The Seven Wonders of The Heavenly Kingdom
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw a Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of the heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
“The angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of nations. 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. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”
Last week I told you about the Seven Miseries of Hell. Today I'd like to talk to you about the Seven Wonders of the Heavenly Kingdom, so that you may receive God’s Grace. Even though you might live in a good house or a beautiful place in this world, this world is not the place where you live an eternal life. Heaven's house, in which we can reside eternally, is prepared for those who belong to Jesus Christ.
Many people want to know something about Heaven, but we can't know completely about the future house which we will enter to inhabit eternally. It is God's will that we can't know completely.
If we completely knew anything about Heaven, we would only yearn for returning there - to our native home, as quickly as possible, and would regard this world as absolutely useless.
One of reasons that we yearn for Heaven is because our loved ones are already there.
Brothers! You didn't know where countries like Kuwait or Bahrain were or even their names. You didn't have any interest in them either.
But you came to have much interest in them once your beloved husband or friendly church fellow went there. The reason why you promptly read newspaper articles on these countries is also because your loved ones are in them.
If our loved ones are in Heaven, we will yearn for it all the more. Further, if you long for Jesus Christ, you will look forward to the time when you may gaze directly upon His face.
A young girl was passing by a public cemetery, when a man nearby asked her, "Aren't you afraid of passing by this place?" “No,” she answered, "my house is just over there."
In the same manner, the reason why we aren't afraid of death is because it simply something we pass by on the way home.
Today I want to tell you about the Seven Wonders of the Heavenly Kingdom, which we yearn for.
1. The Heavenly Kingdom Exists.
The First Wonder is the fact that the Heavenly Kingdom really exists. If 100 years ago, someone had said that the Seoul skyline would one day be full of tall buildings, no-one would have believed it, asking instead, “How can such a place exist?”
Likewise, if someone were to describe the Heavenly Kingdom as surpassing even the most beautiful place on earth, no one would believe it, asking instead, "How can such a place exist?"
However, the Heavenly Kingdom does exist, even though we can’t describe it with any of the languages of this world.
Jesus said, "In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2. Paul says, in Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands."
The reason why all the Apostles yearned to go to Heaven so much was that Jesus spoke so much about it.
The Apostle John was blessed with God's Grace, and received a vision of Heaven while in Patmos. God had John record this vision of heaven in Revelation.
We can see both the end of the world and eternal life reflected in nature. In Autumn, a chrysalis wraps itself inside of a cocoon, and cannot be seen. But, in Spring, we can watch a beautiful butterfly emerge from the cocoon and fly away.
Even though a tree withers gauntly and seems to die in Winter, we can see it burst forth in green again, alive, in Spring.
Among human instincts, there is the instinct to long for the end of the world and eternity. Indians fill water in a pot at the moment of death, and then die. Ancient Egyptians arranged many objects inside their pyramids, thinking that they would be useful in the world after death. Because males and females exist in the world, human beings have an instinctual desire for the opposite sex. The desire to eat occurs, because something to eat exists somewhere.
Both the civilized and the uncivilized share the instinctual yearning for the end of the world and eternity. It is because there is an eternal place prepared for us.
The Heavenly Kingdom is the most beautiful place which exists, beyond comparison with this world. God loves beauty.
Brothers! Look at the grass, the trees, the streams, and mountains. Look at the lakes and oceans. Look at the sun, moon, and stars. You can know how much God loves beauty.
If even this world is so beautiful, how much more beautiful is our perfect eternal Heaven?!
Looking at the beautiful stars in the night sky a young girl wonders, "How beautiful this world is! When this is true, how much more beautiful is Heaven!"
I have listened to the interviews and read the reports and articles written by people who have undergone near death experiences, only to revive to report on the beauty of Heaven and the misery of Hell.
I have listened to testimonies of those who experienced entering Heaven and meeting Jesus Christ and angels and whose bodies were like those of the dead at that time, while they were actually sitting in church, praying fervently during a revival worship service. I have seen all of the people who came out of unconscious state shed tears. When I asked them why they shed tears, they answered, “Because we want to live in that better and more beautiful place eternally - we don't want to come back to this world again. However, it is not yet the right time to live there and we have to return to this world. That’s why we grieve.
The waiting place we call Paradise is also very beautiful, although not as beautiful as Heavenly Kingdom itself. We are also surprised by the fact that so many things are absent in the Heavenly Kingdom.
There is no grief in Heaven. In Job 5:7 we read, "...man is born to trouble..." Isaiah also spoke about, “a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3).
Yesterday I visited a woman whose husband had died several months ago. She couldn’t control her tears while she was talking with me. There is no darkness due to suffering or pain in the the Heavenly Kingdom.
