Synopsis of Bible Study 04/25/18
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
Heaven is a real place. It is where God’s people will dwell after this life is over.
Studies show that nearly 80% of people believe that there is a Heaven and 82% of people expect to go to heaven.
“To speak of heaven is to affirm that the human longing to see God will one day be fulfilled – that we shall finally be able to gaze upon the face of what Christianity affirms to be the most wondrous sight anyone can hope to behold.” –Alister McGrath
“To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity.” –C. S. Lewis
In heaven you will be your truest form of yourself, because you will be in the presence of God. Sin disconnected you from your real creation. When you die and go to heaven, you will be reconnected with your real God intended self.
Two words to remember about Heaven: Rest and Peace.
7 Biblical Facts about Heaven:
- It is God’s dwelling place. Psalm 33:13 (NKJV) says13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. – Heaven is the place where we believe God lives.
- It is where Christ is today Acts 1:11 (NKJV) says 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
- Is where Christians go when they die. Philippians 1:21-23 (NKJV) says 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For[a] I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
- Is the location of the Father’s house. Luke 23:43 (NKJV) says 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
- Heaven is a city designed and built by God. Hebrews 11:10 (NKJV) says 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
II. What is heaven?
Heaven used to express several things in the bible.
A. Heaven an area above the earth.
Genesis 1:8 (NKJV) says 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Genesis 11:4 (NKJV) says 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
- The bible gives us revelation regarding the 3 heavens.
- The first heaven is where the birds fly. It is the natural sky.
- The second heaven is where the stars and the moon rest. This is the area that we also consider to be outer space.
- The third heaven is beyond human reach. This is where we believe the Throne of God exists.
B. Heaven is the dwelling place of God.
- Genesis 28:17 (NKJV) says 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
- Revelation 21:2 (NKJV) says 2 Then I, John,[a] saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.,
- Revelation 21:10 (NKJV) says 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy[a] Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, – Heaven is a real place.
- John 14:23 (NKJV) says 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.– God wants us to experience heaven on this side as well as the afterlife.
C. Heaven is used interchangeably with the name of God in Heaven.
- In the Parable of Prodigal son, Luke 15:21 (NKJV) 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
- John 3:27 (NKJV) says 27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
D. Kingdom of God is used interchangeable.
- Matthew 4:17 (NKJV) says 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- Mark 1:15 (NKJV) says 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”- You can’t have a kingdom without a king.
- When you think about a kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven is a theocracy. It is governed by our King, which is God.
- We live in a democracy, governed by folk we have elected to lead us.
- In a theocracy, the leader elects you. Paul says we’re the elect of God. You didn’t choose him, he chose you.
- Majority rules in democracy. In a Theocracy, the king speaks and it is so.
- While you are sitting in a democracy, above your head in Heaven where there is a Theocracy. There is One that sits on the throne.
- In the kingdom there, there is no sickness, poverty, or etc…
- Jesus declared that he came to preach the gospel of the kingdom. He also the kingdom is at hand.
- When Jesus comes to the earth, he brings the kingdom of God, the theocracy in the earth.
- When Jesus preaches his first sermon, known as the Sermon on the Mount, he says when you pray, pray “Our father, which are in Heaven ….Thou Kingdom come, Thou will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven.
- Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his rightness and all these things will be added to you. – You must see yourself as a kingdom citizen not of this earth, but in Heaven.
- You began in Heaven, not on this earth. If you didn’t why do you call funerals a homecoming?
- You are traveling here on your way back home. Any Theology that tells you that you have to struggle and it will be over by and by, then this is a Theology that is meant to oppress you. What is happening now, God meant for it to happen right now!
- John 10:10 (NKJV) says 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
- These principles we have baffle people. We operate off of different laws than those who are not saved. Regular folk operate on acceptance, but we operate on faith. Life is a rehearsal, of things to come. We try to have heaven here.
III. Who Will Encounter Heaven?
- The Father, the Son, and the Angels are there.
- The Old Saints are there.
- Those that believed that the prophet was coming are there.
- The very moment a person transitions (dies) who was in Christ, they instantly awake in the presence of the Lord.
