1546 What Will We Do In Heaven?

Have you ever considered what you will do in Heaven? Some people have the idea we will nap on clouds all day or play endless rounds of our favorite sports. Others think they would be bored. But what does the Bible say about our future activities in Heaven?

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 requests@ttil.tv. 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.

1545 How Many Will Go To Heaven?

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Most people believe they are going to Heaven, but Jesus said there would not be many who make it. Just how many will go there? And more importantly, will you be one of them?

ROBERT >> How many will go to heaven? Some believe everybody’s going, or at least most will go there, that we’re all going to heaven, we’re just taking different roads to get there. Picture a mountain with heaven at the top and everyone climbing up different paths to get there. But the picture the Bible gives is much different.

>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Throughout the history of the Bible we see that in every age, only a remnant has been saved. Only eight of all the world were saved from the flood of Noah’s day; only a remnant was saved out of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; and only a remnant of Israel was saved from the scattering and destruction of the Jews; and Jesus plainly taught that most people will not go to heaven. I want to read to you today from Matthew 7:13-14, at the end of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. Listen to his words here.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

That’s right. According to Jesus, not everyone is going to heaven. In fact, not even most are going to heaven, only a few. And we need to recognize that there are not many ways to heaven, but only one way; and that is the way of Christ. In John 14:6, we see the words of Jesus again where Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes unto the Father but by Me. Jesus is the only way.

In Acts the 4th chapter we notice in verse 12 where the apostle Peter said that, There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. It is only through Jesus Christ that anyone will get to heaven. And so let’s ask again the question this morning, and let’s take a close look at it.

How many will go to heaven? And I want us to look for the answers to that question in the book of Revelation, Revelation chapter 21 and chapter 22, that describes for us that wonderful, eternal state with God in heaven. And there are several answers that I want us to notice here from these chapters.

First of all, let’s look at Revelation 21:6. Here the Bible says, And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

Let’s put it like this: How many will get to heaven? As many as want it more than anything else. Thirst is one of the strongest desires of the flesh. We cannot live without water.

Imagine, if you could, being out in the desert, and you’re dying of thirst, and you’re searching for water. He says that kind of longing, that kind of thirst we must have for the fountain of life so that we might be saved, so that we might enjoy eternal life. I want you to look with me for just a moment in John the 4th chapter as Jesus used this same figure when he was talking to a woman at a well in Samaria.

In John chapter 4, let’s pick up the story in verse 5. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. And then the woman of Samaria said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Let me stop here for just a moment. And you’ll notice that when this woman came to the well, that Jesus spoke to her, and he asked her for a drink of water. And the woman here was a little set back because normally the Jews didn’t have any dealings with the Samaritans. But Jesus was interested in her soul, and Jesus wanted to teach her about eternal life, and he wanted to use water to help her to understand it. Look a little further in verse 10.

Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. And the woman said to Him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?

Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

And the woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.

This woman still had in mind the physical water that would quench her physical thirst; but Jesus here is emphasizing the same thing that we read in Revelation chapter 21, that there is a living water of eternal life that we must thirst for, that we must long for, just as this woman longed for the drink from the well of Jacob. Now, Jesus Christ is the one who gives us that living water, but we must thirst for it, we must long for it. And so I want to ask you this morning, what are you longing for? What are you thirsting for? Where is your heart at?

I remember the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:23 as he considered the work that he was doing here upon this earth, but also how much he wanted to go to heaven and to be with Christ. Let me read what he wrote here to you, Philippians 1:23, For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. Paul had a desire to stay and to help the church here, but he knew it was far better to depart and to be with Christ. And that must be our heart.

Look at it in Colossians chapter 3 beginning in verse 1. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth; for you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Here the apostle Paul reminds the church at Colosse how they had died with Christ, been buried with him, and had now been raised with him in the waters of baptism when they became a Christian, as Paul described it in Romans the 6th chapter. And he said, remembering that, you need to set your mind on things above.

You need to set your mind on Christ, on heavenly things. In fact, look what he says in verse 4 of this chapter. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. He wants us to long for that day when Christ will come again and we’ll share in his glory in that heavenly realm. Look at 1 John 2:15-17.

John recognizes that it’s very easy for any of us to get caught up in the world and the things of the world and to set our hearts on this world rather than the heavenly world that God has for us.

