by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: II Corinthians 5:1-9
I. God has promised us a place of rest - Hebrews 4:1-3
A. There are days when I turn over in bed and start to think about all the things I need to get done today.
1. Even though it is earlier than I need to get up, I end up rising anyway because the thought of all that work won’t let me rest.
B. As Christians there are a lot of things we need to do and probably a whole lot more we should do.
1. Jesus understood the pressing need - John 9:4-5
2. We must work with all our might because we can’t work after we have died - Ecclesiastes 9:10
3. We have to make the most of the little time we have - Ephesians 5:15-17
C. But the effort isn’t burdensome because we can rest later - Revelation 14:13
1. No more getting worn out by activity.
2. No conflicts with desires of righteousness waging war against the desires of your own body, for sin will no longer exist - Revelation 21:27
3. No discord with others, for all will be harmonious. - Revelation 22:3
4. No tears - Revelation 21:3-4
5. No hunger, no thirst. We can all eat from the tree of life and drink from the river of life - Revelation 21:6; 22:1-2
6. No darkness - Revelation 22:5
D. The vastness of eternity lies before us. Each moment brings us closer.
1. Each of us must die - Hebrews 9:27
2. We should be leaving life with unfearing certainty.
3. There is a home awaiting for us where we can dwell with all the redeemed in fellowship.
4. We are convinced that there is a lovelier world not far away, just over the river of death.
E. Sadly, most people live their lives without this hope. Unlike the faithful - Hebrews 11:13-17
F. We cannot lose our confidence - Hebrews 10:35-39
II. The Promise - John 14:1-4
A. The mansions are the eternal home for all who have faithfully followed Jesus.
B. Heaven is a real place, seen in the expressions: “in heaven,” “to heaven,” and “from heaven.”
1. We don’t know where it is, but we know it is the spiritual abode for the redeemed of earth
C. We long for home because this world isn’t complete - II Corinthians 5:1-9
1. While we are in this world, we are not really home
2. We live with Christ now - Romans 6:3-5,8
3. Christ is with us - Matthew 28:20
4. God watches over us - Psalm 23
5. But Heaven is when we are actually with the Lord and can see him - Job 19:26-27
D. Here we are just passing through to another land
1. There is an appointed time to change - Job 14:14-15
2. We are strangers here, we are foreigners just visiting - I Peter 2:11-12
III. Who will be there?
A. At the end, the kingdom is turned over to the Father - I Corinthians 15:24-25
B. Only those born of water and the Spirit may be in the kingdom - John 3:5
1. This is a reference to baptism - Acts 2:38
C. Those in sin cannot be a part of the kingdom - I Corinthians 6:9-10
1. That is why we must turn away from sin – repent - Acts 3:19
2. Baptism washes away sin - Acts 22:16
D. The reason we have an entrance to the kingdom is by God’s grace and the fact that we believe and accept God’s offer - Ephesians 2:1-10
1. All that God does for the sinner is a matter of God’s grace – a freely given gift
2. All that the sinner does in accepting God’s offer is a matter of his faith
a. Faith isn’t separate from works, it is shown by the works done - James 2:18
E. Being saved, we then mature to become more like Christ - Ephesians 4:13-16
IV. What will it be like?
A. How do you describe the beauties of a sunset to someone who is blind? How do you describe sounds of a nightingale to someone who is deaf?
B. How can God describe the beauties of His spiritual realm to people existing in physical bodies?
1. God takes things we see as valuable and then says it is something like this, only better - Revelation 21:16-21
C. This world has it flaws and its struggles, but heaven is free from the corruption of sin. Though we are stained and scared by sin, the blood of Christ will purify us - Revelation 7:9-17
D. I can’t tell you the fullness of heaven’s glory – I haven’t been there. And even if I had the opportunity, I wouldn’t be able to tell you more because I would have no words to describe it - II Corinthians 12:2-4
E. What I do know is that is more wonderful than I can imagine and greater than I consider myself worthy of obtaining, but my Lord and God has promised it to each of His children.
V. Are you going?
A. To be with all the redeemed of all ages.
B. We cannot count the years of eternity, nor understand heaven’s grandeur, but is it your hope, your desire to go home?
C. II Corinthians 5:1-9