you cannot live your best life. Now do you know why? Because the best is yet to come.

The best is yet to come. It's coming. You can't even do it. In fact, I would argue this is really one of the temptations, one of the main strategies of the flesh and of the evil one. One pastor, a guy I've been reading through this series, is very good on this.

His name's Pastor Colin Smith. He said, satan's master strategy is to have people think that life in God's hands is less than life in our hands. The idea that if you hold on to it yourself, your life will be more than if it is in the hand of God, that's curious. That's how we live. Even as believers.

It's how I live. Sometimes I think I've got to soak up every ounce of this good life, but the. The best is yet to come. So, really, in this life, I need to spend it quickly and carefully for the kingdom of God, that everything I do now is for the later that I'm saving up. I'm storing up things that moth and rust can't destroy.

I'm storing up things that have eternal value. You see the difference? Having Christ in this life is better. The idea that you can come out better running your own life than surrendering your life to God is the ultimate lie. It's the great deception that goes all the way back to Genesis one.

We're at the end. If you go back to the beginning, you'll find that indeed, that's the argument. Did God really say, does God really want what's best for you? Surely that piece of fruit on that tree is good for eating. Maybe God is deceiving you.

That's the original lie. Indeed, though, life in God's hands is far better. Pop up this image for me. I know it might be a little small for you, and I'm sorry about that. I need.

I need, like, a bigger screen or something for these kinds of things. But this is the idea of what God has done. If you could take the Bible and put it in one chart and understand it, this would be what God is doing. He created a world in Genesis one and two. His intent was to walk with man in the cool of the night, to be present physically with man.

That creation itself, God said, was good and there was no sin, there was no death. And then evil hits the world. Man makes a fallen choice. He is separated from God. The Bible talks, and we're going to mention this verse, that creation itself is groaning, that creation itself is broken.

That's why we have tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes and a lion will attack you. Just trust me. You try to pet it, you're going to get bit. Creation is groaning and there's sin and there's death. But you know what's interesting at the end of the chart?

It's this grand narrative, this wonderful arc of what Christ has done, that here, as we end, God is yet again dwelling with man. Creation goes from good to perfect and never will fail again. And no more sin and no more death. There's where we're going to be today. I hope you're encouraged that Christ in this life is good.

But as the apostle Paul said a few weeks ago, departure to depart and be with Christ is far better. This present heaven with Christ is better, but the best is yet to come. In these last two chapters, the book of Revelation. You can turn there if you've got your bibles. The Lord revealed to the apostle John what the eternal home would look like for the redeemed people in Christ Jesus.

We can know this reality, this place that God has revealed. I think the text will give us four very important details about our eternal home. So let's read these few verses right here. In revelation 21, it says, then I saw, that's the apostle John here writing, I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

And I saw the holy City, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Amen. And death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, behold, I am making all things new. Also he said, write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.

And he said to me, it is done. I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, for the murderers, the sexually immoral, the sorcerers idolaters, all liars.

Their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. I bless the reading of his word. Amen. You were like I was good until that last verse. I don't know about amen in that last piece.

Amen to that. What will our eternal home be like? Well, here's the first truth. It will be a new place for a new you. A new place for a new you.

This is what John saw in his vision, that God has shown him what is to come. The things that are coming later, after Christ has come again and installed his permanent kingdom and the new heaven and the new earth are on display, he saw the world and the universe now rejuvenated, fundamentally transformed, if you will. We're going to read more into revelation in just a moment. And God is doing essentially what he's done in the beginning over again. One pastor, when reading on this, said, this is like God's great rehab job, that the earth is getting a rehabilitation, a return, if you will, to what God intended, but something even more that creation itself is getting a touch up, but something better, I think new, this idea of new is opposed to old, but has this idea of that which is recently made is superior to what came before?

