The Promise of Heaven

Part 3

September 22, 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.”


After Peter’s moment of true panic when Our Lord tells the disciples that He’ll be leaving them soon, He responds: “Do not let your heart be troubled…” As we studied last week, so much had already happened that evening to cause the disciples to contemplate what was happening. So much of what Our Lord had said and done that night caused them to be filled with so many emotions. It makes sense that they would have been bewildered by Our Lord’s foretelling that one of them would betray Him, and there would have been sadness and disbelief at the idea that He was going to die. So, Our Lord begins to comfort them by teaching them some very important doctrinal principles that we can also use in our lives today.


The first words of comfort Our Savior shares are to believe in Him. At this point in time, the disciples had been with Him for three years. They had heard His Teaching and seen the multiple miracles He had performed which proved, repeatedly, His Authority over nature, demons, sickness, disease, and death. They fully believed that He was God’s Son – Deity in human flesh. Jesus Christ is true humanity and undiminished deity in one unique person forever. His two natures are inseparably united without mixture or loss of separate identity, and without loss or transfer of attributes. The disciples understood and believed this doctrine called the Hypostatic Union, just as we should today.

Another comfort for the disciples was that they had seen the predictions of the prophets ultimately fulfilled by Our Savior. They learned that He was sinless and that even His staunchest enemies and haters could not bring a legitimate charge against Him. They believed in His Forgiveness of sins and heard Him teach, with authority, the way to God, His Father. They were in total agreement with Peter’s response in MATT 16:13-16 (The Message Bible): When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”


On this night that Our Lord was betrayed, these men were extremely distressed, but they could take comfort in His Words. This is because they had total faith in Him. They knew that His Message was His Father’s Message. They believed that He was God. And that is the same trust and source of comfort that belongs to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as his or her Personal Savior.


            The second source of comfort, for the disciples, was that Our Lord and Savior was preparing a place for them: 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. (JOH 14:2) This verse gives us a brief glimpse of what heaven will be like. But it’s important to note that it’s not the physical aspect of heaven that is being emphasized here. The emphasis is on Who was preparing it and where it was located. The comfort found in the words of this verse, is that this dwelling place is in God the Father’s House and that God The Son makes it ready for us! Imagine what our heavenly home is going to be like!!


Our Lord’s description here – that in His Father’s house are many dwelling places” – is fascinating! Some bibles translate many dwelling places as “mansions,” but the Greek word here actually means “a place to abide or a room.” The idea here is that what Our Lord is preparing, is not independent mansions on estates, but a huge housing complex, with many beautiful apartments!


The future home of all believers is called the New Jerusalem. It’s essentially a new community in which we’ll all live. The apostle John wrote about this in REV 21:1-2: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. The New Jerusalem is going to look like a precious gem, filled and pulsing with light: Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. (REV 21: 11)


What’s very cool is the city will be surrounded by a wall which will have twelve foundations with the names of each of the twelve apostles written on them. The wall will be adorned with every kind of precious stone including sapphire, emerald, sardonyx, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth and amethyst. The walls themselves will be made of jasper, which is an opaque variety of Chalcedony stones. The most common colors found in jasper are red, green, brown or yellow and they can appear flamed or striped. The wall will have twelve gates which will each be made of one single pearl: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. (REV 21:21) The New Jerusalem’s city’s streets will be pure gold but they’re also described as like clear glass – something we cannot even imagine! Think for a minute about what all of this will mean to the eleven men in that Upper Room with Our Lord on that night! What kind of comfort would that have brought them if they knew then what we know now??


The New Jerusalem will be HUGE – approximately 1,500 miles cubed: The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. (REV 21: 16) To give you a rough idea of how large this is, it would be all the United States from the Rocky Mountains and east, and it would be 1,500 miles high. It will make our largest buildings and skyscrapers infinitesimal by comparison.


But what you have to remember is the comfort of The New Jerusalem will not be the wonder of its size or the richness of its adornments. It will be that it’s God the Father’s House and that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is preparing a place there for you – if you believe in Him as your Savior.


Jesus enforces the comfort He has already given to His Disciples when He promises: 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. (JOH 14:3) The emphasis is on the fact that that they will be with Him. That is a promise that extends to all Christians. That is the comfort of Heaven. It’s being with the One that loves you the most. It’s being in a place in Our Heavenly Father’s House with everyone who is part of The Royal Family of God.


A royal family is the family of a king. As God, Our Lord Jesus Christ is Divine Royalty. He is a Sovereign King as part of The Trinity, possessing all of the same attributes of Divine Essence as His Father and The Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is also The Son of David and therefore Jewish Royalty. But also, after His resurrection, ascension, and session, He was given His third Royal Title, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords: And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (REV 19:16)


Did you know, at the moment of Salvation, every Church-Age believer is adopted as an adult child into The Royal Family of God? How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (EPH 1:5-6 The Message Bible) The Royal Family of God, therefore, is defined as every Church-Age believer, regardless of background, race, sex, etc. All distinctions are erased at the point of Salvation and the believer is royalty forever!


Rapture is a technical, theological term for the Resurrection of The Royal Family of God. It will take place at the end of the Church-Age. At the Rapture, the dead in Christ will rise and those who are alive, and are His at His coming, will also rise to meet Our Lord in the air. This is taught in CO 15:51-52: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.


The apostle Paul brought great comfort to the grieving Thessalonians concerning fellow Christians that had already died. This is what He taught them about all of those believers who had already died (and those who were still alive): And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words. (1TH 4:13-18 The Message Bible).


If you have been adopted into The Royal Family of God by faith in Jesus Christ, then He is with certainty preparing a place for you in His Father’s House, and He has promised to come again to take you there to be with Him forever.

{to be continued}

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