This is what Jesus says in Matthew 8:12, “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus, statistically, talked more about Hell than He did about Heaven. If you look at all the verses about Heaven, Jesus talked more about Hell than He did about Heaven, which is exactly the opposite of today.
I was asked by Paul Dixon from Cedarville back in, I think it was ’99, to come and speak at Cedarville. So, I came and spoke at Cedarville. He said you get two chapels, what are you speaking on? I said, first one Heaven, second one Hell. He looked at me and he said, I don’t know if it was 30 years or what, but what he said was if you really do that, you’re going to be the first chapel speaker in 30 or whatever years that has spoken on Heaven and Hell. They all speak on other things. He said, wow. They invited me back. They said after you speak on Heaven and Hell, what are you going to speak on? A few years later I went back, and it was the most exciting Cedarville service I’d ever been in.
Have you ever been to Cedarville? They have a huge, beautiful auditorium. There was a car accident where someone hit the transformer and it knocked out the power. As they introduced me, as I was walking up to speak with my Bible, all the lights went out and the emergency lights went on. The president wasn’t there, but the vice president was there, and he was still there to introduce me. He said what do you want to do? I said I’ll still speak. I don’t need microphones. I said I can communicate. I said, everybody in the back row of the balcony, if you can hear me right now, wave your phone. I didn’t yell. They all made their phones light up. You could see the back row, their lit phones waving around.
I was speaking on what I talked to you about, the seven marks of a healthy believer. Do you remember that? They are trained by grace and all that stuff; to reclaim boldness. Seven times the power came on, the power went off. I’ve never seen a group of young people paying more attention. They didn’t know whether I had some friend in the back that was turning the power on and off, but it was so interesting to them that I never lost any of them. I lose some of you. I see it. I get a little boring and you slip down. Some of you are really good at that. In fact, I saw one of you that had your car game going or something. It was some video game you were playing there, but no one did that. Okay.
Hell is unutterable darkness. Imagine the person that’s just entered Hell. Maybe it’s your neighbor. Maybe it’s your relative, a coworker, or your friend. After the roar of physical pain blasts them they spend the first few moments wailing and gnashing their teeth. After a season, we all get accustomed to pain. It’s not that it’s become tolerable. It’s just his capacity has enlarged to comprehend and not be consumed by the pain. Though he hurts he’s now able to think. Instinctively he looks about him, but as he looks, he sees only blackness. He waits and he sees nothing but unyielding black ink. It clings to him, it smothers him, and it oppresses him.
If you are interested in having your heart stirred there is this idea of what Hell is like which was written by someone in Moody Monthly magazine that you can find online. It’s called The Horrible Doctrine of Hell, or something like that. I read that article over and over again until I could no longer think of Hell.
Think of what Christ said, everyone in Hell believes. Through Christ’s earthly brother James, He said, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble.” A sinner is not unique in Hell because the sinner that gets there, most likely, the first thing they’ll say is “I believe!” They think they’ll get out, but the problem is everybody in Hell believes because they already have been resurrected. They’ve already stood and seen the 40 plus billion and all the throne of God and everything. They all were guilty, but it was too late because God’s word says there is no second chance. Hebrews 9:27 says Man is destined to die once. There’s no reincarnation. After that, they face the judgment. That’s why a while back, and I won’t do it again, I told you about my friend Andy Meekins on flight 961. His wife said I heard the distinct snap of a seatbelt because he said if I’m going to Heaven I’m going to take as many people with me today as I can. He did.
Well, our final lesson has got to begin. How it all ends, book of Revelation, a gift from God, an expositional study, part 20. What will it be like to dwell with God? That’s the last two chapters. That’s how far we’ve gotten. We are in the seventh clear event, dwelling with God in Heaven. The clear events start with us here. We’re going to be raptured. We’re going to answer for our lives. Our life is going to go through the conveyor belt, through the fire and whatever doesn’t burn up is what Christ gives us. While we’re enjoying the wonders of Heaven, the Tribulation unfolds. We return wearing what we really were for Christ. All of us will receive those garments. We live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. We live in Heaven and so does He. He comes down. We probably will get to see the millennial Earth. We watched the horrible rebellion. We stand quietly at the Great White Throne, and then we dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
My question is, are you getting ready for Heaven? I know people who get ready for cruises. They get ready for vacations. They get ready for graduation. They get ready for their wedding. Are you getting ready for Heaven? Do you think about it? Revelation 21 is about getting ready for Heaven. The real question is, are you getting ready to dwell in the house of the Lord forever? Do you really believe that with all your heart? Does it change how you live?