That's the idea here, and the new heavens and the new earth and the New Jerusalem. Now you might be thinking, okay, so there's a new heaven and a new Jerusalem and a new earth. Again, I want to remind you that the language of the gospels and of the New Testament is when they talk about the heavens, they're often talking about the sky and the stars and the moon and all of that. Paul talks about that often, that the way they use heavens isn't always capital h heaven, if you will. So when he's talking about this new Jerusalem that I believe is heaven and the new heavens, is the idea that John looked up and saw maybe some stars and planets, he didn't recognize that there's some new stuff up there.

And when he looked at the new earth, he saw some very strange things. For instance, miles and miles of earth, and he noticed no sea, that the sea was no more. Now that's, that's a fascinating thing. It's like God hands John here something that he began. If you go back to the book of Isaiah, and I'm gonna read those for you, but I've often said this, people love the book of revelation.

I bet a lot of you this morning, as soon as I say revelation, you're like, oh, that's some scary spooky stuff. I can't wait to hear about that. But I would encourage you, believer in the room, if you're looking to study revelation, but you've never read anything else. That book ain't gonna make any sense because the book, it hearkens back to tons and tons of things that have already been written. I would encourage you, read the book of Daniel, read the book of Isaiah, Ezekiel, read the gospels.

Then maybe you're ready for revelation. Isaiah especially. And here's what's happening. God is now moving the mark even ahead of where he told Isaiah. So, Isaiah 65, it says, behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

It goes on in chapter 66 to say, the new heavens and the new earth that I will make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain. And so now John is seeing what Isaiah began to see, but in greater detail. And he tells us there in verse one that something's gone. That in order to install this new earth and this new heaven and this new Jerusalem, that the first of those things have passed away and the sea is no more. Now, here's what's going on.

Man's sin. Just so you know, if somehow you've missed this, if somehow you can watch the news or you can go to work or you can look around and you haven't yet noticed that man is sinful, here's some information for you. The people around you do a lot of bad stuff, and I have a feeling you do some bad stuff. And if you don't do it, maybe you think it sometimes. God, Christ on earth, he says, it's not enough that you, you know, would commit adultery, but if you look at a woman that way with lust in your eyes, you've done it.

You've committed adultery in your heart. So he takes it to the next level such that we can look at our life and go, I'm a mess. I'm part of the brokenness of this world that I don't have to really guess, and I can watch the news. You don't have to watch for long. Before you go, wow, it seems like a lot of people hate each other.

Seems like nobody's getting along too well. Seems like the whole world hates America. I don't know what's going on with that. It's interesting. Just watch for a few seconds or don't, you know, just take my word for it.

Romans eight says, for, we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now, and not only the creation, we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Now, here's what I think is interesting. Church believers. We often think about this heaven that is to come and how we'll be restored. Our bodies will be redeemed.

Sin will be no more. There will be no more death and tears. And that's all true, and that's all wonderful. But do you ever consider the fact that creation itself is also groaning for that second coming of Christ, that the very earth itself is crying out for the adoption of the sons of God? That is, that when Christ comes again, we will be restored.

And then in that moment, the earth itself also will be. Now, that's. That's an amazing thought, that we would return to this kind of environment where Adam was able to walk up with animal to animal and. And name them and probably hang out with them. I don't.

I can't even get my head around this idea that there will be no more death and that creation itself will be this place of peace for us. Peter explains it this way, this passing away of the earth. He says in two, Peter three. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. This thing that God is doing in the last day, he has done once before, but he's doing it a little different this time. Here's something else to consider. The creation.

The earth that you walk on right now isn't so much like the original one that God made. First of all, sin has entered it and broken it. And by the sweat of our brow, we. We dig and try to farm and we try to. If you've ever tried to plant grass here in eastern North Carolina, you'll find out it's almost impossible to do.

You gotta work your b*** off to try to get grass to grow in this nasty clay. And that's part of the curse of creation that sin introduced. But that's not the only thing that has occurred. Man likes to forget that God has once flooded the earth which changed its composition altogether. That when we think of carbon dating, I wonder how well we can do that since at one point in time the whole earth was underwater for 40 days.

