By W.B. Dunkum
I. Heaven is a state.
To be right with God is to be in a heavenly state. The Kingdom of God is within you; which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
In joy or sadness, sorrow or pain, storm or calm, health or sickness, adversity or prosperity, with friends, or friendless, in life or death, if we have Jesus we have a foretaste of what awaits us, a Heaven to go to Heaven in.
"Once Heaven seemed a far off place Till Jesus showed His smiling face; Now it's begun within my soul, 'Twill last while endless ages roll."
Some things in this world will not be in heaven:
Heaven will be a land of singing. It. will be the voice of a great multitude.
At the home coming near Louisville, Kentucky years ago when the Statue of Stephen Foster was unveiled by two ladies, 150 instruments began playing, out of 25,000 people assembled one could hardly see a dry eye. There will be a great home coming in glory some day; then we will sing the songs of redemption. The very best from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people will be there. God's family of all ages will be there. Then we can meet those we have loved, lived and labored with.
Some of the attractions of heaven will be, Old Testament Saints, New Testament Saints and others whose names are in the Book of Life, and the martyrs who sealed their faith with their blood. Our loved ones will be there, but first of all we will want to see Jesus who redeemed us with His precious blood. The Old Ship of Zion has landed many thousand and can land as many more. Fitness for heaven will be holiness of heart and life, in other words, regeneration and entire sanctification.
The simplest interpretation of Hebrews 12:14 is that heaven is a Holy Place and if we enter heaven we must as a prerequisite obtain holiness. This plain truth shuts the gate of heaven to every unholy person; hence all will be excluded who are void of this grace. Whether great or small, learned or ignorant, rich or poor, no one can enter but those who have been made holy and must be in a present enjoyment of the experience.
False religions of this world have erroneous views about heaven.
1. The Hindu idea of heaven is a land of dreamless sleep, where all lose their identity, individuality and consciousness, which is swallowed up by the Great Spirit.
2. The Greek and Roman heaven will be a land of beautiful landscapes where all will behalf conscious; no premium on character and no distinction between vice and virtue found there.
3. The Indian's heaven is a happy hunting ground where game will be plentiful and the white man's face will never intrude or disturb.
4. The Mohammedan heaven is a place of selfishness and sensuality. When they come to cross the streams all will be greeted with white camels and golden saddles and have golden cups to drink from the stream. All continue the journey until they reach a Mansion of Pearls. There will be servants to attend and wait on them throughout all eternity.
5. The Mormon heaven will be a place of sensuality and revelry.
6. The Bible view of heaven.
False views of heaven should cause us to fully appreciate and enjoy more of heaven.
(1) Heaven is a place of residence. We get tired here (get tired in the way but not tired of the way). Our bodies are worn, our nerves are taxed. It is beyond our power, skill, and genius to adequately portray the glories of heaven.
(2) In heaven all will have enjoyment without weariness. Here our brains are taxed until we naturally wear out. In heaven we will be employed in the service and worship of the King and never get tired or hoarse. Our labors will be celestialized, spiritualized, and glorified.
(3) Triumph without conflict will characterize heaven. We will rise without pushing others down, but not so here. Here we are elected, others defeated or vice versa.
(4) The society of heaven will be without temptation. Society may tempt here, but in heaven we will be with the saints only.
(5) Heaven will be without sin. No sin in heaven; out of sight of sin. Holiness is universal there. No holiness fighters in heaven, Heaven is a prepared habitation for a prepared people.
Reader, imagine if you can a world without a devil. No more graft, no more stealing, robbery, murder, kidnapping, drunkenness, or suffering of any kind. Not even a single disappointment will ever mar that heavenly world that every Christian is heir to, Brethren, this will be worthwhile.
(6) Perfection without faults. We're full of faults, mistakes, and imperfections here, but when glorified we will be freed from human imperfections.
(7) Union without separation. To say good-bye here brings sadness. There we will meet to never part again.
(8) Happiness, without end. Here We are tempted, tried, grieved, and burdened, But when faith is lost in sight our happiness will never end.
