Sermon #1874 — Miscellaneous Sermons

 

      Title:                                 Images of Heavenly Glory

      Text:                                 Revelation 21:1-22:6

      Subject:               The Bliss and Glory of Heaven

      Date:                                Wednesday PM — September 8, 2010

                                                            Todds Road Grace Church

                                                            Lexington, Kentucky

      Reading: Revelation 21:1-22:6

      Introduction:

 

In the past two weeks two dear friends have gone home to heaven: Bro. Terry Williams in Spring Lake, NC (who has printed our magazine — The Grace Bulletin, for more than twenty years) and Pastor David Collier’s wife, Patty. Shelby and I are planning to drive down to Sylacauga, AL Sunday afternoon to visit with Bro. Tommy Robbins and his wife, Robin. Bro. Robbins is pastor of Fairmont Grace Church in Sylacauga. He has been sick for a long, long time; and it appears that the Lord is about to call him home as well. We hope to visit with him one more time before he leaves us. Needless to say, my heart is occupied with thoughts about death and heaven and the bliss and glory that awaits us on the other side of the grave.

 

In Heaven

 

As soon as I hear that one of God’s saints has died, my immediate thought is, “He’s in heaven now, or now she’s with the Lord. How blessed, how happy my friend is now!” How often we attempt to console our children with those words when a believer dies. “He’s in heaven,” or “She’s in heaven.” But did you ever stop to think what that means? Did you ever take the time to find out what God tells us in his Word is in heaven? Did you ever look into the Book of God and see what the Holy Spirit tells us it is like to be in heaven? Let me tell you some of the things plainly revealed in the Scriptures that are in heaven.

 

1. God is in heaven. — “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:11)

                                                                                  

2. We are told repeatedly that God hears in heaven — (9 times in 1 Kings — Solomon’s Dedication of the Temple).

 

3. Job found great satisfaction in testifying before his miserable comforters, — “Behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high” (Job 16:19).

 

4. God’s throne is in heaven. — “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” (Psalms 11:4)

                

5. He declares that his covenant is established as his witness in heaven. — “It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” (Psalms 89:37)

                                       

6. His Word is settled forever in heaven. — “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalms 119:89)

                                                  

7. The Spirit of God tells us many, many times that our Father is in heaven (Matthew 6:9).

                               

8. Our Savior speaks of our treasure laid up in heaven (Matthew 6:20).

                     

9. He speaks of the angels of God in heaven (Matthew 22:20).

                                     

10.    He tells us that our reward is in heaven (Luke 6:23).

 

11.    Our blessed Redeemer tells us to rejoice because our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

 

12.    He speaks of joy and peace in heaven (Luke 15:7; 19:38).

 

13.    Our family is in heaven (Ephesians 3:15).

                            

14.    Our life is in heaven (Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1-3).

 

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 3:20)

 

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

 

15.    Our hope is in heaven. — “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.” (Colossians 1:5)

 

16.    We have a more enduring substance in heaven. — “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” (Hebrews 10:34)

 

17.    The general assembly and church of the firstborn is in heaven (Hebrews 12:22-23).

                                                     

18.    Our inheritance is in heaven (1 Peter 1:4).

 

19.    In Revelation 4 and 5, we are told that there is a Door opened in heaven, a throne, a bow, a book, and a Lamb in heaven. — Christ is in heaven!

 

20.    There are great voices of praise in heaven (Revelation 11:15).

                               

21.    The temple of God is open in heaven (Revelation 11:19).

 

22.    Much people” are in heaven (Revelation 19:1).

 

23.    Now, very soon, it appears, we will have another brother in heaven. — Soon, Bro. Robbins will be in heaven.

 

I want us to set our hearts and minds on heaven tonight. Let’s read Revelation 21 and a portion of Revelation 22 together. In this passage of Holy Scripture God the Holy Spirit gives us a description of heaven as it was revealed to the Apostle John, when he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.

