ROBERT >> I once dreamed that I died and went to heaven. And when I looked around, I found a beautiful golf course. The grass was green, the flowers were in bloom, everything was well manicured, and there on the first tee box was a bag of new Callaway golf clubs. A white tee was already placed there in the ground for the ball. But as I stepped onto the tee box for that first drive down the long, narrow fairway, I realized there were no golf balls. Yes, I had gone to the wrong place.
A lot of people have a lot of ideas about what we’ll do in heaven, from playing golf to polishing the foundation stones, to taking one long, endless nap on a fluffy cloud; but actually in heaven we’re going to be doing some of the same things we do here on the earth, only with some marked differences.
Today we want to consider some of these points as I have taken from an article written by Mike Vestal, and I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.
>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> As we think this morning about what we’ll do in heaven, the first point is this: In heaven we’ll worship without distraction. I want to go with you to the book of Revelation, where John was able to see into heaven. He was given a look, a glimpse into the heavenly real, and the first thing that he saw was God sitting on his magnificent throne.
Let me read to you from Revelation 4:3. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
There John saw God. And the angelic beings that surrounded that throne, he went on to describe proclaiming, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come! And at the same time there were 24 elders, representing all of God’s people, and they fell down before God and they worshiped him.
And look what they said in verse 11: You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.
You look a little further after this in Revelation chapter 5, and John saw Jesus, Jesus in the midst of that throng, being worshiped by all. Here the Bible says in Revelation 5:11, Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing! And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever! And then the four living creatures said, Amen! And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
And that’s not the end of the visions of John. Turn over to Revelation chapter 7. Once again he’s able to see into that heavenly realm, and here he sees the faithful, the faithful who had died, who had gone to heaven, who had engaged in the worship of God and Jesus and the Lamb. Revelation 7, beginning in verse 9: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
When we get to heaven, worship will be one of the great and continuous activities. All the redeemed in heaven will continuously worship the Lord. We’ll truly know what it means to worship. And worship will never be forced or manipulated or contrived, and all the pretense and impropriety that sometimes we see here on earth, that will be lost in praise to God. The worship in heaven will be spontaneous and genuine, and everyone there will participate. The singing of hallelujahs to the Lord will ring forth.
All of us will lose ourselves in the joy of telling our wonderful God just how much we adore him. In heaven there’ll be no distractions. That’s for sure.
But let’s notice a second point: In heaven we’ll serve without exhaustion.
I don’t know all the specifics about what we’ll be doing, but we’ll be busy serving God. Read again with me from Revelation 7:15. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them, the Bible says.
Look at it in Revelation chapter 22, as once again John gives us a vision of that heavenly realm. In chapter 22 verse 3, And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
It seems that God has built into man a creative drive to produce something, to be productive, to be busy, to be at work. We get great pleasure from a job well done, from knowing that others are pleased with our service. And how true this will especially be of serving God in heaven. Sometimes service is difficult here on earth; but in heaven it will always be a matter of delight and devotion to the almighty God.
It’ll be service without time demands. It’ll be service without frustration. It’ll be service without limitations and without growing tired.
Let me read to you again from Revelation the 7th chapter, and let’s read verse 15 all the way through verse 17. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
That’s right. That’s the kind of service that we’ll enjoy in heaven, without exhaustion. Look at chapter 21 of Revelation and verse 4. Here he says, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, no crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
There’s an old hymn entitled, Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All. And how right that old hymn is, particularly when it says, Often I’m hindered on my way, burdened so heavy I almost fall, and then I hear Jesus sweetly say heaven will surely be worth it all.
So there’ll be worship without distraction, there’ll be service without exhaustion; but in heaven, point number three, we will administrate without failure.
The Bible indicates that we will reign with Christ in eternity. We’ll be a part of his administration over all. Look in 2 Timothy 2:11-12, where the apostle Paul reminds the young preacher here, This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. So we will reign with Christ. We will serve with him and share with him in his power.
In Revelation 22:5, notice what it says. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
God has delegated to us a great deal of responsibility, and we often feel the pressure and the guilt of not being able to measure up to our own self-imposed expectations; and how guilty we feel when we don’t measure up to what God expects. But in heaven, we’ll never have to face failure. The one who overcomes will be privileged to sit down with Jesus around the throne.
In Revelation 3:21 he reminded those persecuted saints of this great place with Jesus in heaven. He said here in Revelation 3:21, To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
You remember the words of Matthew 25:21, how encouraging they are as we work and we strive and we continue to trust Jesus for our heavenly home. Here Jesus says, His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
Finally today, I want to make this point: In heaven we will fellowship without suspicion. There’s no way a human being can really comprehend the beauty of heavenly fellowship.