You could do some tests on that and find out. It skews the evidence. And so Peter has already said this just in the text before, that God once flooded the earth and he's not going to do that again. He makes that promise to man and gives us the rainbow as an indication of that. But this second thing he's doing is by fire.

So once by water and the end by fire, and the earth will be new and the heavens new. Now, some of you didn't like what he said in verse one, that the sea will be no more. I don't know what that means exactly, because here's what's interesting. If you go back in previous verses in the Book of Revelation, the Sea seems to be an agent. And where evil comes up out of, I don't know how much of this is meant to be literal and how much is meant to be figurative.

That is a real difficulty as you read the Book of Revelation. But the evil one and the demons and many other things are coming up out of the sea. The city of Babylon rises from this. And so maybe John intends to say all of that stuff, that dark place is no more. But maybe he literally means the earth is going to look a lot different.

Some have argued that perhaps the original earth was more like a pangaea, if you've heard this term, that it's just one giant continent and that maybe this is what the new earth will be like. And so the sea will no longer separate men at all, separate mankind. But some of you really like the ocean. I don't know what. You're going to have to address that with the Lord.

I really. I'm going to the beach a couple of times this summer. Jonathan, like, come on, man. Heaven without the beach. I don't know.

Maybe John means this literally. Here's what I know for certain. The sea is different to us than it was for them here he is addressing a first century people. And I can tell you right now, the sea was terrifying to them. They wouldn't go much outside of the Mediterranean.

Getting out there on the Atlantic would be a death wish. So for them, maybe the sea was a place of horror. He says the sea is no more. And now this holy city has come down out of heaven. Jesus promised to prepare this place.

This is what he's been up to preparing many mansions. In fact, John 14 says, let not your heart be troubled. You 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 to myself. That where I am, there you may be also. He's been working on that for a while. I find that interesting.

The Bible says it took him six days to make all of this wonder. 2000 years he's been working on this prepared place. Wow. I'd like to think, and this is just my opinion, so take it and dump it right in the trash if you would like. But perhaps the place he's preparing now, he's using the help of the saints of old that maybe as this place is being prepared, some of my loved ones are up there saying, okay, I'm gonna make a little something unique in this room for Jonathan because I know his strange sense of humor.

We're gonna put like some. Some secret pocket doors over here. I'd like to think that's maybe what's going on that's not in the Bible at all. That's an opinion of Jonathan. But maybe that's what he's doing.

That takes a little bit longer because he's letting us get involved in the present heaven. A new you. Our former bodies will also die and we will receive new glorified bodies. First Corinthians says someone may ask, how will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?

Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. Let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye when the last trumpet is blown, when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever.

And we who are living will be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die. Our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. What does this new place and new you look like? Well, I think it looks a little bit like what you already know, but way better.

That the arc of the Bible is this idea of garden to garden. That God created something and it was good and then he's going to restore it to something that is beyond good. It is perfect. And that the way you look will be similar, but better. The way you feel will be similar, but better.

The way you look at this world will be similar but better. Randy Alcorn, when writing on this, he says that maybe triangles are just like a foreshadowing of pyramids, that what we see now in 3d will be like ten d or something there. If there was such an animal that everything we know now, it will have some continuity in the new heaven, but will be best believer. Your eternal home will be perfect. Here's a second detail that's indicated here in chapter 21 that makes heaven heaven.

And that is, it will be a new family where God dwells with us. It will be a new family where God dwells with us. This new Jerusalem that comes down in verse two of chapter 21, this new place is described later in 21, and we're going to read some of that in a moment. This place is amazing. And this idea that now God dwells with us is the key detail.

Now, let me go on in chapter 21. This is going to be on the screen for you, and just describe this. This is a heavy amount of reading, but I find that people enjoy this particular paragraph. The New Jerusalem is described in chapter 21, verse nine, where it says, then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying this. Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the lamb.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance, like a most rare jewel, like a Jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels. And on the gates, the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold.

