SERIES: What's Next?
MESSAGE: Surprising Facts about Your Eternal Home
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Revelation 21-22

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Through the years, I have observed that most people (even Christians) have ideas about what heaven will be like that are vastly different from how Scripture describes heaven. In this series, we have followed the chronological flow of the book of Revelation from the rapture through the tribulation, from the second coming to the millennial kingdom. We turn now to what the Bible describes as the final phase of heaven—the eternal state. Here are a few things that might further surprise you about your future home:

STUDY GUIDE

Connect Group Recap: June 5, 2016
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Surprising Facts about Your Eternal Home"
Text: Revelation 21-22

Path

Most people, even believers, have misconceptions about what heaven will be like. In the What's Next? series, Pastor Skip has followed the flow of Revelation from the rapture through the tribulation, from the second coming to the millennial kingdom. In this final installment, he shared some surprising biblical facts about our future home, showing us that heaven is truly the final frontier.
It Will Require Destruction

  1. It Will Be a Fresh Design
  2. It Won't Have an Ocean
  3. It Will Have a Capital City
  4. It Will Feel Unfamiliar
  5. Not Everyone Will Be There
Points

It Will Require Destruction (Revelation 21:1)

It Will Be a Fresh Design (Revelation 21:5)

It Won't Have an Ocean (Revelation 21:1; 22:1)

It Will Have a Capital City (Revelation 21:2-3)

It Will Feel Unfamiliar (Revelation 21:4-6)

Not Everyone Will Be There (Revelation 21:4, 24, 27)

Practice

Connect Up: Heaven will be God continually blowing your mind with His majesty, glory, power, and love. Paul said God's intent is that "in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7).

Connect In: Read Hebrews 6:10; Galatians 6:10; Romans 12:9-13. Do you know someone who is dealing with chronic pain or sorrow? How can you pray for them, reach out to them, and serve them?

Connect Out: Knowing the common and widespread misconceptions people have about heaven, what can you do to surprise them with these facts about heaven? Pray for an opportunity to share not just the glory and wonders of God's eternal state, but the forgiveness available in Christ that gains them entrance—that gets their name written in the Book of Life.


DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. People have a lot of misconceptions about the next world:
      1. Heaven does not exist
      2. We turn into angels when we die
      3. Heaven will be boring because all we will do is sit on a cloud playing a harp
      4. Before you go to heaven you have to go to a place where your sins are burned away
    2. The only authoritative voice we have for life after death is the Bible
      1. The Bible speaks about heaven about 500 times
      2. Revelation 21 deals with the final stage of eternity, the eternal state
  2. It Will Require Destruction
    1. In this chapter, a lot of future events have already taken place
      1. The rapture
      2. The tribulation
      3. The return of Jesus
      4. Jesus' millennial kingdom
      5. The great white throne judgment
      6. Satan, his demons, the Antichrist, and all unbelievers are in the lake of fire
    2.  Heaven and earth will pass away
      1. Jesus predicted the world would come to an end (see Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33)
      2. It will end with fervent heat (see 2 Peter 3:10)
      3. Until recently, the prevailing cosmology was called the steady state theory
        1. The universe has no beginning and no end
        2. It has since been replaced with the big bang theory
          1. The sun's radiation is produced by the loss of part of its mass
          2. It's running down, thus it has an end
          3. If it has an end, it had a beginning
    3. God designed the universe to be temporary
      1. Jesus created all things (see John 1:1-3)
      2. He is the one who holds everything together (see Colossians 1:17)
    4. How should we live here if everything is eventually going to be burned up? (see 2 Peter 3:11)
      1. Our focus should not be here
      2. Colossians 3:2
  3. It Will Be a Fresh Design
    1. New heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem
      1. Kainos = fresh, new, unused, novel
      2. Qualitatively new
      3. Not a renovation
    2. If God created our current world in six days (see Genesis 1), imagine what He can do in thousands of years
      1. He has been preparing a place for us (see John 14:2-3)
      2. God's creative genius
    3. It will be brand new
      1. We like new things
        1. New things do not stay new
        2. They get beat up and scratched
      2. It will last forever (see Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13)
  4. It Won't Have an Ocean
    1. Sea could possibly be a metaphor for nations or people as restless seas
      1. Isaiah 17:12; 57:20; Revelation 13:1; Revelations 17:15
      2. But we take the Scripture literally as it was written, so we accept that there will literally be no more sea
    2. Life on earth will be very different
      1. No longer water-based
        1. Our current earth is three-quarters water
        2. Humans are made up of mostly water
      2. We will have glorified bodies in a world that does not operate on the same principles
      3. This does not mean there will be no water at all (see Revelation 22:1)
    3. A blessing
      1. In John's day, an ocean represented separation
      2. In the new earth, that separation will be gone
  5. It Will Have a Capital City
    1. No other landmarks on the new earth are described
    2. The New Jerusalem will come out of heaven
      1. A huge city
      2. 1,500 miles long, wide, and high
    3. The tabernacle
      1. Old Testament tabernacle
        1. Outer and inner courts
        2. The Holy of Holies
          1. High priest could enter once a year
          2. Fifteen feet cubed
      2. God will dwell with us in the eternal tabernacle
    4. We may be able to move not only horizontally, but vertically as well
      1. Our glorified bodies will be like Jesus' body
      2. He could walk through walls (see John 20:19, 26)
  6. It Will Feel Unfamiliar
    1. It is hard for us to get our minds around this
    2. The future is described in negatives so we can better imagine what it will be like
      1. No more tears
      2. No more death
      3. No aging
      4. No sorrow
        1. We have a hard time relating to this
        2. We relate better to Psalm 6:6
      5. No pain (see Romans 8:18)
    3. Life is hard, but eternity is coming
  7. Not Everyone Will Be There
    1. Only believers will be there
      1. We overcome by faith (see 1 John 5:4-5)
      2. People who have committed terrible sins will be in heaven
        1. Because they have been saved
        2. Their soul is cleansed by the blood of Jesus
    2. God forgives all who ask Him
  8. Closing
    1. Heaven is not going to be boring
    2. Instead, it is going to be God continually blowing your mind with His power, glory, and majesty (see Ephesians 2:7)
Figures referenced: Napoleon Bonaparte, Dr. Lee Chestnut, C.S. Lewis, Henry Morris

Works referenced: The Atom Speaks

Greek words: kainos

Cross references: Genesis 1; Psalm 6:6; Isaiah 17:12; 57:20; 65:17; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; John 1:1-3; 20:19, 26; 14:2-3; Romans 8:18; Ephesians 2:7; Colossians 1:17; 3:2; 2 Peter 3:10-11, 13; 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 13:1; 17:15

Topic: Heaven

Keywords: heaven, eternity, eternal state, new heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem, universe, end of the world, ocean, sea, water, city, tabernacle, Holy of Holies, future, believer, sinner

Keywords: heaven, eternity, eternal state, new heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem, universe, end of the world, ocean, sea, water, city, tabernacle, Holy of Holies, future, believer, sinner


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