MESSAGE: “The Glory of Heaven”
Scripture Text: 1 John 3:2
Wednesday was the start of Passover Week, if you are Jewish ….. This was the most important day in the History of Israel. On this day, the Israelites were set free from the Egyptian bondage, and began their journey to the promised land. Passover was designed to remind the nation of Israel that they were set free from the bondage of Egyptian, and set them free to enjoy the glory of the promised land. While the nation, had to make a stop at Sinai, to understand the plan and purpose of God, and how He desired them to live, God planned on them being salt and light to the nations around them. Throughout the Old Testament the Israelites were given further information on what it means for them to be a follower of Yahweh. And they are to be a testimony to the world of the goodness and grace of God.
Then one day, in the dark of night, the Messiah came to a small town in Bethlehem. The Announcement came to the Shepherds, the Messiah was born, the world would never be the same! Jesus grew and increased in Wisdom, stature and favor before God and Man (Luke 2:52). Jesus began His ministry and presented himself, as the redeemer of the world. Then on his 33 Passover, Jesus forever changed the meaning of that celebration. Instead of commemorating the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, it has come to commemorate His dealing with the bondage of sin that has come upon all people!
On that Passover, Jesus died on the cross of calvary in order to deal with the principle of sin that has brought death and destruction upon all of mankind. The proof of that purchase price is seen in the reality of His resurrection! That first resurrection morning, no one anticipated the reality of an empty tomb, no one expected to see Him alive. Yet there He was, demonstrating that the work He did on the cross was enough. After He clearly manifested He manifested the truth of His resurrection, He ascended on high, to send the Holy Spirit to dwell within His people, and provide for them hope and help to face this life until He fulfills His promise in John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “And 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.
For the Christian, the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, at the time of Passover is a reminder that Christ paid the price of sin and offered the believer the privilege of eternal life. Over the years, on Easter we have been reminded that the provision of deliverance has been made from SIN. Today, I want to take us to a different way of thinking, I want us to think for a moment what it is that we are saved, not just from Sin, but to Heaven. ………. let’s look at this glorious reality!!!
And for those who know and love the Lord, the imperfections we are most deeply aware of often tend to tempt us to be overwhelmed by insecurity. The imperfections that trouble us most are not our superficial struggles, the real problem is a sinfulness that comes straight from the heart (Mark 7:21-23)
However, we are not in this alone. The entire universe suffers the effects of human sin. Romans 8:22 reminds us that, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” All creation agonizes under the cruel effect of sin’s curse, waiting for the consummation of all things, when the curse will finally be removed.
Not only that, but we shall be gloriously perfected. The whole person – body and soul – will be made completely new and flawless. 1 John 3:2 tells us, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like him, because we shall see Him as He is.” We can’t envision it now but we will finally be wholly and completely Christlike. This is the very purpose which God chose us in eternity past, “To be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).
PERFECTION!!!! ……………………. Most of us understand the concept but have a hard time envisioning anything truly perfect. Everything in our earthly experience is flawed, imperfect.
Heaven is a perfect place for people made perfect. Perfection is the goal of God’s sanctifying work in us. He is not merely making us better than we are; He is conforming us to the image of his Son. He is making us fit to dwell in his presence forever. The utter perfection of heaven is the consummation of our salvation. It is the purpose for which God chose us before the foundation of the world.
Let’s talk about it……………………………….
- Changed from the Inside out (Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we
will be has not yet appeared)
A. The Transformation process
– God begins the process of perfecting us from the moment we are converted from
unbelief to faith in Christ through the Work of the Holy Spirit
@ He regenerates us
@ He gives us a new heart with a new set of holy desires
@ He transforms our stubborn wills
@ He opens our hearts to embrace the truth rather than reject is.
@ He enables us to believe rather than doubt.
@ He gives us a hunger for righteousness and a desire for him
– Therefore, He transforms a person from the inside out
@ As a result, EVERYTHING that happens in our lives – good or evil – God uses to
make us like Christ (Romans 8:28-30)
B. God does not stop here
– Having declared us righteous (Biblical term – justified), God never stops conforming
us to the image of His Son (Biblically – Sanctified).
– While our legal standing is already perfect, God is also making us perfect.
– As a Christian, the life of God dwells in our soul, and with it all we need for heaven.
@ The principle of eternal life is already in us, meaning we have title to heave as a
@ We already have passed from death to life (John 5:24)
C. What is the problem?
– Like Lazarus, we came forth from the grave still bound in grave cloths — We are
incarcerated in human flesh.
@ Paul said in Romans 7:24, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from
this body of death?”
@ In the biblical sense, “flesh” refers not just to the physical body, but to the sinful
thoughts and habits that remain with us until our bodies are finally glorified.
– When Paul speaks of “flesh” and “spirit” he is not contrasting the material body with
the immaterial spirit, He uses the word flesh to speak of a tendency to sin that remains even in the redeemed person.
@ That indwelling principle of sin includes all the wicked habits and thought
patterns that we acquired in our lives before being born again.
@ These fleshly influences have yet to be done away with, and we are severely
troubled by them all our lives.
– Consider: As believers we ARE new creatures – vested with everything necessary for
life and godliness, but we cannot appreciate fully the newness of our position in Christ because of the persisting presence of sin in us.
@ Being captive is not quite the same thing as being enslaved.
# As unredeemed sinners, we were full-time salves of sin – WILLING servants
# As believers we are unwilling prisoners of an already-defeated enemy
* Although sin can buffet and abuse us, it does not own us, and it cannot
ultimately destroy us.
TS: Although sin has crippled our souls and marred our spirits – though it has scarred our
thoughts, will, and emotions – we who know Christ already had a taste of redemptions.