 

Revelation 21:1-27

 

1.   And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3.   And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4.   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5.   And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

6.   And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

7.   He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

8.   But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

9.   And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10.       And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11.       Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12.       And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13.       On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14.       And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15.       And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16.       And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17.       And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18.       And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19.       And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20.       The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21.       And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22.       And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23.       And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24.       And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

25.       And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

26.       And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

27.       And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

Revelation 22:1-6

 

1.       And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2.       In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

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:

4.       And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

5.       And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

6.       And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

 

Images of Glory

                     

In this blessed portion of Scripture the Holy Spirit gives us several figurative images representing the present and everlasting state of God’s saints in heaven’s glory. It is not my intention to explain all the mysteries of which we read in this lengthy passage. I know the impossibility of that task. We will never know the fulness of the glory awaiting us until we experience it. But the things here recorded for our learning and consolation do give us some images of the heavenly glory awaiting every believer.

 

I am going to try to describe, as best I am able, the glorious state of God’s saints in heaven, a task more fit for an angel than for a man, or for one of the glorified saints in heaven than for a weak, sinful, mortal creature like myself. But it is a task God has, I believe, laid upon my heart and one in which I thoroughly delight. — Our conception of heavenly glory and the greatness of it must be formed according to the adjectives used in the Word of God to describe it.

 

Unseen Glory

 

It is an unseen glory (1 Corinthians 2:9). The glory of heaven consists of “things not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18) which are eternal. We look for and have an assured hope of heaven by faith. But no one on earth has ever seen it (1 Corinthians 2:9; Hebrews 11:1.) No one here has ever had so much as a glimpse of heaven but by faith. We live in hope of that which we have not yet seen (Romans 8:24-25).

 

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”

(Romans 8:24-25)

 

Future Glory

 

The glory of heaven is for us a future glory (Romans 8:18; 1 John 3:2).

 

(Romans 8:18) “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

 

(1 John 3:1-2) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

 

Our friends who have gone before us enjoy the glory of heaven now. But for us, it is altogether a future thing, yet to be revealed. Sometimes we imagine that we have experienced a little foretaste of heaven, or a little of “heaven on earth,” in the worship of our God; but we have never come close. The glory of heaven is a glory yet to be revealed.

 

Incomparable Glory

 

It is also an incomparable glory. — “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18) —— There is nothing in this world to be compared to the glory of heaven. All earthly honor, riches, pleasure, and greatness are trifling and empty things of vanity, when compared to the glory that awaits us.

                                                                                            

Even the sufferings of God’s saints in this world for Christ’s sake, which is the purest and most glorious form of service to him, is not worthy to be compared to the glory that awaits us. And if our most glorious services cannot be compared to the glory of heaven, they certainly cannot be meritorious of heaven! The very best things we do for our God, from the purest principles cannot be compared to heavenly glory.

Š      Our afflictions for Christ are “light afflictions.” — Heaven is a weight of glory.

Š      Our afflictions are “but for a moment.” — Heavenly glory is eternal.

 

It is the prospect of heavenly glory that supports us in our troubles, and makes us choose to suffer affliction with the people of God and to esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, causing us to take joyfully the spoiling of our goods for Christ’s sake, knowing that in heaven we have a better and an enduring substance (Hebrews 11:25-26; 10:34). — “Ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”

 

If nothing in this world can be compared to the glory that awaits us in heaven, then let us set our hearts on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 6:19-34).

 

(Colossians 3:1-4) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

 

(Matthew 6:19-34) “19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.”

 

“My rest is in heaven, my rest is not here,

Then why should I tremble when trials come near?

Be hushed, my dark spirit, the worst that can come

But shortens thy journey, and hastens thee home.

 

It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,

Or building my hopes in a region like this;

I look for a city that hands have not piled,

I pant for a country by sin undefiled.

 

Afflictions oppress me, but cannot destroy,

One glimpse of His love turns them all into joy;

The bitterest tears, if He but smiles on them,

Like dew in the sunshine, grow diamond and gem.