- You ever had a loved one to suffer, you can find comfort in know that when they let go, they instantly awake in God’s presence
- 2 Corinthians 5:7-8 (NKJV) says 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.,
- Philippians 1:21-22 (NKJV) 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.- Paul was like I can’t wait to get to god.
- Those who will receive peace and rest
- How many of you have had a work month that was so stressful, all you could think of was your vacation on the other side of it.
- Death is not something a believer should fear. It is something that we should embrace.
- You haven’t lost someone. When you lose something, you don’t know where it is. When you lose someone in Christ, you know they are in God’s presence.
A. The Dead in Christ
- Those that died prior to Jesus’ second coming. They will enjoy Him in life and in Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 (NKJV) says 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.[a] 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.- Notice the order. People who have died before Lord comes back, will be the first to get up when He returns.
- They will awake from their sleep by the Trumpet of God.
B. Those who will be caught up.
- There will be those who will not see death
- 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 (NKJV) says 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 (NKJV) says 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.[a] 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.- They will be those who will be raptured. There will be those that come with the Lord and those who are caught up.
- 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NKJV) says 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.- Those who die in Christ is going back to him. Your flesh will not be allowed to go. God blew his breath in you. When you take your last breath, your soul and the breath God gave you will go back to him.
- You were intended to live forever. Sin brought about death. We are immortal, because our soul continues to live.
IV. What will we experience in Heaven?
A. Will We Know Each Other in Heaven?
- We will be the same person with all the imperfections removed.
- Jesus give us a hint of this. He says suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Like a baby, the only thing that corrupts them is us. That baby doesn’t know hate or racism. A parent, adult, or culture puts the corruption in them.
- Heaven is our origination and our destination.
- Everybody want to go to Heaven, but nobody to die wants to go right now.
B. Will we have a body in Heaven?
- Bodies in heaven:
- Imagine that streets will be with disembodied souls. This view held by the Hell-istic culture.
- Many argue that the bodies in Heaven will be naked. They will not give rise to shame or sexual lust.
- In Heaven, we will be cloth in the finest garments.
- Radical Islam was told if you died for a cause, you will have a certain amount of virgins when you go to heaven.
- How will you know if you going to heaven?
- In John 14:6 (NKJV) it says 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.- ,
- John 10:9 (NKJV) says 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.- Jesus says he is the access pint. You got to go through Jesus to get to Heaven.
- The scripture says we got to go through the Son. You have to be saved. Being a Christian is the access point to Heaven.
- What do you do with people like Gondi? He wasn’t a Christian, but he lived more Christian then most Christians do. He says he would have be a Christian, until he met one.
- The church is the bride of Christ. Jesus is the groom. People love Jesus, but hate his wife.
- Isaiah 65:17 (NKJV) says 17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
- Isaiah 66:22 (NKJV) says 22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.
- Revelation 21:1 (NKJV) 21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Everyone in this place will either be caught up or they will die. If you die, you instantly wake up in Heaven or Hell in a transfigured body. If you wake up in Hell, you will be burning where there will be gnashing of teeth or you will wake up in peace in the Presence of God.
When the trumpet blows, those that are already dead in Christ will wake up from their rest. Jesus will descend from the Third heaven to First heaven. He will come back on a cloud. When the Jesus left, the angels said, “Jesus would return in the same way in which he left”.
If you are caught up (also referred to as the Rapture), two will be in the field and one will be taken. People will walk around and realize that they have been left behind. After this, plagues and torment will come upon this earth.
Later, the first heaven and the earth will be changed (remade). You can’t cognitively comprehend this event that will take place. Once Lucifer and all the demons are defeated, they will all be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternal damnation.
Heaven (the New Heaven) will come down into this space we call Earth. There will be paved with gold. There will be no sickness and the will be no night there, because the sun will shine forever.
If you have problems worshiping here on Earth, you will be out of place there, in Heaven. In the end of days, Heaven is not what we are going to. Heaven will come down to Earth.
The same paradise we lost in the Garden with Adam, God will allow us to see again. It will be New. All things will pass away and be replaced with something new.
Being in this place (called Heaven) eternally will be amazing. All the attention will be going to the Lamb that was slain is Heaven. We thank God we are on our way to a place called Heaven!