The Love of God and Heaven Are Closely Related
1. God's love is seen in the creation of man's first home.
2. God's presence was there.
3. This home was tainted by sin.
4. Last book of the Bible gives an account of man's eternal home.
5. In man's first home sin entered.
6. In his eternal home sin cannot enter.
7. Between man's first and second home is the battle ground.
1. Whatever is necessary to get us to heaven is taught in the Bible.
2. Whatever is necessary to get us to heaven is preached by the God called preacher.
3. Whatever is necessary to get us to heaven is majored in by the Christian.
4. Whatever is necessary to get us to heaven we can have every moment.
5. Whatever is necessary to get us to heaven is within our reach.
6. Whatever is necessary to get us to heaven we can embrace as a privilege.
II. Heaven is a place.
A kingdom, a city, an inheritance, a dwelling place, Father's home of many mansions. It is a place somewhere. This world is not our abiding place. We must live somewhere. One cannot conceive of drifting here upon the Ocean of Time, then going out into nothingness. We are born with a higher destiny than that of earth. Heaven is a world free from sin; streets are gold; walls are jasper; inhabitants are holy angels and the saints of all ages. The beauties of heaven give us a hint as to the greatness of heaven. It is a place He has prepared for His own somewhere out yonder in the universe. From heaven, we will doubtless look back to this world where the battle of human redemption was fought. There will be no sin in heaven. Two places you will find no sin, in a pure
heart and in heaven. "There will in no wise enter into it anything that defileth," but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
This world is filled with sorrows, sighs, groans, tears, and heartaches. Sorrow is written upon almost every life. There sorrow will never cloud the brow, tears will never blind the eyes nor stain the cheeks. If the Bible described all the beauties and glories of heaven we would get so homesick to go that our lives might be useless here. Yet we find m the Bible all that is necessary for us to know about heaven, as such information is no where else fully revealed. While the Old Testament offers us very little information along this line that the average person would naturally desire, yet we get much information from the New Testament. Also Jesus Christ gives us up-to-date information along this subject. The Bible does tell us that heaven is a city, it has its walks, mansions, and foundations. Uncleanness will never be allowed to enter; it will be ruled over by love. A place of unbroken fellowship. A place of supreme happiness, beauty, harmony and music; all day, no night, no darkness, sin, sorrow, death, disease, and trouble. Will see God, Jesus, Apostles and prophets and the redeemed of every age. There we gladly and willingly do the will of God.
The Bible speaks of heaven as "A Paradise restored, a city, a city of God, a better country, a temple, a kingdom, a dwelling place, God's throne, our Father's House of Many Mansions." In a sense heaven is everywhere, because God is everywhere, but heaven is somewhere in particular. To the sorrowing disciples Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you."
1. He is going away to prepare a home.
2. He is coming again to receive the prepared. When that place has been prepared and completed there will not be one thing left for us to add. We may try and think of heaven until we bewilder the mind and stagger the imagination, but heaven will far surpass all earthly beauties combined.
Heaven will be the great Metropolis of God's people. Home of God's millions from the battlefields of the world; those who have known the curse and blight of sin and the power of redeeming grace. Just what relationship this redeemed world will sustain toward the Heavenly Universe, we do not know. But it will be the place where Jesus Christ met sin, death, and hell; where the great battle of human redemption was fought; and where the victory was won that redeemed a guilty race.
Heaven is a place where beauty is perfect. But the most beautiful thing of earth will be nothing compared with the beauty of heaven. The most exquisite music here will be no comparison to the music of heaven. That heavenly melody, that sublime and blissful music will hold every ear a captive to its sound. After meeting our Saviour face to face then there will be the blood washed millions clothed in white robes and wearing starry crowns. What a glorious and blood bought privilege it will be to hear that Heavenly Choir and hear the voice of the Son of God which will be more melodious than an instrument of a thousand strings. Heaven means, being with Christ, beholding His face, a crown of righteousness, a crown of glory, a crown of life, an incorruptible crown, inheritance eternal, everlasting life, a home eternal in the heavens, a city which hath foundations, an eternal weight of glory.
Heaven is a place where decay never gnaws beauty. Where time never writes a wrinkle. Where death never digs a grave. Where frost never comes. Where rivers never freeze over. Where flowers never fade. Where walls are jasper. Where gates are pearl. Where the streets are paved with gold. Where you never telephone for the doctor for no one ever gets sick in that city. Where the undertaker is never called as no one dies there. The oldest inhabitants never witnessed death in that city. Crape is never hung on the door knob. The hearse is never seen and graveyards are unknown.