 

Let doubt, then, and danger my progress oppose,

They only make heaven more sweet at the close,

Come joy, or come sorrow, whatever befall,

One hour with my Savior will make up for all.

 

A load on my back, a staff in my hand,

I march on in haste through an enemy’s land;

The road may be rough, but it cannot be long;

I’ll smooth it with hope and cheer it with song.”

 

Eternal Glory

 

The glory awaiting us in heaven is called an eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10).

 

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

 

The glory of this world passes away very quickly. But the glory of the world to come never shall. The glory of this world is fading. The glory of that world is unending. The glory of this is temporal. The glory of that world is eternal. The glory of heaven is an immutable, eternal weight of glory. All that awaits us on the other side is eternal...

Š      A Crown of Glory that Fadeth not Away.

Š      An Inheritance that is Eternal.

Š      A House, not Made with Hands, Eternal in the Heavens.

Š      A Kingdom that is Everlasting.

Š      A City that Abides and Continues Forever.

 

“When kingdoms, crowns, and scepters are no more, and all that is great and glorious in this world (has passed away), this will endure forever, for it is eternal glory the God of all grace calls his people to and will put them in possession of.”                                                                                                               — John Gill

 

Here is the glory of heaven. — It is to be forever with the Lord. It is eternity with Christ!

 

This world is not my home,

I’m only passing through;

A stranger here, I must go on,

My home is now in view:

“Forever with the Lord!”

Amen! So let it be!

With Christ I’ll live forevermore

In immortality!

 

A Place Of Glory

 

Add to all this the fact that heaven is a place of glory (John 14:3). Our Lord said, — I go and prepare a place for you.” Yes, heaven is a state and condition of glory. But it is also a place of glory, a place to which Christ has gone, a place where he sits in a real body upon a glorious throne, a place prepared for us.

 

The glory of that place called heaven is set forth in the Scriptures under many striking images, images taken from the most great, glorious, rich and valuable things known to men. We know that the imagery used in the Scriptures to describe heaven is not given to describe its literal form, size, and shape, because Paul told us plainly that no tongue could describe what he saw there and heard there (2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Those images drawn of heaven by the inspired writers of God’s Word are intended to show us the surpassing excellence and infinite glory that awaits us in heaven. Here are five images given in the Word of God to show us the grandeur and greatness of heavenly glory.

 

1.    A House

 

Heaven is represented to us in the Scriptures as a house (2 Corinthians 5:1). It is a house, but a house incomparable to any house found in this world. This house is a building of God, — an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

                                                                                      

This house of glory is not built by man’s hands. This is a house whose Builder and Maker is God. There is nothing, not one brick or piece of timber in that heavenly house that has been laid in its place by the will of man, the works of man, or the worship of man. Our house in heaven is a construction of grace alone. It is true, the works of God’s saints follow them into their house in heaven to the everlasting praise of the Triune God (Revelation 14:13). But they do not go before us. And they have nothing to do with the building of that house. It is a building of God.

Š      Its foundation was laid in God’s purpose.

Š      Its walls were erected by Christ’s obedience.

Š      Its title deed was purchased by Christ’s blood.

Š      Its door was opened by Christ’s entrance into heaven.

 

Solomon built a great temple in Jerusalem. When it was laid in ruins, Zerubbabel rebuilt it, and Herod repaired it. It was a grand and glorious structure in the eyes of men. But where is it now? Not one stone is left in its place. It was a holy place made with hands. But it was only a temporary, typical house. Our house in heaven is the true holy place. It is the building of God, the work of free, sovereign, effectual grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.