That's convenient. I want to know how big this is to measure the city and its gates and its walls. And it says that the city lies four square. Some great old hymns with that in there. The heavenly place is four square, its length the same as its width.

And he measured the city with his rod. 12,000 stadia. Now, I don't think any of you use stadia as a measuring tool, but just so you know, 12,000 stadia is about 1400 miles. 1400 miles. Its length and its width and its height are equal.

So this thing is 1400 miles by 1400 miles and 1400 miles tall. Just so you know, thats just about the width of Europe.

And from here, sea level to where space begins, they say, is somewhere around 62 miles. So something that's 1400 miles high is hard to picture. So just try to get that in your head. This thing is coming off the earth so far that I don't think you can see the top. The human eye can't see that many miles.

Perhaps our perfected eyes will be able to see it. I don't know. He says 12,000 stadia, all these sides equal. And then he measured the wall, which was 144 cubits by human measurement. If you remember, if y'all were with me in the book of Daniel and some of the others, we've talked about cubits before.

Before. We don't use those anymore either. But it's roughly 18 inches. It's from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, which is interesting, because even today, if you measure that part, it's about 18 inches. It's great.

144 by 18 inches is 213ft high wall. That's over two football fields. That's quite a wall. He measured the wall and it was this, which is also the angel's measurement. The wall was built of Jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear glass, the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel.

The first, Jasper. The second, sapphire. The third, agate. I always want to say, but I think it's agate. I don't know.

The fourth, emerald. The fifth, onyx. The 6th, carnelian. The 7th, chrysolite. The 8th, beryl.

The 9th, topaz. The 10th, chrysoprase. The 11th, jacinth. I added some extra syllables there. The 12th, amethyst.

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl. And the streets of the city were pure gold, like transparent glass. So, just so you know, we often talk of heaven as being this place with pearly gates and streets of gold. That is true of the eternal heaven. Whether it is true of the present heaven, we don't know.

Perhaps these places are the same to some degree. And that that's what John sees coming down, is the present heaven will now come to earth. This is amazing stuff. This is this new place, this new family. And now God goes on to say, it's even better than you thought, because with this loud voice in verse three, this again, megaphone.

The word there in the Greek is megalephone. Which is where we get megaphone. He comes from this loud voice from the throne saying, this is now the dwelling place of God. This is the best part about heaven, and I'm convinced of this church. If you're really curious as to whether or not you belong there or not, the question is this.

Would it be home at all for you if God wasn't there? Would it be home if Christ the savior wasn't there? I think not. It would cease to be heaven at that point. This is what makes heaven heaven.

And it says, now, this is the dwelling place, the tabernacle of God, that we would be God's family as he's always desired. Ephesians one says, God decided in advance to adopt us into his very own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. This has always been his desire for you church people. Why did he make you?

Did he make you so that you would suffer in this life? No, it's not the purpose of his creation. That's the purpose of the evil one. And the brokenness of sin, that's its purpose. That's not God's.

God's purpose is that you would spend eternity with him, that you would be family. He made you for himself, that you would spend eternity together. And not just with him, but all those who've gone before and those who will come later. Jesus has promised that he will dwell with them and he with us. John 14 says, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

This is what makes heaven heaven. This has always been what makes home home. If you've had grandparents or even parents pass away and you go to visit the old homestead, if you will, you go visit that place. Most of you might have this feeling that I often have. I don't even want to go in there, because that place is not what it was.

There's new people living there. The place was never what made it home. It was the people inside heaven will be the same. If you're questioning, how do I know that this place will be better, that it will be best? Because it's the place where God dwells.

The creator of the universe, the one who loves you more than you could possibly know, the one who had you in mind when he started the process, the one that thought of you when he died on the cross. Yes, that one is there, and that's what makes heaven heaven. And just let your mind wander for just a second and think about the countless, countless amount of people there that are ready to welcome you with open arms. That's what makes home home. Oh, this is going to be a good time.