Heaven is strictly and properly a place. God has not left us in the dark upon a subject of such vital importance as to the future life. The first impression one gets from reading the Bible concerning heaven is that it is a locality somewhere in God's Universe. Hence most Christians without questioning their views have intuitively that belief of another world. This impression is piously and pleasantly cherished. Reckless speculators in all their research work have not furnished anything better. Even learned men who have examined the Christian's ideas have found them pleasant to cherish and believe.
Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. If you are going there you had better get in tune now. This city is well built and well guarded whose builder and maker is God. A belief in heaven is universal. A hope of heaven is refreshing, to the tired and weary Pilgrim along the stormy and dusty pathway of life.
The Way to Heaven
1. It is a narrow way.
2. It is a holy way.
3. It is a difficult way.
4. It is a safe way.
5. It is a well guarded way.
6. It is free and open to all.
a. In heaven there is work without weariness.
b. In heaven there is joy without sorrow.
c. In heaven there is a safety without danger.
d. In heaven there is rest without end.
The ancient nations have always located for themselves somewhere a heaven which was the object of their supreme desire and hopes. The superstitious pagans have found a home for their dead beyond the misty sea. Their fancy located beautiful islands never visited by mortals. In their imagination they could see beds of flowers, shady walks, cool retreats, the most beautiful grass, quiet valleys, crystal streams, sparkling fountains, and skies unclouded, and the air full of odors of unearthly sweetness. This would be the hope of weary spirits and the thought of such would make the ills of life more easy, and the thought of death more comfortable. Their leaders taught them that if they would live lives of virtue according to the pagan standard, that at death they would be taken away to these abodes of peace and blessedness.
The Christian's heaven is a place of blessed victory and glorious triumph. This world is a battlefield but heaven is a place where battles will be history. This is the land of the sword;
heaven is a land of the crown. This is the land of bloodshed ; heaven is a land of white robes and shouts of victory. Oh, what a thrill of joy to know the last battle has been fought and the victory won. Because of sin being overthrown and Satan defeated shouts of universal victory will rise from the redeemed and bloodwashed.
Heaven is a place. "I go to prepare a place for you." Heaven is the home of the saints. Heaven is a permanent place. Earthly surroundings are transitory, passing, changing, and decaying. This world is but a place to tent and camp. Heaven is a better country that is an heavenly. It is a place of happiness because of its surroundings. Another thing about, heaven will be its riches. Earth may boast of her riches here, but earth's riches are but rags and poverty compared to the riches of heaven. Some riches of heaven will be God the Father, Jesus Christ, Angels, the redeemed, our loved ones, the crown that fadeth not away, tree of life, harps of gold, white robes, and mansions. Every man will receive his own reward according to his labors. Here we labor and toil, there we rest.
There we expect the "Well done" of Jesus. Jesus will be the supreme reward.
1. Life is the place to prepare for eternity. Your life here settles where you will spend eternity. Not a place to get rich and have a good time. Life is too serious and too short for that.
2. Death should be prepared for. To neglect preparation is the height of folly and soul suicide. Whether your destiny is for heaven or hell it will be for all eternity. Your destiny is determined by your attitude toward Jesus Christ and vital salvation.
You need not be lost.
(1) A road has been opened.
(2) A way has been prepared.
(3) A remedy has been provided.
"Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."
Heaven is a city never built with the human hands. A city whose inhabitants no census has ever numbered. A city through whose streets business has never rushed. A city through whose streets a hearse has never passed. A city without births and deaths. A city which glories in having Jesus for its king, angels for its guards, saints for its citizens, whose walls are jasper, whose gates are pearls, and whose streets are paved with gold.
Heaven will release you from all troubles of this life. Every earthly pain will be eased, all trials over, and all tears dried up forever.
Lazarus, the beggar, had-no money, no friends, no social influence. He committed the unpardonable sin of being a beggar. He was ostracized, friendless, lived without money, died
without friends, and buried without tears. But who can comprehend what heaven means to him today?
The deep felt need of the human heart calls for a touch of the divine. This need is as universal as mankind. There was a great unbridged and unspanned chasm between man and God. Man looked the world over for something he knew not what and found no relief. Philosophers have groped about in the dim light of natural religion and have only found fragments of truth to increase their misery. Sinai called for a divine person. Enoch was a good mall and walked with God 300years, but he could not bridge the chasm; Abraham was the father of the faithful, a friend of God, but he could not; Job was a perfect man but he could not. When the whole world was sweeping to hell and ruin, Jesus Christ made the connection. He spanned the gulf. He established a wireless connection and heaven is no longer far away, but is brought nigh by the blood of Christ. He reached back to the Garden of Eden and forward to the Great White Throne and made heaven possible providing we do our part.
