Stephen Caswell © 2005
Moody Saw Heaven
A few hours before entering the Homeland, Dwight L. Moody caught a glimpse of the glory awaiting him. Awakening from a sleep, he said, Earth recedes, Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go. His son who was standing by his bedside said, No, no, father, you are dreaming.
No, said Mr. Moody, I am not dreaming: I have been within the gates: I have seen the children’s faces. A short time elapsed and then, following what seemed to the family to be the death struggle he spoke again: This is my triumph; this my coronation day! It is glorious!
Have you ever wondered what heaven is like? We do know something about it. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10: But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. This morning we will see a glimpse of 3 aspects of life in heaven; The Heavenly City, My Father’s House, A Holy Temple.
1. The Heavenly City
a. The Builder
Revelation 21:2: Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. So it shouldn’t surprise us that He makes the New Heavens, the New Earth and the New Jerusalem. Isaiah 65:17-18: For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. In verse 5 we read that God makes all things new. God is the Architect and builder of the New Jerusalem. God planned to make this city in the beginning.
b. The City
What do you normally find in a healthy city? You have city limits marked out by walls or fences for protection. You need a water supply and food for the people. You need streets, lighting, trees, buildings and houses. God has provided all of these. The city is secure having high walls made of jasper stone. The streets of the city and the city itself are made of pure Gold. God Himself provides the light of the city.
John says that it has the glory of God and reflects light like a precious stone. A city made of gold, precious stones and pearls will naturally radiate any light within it. God is that light. The river of life proceeds from God’s throne providing water. The tree of life provides 12 kinds of fruit for the citizens. The New Jerusalem is about 1500 to 1600 miles square. Since it’s height and length are equal it will be either a cube or a pyramid.
c. The Citizens
Revelation 21:24: 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.
Only saved people, people who have believed in Jesus Christ will enter the New Jerusalem. The citizen’s role is the Lamb’s Book of Life. No unbeliever will ever see the glory land; their place is in the Lake of Fire. All liars, idolaters, immoral persons and all unbelievers won’t be allowed into heaven. Heaven’s citizens bring their glory and honor into the city. What does this mean? I believe that it refers to their good works. Heavenly citizens walk in the light. They are saved people who live for Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20: For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We should conduct ourselves as heavenly citizens now! Heavenly citizens live to please God.
2. My Fathers House
John 14:2-3: 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. 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.
a. The Father
Jesus calls heaven His Father’s house. This is a very intimate description because families live together in a home. The Father’s house will be our eternal home. Jesus Himself has prepared rooms or dwelling places in His Father’s home. Ephesians 3:14-15: For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. We will carry our Father’s name on our foreheads. Revelation 22:4. We belong to God; for we are His children.
Our heavenly Father will care for His children and provide for all of our needs. We will share family meals and talk together at the dinner table. Our heavenly Father will comfort us wiping away every tear. Somehow we will not grieve over loved ones that are not in heaven. For there will be no more crying, sorrow, pain, suffering or death. Our Father’s home will be a place of joy, laughter and blessing. Death will never remove anyone from God’s family, because God’s family is an eternal family. They possess eternal life.
b. The Sons
You might ask me, how do we enter God’s family? How can we become a child of God? The new birth enables us to become God’s children. John 1:12-13: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Jesus told Nicodemus that He must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God; or put plainly, to get into heaven. This new birth is a spiritual birth. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us new life when we believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
Forgiveness of sins, eternal life, entrance to heaven and becoming a child of God is all gained through Jesus Christ. By admitting we are sinners and believing that Christ died for our sin we become children of God. As soon as we believe we receive it; although the completion of the work awaits Christ’s return. 1 John 3:1-2: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! 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.
c. The Inheritance
Parents leave their belongings to their children when they die. We write a last will and testament to insure this. So too, God has willed His children an inheritance. Revelation 21:7: He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. How do we overcome? By believing in Jesus Christ we become a child of God. Romans 8:16-17: The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. God will give His children everything for Jesus’ sake. God does this because of His grace. God loves His Son and all who honor His Son by believing in Him. God will give His children eternal life, a heavenly home, glory, food, water, clothes and rewards for our Christian service.
3. The Holy Temple
a. The Lord & The Lamb
21:22: But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
What is a temple? On earth temples are simply buildings set apart to worship God. In the New Jerusalem there will be no building as such. This is because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple. God will be the One we worship and the place we worship. All that we do in heaven will glorify God. Everything done will be like an act of worship.
There won’t be many temples, churches or different denominations. There will be one temple, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. There will be one people who worship one God, not numerous denominations. Every one that has believed in Jesus Christ and has been born again of the Holy Spirit will worship in this one new temple. Today there’s so much disunity in Churches and denominations. This will be changed. Christ’s prayer that we might be one will be answered. There will be true unity round the throne of God.
b. The Servants
Revelation 22:3-4: 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. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
In verses 3 and 4 believers are referred to as servants. This is right and fitting. Even though we are God’s children we are still His servants. He is our God, our King and our Master. When God called out to Samuel, he replied speak Lord your servant is listening. When the Lord asks us to do something we should say yes Lord I will obey your command. In glory we will do this. We should do it now as well. In heaven God’s will shall be done quickly.
c. The Service
Revelation 22:3-4: His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
Standing: Firstly, I believe there will be times when we will stand before God’s throne. In ancient times kings had royal advisers and attendants waiting on them. We will probably serve God in this way. In Psalm 23:6: David says, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Seeing: Secondly, We will see the Lord face to face. We will behold the glory and the beauty of our God. We will marvel at His power and perfection. We will hear His majestic voice. He will teach us His ways and we’ll be astounded by His wisdom. Recognizing God’s greatness will also glorify Him. As we will learn of His mercy and grace we will love Him more and more. Ephesians 2:4-7: But God, who is rich in mercy,….. has made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Singing: Thirdly, We will praise God with words and songs. No doubt as we learn more about God we will sing new songs that praise His greatness. Some will play harps while others sing. Revelation 15:3-4: They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.
Today we have seen that heaven is a wonderful place. A place that God has prepared for those who love Him. Do you love Him? Have you believed in Jesus Christ to save you from your sin? Is your name written on the citizen’s role, the Lamb’s Book of Life? Have you reserved a place in the Father’s house? Will you be welcome before God’s throne? Or is your destiny the Lake of Fire? If you haven’t received Christ yet, will you do it today? Will you become a child of God? Simply believe in Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into your life and save you from your sin. Will you do this today?
Num 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.