The first thing we see as we go through Revelation 21 is the difference between, oh, thank you, Colby. I just remembered this. Many of you ask how I witness to Roman Catholics. I gave Colby, he’s my deputized assistant here, the QR code cards of how to find all these videos. Some of you are so clever you’ve already found them, but if you need our ministry site and all the details, Colby has a whole pack of them.
Look at the contrast between chapter 20 verse 15 and chapter 21 verse 1. It says, verse 14 of chapter 20, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire.” Remember that’s Hades, Sheol, the grave. I showed you the underworld. That’s where all the dead are, everybody. Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. That’s the waiting room that they were in. “This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” Verse 1. “Now I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth.” Whoa! What happened between there?
That’s what’s so interesting. The old polluted-by-sin universe dissolves. That’s what Peter describes. See, every part of Revelation is connecting events that are somewhere else in the Bible. In 2 Peter 3 after all lost sinners face their lives recorded by God they stand there without excuse, and they’re sentenced to eternal death. Watch what happens.
The fire that melts the entire universe happens. We know all about it. Revelation 21 is after it happens. There’s a new Heaven and new Earth. There’s an interesting Greek word there, you can look it up in your Logos. There are two words for new in the Greek language: there’s new of a different kind and new of the same kind. If I bought a new pair of shoes for myself, I would buy another pair of the same ones because I like them, but some people like new different. Both are new. Guess what Heaven’s going to be like? It’s not new different, that Greek word. It’s new the same. That means that green will still be green. Blue will still be blue. Do you understand what I mean? It’s not like we’re going into an alternate, unusual, different, parallel universe or something. It’s just brand new. The same only now is perfect without sin.
How does it happen? Only Peter describes how it happens. This is what it says in 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the Earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” okay.
Here’s a question. What did Peter mean by elements melting? Well, Peter is guided by the Holy Spirit to use the word stoicheō, which means microscopic components that makeup building blocks. He says at the elemental level, but below element, at the atomic and subatomic level. In other words, God uncreates the universe. That’s what I told you about, He releases. He holds all things together and He just lets it all release. When you release the power inside the atom, there’s this massive, remember energy equals matter times the speed of light squared. That was Einstein’s famous equation. That’s an amazing amount of energy. God tells us He’s going to refine the universe with fire right down to the very essence of matter. It’s all going to be consumed.
Here’s the lesson I wrote in my journal, everything unconnected to God burns. It says in 1 John 2:17 that the world is passing away. The universe, the Earth, all the systems; the social, the economic, the cultural, everything is consumed and Peter asks us something. This is one in 2 Peter 3:11. It says 1 Peter, but it’s wrong. That is a typo. 2 Peter 3:11. Look what Peter said. “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” I think that’s almost the application of the whole course on Revelation. Isn’t Peter great? He said Paul’s hard to understand, but I’ll get to the point. If you really believe all this, what we’ve been studying for 19 and a half hours, how should you live if you really believe this? Wow.
These words may be the most important words that really wrap your mind around if you believe in God, if you know Jesus, and if you want to please Him with your life. He wants us to be holy in our conduct and godliness. That’s what grace teaches us. The grace of God that brings salvation Titus 2, 11 to 13, “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly” and be zealous as His servants.
My question is, are you excited to taste the joys of Heaven? Do you know what’s so interesting? People say Heaven sounds wonderful with Jesus and everything, but let’s hold off. One of the things I heard most often in the 300+ weddings I’ve performed is couples would say, you don’t think the Lord is going to come back before we get married, do you? I sensed a little hesitance that they didn’t want to go to Heaven yet. They thought marriage was better. They thought whatever, they just didn’t want to miss something on Earth. Any joy you’ve ever experienced on Earth will be infinitely better in Heaven. It’s amazing, but that’s how we become.
