The Lion and the Lamb

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Question and Answer: Karen Batchelor

KB: I tried to make some tough ones for you.

DB: Okay.

KB—Question and Answer #1: Okay. I have been convinced about Sabbath keeping. (Uhm) Would you please give me some practical information as to how to keep that day holy?

DB: We talked about keeping the Sabbath and keeping it holy—we should worship God seven days a week. I think we should live in attitude of worship. But keeping the Sabbath holy is something separate. It is a sacred time, holy time with God. Only a few things are holy—marriage is holy, that means that this relationship is special and other relationships don’t interfere.

KB: That’s right.

DB: The Bible is holy. In our home we don’t put anything on the Bible. We--we treat it with great respect. It’s (uh) the most sacred book in the world. The 24-hour dimension of time that God has blessed and sanctified should be treated holy. We should be ready before the sun goes down to welcome it.

Try and prepare--you don’t start preparing Friday afternoon. Remember the Sabbath all week long so when it comes you’re able to rest. Clothes for church should be ready and food should be prepared, (uh) shouldn’t be doing any buying and selling, if you wanna watch a religious program yeah, like this, I don’t see a problem with that, but otherwise TV ought to be off.

And you don’t want anything that is secular to take your mind off God. And so that’s the idea—it’s a precious appointment with God. (Uh) The Bible says God came to walk in the garden with Adam. And it’s a time when we just really--we set aside the things of the world; you plan so you can have that quality time with someone you love.

Go to this website that has a lot of great information it’s called, real easy— or even if you type in .org it’ll take you there. A lot of information on practical ways to keep the Sabbath and I think you’ll appreciate that.

KB—Question and Answer #2: Thank you. You mention tithe this morning, can you please tell us what that is?

DB: The word “tithe” is a derivative of the word “tenth” and you find it going all the way back in the Bible to the time when (uh) Abraham set aside a tenth for Melchizedek, the king priest of Salem, he’s a type of Christ. (Uh) Jacob guaranteed or promised, he vowed to give a tithe to the Lord to if He would bring him back home again. And he actually did that when he came back he gave it to Esau cause there was no priest back then. First thing he did is he gave a tenth of everything he had to his brother as a thanks to God.

But (uh) a tithe is a tenth. And the plan that God has designed—New and Old Testament—for the support of mission work in ministry around the world is for believers to take a tenth of their increase and dedicate it to the spreading of the gospel. How much of our possessions belong to God? What percentage? (Audience answers “All”) Hundred percent! He’s asking us to show we believe that—by returning a tenth is holy.

KB—Question and Answer #3: I’ve really enjoyed these meetings and don’t want my love for God to die out. What can I do to keep my love for God alive and growing?

DB: Have you felt your soul warmed as you listened to the word of God? Do you want that to continue? Jesus said that we should continue walking the way we began. Feed yourself: read your Bible, (uh) immerse yourself in things of the words, spiritual (uh) songs and hymns—you can (uh) videos and tapes, in my car I--I listen to Christian radio, I play sermons that people give me—feed your soul and you’ll grow. It’s like a baby; you feed a baby, (uh) occasional cleaning, little exercise, it grows. Which of you by taking thought can add a cubit unto your stature? You don’t do it by taking thought but you receive what God has provided and you will grow.

KB: So you pray and you read your Bible everyday.

DB: The basics in devotional life: read your Bible everyday, pray without ceasing but you should have regular times of prayer. Daniel, like King David, Psalm 55—morning, evening, and at noon will I pray; Daniel three times a day. So have regular times for prayer and then share your faith, exercise your faith, use your faith and it will grow. Amen?

KB: Amen. And you have all kinds of opportunities to witness. The Lord will just open the door and give you opportunities to share your faith without even realizing it.

DB: Try this: you pray in the morning say, Lord, bring me in contact with somebody today before whom I can witness. I guarantee you, He’ll do it. “The harvest is great the laborers are few.” Tell the Lord, I’m willing to be a laborer, and you watch He’ll give you someone to share with.

