< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: A Glimpse of Heaven

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Glimpse of Heaven

The author of Between Heaven and Earth wrote “our best days on earth don’t even come close to comparing to our days in heaven.” When we realize this truth it should cause us to loosen our grip on this earthly life a bit. Secondly it should cause us to long for heaven and everything Jesus prepared for us there.
Again: Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Just like in Eden God will dwell with His people. Remember how He came to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden? Also no corruption or tears or sorrow – like Eden before the fall. The Apostle John tells us that it will be new – he speaks of something renewed; so therefore superior and more splendid then this one. God is not a stingy, reluctant giver. He’s extravagant and limitless. And He has a surprise for us at every turn. If we see God as a God of rules we’re going to see heaven as boring. But when we know God and what a loving, kind, generous Father He is, who wants the best for His children, we won’t be able to wait to see what He has planned.

Revelation 21:18-21 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

Materials we think are precious will be common building materials. The opulence of the new heaven will far exceed any city of this world! Gold so pure it’s like glass! Walls made of precious stones. Pearls the size of gates!

In Revelation 5:10 and 21:24 we are told we are called and made priests and kings. We will rule over the new heaven, much like Adam and Eve were called to have dominion over Eden. But forever!

Revelation 22:1-2 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations

The river is called the very water of life. And there’s a tree of life there like the one in Eden, but this one heals.

 In just these few verses in Revelation we see what God has always intended for us. And this should inspire us to live differently on earth.

Remember - Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

And it won’t be boring. No floating around on clouds playing harps. Not an unending church service. Scripture tells us that heaven is everything we can dream it is and more. People might think of heaven as boring though because they’ve never entered into the thrill of receiving supernatural power to do what God has called them to do. Our lives in Christ can sometimes be boring because we don’t know what it’s like to completely trust God in our trials. Again we’re looking through our distorted view and not thinking about His character! Heaven will be extravagant, loving, creative and powerful. It will be utter satisfaction and utter surprise at the same time. We will have sinless, resurrected bodies that will have unbelievable abilities. They will be incorruptible.

Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

We’ll have bodies like Jesus that can do what His does! Jesus had the ability to fly!

Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

He could appear and disappear: Luke 24:30-10 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

That’s not boring!



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