What Is Heaven Like?

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Part Four - Is There A Heaven?

 

I. THE DEFINITION OF HEAVEN 

1a The word “heaven” can refer to one of there places (Gen. 1:1)

1b Atmosphere (Gen. 1:6)

2b Outer Space (Gen. 1:14-19)

3b Abode of God (Gen. 21:17; 22:11) 

2a The focus of our study is on the abode of God 

II. THE LOCATION OF HEAVEN: two possibilities are usually suggested 

1a Heaven exists outside of the universe 

2a Heaven exists on a different plane in the same plane of as the universe 

III. THE INHABITANTS OF HEAVEN 

1a God (Gen. 24:3) 

2a Angels (Job 1:6; Rev. 7-16) 

1b At this point both godly and ungodly 

2b At the midpoint of the Tribulation it will become the home of only the godly angels 

3a Saints 

1b All Saints from Adam to the end of the Tribulation will spend time in heaven

1c Old Testament Saints at the Resurrection of Christ (Eph. 4:7-10) 

2c NT Saints up to the rapture (Phil. 1:20-24; 2 Cor. 5:6; 1 Thes. 4:13) 

3c Tribulation martyrs (Rev. 6:9-10; 20:4-6) 

2b Their stay is

1c Temporary 

1d From the resurrection of Christ until the resurrection of the Saints, it is the place where the Spirits of dead Saints dwell

2d At the resurrection and for a seven year period, it will house the resurrected and glorified Saints while God pours out His wrath upon Satan and his followers and the martyred souls of the Tribulation 

3d From the revelation to the final judgment – it may be the home of the Church age Saints as they rule on the earth with Christ 

4d After the final judgment, no humans will be dwelling in heaven – does not mean that no humans will visit there, just not dwell there 

2c Spiritual and physical 

1d Heaven is a wonderful place that is the Spiritual abode of God and yet is capable of holding objects and beings that are physical in matter 

2d Several examples 

1e Elijah (2 Kings 2:1-1, 11) and Enoch (Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5) 

2e All OT and NT Saints (1 Thes. 4) 

3e New Jerusalem (Rev. 21) 

IV. THE DESCRIPTION OF HEAVEN 

1a Heaven – the spiritual abode of God (Rev. 4) 

1b God (2-3): that of a spirit being, not that of a man for God is a Spirit (John 4:23-24) – multiple colors which one would expect from the God of light 

1c Jasper: clear stone that is clear like a diamond and radiates out many different colors 

2c Sardius stone: blood red color similar to a ruby 

2b Throne (3-4) 

1c Surrounded by a rainbow (3) - unlike the rainbows we are accustomed too, this one is made of various shades of emerald or green 

2c Around the Throne (4) 24 Elder’s on thrones – NT Saints (Matt. 23:11; Mk. 9:34; Lk. 9:46) 

3c Out of the Throne (5) 

1d From the throne of God come thundering, lightening, and voices or sounds

2d Like a brewing storm which is about to unleash its fury upon the earth 

4c Before the Throne (6-11) 

1d Seven lamps of fire which are the Seven Spirits of God (5) 

2d Sea of a glassy substance that reflected like crystal (6) 

3d Living Creatures (6-11) 

1e These unique angels are known also by the name, Cherubim

2e they have six wings, full of eyes around and within, and four faces each, straight legs, the hands of a man, feet like soles of calves feet, and were a burnished bronze color (Ezek. 1:4-21; 10:1-20) 

3e They continue worship of God by crying out Holy, Holy, Holy

2a Heaven – the New Jerusalem 

1b Preparation (1-2; John 14:1-6) 

1c The bridegrooms responsibility was to prepare a home for him and his new bride 

2c Jesus left this world to do that very thing (John 6) 

2b Occupants (2-3): home of the Church Age Saints

1c OT Israelites – their own land (Gen. 13:15; 17:8; Isa. 66:22; Ezekiel 47:13ff)

2c OT Gentiles and Tribulation Saints – the rest of the earth (Rev. 21:24-26) 

3b Conditions: All tears will be wiped away (Rev. 21:4; Isa. 25:8; Rom. 14:17) 

1c Most joyous place anyone could possible experience

2c No more sorrow, pain, or bad memories 

4b Construction (9-27) 

1c The illumination of the City (11, 23) 

1d Jasper as used here speaks of stone that can give off all colors of the spectrum of light and gives off the radiance of the rarest of gems 

2d The light radiated by our Lord will be eternal and there will be no night in the city 

2c The Walls of the City 

1d Gates 

1e 12 of them in all, three pointing in the four directions and each bearing the name of one of the tribes of Israel to symbolize the fact that through Israel the Christ became possible (12-13) 

2e Twelve angels over them (12)

1f The composition of the gates is one pearl each (21a)

2f The gates are never closed (25) 

2d Foundation of the Wall 

1e Twelve foundations support the wall each having the name of one of the twelve apostles to symbolize that the apostles laid the foundation for the church (14; 1 Cor. 3:10) 

2e Either each one is a gem or adorned in that gem – either is a possibility (19-20) – note there is some question as too the identity of some of the stones 