KB: That’s right and you can memorize scripture that’s another important aspect.

DB: Never do you remember it better than when you share it with someone else.

KB—Question and Answer #4: That’s right. Do you believe God made life on other worlds?

DB: We’re gonna touch on that tonight but the answer would be yes! (Uh) The Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter 1 that God the Father created the other worlds through Christ. (Uh) And I believe that (uh) there is intelligent life. Well, first of all, we already know there’s angels, right—seraphim and cherubim? And (uh) I don’t think that they’re bizarre-looking UFOs that have been visiting the earth and leaving bulls’ eyes in cornfields and stuff like that. (Uh) But there are, I believe, other unfallen worlds, and we’ll talk about that a little tonight.

KB—Question and Answer #5: Alright. And for our last question, how did Christ survive in the wilderness for an entire 40 days? I’ve always learned humans cannot last more than two weeks without food. Did His fully divine nature enable Him to stay alive?

DB: Well, I would respectfully submit that you’ve learned incorrectly—you can fast more than two weeks. (Uhm) Not only did Jesus fast 40 days, Elijah did; that was supernatural though, Moses did; that was supernatural. But I remember an IRA protester in prison who went 80 days without food before he died on a food strike. So people can go more than two weeks. You can’t do it and exert yourself. But (uh) I believe that Jesus really fasted in our behalf during that time and He was hungry the Bible says. It wasn’t supernatural (uh) that kept Him (uh) from feeling hunger pains, He was hungry.

KB: He didn’t use His divine nature (DB: No!) any way while He was here on earth.

DB: He never performed miracles for His own benefit. He overcame the way you and I can overcome, accessing the same power that is available (Sound effects starts) to you and me.

(Sound effects stops before DB speaks)

Sermon Questions: Douglas Batchelor

I pray that if there’s any people here tonight who haven’t made decisions for Christ that the Holy Spirit will work on your heart. I pray He’ll trouble you and you will choose to accept what Jesus has already purchased as a free gift.

You know our--our lesson tonight is dealing with the subject of heaven and we have a support Study Guide for you it’s called, “The Colossal City in Space.” This is one in the series of the new Revised Amazing Facts Study Guides. And a lot of what I’m sharing tonight will be in here; also the information will be at the prophecy code website.

The lesson is called, the sermon tonight, “The Lion and the Lamb.” And it really is dealing with a time where the lion and the lamb will dwell together peacefully. Can I begin by reading a poem?

Are you weary of a world that’s spinning madly?
Are you sadly looking for some peace of mind?

All the violence and pollution, is there no solution?
Where can you go to leave it all behind?

Then one day as I was reading in the Bible

Of a land where there is no more death or pain

It’s more than just a story it’s a garden up in glory

Where the honey falls like golden drops of rain

Oh Eden, sweet Eden

Where the wolf lies in a meadow with a lion and a lamb

Oh Eden sweet Eden

How I want to walk with Jesus in that land

By the tree of life there gently flows a river

And it’s filled with living water, crystal clear

And the flowers that He made will never die and fade

As the splendor of their fragrance fills the air

Are you weary of a world where hearts are hardened?

Well, there’s a garden you can have within

Just take Jesus by the hand; He’ll lead you to this land

As He wipes away the tears that you held for all those years

On that day when He comes to take us home

In Eden, sweet Eden

Where the wolf lies in the meadow with a lion and a lamb

Oh Eden sweet Eden

How I want to walk with Jesus in that land

Is that your prayer, friends? (Audience answers “Amen”) Tonight we’re gonna try to do our best. I prayed earlier—Lord, give me the tongue of an angel, help me to articulate and I wanna pray for our translators, they’ve been doing an outstanding job—to use speech to help you to see as well as we humanly can what God has prepared for those that love Him. He wants you to be there.

Now we’re gonna begin by rolling in a little--it’s a computer generated animation but we wanna put you in the mindset of the reality of heaven, and so why don’t we play that at this time and I’ll maybe share a little bit.

