William Andrew Dillard
Sometime ago, I witnessed to a friend who at fourscore years of age is not long for this world. I have prayed for his salvation and told him so. He reply brought shuddering to my innermost being. He said, “I have not lived a bad life. I will take my chances.” This man is under the delusion that a chance may exist when in fact there are no chances. Jesus said, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:17-18. Jesus also said that he who comes to Him, He would in no wise cast out. So what is there to gain in a supposed chance? Where is the logic?
It is like a number of years ago, when a man was killed as he drove his car across a railroad track in front of an oncoming train. He lived long enough to answer a few questions: it went something like this.
Did the barrier arms lower? He said they did. Were the lights flashing? He said they were. Was the bell ringing? He said it was. Did the train have its headlamp on? He replied that it did. Did the engineer blow the whistle? He said he remembered hearing it. Did your brakes fail? He replied they did not. Did the throttle stick? He said it did not. Then came the inevitable question, “Why in the name of God did you try to cross the track?” His reply was, “I thought I could make it.” I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE IT??!! Why? What was there to gain? There certainly was much to lose as he found out.
There will be no one in heaven but those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There will be no one in hell, but those who have refused to do so. Do not be a fool. Do not think you have a chance, because you don’t. Lights are flashing, bells ringing, and horns blowing, and you can’t make it! There is no chance! Open your heart to Jesus in repentance and faith. He paid the sin-debt for you. For every man, in every age, there is no other plan.
I Peter 1:4; Philippians 3:20
Heaven stands for all that is good and enduring. Perhaps the reason so little is given us in the Bible concerning Heaven is that we are of such low thought and so influenced by sin that we can-not understand more than is given. However, there are some things that we can understand, and we can accept by faith all other things revealed about heaven.
I. THERE IS THE HEAVEN OF THE AIR, JUST ABOVE THE EARTH.
This is the atmosphere where the birds fly (Rev. 19:17; Gen 1:20; 7:23).
II. THERE IS THE HEAVEN WHERE THE SUN, MOON, AND THE STARS ARE.
(Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:11; Isaiah 13:10).
1. Paul was caught up to this heaven (II Cor. 12:2).
2.This is where Jesus ascended to (Acts 1:11).
3. This is where Jesus mediates (I Tim. 2:5).
4. This is where He advocates the cause of Christians (I John 2:1).
5. Elijah ascended to heaven (II Kings 2:11).
6. This is where the martyrs wait (Rev. 6:9-11).
7. This is where all saints rest from their labors (Heb. 4:9,10).
8. This is where Jesus is preparing a place for His bride (John 14:1-3; Rev. 21:9-27).
III. THE FINAL HEAVEN OR ABODE OF THE BELIEVERS (REV. 21:1).
Where will it be?
1. Jesus promised the earth to the meek (Matt. 5:5).
2. Evidently, this earth is to be purged by fire (II Peter 3:10-13).
The language used seems to suggest a dissolving – melting – of this present earth and the emergence of a new earth (Rev. 21:1,10).
V. THE FINAL STATE OF THE SAVED AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT.
1. The happiness described in the new earth (Rev. 21:3,4).
2. Employment of those who inhabit the new earth – what they shall do.
a. They shall praise God (Rev. 19:1).
b. They shall perform service to God (Rev. 22:3).
c. They shall worship God (Rev. 21:22).
d. They shall obey God and do His bidding (Rev. 21:24).
e. They shall maintain God’s order among the nations (Rev. 21:26).
This is suggested in the terms used: kings, nations.
3. The Bride will be the center of the Eternal Home (John 14:2,3; Rev 21:10-27).
4. All sin will be forever banned. No sinners are ever allowed to enter (Rev. 21:27).
5. These will be real people, in a real place, doing real things, for a real God, with real happiness that will really last forever!