What Happens to You When You Die? (Part Two: Heaven)

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 (NLT)
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. 6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.



In light of current events, heaven is sounding sweeter all the time. Do you ever just look up some beautiful, starry night and wonder, what will it be like when we get over there? I often wonder about my mom and dad, and Pauline’s dad. I wonder what they are doing. How happy they must be.

Like Stewart said last week, how peaceful and whole they must feel.

People over there aren’t angels cloud-jumping and playing harps.You’re not going to have wings. You’re not going to be some chubby cherub wearing a white robe and halo. Really, that wouldn’t be heaven at all to me.

 

So, what does the Bible say about the realities of heaven?

1. It’s where God lives and rules.

  • The Bible calls heaven, “The dwelling place of God,” “the house of God,” and “the city of God.”
    Heaven is not only where God lives, but also where He rules. Jesus calls heaven, “the Kingdom of God” or the “the Kingdom of Heaven” 31 times.

2. It is a real place.

  • Heaven isn’t a state of mind, a state of being, or a disembodied condition where you’ll float around without a body.
  • In fact, the Bible says heaven will have streets, trees, water, and homes. Many Scriptures allude to the fact that animals are there. You’ll have a physical body there.
  • I love Matthew 6:20 that says we’re storing up treasures for ourselves in heaven. You can’t store treasures in a place that isn’t real.

3. Heaven is designed for you and me.

  • God didn’t design heaven for Himself. He designed it for us. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.”
  • Heaven is the place God is preparing for His family. We weren’t meant to live on earth. You and I were made for Heaven!

4. Heaven will be a place of reunion.

  • It is where we are reunited with our loved ones who have accepted the grace of God.

5. Heaven is a place where we are rewarded for the character that we developed and the way we served other people here on Earth.

6. A place where we will be assigned new work and new assignments in the new world God gives to us.

7. A place of release.

  • You and I will be free from all pain, suffering, sadness, sorrow, grief, depression, and loneliness.
    What a place it’s going to be. And it is all God’s gift to us!

5 Things You’ll Leave Behind When You Go to Heaven
1. Sickness
• I Corinthians 15:42-43 (NLT):  It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever.43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength.

2. Sadness
• Revelation 21:4 (NLT): He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

3. Suffering
• Revelation 7:16 (NLT): They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.

4. Sin
• Jude 1:24 (NLT): Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.

5. Death
• Revelation 21:4 (NLT): He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

Here’s the big question: How do I make Heaven my home?
1. Don’t be distracted by temptation.
• 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT): Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

2. Don’t be discouraged by trouble.
• 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT): So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

3. Focus your passions on what will last.
• Colossians 3:2 (NLT): Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

How do I get to Heaven?
A: Admit you need a Savior.

B: Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).

C: Confess your sin.

D: Depend upon God’s promise in John 3:16 (NKJV):
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


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