There is a place where the flowers never fade, there is no more sin or suffering. There is a city that has these pearly gates and a river that flows from the throne of God. You know it tells us that above each gate are the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, because this is where God’s church—spiritual Israel is gonna live.

And in the same way four rivers came from Eden. Back in the days of Adam we believe that from this throne of God where the river flows, it will part into many cataracts that will irrigate the whole planet, on either side of that river is a tree of life, and eating the fruit provides immortality.

Now this city is in existence now but it’s not here yet. Jesus said I’ve gone to prepare a place for you and I will take you to that place. We’ll spend a thousand years living and reigning with Him. At the end of that time the New Jerusalem is going to descend from God out of heaven and it’s gonna come down to the earth—in that day His feet will touch on the Mount of Olives, it will form a great valley, and that magnificent city will settle in to the foundation that Jesus had prepared.

Now these are just human efforts to help you picture something that is very real, (Background music starts) just to get it in your mind. But I would like now to go to God’s word and to study with you this theme of that heavenly city, the place where the lion and the lamb lay down together. Do you wanna be there, friends? (Audience answers “Amen”) It’s real! It’s not pie in the sky by and by. Even in our secular world there’s been a lot you can see in the news where people are asking questions about life after death and heaven, is it real? Is there a place? Is there a paradise?

You know some think that, ahh if there’d any heaven or hell it’s just right here, you make it for yourself. And while it’s true that there’s choices that we can make that would improve our state here on earth, this is not it. Keep in mind, friends, we are all terminal. This life is short. What is our life here—it’s but a shadow, it’s a vapor. (Uh) Our life, the Bible tells us, is like grass; it springs up in the morning and then withers in the afternoon—compared to eternity it’s nothing.

The primary purpose for this life is to live forever! God designed us to live forever. And you know man has his yearning for something better and I think that’s one of the things that’s driven our quest for the stars, we’re wondering is there any body out there? Is this all there is?

You know one of the first astronauts that went up with the Soviet Union he came back and mockingly said, “Well I’ve been to heaven and there is no God.” But you (uh) you know they don’t say that anymore in the Soviet Union.

I’m fascinated with space travel myself and the technology. This is the international space station and I keep dropping very heavy hints in case anybody from NASA is listening that if they want a preacher to be the first preacher in space I’m available. (Audience laughs) I’d love to go. You know I like to fly and wooh, wouldn’t that be something, to be up there?

And there is life out there, there is intelligent life. Now I don’t think--you know I don’t believe that Jesus is coming in a UFO. And (uh) a lot of these concocted ideas of what alien life is—you know what I think is funny? If you ever see any of these star trek space programs—all the aliens seem to look something like humans, except just uglier, (Laughs) (Audience laughs) right?

And it’s--it’s sort of bizarre what Hollywood tries to do, but you know w--the life that we’re going to meet in these other worlds, I think, is going to be breathtaking and splendid. Look at all the variety of life we have on our planet? Do you think God ran out of ideas when He created our world? There are things that God has prepared you can’t even fathom and other intelligent life. And I wanna be there to see it, friends. It’s real!

Let’s find out about that space city.

DB—Sermon Question #1: Question number one. Who is the architect and the builder of this space city?

You know what I think is interesting? If I tell you that NASA is planning to put a space city on another planet nobody would even shrug, no question that we could do it. But when you tell people that God has a space city they’ll say, Ahh where did He get the technology? How can He do that? We think that Houston and NASA can do it but we wonder; can God do it?

God has a city that He’s prepared for those that love Him. The Bible says; Hebrews 11 verse 16, “Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared for them a city.” Now initially, when I say the word “city” (uh) it doesn’t conjure up the very best images for me because I grew up in—I was born in LA, downtown Burbank, grew up in New York City as you’ve heard me say, my mother lived in London for a while so I’ve been to London, I’ve been to Cairo, I’ve been to most of the major cities of the world at one point or another—and you know I loathe cities!