Here he says, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. So then instead of following the desires of our flesh and going after the things of the world, let’s set our hearts on heaven, let’s set our hearts on the Father and to be with him for all of eternity.

What is your priority? What is your passion in life? Where is your heart at? Look with me in Philippians once again, in Philippians 3:12-14, where the apostle Paul helps us to see where we really ought to put our focus and our attention. Here in this passage beginning in verse 12, the apostle Paul writes, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul said he had one passion, one priority, one thing he was doing, and that was to be perfect like Jesus Christ so that he might attain that heavenly calling. The apostle Paul had his mind, his heart set on heaven. Where is your heart? Where is your priority? Where is your passion? Where is your home?

In Philippians 3:20, the apostle Paul said this: For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not this earth, it’s not this planet, it’s not this world. Let’s not settle down here and become so comfortable that we forget that our real home, that our true home, that our eternal home is in heaven. Do you really want to go to heaven?

Those who go to heaven are those who really want to go to heaven.

Turning back to Revelation chapter 22, let me read verse 17, the invitation of our Lord here. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Yes, heaven is there, it’s available for all who would long for it more than anything else. But now let’s notice something else from the Revelation concerning how many will go to heaven. Look at Revelation 21:7.

In Revelation 21:7 the Bible says, He who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be My son. In other words, as many as will fight for it with their life, as many as will overcome in order to receive it.

Those in the Revelation, they suffered severely for their faith. They were threatened, they were beaten and tortured. They were imprisoned, even persecuted to death. So at the end of each of the letters to the churches that Jesus wrote here in the book of Revelation, guess what he promises? He promises the rewards of heaven to those who overcome.

Johnny Ramsey, gospel preacher, once said, Those who overcome get to come over. You see, getting to heaven, being able to go to heaven is a fight. It’s a fight for your very life. It’s a fight of faith.

Look with me in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, where the apostle Paul speaks of this fight that we’re involved in as Christians. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainly. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

It’s like running a race. It’s like fighting a fight. It’s giving your all, disciplining yourself so that you can obtain the heavenly home that God has prepared for us.

In 1 Timothy 6:12, this is what the apostle Paul told the young evangelist Timothy. In chapter 6 verse 12, Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. It would not be easy. It would be a struggle. But if we fight that good fight, we’re able to lay hold on eternal life for us in heaven. Look in 2 Timothy chapter 4, where the apostle Paul speaks of the end of his life, of his desire for heaven, and of the fight that he fought in order that he might obtain it.

Here in 2 Timothy 4 beginning in verse 6 he says, For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

You see, heaven is promised for those who will struggle, who will strive, who will fight to get there.

1 John 5:4, the Bible tells us, This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. And Jesus himself promised in Revelation 2:10, at the end of that verse to these suffering martyrs of Christ, Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Will you fight to the very end? In the very face of death, in the very hour of death, will you fight to the end for heaven?

But thirdly, let’s notice another passage from Revelation chapter 21 that helps us to understand how many will go to heaven. In verse 24, And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Yes, those who will go to heaven are as many as depend upon the savior for it. We cannot get to heaven on our own. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

We could never earn our salvation. And certainly we don’t deserve our salvation. It’s God’s gift through Jesus Christ. As Paul stated in Romans 6:23, The wages of sin is death. That’s what we’ve earned for ourselves. That’s what we deserve. But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. We’ve got to hear it and we’ve got to believe it and we’ve got to call on him for salvation. That’s what we do in the waters of baptism. As the preacher said in Acts 22:16, Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Are you trusting the savior to get to heaven? That’s the only way.

But then let’s also notice in Revelation 21:27, here the Bible says, But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

How many will go to heaven? As many as have their names written there in the Lamb’s book of life. These are those who belong to Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, John 1:29.

This is the church, those who labor in the gospel, the workers of God’s kingdom, like those mentioned in Philippians 4:3. Our names are registered in heaven according to Hebrews 12:23.

You can be blotted out of that book, like Psalm 69:28 warns us, Let them be blotted out of the book of life and not be written with the righteous. But those who overcome, those who are faithful to the end will not be blotted out. That’s the promise of Revelation 3:5. And so the book of life will be opened at judgment day, and if you’re not in that book, you’ll be cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:15.

If you’re in that book, you’ll be delivered and you’ll be raised to everlasting life.

Is your name written in the heaven?