There is no sin in the Heavenly Kingdom. There is nothing to divide our spirits or homes; there is no temptation. There is no death. Even though the demons of death knock at the door in this world everyday, the final enemy of man, death, was and is conquered in the Heavenly Kingdom.
There is no night in the Heavenly Kingdom. There is no time of darkness, there is no time of suffering, and there is no time of wickedness in the Heavenly Kingdom.
There is no dreaded sea in the Heavenly Kingdom. Even if many people drop into the deep, tomb-like sea in the world, there is no sea to fear in the Heavenly Kingdom.
There are no tears. The Heavenly Kingdom is a place where God washes away and removes all tears forever. How can such a wonderful place exist?!
2. Heaven's People United in God's Glory
There are many fair things in the world. However, there are also many unfair things. Some people are rich and other people are poor. Some people are happy and other people are sad. Some people are sick and other people are healthy. Some people meet success and other people meet failure. This is what we mean when we say that there are many unfair things in this world. But in the Heavenly Kingdom all people are equal.
When the Methodist Church Revival Movement in England took place, the Church of England persecuted those who devoted themselves to the Movement, for their difference in faith.
While George Whitefield was riding on a horse-cart, a woman next to him asked, "Are you George Whitefield, sworn against the Church of England?" After listening to his answer, she said, "Stop! I want to get off."
He responded, "May I ask you something? If I fortunately find myself in Heaven, will you run from that place because of me?" Upon hearing that she stopped her criticism, after apologizing with the words, "Sorry. I hadn’t thought about it. Please forgive me." Of course, she travelled with him after that.
There are no wise or foolish people in the Heavenly Kingdom. All people are equal in the Heavenly Kingdom. Heaven's people are busy without being lazy.
In Revelation 7:15 we read, "Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He Who sits on the throne will spread His tent over them.”
Although all of the people in the Heavenly Kingdom work throughout the day, their work does not tire them, but relaxes and rests them instead.
Once there was a huge forest fire in the land that was to become America. Running to avoid the fire, the Indians found a river and jumped into it. Their own lives being saved, they called the field across the river "Alabama", which means "rest here". However, it didn't become the Land of Rest forever, because they faced a surprise attack from a neighboring tribe.
There is no true “Alabama” anywhere in the world. Only when we go to the Heavenly Kingdom, can we enjoy complete rest. In Mathew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
As Jesus told the exhausted and tired, you can live with God eternally and enjoy complete rest only there.
3. There Is Much Concern For The World In The Heavenly Kingdom.
There has been much concern for the world since the King of Kings, Jesus, came here to die. Jesus Christ brought the Light to the darkness in the world and brought the news of Salvation to sinners in the world.
Luke 15:7 states: “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Right! In the Heavenly Kingdom there is tremendous joy that spirits in the world have been saved.
The Heavenly Kingdom is already overwhelmed with joy, but there will be more rejoicing over spirits who are saved by listening to the Word of God.
4. We Can Enter The Heavenly Kingdom
The fact that we can enter the Heavenly Kingdom is wonderful and amazing. Even though the Heavenly Kingdom is a beautiful and wonderful place, it is meaningless to us if we cannot enter. But I can enter the Heavenly Kingdom and you can, too.
God wants us to know something about the Heavenly Kingdom here, as well as enjoy ourselves there later.
In the world there are many restricted areas that we cannot enter. Not everyone can go into the Blue House and meet the president. Not everyone can meet the American president, Mr. Bush. Not everyone can enter a Minister’s office. But, opening the gates of the Heavenly Kingdom widely, the Lord Jesus Christ says, “Come in. There is no one to keep all of you who were saved by believing in the Cross out.”
In the Heavenly Kingdom, there is joy in meeting your loved ones. Even if in the world you almost collapse from the severe grief of losing a spouse or child, you will meet them again in the Heavenly Kingdom.
5. Preconditions For Entering the Heavenly Kingdom
If a person could own Heaven he would prohibit everyone except for his relatives and friends from entering by building a high, impassable wall.
But, the Bible tells us, “Knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7: 7- 8.
Whoever believes in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and longs for it will go to the Heavenly Kingdom.
As a precondition for going there, someone in the world might say, “Live a good life. Pay off your debts. Give money or help to the poor. Live a moral life.”
However, God says, “The only way to enter the Heavenly Kingdom is to repent your sins and believe in my Son, Jesus Christ. Except for that, there is no other way there.
When Nicodemus said, “my Lord, I want to go to the Heavenly Kingdom,” Jesus replied, “You must be born again. Whoever believes in me will have eternal life.” Whoever believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as Savior has already received eternal life and gained entry into the Heavenly Kingdom.
