Three Realities Of Heaven

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Colossians 3:1

People have many misconceptions about what heaven is like. You won’t be an angel. You won’t have wings. You’re not going to be a little chubby cherub, wear a white robe, or float on clouds.

You need a correct view of heaven. The Bible says in Colossians 3:1, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand”.

So what does the Bible say about these “realities of heaven”?

Heaven is where God lives and rules. The Bible calls heaven “the dwelling place of God,” “the house of God,” and “the city of God.” As these phrases suggest, heaven is where God lives. 

But Jesus also calls heaven “the Kingdom of God” or “the Kingdom of heaven” 31 times in Scripture. So heaven isn’t just where God lives; it’s also where he rules. Psalm 123:1 says, “Lord, I look up to you, up to heaven, where you rule”.

Heaven is a real place. Heaven isn’t a state of mind. It isn’t a state of being. And it isn’t a place where your essence floats around like a ghost. It’s a real place. In fact, the Bible says there will be streets, trees, water, and homes in heaven. Many Scripture passages allude to the fact that animals are there. You’ll have your physical body, renewed through your resurrection. And there will be a real place for your real body to live: There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you (John 14:2).

And Jesus said in Matthew 6:20, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal”. You can’t store up treasures in a place that isn’t real.

Heaven is designed for you and me. God didn’t design heaven for himself. He designed it for his followers. The Bible says, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you” (Matthew 25:34).

When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about heaven. The Bible says God made the entire universe because he wanted a family to spend eternity with. Heaven is the place he’s designed for his family, and heaven is an amazing expression of his love. 

People weren’t meant to live on Earth forever. You and I were made for heaven!Hebrews 13:14 says, “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven”. Once you’ve become a part of God’s family, there’s a whole lot more to life than just here and now. Really, this world is not your home; you’re just passing through!

When it comes to heaven, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). No matter what you’ve dreamed up about heaven, the reality will far exceed it!

Five Things You Won’t Find In Heaven

Can you understand the mysteries surrounding God All-Powerful? They are higher than the heavens and deeper than the grave. So what can you do when you know so little, and these mysteries outreach the earth and the ocean?” (Job 11:7-9)

When I was a little boy, we traveled to Disneyland for a family vacation. On the way there, my momma explained to me what it was going to be like. But no matter how she tried, there was no way for me to understand just how amazing that place was until I walked into the park for the first time. It far surpassed anything I had imagined it to be!

The Bible says in Job 11:7-9, “Can you understand the mysteries surrounding God All-Powerful? They are higher than the heavens and deeper than the grave. So what can you do when you know so little, and these mysteries outreach the earth and the ocean?”.

Heaven is a mystery that you will not fully understand until you arrive there. But the Bible does give important information about eternity, including five things that will not be in heaven. 

In heaven, there will be no sickness. The Bible says, “This is how it will be when the dead are raised to life. When the body is buried . . . it is ugly and weak; when raised, it will be beautiful and strong” (1 Corinthians 15:42-43). There won’t be any sickness because you’re going to get a new, perfect body.

In heaven, there will be no sadness. God “will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). God has kept a record of your tears and pain because he cares about you. But when you get to heaven, there will be no more broken hearts, rejection, loneliness, grief, or heartache.

In heaven, there will be no suffering. The Bible says, “‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat” (Revelation 7:16). Every one of your needs will be satisfied in heaven.

In heaven, there will be no sin. “God . . . will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault” (Jude 1:24). Jesus Christ died on the cross and paid for all your sin so that when you see him face to face, your character will be instantly changed to be like him.

In heaven, there will be no death. “There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4). Heaven is glorious in a lot of ways, but the best thing is that you get to be in God’s presence forever.

The Bible says, “We don’t know everything, and our prophecies are not complete…. Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understand us” (1 Corinthians 13:9, 12)

One day it’s all going to be clear. It’s all going to make sense. You’re going to be able to say, “So that’s why God allowed that in my life!” Until then, God wants you to trust him.