– As we set our hearts on heaven and mortify the remaining sin in our members, we
can experience the transforming power of Christ’s glory on a daily basis
– As we long for that day when we will be completely redeemed.
– We yearn to reach that place where the seed of perfection that has been planted
within us will bloom into fullness and we will be completely redeemed, finally made perfect.
2. A Redeemed Soul (but we know that when He appears we shall be like him)
A. The Transformation
– In heaven we will finally lose all traces of human fallenness.
@ This is often symbolized in Scripture by the imagery of white robes hat are worn
by the redeemed in heaven.
@ Scripture tells us that apart from holiness, “No one will see the Lord” (Hebrews
– God doesn’t merely justify us, clothing us with imputed righteousness, then leave us
bound in grave cloths of the flesh
@ He lovingly, graciously conforms us heart, soul, mind, and flesh to a standard
befitting the lofty position He has elevated us to.
– Remember: we are graciously granted entry into heaven solely and exclusively
because of Christ’s perfect righteousness, which is imputed to us in our justification.
– The holiness our sanctification produces could never be sufficient to fit us for heaven
by itself. In heaven we will be perfectly Christ-like.
B. What will the perfected soul be like?
– The most obvious truth is that it will finally be perfectly free from evil forever
@ We will be perfectly liberated from our captivity to sin and finally able to think
and act in a way that is perfectly righteous, holy, and honorable in God’s sight.
– Can you imagine yourself in consummate perfection forever?
@ Consider: If you are not a Christian, you need to lay hold of his truth by faith: the
sin that will keep you out of heaven has no cure but the blood of Christ!!!
– In heaven there will be no sin, suffering, sorrow, or pain
@ We will never do anything to displease God
C. The Glory of Heaven
– We will know perfect pleasure “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right
and are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
– We will have perfect knowledge (not all knowledge) “Now I know in part; then I shall
know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
@ This indicates that while we will not be omniscient, our knowledge will be as
complete as we could ever desire.
@ We will have no more unanswered questions, no confusion, no ignorance, and
no more need to walk by faith rather than by sight.
– We will live in perfect comfort – Jesus’s account of the beggar Lazarus and the rich
man, Abraham says to the rich man in hell, “Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish” Luke 16:25
@ Hell is agony; heaven is eternal consolation.
– We will finally know perfect love “1 Corinthians 13:13 “Now faith, hope and love
abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
@ Reason: Love is eternal – Faith and hope will be realized!
– We could summarize by saying that heaven is a place of perfect joy
@ Our joy in this life is always mixed with sorrow, discouragement,
disappointment, or worry.
@ In heaven things will be different
@ Matthew 25:13 the master tells the faithful steward, “will done, good and
faithful servant… Enter into the JOY of your master”
TS: However, Heaven is not merely a state of mind. It is a real place, where the redeemed
will have real bodies, exactly like the resurrection body of Jesus Christ.
3. A Glorified Body (because we shall see Him as He is)
A. The Necessity of our Resurrection
– God created human beings, body and soul together (Genesis 2:7)
– We consist of an inner self and an outer self. Therefore, our ultimate perfection
demands that both body and soul be renewed.
– Eternal life as a mere state of mind would defeat the whole point of many of the
promises of Scripture.
– Death results in separation of the body and the soul.
@ Right now, the souls of believers who have died are in haven and according to 2
Corinthians 5 they are being housed in a “tabernacle” until the resurrection of the body.
– What does that heavenly body look like?
@ They are our earthly bodies glorified!
# John 20:27 Jesus wounds were still visible and real (they handled him)
# Yet his body had otherworldly properties
* He could pass through solid walls (John 20:19)
* He could suddenly appear out of nowhere (Luke 24:36)
* He could ascend directly into heaven in bodily form, with no adverse effect
as he went through the atmosphere (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9)
@ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 remind us that those in heaven will be “changed first”
indicating that their ultimate glorification is to be brought into a earthly body that is glorified.
– The doctrine of bodily resurrection is absolutely essential to the Christian message.
@ 1 Corinthians 15 is the definitive chapter on the subject.
TS: Without question, the most marvelous things of all about being in the glorified state is
unbroken fellowship with God.
4. Unbroken Fellowship with God
A. 1 John 1:3 defines our salvation in terms of fellowship with God “Our fellowship is with
the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
– When we become believers, we enter into close spiritual fellowship with God
through our union with Christ.
– Yet this communion seems incomplete from this earthly perspective.
B. This is one of the main things that was on Jesus’ heart and mind as he prayed during
the night of his betrayal.
– This is such an incredibly profound concept that there is no way our finite minds can
begin to appreciate it.
– Notice how crucial this principle is in the Bible’s final summary of heaven” Behold,
the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be
his people and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
@ This is not the same manner that God had his tabernacle among the Israelites in
@ Jesus says, in John 14:2 “In my father’s house are many rooms,” then added, “I
go to prepare a place for you.”
* He is personally preparing rooms in the Father’s own house for each believer!
@ In heaven we will actually see the Lord face-to-face
* There is no way to overstate the wonder and privilege this affords us.
Conclusion: In his book “God is the Gospel” John Piper says this: “The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God.” The work of God in Salvation, is for the purpose of our being able to stand in His presence and have a face to face relationship with Him. As believers we are not saved to go to heaven, we are saved to have communion with God throughout eternity which begins the moment of our salvation. Do we long to be with God, as much as a fiancé longs to spend their lives with their beloved? God is preparing us to live with Him and enjoy the privilege of that fellowship for all of eternity. May we choose to allow Him to work in our lives as He conforms us into the image of His Son, so that others will be drawn to the savior also.