June 22, 2018

Come Up Here

Life can be difficult. At any given time, there are precious people who are strained and stretched to their limit emotionally. There are people struggling with physical pain or pressured by financial difficulties. There are people challenged by disharmony and chaos in their families and their marriages. It’s part of life on earth.


Satan tries to keep us focused on our problems so we forget about our promises. He wants us to live shallow, earth-bound lives. Our enemy wants us to focus on the temporary and lose sight of the eternal, because we become dangerous to his plans when we have eternity in our sight.


He doesn’t want us to remember we are headed for heaven.


The Apostle John wrote these words while marooned on the Isle of Patmos:


After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”


Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne…

-Revelation 4:1-2


Alone on the island, God allowed John to see a door. From behind the door, he heard a voice saying, “Come up here.” Come see what heaven’s like. Are you having a bad day, John? Maybe a bad month? Come up here and look at things from heaven’s perspective.


Suddenly, John found himself in heaven. He could peer into paradise. He began to experience the sounds, the sights, the beauty of heaven.


Heaven is a real place. Jesus Himself said in John 14 that heaven was a real place being prepared for all of us to live in. He even said if it wasn’t true, He would tell us. 


Believe it—heaven is real. 


We’re going to stand on those streets of gold one day. We’re going to hug everyone we love who arrived there before us. We’re going to dance in the presence of Jesus. 


It’s real. It’s waiting for us. This world isn’t our final destination. It isn’t our true home. Our home is with our Father in heaven. 


Heaven is a real place, a real promise, a real paradise filled with the presence of Jesus. It calls for real praise and rejoicing.


We used to sing an old song that says, “I’m feeling mighty fine ‘cause I’ve got heaven on my mind.” If you’re discouraged, try getting heaven on your mind. If you’re having a bad week or even a bad year, try getting heaven on your mind. 


If you’ve lost a loved one and you’re suffering through the pain and the grief, think about heaven. Get heaven and eternity on your mind. One glorious day the grave is going to burst wide open and death is going to be swallowed up in victory. 


Hallelujah! Heaven is real!


Do you know why we have a generation who doesn’t think purity and holiness matters? It’s because they don’t really believe Jesus is coming back to take us to heaven. 


“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

- 1 John 3:2-3


When we have heaven on our minds, we want to be pure. We want to be ready when the rapture comes or when we leave this world through death. We want to be purified and prepared. 


Folks, Satan doesn’t want anyone to enjoy heaven. He got kicked out of that wonderful place. He’s bitter toward God, bitter toward God’s people, and bitter about heaven. 


When you hear someone say heaven isn’t real, you’re hearing a slanderous lie spread by the father of lies. Satan knows firsthand the majesty and splendor of heaven. Don’t believe his lie. Be assured and comforted—heaven is real. 


Take a minute and imagine the most beautiful place you’ve ever been. Maybe a tropical island with turquoise water and swaying palm trees. Or a tall, jagged snow-covered mountain range. Or maybe a gorgeous river with a rushing waterfall. 


Imagine yourself there. 


Imagine seeing your friends who love Jesus. They’re running to you in this beautiful place. You’re hugging each other and walking together in awe. You have a powerful new body! There’s no sickness, no sadness, no death. You’re talking and laughing.


Then you see someone approaching. It’s Jesus Himself walking toward you with a smile on His face. You fall down to your knees, but He pulls you up and holds you close. He whispers to you, “Welcome home.” 


The old things of the earth are gone. Everything is new. You feel God’s love and His peace permeating this place. You are completely and totally at home, and deeply satisfied. It’s the place you always looked for on earth but never really found. And you know that this marvelous place made every trial, every heartache, every pain you experienced on earth totally worth it.


“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT


Folks, I’m not telling you a fairy tale. This is what the Bible clearly teaches. We need to stand on it. If you’re having a bad day, come up here. You’re invited. Get your mind on heaven. 


If you’re going through something bleak on earth, come up here and you’ll see a whole new perspective.


Whether things are going well or falling apart, come up here. Keep heaven on your mind.


One day you’ll truly be home forever—because heaven is real.