Jump Start # 3044
John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
Years ago there was a sermon that was preached regularly called “Knots in the Devil’s tail.” I don’t know who was the first to come up with that, but it seemed in that generation nearly every preacher used it. For this Jump Start, we are going to look at Five “Not’s” of Heaven.
We love sermons about Heaven. We have so many wonderful hymns about Heaven. Thoughts of Heaven gets us through those tough days in life. Won’t it be wonderful there, is more than a hymn and a suggestion. It’s a truth. And, one of the reasons it is wonderful is because of these “Five Not’s.” Our secular times are changing the concept of Heaven for so many. Listen to the way some preach funerals. God has been evicted and we’ve filled His house will all kinds of physical and foolish things. We need to get back to the way the Bible describes Heaven. It’s God’s house, not ours. Let God tell us what it is like.
First, Heaven is not like earth. We have fluctuating temperatures, attitudes and troubles. Wars. Diseases. Crime. Sin. Death. Sadness. Grief. Heartache. Pain. Those are the things here. Pretty sunsets, beautiful waterfalls, magnificent mountains, cannot conceal the inner turmoil that is found here. This world is broken. Promises are not kept. People hurt one another. Sin plagues us. Heaven isn’t like this. Heaven isn’t physical. God is a spirit and Heaven is a spiritual dimension. So forget the roller coasters, chocolate fountains, flying kites, playing with puppies, fishing, golfing—those all belong here. Those things are part of this world. Heaven is not like earth.
Second, Heaven is not governed by time. There won’t be a need for clocks, calendars and watches in Heaven. That means we won’t age. Time is meaningless to God. Peter’s words that a thousand years is like one day and one day like a thousand years is beyond our concept. You and I always have to be somewhere. After work, we have somewhere to go, usually home. After the movie ends, we have to go somewhere. After the last amen in worship, we have somewhere to go. We always have somewhere to go. But not in Heaven. There’ s no other place to go.
Third, Heaven is not breeched by the temptations of Satan. Satan won’t make it to Heaven. Revelation promises that the destination of Satan is the second death. Without the tempter, we won’t be tempted. You won’t mess up and do something wrong in Heaven. Our freewill changes to one glorious heart that wants to honor the Lord. Here, we fight Satan all the time. Everywhere we go, he’s somewhere lurking in the background. The day is coming, when we won’t have to deal with Satan ever again.
Fourth, Heaven isn’t different for each person. For the golfer, Heaven is a golf course. For the fisherman, Heaven is sitting on the river banks with Peter with a pole in the water. Sounds wonderful, but one doesn’t get such fanciful ideas from the Bible. The images given to us in Revelation, shows the multitudes surrounding the throne. We are not all out doing our own thing. That’s self centered and selfish. That’s not Heaven.
Fifth, Heaven isn’t promised to those who live in rebellion to the Lord. Our times would find these words, harsh, judgmental, unkind and surely not true. The world believes every grandma deserves to go to Heaven. Every soldier who dies in service, is thought to have a sure ticket to Heaven. Every cop, every fireman, who dies helping others, ought to be in Heaven. That’s the way our world sees it. No thought about Jesus and His word. A person may not worship God at all, however if he falls under the “good” column in people’s minds, that’s all that matters. He’s a good person, therefore he is certain to be in Heaven. One wonders, if that be the case, why then did Jesus come to earth? Why was the Lord sacrificed and resurrected? If all I need to do is make some cookies for the neighbors, smile in public, give a tip now and then, and I’m guaranteed to make it to Heaven, then I don’t need to follow Jesus. That’s how secular the world has become. God has been squeezed out of Heaven and Jesus has been put up on a shelf on earth. Don’t need either, because Heaven is all about us, at least that’s how a lot of folks want it to be.
Heaven is God’s home. If you came to my home, especially my office, you’d see what is important to me. I have family pictures all around. I have my autographed baseballs on a shelf. I have a collection of books that I like. I have my music. My office is decorated to my tastes. It reflects me. Heaven, God’s home, will reflect Him. Holy. Perfect. Divine. Spiritual. Godly. Those are the qualities we’d see in God. These are the things we’d see in God’s house, Heaven.
Knots in the Devil’s tail…maybe it’s time to preach those old sermons again.