I. Seeing the Shore
A. Florence Chadwick, gazing through the fog.
B. True North on the compass of God’s people.
II. A Redeemed Life on a Redeemed Earth awaits us.
A. Jesus is preparing a place for us. He’s the ultimate Carpenter.
Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
B. God will come down and dwell with us in the place he makes for us, on the New Earth.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21)
C. We can look forward to an old earth made new, and it will be anything but boring.
“In keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).
III. The Best is Yet to Come
A. There are future rewards for present difficulties.
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven” (Luke 6:24).
B. Troubles and tragedies will be lifted, the Curse reversed.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:3-5).
IV. God, the Happy-making Sight
A. We were made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person. Heaven is the place. We’ll never be satisfied with any person less than Jesus, and any place less than Heaven.
“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” (Revelation 22:1).
“They will see [God’s] face” (Revelation 22:4)
B. Everything good, enjoyable, refreshing, and fascinating originates from God.
“You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
“Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21).
V. No more Death, Crying, Suffering
We’ll experience the best earth has to offer, with none of the worst.
“[God] 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” (Revelation 21:4).
VI. Living Now Between Eden and The New Earth
A. Eden was decimated by human sin.
“To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat of it,” Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life’” (Genesis 3:17).
B. Eden will be resurrected on the New Earth.
“On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month” (Revelation 22:2).
VII. Anticipating Resurrected Bodies and Feasts
A. We will have new bodies, with flesh and bones.
Jesus will “transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).
Jesus said, “It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).
B. We will eat and drink.
“They gave him [the resurrected Jesus] a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence” (Luke 24:40-43).
Jesus said, “I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on Me, so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom” (Luke 22:29-30).
“Many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).
VIII. Will There be Culture and Sports?
A. Heaven is called a city; we should expect it to have what cities have, but only the good without the bad.
“For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).
B. We will have things to do, places to go, people to see.
“His servants will serve him.” (Revelation 21:3)
C. Heaven is a country. Countries have culture and diversity.
“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16).
Both Isaiah and John state “the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into” the New Jerusalem and “the glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it” (Revelation 21:24, 26; Isaiah 60:3, 5).
The immediate context in this New Earth passage says “Ships of Tarshish, trees of Lebanon, camels of Ephah, and the gold and incense of Sheba, which will be brought in by its people proclaiming the praise of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6).
D. Sports aren’t evil; the Christian life is compared to them.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24, 27).
“If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5).
Olympic champion Eric Liddell: “He made me fast, and when I run I feel God’s pleasure.”
IX. Heaven On Earth—for Animals Too?
A. Two Old Testament prophecies about the New Earth are cited in Revelation 21-22. Portions of these speak of animals (Isaiah 60:6; Ezekiel 47:7-12).
B. Inclusive words such as “whole”, “all”, and “everything” are used of God’s redemptive plan; surely they include animals.
God speaks of the “whole creation”—not just human beings—groaning in suffering, and awaiting redemption (Romans 8:19-23).
Jesus spoke of the future “renewal of all things” (Matthew 19:28).
Peter preached of a day when “the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets” (Acts 3:21).
Christ proclaims from His throne on the New Earth: “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
Are animals among the “all things” of Matthew 19 and Revelation 21, and the” everything” of Acts 3? Since they were a vital part of his old earth creation, why not his New Earth?
X. Will We Know Everything in Heaven?
God alone is all-knowing. We will learn more forever, as God will show and reveal to us more of his infinite attributes.
Ephesians 2:6-7 says God saves us “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
XI. Will We Laugh in Heaven?
God created all good things. He made us to love laughter.
Jesus said, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21).
XII. Is Your Name on the List?
A. Heaven is reserved not for perfect people or even good people, but forgiven people.
Revelation 21:27 says, “Nothing impure will ever enter [the New Jerusalem], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
C. You’re Invited—Have You Said Yes?
a) Salvation is a free gift.
Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).
b) We must admit our sin.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
c) We are saved by faith, not by our good works.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
XIII. Death, the Doorway to Life
A. You can know where you’re going when you believe in and trust Jesus.
Jesus came “so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
B. Death and Difficulties need not be feared when you know Christ.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
C. The Great Adventure awaits us: Jesus will be the center of everything, so we should make him the center of our lives now.
“In keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him” (2 Peter 3:13-14).
Questions for Discussion in after-program period:
What have you learned about Heaven that has interested you or excited you?
How is the biblical view of Heaven different than what most people seem to think?
Is heaven the default destination for everyone?
How can you know for sure you will go to Heaven when you die?
Eternal Perspective Ministries
39065 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 100
Sandy, OR 97055
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
50 Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn
TouchPoints: Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Tell Me About Heaven by Randy Alcorn (illustrated children’s storybook)
Wait Until Then by Randy Alcorn (illustrated children’s storybook, out of print)
Note: 100% of royalties from Randy Alcorn's books are given away for ministry purposes: 90% to other worthy Christian organizations and 10% to EPM to help offset the costs related to the writing/researching/editing of the books, as well as to help facilitate the giving away of our books to people all over the world.