Sun Pm Worship
Text: 1 Kings 8:27 -30 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
2. C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Some may ask, "How can you be sure there is a Heaven?".
There are several answers to such a question:
1. Because the soul has always longed for such a place. Whatever culture you stumble across, whatever time period of history, you will find some sort of belief in the afterlife. I don't believe God would plant in the soul a universal longing like that without making some provision for it.
2. Because the soul has always felt there was such a place. Like the little boy flying his kite and the kite was out of sight and someone asked him where it was and he pointed up to the sky.
They asked him how he knew it was there if he couldn't
see it and he said, "I know it is there because I can feel it tug." We can know
in a similar way that there is a Heaven, because we can feel the pull of it, the
tug of it in our souls.
3. Because God says there is such a place as Heaven. I'd rather have God's word about anything than the opinion of all the philosophers and scientists in all the world.
For the next few moments, I want to talk about Heaven, and why each of us should want to go there.
In I Kings 8:27. We read
"Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee..."
"And hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place..."-I Kings
There are three different heavens discussed in the Bible, First, there is the atmosphere just above the earthair, clouds, etc. Second, there is the stellar heaven containing the stars and planets. Finally, we have what the Bible calls "the third heaven." The third Heaven is where God's throne is located. It is the place called Paradise, where the saints of God are waiting for the resurrection of their bodies.
What is heaven like?
Well, we don't know all the answers, but we know that Heaven is always referred to as "up." We know there's no stairway leading there. We can only imagine some of the answers but the Bible tells us quite a bit about Heaven:
There are windows in Heaven. The windows are always spoken of as being open to pour out things from God. Sometimes blessings are poured out (see Mal. 3:10; II Kings 7:2), sometimes curses (see Isa. 24:18), and sometimes the same thing that is a blessing to some is a curse to others (see Gen. 8:2).
There is a door in Heaven, John tells of his experience in
Revelation. "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and
the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which
said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Rev.
The first thing he saw was a throne. This is God's throne. He was sitting on His throne. It looked like a jasper, sardine stone, or an emerald.
It is hard
for the finite mind to grasp infinite things. We cannot imagine the beauty and
radiance of God.
I. Heaven Will Be Ready when we arrive.
We won't have to wait in line for St. Peter to open the gate to let us in. There will be no lack of fruit on the tree of life. There will no lack of water cascading through the city.
Heaven has been prepared for us from the foundations of the world it is ready for our arrival. There will be no "under construction" signs when we arrive!
There is a story told about a 5-year-old African-American boy who will never be forgotten by those who knew him. He was dying of lung cancer, which is a terrifying disease in its final stages. The lungs fill with fluid, and the patient is unable to breathe. It is terribly claustrophobic, especially for a small child.
This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the long ordeal. She cradled him on her lap and talked softly about the Lord. Instinctively, the woman was preparing her son for the final hours to come. Gracie told me that she entered his room one day as death approached, and she heard this lad talking about hearing bells. "The bells are ringing, Mommie," he said. "I can hear them."
Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away. She left and returned a few minutes later and again heard him talking about hearing bells ringing. The nurse said to his mother, 'I'm sure you know your baby is hearing things that aren't there. He is hallucinating because of the sickness."
The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, "No, he is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened — when he couldn't breathe — if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of heaven ringing for him. That is what he's been talking about all day."
That precious child died on his mother's lap later that evening, and he was still talking about the bells of heaven when the angels came to take him. What a brave little trooper he was!
There will be no scurrying around trying to find a mansion for you, if the Lord were to call you home today. Because Heaven will be ready.
II. Heaven Will Be Resplendent.
God loves beauty or He wouldn't have put so much of it in this world. Who painted the butterfly's wing with all those gorgeous hues and threw around the evening sun her drapery of a thousand colors? Who put the red on the robin's breast? From whose pastel were the colors mixed that gave the rose its blushing charm and touched the lily with its dreamy white? Who taught the raindrop to take a ray of light from the sun and pencil it on the sky in one huge arch of bewildering elegance? God did it all! He made everything beautiful and only sin has marred it, and in Heaven you'll find God's beauty at its best!
The psalmist cried out, "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's
throne is in heaven..."