You Where Made To Last Forever

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”Hebrews 13:14

Heaven is the place God is preparing for his family.

When God started thinking up Earth, he also started thinking up heaven. Why? Because he knew you were not meant to live here forever. This is not all there is!

That’s a good thing because you don’t want to live in an imperfect place forever. You want to live in a perfect place that was made just for you, as a member of God’s family.

God’s plan for eternity is such an amazing expression of his love. The Bible tells us that God created the entire universe because he wanted a family that would live with him forever. It wasn’t because he was lonely because God is fulfilled in himself. He wanted to express his love by creating human beings in his image, so that he could adopt us into his family, and we could live with him forever.

Ephesians 1:5 says, “[God’s] unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!

There’s a word for God’s family: church. The only thing in this world that’s going to last is the church the people who have chosen to be part of God’s family in faith and obedience.

As the Bible says, “We have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay” (1 Peter 1:4).

Because you were made to last forever, you can choose to spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell. 

When you make Jesus the Lord of your life, you accept your inheritance as God’s child and your forever home in heaven. That inheritance can never be taken away from you! It is God’s amazing gift to you. It changes not just where you spend eternity but how you live life now.

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:14, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come”.

Once you become part of God’s family, there’s a whole lot more to life than just the here and now. You realize that this world really is not your home. You’re just passing through!

The Battle Against Evil Is Already Won

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

When you’re faced with evil, don’t return it. Overcome it.

This is opposite of human nature and what the world condones. When somebody hurts you, you want to hurt them back, right? When somebody hits you, you want to hit them back. When somebody slanders you, you want to slander against them. 

But God says that is not the way you’re going to win the battle against evil. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. That is God’s way of winning the battle.

Jesus Christ came to Earth to show that you don’t destroy evil by retaliating; you destroy it by overcoming it with good. 

The Bible says, “The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Jesus came to obliterate evil. He came to wipe it out. Evil is going to end one day. It is not going to exist forever. One day God is going to close the books. He’s going to settle the score. He’s going to end history and take his family into eternity with him.

If you want to be on the winning side, you better get on God’s side because evil is going to lose. Evil wins a few battles here and there, but the outcome of the war has been predetermined. 

Good and evil are not equal in force or competition. It may feel like evil is stronger and that evil is winning. But love is far stronger than evil. Kindness is far stronger than evil. Good is much greater than evil. Good will win the day a hundred times over evil. 

In the end, God and his followers will win. Good will triumph over evil because God is love, and his love will last forever. 

Jesus said, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18).

You can use goodness to fight evil because this is God’s promise: You fight against evil with the confidence that God has already won the war. Evil is going to lose. Victory is assured!

The Worst Thing About Hell

“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

You probably have a picture that comes to mind when you think about what hell must be like. Your image likely has some red and black tones in it, a lot of fire, and maybe the devil looming over everything.

Hell is described in the Bible as a place of torment. Matthew 13:42 says it is a “blazing furnace, where the people will cry and grind their teeth with pain”.

That description sounds terrible, but do you know what the worst part of hell is? Hell is total separation from God, which means hell is the exact opposite of everything God is. 

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear”. The opposite of love is fear. Living without love means you’re scared to death all the time. That’s hell.

God is love, so there is no love in hell. God is light, so hell is complete darkness. God is good, so there is absolutely nothing good in hell. God is life, so that means hell is eternal death. God is gracious, so that means there’s no grace in hell.

Just think what eternity would be like without the joy of knowing God and being loved by him an eternity without any joy at all.

It would be terrible unthinkable, really. But that is the reality for anyone who does not choose to love and follow Jesus in this life. The Bible says, “If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be separated from God lost forever!” (1 Corinthians 16:22).

If you go through your entire life saying, “I don’t want God in my life,” then that means you will also spend eternity without God. Whatever you choose on Earth is your forever choice. 