                   

This house is in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:2). Our present houses of clay, the physical bodies in which we now live, have their foundation in the dust of the earth. Therefore, they must soon crumble. But our house which is from heaven and in heaven is eternal. It will never age, or crumble, or stand in need of repair. Men build their houses on earth and vainly imagine that they will stand forever (Psalm 49:11). But in time they decay, are demolished by the elements, broken down with earthquakes, burned by fire, or destroyed by their enemies. Our heavenly house of glory abides forever. All its apartments are called everlasting habitations(Luke 16:9). It is built upon the Rock!

 

Š      Our Lord Jesus called this house our Father’s house (John 14:2). It is his Father’s house. That makes it our Father’s house; and that makes it all the more endearing and glorious. In our Father’s house there are many mansions. Roll this morsel around in your heart. — Heaven is called the “Father’s house.”

Š      Our Father built it. Our Father dwells there.

Š      It is the place where He would have all his children to be.

Š      Our Father’s house is a rich, roomy, stately, and well stored house, a place of “many mansions.”

Š      Those mansions are dwelling places for the King’s sons.

Š      They are places of rest, joy, and peace, where the sons and daughters of almighty God want for nothing.

Š      And there are “many” of them! — “Many” for the many who were ordained to eternal life — The many who have been justified by Christ’s obedience — The many for whom his blood was shed for the remission of sins — And the many sons whom he will bring to glory (Acts 13:48; Romans 5:19; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 2:10).

Š      There is room enough and provision enough in the Father’s house for all the innumerable hosts of those men and women out of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue chosen, redeemed, and called by almighty grace.

 

2.    An Inheritance

 

Heavenly glory is called an inheritance (Acts 20:32; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 1:12; Romans 8:17). As Canaan was an inheritance distributed by lot to the children of Israel, so heavenly glory is an inheritance given by lot, by the lot which God himself arranged (Proverbs 16:33) to the Israel of God. As Canaan is a type of heaven, it should never be forgotten that Moses could never bring Israel into the land. But what Moses through the weakness of the flesh could not do, Joshua did. And the saints of God are brought to heaven not by the works of the law, but by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Joshua, our Deliverer, the Captain of our salvation.

 

An inheritance is a free gift. It cannot be earned by labor and diligence. It cannot be merited. And it cannot be purchased with money. It is bequeathed from one person to another. Our inheritance in heavenly glory was given by God the Father to his Son, Christ Jesus our Lord. And it is given by Christ to all who trust him. It is to us a gift of pure, free, sovereign grace.

 

(John 17:4-5) “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

 

(John 17:22) “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:”

                    

Be sure you understand these things. —— Heavenly glory cannot be obtained, in any part or degree, by the works of men. All men by nature vainly imagine that they must do something to inherit eternal life in heaven. But their proud imaginations deceive them. Eternal life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23) in its promise, in its bestowment, in its preservation, and in its everlasting enjoyment.

                                                                                         

Heavenly glory cannot be purchased by men. If a man should give all his substance for it, the price offered would be utterly despised by God. Heavenly glory is an inheritance bequeathed to chosen sinners by our heavenly Father from eternity. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give his kingdom to his elect. He gives it by his own will, by a testament, through, by, and upon the merits of the sacrificial death of his dear Son, the Testator (Hebrews 9:15-17).

                        

This inheritance belongs only to the children of God (Romans 8:17). It does not belong to his servants, the angels (Hebrews 1:14), nor to the children of the bond-woman (Galatians 4:30), self-righteous, legalistic, works and free-will religionists, but only to those men and women predestinated to adoption in eternity and called to be the sons of God in time.

 

Yet, it is an inheritance that belongs to all the saints of God fully. There are no degrees of glory in heaven. There are no back settlements in the heavenly Canaan! There are no second class citizens in the New Jerusalem!

                                                                                    

Our heavenly inheritance is incorruptible. All earthly inheritances are corruptible, subject to change, and unstable. This inheritance cannot be corrupted by us or anyone else. It cannot be changed or altered in any degree. It is as sure as the throne of God.

Š      It is an undefiled inheritance.

Š      It is an inheritance that fadeth not away.

Š      It is an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15).