It’s usually not until people are approaching the end of their life that their thoughts go back to not being able to wait to get to Heaven. When they get painful. Do you know what I tell people about my age? I’m at the age where half of everything that I was born with doesn’t work anymore and the half I still have hurts. Okay. That’s what old age is. Read Ecclesiastes 12, that’s what happens. If we’re honest, most of us would say we’re hoping for Heaven, but just not quite yet. I think the reason for that is we haven’t thought about what we’re going toward.
Here’s a little picture of someone’s funeral. What will your last moment on Earth be like? Now, I challenge people, and how much time do we have here? Not very much time. I challenge groups all the time. I was down at Word of Life Florida in February talking to their seniors and there are hundreds of them down there. They’re always giving to help in the ministry. They’re wonderful. They live in trailers all around the Word of Life Florida and some of them I think are coming up here soon. I mean the students from down there.
To these seniors I said, you know what? You’re coming to a time when they’re going to take everything away from you. When you go into the hospital when you get something, either your heart or your lungs or COVID or something, what they do is they give you one of those little horrible gowns that don’t close in the back and you’re cold. They take everything away. They take your rings away. They take your watch away, in the hospital. If you’ve ever checked in someone you love, they give you a little plastic bag and strip them of their hearing aids and they even take your glasses if you’re really sick. Then they start intubating you. Even the word sounds painful. It is. They start putting in tubes, they’ve got one in your throat, and they’ve got air going over your nose, they have one going up the nose, they have them in all kinds of places and it’s just awful.
You’re laying in that little bed, and they always have the air conditioning on. You’re up all the time because they’re taking your blood pressure on your arm or they’re taking blood and they put that big port in to take your blood, and then they’ve got the peeping blinking machines. Can you tell I’ve been in the hospital and it’s awful? Do you know what you find, especially if you have a lot of tubes? You’re immobilized by that; you can’t do anything. You’re at their mercy. They feed you. They cart you to the bathroom if you’re mobile enough. They do everything.
I looked at the group of seniors and I said, what treasure of the living and abiding Word of God when you find it, gives joy to your heart? Remember what Jeremiah 15:16 says? “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16. You should memorize that one. What part of that are you going to have so that you can get an injection from God of joy and rejoicing? You’re only going to have the ones you’ve memorized and meditated on, and you have them there.
There’s coming a day when they’re taking every single thing from your wedding ring to your Apple Watch and your Apple phone or your Galaxy or whatever you have. They’re going to take it away from you. What you’re going to be left with as you head to death is what you have hidden, written in your heart. Don’t memorize the verses to get five points on the final or 10, I don’t know how much it is. Memorize them because they’re the most precious commodity. You, at any moment night or day, can hear God talking to you when you meditate on the word of God, it’s Him talking to you right there. You can even pick all your favorites, just like people make their playlists. Why don’t you look as intently at verses as you do at your playlists and everything else that we spend our time with?
What happens the moment we die? If we’ve memorized scripture it says in Psalm 23:4, a parallel with Hebrews chapter 9 which says it’s appointed unto man once to die. The important word is appointed. All of us have an appointment with death, all of us. If we don’t have an appointment with death, it’s only because in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, He’s going to call us. Most of us, unless Christ returns soon, have an appointment with death. What happens at that moment? Psalm 23:4 tells us. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Why? For what? What does it say in Psalm 23? For what? Why do I not fear? Who? Thou, that’s the old English, who is the thou in Psalm 23? Who is David talking about? Who’s the good shepherd? Who introduced themselves in John chapter 10 and said I’m the Good Shepherd? From the book of Psalms. Yeah, Jesus. Here’s the news: every one of us who are Christians has an appointment for death and before death comes, Someone comes to get us to walk us through the valley of death’s shadow.
