THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE

Revelation 21:25; 22:5

 

A little girl was looking up at the stars with her dad. Her dad could tell that she was deep in thought about something, so he asked her ďwhat are you thinking about?Ē She replied, ďIf the top of heaven is a beautiful as the bottom, I want to go there donít you?

 

I think it would help us all in our walk of faith to stop and consider how beautiful heaven must be and how there is no darkness there. When we look around our world and see how it is full of both good and evil things, it should help us to think about how heaven will be nothing like this place we live at now. I wish I could tell you how beautiful heaven will be with great detail, but the truth of the matter is that no one can adequately describe its beauty or what it will feel like to be there.

 

However when we take time our busy lives to think about this wonderful place it should put a smile on our face and make it possible for us to continue the day knowing that if we live faithfully that that beautiful place where there is no darkness will be our home.

 

Before I begin talking about heaven and how we should long to see it. I want to first talk about the alternative. The reason I want to do this is because we can gain a much a deeper appreciation for heaven, when we understand how horrible hell will be.

In our modern day society hell is not topic that you will hear preached or talked about very often because many people today want to pretend that it doesnít exist. In fact some religions groups such as the Jehovah Witnesses deny that Hell even exists. The reason some donít want to believe in the horrible place called hell is because they cannot see how a loving God could send people to such a place. However, no matter how much people want Hell to be a myth, the Bible makes it very clear that this place does exist and those who are outside of Christ will find themselves there. Have you considered the fact that the Bible talks about punishment and hell around 5 times more than it does about rewards and heaven. Even Jesus himself spoke more about Hell than he did about heaven.

Since the Word of God emphasizes this place many times donít you think that it important that we learn as much as we can about this horrible place and how to avoid it?

Now the first thing I want to do is to point out some different Greek words that are translated as hell or hades within our Bibles and to learn difference in words.

Now the Greek Word hades Ė mean the place of the unseen dead. When the Bible speaks of this place it talking about the waiting place that the soul goes to when a person dies. This place consist of 2 areas that are divided by impassible gulf. One area is described as Abraham Bosom or Paradise where the righteous will wait for the final judgment. The other place is described by the Greek word Tartaros where the wicked wait for their final judgment. I believe these 2 areas are a foretaste of what heaven will be like and what hell itself will be like. To help us gain a better understanding of what I am talking about in regards to this temporary waiting place known as Hades. We need to examine the story of the rich man and Lazarus.

Luke 16:19 " There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,21 "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.22 "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.24 "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.26 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'27 "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,28 'for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'29 "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'30 "And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "

 

The first thing we learn is that there was a rich man who was just living life to it fullest. He had everything a worldly man could want and we also that he was very self centered and only cared about himself. Then we also learn about this poor man named Lazarus. He did not have any worldly riches. In fact he was destitute and all he could do to survive to beg for help from others. We see that he was at the gate of this rich man just hoping that he would share some of the crumbs from his table but apparently this rich man was even to greedy to this. We see that Lazarus was in bad shape and had sores on his body. He must have been struggling with strength because allowed these dogs to come and lick his wounds.

 

So while living on the earth the rich man had it good and the poor man had it bad. But we learn from this story that is much more to life than what we live here on this earth. As the story continues on we learn that rich man and Lazarus dies. You no matter how rich or how poor you are we will face death on day and this story teaches us that everyone after they die there soul will be separated from the body and they will go to one or two place. The first place we see from our story is that the angels take Lazarus to this place called Abraham bosom and it tells us that the rich finds himself Hades as well but he is in a different area where he is being tormented. In fact he describes it as place full of flames.

 

I donít know of any worse pain than that of being burned or any worse torment of being surrounded by unending fire. Now we to keep in mind that God can burn something without destroying it. For example, when the Angel of the Lord spoke to Moses out of the burning bush one of thing that Moses observed in Exodus 2:2 was that the bush was full of flames yet the bush was not consumed or burned up. Then you add the fact that a person soul never dies shows us how a person can continually be tormented forever.

 

We also learn from our text that in this waiting place that we are conscience. We can see just as the rich was able to see Abraham and Lazarus. We also learn that we communicate as the rich man cried to Abraham. We learn that all our senses our working as the rich man was experience the torment of flames and how he desired to have his tongue cooled by a drop of water from Lazarus. We also learn that Lazarus was able to experience what true comfort felt like after the hard life he lived while on the earth. Here we see a role reversal because now the rich men is begging for just a drop of water just like Lazarus had begged for the crumbs from rich man table. The difference is that Lazarus cannot give the rich mananything because there is a great gulf that separates them.