I know when I first started preaching, I used to save everything that had my name on it. I liked to see my name on the list of speakers on a gospel meeting, an ad with my picture in a lectureship book. And once an article with my picture was put in the local paper about me and the meeting I was preaching. Seeing your name and your face in the paper, that was pretty cool. And then I made a hole in one out on the golf course, and it too went in the paper. I cut out the notice. I saved it.

But folks, that really doesn’t mean anything. More than anything else, I want to see my name in the book of life. If my name never gets mentioned in a paper ever again, that’s all right, just as long as my name gets mentioned in heaven.

If they’ll let me, when I get to heaven, I’m going to look over the shoulder of the angel who’s reading off the names in the book of life just to make sure. We all want to make sure that our names are found there.

Let me ask you this: How many of you want to hear your name when that roll is called up yonder? How many of you want to hear Jesus say, Well done, good and faithful servant; enter in to the joy of the Lord? Well, then look at Revelation 22:14.

Here’s what the Bible says: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through into the gates of the city.

How many will go to heaven? As many as follow the instructions to get there.

The commandments of God, remember, are for our good always, Deuteronomy 6:24. But we all try to go on our own without following his instructions, and we get lost every time. Yes, there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death, Proverbs 14:12.

We all need God’s guidance, his direction, his instructions. Maybe you’re like me, and you try to follow your GPS. You thought you knew better, maybe, and you quit following those instructions. I’ve tried that before, but I never get there. And if you don’t follow the instructions that God has given us to get to heaven, it’s not going to work. You’ll never make it.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Are you just going on through life without paying attention to what God says, or are you following his commandments?

How many will go to heaven? A lot of folks won’t go to heaven. But it’s not because God doesn’t want them to or that he’s not made a way for them to go to heaven. No, God so loved that world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Folks, what matters most is whether or not you’ll go to heaven.

>> All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give. I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all. All to Jesus I surrender. Lord, I give myself to thee. Fill me with thy love and power, let thy blessing fall on me. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.

>> Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified, knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary. Mercy there was great, and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied to me, there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan; oh, the grace that brought it down to man; oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary. Mercy there was great, and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied to me, there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, your comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

And remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. 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.

1544 Is Heaven Real?

Is heaven real? What do we know about it? How do we know it exists? This encouraging lesson will remind you that this world is not our home.

ROBERT >> When I was just a boy, I was amazed with space travel and rockets. I used to come home from school and watch Lost In Space, and then later the episodes of Star Trek. It seemed impossible to me that someone could have landed on the moon, and I know that many an astronaut today would like to be the first to land on the planet Mars. What if you could go beyond this world, out of this world, into heaven itself? Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> As we begin to consider the idea of going outside of this world into heaven itself, let’s ask a question this morning: How real is heaven?

I want you to notice that the Bible speaks of more than one heaven. It actually speaks of three heavens. Look back with me, if you will, in the book of Genesis when God created this universe.

In Genesis 1:20 the Bible says, “Then God said, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”

The first heaven, our atmosphere, the sky where the birds fly is what the Bible speaks of in Genesis 1:20. Jesus spoke of the birds of the air in Matthew 6:26, and James 5:18 mentions how the heavens gave rain. They were all talking about the first heaven, our sky, our atmosphere around the planet earth. But the Bible also speaks of a second heaven: Outer space.

Look at Genesis chapter 1 again, in verses 14 through 19. Here the Bible says, “Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

So here we read about that second heaven beyond the sky, our atmosphere around the earth, into outer space, where God set the sun and the moon and the stars. Hebrews 11:12 speaks of the stars of the sky. And so we see the first heaven where the birds fly, our atmosphere; the second heaven, outer space, where we find the sun and the moon and the stars; but there’s also a third heaven.

Look with me in 2 Corinthians 12:2, where the apostle Paul speaks of one who ascends into the third heaven. And I believe he’s talking about himself. But I want you to notice how he describes this for us here. 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up into the third heaven.”

Here you see he went beyond the first heaven, beyond the second heaven, into the third heaven. Outside of this universe, outside of this world, beyond this world. 1 Kings 8:27 talks about the heaven of heavens, and Ephesians 4:10 talks about Christ who ascended far above all heavens; in Hebrews 1:3, how that Jesus Christ sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.

So it’s this third heaven that we want to focus on today and in the lessons ahead. We can see the first two heavens, and we know they exist; but what about the third heaven? Is it just a fairy tale that we have made up to make us feel better, or can we really know there is a heaven beyond this world?