You would not believe it if you went to see where Karen and I really lived? We’re doing mission work in Sacramento right now. We’ve been there for 11 going on 12 years, we don’t think of that as our home. We’ve got on earth, we got another place out in the hills; our nearest neighbor’s a mile away.

You know it says in the Bible, Isaiah chapter 5: “Woe to them that join house to house and lay field to field till there’s no place for man to be alone in the earth.” God’s original plan was for man to be a horticulturist, a gardener, to have a little space and to be just surrounded with God’s creation. And cities, when you say city in this context, cities are a concentration—typically, of people who are not saved, and you have a concentration of evil when you have an unconverted hearts.

But the New Jerusalem will not be like the Old Jerusalem. You know the Old Jerusalem is one of the most contested pieces of real estate on the planet. When--the word “Jerushalom” means city of peace. When you’re a Jewish and you say shalom—Melchizedek was the king of Salem, that word “salem” is the English derivative of shalom, it means peace. And when you say “Jerushalom,” it’s really a paradox cause it is not a city of peace.

But the New Jerusalem is a different story because everybody in that city will have Jesus in their hearts. And when you’ve got the Prince of peace, the city will have a peace that passes understanding—there’ll be no police station, there’ll be no hospitals, there’ll be no drugs, no crime—I’m getting ahead of myself cause I get excited talking about this.

DB—Sermon Question #2: Number two. Where is this amazing city that God is preparing for those that love Him?

Revelation 21 verse 2: “And I John saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” So where is it now? “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” It’s the capital of the universe. And God is gonna transport, rapture if you will, the capital of the universe to our planet and we are going to live and reign with God at the capital. What a privilege!

You know it’s been kind of fun when Karen and I went to the White House a couple weeks ago. And, well you know, we’d all agree that the US is something of a major world power and there you are in the White House it’s kind of a hooh, and you’re looking at all the dead presidents, (uh) and you’re thinking: there are a lot of history here. But what’s that compared to living in the capital of the universe, the cosmos, with God, the president of all creation? Oh, that’ll be something.

And again I Kings 8, Solomon in his dedication prayer said, “Oh, Lord, my God, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place.” No building on earth can contain God, the earth is His footstool.

DB—Sermon Question #3: Number three. How do the Scriptures describe this amazing space city?

Well, let’s give you a few more details. Revelation 21:16. “And the city lies four square and he measured the city with a reed, 12,000 furlongs, and the length and the breadth and the height of it,” notice that—the length, the breadth, and the height—“are equal,” 12,000 furlongs all the way around.

You’ll notice the numbers of the city are 12s because it’s a symbol for the church, God’s people. And that would be the equivalent of 1500 miles around or three hundred and seventy five miles on each side. And when it says the length the breadth and the height of it are the same—Dr. Leslie Hardinge, I’m inclined to agree with him. The late Dr. Hardinge says you can’t escape it that some point that city is not only 300 and 75 miles this way and 300 and 75 miles this way, at some point it’s 300 and 75 miles that way—which means that it will actually reach up out of the atmosphere and you’ll see it—you’ll see the city of God before you ever get to the planet, glowing like a jewel on this orb, won’t that be something?

And you’re thinking but Pastor Doug it says the walls are hundred and forty-four cubits—thick, doesn’t say high, you check it. It says the walls of the city are a hundred and forty-four cubits. Like the ancient walls of Babylon, remember I told you they could ride five chariots abreast on that wall—two hundred and eighteen feet wide, not high. I don’t know how high they are.

The length, the breadth, and you know I don’t wanna miss this point some of you think, oh I’d like to go to heaven but you know they--they won’t have room for me; they’ll be so many people. (Uh) I grew up here, John and I grew up in New York City, what do they got—eight and a half million people just in Manhattan? And it’s only seven miles by 5 miles or something, I don’t know, you can walk from east to west in few hours, eight million people.