Here, I’m going to read to you. I love doing funerals. One of my dear friends was a legislator in Oklahoma’s legislature. He died young, unexpectedly. I performed his wedding and dedicated all of his kids and baptized him and his wife. His wife called us, and we flew back. This is what I wrote. Jesus visited, and I named the hospital room he died in, to meet another of His precious children. Just as the dark cold river of death began to flow and the valley of death’s shadow began to creak open, the only One who ever defeated death and destroyed Him who had the power of death extended His arms toward David. It was 5:45 AM in the hospital. All of a sudden, David was acutely aware of hearing a voice. He was totally intubated, he was on a respirator, and life support. With all that hissing and everything he heard a voice and, in his mind, as he listened, he realized it was a voice he knew so well. It’s because Jesus said My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me. At the voice of his Good Shepherd, David looked up on Sunday morning for what would become the greatest day of his life. David heard the voice of Jesus coming to take him to Heaven. David saw Jesus standing there, the One who had been crushed for his iniquities. Then he looked at his face and it was the One who was bruised for his transgressions. Then he saw those hands that were extended to him, and they were pierced for his sins. Those nail scarred hands reached out for him, so David reached up.
When his family only saw that his tired worn out body had fallen silent with all the tubes coming out of it, David had already firmly grasped the hands of Jesus. He slipped quietly out of bed. He headed with Jesus to the place He had been preparing for him and now it was ready. Have you ever thought about that? I hear all the time people have an untimely death. Yeah. That’s a very human way of putting it, but Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself” that you can be with Me in that place I’ve prepared for you. Death for us is a personal, private Rapture.
I remember being at the bedside of another one, he was a dear godly Saint. He had founded the church I was pastoring. He had founded the camp where I had ministered. He was a giant of the faith, but in his house under hospice care, he was really struggling. Finally, when no one was around, not even his wife, he said to me I’m really troubled pastor. He called me pastor and he was a giant, but I was his pastor as he was dying. I said, what’s the problem, Willard? He said I thought I was going in the Rapture. I lived my whole life telling everybody to wait for the Rapture and I’d been waiting, and he said I’m actually upset and disappointed.
He didn’t talk like that because he had all the gear on, but he pulled it aside and was wheezing and gasping for breath and said I’m really disappointed. I said of what? He said I’m missing the Rapture. I said you are not, there are two raptures. Here’s this giant Bible expositor, a giant of the faith, and he scowled. He had strength. He was defending the faith. He said, there are not two raptures. I said, yes there are. Psalm 23 verse 4 says there’s a private personal one where the Lord Jesus comes just for you and takes you to the place He prepared that He promised in John 14. Then there’s the group event where everybody’s involved. I said which do you think is more special; the big group event or when He comes just for you? Boy, that oxygen mask went right back on, and a little smile came to his face. He said, I never thought of that before, I get a personal Rapture. I said, you are. He died about an hour later. When I did his funeral, I said I was talking with Willard and I knew exactly where Jesus Christ was last night at 9:12 PM, He was standing next to Willard’s bed.
After He stands at Willard’s bed or David’s bed, as we learned already in Revelation 3:5, we get to Heaven led by the nail scarred hand of Jesus to meet our heavenly Father because Jesus paid it all, our highest delight. We gather before God. Listen to what happens according to Revelation 3:5. Do you remember Revelation 3:5? That was last week. This is what it says, “I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Back to the funeral. By the way, these words are what I read at funerals. It’s interesting. At the end of a funeral, and I’ve done hundreds of them, a lot of them come up and they’ll say, I came here for David’s funeral, but you know what? You probably don’t even know this, but what you said about David really made me think about myself. I thought, yeah, David’s gone. He’s already enjoying this. I really was targeting you.
If you, those of you that were in homiletics class or something in here before I got here, if you really are going to teach the Bible one of the most effective ways to teach the Bible is to do an aside. You don’t point at people and say you and point right in their eyes and say you. What you say is, you know, I have a friend and you turn and start talking about this friend. 99% of all the people out there will relate to that friend, but not if you point right at them and say it’s them. You do that at a funeral.
What I say at the funeral is this: listen for a moment because just before 6:00 AM, David was taken by the hand of the Lord Jesus Himself who led him past the marshaled ranks of angels. He led him up what we read about, the golden streets of Heaven, past the cherubim and seraphim up, up, up to the very throne of God Himself. Then David heard the Lord Jesus call him by a name that no one else knew, his new name. He was presented in person, with that unique identity that no one else has to God, as His beloved child. Then he heard the Father say, bring the best robe and put it on him.