Let’s notice today first of all that it’s as real as God. If we know there’s a God, then we can know there is a heaven.

Where else is God going to live?

Where did God live before this world was created?

And where is he going to live after this world is destroyed?

There is a God.

In Genesis 1:1, you open your Bibles to that very first verse, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

He was already there in existence.

Look with me in Psalm 19:1, where the Psalmist looks up into the sky, and this is what he writes: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. As you look and you see this universe about you, the only reasonable, logical explanation is that there is a God, that there is a supreme being that’s powerful, that’s always been here, that eternal one who brought this world into existence.

The apostle Paul made this very argument in Romans 1:20 when he reminded us of God’s existence there. Here’s what he says: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

There’s no reason why anyone should not understand and know there is a God.

Hebrews 3:4 gives us a good principle that will help us to understand what Paul was talking about in Romans 1. Here’s what the Hebrew writer says: “For every house is built by someone; but He who built all things is God.”

We understand when we go down the road and we see a house, we understand that somebody built it. Somebody had to design it and construct it. That house is evidence of an architect, of a designer, of a constructor. And as we look at this universe about us, when we look at all things, we recognize that they must have been made by someone, some eternal, divine, powerful being. Design demands a designer. And folks, heaven is where that designer lives. It’s where God lives. It’s his throne. His throne is in heaven. Where God is, there is heaven.

So how real is heaven?

It’s just as real as God. But let’s also notice that it’s just as real as Jesus Christ. If we know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then we can know there is a heaven.

Where else could Jesus have come from?

And after his resurrection, where else could he have ascended, but into heaven?

Understand that Jesus Christ, like God our Father, already existed before the world was. He was with God and he was God.

Look at John 1:1. As you open this great gospel of the Lord and savior Jesus Christ, he begins by telling us about the eternal nature of this one.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

You see, in the beginning was the Word. It was already there. He, the Word, that logos, that one who is the very expression and image of God, he was there already in the beginning. And he was with God, and he was God. Now, I’ve never seen heaven; but Jesus has. And he descended from heaven to the earth. And after his death and resurrection, he ascended back into heaven. And he’s coming again to bring us home to heaven.

I want you to notice how he described this to his apostles in John 14:1-3. Here he 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. 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.”

Jesus Christ did not come from this world. He came from out of this world. But then I also want to remind us of this: Heaven is just as real as God, just as real as Jesus Christ, but it is also just as real as the Bible you hold in your hand. If we know the Bible is the word of God, then we can know there is a heaven.

And where else could this Bible have come from?

Notice what the Bible says about itself in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Here we learn from the apostle Paul, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Yes, the Bible claims to be the inspired word of God; that is, it came from his mouth. It’s God-breathed, literally. It’s God’s book. God has delivered this and preserved this for us today. The book itself is evidence of this divine being, God. Consider the amazing unity of the Bible. If you think about this Bible, it’s actually a library of books, some 66 books, books that were written over a period of some 1400, 1500 years. This library of books written by many different men, some 40 different men, and they all had different backgrounds. They spoke different languages, they were raised in different cultures. And yet you put all of these writings together, and you see this harmonious whole. You see from the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible this one theme running all the way through it, that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. In the Old Testament, how Jesus is coming, and in New Testament, how he has come and he is coming back again. This amazing unity could only be explained by the fact that each of these writers were guided by one great mind, God. God was able through these writers to reveal all things from the beginning to the end that he wanted for us to have, his will for our life. And all of that’s been preserved for us in this book.

Consider the amazing scientific foreknowledge of the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 where we just read earlier, and we’ll read it again here, we’ll notice how everything had its beginning. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

There we see that our world did have a beginning. It has not always been here. Something that it took hundreds and hundreds of years for scientists to discover, but now they agree, yes, just as the Bible said long ago, it had a beginning.

Job 26:7 says that the earth hangs upon nothing. It talks about how God hangs the earth on nothing. What better description could we with find of how the Earth, that planet, is just suspended in space, how unlike the many ideas of the day that it was supported by some firm, stable pillars or some kind of structure. No, it hangs on nothing.

