°  
Heaven
° 
   
 °  
Heaven
 °
   

    Every one of us were created in the image of God, the Lord of the Universe. One aspect of this image is the eternal nature of our soul. God is eternal- He is from everlasting to everlasting. He had no beginning and he will have no end.

    Surprisingly enough, neither will we! That's right- neither the unsaved soul, nor the born-again soul will have an ending; the soul is eternal, made in the image of God. From this truth we can determine that we must spend eternity somewhere. Heaven is one of the two alternatives. It is only for those who have found salvation in the cleansing blood of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    The Bible gives us only glimpses of Heaven. Those glimpses that it does give us are glorious! The second coming of our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the reward He will bring, is our blessed hope;

Titus 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

1. Heaven is Beyond Our Imagination
    An awesome concept concerning Heaven, and what awaits those who have placed their faith in Christ Jesus, lies in this scripture- 1st Corinthians 2:9 which reads:

1st Corinthians 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.

    The astounding thought here is that all of us during some part of our lives have experienced beautiful experiences. In this life, I have seen very beautiful things, I've heard very beautiful music, and in my heart have touched on the spirit of love, which I am thankful for. But- this scripture says that nothing we have experienced can come close to the wonderful things God has prepared for we who love him. Hallelujah!

    Think back over your own life to the nicest, feeling that you have ever had. The highest point of joy, the deepest feeling of love, the happiest moment, the most pleasant thought. The most peaceful suroundings that you knew. These, my friend, do not even come close to the things which are waiting for you in the Kingdom of God if indeed you have been born from above. And the best part about it is that these glorious things awaiting you are eternal.

    The scripture that we are looking at -- 1st Corinthians 2:9 states that the concept of what is prepared for we who believe, has never entered into our hearts. One way to grasp this fact is to look at another verse of scripture revealing the awesome vastness of God's being.

Isaiah 55:9,10
9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
10 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    Isn't this really something!? "Heavens...higher than the earth.." Friend, that is a very big difference in thought patterns. That is at least the difference between human being and the amoeba! Now, if I were a scientist, knowing the ins and outs of amoeba or protozoa, I could probably create for that little creature a comfortable environment- what ever such creatures liked, I would make it available for them such as

  • ... their own private test tube,
  • ... their own private lake,
  • ... the perfect temperature,
  • ... or whatever was enjoyable.

    But God being our Creator, whose thoughts are far above mankind's thoughts will provide joy unspeakable and full of glory for His people. You see, in my scientific illustration above, I only studied the amoeba -- I did not create it. But God created us, therefore He truly knows how to satisfy, beyond our expectations. So you see whatever we could try to imagine, our thoughts do not even approach those of the Lord of Glory. So if you ever meditate on the most enjoyable emotion or sensation that you have ever had, realize that it cannot be compared to the joys of Heaven that are being prepared for us. Paul, who suffered more than most believers wrote:

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.

2. Ever Increasing Joy
    One fact about Heaven rarely mentioned is that all of the unspeakable joy that awaits the people of God there, will never stop increasing. That's really hard to imagine, but these two scriptures from Isaiah chapter 9 hold an ASTOUNDING truth about the glorious future ahead for born-again believers in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there SHALL BE NO END, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (KJV)

    This passage is of course, a major prophecy about the coming of Messiah Yeshua into the world and the establishment of His everlasting kingdom. In verse 7, it reads "of the "increase" of his government and of PEACE there shall be no end." The thought follows, when the Lord will come and take us to meet with Him in the clouds, of how our JOY will be so full, never having experienced it at that level. But -- if that joy never stops INCREASING through eternity future, what level will we be at in 10,000 of what we used to call years! Hallelujah! Can you imagine that? Ever increasing JOY?! Not just never ending... but ever increasing!

3. Comparision to a Drug Induced "High"
    When a person uses drugs to satisfy their flesh, first there is a question as to whether the drug itself is of 'good quality' that will satisfy. Usually, this becomes the first let down of the experience, however, later -- the user develops a tolerance to the drug no matter how 'good' it was so that it no longer satisfies like it used to. That is the second letdown. Then times exist when the user cannot "score" at all, at which time he or she remains unfulfilled..