This city we’re talking about is big as the state of Oregon. How many foot long is New York? Oh 16 million—well, that’s greater New York, not Manhattan. Who’s correcting you? Get your facts straight. (Audience laughs) John, well, you didn’t grow up in Manhattan that’s where I grew up. You grew up—back to our sermon. (Audience laughs) (Laughs)

My point being three hundred and seventy five miles on each side, is there room for you? And this is just the city home that Jesus has prepared—“The Holy City descending out of heaven from God and had a wall great and high.” Notice it says the wall great and high and it had 12 gates. “And the building of the wall of it was like jasper.”

And you--you notice as you look at the materials that are used in the city that God doesn’t use any wood, there’s no hide, nothing has to die because there’s no more death there. Everything is made out of minerals—even the pearly gates are minerals, right? And they’re translucent minerals, meaning they’re not opaque, light can go through them.

So the very walls are glowing because it says there’s no need for the sun in the city. We’ll still have day and night. Think it’s--it says from one new moon to another and one Sabbath to another we’ll come and worship before the Lord. It simply says there’s no need of the sun in the city cause God is there and the Bible says God is light, in Him is no darkness.

And God is gonna be the power company—the light of God coming from His throne will ricochet and reverberate through the very walls. You know a Lucite is? How it bends light? And the whole city is gonna illuminate with the light of God. You won’t walk into your mansion have to find the light switch; it’ll be glowing, and you won’t need to sleep.

So you won’t--you know when Karen goes to sleep she puts these patches on she says Doug, turn off the light it’s too bright, I can’t sleep. She used to make fun of me cause she saw me doing that on airplane one time she took my patch, now she uses it. But you’ll never get tired. “The street of the city was pure gold.” Just think about that—whole city.

Some people are—(uh) they’re wanting their gold here and now. You know if you’re laying up your treasure here on earth, thieves will break through and steal, the stock market will crash, moth and rust will corrupt; but if you’re storing your treasure there then you won’t have to worry about that.

And it--there were 12 gates and 12 pearls; every gate was of one pearl. Can you think about that? Again, “The city had 12 gates, three on each side, on each side each one made of a single pearl.”

I got another amazing fact for you here. A couple of years ago I found this, doing my radio program, an antique collector—Allen (Alan) Golash I think was his name—was digging through a basket of cheap costume jewelry at some antique shop and he found this article here. And his eyes spotted it and he thought: that doesn’t look like an artificial pearl; that looks like it’s got the genuine iridescence of a real pearl.

And he bought it—14 dollars. Took it to Cristy’s auction house, had a lot of people investigate it. And they found it—it is a very extremely rare, two of ‘em, see the big one and the little one?—quahog pearl—it worth millions, they don’t even know; made probably in 1850. How’d you like to pay 14 dollars and turn it into something priceless?

You know Jesus says that a wise merchant is one who finds a pearl of great price he sells everything he has that he might obtain that pearl. Is it a good investment? If he knows the value of it he’ll sell everything. Or the kingdom of heaven is like a man plowing in his field and he unearths a treasure and he sells everything he can, everything he has to buy that field because he knows there’s a treasure in the field.

Friends, can you think of anything that is worth more than the kingdom of heaven? What would you sell salvation for? What in this life? It’s all temporary, just think for a minute. If I were to tell you: you could pick what kind of house you wanna live in, picture it, we’ll pay the contractor to build you your dream home. I guess they got TV programs that do that, right? And they’re very popular cause people are going: ahh, if only I have a home like that.

So suppose that you had a blank check you could build whatever kind of home you want. And suppose that you can also go to whatever car dealer you want and you could fill your four car garage with any kind of cars you wanted. And suppose that you knew the entire time you’re gonna live in that house all the utilities would be paid and you’d have a hired staff. Starting to sound good? I’m seeing some of you oh man, (Audience laughs) I’m inspiring the covetous side of you.

But then the fine print says at the end of six months you die. Would you do it? So what in this life--compared to eternity this life is not even six months is it? What in this life is worth sacrificing eternal life for?