I can't wait to visit my nana and papa on this new mansion. I hope it looks just a little bit like the one up there in Bent Mountain, Virginia. I hope maybe they've worked on it a little bit and put way too many knickknacks in one room, you know, that all of us would pile in this one little corridor where they would keep a fire running and we would literally melt together in there because these people were constantly cold. I guess you could barely sit, but that place was home and you could smell pancakes in the morning. I'm excited.

That is heaven. And what makes heaven heaven is that God himself dwells there. That's a relationship I can't wait to foster and work on, and I'm starting now. I hope you will with me. This new family, this redeemed humanity, and the Lord himself.

That's the second Detail. The Third is this. It will be a new existence without pain and death. Now, some of you are like, that's the best part. And it is to some degree part of the.

Part of the great wonder. I think the best part is that God is there. That's best. But then this has got to be a clear runner up, that no more more pain, no more tears, no more death, no more crying. This is amazing stuff.

This loud voice shouts this so that all in hearing would go, hallelujah, this is over. Because did you know God never wanted this, that some people would argue that life, the meaning of life, and this is a pretty popular philosophy, is that the meaning of life is suffering. And that's not true. Now, there's a lot of meaning that you can gather out of going through suffering. That's true.

But I think the meaning of life is worship. It's worship. The meaning of life is God's perfection. That is not yet, but will be. The meaning of life is God's love, his grace, also his justice, all of this.

Some people build their theologies on these things. Well, I would say that the number one thing is that God is sovereign or that God is love, and these will eventually lead you down roads that aren't as valuable. But maybe if you could just think, here's what I know for sure. God is perfect. He's all love, he's all just, he's all grace and he loves me and he cares for me and he's going to wipe all this away.

And life has never been about suffering. No, life has been about knowing and following the Lord. And he will do this wonder, this amazing thing that is to come, he says in verse four. To summarize it, all the former things have passed away. That is, all of this stuff that has been happening, perhaps the tribulation and the Bema seat and the rapture and the great white throne.

And people disagree about all of that, and we're not sure is he coming pre trib or after the trib. And I got all kinds of opinions on this that I believe are biblically based. But all of that has passed away. And not to mention that, but the pain, the trouble, the sorrow, the grief.

And this is what this place looks like. Isaiah gets an interesting prophecy again on this. Isaiah eleven. It says, the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together, and a little child shall lead them. I think this is a picture of not only the garden of Eden, but the eternal home.

The cow and the bear shall graze, the young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. He's obviously changing the components of some of these animals. The nursing child shall play over the hull of the cobra, and the weaned child child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. This is a fascinating place, this new existence where there is no pain or death.

This big, ugly seaword that we all hear too often now. I think it's the curse on our generation, maybe the last couple that you can go back and look in various medical journals and you'll see, hey, there was once this thing called the black plague and it wiped out millions. There's been epidemic after epidemic. Perhaps now we're facing this big, nasty cancer word. Maybe it won't be the epidemic of the next or the one after that generation, but here's what I know.

That junk's done in the eternal home, and it's over. So that stuff you've been afraid of, or you thought through, and you're on the other side of it now, grieving. No more. No more. Now I couldn't help but think a really silly thought, because that's just who I am.

What about. What about, what are we eating up there? I know that's real basic. And you're thinking, man, I got bigger fish to fry, Jonathan, I'm thinking about cancer. And I've lost this and that.

I get you and I've lost. I can't wait to see certain people, but my mind wanders. And I'm like, you know what I really like on a daily basis? Eating. I like cooking.

I like to eat. And I don't know exactly what's going on up there, but I know it's better. I know there will be eating in heaven, because the book does talk about that, that there's a great feast, and that also when we see Jesus return in his resurrected body on the road to Emmaus, he eats with his disciples. He eats with them several times. He eats fish with them.

So I'm like, huh, this is wild. The Book of Isaiah also says this, that on the mountain, the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well aged wine. A rich food full of marrow. An aged wine, well refined. Well, now that will be really interesting.