(Ps. 11:4). Behind the throne was a sparkling rainbow. The twenty-four elders, clothed with glistening, white garments and pure gold crowns on their heads, were seated upon the twenty-four seats. Thunder and lightnings were proceeding out from the throne and voices could be heard. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.
The Tree of Life was there. This same tree was in the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve. After the fall of man, an angel was posted at the gate with a revolving sword, to keep them away from this tree lest they should eat of it and live forever in their fallen state. On this tree grew twelve different kinds of fruit each month. The leaves were for the healing of the nations.
The beautiful River of Life was flowing out from under the throne and pure water of life was freely accessible. The streets were made of pure, transparent gold, suggesting the elimination of all impurities which cloud things on the earth As John continued to look, he saw twelve gates of pearl; three on the north, three on the south, three on the east and three on the west. Twelve angels stood at these twelve gates. But Jesus will be what makes it heaven for me!
A little girl was taking an evening walk with her father. Wonderingly, she looked up at the stars and exclaimed; "Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be!"
III. Heaven Will Be Joyous.
Two things are found in Heaven which cannot fail to make its inhabitants happy: the first is the absence of all evil; and the second is, the presence of all good. The one prevents sorrow; and the other brings fullness of joy.
It will be all joy and rapture to hear the angels song
reverberate throughout the city.
It will be rapture to meet the saints of old.
It will be rapture praise our Redeemer for all eternity.
Part of what will make it heaven is what won't be
There will be no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying, no pain, no night, no more curse, no hunger, no thirst or hundreds of other things that have plagued us here. The great host of angels, or messengers, will be busy serving God and carrying out every desire. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God sent a multitude of angels to earth to praise and cry out, "Glory to the Lord!" Surely, it must have been a great blessing for John to see all of this.
Stephen had been privileged to look on this scene, too. As he was dying, after being stoned, he spoke of seeing Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Before he could tell much of what he saw, God called him Home.
Paul the apostle got a glimpse of this on the Damascus Road. The vision was so bright, in contrast to his sin, that it blinded him. He later spoke to Herod Agrippa, saying, "Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision" (Acts 26:19). Later, Paul tells of an experience of ascending up to the third Heaven. "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago. . .such an one caught up to the third heaven. . . How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (II Cor. 12:2,4).
Enoch and Elijah were taken up into Heaven. They saw the scene, but never returned to explain about it. Moses got a little glimpse of God, and his face shone with brilliance.
It is certainly going to be an amazing thing to go there and see for ourselves. We are told, "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Cor. 5:1).
IV. Heaven Will Be Restoration.
There will be a day, for those who live right and make it to Heaven, where the blinded eyes will see, the deaf ears will hear, the muted mouth will speak,
the crippled feet will run, it will be a place of
John Bradford (1510-1555), less than five months before his death, wrote of the glories of heaven he anticipated:
I am assured that though I want here, I have riches there; though I hunger here, I shall have fullness there; though I faint here, I shall be refreshed there; and though I be accounted here as a dead man, I shall there live in perpetual glory.
Heaven is the city promised to the captives whom Christ shall make free; it is the kingdom assured to them whom Christ shall crown; there is the light that shall never go out; there is the health that shall never be impaired; there is the glory that shall never be defaced; there is the life that shall taste no death; and there is the place that passes all the world's imaginations.
There is the world that shall never decline; there is every want supplied freely without money; there is no danger, but happiness, and honor, and singing, and praise and thanksgiving unto the heavenly Jehovah, "to him that sits on the throne " "to the lamb" that here was led to the slaughter, that now "reigns" on High.
D. L. Moody gave a vivid description of Heaven when he wrote, "A city without pain, a city without sorrow, without sickness, without death. There is no darkness there. The Lamb is the light thereof. It needs no sun, it needs no moon. The paradise of Eden was as nothing compared with this one. The tempter came into Eden and triumphed, but in that city nothing that defileth shall ever enter. There will be no temper there. Think of a place where temptation cannot come. Think of a place where we will be free from sin; where pollution cannot enter, and where the righteous shall reign forever. Think of a city that is not built with hands, where the buildings do not grow old with time; a city whose inhabitants no census has numbered except the Book of Life, which is a heavenly directory. Think of a city through whose streets runs no tide of business, where no hearses creep slowly with their burdens to the tomb; a city without griefs or graves, without sins or sorrows, without marriages or mournings, without births or burials; a city which glories in having Jesus for its king, angels for its guards, and whose citizens are saints!"