But there is good news! There is a way for you to be absolutely certain you’re going to heaven and not hell. The Bible tells you how to settle your destiny: “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

You don’t have to guess or wonder about something that is inevitable and could happen at any moment. You can know for certain today that when you die, you will spend eternity in God’s presence. Don’t put it off any longer.

Settle your future today.

Where Will You Spend Eternity

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Over the years, I have encountered people who want to deny the existence of evil. They think that people are basically good and by nature unselfish and that they naturally put the needs of others before their own. 

I always wonder if those people have ever read the news! You don’t have to look far to see that the world is filled with broken relationships, broken promises, and sin. Evil is all around you from world politics to local conflicts you can see hatred, bitterness, and corruption.

And because sin and evil exist, hell also exists.

What was true in Noah’s day is still true today: “The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness . . . and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6).

When God looks at all the wrong, evil things that are done in the world, it breaks his heart because he loves everyone and wants us to learn to love one another.

But God is also holy and just. He is perfect and cannot sin. So one day he will settle the score and right the wrongs: “He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth” (Psalm 96:13).

Until then, God has given you free will so that you can choose to love him. He allows sin on Earth so that this choice is possible but he does not allow any sin in heaven. Heaven is a completely perfect place.

If heaven is a perfect place, then that means only perfect people get to go there. Of course, that’s a problem because you’re not perfect, and neither am I. No one is perfect!

If you’re made to last forever and you’re not perfect, you can’t go to a perfect place like heaven. So where will you go? The Bible says hell. 

But thank God! He has made a way—through Jesus Christ, his Son for you to join him in heaven: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18).

Hell is real. So is heaven. Choose Christ, and there is no condemnation. The choice is yours!

Don’t Waste Your One Chance At Heaven

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”2 Corinthians 5:8

A few days ago, we talked about four eternal realities that I want you to understand so that you appreciate why you need to choose heaven. But there’s one more eternal reality you need to know: There is no second chance after you die. 

You get to choose where you’re going to spend eternity. But you have to choose now while you’re alive, not after you’re dead. There is no going back! God gives you an entire lifetime to make the right decision. If you keep putting it off, then there will be no second chance to get it right once you have died.

There is no halfway house between heaven and hell. There’s no intermediate state. There’s no limbo. There is no purgatory. 

Did you know that the word “purgatory” is not in the Bible? It’s not a biblical idea. It’s something that was created 800 years ago in the Middle Ages. In fact, Catholics don’t even believe it anymore. Pope John Paul II stated publicly that purgatory is not a real place, and the word “purgatory” isn’t even in today’s Catholic catechism.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, there was a man next to him who had been a criminal his entire life. In his last seconds, the man surrendered his life to Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). All he knew about salvation was that Jesus could save him. He didn’t know all the doctrines or theology. He didn’t know all the “right” words. He just said “yes” to Jesus.

Because of his faith, Jesus says to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

To get into heaven, all it takes on your part is saying “yes” to Jesus Christ. That’s it! The promise is that you are then guaranteed to be with God instantly when you die and to spend eternity in the joy of his presence.

But you have only one life and one chance to make that choice to follow Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord”.

God has done everything to make sure you get into heaven. Now you have to do your part to ensure you partake of his promise. 

You’ve got one chance to make a choice for eternity. Don’t waste it!

The House Rules Of Heaven

I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.” Deuteronomy 30:19

People ask all the time, “How could a loving God send people to hell?”

Let’s suppose you’re addicted to drugs and living on the street. Your life is falling apart because of addiction, and you don’t have a home or even a place to eat or bathe. 

Then someone comes along and says, “Let me help you out. I will take you to my house and help you get cleaned up and give you a new set of clothes and a good meal. And you can live at my house. You can become part of my family. In fact, I’m going to adopt you. You can take my name! I’m going to pay off all your debts. You can even have my credit card and access to the entire resources of my family. You don’t have to earn it or work for it. I’m doing this simply because I love you and want to show you grace.