That will be the first time I've ever drank. So I don't know what's going on. I don't know if this is a different kind of wine. Be the first time I've ever, well, really had anything like that. But he says full of marrow.

One of the translations says, the choice meats.

Y'all picking up where I'm confused. He said, there's no death. What kind of meat is this?

Y'all ever had the impossible burger? It's disgusting. I guess God's impossible burger is going to be killer, though. It's going to be awesome. I don't know how this is going to work.

Just let your mind wander. You know what? You can have fun with the Bible. You know, that's okay. And then all your questions aren't intended to be answered.

If you've come before the Lord and you're like, if you don't answer every last one of my questions, I don't believe you're a God. I don't believe you're real. You're going to be sorely disappointed, because he doesn't owe you that. And he never intended to tell you every little detail about heaven. I read somebody recently say, if he hadn't done that, we'd all be ready to die now, so we could finally get there.

Now, he didn't tell us every last detail, and he didn't tell us how in the world this feast is going to work in a place where there's no pain in death.

But I'm convinced of something all the more as I've been studying through this topic of heaven over the last few weeks that I'm gonna be out of a job for one. And that's curious to me. Some of you are gonna be out of work. Have you considered this yet, John? You're gonna be out of a job.

They don't need police in heaven. There's no sin there, you know. It's sin that causes people to do stupid stuff. Yeah. All my nurses, all my doctors.

What are you doing? Don't need you anymore. Don't need dentists. Praise God. Oh, not one more dental visit for me.

No more of that. What are we doing up there? What are our purposes? Some of you got some talents I think are going to be one to one up there. You good with your hands?

I got a feeling God's going to be helping me. We're going to be building stuff. We're going to do something cool on this new earth. What am I going to be doing? Well, I'd like to get in the kitchen a little bit.

Or I'd like to mow some stuff maybe. Can I join the farmers in the room? I'm down with that. Let's plant some crops. I don't know what we're doing, but I like to let my mind just wonder on this that I know confidently that what God has before me is better than this by far.

And I'm thankful that I won't need to preach to a people that already know and love God. And I'm not sure I'd be the most qualified anyway. There's some guys up there I'd like to hear talk.

Here's the fourth detail. It's a new reality for only the redeemed. Now this is where the rubber hits the road in this text that there are many who would say that the gospel was never intended to be exclusive, but it in fact definitely is and certainly is all the way here to the very end of the book. That the Lord speaks here from his throne and says, I'm going to dwell with you. You're going to be my people.

I'm the alpha and the omega, the spring of the water of life, this river that runs now through the center of the new heaven, the new Jerusalem. This river is the river of life that the tree of life is there. What a fascinating thing. And he will be able to drink from this place. In fact, Jesus says without payment, this is free.

Similar to this topic he has with the woman at the well. John Fort says, whoever drinks of this water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. And he goes on in verse seven to say, the one who conquers will prevail, will get the victory. One John five says, everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.

This is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God? They will have this heritage, it says in verse seven. And then you've got verse eight. And I don't intend to skip this verse at all.

I'll spend a couple minutes here. To close in this final section, the one on the throne who is God shouts with a loud voice. As for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, the liar, on and on, their portion will be what he calls a second death.

Paul warns about this as well as many of the gospel writers, as well as Christ himself and now God himself on the high throne, that heaven is not a place for these. First corinthians six, it says, do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, the idolater, adulterer, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor the revilers, the swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.

Now, this is the good news of the gospel. Some would read this and say, I don't think Paul's right, or, I don't like this Christianity, but just know this. We were all here in some capacity, and so was I. I'm not more qualified to stand up here than you. No, what's different is that I, like so many of you, was washed, sanctified, justified, as he says, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God.

That's all that's different here. It's not that I'm good or better. I'm not, and nor are any of the believers in this room. But we said yes to Jesus. We said, I'm not enough.