Think of it. A robe of white bright as the day, pure as the light. When the Lord Jesus was transfigured on the Mount something happened not only to his countenance, something happened to His clothes and His raiment became white as the light. What a reward for all of us who have been completely forgiven, to have a robe like that draped around our shoulders, invited to walk with Jesus in Heaven. Think about your first moment in Heaven.
Discover the blessings of being married to Jesus. I put that in your notes that you’ll get. I think they’ve scheduled to give you the slides of this class in September, but whenever you get them, this is in there. Harry Rimmer wrote his own funeral, and you can read that, it’s a beautiful, wonderful piece.
Before we go, I want to talk about Heaven. I’m going to talk about the seven wonders of Heaven. Okay, because I want you to think about what it means to live with God. Number one, we get to live with our Creator. Look at Isaiah 46. Any of you that are going in the ministry, men, and women because we’re all in the ministry, but if you’re going to minister to people, it’s really good to have this passage underlined because you’re going to visit someone in the hospital. This is one of those passages that’s my go to when it’s a believer in the hospital. When it’s an unbeliever I try to make it so that they want it, but for a believer, it’s really powerful. This is what the Lord says in verse 4, let’s start in verse 3. “You have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb:” verse 4, “even to your old age, I am He, and even to your gray hairs, I will carry you! I have made you, and I will bear; even I will carry, and deliver you.”
What we need is to be stirred up by way of reminder, that’s what Peter said, I am writing this to you to stir you up by way of reminder. Peter repeated himself. That’s just how he was. Peter just was a repeater. You’ve probably heard, if you hear older preachers, they just say the same things over and over again. I probably have said the same thing I don’t know how many times to you, but this one bears repeating. We need to be stirred up by way of remembrance that there’s only One person that was there, think of all these points: at the instant of your conception within your mother’s womb when your mother and father were together, They were there 40 weeks later when the doctor or the midwife or whoever delivered you, They were there. The Bible says that at conception, They designed you, and also Psalm 139 says They wrote down every day of your life. Your appointment for death was already set at the instant of your beginning to be alive at conception. They caught you and were there carrying you, Isaiah 46 says. They’ve carried you all the way through.
When your parents are no longer here on Earth, They’re still caring for you. When the doctor that delivered you is long gone, They’re still carrying you. When you get gray haired and old and unable to go on, They’re still carrying you. When they’re whispering about you in the hospital behind your back and telling your children and grandchildren that you don’t have long, you should go in and talk to them, and you can still hear enough that you hear that, He’s still carrying you. See our Creator has carried us from birth and He’s going to carry us until He carries us home.
He’s our Guardian. He never sleeps. It says in the Psalms, He who watches over Israel, neither slumbers nor sleeps. In Romans 8:28, do you know what the actual order of the Greek is? And we know that God causes all things to work together for good. It’s not vague. It’s not all things work together for good somehow, we’re not sure how. The order of the words tells us it’s God who is orchestrating everything to work together for good.
He’s also our Designer. Psalm 139 says He who invented DNA. They just found out three weeks ago, I think I mentioned this, but it’s still wonderful. DNA has an ER, a kind of ambulance mechanism. When the sun starts affecting the DNA and it starts mutating and you’re going to get skin cancer, instantly there’s this DNA kind of ambulance that comes in and it clamps off both sides of the DNA’s strand so that cancer will not go beyond that little section. Then it starts trying to repair it. Unbelievable. That scientist is probably going to get a Nobel Prize for that, but guess what it’s going to do? It’s going to ruin all their theories of evolution. How do you evolve a mechanism of self-repair when each iteration is dying because it’s imperfect and it needs to get better? Why didn’t it just start with that? Oh, it did just start with that because it didn’t evolve. Our designer designed it.