 

Another thing that we learn from Abraham is that the rich man is going to have to think about he lived his life for the rest of eternity. Can you even begin to imagine how it would make you feel if you realized that you could of done things differently while you lived on the earth that would have kept from being in that awful place. Those who have made poor choices are all going to have plenty of time to think about those mistakes they made.

 

One last thing we learn from our story is that the rich man also can remember his family that this left behind on the earth and because he now knows the reality of his situation he desperately wants his family to know the truth about God so that they donít have to come that horrible place. However learn that from Abraham that no one is one is going to come back alive from the dead to go warn his family and if that did happen they most likely would not believe that person. He concludes by basically saying that they have word God and that should be enough to persuade them because if it wonít nothing else will. So we learn from our story that when a person dies their soul either goes to Abrahamís bosom or this or place of torment where we will all wait for our finally judgment as either go to heaven or to hell.

 

Now real quickly I want to show where I get the idea that these 2 places in Hades are also called Paradise and tartaros.

 

First lets deal with the term Paradise. When Jesus was on the cross and the thief asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom Jesus responded to him and said,

 

Luke 23:43Ö"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

 

You see when Jesus died his soul left his body and his soul went to Hades. Surely no one would every think that he went to the place of torment. So, from this I conclude that the place the Lazarus went to is also called Paradise.

 

Now lets look at the word tartaros.

 

2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

 

This is the only time this Greek word is used in the Bible as we see translated as hell. Notice this also the place where the angels who have sinned are held until the day of judgment. So this is why I conclude that place where the rich man is also called tartaros. This passage also shows that this realm called Hades is a waiting place until the day of judgment occurs. Please note the following passage.

 

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

You see at the day of Judgment Hades will give up the dead. Those who are written in the book of life will go to heaven and those not found in that book will be cast in the lake of fire which is the finally destination of all those who are wicked and have not obeyed the will of God. Please notice the words of John

John 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice29 "and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

 

According to Paul in 1 Cor. 15 it is at this time that we will receive or immortal bodies that will last throughout eternity and Mat. 25 Jesus says at this time that there will be a division between the righteous and the righteous and that there eternal destination will be sealed at that time.

 

Matthew 25:46"And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

 

Now I want you to think about this for a minute. If the waiting place know as Hades was full of torment and it was just a preview of what was going to happen in the final place called hell then can you even begin to imagine how much worse actually hell will be or to even begin to imagine spending eternity there. Now that we have examined the waiting place now let take a look at what the Bible says about hell itself.

 

Now the Greek Word used to describe this place is Gehenna. This word is found twelve times in the Greek New Testament andJesus himself uses this word 11 times. It interesting to note that Jesus spoke of ďhellĒ more frequently than he did ofďheaven.Ē

The word Gehenna comes from an Old Testament Hebrew expression, ďthe valley of Hinnom,Ē which was used to describea ravine on the southern side of Jerusalem. This valley was used by certain apostate Hebrews as a place where their children were offered into the fiery arms of the pagan god Molech (2 Chron. 28:3; 33:6; 2Kings 28:3). It was deemed an area of suffering and weeping. When Josiah the king started going around and destroying the false idols this valley was considered as a site of dreadful abomination (2 Kgs. 23:10-14). It finally became the garbage dump of Jerusalem where there was a continual burning of waste.

WhenJesus would teach people about things such as heaven or hell he always used something that they could relate to in the 1st century and so he used this term Ghenna to describe where the sinner would end up and horrible it would be. Now of course mere words can only come close to describing how dark and terrifying hell will be. Now one will now the true horrors of Hell until they get there and hopeful none of will find our way there.

 

Now lets take a look at some more passages that talk about this horrible place called hell. Fist note what Jesus said.

Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

 

Now Jesus is not literally saying that we should cut parts of our body but he makes this statement to show how important it is for us to get the sin out our life no matter what the cost because no sin is worth the Horrors of Hell. This teaches us that we must take sin very serious and not allow it to drag us down to the pits of hell. In another place where Jesus was teaching the parable about tares and the wheat he conclude by saying.

 

Matthew 13:41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 

Now this idea of wailing and gnashing of teeth is something that happens when someone is great discomfort and the only thing they can do from torment they are is to cry and gnash there teeth in pain. Again notice another point that Jesus makes about hell.

