Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
A. Several immediate observations:
- An event absolutely certain to transpire: “By the Word of the Lord”: vs. 15
- An event that will occur when Jesus Christ comes for the Church which is His Body: vs. 15.
- An event that includes both the living and dead believers in Christ: vs. 15
- An event that features Jesus Christ: vs. 16 & Colossians 1:18.
- An event that is announced by a shout, a voice and a trumpet: vs. 16.
- An event where all Church-Age believers are “rounded-up” in the sky: vs. 17.
- An event that is crowned by the glory of meeting Christ face to face and being with Christ forever and ever: (Heaven)! vs. 17.
B. Some do not believe in Heaven or are skeptical about Heaven.
C. Some believe in Heaven but they know very little about it.
WHAT HEAVEN IS: BIBLE FACTS ABOUT HEAVEN
A. God the Father’s Throne: Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:49.
B. God the Son’s Throne: Ephesians 1:19; Hebrews 8:1.
C. The believer’s reigning position NOW: Ephesians 2:6 cf., 1:3 with 1 Corinthians 4:8.
D. The believer’s reigning position in the future: 2 Timothy 2:12 cf., 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.
E. The believer’s eternal homeland: Philippians 3:20.
F. The believer’s hope: Colossians 1:5.
Ephesians 1:18…connected with the “blessed hope”: Colossians 3:4
G. The believer’s reward: Philippians 1:21; Colossians 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4 cf., “rewards” – 1 Corinthians 3:11, 15; Colossians 3:23-25.
H. Where believers will have a glorified body: 2 Corinthians 5:1; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:49.
I. The immediate hope of the dying believer: Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8.
J. Up: Acts 1:9; 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4.
K. Forever: 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
L. A place: Hebrews 4:14; 6:19-20
…In the Third Heaven: 2 Corinthians 12:2.
WHAT HEAVEN IS NOT:
A. The Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem: Revelation 21-22
- It is a part of the eternal Kingdom of God.
- It is a part of the eternal condition of bliss.
- It is NOW being prepared for believing Israel: John 14:1-3; Hebrews 11:10, 16.
- …This is in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.
(Note foundations with the Twelve Tribes).
B. BUT it does reflect some of the glories of Heaven: Revelation 4: Ezekiel 1.
…But, it is not the Heaven of the Body of Christ.
PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT HEAVEN,
EXPECTING TO GO TO HEAVEN,
ARE GOING TO MISS THIS WONDERFUL PLACE.
A. It is God’s Heaven…He makes the rules.
B. Entrance into Heaven is by God’s grace through faith in God the Father’s dear Son, Jesus Christ.
C. It is a prepared place for a prepared people.
A. For the unsaved there will be great eternal condemnation: Matthew 25:41.
B. As believers, let us remember that there is a great throng on the way to a conscious eternal perdition and we have a responsibility toward them according to Romans 10:12-15.
C. There is joy in Heaven over one sinner that repents: Luke 15:7, 10.