He’s our Friend. Do you remember my story about Carl and the aquarium? Do you know what He said to David? David was assured of what God had promised so he looked at the Lord and he said, You’re going to show me the path of life. You’re going to be my lifelong guide. If I stay close to You, like a cell tower, as long as I’m near You I’ll have the fullness of joy. If I do what You tell me to do, I stay at your right hand, I’ll have endless pleasures. That answers life.
Those are the first four wonders of Heaven: that we’re going to be with our Creator who created us in His image. Wow. Everybody goes through life trying to look like someone, act like someone, be like someone. That’s the biggest thing in our culture now, everybody wants to be someone else. They want to be like whoever they idolize. God says why don’t you idolize Me? Why don’t I become the one You want to be like? I made you in My image. Why don’t you say I want to look more and more like You want me to look because I’m in Your image? I want to look like You.
Do you know how we do that? It says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord” are changed into His image. What is that? It’s talking about the Bible. The Bible is the mirror. When we look in the mirror, we see what God wants and we see our self reflected and we see where we’re not quite what He wants, and we ask Him to change us. That one, our Creator, our Guardian, our Designer, our Friend said I want to take you through life.
Let me just tell you a little bit about what Heaven’s going to be like. Your best friend who’s designing Heaven for you right now, designed all the life that’s in one drop of water. There’s a microscopic view of one drop of water. Let me read to you from a science book. They didn’t write this; I added these words. God has demonstrated an unbelievable ability to cause life here on this planet to flourish beyond what we can even comprehend. Here is an example from nature. To see the explosive power of life in this world look at any standing water or pond. It’s spring thaw, water is standing all over the place. As soon as it warms up, look at one drop of water.
Water is preeminently the seed of life. There is not a bay or a creek or a shelf or a sound on the face of the Earth that doesn’t team with life. Every drop of ditch water can hold 500 million microscopic creatures. One drop? 500 million? They are so small that one teaspoon full of water would be to them as the Atlantic ocean is to us. There you can see the difference. Those half a billion infusoria can live comfortably their entire existence in that drop of water.
They appear in over 1000 species in one drop of water. So far, they’ve found a thousand different species. Some are herbivores, some are carnivores, some have shells, some have none, and some have mouths, teeth, muscles, nerves, and glands. Some have between one and 200 sacks or stomachs that are connected by an intestinal canal. The thickness of the membrane in one infusoria that lines their stomach is one 50000000th part of an inch.
God engineered on the microscopic level something that even nanotechnology cannot make. They can line wafers and make nano chips. They cannot manufacture membranes of a living organism that can digest. This is nothing to God. Only a God who is infinite could’ve worked on such a majestic scale as we see either looking up in the skies in the universe or on the microscopic scale in any water. There’s no such thing as bigness and smallness to God. Do you understand what I mean?
The same complexity in a quasar or some galaxy or some nova, whatever’s out there, nebula, the same beauty and complexity, and unbelievable engineering you find in a drop of ditch water. See, God lavishes His power, and it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Do you know? That’s why we need to be released from this idea that we can only be important if we have something big that becomes viral and a hit.
How many people knew about the widow who had the leptons, the mites, between her fingers that looked all around at the temple and Jesus was sitting way over. It even tells us in the Gospels He was sitting way over out of her sight. It says she came up to the offering thing, made sure no one was around, and no one could see what she had because a lepton is actually small. They called them onion skins. If you ever peel onions, the brown outer skin is so thin. They were that thin. She was holding two of them, which were her entire assets. Total of her assets, Jesus tells us, and she put them with love and adoration into the receptacle. They probably got stuck in a crack.
Jesus said everybody before Him was bringing up wheel barrels of gold and silver and blowing horns and marching up with everybody watching. Everybody was taken up and they were clinking all that treasure into the receptacles. While they were all distracted, she knew no one would look, she put hers in over here. Do you know what Jesus said? She put in more than everybody else. See with God bigness is the heart, the motivation. How much love there is.
Those are only the first four wonders of Heaven. Here are the last three. Next, He’s our completer. I already quoted Jeremiah 15:16. God says I want to give you joy and rejoicing. I want you to go through life so you’re like our waiter at The Pantry at Ninth and Figaro that I told you about who leaned down and looked at us and said, what drug are you on? It’s better than mine. We’re supposed to be so completed by Christ that we’re satisfied. We’re filled with joy. It isn’t human, it’s divine. We’re filled with delights. We’re filled with the thrill that the One who caused us to begin life at conception designed us, then carried us from birth, carries us through life, and carries us till our last breath. He never lets go and takes us home. Wow.