Š      It is an inheritance reserved in heaven, immutably and infallibly reserved in heaven for God’s elect (1 Peter 1:4).

Š      God keeps the inheritance for us; and God keeps us for the inheritance.

 

3.    A City

 

Another familiar image of heaven is that of a city (Hebrews 11:10). Heaven is a large, rich, spacious, fully inhabited city, whose Builder and Maker is God. Like the other images, this word, “city,” is a figurative term, not to be understood in any carnal, earthly, mundane sense. Heaven is a city infinitely beyond anything on this earth.

 

It is a city which hath foundations.” Not one foundation, but many, so that it is firm, immovable, and cannot be shaken, thrown down, or dissolved. The foundations upon which this city, this habitation of glory, is built are the everlasting love of God, the unalterable covenant of grace, and the blessed Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ our Lord. —— The Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets!

 

The glory of this city cannot be comprehended or described by men upon this earth (2 Corinthians 12:4). The description of the New Jerusalem given by the Apostle John is a hyperbole. It does exactly what it was intended to do. It defies imagination. John saw in his vision a city with walls of jasper, gates of pearl, and streets of pure gold, transparent as glass!

Š      What a place of spiritual wealth, abundance, and happiness heaven must be!

Š      What a place of spiritual excellence and perfection!

Š      There they have no value, absolutely no value, for the most priceless treasures and gems of the world!

 

In that world, where there is no sin, there is no greed, nor covetousness, nor ambition. In that glory land, where there is no sin, material things are looked upon as nothing but useful accommodations. No value is placed upon them.

Š      Jasper is nothing but a wall to enclose the church of God.

Š      Pearls are nothing but gates to open the kingdom of God.

Š      Gold is nothing but pavement upon which men and women walk to the throne of God.

Š      May God graciously teach us so to use them now!

 

4.    A Kingdom

 

Heavenly glory is represented to us as a kingdom. A house is great. An inheritance is something greater. A city is something greater still. But the inspired writers seem to stretch for words to describe the heavenly glory, using ever expanding ideas to describe it. What is heaven? It is a glorious house! Yes, but it is more than a house. It is a glorious inheritance! Yes, but it is more than an inheritance. It is a glorious city! Yes, but it is more than a city. It is a glorious kingdom!

 

God’s saints in this world are kings. We have a kingdom now which cannot be moved (Hebrews 12:28). It is a kingdom that lies not in carnal ceremonies, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). And we are heirs of another kingdom, a kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:35).

Š      It is a kingdom of glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

Š      It is an everlasting kingdom.

Š      We have been called and born into this kingdom by the almighty, irresistible grace and power of God the Holy Spirit.

Š      We have been prepared and fitted for this kingdom by the blood and righteousness of Christ.

 

The kingdom of glory to which we are heirs is the place where every believer shall be crowned and honored by God and all the holy angels. In this world there is no honor put upon faith, faithfulness, and commitment to Christ. But in the world to come God himself and all his holy angels will honor and crown redeemed sinners for the perfection of beauty grace has given them in Christ (Ephesians 1:10; 2:7; Revelation 21:9). (See Jeremiah 33:16.)

 

(Ephesians 1:10) “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

 

(Ephesians 2:7) “That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

(Revelation 21:9) “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

 

(Jeremiah 33:16) “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”

 

The Lord God himself will give us a crown.

 

Š      A Crown of Life (James 1:12).

Š      A Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8).

Š      A Crown of Glory that Fadeth not Away (1 Corinthians 9:25).

 

And our great God and Savior will cause us to sit upon a throne as kings in his glorious kingdom (Revelation 3:21). We have been raised from the dunghill of fallen humanity by his grace. And we shall be raised from the dunghill to a throne of glory in heaven (1 Samuel 2:8). There, in heavenly glory, we shall inherit and sit upon the throne with Christ himself. This is grace! And this is glory!