V. Yes Heaven Will Be Real.
Heaven is a definite place — it has a specific location in Heavenly geography. Our text says that He has gone to prepare a place for us.
Some say that heaven will simply be a state of mind.
I am here to tell you tonight that Heaven is real. It is not an imaginary "pie in the sky" for those who are weak minded and need to place their hope in a better life than the one they have on this earth. We must get busy ti take as many as we can to this wonderful place!
Are you ready for Heaven?
God looks down from Heaven and sees. He also hears, as
do others there. "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to
see if there were any that did understand, and seek God" (Ps. 14:2). We are
reminded, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear
from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chron.
IN Hebrews 12:1, we are cautioned, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight . . . ." The writer is saying that there are great multitudes of spectators in Heaven watching us in this life. They are called a "great cloud of witnesses."
We can try to imagine these things, and artists can attempt to do justice, but
I Cor. 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
We can only imagine!
Heaven will involve:
The first thing on the schedule, after getting there, is the judgment seat. Paul explains in II Cor. 5:10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" Following this will be the great marriage feast of the Lamb, revealed in Revelation 19:7. Only the saved will be involved in these. Here, every man's work will be tested by fire to see what sort it is. Sincere dedication will pay great dividends on this day.
Heaven is a place of records. The Lamb's Book of Life is there, and other record books at the judgment seat and at the great white throne judgment. God has a great recording system to preserve every idle word, thought
The sounds of earth broadcasts can be heard in space,
and scientists are working on a machine now that will use radioactive material
to bring voices out of rocks and trees, that were recorded there hundreds of
years ago by sound wave impressions. And we can be sure that God has things
We are told to rejoice because of this. "But rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). In Hebrews, we read, "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven . . ." (Heb. 12:23). Pity the poor soul whose name is not written there!
You can die in cancer and go to heaven...you can die in liver trouble and go to heaven, you can die with pancreas trouble...you can die in kidney trouble like some have and go to heaven..you can die in sugar diabetes, poverty, loneliness, rags, poor houseyou can die in a car accident and still go to heaven. But you can't die in sin and go to heaven.
John tells us in Rev. 20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire".
Heaven is a place of rewards. Jesus, speaking in the Sermon on the Mount, said in Matt. 5:12, "Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven . . .". He went on to say in Matt. 6:20, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal". This is our heavenly safe deposit box. There will be rewards for sincerity, suffering and service. To think along this line will excite the heart.
There will be much eternal joy in Heaven. The greatest joy that comes to Heaven is because of souls coming to Christ. "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" (Luke 15:7). Surely a great shout of joy can be heard from the redeemed saints when souls are saved. The Father, Son, Holy Spirit and angels must join with them to celebrate. "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. . ." (Rev. 12:12).
David remarked when his baby died, " . . .I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (II Sam. 12:23). Jesus promised, where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3)
It will be
a homecoming time, and renewing old acquaintances will be exciting. Friends and
loved ones already there will be out to meet us. We will meet those whom we have
known from the Scriptures, such as Moses, Abraham and David. Then, it will be
worth it all when we see Christ!
But let every reader remember. . .the prepared place is for a prepared people.
A man may go to Heaven . . .
. . .without health. . .without wealth
. . .without fame. . .without name
. . .without learning. . .without earnings
. . .without culture
. . .without beauty
. . .without friends
. . .without a thousand other things;
but he cannot go to Heaven without Christ!
Most of us look forward to Homecomings and reunions
Won't it be wonderful to be in Heaven, and have the chance to meet or be reunited with friends.
Just over in Heaven's Land, there will be a reunion where mothers and babies, and fathers and sons, and husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters will be brought together.
There will be a tomorrow where there will be reunion.
VII. Heaven Will Be Right.
Down here, not everything turns out well. One of these days every wrong will be righted. One of these days, everything will be made correct.