2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
Islamic View of the Heavens – “The universe of popular Islam comprises seven heavens, seven earths and seven seas, each inhabited and ruled over by different beings. The heavens provide the abiding places for angels and archangels. They are also the invasion ground of other spirit beings. It is commonly thought that up to the time of Jesus, the jinn had freedom to enter any of the seven heavens. With Jesus’ birth, they were excluded from three of those heavens. With Muhammad’s birth, they were shut out of the remaining four. Yet, even after this, the jinn continued to ascend to the boundaries of the first heaven to listen to angels talking together about God’s decrees. Meteors are said to be fiery darts, hurled after such jinn who try to eavesdrop.” –from The Unseen Face of Islam by Bill Musk (p.64).
INTRODUCTION: Most of our understanding of heaven is negative: no death, no sickness, no sorrow. This, by itself, makes heaven an escape from the trials of this life and not very desirable if things are going well. The Bible however emphasizes another, a more positive, view of heaven. It is not what we escape, but what we gain, by going to heaven that thrills our souls. It is not our desire to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon, that moves us to seek its residence.
But this message is not even about all the good things we gain in heaven. It is about how the good things of earth continue in heaven. Here are some of the things we keep in heaven.
- OUR LIFE CONTINUES IN HEAVEN
- To Swallow Up our Mortality in Life (2 Corinthians 5:4)
- Our Eternal Life as Overcomers (Revelation 2:11)
- Our Life of Personal Identity
- To see God in our flesh (Job 19:23-27)
- To make our time together with the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
- Our Life of Service to God
- As in the first paradise (Genesis 2:15)
- To serve Him as His servant (Revelation 22:3)
- OUR LORD CONTINUES IN HEAVEN
- We Shall be Like Him (1 John 3:2)
- We Shall Live in Him (Philippians 1:20-24)
- OUR LEARNING CONTINUES IN HEAVEN
- Learning of the Grace of God (Ephesians 2:7)
- Learning of the Word of God (Luke 9:30-31)
- OUR LOVE CONTINUES IN HEAVEN
- Our Love for the Lord (Romans 8:35-39)
- Our Love for Loved Ones
- The strength of love (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
- The example of the rich man (Luke 16:27-28)
- Our Love for their Souls (Luke 15:10)
CONCLUSION: Do You Seek to Know the Glory of Christ? – “Many love the world too well, and have their minds too much filled with the things of it, to entertain desires of speeding through it unto a state wherein they may behold the glory of Christ. They are at home, and are unwilling to be absent from the body, though to be present with the Lord. They hope it may be that such a season will come at one time or another, and then it will be the best they can look for when they can be here no more.
“But they have but a little sight of the glory of Christ in this world by faith, if any at all, who so little, so faintly desire to have the immediate sight of it above. I cannot understand how any man can walk with God as he ought, or hath that love for Jesus Christ which true faith will produce, or doth place his refreshments and joy in spiritual things, in things above, that doth not, on all just occasions, so meditate on the glory of Christ in heaven, as to long for an admittance into the immediate sight of it.” –from The Glory of Christ by John Owen (page 188).