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Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:1-8

Heaven is Real



1.  What is your concept of heaven? What does it hold for you?

  a.  Stephen Hawking , PhD. (theoretical physicist) says heaven is a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark” (also believes in “spontaneous creation”).[i]

  b.  Cultures, ancient and recent, have a host of concepts of heaven.

  c.  Many today: Your most happy moment on earth lived repeatedly.

2.  Heaven is the home of God’s faithful ones, Heb 11:9-16 (Phil 3:20).

  a.  Christian’s greatest hope is an eternal home with God, Col 1:5.

  b.  What joy to enter our heavenly home, Matt 25:21, 34, 46.


I.  WHAT IS HEAVEN? (OURANOS - 284x’s in NT - From root, OROS, “to rise, lift, heave”).

  A.  Three Distinct Uses in the Bible.

    1.  The atmospheric heavens: the sky (where birds fly, Gen 1:20; give rain, Jas 5:18).

    2.  The celestial heavens: outer space (Sun, moon, stars, Gen 1:14-18).

    3.  The perfect and eternal abode of God: Heaven, Deut 26:15; Matt 7:21.

      a.  Present dwelling place of God and His hosts, Acts 7:55-56.

      b.  2 Cor 12:2, 4: 3rd heaven (as distinct from other the two).

    4.  Heaven is a real place – NOT a MOOD or STATE OF MIND, Jno 14:3.

  B.  Descriptions of Heaven IncludeKingdom (indicating a realm of rule, Matt 25:34); Country/City (habitation, Heb 11:16); A Garden (rest and peace, Rev 22:1-2).



  [Rev 21-22: The saved at home with God in final glory beyond the judgment]  (Song:  “How beautiful heaven must be…”)

  A.    A “New” Order of Existence for the People of God, Rev 21:1-5.

    1.  New: Quality (kainos: “of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of), 21:2. Surpasses Jerusalem of old and the Jerusalem “that now is” (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22).

    2.  God makes all things new, Rev 21:5.

  B.  A Place of Perfection and Completeness, Rev 21:9-21.

    1.  The glory of God (heaven is made glorious by the glory of God that fills it!), 21:11.

    2.  Place of holiness (righteousness dwells there, 21:27; 2 Pet 3:13), Rev 21:2, 10.

    3.  Complete / Perfect / Precious.

      a.  These numbers symbolize perfection and the people of God -- Nothing incomplete / nobody left out there (12; 12 x 1,000; 12 x 12). Perfect symmetry reflects its perfection.

      b. Splendor, preciousness, exquisite beauty, 21:11, 18, 19-21.

  C.  A Place of Perpetual Fellowship with God, Rev 21:3, 22-27; 22:4.

    1.  Heaven is the zenith in the development of God’s presence among His people, Rev 21:3 (Lev 26:11-12; 2 Cor 6:16).

    2.  Permanent worship of God / Divine presence; the saved are with Him forever, 21:22-27.

    3.  To see God face to face – Reward of the faithful, 22:4 (cf. Jno 1:18; 14:8-9).

    4.  God’s safety and security surround it (wall), Rev 21:12.

    5.  cf. Jno 14:3; 1 Jno 3:2.

  D.  A Place of Peace and Rest, Rev 21:4-6.

    1.  From the trials and conflicts of life, 21:4.

    2.  Eternal life, constant refreshing of the soul, 21:6.

    3.  Rest from labors, Rev 14:13 (1 Cor 15:58; Heb 4:9-11).

  E.  A Place of Worship and Service, Rev 21:22; 22:3.

    1.  Heaven is one grand sanctuary - The divine presence necessitates perpetual worship of Him, Rev 21:22.

    2.  Perfect service rendered - Glorious and uninterrupted, Rev 22:3.

    3.  Cf. our worship and service now; these help prepare us for heaven (1 Jno 5:3)



  A.  Those who Obey Jesus and Overcome the World, Rev 14:12-13; 21:7. (Matt 7:21; Heb 5:9)

    1.  Heaven isn’t inherited by accident; Children of God go there.

    2.  Heaven is the living hope of those who are living by faith, 1 Pet 1:3-5 (not living in fear and doubt).

    3.  “A prepared place for a prepared people.”  (Jno 14:3)



1.  “If you seek heaven you will get earth thrown in; if you seek this earth you will miss both heaven and earth.”  (C. S. Lewis)

2.  Jesus put it this way: Lay up treasure in heaven, Matt 6:19-21.

3.  Seek after the city which is to come, Heb 13:14.


[i] Guardian writer Ian Sample asked Hawking if he feared death in a story published 14May2011. This was his response:

I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark. (“Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’”, Ian Sample, The Guardian, 15May2011)