1f Jasper: Green/blue stone

2f Sapphire: Blue stone

3f Chalcedony: Agate – a stone of many colors, some think green

4f Emerald: - a superior variety of beryl

5f Sardonyx or Onyx: a stone of many colors: red probably here

6f Sardis or Carnelian: blood red

7f Chrysolite or Peridot: yellow or gold

8f Beryl: bluish-green

9f Topaz: yellow

10f Chrysoprase: apple green

11f Jacinth or Hyacinth: reddish orange

12f Amethyst: purple or violet

3d The Measurement of the wall 

1e The walls form a square 1500 miles on each side (16) 

2e The walls are 215 feet tall (17) 

4d The Composition of the wall (18): Jasper - blue/green stone 

3c The Measurements of the City (15-16) 

1d 1500 X 1500 X1500 miles 

2d Some have suggested a cube or triangle 

4c The Composition of the city: a gold so pure that it appears like it is transparent gold (18) 

5c The Streets of the City: a gold so pure that it appears like it is transparent gold (21) 

6c The river and trees of the City (Rev. 22:1-2):

1d The river flows out of the city from the throne of God 

2d The tree of life bearing twelve types of fruit twelve times a year 

5b Duration (Rev. 22:5): forever – illustrated - A rock 100 miles cube. Once every 1000 years a little bird comes there to sharpen its beak. When the rock has been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by 

V. THE PATH TO HEAVEN (John 14:5-6) – Jesus Christ alone 

1a Not human religion – “we do not know the way”

2a Not human efforts and religiousness (Isa. 64:5-6)

3a Not believing in God- (James 2:19)

4a Trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone 

VI. THE EVENTS IN HEAVEN

1a Judgment seat of Christ – based on three things 

1b A solid Foundation (10-11) 

1c By the grace of God, Paul had laid the only true foundation of salvation Jesus Christ 

2c Any work that is laid on any other foundation will eventually fall flat 

2b Good construction materials (12): the workers can choose which materials to build from – the choice is theirs but will me the codes of the builder? 

1c Gold, silver, and precious stones 

1d Representing true service for the glory of God 

1e For the profit of God and His Saints

2e Through the power of God and His gifts 

2d These materials are not as easy to work with but they last indefinitely 

2c Wood, Hay, and Stubble (straw) 

1d Representing false service 

1e For the glory of the Saint

2e For the profit of the Saint

3e Through the power of the Saint 

2d These materials are easier to work with and will often produce impressive results but they are quickly gone 

3b The Inspection of the Building (13-15) 

1c When Christ returns, He will at the Bema Seat Judgment, inspect all the building that each one of us did upon His Foundation (Ron. 14:10) 

2c Judgment by fire that will burn away all that was done through human effort, for personal gain and the misuse of the opportunities and resources God gave 

1d Spiritual builder will receive eternal reward and what he has done will see it real value (14) 

2d Fleshly builder will receive little or no reward (15) 

3d Thus each of us should heed the warning that God gives now before it is too late! (2 Cor. 5:10-11; Col. 3:23-25) 

2a Marriage feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:1-10): fits with the marriage custom 

VII. THE QUESTIONS ABOUT HEAVEN 

1a Do all people who believe in God go to heaven?

1b One can believe in the God of the Bible, the need of salvation, attend church, be a member of church, baptized, even lead someone else to the Lord and yet not be saved himself 

1c Jesus declares that some will have the appearance of a believer but the heart of one (Matt. 7:21-23) 

2c Jesus describes this problem in His parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43) 

2b There is a fundamental difference between a faith about something and a faith in something (roller coaster)

2a Does God accept all “Christian” Denominations into heaven? 

1b God does not accept denominations in heaven just Saints 

2b Once we are raptured there will no longer be Baptist, Lutheran, Christian, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Amish, Catholic, etc. 

3b However, one’s denomination in this life may be an important matter for believer’s to consider 

1c Some denominations preach another gospel (Gal. 1:7-9)

2c Some denominations preach false doctrine that leads astray 

3a Do infants when they die go to heaven?

1b There is only one verse that speaks to this matter (2 Sam. 2:22-23) and it can be interpreted two different ways 

1c David expects to see him in paradise 

2c David could not change his death and crying would accomplish nothing at this point

1d David weeps uncontrollably about his son Absalom when he is killed

2d David is controlled here which leads some to think that his tears for Absalom had to do with the fact he suspected he was in hell 

2b The age of accountability is not taught in the Scriptures – if there is such an age it varies from child to child 

3b Children are not born with sin but are born to eventually sin – therefore they should go to heaven 

4b God is in control and whatever decision He makes is right, just, loving 

4a At Christ’s coming, do the Saints of God get a new body or do they keep the body they possess in this life? What will the resurrected body be like? 

1b The dead Saint is returned to the body he had on this earth

2b Then his body is transformed like unto Christ’s 

5a Will there be any marriage after death? 

1b Many say no due to the passage in Matt. 22:23-33

2b Our Lord’s mission was to restore man to his original creation – marriage was a definite part of this original creation 

6a Will there be work after death?: we will rule and reign with Christ (Rev. 22:1-5)