He’s also the changeless one. He made the laws of nature. He keeps His word. It says in Hebrews 13:5, He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the almighty God. Remember I told you that Birmingham University or whatever was mapping the sky and every time they took a square and looked at it, everything they thought was a star was a galaxy, what they thought were galaxies were clusters of galaxies and it just goes on and on. That God says I am your Father. If you think the universe is beautiful, just think of Heaven.
By the way, Heaven is a permanent place it says in chapter 21. It starts introducing it, but it reminds us of Hebrews 11:10. Remember the heroes of the faith, Abraham and all the others, waiting for a city that had foundations. Remember Abraham, once he got saved he left his house in Ur and he never built another building, he only built altars. He never bought another piece of property once he became God’s friend, except for a grave site for his wife. The rest of the time he lived in a tent. He said I’m a pilgrim and stranger and I’m going to just go wherever God tells me to go. Wow.
Look at this, God always uses vivid artistic imagery when portraying Heaven. His images; the textures, the brilliance, the light, jewels, all that stuff. Here’s a little picture of what Heaven will be like. Did you know when you read Revelation 21:19-21, the 12 stones that are mentioned parallel the high priests? The high priest of Israel used to wear this plate right here that looked like that. We know the colors of those stones. Those are the colors of Heaven.
Obviously, the early believers thought much about Heaven. I told you this, I’ll read it to you now, Graham Scroggie, a great British Bible teacher, said this: “Not without reason did the Early Church study this Book. Practically the whole of it is reproducible from the Christian writers.” Remember, I told you they took the sermons that are extant, that are still in existence, of the post-apostolic church fathers, post after the apostles, so those that were of the 2nd century after the 1st century. If you look at their sermons, the ones that we have, you can almost get an entire 404 verses quoted in those sermons, the whole book of Revelation. They didn’t just do 1, 2, and 3, or 4 and 5, or 21 and 22. They even did all that other stuff. It’s amazing. It was important to them. They thought much about Heaven.
Revelation 21:16. Oh, this one you have to see. It says in Revelation 21:16. Oh, 9 minutes. “The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: 12,000 furlongs. Its length, breadth and height are equal.” He measured it. If you get to that chapter, guess what I found in that chapter? I wrote this for verse 16: living forever in the Holy of Holies.
Did you know there’s one place described in the Bible that’s exactly a cube? It’s in Exodus and it gives all the measurements. There’s the holy place where there’s the altar of incense and the seven branch menorah and the table of the showbread are. They’re in this outer area of the holy place, but inside there was a perfect cube and that’s where God was hovering, the shekinah glory, over the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. Heaven is a 1400 mile in each direction cube. It’s shaped just like the holy of Holies in the tabernacle.
Look at verse 22. It says 12 gates were 12 pearls, each individual gate was a pearl. The streets of the city were pure gold like transparent glass. Each gate is a single 1500 mile high pearl. If the wall is 1400 miles high, the gate probably extends above. Maybe it’s only 1300 miles. I don’t know, but it’s a pearl. Just as pearls were formed through the injury of the oyster, we’re reminded forever when we go into Heaven, we’re only going in there because Someone was wounded and crushed and bruised for us. That’s why they’re all pearls. See everything is intentional in the Bible and God wants us to know how important all these details are for our lives.
We’ll drink the water of life flowing from underneath the throne. It will supply us with everlasting life. Remember we’re not self-sufficient even in Heaven, we need to be kept alive by God. Do you remember when Moses was on the Mount of Sinai? Do you remember what happened to him? He was up there for 40 days. What happened after 40 days? He absorbed some of the radiation. Do you remember that? He glowed and it scared everybody. He came down glowing in the dark. It was like one of those luminescent flashlights. He had to cover up his face because it scared everybody. He had been with God. See, God is life, it flows out of Him, and it flows into everything around Him. God gives us all what we really want.