Did you ever think of various characters being introduced in heaven?
This is the woman who gave a cup of cold water in His name. This is the woman that fed the hungry tramp. This is the girl who read the Bible to the blind. This is the Mother who brought all her family to Christ.
This is the Mother who read and prayed with the sick and dying. This is the man who stood the test in spite of opposition. This is the pious school teacher whose constant instruction along religious lines proved to be religious background for the future.
This is the Christian homemaker who was more interested in the religious condition of her home than she was in social activity.
This is the man who was faithful in maintaining a family altar, attending upon all the means of grace and faithful in financing the work of the Kingdom.
This is the faithful Sunday School teacher who stuck to the old land marks and led her pupils to Christ.
This is the faithful Sunday School Superintendent who was never known to shirk responsibility.
This is the faithful physician who administered to the spiritual needs of his patients as well as to the physical.
This is the full-salvation preacher who never failed to declare the whole counsel of God.
This is the faithful missionary who was willing to leave the comforts of home and Christian civilization that those that sit in heathen darkness might have the gospel message in the same proportion that she had it.
III. The Society of Heaven.
Should you contemplate on moving into a new community, it is only fair to inquire somewhat about the people where you are to locate. Except for religious purposes you would not intentionally locate among those whose aspirations are no higher than living from hand to mouth. Neither would you desire the new location wholly for earthly or financial gain. You would like to know the advantages such as churches and schools, etc.
If you take the way of holiness, here, there you will desire the fellowship of the redeemed, blood-bought and holy. A foretaste of heavenly felicity here, is but a foretaste of the society of heaven. If our present life is unpleasant and painful we at once seek the sympathy and consolation of an approved friend. If they cannot be found to console us then we desire to create a spiritual atmosphere and encourage ourselves as we commune with the Father of Lights.
Many express their desire for heaven and of going there and meeting friends and loved ones gone on before, yet by their daily lives many would be caused to think there was no such place. If we fail to get adjusted here we will not make it. Ordinary morality will keep people out of the penitentiary but it will take holiness of heart and life to keep them out of hell and get them safely into heaven.
This earth is wrapped in oxygen fifty miles deep and we have lungs to breathe it; we are adjusted to it and can't live without it. We can't live in the water neither can the fish live out of the water. We must get adjusted to the atmosphere of heaven, if we make it our future abode. The atmosphere of heaven is holiness and we can only get adjusted by living a holy life here.
My aim in giving the public this message is to strengthen the weak, console the sorrowing and encourage the despondent and increase your faith in a land that is fairer than day, which is the home of the Redeemer and the redeemed.
A friend is taken by death, the first thing that comes to us is, where have they gone? Will we meet again? If so, where and when? We turn to the Book of all books, it tells us where they have gone and that we may meet them again. Yes, we can meet again in the land of the unsetting sun and drink from the stream that flows by the throne of God.
This world is a stormy sea with waves dashing high. We will stay here but a little while. Our life is but a vapor, just a shadow and we are gone. But we want to know where we are going and where our friends are who have gone on before.
These are terrible times, yet darker days are ahead of us than we have seen yet. This is the land of the sword and the spear, but in heaven we can wear the victor's crown. A terrible battle is on now between light and darkness, but by and by when the war is over we shall get to go home. It is only a night, and the eternal day will dawn.
We are told of two men who early one morning got into a dispute about what part of the heavens the sun would first appear in. They got into a fight and beat each other up. When the sun came up they were in such a condition that neither of them could see it. So there are persons who argue about heaven until they argue themselves out of it. And there are others who argue about hell until they argue themselves into it.
A number of persons got off a train in an eastern city and all rushed for a certain hotel. They were greatly surprised to find out that they had not had a vacant room for days. So they started for other hotels. One lady calmly sat down. Others leaving said, "Are you not going, too? "She replied, "No, I telephoned ahead and my room is ready." If some people expect a reservation in heaven, they had better wire ahead and make their plans.
Amos 4:12 is a preparation that everybody ought to make. The fact that there is a God is proven by nature, intuition, conscience, and the Bible. We are wrecked by sin and need preparation to set us right.