Well, suppose that I created that scenario again: mansion, cars, money in the bank, servants, all the pleasures and amenities and the Olympic swimming pool, Hearst Castle, and you can live there forever—alone, would it be the same? You know one of the things that makes heaven, heaven is that we’re gonna be together. We’re gonna be with the ones we love, we’re gonna be with Jesus.

Back to our city—“The foundations of the wall were garnished with all manner of precious stones.” One artist, a friend of mine, Joe Maniscalco was painting the city and he researched the different gems that make up the foundation. You got the names of the 12 tribes in the gates and the names of the 12 apostles in the foundation. And that represents the church is built on the teachings of Jesus, right?

And he was painting this and he started to research it and as he started painting them he realized they pretty much form a rainbow. It looks like a rainbow which is the promise of God; it’s the covenant of God. The very city is founded on the rainbow of God’s covenant that it will never be destroyed. Isn’t that good news?

Back to the streets—“The streets of the city were pure gold as it was transparent glass.” You know John is looking for words to describe. There were varying degrees of purity in gold and I understand that when gold is in its purest form it looks virtually transparent when it’s burnished.

“The Holy City prepared as a bride adorned for her husband having the glory of God.” The Bible says the New Jerusalem is coming down from heaven as a bride prepared for her husband. This is the marriage supper of the Lamb. Christ is the groom, the church is the bride. He loves you infinitely more than any groom loves his bride. And He wants to bless you. He wants to surprise you with good things. “At His right hand are pleasures forever more.”

You know when Karen and I got married I was so excited. And I wanted to plan a honeymoon that would really be special. And there was this cruise line that had just come out with a brand new ship, the most sophisticated ship in the world at that time called, “The Crystal Harmony,” beautiful.

So I took her on this cruise through the Panama Canal for our honeymoon and I wanted to get a bit--you know costs money but I wanted to get a mid-range room because (uh) with a balcony, and our friend was a travel agent she got us an upgrade. And it was so exciting because the only thing above us was the presidential suite and nobody was in there and so our butler and maid said you wanna see the presidential suite? And we ended up getting a room with a butler and a maid and a balcony on this beautiful ship and it was so nice and I was so happy I could do that for her. (Audience laughs)

Cause you know it--we made some memories course, she lost the pictures for ten years but she did find them again. (Laughs) So we’re gonna go look at them again and remember what happened.

But (uh) can you imagine? Jesus loves His bride more than any husband loves his bride. He wants to bless you with things you cannot even imagine. “The appearance of the city, the light was like a most precious stone even like jasper, clear as crystal.” Can you hear John groping for words to try to explain what he’s seeing? “The length and the breadth and the height of it are of equal proportion.”

Some artists have tried to depict that and Jim Arrabito, he--he painted it he thought maybe that’s why the Egyptians did the pyramids the way they did. Maybe some of them had an insight on the city of God. And (uh) they wondered if maybe it’ll have that kind of shape. One thing I know is that it is gonna be well founded and it will never topple.

DB—Sermon Question #4: Number four. What phenomenal features of this majestic city assure every citizen eternal vigor and youth?

Well, for one thing it tells us that there’s a river that flows from the throne of God. Now I want you to think about this river for a minute. I’ve seen the Amazon, I’ve seen the Mississippi, I’ve seen the Nile, I’ve not seen the Yangtze, but (uh) many of the great--Missouri, many of the great rivers of the world, and (uh) they’re pretty wide.

Picture if you will, all four of those rivers combined into one except—they’re not muddy, the banks are lined with beautiful trees beyond description, much bigger than the Redwoods, symmetrical in every way, no twig or branch that’s out of shape or dried, and the water is so clear you can see every fish and creature that’s in there, and all you have to do is lean over and drink it and it’s perfectly pure, and it is--there’s a roar as it comes. I’ve been there at Iguazu Falls and it’s just a deafening roar. I’ve been at Niagara, nothing like this—coming up from out of the throne of God—I wonder how big that throne is.