We’ll be privileged to commune with all of the patriarchs of old who had been faithful, and we’ll be able to see them there.
In Matthew 8:11 Jesus describes what it’ll be like in that everlasting kingdom. In Matthew chapter 8, let me read verse 11. And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
The Hebrew writer also reminds us of these faithful men and women of old, these who have gone before us and who will share with us in the joys of heaven in that wonderful fellowship. In Hebrews 11:10, speaking of Abraham, For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And then in verse 13 through 16, speaking of the many faithful like Abraham, These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly, country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
All these patriarchs of old, the faithful of the Old Testament, as well as the faithful of Christianity throughout all the ages, the babies, the little children who pass from this life before reaching an accountable age, most important, will enjoy the fellowship of God.
Let me read to you another passage concerning that place on the other side of death and the fellowship we enjoy there. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. 2 Corinthians 5, beginning verse 6, So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Oh, what it’ll be like to not only have all of these who have gone before us, but to be in the presence of God himself.
In Philippians 1:23 the apostle Paul spoke of this great desire, he says, to depart and to be with Christ.
And in Revelation 21:3, hear these words: And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And finally let me read Revelation 22:4, They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. To see God, to be with him face to face, that’s the glory and that’s the joy of heaven.
What limitless possibilities for fellowship will exist in heaven. The lure of heaven should be that irresistible thing that keeps us going here on the earth when the sin and the death and the pain and the struggle threaten to overwhelm us. Don’t forget about our hope.
Look at 1 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 3. Peter wants to encourage us in the trials of this life, pointing us to that wonderful fellowship in heaven. He says here in chapter 1 beginning in verse 3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.
It’s no wonder that God spared us a completely detailed description of heaven. We couldn’t wait had he told us more.
Let me add this one point before we leave today. In heaven we’re going to rest. And we’re going to rest without boredom.
One of the many horrible characteristics of hell is that those who are lost will never rest from their torment day or night. You read about it in Revelation chapter 14 beginning verse 10, where the Bible says, He himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
We see here that those who are lost will never rest from their torment day or night.
One of the great beatitudes of the Revelation promises rest to the faithful. In Revelation 14:13, John writes, Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.
Perhaps the thought of rest does not sound particularly appealing to some people. After all, some like to keep moving, don’t they? They’re always on the go, and when they’re not, they’re miserable. How can the rest of heaven possibly be so wonderful for them?
Well, the answer hinges on how one defines heavenly rest. The rest of heaven, it means that we’ll never be tired, we’ll never be weak and sick and unfulfilled or interrupted.
A glorified spiritual body that we’ll enjoy in heaven, it’s going to know nothing of fatigue or exhaustion. The rest that God promised will not be rest from all work, but rather a rest from all want. That’s one of the reasons why in 2 Thessalonians 1:7, that’s one of the reasons why that verse should be so precious to the Christian.
Look what it says here as Paul writes to the churches of Thessalonica in 2 Thessalonians 1:7. Here he says, And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. That precious rest.
Let’s don’t be discouraged. Rest and relief are in sight. That’s the message of God. That’s what it’s going to be like to be in heaven.
No, the Bible doesn’t tell us everything about heaven and what we’re going to do when we get there. What it does say should cause us to forever praise our God. When we consider what we were apart from Christ and what we will enjoy in heaven because of Christ, it should cause us to live more humbly, to love more deeply, to serve more willfully, and to behave more obediently.
Yes, how beautiful heaven must be. Don’t miss out on what God has prepared for us all. Turn from your sins today and get right with God. If you’ve never been baptized into Christ, trusting him to save you from your sins, do that today. If you’re a Christian, but you’ve sinned before others, you openly, honestly confess it.
Let God’s people pray for you. Get your heart right with God. Let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.
>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land. The battle belongs to the Lord. No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. When the power of darkness comes in like a flood, the battle belongs to the Lord. He’s raised up a standard, the power of his blood. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear. The battle belongs to the Lord. Take courage, my friend, your redemption is near. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all. Oh, that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall. We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all. We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.
ROBERT >> I want to thank you for watching our program today. And we would really like to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.
All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. And we want to thank the many churches of Christ who help support this program and encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon. Their names will be scrolled on the screen at the end of our program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace. From the toils that bind me it will bring release. Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all. Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.