No More Tears: A New Life
1 Cor. 15; Various Texts
Good morning and welcome to BLC
We are in our final week of our NO MORE TEARS sermon series…we have had a lot to fit into four weeks, and as in most things regarding our eternity…there is no way I could get everything in these four weeks that could probably be said about heaven…but we have tried to stay focused on the main concepts of eternity with God that we find in Scripture.
So far we have learned that Jesus is preparing a place for us, we have learned what happens to us when we die, and we have discussed that everything will be made new. Today we will look at various scriptures including a portion of 1 Corinthians 15 that will give us a clear picture of our New Life…what are we going to be doing in heaven.
I have heard many people over the years say things like “heaven is going to be boring” or “I don’t know if I want to go to heaven if all I am going to do is sing and dance around the throne of God.”
First of all…shame on them for doubting that God’s eternity is that limited and lacking of excitement and joy.
Second of all – if you really look at the scriptures…we find that there is going to be a lot going on in heaven…and it will be anything but boring.
Let’s get started today by looking at a base text…1 Corinthians 15 starting in verse 50 and reading through the end of the chapter.
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Now not all that I am going to share today comes from this text alone…but this text is the basis for everything I am going to share.
I would like to briefly point out a few things from this text that will get us started…
- When Jesus comes back and gets this thing started…it is going to happen quickly and without warning – which should get us thinking about where we are spiritually…are we ready? Have we grown closer to Christ since becoming believers or are we still far away from him?
- We are no longer going to be mortal…we will be immortal. This text confirms what we have learned in the other three weeks…we will be changed…made new.
- SIN and DEATH will have no VICTORY over us because JESUS has had victory over them!
- And BECAUSE of JESUS’ VICTORY…WE NEED TO STAND FIRM IN OUR FAITH and GIVE OURSELVES TO GOD! Daily we have to do this… we must ask ourselves every day…Am I going to stand firm on what I believe about Jesus and God today…and make that commitment daily to give Him all of who I am?
Now I believe that in this victory we will experience in Christ…we find that there will be some things we need to understand about our new life…something that we will call the…
4 R’s of Heaven
The first R is…
We’ve talked about this a little bit each week…so I am not going to speak at length about it – but there will be a few things that we will no longer do because we will be recalibrated….
- No Sin
- No Death
- No More Tears!
The recalibration of not just us, but as we learned last week everything God has created will be made new, and the fallen world, nature, and man will be no more.
The second R is…
- Reunion (Luke 9:28-36; Luke 19; 1 Cor. 15:6; Hebrews 12:1-3)
- Christ. We are going to meet Jesus face to face. Some people communicate fear when thinking of facing Christ, which comes from our guilt of the things we have done wrong or not doing the things He has called us to do…but our goal should be to hear what Jesus says in his parable in Luke 19…
- Luke 19:17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
We will also be reunited with…
- Apostles, Biblical People, Historic Christians
For instance, we know that Jesus met with Moses and Elijah during his transfiguration in Luke 9:30…
- Luke 9:30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus.
Two men who had been dead for centuries show up and hang out with Jesus. This lets us know that there will be people who we have looked up to as heroes of faith that we will be able to speak to and we will recognize them. Scripture doesn’t say how we will recognize those we have never met…don’t know that there will be nametags or anything like that…but it’s clear we will just know.
I think we will also certainly see those we knew on earth that have gone before and will come after us that are in Christ – our…
Now we know from Jesus teachings that relationships will be different in heaven…we will all be brothers and sisters with Christ and God the Father will be over us all and we won’t be married in heaven or have our familiar relationships like we have now, but we will recognize one another, I think we spend time together enjoying the company of those we enjoyed the company of on earth, and we will rejoice in each other’s presence in heaven – that we made it.
We know that the Hebrew’s writer made it clear that there will be a great cloud of witnesses waiting to greet us at the end of the race.
- Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
All of this will bring on the third R…
- Rejoicing (Rev. 4; Neh. 9:6; Luke 15; Rev. 8:7-15; Eph. 5:19; Mk 14:26; 10:14-15; Luke 6:23)
A huge part of our rejoicing will be in the form of…
- In Rev. 4:1-11 it says – After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’[b]
who was, and is, and is to come.”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
- Nehemiah 9:5-6 it says that everything and everyone in heaven worships God.
- “Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.[a]”
“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
Part of our worship will include…
I think one of the best scriptural examples of these things being present is in Jesus’ parable about the prodigal son, which is about our returning to God the Father through Jesus and how we will be received in eternity…
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
Fellowship with others, music and dancing, and other creative ventures like art, theater, architecture, etc. will be all around us…we see in other places in scripture that music and singing will be a huge part of our eternal experience. You know we have to view earthly forms of worship as imperfect models of what eternal worship in perfection will be. If we look at Jesus to begin with, we know that he sang with his disciples…
Mark 14:26 –
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
In Ephesians 5:19 Paul instructs us to have instrumental and vocal music in our worship on earth and it only makes sense that it will be present in our eternal worship.
In Rev 8 – We see trumpets mentioned as being used, and we see trumpets and harps mentioned throughout Revelation. Music and song will be a huge part of what we do in heaven.
I think we will also enjoy…
- Story Telling/Laughter/Learning
Jesus loved using story telling – or parables to help people understand things better. There is no doubt in my mind that story telling will continue to be a part of our learning process as we move into eternity. I also believe that there will be laughing…I fully believe that Jesus and God have a sense of humor…we were made in their image – so I think we will laugh…in fact – in Luke 6 during Jesus sermon on the mount, giving the blessings and the woes…
Luke 6:21 Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh
I think we will learn together, laugh together, and have fun in eternity. And that fun can also possibly be found in…
I think we will play in heaven. I don’t know if there will be sports like we have them now, or games, or toys, or whatever…but I do believe that there will be a need to enjoy playing in God’s Kingdom…Jesus says we are to approach the kingdom of heaven like a child…and how to children spend their time…playing!
14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
If Jesus wants us to have that childlike wonderment, in the presence of our father, and enjoy all the good things He has made.
The last of the R’s is…
- Rest (Genesis 2:2; Ex. 20:9-11; Hebrews 4:1-11; Rev. 22:3; John 4:34 & 5:17)
One kind of rest we will find…
Sleep is probably not necessarily going to be the same as we know it today…but there will be times set aside for rest and relaxation…
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
4 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b]
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”[d]
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
We spoke briefly last week about the fact that the New Jerusalem found in Revelation 21 and 22 is an open city and that we will come and go from the city – going out into the New Earth that God has created. Who knows…if God has allowed us to develop the technology to travel into space the short distance we have – and if we believe the truth that he created the stars and galaxies, planets and other space bodies that make up our universe, then who’s to say our travel will be limited to the New Earth. I saw on the news the other day that astronomers at NASA have discovered 7 planets around a star in a distant galaxy that could contain liquid H2O. I want to point out that this is my thoughts and not scriptural…but as a guy who has always dreamed of traveling in space…I am hoping that is part of eternity, that we at least get to look upon the vastness of the heavens and enjoy God’s creativity. I also believe there is evidence that we will have…
- Enjoyable/fulfilling Work
Now it will be work redefined. It won’t be like the work we have now…there will be no difficult physical toil, we will never tire or grow weary – Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’
Revelation 22:3 makes it clear that we will at work serving God.
3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
We also should note that Jesus was clear in the book of John that both He and God are always working, and if God and Jesus are working I would assume we would have work to do as well.
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
We spoke last week about agriculture – tending vineyards and managing the animals as Isaiah spoke of in chapter 65 of his book of prophecy. There will be work to do but whatever one does in heaven it will be something we enjoy doing and it will fulfill our desire to do something that pleases God.
Main Point: Heaven will be anything but boring! We will have all the joy and excitement of this life in an unfallen state!