Heaven - Actual Reality

Bible Book: Revelation  21 : 1-3
Subject: Heaven
Series: Heaven - Sanders

Heaven Can Wait. That is the name of a movie that had America abuzz a generation or so ago. Rebuttal issued forth form American pulpits. Evangelists often referred to the movie title and the fact it seemed to reflect the attitude of so many people in America. Americans were so preoccupied with the world (material things, recreation, pleasure) that they had little time to think about Heaven. When Heaven was mentioned, it was not in a sense of longing to go to Heaven, but in cliches: the flowers were heavenly, the children were heavenly. We even ate “heavenly hash” and angel food cake. There were always jokes about Heaven - you know, St. Peter and the Pearly Gates.

During the theistic (pre-modern) period of American history there was a lot of interest in Heaven, but during the humanistic period which followed (modernism with its moral relativism) Heaven was, to use the Marxist expression, “pie in the sky, bye and bye.” But as the humanistic period yielded to the New Age (post-modern) spirituality, there has been a revival of interest in spiritual things, in heaven, angels, and life after death. Of course with some today, it is life after life!

You may be asking, “Isn’t the revival of interest in Heaven a positive sign; a sign that we may be seeing a revival in America?” The answer is not as simple as it may seem. It is often easier to respond to one who says “There is no Heaven” than the one who holds an occult or New Age belief in an ungodly and unscriptural heaven.

This is the first in a series of sermons on Heaven. I would like to request your prayers as I prepare each sermon, knowing that I will never be able to answer all questions to your satisfaction, but desiring to provide some information and trust that the Holy Spirit will use these messages to heighten our interest in the glory of Heaven, the eternal home which Jesus is preparing for each believer.


A. It Is an Essential Part of the Gospel we are Commissioned to Preach, John 3:16.

The Computer Age has given us “virtual reality,” but Heaven is “actual reality.”

B. Occultic Obsession with Heaven and the Spiritual World Demands Biblical Answers
C. New Age Mysticism Demands Answers From God’s Word.
D. The Apathy of Profession Christians Demands That We Teach the Truth.

The decline in interest in Heaven suggests that Americans are at ease in Zion. Americans have been conditioned to look elsewhere for answers. Many look to the government to provide both needs and wants. We look to medical science to solve health problems. We look to social scientists to solve social problems. Many Americans are comfortable right here - they don’t want to go anywhere.

ILLUSTRATION: John MacArthur tells of preaching to some 1500 impoverished believers in a city south of Siberia, on the back side of Tebet who wanted most for him to teach was Heaven.


A. False Prophets Deceive Many With Christian Terminology.

1. ILLUSTRATION: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying, began as a skeptic and ended up a believer - in unbiblical supernatural manifestations (Reincarnation).

2. ILLUSTRATION: Betty J. Eadie, Embraced by the Light, claims to have died and gone to Heaven. She returned professing near omniscience in spiritual matters. She has all the answers about Heaven. Her answers, however, reflect a mixture of New Age mysticism and Mormon doctrine. She deceives many Christians with Christian terminology.

B. Christian Television Has Often Given False Prophets a Pulpit to the Nation.


A. There Is Something Beyond.

ILLUSTRATION: In a cave inside the Rock of Gibraltar, some ancient scratched, “No more beyond.” After Columbus discovered America, someone came along and scratch through the first word. It now reads, “More beyond.”

Jesus taught that there is more beyond, John 11:25-26. Jesus promised the thief on the Cross “More beyond” (Luke 23:43). The Revelation leaves no doubt about what lies beyond. For the believer, there is Heaven, Rev. 21:1-8. For the unbeliever, there is hell, John 20:10-15.

B. We Must Provide Answers About Heaven and Hell.

We must destroy speculation about Heaven, 2 Cor. 10:5.  Only the Bible provides reliable information about Heaven, 1 Cor. 2:9-10


Heaven is both the hope and glory of every believer. If God’s people are not excited about Heaven, how will we ever interest the lost people around us in it? The Gospel which we are commanded to proclaim is incomplete with a message about Heaven and the reward that is there for the faithful.


A surgeon was asked about Heaven by a friend who was experiencing some doubt. The surgeon found an answer when his little dog began scratching at the door. He had managed to climb out of car through a window and trailed his master to the office door. When he opened the door the little dog ran and jumped into his arms. The surgeon pointed out that the dog had never been in that room before and he did not know what was in there, or who else might have been there. All that mattered to him is that that is where his master was.” He added, “That is the way I feel about Heaven. There is a lot I don’t know, but this much I do know; “That is where my Master is. And that is enough for me.”