In a vision, the Apostle John saw a great multitude in the Heavenly Kingdom. In Revelation 7:14, an elder said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.”
Only people who have been washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ can go to the Heavenly Kingdom. Just as you cannot stay at a hotel without making a reservation, you must “make a reservation” for the Heavenly Kingdom in advance, to go there.
If you haven’t yet made your reservation for the Heavenly Kingdom, do it right now: Believe in Jesus Christ and embrace Him as your Savior.
6. The Heavenly Kingdom Is Forever the Same.
Satan is busy destroying what is God’s – the churches and the works that God has made. But Satan can never destroy the Heavenly Kingdom. Satan destroyed Eden and made it into a wasteland filled with sin and evil.
Further, when Jesus Christ came to the world, Satan tried to kill Him. Now Satan is trying to attack faithful believers and remove the happiness from couples who love each other.
For the churches in which many believers congregate in harmony, Satan is trying to destroy them by splitting their members and spreading libel and slander among them.
Even though Satan can never enter the Heavenly Kingdom or destroy it, he once stood trial there. Because Satan and his followers tried to fight against Him, God forced them out of the Heavenly Kingdom.
The flow of time cannot destroy the Kingdom of God. In Hebrews (13:14) we read: “…here we do not have an enduring city…” Right! Some day the time will come when cities like Seoul, Pusan, Pyeong-Yang, New York, and Washington will vanish from the world and our memories.
But the New Jerusalem, the Holy City will never disappear. The Falls at Niagara have eroded gradually. Likewise the time will come when everything and everyone in the world disappears. But the Heavenly Kingdom will never disappear or be replaced by anything else.
In time, riches, honor, authority, fame, youth, and beauty all fade and disappear, but the Heavenly Kingdom never changes and exists eternally.
Once it was said that Rome was an eternal city. But the beautiful and prosperous old city changed and there now remain just the ruins of ancient Rome. But in the Heavenly Kingdom there are no changes or regrets.
7. Many People Don’t Prepare For Entering the Heavenly Kingdom.
The fact that many people don’t prepare for entering the heavenly Kingdom is shocking. The Heavenly Kingdom is a wonderful place and gives us complete satisfaction, as I have already said. But why don’t people prepare to go to the Heavenly Kingdom? It is because they devote themselves just to this world? They forget the fact that they are destined to die and go before the Judgment Seat of God.
One day a ship drifted away in a great storm and washed up on a desert island, wrecked. Everyone on board was saved, but now had to live on the island, with little or no hope of escape. Fortunately they had enough food for several months and some seeds which the ship had been transporting.. Also the island was fertile enough to grow a lot of plants. They determined to sow seeds and began to plow the soil. While plowing the field to sow seeds, they found yellow gold in it. At the moment they forgot about sowing the seeds and became absorbed in digging gold.
The island plant stock gradually diminished, and soon the people had no more food to eat. When they realized their state, they tried to plow the soil and sow seeds. But it was too late. They were dying amongst their nuggets of gold.
Many people live such a life in the world. As if they were going to live here eternally, they devote themselves to accumulating property and possessions, and prepare nothing for going to the Heavenly Kingdom.
Near death, William Bake said, “Now I’m going to the Kingdom of God. I have always longed for it.” George Washington said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m dying. I appreciate I’m not afraid of my death.”
A faithful woman died, saying “Mother, I can see many angels over there. They’re beckoning me to come. Good bye.”
Jesus is the mediator between the world and the Heavenly Kingdom. This is wonderful! If Christ didn’t exist, there would be no Heavenly Kingdom, and we would be destined to go to Hell forever. What we are looking forward to seeing in the Heavenly Kingdom are not the streets paved in gold, or the pearly gates, but Jesus Christ, our Lord.
A young boy dying says to his father, “Dad, there’s a beautiful house. Mom and Dad, can you see it? I can see beautiful flowers and a lot of people in white robes.” His parents reply, “My son, what you’re seeing is the Heavenly Kingdom which Jesus Christ prepared for you and for us. But we can’t go with you now – we will come later. Jesus will lead us to you then.” The boys dies, saying “Dad, Jesus is standing right over there. He’s holding out his arms to me, and smiling. Please push me towards Him, so that He can hug me in His arms.”
Oh! The Heavenly Kingdom is beyond any and all desires and dreams we can imagine. There are hundreds of Wonders about the Heavenly Kingdom, not just Seven!
Brothers! Yet keep in mind these Seven Wonders about the Heavenly Kingdom which I have spoken about today. Believe in the existence of the Heavenly Kingdom, which is full of eternal happiness and blessing, and make your reservation for the Heavenly Kingdom right now!