I know I'm messed up. And that's what separates heaven from hell. That's what he's speaking of here. And these people, these ones he's described, the detestable, the faithless, they would hate heaven.

They'd hate it. The reason they'd hate it is because in heaven, Christ is king.

And that's the curious question today. Are you willing to go ahead and say, christ is king of my life. He is my savior. He is lord of all. There's no reason, my friend, that you have to suffer what he calls the second death.

The only reason would be your own pride. The only reason would be your own justification and thinking that God is wrong and you are right.

The Bible is pretty clear on this. Of course, the Lord can't allow the unrighteous in this new reality because guess what would happen?

The same thing that's been happening now. Some of you are like, I don't know about that flood stuff that you were speaking about earlier. Genesis. Early in Genesis, we've got this Noah's ark story, and some of you grew up with it, and you're like, it was fun as a kid, but now looking at that, I'm like, that is beyond ridiculous. I've seen recently this meme posted on Instagram, and I've wasted too much time there.

I will admit that I repent before you, Lord, that I'm wasting too much time watching these goofy memes. But this person comes on, and I really like these memes, and comes on and says, say the weird thing. Y'all seen this one yet? And then other people will post on to that mean, ridiculous things that happen to be true. And so I would say to you, my view of the book.

My view of the Bible is, let's just go ahead and say the weird thing. And what if it's true? What if most of the book of Revelation is literal? What if there are dragons and fire? And you're thinking, well, that makes no sense with science.

And I've got all this logic. God made you and your logic. Put aside your logic. Oh, that's. I can't believe this flood.

How is it even possible? And you're trying to scientifically think of a way. And people, even good christians, have done this. Well, maybe there was this canopy, and maybe they're right. The canopy theory is that the atmosphere was once very dense and that God made it all rain and flooded it down and it changed the atmosphere and this scientific reason.

But the weirder thing would be, God can make an earth. He can make it rain for a billion days. He does what he wants. Say the weird thing. I'm good with that.

I believe in this flood. I don't believe these stories are meant, as some think, to be just tales to help you learn morals. They're real. They really happened. There's evidence for a lot of them in the current world.

So how could the Lord allow unrighteous people in this new reality? Do you know he already tried this once. He knew what would happen. But this is what he did with Noah and his sons. He wiped out the rest of the earth with flood.

Only one family was saved. You ever considered that? And go back and read this in the book of Genesis, you'll find that he creates a new earth changed by floods, no longer pangaea, if that were a thing, but continents now separated by oceans. And after the flood, God even shortened humanity's lifespan to 120 years. It says in the book of Genesis, chapter six.

To do what? To limit man's sin. That.

I don't know if you know this, men don't just get better. They just get worse.

Some of you are thinking, you know, in my old age, I'll finally stop being so calloused and impatient. Are you kidding? You're going to be more of that. You become more of what you are. And if you're walking with Christ, you're going to become more of that.

And you know the difference? Some of you had some crotchety old grandparents and stuff, or uncles or great uncles or something, and you're like, ugh, I don't want to turn out like that. You can literally see the wrinkles in their face from their anger. No, you become more of that. And so God limits the lifespan of man.

But guess what happens in Genesis nine. They've barely opened the doors of the ark, this new earth that has been flooded. And what happens? Noah gets drunk. His son comes in and goes and laughs to all of his brothers.

You wouldn't believe what dad did. He looks like a clown in there. He's b*** naked. And the other sons back in there and put a blanket over him. And from day one, they've barely opened the ark, and already there's the sin of Noah, the sin of the son.

And then Noah curses his son ham and all of his descendants.

That's why the unrighteous are not destined for this place, believer. We live in this new reality. We will live in this new reality where only the redeemed shall live. And you, my friend, can be one of the redeemed. If you've decided up until this point, you know, I just don't.

I don't want to go that route. There's no reason to wait. Other than your own pride, I guess. Instead of trying to live your best life now, church, and this is for believers and unbelievers alike. Your best life is yet to come.