 

Mark 9:43 "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched --44 "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'45 "And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched --46 "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'47 "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire --48 "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'

 

Here we see Jesus is describing this awful place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. This teaches us that those who find themselves in this place will never die but will have remain in this fire that can never be quenched. I cant even begin to imagine of the pain of being burned or exposed to fire over and over again with no end in sight. You some people who struggle with the health and feel miserable they long to leave this world so no longer will suffer the pain they are going through right now. But just try to imagine being tormented in hell a never being able to escape the suffering that will be there.

 

Mat. 25:30 describes hell as place of outer darkness

Mat. 25:46 say that is a place of everlasting punishment.

Rev. 21:8 describes it as lake burns with fire and brimstone.

 

Finally take a look at what,

 

Revelation 14:10 "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.11 "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

 

You see there is no rest in horrible place. Those who are opposed to God will be tormented fire and brimstone and notice it says the smoke of their torment ascends for every and ever. So, please realize the Hell is a reality and no one should want to go there but unfortunately many will.

 

Matthew 7:13 " Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

 

Jesus is telling us that heaven is place for a prepared people but hell is a prepared place for unprepared people.

 

Matthew 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

 

So not only is Hell prepared for the devil and his angels, it prepared for all those who do not choose to obey God.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:7 when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

 

Every single person who disobeys God word will go to this horrible place. Paul gives us an general list of those who will end up in hell in,

 

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

There will even be a great number of people who claim to be religious there because they have never fully obeyed Godís word.

 

Matthew 7:21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

 

We also learn from the Bible that there will be Christians the end up in this bad place if they are not living faithfully to God.

 

Revelation 3:15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.16 "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

 

Here Jesus was writing to a church and he wanted them to know the being Lukewarm is not acceptable to God and unless they repent he will vomit them out of his mouth. So this teaches us that we must not become lazy in our Christianity because Jesus promises us a crown of righteous only if we are faithful until the end.

 

Revelation 2:10 "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

 

This tells us that we must be very careful to stay committed to the Lord and serving him. This is why I believe Paus tells us,

 

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

 

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 

So far we have learned a lot about this horrible place called hell. While the Bible gives us many images about this horrible place, this place of darkness and torment will most likely be far worse than can be described my mere words.

 

The great news is that we can avoid this awful place because of Jesus did for us on the cross. We should be thankful because none of us deserved what Jesus did for us. Now, that we have idea horrible hell will be, let us now talk about the wonderful place called heaven.

 

The first thing I want to point is that heaven is literal place. For instance Jesus talks about heaven as being a real place in:

 

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.3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.4 "And where I go you know, and the way you know."

 

Now when it says that Jesus is preparing a place for us this carries the idea that he is making reservation for us. For instance when a King would travel to another city they would prepare that is to make ready the place he was going to stay and that is what Jesus is doing for us and when he comes again he will take all those who are saved to heaven.

 

Whenever Stephen was being stoned for preaching the truth he also speaks of heaven as a place.

 

Acts 7:56 .. "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

 

Please notice that Paul confirms the realty of heaven.

 

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

And finally Peter also makes this truth known.

 

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

So without a doubt the Word of God makes it very clear that heaven is real and it ours to have if we live our of life for God.

 

Now letís look at few Biblical names that heaven is called within the Bible.

 

  • The new Jerusalem Rev. 21:2
  • The city of God Heb. 12:22
  • Paradise Rev. 2:7
  • Our Fatherís House John 14:2
  • The heavenly country Heb. 11:16

 

Now there maybe more names than this but I just wanted to show you sometimes the Bible refers to heaven by different names.

 

Another thing I want to point out about heaven is that real people will be there. For instance Jesus will be there.

 

Acts 1:9- Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

 

Here we see the record of Jesus ascending to heaven to site at the at the right hand of the father in heaven. Jesus is heaven right now and just as the angels told the apostles one day Jesus will return from heaven just as he ascended into heaven. So we can see that Jesus is in heaven.

 

Now 2 Characters that I find very interesting are also in heaven. There names are Enoch and Elijah. These are only 2 men recorded in the Bible that did not have to physically die before they went to heaven. Lets look at verses that show this.

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

2 Kings 2:11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" So he saw him no more.

 

Even though we have these 2 instances recorded where someone went to heaven without having to physical die. The exact same thing will happen to every faithful Christian who is alive when Christ comes again. That Paul teaches us in,

 

1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed --52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

 

Some other real people that will be in heaven are found in,

 

Matthew 8:11 "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

 

Not only will these men be there so will people like Moses and Stephen the first Martyred Christian. If fact that Bible teaches us that every faithful child of God will be there in Rev. 2:10. So we can clearly see that not only is heaven a real place real people will be there as well.