Isaiah 40:22 speaks of the circle of the earth. While man believed for many years it was a flat earth, the Bible writers always recognized that it was a globe, the circle of the earth. And consider the fulfilled prophecy of the Bible. You know, the Bible has many prophecies in the Old Testament which are fulfilled, have been fulfilled in history and continue to be fulfilled in Christ and his church; but particularly amazing are the many prophecies concerning Jesus the Christ, the Messiah who was to come, about where he would be born, about how he would be born, of whom he would be born, about how he would live his life, the miracles he would perform, the parables that he would teach, how that he would die, suffer an awful death upon the cross, his hands and his feet being nailed, how that he would be raised again the third day, ascend on high to sit at God’s right hand to establish his kingdom on the earth, his church. All of this, his entire life, spelled out in the scriptures hundreds of years before he was ever born, again, evidence of a divine mind guiding the writings of each one of the writers of the Bible. Oh, the Bible is so powerful in its effect on all those who will believe it, who will follow it. We cannot argue with the many lives who’ve been rescued from sin and wonderfully changed forever. All of these things are evidence of the fact that there is a God, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that the Bible is the word of God. Folks, the Bible did not come from this world. It came from out of this world. Heaven is real. It’s just as real as God, it’s just as real as Jesus Christ, it’s just as real as the Bible, and it’s just as real as death. If we know death is real, and we all must accept that reality, then we can know heaven is real.

We only have to ask, what happens to the spirit when it can no longer live in this body?

We know how the body returns to the earth. We observe that when somebody dies. But the spirit returns to God who gave it. This is what is written in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 12:7. Here we see the wise man, Solomon, speak of what happens when somebody dies. Here is how he put it: “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”

You see, man is more than just flesh and blood. In fact, we only have to go back to Genesis chapter 2, where we read about the creation of the very first man, Adam.

And look what it says in Genesis 2:7. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. God breathed life into the dust from which man was made.”

This body, apart from the spirit, is dead.

James 2:26 tells us explicitly that when the spirit leaves this body, the body apart from the spirit is dead. That’s physical death. But understand the spirit lives on. And there are so many passages that speak of this.

For example, in Job, one of the oldest books of the Bible, if not the oldest, in Job chapter 14, and look with me in verse 14. Here the Bible says, “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes.”

Even this one recognized there was something beyond this life.

And you look a little further in Job 19, look at verse 25 and 26. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.”

In the New Testament, John 11:25-26, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he said on that occasion, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes on Me, though he die, yet shall he live again.

Indeed, it’s appointed unto man once to die, Hebrews 9:27, but after this the judgment. The spirit of man cannot remain in this world, but goes out of this world.

But finally, let me say that heaven is just as real as hell. If we know there’s a hell for the devil and his angels and all those who would follow him, just as surely there is a heaven for God and his angels and all those who would follow him.

Where else could they go but to be with God in heaven?

And we know hell is as real as the devil, it’s as real as sin, it’s as real as the cross of Jesus, where our sins were paid for. Jesus didn’t die just so we could escape the condemnation of hell; but he was raised up to give us the assurance of eternal life in heaven with God.

1 Peter 1:3-5 reminds us how we’ve been begotten again unto a living hope, reserved in heaven for you. It’ll be out of this world. Undefiled, incorruptible, Peter said.

One Sunday morning in a children’s Bible class the teacher asked her students, How many of you want to go to heaven? And they all raised their hands except one little boy. And she asked him, Why didn’t you raise your hand?

Don’t you want to go to heaven? He said, Oh, yes, but I thought you were getting a bus load to go right now.

Well, now that I’m grown, and especially as I grow older, I have no desire to ever take a rocket into space, but I can hardly wait to go home to be with my God in heaven. How about you? You know heaven is as real as God. It’s as real as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It’s as real as this Bible I have here in my hand today. It’s as real as the word of God. It’s as real as death and hell. And God has done everything so that you do not have to miss out on it. Won’t you trust in him for that today and let us know how we can help you towards heaven?

SINGING>> 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.

SINGING>> We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else, all else,
and we come to you and worship at your feet.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We’re interested in your soul. We want you to join us in heaven for all of eternity. I hope that if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and your savior today, that you’ll come to faith in him, that you’ll make that decision to turn away from your sins, that you’ll confess your faith in him as the Christ, the Son of God, and give yourself wholly and completely to him in the waters of baptism, that you might be raised up to walk in newness of life. The Bible says, Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. You can do that today.

We want to hear from you. We want to hear about your decision. We want to help you to be obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me encourage you to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or requests at TTIL, The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials, our services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know if we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> 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.