Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Living With God


Living with God


Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them” (Revelation 21:3)


Throughout the centuries, God has dwelt among His people, that is His presence, protection, care and fellowship have been extended to men:


  • Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you, and be your God” (Leviticus 

  • For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them’” (2 Corinthians 6:16).

  • In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22).


Yet, heaven will be a place where “God Himself” lives with us, and we live with Him. Consider that the text says, “God Himself”, because God is not going to send us a delegate, we will not be dwelling with merely a representative of God. Heaven is a place where we are in the immediate presence of the full glory of God. John further noted, in the Revelation letter, that heaven does not contain a temple (21:22), but rather the Lord God and the Lamb are its temple. The idea seems to be that “Wherever we go, we will enjoy the complete manifestation of God’s presence. Throughout all eternity, we will never be separated from direct, unhindered fellowship with God” (Steven J. Lawson, Heaven Help Us!, p. 142). “We will never be able to travel far enough to leave God’s presence…We’ll no longer question God’s goodness; we’ll see it, savor it, enjoy it, and declare it to our companions. Surely we will wonder how we ever could have doubted His goodness” (Heaven, Alcorn p. 179).


God Is The Reward


Many contemporary approaches to Heaven either leave God out or put Him in a secondary role. The Five People You Meet in Heaven, a best-selling novel, portrays a man who feels lonely and unimportant. He dies, goes to Heaven, and meets five people who tell him his life really mattered. His discovers forgiveness and acceptance. It sounds good, but the book fails to present Jesus Christ as the object saving faith. Instead, it portrays a Heaven that isn’t about God, but about us. A Heaven that’s not about God’s glory, but our healing. Man is the cosmic center, God plays a supporting role. This sort of Heaven, of which the Bible knows nothing, is a place of therapeutic self-preoccupation rather than preoccupation with the person of Christ” (Alcorn p. 179). When Paul thought of eternal life, he thought of Christ, “Having the desire to depart and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23); “While we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord---we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6,8).


An Eternity of Fascination


Over the years, I have seen a number of books that had the question, “If you could spend an evening with any person, who would you choose?” In answering this question, even a number of non-Christians put “Jesus Christ” at the top of the list. Yet, the amazing thing is not so much that we chose Christ, but that He chose us first. In dying for us on the cross, He was in effect saying, “I want to spend eternity with you”, “I want you to be part of heaven”, “I want to spend time with you”, “I want you to be my friend”. “If you’re a Christian, you’ll be with Him for eternity and enjoy endless fascinating conversations and experiences. Most of us would love to spend the evening with a great author, musician, artist, or head of state. God is the master artist who created the universe, the inventor of music, the author and main character of the unfolding drama of redemption. Head of state? He’s king of the entire universe. Yet if someone says, ‘I want to go to Heaven and be with God forever’, others wonder, ‘Wouldn’t that be boring?’ What are we thinking? The very qualities we admire in others—every one of them—are true to God. He’s the source of everything we find fascinating. All that is admirable and fascinating in human beings comes from their Creator” (Alcorn p. 184). There are a number of passages that reveal how the multitudes found Jesus absolutely amazing:


  • The crowds were amazed at His teaching” (Matthew 7:28).

  • Everyone was marveling at all that He was doing” (Luke 9:43)

  • Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks” (John 7:46)


Haven’t you known people who couldn’t be boring if they tried? Some people are just fascinating. It seems I could listen to them forever. But not really. Eventually, I’d feel as if I’d gotten enough. But we can never get enough of God. There’s no end to what He knows, no end to what He can do, no end to who He is. He is mesmerizing. No wonder those in Heaven always redirect their eyes to Him—they don’t want to miss anything” (Alcorn p. 190).


Therefore, everything that we admire and want to be like in this life: unselfish, courageous, giving, diligent, patient, virtuous, honorable, merciful, creative, beautiful, talented, artisticly brilliant – all these qualities will be a part of heaven, and all those things that disgust us: selfishness, bitterness, envy, arrogance, strife, jealousy, and so on, will not be found there (Revelation 21:8).


Jesus’ Desire for Us


Before Jesus left this earth ,He prayed, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).This prayer reveals:


  • Jesus intensely desires that His followers be with Him forever. He longs to share heavenly splendor with all His disciples.

  • He wants to share His glory with us. That is, rather than being a loner, Jesus wants to be in the midst of His people, communicating with them, and so on.




There are a number of questions that surround the “worship that exists in heaven”:


  • Will we always be engaged in worship?


The answer is probably yes, and no. If we feel that worship is only singing or only on our knees before God, then the answer is no. Even in this life, “worship” includes more than just what we do on the first day of the week. Paul said, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God expects us to do many other things besides meeting on the first day of the week. Yet, He wants us always praying, always rejoicing, and always grateful as we are doing everything else. Thus, even in this life, Christians are always to be in a worshipful mood, that is, mindful of God, amazed by His love, thankful for our blessings, happy for His fellowship. We find ourselves singing in the car, pausing and thanking God for a beautiful sunset in the summer, when reading a book, when watching our children play or when watching our mate from across the room. In like manner, heaven will be a place of eternal joy in His presence, full of gratitude, and standing in awe of His majesty.



  • Will we ever get bored?


Clearly, Satan is the one who is determined to make “church” boring and he equally seeks to remove the fun from every other wholesome thing. He certainly took the “joy” out of Eden. Secondly, Heaven is not a place where the bad experiences of earth are transferred. Just because some churches are boring does not mean that heaven is. When I observe the worship that is presently going on in heaven, I find creatures that have been worshipping God prior to the beginning of time, still wide-eyed and amazed by the glory of God (Revelation 4:8-11; 5:9ff). In this life, all of us have experienced great moments of gratitude, love or praise in worshipping God – the trouble is, they do not last and are too fleeting. In heaven, these experiences will never end. In addition:


  1. In Heaven, we’ll be at home with the God we love and who loves us wholeheartedly. Lovers don’t bore each other. People who love God could never be bored in His presence” (Alcorn p. 187). God is not boring, yet at times we can become boring. God is presently seeking worshippers (John 4:24), and worshippers are not boring people. So the real concern should not be, “Will heaven be boring?” but a greater and more immediate concern, “Am I boring or becoming that way?” If I am convinced that some earthly activity or earthly reward is the ultimate experience and “where it is at”, and I can think of nothing else to talk about, then I am moving toward becoming a dull, one-dimensional person.


  2. Heaven will not be filled with twenty, fifty, a hundred, or even three hundred people, rather heaven will be filled with multitudes of both angels and saved men from every tribe, nation and people.


  3. Meeting God is far more exhilarating than a great meal, a poker game, hunting, gardening, mountain climbing, or watching the Super Bowl” (p. 188).


  4. Some subjects become less interesting over time. Others become more fascinating. Nothing is more fascinating than God. The deeper we probe into His being, the more we want to know” (p. 189). Heaven will be an opportunity to do just that. Do not miss it!





Mark Dunagan/Beaverton Church of Christ/503-644-9017