 

The next thing I want to talk about is how heaven is place of bliss.

 

I like what David says in Psalms 16,

 

Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

David understood that God had the power to keep him from remaining is the place called Sheol and as you can see from the text he knew that God could show him the pathway to a life that was full of joy and happiness forevermore and that is just one aspect of what awaits us in that beautiful place called heaven.

 

I like how the apostle Paul describes this place of bliss and how every person should long to be there.

 

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

 

I really like what Paul says here because he shows us that we can be confident knowing that if we walk by faith with Godís Word being our guide that we can enter into this wonderful place of bliss where we can experience and fully embrace this place called heaven which is not made with hands. We also learn from the text that old physical bodies will be done away with and we will be provided with new spiritual bodies. This fact is further shown in several other places in the Bible.

 

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

 

You see we must go through a change before we can enter into heaven.

 

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

 

Now know one knows exactly what that new spiritual body will be like not even the apostle John.

 

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

 

However we do know that this new body that we are given is one that last through eternity. We learn more about what will happen to us in heaven from the discussion that Jesus had with some Sadducees in,

 

Luke 20:27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,28 saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.29 "Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children.30 "And the second took her as wife, and he died childless.31 "Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died.32 "Last of all the woman died also.33 "Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife."34 And Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 "But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;36 "nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

 

In this text the Sadducees were trying to trip up Jesus and of course they failed to do so. But we learn several more things about what will happen in heaven. For instance we see that on the judgment day when all Christians are resurrected in heaven we will no longer marriages and we will be equal with angels. Right now as we live and breath we are considered to be a little lower than the angels according to Heb. 2:9. Now please note this our text does not say that we will become angels it only says that we will be like them. We also learn from this text that in heaven there will be no more death. Can you imagine it? No more death, what thing to look forward to.

 

Well the book of Revelation gives us even more insight in,

 

Revelation 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

 

Here I believe John is talking about heaven itself and in this symbolic description we learn several things about the bliss of heaven especially in verse 4. Please notice this verse again.

 

4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

 

Think about how wonderful this place will be. No more funerals or cemeteries. No more hospitals, medicines, contacts lenses, wheel chairs, cains. No more headaches or colds. All of these things will be gone when we make it to heaven. We will get to rest from our labors and the greatest thing of all is that we be in the very presence of God. So clearly we can see that heaven is a placed of bliss.

 

Now I heard people ask the question will we know each other in heaven and I believe the answer is yes. We can see from the story of the Rich man and Lazarus that even though the rich man was in the bad place he was able to recognize both Abraham and Lazarus.

 

Luke 16:23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

I believe this shows without a doubt that we will be able to recognize one another and I also believe that is someway we will know who other people like Rich man was able to know who Abraham was.

 

Well now that we have examined things about heaven let us now take a look at how heaven is described in the book revelation. Now this is long read but I want you to visually what is being said to the best of you ability.

 

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony (kal-c-dough-knee) , the fourth emerald,20 the fifth sardonyx, (sar-don-x) the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite (chris-o-light) , the eighth beryl (barrel), the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. (am-a-thist) 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. 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 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

Now think about this. No matter how great you imagination is or how vivid a picture you had in your mind from this description it will not even come close to real beauty of heaven. It actual beauty will be realized until we get there.

 

The great news is that every person that is willing to love God enough to obey His will can go to the beautiful city of God where there is not darkness. Whether you go to heaven or hell is your choice. You cannot blame anyone for missing out on heaven except for yourself.

 

I want to understand that you are not guaranteed of another day on this earth. If you walk out this building and get struck by a car and die, your time is up and your destination cannot be changed. If you have sin in your life right now, if you were to die you will have to spend eternity in the horrible place called hell. I urge you to repent of the sin that is your life because it does not matter what it is it is not worth losing your soul and spending eternity with the devil and his angels.

 

If you are here tonight, and you have never obeyed the gospel, why are waiting? What is preventing you from obeying Godís plan of salvation? Before you can ever begin to walk up that difficult road that leads to eternal life in heaven, you must become a Christian.

 

Godís plan of salvation is easy to understand.

 

John 8:24 for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

 

Luke 13:3 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

 

Matthew 10:32 Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.33 "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

 

Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved;

 

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;

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