The Promise of Heaven

Part 1

September 8, 2019


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


No matter what age you are, the knowledge that we will all one day die physically is ever-present. Nowadays, television news has a great deal to do with this. It’s impossible to turn it on without learning about a death – or multiple deaths. Then there’s the barrage of products developed for extending our physical lives – vitamins, supplements, surgery, medication. These advertisements remind us daily that we’re going to get older and that death awaits us.


As a teen, you may not think much about physical death. As a Christian teen, learning about Our Lord and Savior’s Promise of Heaven will, without a doubt, take away any fear of death that you might have. When Jesus Christ addressed his apostles about his impending physical death, he comforted them with these words: Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (JOH 14:1-6) And these very words should comfort you!


Even as a teen, you’re going to come into contact with people who are facing death. JOH 14:1-6 is a verse you will be able to share with them because great comfort can be found when you remind them of (or teach them) Our Lord’s Promise that they will be spending Eternity in His Presence when they die. Think about His Words: “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” Doesn’t this Promise soothe you? Don’t you want to shout it out loud to everyone you know?? Think about what a place Our Savior could create! After all, He created the entire universe!


It’s important, at this point in our study, to learn about witnessing. Witnessing is the communication of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an unbeliever. It’s done on a personal basis (one-on-one) and it’s every believer’s responsibility. It’s a huge part of our Christian Walk. Witnessing, in a nutshell, is sharing the accurate information about the Finished Work of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on the Cross. It can be as simple as sharing the last two lines of the short paragraph at the top of every Teen Tree: “If you’ve never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” But always remember that, when you witness, you’re not responsible for making someone accept what you share. The choice is up to the individual because God gave all of mankind free will. Because He is True Justice, God cannot and will never violate a person’s free will to believe or not believe in His Son.


As Christians, we should be motivated to share the Gospel because it’s a promise of Eternal Life! And Eternal Life is a grace gift from God which we received at the moment of Salvation. Because of our faith in Him, He shared Eternal Life with us and because of this, we will live with Him forever. Sharing this Good News includes sharing the Promise of Heaven because Eternal Life comes to us as a result of believing in Jesus Christ as Our Personal Savior.


So, the Promise of Heaven is an important one. Think about how it has brought comfort to multitudes of believers as they’ve faced death – whether it’s been on the battlefields of war in far-away lands, or lying in a hospital room, or in the comfort of their homes, with loved ones at their side.


The Promise of Heaven can also bring comfort to those believers who are affected by the death of a loved one. Being left behind is a very difficult place in which to be – even for the most mature believer. But knowing that death is not a final separation from our loved ones, is what we need to focus on. It’s also what we need to remind those people who are facing (or who have already faced) the death of a family member or friend.


Do you remember studying the Upper Room Discourse which the apostle John recorded in Chapters 13 – 17 of his Gospel? It’s basically the jam-packed lesson, which Jesus Christ revealed to His disciples at the end of their earthly time with Him. This time period of teaching – hours really – preceded the Trial, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. During the Upper Room Discourse, He spoke with great love and mercy for His disciples, as He prepared to leave them and ascend to Heaven. His Words in these verses were meant to inform, prepare, and equip His disciples for what would soon happen.


Our Lord began the Upper Room Discourse with a new commandment that completely changed what He had taught His disciples up until then, with respect to the standard of love. First, let’s look at what He had taught, which is recorded by Matthew in MATT 22:37-40 (The Message Bible): Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”


Now, let’s look at what Our Lord later taught about love, that night during the Upper Room Discourse: “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (JOH13:33-35)


So, from this point on, the NEW standard would be to love one another as He had loved them. Different, right? Think about it for a moment. This new standard of love is much greater in scope, depth, patience and length. It’s one thing to love someone like you love yourself. But think about how much Our Lord loves us and consider the difference! HUGE difference, right?


At the end of JOH 13, John tells us that the apostle Peter, totally ignores this very important message: Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” Peter was still focused on what Our Lord said just prior to giving this new and important commandment. Jesus was going away and Peter knew this was inevitable, but he was ignoring the new lesson!! He was too consumed with his own agenda – too self-centered. Do you recognize yourself in Peter? Think about how your mind wanders during Bible class when you have a particularly difficult problem in your life!


{to be continued}


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