I. Why Should We Prepare?
1. Because we are unprepared.
2. To get rid of sin. Sin causes discord and separation. When rid of sin we have harmony of mind and peace of soul.
3. Because of the fall all are sinners.
4. Because man is not fit to meet God.
5. Because man is to live forever somewhere.
II. How Should We Prepare?
By regeneration, repentance, confession, forsaking and restitution. Man needs God, but God will not enter a rebellious heart. This world is time and place for probation and preparation. As death finds us, so we will be throughout eternity.
III. When Should We Prepare?
1. While you have good health.
2. While the door of mercy is open.
3. While you have someone to help you.
4. Prepare now.
(1) This may be your last chance.
(2) Probation ends at death.
(3) As a tree falleth so shall it lie.
(4) Now is the accepted time.
IV. We Must Meet Him.
1. Everyone must meet Him.
2. Rich, poor, high, low, learned and unlearned.
3. If you live as you have today, will you be prepared?
4. Are you prepared now?
5. Prepare to meet the God you have rejected.
IV. The Joys of Heaven.
Oh, What joyous expectation! Oh, What happy anticipation!
1. The death of the righteous is the only death to be desired. "Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his." Numbers 23:10.
2. The death of the righteous is death in Jesus Christ. It takes preparation on our part to die the death of the righteous; definite and specific preparation. No righteous dying without righteous living.
3. Our security in death is found in Jesus Christ. He takes out the sting for the Christian.
4. This is the death to be desired because it ends all trouble. We are subject to trouble, temptation, disappointment, sorrow, suffering, poverty and bereavement. Death ends all trouble.
5. Death of the righteous is a death of victory and triumph.
6. Death of the righteous is but the gateway into a new and beautiful world; houses not made with hands; rivers clear as crystal; trees bear fruit every month and the leaves are for the healing of the Nations.
(1) Gateway into a new heaven.
(2) Gateway into a larger service.
(3) Gateway into a new revelation.
But we want to see Jesus, His hands, His brow, His sides, His feet, and look into His face and "tell the story saved by grace."
If you desire to know about the future life, you must lay aside all imaginations, take the Bible as your guide, and sit at the feet of Him who brought Immortality, and we can learn all necessary for us to know this side of the grave.
In this great world of change, in the midst of a life which will soon come to a close, we do look forward to a compensation of reward as we think of the future life. This subject does occupy the minds of the deeply spiritual, in the twilight of life's loneliest hours. Heaven is the land of our
hopes and treasures. To it we are bound with the holiest and sweetest ties, and to this country, we are headed because of those who have outstripped us in the race and died in the faith.
The Psalmist said, "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness." That will be heaven. In this world want is written on almost every human heart. You seldom find a person with a satisfied satisfaction. But in heaven we will want for nothing. To be in His presence and to look upon His face will be a satisfying portion. One of the saddest facts of life is that multitudes will not make the landing. They, having neglected all their days the essential prerequisite --preparation, will miss heaven. Reason, revelation, and experience tell us that preparation is necessary for admission. You can have a foretaste of heaven in your heart before you get there, as Columbus saw strange and beautiful birds hovering around the ship long before he caught sight of America.
Jasper walls and pearly gates will not make heaven attractive. It is the presence of our Redeemer and being forever with our Lord. That city will need no sun; it will need no moon but the Lamb is the Light thereof. A city not built with hands and the buildings do not grow old with time. A city whose inhabitants no census has ever numbered only the Book of Life which is the Heavenly Directory. It has foundations whose builder and maker is God.
Why the sorrows and bereavements of life? Many things in life we do not understand, but God's hand is behind the cloud. We will have to wait until the pearly gates unfold to get the answer to some questions. That Father and Mother may be removed from the family when seemingly needed most. That early home-going of a promising and talented person may not be understood here, but we will wait for the answer.
The Christian knows that a prepared home awaits him beyond the grave. The Father's house is no dream, fancy, or imagination, but a reality. Socrates and Plato speculated as to what comes after death but the Bible Christian knows.
1. To some the future home will be a place of rest. To those who have labored in the heat of the day it will be blessed rest.
2. It will be free from sorrow and death. We do not know the sorrow hidden under the surface. Sorrow and death are on every hand. You may have your parents with you for awhile but they will bid you a final adieu.
3. Heaven is a place of happy reunion. Some enjoy family reunions here but they must separate. There will be no good-byes in the family reunion beyond to meet God's family of all ages. Paul, that faithful, battle-scarred warrior of the cross, as he comes to the end of the way takes up his pen and writes, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also, that love His appearing." II Tim. 4:6-8.V.