Chapter 22 and I just have a couple of verses I’m going to show you. The first one is worship or submission to God is central to the Bible. Look at verse 9. You can read all the rest, we’re supposed to, it’s worth a lot of points. Look what he says. “Then he said to me,” verse 9, “See that you do not do that.” See John was overwhelmed by the angel. The angel was so unbelievable he started worshiping the angels. He said don’t do that! “I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren and the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” That’s the central theme of the scriptures, worship God. Worship of God is a mark of true believers.
Here’s my second observation from verse 22. When we take the final trip with Jesus through the valley shadow of death or in the skies through the clouds at the voice of the archangel, no baggage left here can accompany us. Look at what it says in 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” In other words, anything that matters you have to send ahead. You can’t take it with you. We can unusually take people with us to Heaven. It says that in 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. Paul said, “What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” Anybody you lead to the Lord, you actually take with you because the Lord kind of associates us with who we lead to Christ, but nothing else physical can you take. Immortal souls you can, except what you send ahead.
I wrote only what we send ahead here will make it to Heaven. What keeps us from getting to Heaven is a lust for comfort and convenience. If we’re lusting for comfort and convenience, we spend all of our life guarding all this stuff and we don’t want anybody to take it. Remember what Ecclesiastes said? The more you have the more you want, the more you have the more everybody else wants it, the more you have the harder it is to give it up. All those principles are in Ecclesiastes. God says no, don’t lust for comfort and convenience. Long for your heavenly home.
Don’t be greedy for recognition. Remember Jesus said, if you get clapped for what you did in sacrifice to the Lord, you don’t have any reward in Heaven. Wow. We have people that want their names attached to their gifts. They donate, but they want to be named on the building or whatever. That’s okay. It’s good. You have a reward. We think you’re great, but you lose that reward in Heaven, Jesus said, when we want to be recognized. That’s something you want, what you do for the Lord to last forever. Make sure that you’re not your biggest self-promoter or have covetousness for security.
We need to fall in love with Jesus all over again. When the Bible closes in Revelation 22, we’re transported to the fringes of eternity. We step out into the Garden of God. It’s called the final paradise. For just a minute, have you ever thought about the first paradise? Imagine what it was like at the dawn of creation. Think about life as a perfect human. Your first memory as Adam and Eve would have been waking up in God’s Garden, Eden. You’re in a comfortable world with no extremes. You’re surrounded by beauty and fragrance. You have no pains, no sorrows, no fears, and no weariness. That’s what we go back to.
On our way there, we have to stand in front of Jesus and say, did I live my life for You, or did I just waste it? Let’s see. Do I have my keys here? I think I gave them to Bonnie. I don’t know what I did with my keys. I usually keep them in my pocket, but this is what I usually do in class. I’ve done this for generations of you young people. I say, when Bonnie and I are driving across the country, we drive a lot when we’re in the states and we even drive a lot when we’re not in the states. When we drive the car Bonnie will say, hey, do you want me to drive? I say, uh huh. She knows I’m serious when I pull over the car to the side, I put it in gear, I turn it off, I pull the keys out, I come around to the other side of the car, I open her door and I hand her the keys. I get out of the driver’s seat. I get into the passenger seat, and she has total control; the keys, the steering wheel, everything, and I don’t. Who’s the driver of your life? Did you know every morning the Lord wants you to pull over, hand Him the keys, get in the passenger seat and let Him drive? That’s surrender.
Bonnie and I say, that’s it. Thanks for listening. Pray for us. You can friend us on Facebook. I don’t think young people your age use Facebook anymore and I’m too old to be on Instagram. You can subscribe to our channel on YouTube. You always know where I am because wherever I’m teaching it gets posted on YouTube and it’s called DTBM. Stay in touch. We have been teaching in these Bible institutes. In fact, the first time I taught here was in 1987. That was 35 years ago, that’s generations of young people. We teach them all over the world. Stay in touch because we love to hear what God’s going to do with your life. Revelation reminds us of how it all ends and what it’s going to be like to dwell with God forever. God bless you. We’re done a minute early.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Revelation Taught In 2022 here.
Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?
Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.