I would ask you, my friend, as I'm asking myself, as I look in the mirror every day, how can I spend today to its max to store up things in the kingdom of heaven that are eternal because I can work my fingers to the bone for things that are cool in this life, that will be dust that will be burnt in the fire of what Peter speaks of.

Instead of trying to live your best life now, what would it look like to completely surrender your life to God, trusting in the Lord Jesus and knowing this truth in the back of your head all along, that the best life is in him and not in your own hands. I hope that's encouraging and challenging to you today. Let's pray now together. Heavenly Father, we thank you so much that you are first of all a God who is creative and a God who loves us so much that he would redeem us, that all of those things are in view as we dig into this topic of heaven. That God, you first of all love us so much that you created us to begin with and then you love us so much that you would restore us and redeem us even when right many of us were living not only not for you, but completely the opposite, totally opposed to you, maybe even at seasons of our lives hating what you represent and what you stand for.

And yet you still, you still died for us. Not for friends, but for enemies. That's who you died for. I'm thankful for you, Lord Jesus, for what you've done for us and God the father. I'm thankful for this eternal home that is one day to come, that there's a place you've been preparing for us where we can be completely and totally free.

No more anxious thoughts, no more painful backs and knees, no more mourning over loss, both of people and of relationships. No more of that either. That we spend a great deal of our lives being angry with one another, being sick of one another, maybe in this very church, relationships that we just have not been able to mend, maybe family members that we'd write and we really wish we could make it right with our dad or our mom or a sibling, our child. And yet there is no pain in this place. And those relationships are restored in a way that we couldn't accomplish.

I thank you, Lord God, for that. I'm praying uniquely, God, that you would allow us to live as if the kingdom of heaven were now, that we would be motivated by the things of this earth that are actually eternal. Sure, we've got to take care of our families and put food on the table, and your word speaks to that too. But what motivates us, God, I pray, would you challenge and encourage us to be motivated by the things that matter forever. God, I recognize.

Maybe someone has come here today. And this final verse isn't just challenging. Maybe it makes you angry. Maybe you're frustrated by it. What kind of God is this?

Maybe you think he's. Maybe you think he's wrong. For this, I pray right now that you would hear a different voice of the Lord God. The spirit of God would say, no, it's not that, my son, my daughter, it's not that. The question is, will you set your own brokenness aside for a second and see that I've made a way?

I've made a way for all men. No one. No one is too far gone. No murderer, no adulterer. That long list there.

It's not to say these are people that couldn't inherit the kingdom of God. They're only those people that can't inherit when they say no to the savior. And I'm no different than you, my friend. Would you put aside your pride for a moment and just see that God has given you away and it's a free gift? Oh, it is life changing.

Don't get me wrong. It'll change the way you think and the way you work and the way you live this life. And you. If you knew what that meant, you'd be thankful for it, that there's a better life to be lived now and a best life to be lived later in Christ Jesus. If that's you today, you feel the voice of God saying, come on, my son.

Come on, my daughter. Say yes. Pray simply this. Lord Jesus, I believe that you died on the cross for my sins. I believe you took that on for my sake so that I could be set free, no longer guilty, but innocent.

And, God, I believe that you raised Jesus from the grave. I believe in both the cross and resurrection. And now I believe, Christ Jesus, that you are indeed, Lord in charge of my life. I'm asking, would you now show me what it means to have an authentic walk with you? I don't understand a lot of these details.

In fact, there's a lot of things I'm still frustrated about. God, would you guide me in this life and help me to live the kingdom of heaven on earth? God, do that in each and every one of us. My dear friend, thank you for praying that with me. If you prayed with me.

But we're praying very similarly right along with you. Dear Father, please guide us in this life that we would do things that matter. We would live a life that actually is on purpose and not just being tossed to and fro by waves of all kinds of different teaching and culture. Know that we would live as if God, you, Christ, you could come tomorrow. Guide us.

We pray in Jesus name. Amen.


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