Sermon #843 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Heaven On Earth
Text: Hebrews 12:18-24
Subject: The believer’s present enjoyment of his eternal inheritance
Date: Tuesday Evening – April 11, 1989
Last night I went to bed seeking a message from God for you. When I got up this morning, my first thought was toward you. Some of you are carrying heavy burdens. Some of you are vexed with many cares. Some of you are enduring trials and temptations known only to yourselves and God. And some of you will soon be called upon to endure great afflictions. Life in this world is not easy. And it is not easy for you to live by faith while you still carry in your nature an evil heart of unbelief. It is not easy to persevere in the faith when the world, the flesh, and the devil oppose you. It is not easy to live for and seek the glory of God when so many earthly cares and inward corruptions vex you and torment your soul. These were my thoughts as I woke this morning. And I began to pray, “Lord, give me the message your people need to hear tonight and give me the power and wisdom of your Spirit to effectually minister to their hearts needs, to comfort them, encourage them, and strengthen them in the way of faith, for the glory of Christ.”
And some of you here do not know our God. You are lost, dead, without life toward God or concern for your souls. You are utterly lost, without God, without life, without Christ, and without hope. You have been on my heart today too. I have sought a message from God that might minister life, grace, salvation, and peace to you.
God has given me the message! If He will enable me to deliver it by the power of His Spirit, I have a message from God that will meet your soul’s need.
The title of my message tonight is Heaven on Earth. We who believe live in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began. We hope to go to heaven when we die. We hope to spend eternity with Christ in heaven. But sometimes that seems like a far distant hope, doesn’t it? It seems to be so far removed from the here and now. Like Israel in the wilderness, we cannot see the glory, beauty, and fullness of the promised land for two reasons: enemies without and unbelief within. Until enemies are subdued and the unbelief is removed, we cannot enter into our rest. Tonight, if God will enable me, I want to both subdue those enemies and remove that unbelief by the gospel, so that you who hear my voice may know and enjoy heaven on earth.
Heaven is our eternal inheritance, purchased for us by the blood of Christ; but he has given the earnest of that inheritance by the Spirit of grace in the new birth (Eph. 1:13-14).
The Jews have a legend. They tell us that during the days of famine in Canaan, Joseph ordered his officers to throw cartloads of wheat and chaff into the Nile River, so that all the people who lived below the Nile might see that there was great abundance in the land of Egypt. We place no stock in Jewish legends. But I know this: Christ, our great Joseph, throws the bountiful grace of heaven into the river of life, so that his people on earth might taste, and tasting it, desire more, and seek those things which are above.
If you belong to God, if you are one of those who come to God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, here are nine heavenly blessings that belong to you now. Oh, you will never enter into the fullness of them until you have dropped this robe of flesh, but they are yours to enjoy right now as much as they shall be when you are seated before the throne of God and of the Lamb.
1. Complete freedom from the curse and terror of the law (vv. 18-21).
2. The enjoyment of free access to God (v. 22).
3. The privilege of heavenly citizenship (v. 22).
4. The companionship of the angels of God (v. 22).
5. The spiritual wealth of adoption into the family of God (v. 23).
6. The defense and protection of God’s holy throne (v. 23).
7. The company and fellowship of glorified saints (v. 23).
8. The personal care and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 24).
9. Full, irrevocable salvation through Christ’s precious blood (v. 24).
I. Having come to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, we now enjoy the blessed privilege of complete freedom from the curse and terror of God’s holy law (vv. 18-21).
Paul states it emphatically, “Ye are not come to Mt. Sinai.” Thank God, we now have nothing to do with the law. That horrible, black, fiery mountain issued demands we could not fulfill, and threatened wrath we could not endure, and exposed sin we could not remove. But Christ fulfilled the law for us. And now we are free (Rom. 7:4; 10:4). NOTE: That mountain might be touched. But to touch it meant certain death!
The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteousness of the law for us by his obedience to God as our representative (Rom. 3:19). And Christ satisfied the penalty of the law by his death as our Substitute, redeeming us from its curse (Gal. 3:13), and now the righteousness of the law if fulfilled in us by faith in Christ (Rom. 8:4; 3:28).
We are right now as completely free from the law of God as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
II. In Christ Jesus, we now have the enjoyment of free access to God (v. 22).
Mt. Zion was the hill on which the temple was built. There alone God was seen, heard, revealed, and known. There alone could men approach God on the mercy-seat, through a priest, by the blood of an animal sacrifice.
But now, we are the temple of God. Christ is our Priest, our Mercy-seat, and our Sacrifice. And we are as free to approach God in Christ as the saints in heaven (Heb. 10:19-22).
A. Right now we have free access to God (Heb. 4:16).
B. And we enjoy the perpetual presence of God (John 14:23).
C. We are perfectly accepted by God (Eph. 1:6).
III. You and I, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, possess the privilege of heavenly citizenship.
“Ye are come unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Our citizenship is in heaven, from whence we look for the Savior.
I am like an American traveling through Europe. I stop along the way, enjoy the sights, eat the food, smell the flowers, and learn from the history. But my purpose is to return home soon.
· I want to behave so that I bring no reproach upon my homeland.
· But I do not, must not, set my heart upon anything along the way.
· And I do not, must not, let the affairs of the strange land disturb my greatly.
IV. Are you a child of God? Do you trust Christ? If so, you have come into the companionship of the angels of God (v. 22).
I don’t pretend to know much about the angels of God, but I do know some things.
A. There’s a whole bunch of them – “innumerable.”
B. They are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who are the heirs of salvation.
C. The Lord has given his angels charge over you to protect you.
D. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him.” Some are here tonight.
E. The angels of God attend the saints in death and carry them home to glory. (Elijah).
F. The angels will gather God’s elect from the four corners of the earth in the last day.
V. In Christ every believer possesses all the spiritual wealth of adoption into the family of God (v. 23).
· In God’s family all the sons are firstborn sons.
· Our names were written in heaven before the world began (1 John 3:1-2).
Illustration: Johnny’s #60
VI. Every believer is safe and secure, because we have come under the defense and protection of God’s holy throne (v. 23). “To God the Judge of all.” “Plead my cause.” “Undertake for me.”
· God has judged our sins in Christ, and declares now that we are not subject to condemnation (Rom. 8:1; 33-34).
· And God is our Judge in all things.
VII. Being united to Christ by faith, we are brought into the company of glorified saints (v. 23).
I can’t speak much about our glorified brethren. But this much we know –
· They are our brethren in the body of Christ.
· They worship before the throne just like we do, only perfectly.
· They rejoice before God every time one of God’s elect are saved (Lk. 16:6, 7, 10).
· They are very interested in those of us who are not yet made perfect (Heb. 12:1).
VIII. You and I who believe are the objects of the personal care and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 24).
“Ye are come to…Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant.”
· “Jesus” – Savior (Matt. 1:21).
· “Mediator” – Daysman, Advocate, Surety (1 Tim. 2:5).
· “New Covenant” – Ordered in all things and sure (Heb. 8, 10).
IX. And, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we have right now, as surely as the saints in heaven, full, irrevocable salvation through Christ’s precious blood (v. 24).
“Ye are come to…the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
For what does the blood of Christ speak? Does it speak for:
· Forgiveness? Then we are forgiven.
· Justification? Then we are justified.
· Sanctification? Then we are sanctified.
· Glorification? Then we have promise of that too.
· Life? Then we have life!
· Let these things comfort, strengthen, and sustain you in the midst of your heartache and toil (vv. 12-14).
· “See that you refuse not him that speaketh” (v. 25).