Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Why I Want to Go to Heaven

Why I Want to Go to Heaven

First, we should have an answer to this question (1 Peter 3:15). Secondly, our answer needs to be something more than just, “I don’t want to end up in that other place”. The apostle John wrote about seeing Jesus one day face to face and then added, “and everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). In addition, the Holy Spirit spoke of Abraham as a man who was looking for a city, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10). Centuries ago king David expressed the central desire of his life, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to mediate in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). Therefore, a burning desire to see God face to face is a, if not the major factor in whether or not we grow spiritually and overcome the darkness in the world.

To be with God and see Him Face to Face

  • “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
  • “Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

“The wondrous blessing which this promise includes – of being like him – should not be lightly regarded or passed over hurriedly. It is a summary of all the good things which the Father has in reserve for His own. There is a story often told of a group of heathen converts who, when they came to this verse in translating into their language, unable to believe that such could possibly be in store for sinful man, stopped and said, ‘No! It is too much'” (Commentary on First John, Guy N.Woods, p. 258). What greater motivation does a Christian need to remain faithful, then the hope of seeing God in His full glory and then sharing such a glorious existence with Him? In view of such a hope how can anyone remain discouraged? How can anyone give up?

  • “They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).

God does not live a boring existence. Do not be fooled, this is the ultimate adventure, and is by far more adventurous than anything we have done or could ever do in this life.

The Amazing People/Beings

Heaven is filled with angels, cherubim and seraphim, as well as men and women of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11:38). The people here are absolutely amazing (Hebrews 12:1). 

  • “The kings of the earth will bring their glory into it… and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it” (Revelation 21:24,26).

Heaven will contain the best people from every culture, time period, and nation, who decided to use their talents, time, and abilities for God (Romans 12:6-8; Matthew 25:14,21). It addition, there will be kings in heaven, including such great kings as Melchizedek, David, Josiah, and Hezekiah.

  • “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11). In this verse Jesus pictured heaven as being the place to be, the real party.

To Be Like the Angels

“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). 

Freedom from Sin, the End of the Curse

  • “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
  • “And nothing unclean, an no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).
  • “And they will walk with Me in white” (Revelation 3:4). “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments” (Revelation 3:5).

Imagine an existence, free from temptation. A reality free from Satan and from those who willingly and unknowingly are doing his will. A existence that is free from all influences or all that might remain of the old man (James 1:21). This is the land of souls or spirits that are pure (2 Corinthians 7:1). God’s name is on my forehead, that is, I am 100% on the same page with Him. My mind is completely renewed. No more ongoing and exhausting battles with depression, self-pity, self-doubt, discouragement, despair, anger, lust, arrogance, envy, bitterness and jealousy. Here my spirit is completely at peace and is finally able to 100% focus on the true, the real, and the good.

Now, I know that a number of people throughout history have claimed that such has no appeal to them. They would argue that such sounds boring, and that they enjoy the darkness. There are two inconsistencies with this point of view. 1. Such people do not enjoy it when people sin against them. They are not happy when they are the victim in the darkness. 2. I typically find that such people often end up miserable. Their claim that the darkness makes them happy is not an honest claim.

Where Nothing Fades

  • “To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).

By contrast, this earthly life is one of constant change, one generation comes, another goes (Ecclesiastes 1:4). Nothing lasts. Nothing is permanent. Nothing remains in tip-top condition. Disease, corruption, rust, inflation, etc… dominate our existence here. Even the rewards of this life fade.

True Permanence

  • “He who overcomes, I will made him a pillar in the temple of My God” (Revelation 3:12).

“A pillar is something permanent. They will obtain the one thing which David desired (Psalm 27:4)” (Commentary on Revelation, Hendriksen, p. 75).    

  • “And I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5).

To me the idea is that if you are looking for relevance and what lasts, heaven is what you should be seeking. Earthly wealth, status and fame are fleeting (Matthew 6:19-20). Yet the faithful are never forgotten, because your name remains in the book of life. And if God Himself confesses or acknowledges you before the angels, then you will always be relevant. You accomplished something that will never been forgotten, you “overcame”, you are one of the faithful and that will have eternal significance. Even this world one generation at times sees to rewrite the past and either tear down a former hero or elevate a former villain. But when God says to you “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21), no one will be allowed to change that designation.

Eternal Day

“In the daytime (for there will be no night there” (Revelation 21:25). There are many times in this life, that we experienced a day so beautiful that wanted time to stand still and just enjoy and soak up what we were experiencing. 

Forever Loved

“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… He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be His God and he will be My son” (Revelation 21:3,7). Love in this life often comes and goes. Yet here, in heaven you will be the object of an eternal love: Romans 5:6-9; Romans 8:32; John 3:16. Here, you will be with Jesus who died for you. Thus heaven is to finally go home, to see the One Who made you, and in what sense you are like Him (Genesis 1:26-27).

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