“However, if you live in my house as a part of my family, there are some house rules that you have to follow. We respect each other and help out with responsibilities around the house. And we don’t do drugs in this house.”  

Is it reasonable to expect you to abide by the family’s house rules? Of course. If they’re extending an offer like that, the least they can expect is for you to respond to grace by showing respect. 

You may choose to say, “Thank you, but I’m going to choose to live on the street because I don’t want to walk away from the drugs. I’m not willing to give them up to be part of your family.”  

If you turn down the offer, the fault is on you for the effects of your choice, not on the person who extended grace. That person did the loving thing to offer to help you get out of the situation. You cannot say that they were being unloving.

God doesn’t send people to hell. People choose to go there. 

When you choose to follow Jesus, there is only one house rule: Jesus has already paid for your ticket into heaven. He’s already forgiven you! All you’ve got to do is accept it.  

If you want to do your own thing and reject God’s offer of grace, then he is not being unloving. You are choosing to ruin your life.

God has the right to make house rules for his home in heaven. The choice to follow is up to you.

Why Be Concerned About Hell?

“He has planted eternity in the human heart.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Heaven and hell are real. God wants you to understand this eternal reality and all the realities of life that are found in his Word, the Bible.

The first reality of life is that God made you to love you, and he wants you to learn to love him back. The Great Commandment says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

The second reality of life is this: You were made to last forever. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has planted eternity in the human heart”. No matter how good things are on this planet, at some point in your life you’ll think, “There’s got to be more than this.”

And there is! You’re going to spend far more time on the other side of death than on this side. This life is preparation for your life in eternity.

Because of that, you have the third reality of life: God has prepared two eternal places, heaven and hell. 

God has been preparing heaven since the foundation of the world. Jesus says in Matthew 25:34, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world”. You don’t have to stay forever on a planet broken by sin. You can choose to go to a place of perfection and be in God’s presence forever.

But hell is also a real place. Jesus goes on to say, “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons’” (Matthew 25:41). Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, who rebelled against God. But now it is a reality for anyone who chooses to rebel against God.

We’re going to spend the next few days talking about the reality of hell not because I want you to be scared and depressed.

I want you to understand the truth about hell so that you can fully embrace the fourth reality of life: You get to choose where you’ll spend eternity. 

Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life”.

God wants you to choose life, and to spend eternity with him. He’s opened the door to heaven through his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus promised, “Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

When you choose to believe in Jesus, you’re guaranteed everlasting life with God in heaven. What a promise!

Five Spiritual Realities You Need To Understand

“Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. This is why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen “2 Corinthians 4:18

Everything you see around you is temporary. It’s what you can’t see that will last forever.

And those eternal, spiritual realities are what truly matter.

The truth is, spiritual realities are just as real as physical realities. And you need to focus on the spiritual ones because they are part of reality. Here are five spiritual realities you need to understand:

God made you to love you. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. God created you to love you, and he wants you to learn to love him back. This is the most important reality of life.

You were made to last forever. The Bible says, “He has . . . set eternity in the human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The evangelist Billy Graham talked about death this way: “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” He is in the presence of God now.

God has prepared two eternal places. Both heaven and hell are real, literal places. They’re not just “states of being.”

You get to choose where you’ll spend eternity. You won’t accidentally find yourself in hell one day. You’ll be there because of a choice you made. If you choose to make Jesus the boss of your life, you’ll spend eternity with him in heaven. If you choose to reject him, you’ll spend forever in hell. There is no other option.

You get no second chances to make your choice. Your choice has a time limit. You have your entire life to make the decision about where you’ll spend eternity, but you can’t change your mind after death.

What you do with these five truths will affect your eternal destiny and transform how you live on this side of eternity.

Life on Earth is always uncertain, so if you haven’t already made the choice for Jesus, go ahead and do it today.

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