 

5.    Eternal Pleasure

 

Heavenly glory is set before us under the image of infinite, eternal, holy pleasure (Psalm 16:11).

 

(Psalms 16:11) “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

 

(Psalms 17:15) “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

 

Heaven is a house. Heaven is an inheritance. Heaven is a city. Heaven is a kingdom. And heaven is a place of glorious life, fullness of joy, and pleasure forevermore. Everything that is pleasing to the renewed mind, gratifying to the sanctified heart and desirable to the regenerate soul shall be fully enjoyed to all eternity in heaven’s glory land.

Š      There we shall sit down with Christ at his table and drink new wine with him in his Father’s kingdom.

Š      There we shall pick and eat the fruit of the Tree of Life which stands in the midst of the Paradise of God.

Š      There we shall drink of that pure River of The Water of Life proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Š      There we shall see what no eye has seen, hear what no ear has heard, and understand that which has never entered into the heart of man.

 

“The eye of man has seen many things on earth very grand and illustrious, and what have been very entertaining to it; but it never saw such objects as will be seen in heaven. The ear of man has heard and been entertained with very pleasing sounds, very delightful music, vocal and instrumental; but it never heard such music as will be heard in heaven. The heart of man can conceive of more than it has either seen or heard; but it never conceived of such things as will be enjoyed in the world above.”                           — John Gill

 

“We read of a place that’s called heaven.

It’s made for the pure and the free.

These truths in God’s Word He hath given. —

How beautiful heaven must be!

 

In heaven no drooping nor pining,

No wishing for elsewhere to be.

God’s light is forever there shining —

How beautiful heaven must be!

 

Pure waters of life there are flowing;

And all who will drink may be free.

Rare jewels of splendor are glowing —

How beautiful heaven must be!

 

The angels so sweetly are singing

Up there by the beautiful sea.

Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing. —

How beautiful must be!

 

How beautiful heaven must be!

Sweet home of the happy and free,

Fair haven of rest for the weary,

How beautiful heaven must be!”

 

Bro. Scott Richardson’s

Last Public Comments

 

During the last public worship service he was able to attend (the Wednesday before the Lord called him to glory) our dear friend, Pastor Scott Richardson, read the following to the saints at Fairmont, WV, whom he served faithfully for over 50 years. His successor and pastor, Bro. Marvin Stalnaker, sent a copy of Bro. Richardson’s text to me. It read...

 

“I’ve come across something that helped me and I want to pass it on to you. We understand more about what heaven is and will be to us, by what it is not, and will not be. There’ll be no more sin.

 

            No more darkness.                                      — No more pain.

            No more sorrow.                                                      — No more jails.

            No more crying.                                                       — No more war.

            No more sickness.                                       — No more heartache.

      No more dying in a ditch.         — No more fear.

      No more confusion. — No more lacking anything.

      No more vanity.                                                  — No more waiting.

      No more going astray.  — No more crooked roads.

      No more reproach.                                            — No more affliction.

      No more darkness.                                            — No more trouble.

      No more curse.              — No more dishonoring God.

      Our name will no more be called Jacob.

      We’ll be the children of the Living God.”

 

Then, Bro. Scott Read Revelation 22:3-5 — “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: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Then, he said, “and no more birthdays!

 

And when we take our last breath and go out into that world, we’ll feel good about it since we know a little more about it, — what it will be. And I myself, experience it every day. I know that I’m going to die, not very long; and I’ll be glad if I make one turn over in bed tonight and go to sleep. I’ll be happy about it, because heaven is my happiness. The Lord bless us.”

 

The Door

 

The door of access to heavenly glory is straight. The way is narrow. We must come in by the Door, Christ Jesus. The only way to God, the only way to heaven, the only way to glory is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Only Way, the Righteous Way, and the Sure Way. Let none be satisfied with merely studying about the glory awaiting God’s saints in heaven. Let us make certain that we are in the Way that brings sinners there. Let us make our calling and election sure. Make certain that you are in Christ.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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