    HEAVEN won't be like this! HEAVEN will start out a million times greater in fulfillment that one could ever imagine. We will be in the presence of Almighty GOD, Himself. We shall behold Him -- the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Creator of all things. We will NEVER be separated from Him again but will for all eternity dwell in the brightness of His glory. After this we have the promise of Isaiah 9:7 that the initial peace, will never stop increasing.. What a way to exist! What a way to spend an eternity!

4. THE ACTUAL REWARD

Genesis 15:1
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (KJV)

    This is probably one of the two most staggering concepts of eternal life in Christ Jesus. The physical and spiritual wonders of the glory of Heaven are listed in the final chapters of the Revelation -- numbers 21 and 22. Streets of gold are mentioned, a new city prepared especially for the church of Jesus Christ, no more tears and much more.

    However, Genesis 15:1 tells us the main substance of what our eternal rewards consist of. He is our reward -- an exceeding great one! He is the Lord God Almighty, the Lord Most Holy, and the Creator of all things.

Revelation 22:4
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

    Think of the implications of seeing the face of God! I remember an earlier account of scripture where the *opposite was true. Look at this following experience of Moses with God.

Exodus 33:19-23
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

    Think of it friend! A man would drop dead upon laying eyes on the glory of God. John passed out on the Isle of Patmos when he viewed the Revelation of the glorified Christ! The Roman guards who guarded the tomb of Jesus passed out when they saw the appearance of the angel who rolled the stone away- and that was just an angel! When Moses went up on Mount Sinai to talk with God, the Hebrews at the base of the mountain were TERRIFIED at the presence of the LORD!

EXODUS 19:16-21
16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. (KJV)

    But- we who are in Christ, will look directly into the face of GOD, forever! If our LORD did not prepare us a special body, we would never be able to stand it the glory of His presence.

5. THE NEW BODY

1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (KJV)

    It was mentioned earlier that if the Lord did not give us a new body we would not be able to stand in His presence. Well, that's just what God will do! Let's take a look at just what kind of body we will receive (or at least what we can imagine based on God's Word.)

A. First Description
1 Cor 15:41-55
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

    We wear flesh that decays at death, but in the resurrection we will put on that which does not perish.


43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    What will be the glory of this new *spiritual body?


45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

    Will we bear the image of Christ himself? Here's an awesome description-

1 John 3:2 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.

    What an awesom truth! "We shall be like Him"? Friends- have you ever seen the description of the angel whom John (at Patmos) saw in the Revelation? He passed out by just gazing at the glory of the Lord! "We shall be like Him"? It's probably the only way we can exist in His presence! Well, again it's just how far your imagination can take you. I don't know what state we will be in, but it will be glorious.

6. THE CREATOR PREPARES A PLACE
    Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, who made salvation possible said in John chapter 14;

John 14:1-3
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
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.
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.

    The point here is that it is Jesus Christ who created us, therefore as far as heavenly rewards are concerned- it is He who really knows how to satisfy. He made the bodies we now have. He will create the bodies that we are going to receive. Who knows better how to satisfy? Who knows better how to fulfil but He who made us? It is this same Jesus, who has gone to prepare a place for us as shown in verse 3 above. How glorious it will be whatever way He has prepared for us to behold His eternal glory!

7. CONCLUSION
    These few paragraphs do not even come close to scratching the surface of what lies ahead for the believer in the brightness of the glory of the coming King. Though we talk about the new heaven and earth --



Revelation 21:1-20
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.

      ...or of redeemed man actually dwelling with God;
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.

      ...or of the promise of no more tears

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.

      ...or of drinking freely from this fountain of life;

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.

      ...or of the New Jerusalem

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 shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God

      ...about laying up treasures in heaven
Matthew 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.

      ...or about seeing His face!
Revelation 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

    Though we might now imagine all these wonderful blessings which are eternal and which await the arrival of those who believe in Jesus Christ as LORD, and can discuss these wonders until the return of Christ, in the end, for me anyway, it all goes back to my favorite scripture;

1 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. (KJV)

"Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!"
REVELATION 22:20

 
 

(Main Menu)
 
 Web Author:Michael Stevenson