Picture if you will a river 50 miles across, I mean think about it: this river irrigates the planet, it’s the central water supply—God is the power supply; His throne is the water supply, right? He is the light of the world, He is the living water. And all life in this world comes from water. And that water is gonna flow, I think, out of the four sides of the city; it will part from the throne of God the way it came out of Eden, and irrigate the whole planet.

Now what’s really something is it says in the midst of the city on either side of the river is this one tree. Can you imagine if the river—it’s the tree of life—if the River is 50 miles across, and it maybe bigger, you say Doug, I can’t imagine that, well, that’s what God said, you can’t imagine it.

If the river is 50 miles across and this one tree is on either side, the only way I can put that together is somehow the roots go together under the river, the branches grow together over the river, and it’s a massive tree which makes sense because it tells us that the redeemed are all gonna eat from this tree.

It’s a tree of life and I mean you need a lot of fruit for all the redeemed, right? Twelve different kinds of fruit 12 times a year—better than Baskin and Robins with 31 flavors—that’s a hundred and forty-four different kinds of fruit, right? So if you don’t like the first flavor; there’s something about that fruit, remember God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden and said lest they take and eat of the tree of life and live forever.

And the whole purpose of the plan of salvation is God wants you to live forever. We don’t know why people get old and die. We don’t know why people get sick and die. If evolution was as effective as we’re led to believe why don’t people live longer than turtles? You know one of the longest living things was a pike, a fish. They got birds that lived 80 years. God designed us to live forever. Sin is an enemy.

And by the way, at the end of out program tonight I’m gonna have special prayer. I wanna pray because Jesus also wants to heal us in this life. We wanna pray for healing now and spiritual healing that we can be in that kingdom forever, amen?

“The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Now that confuses people they say: Pastor Doug, why would we need healing in heaven? Notice it doesn’t say healing of the sick. It’s a different kind of healing. First of all, I guess every part of the tree is edible. You can eat the leaves, you can eat the fruit.

But (uh) as we gather under the leaves of that tree all of the national barriers that divide us in this world—nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom—will be dissolved cause we will all be one nation there.

So the divisions of nations will be healed but beyond that. I think it says in Malachi chapter 4, we will go forth and grow up. You know man has been dwarfed, we are virtual pygmies compared to what God had for Adam and Eve. And after we’re resurrected I think that we’re gonna grow up into the stature of what God’s original plan was for humanity. The image of God, to some extent, has been effaced from humans.

And as we gather and eat from that tree of life—and I don’t know if we’re gonna nibble on the leaves like mint or something, but somehow we will continue to grow up into what God had planned for us.

DB—Sermon Question #5: Number five. No one is gonna be sick there. Is it true that this amazing city will descend to this earth?

Yes, we’ve read it to you, John 20 (uh) says in Revelation 21 verse 2: “I, John, saw the Holy City and the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven.” Now some have wondered: where’s the Garden of Eden now?

I believe before the Lord destroyed the earth with a flood, the very fact that the tree of life appeared in the garden, God could have cut the tree down but He didn’t cut the tree down, did He? He said Adam out of the garden, I’m preserving the tree. And I think before the flood God assumed, He raptured up the garden.

Keep in mind, God created the whole earth but He planted the garden Himself. “The Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden.” Said that’s My garden I’m saving it, put a lot of work into it. He’s going—He’s assumed it, it’s in the city of God, it’s the central park if you will, of the New Jerusalem, amen? And He’s gonna bring it back down to earth. And if God could catch the garden up He could bring the city down, right? That’s what He’s doing.

Where we gonna ultimately live after the 1,000 years? Right here! God is going to fulfill His original plan. “Blessed are the meek they will inherit the earth.” And we’re not only gonna live in the city, we’re gonna have country homes. He says, “Behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth.”

People wonder about this they say: Pastor Doug, why is God making a new heaven was something wrong with the other heaven? How could heaven need recreating? In the (uh) Bible the Jewish word there they had three terms for heaven. The word “heaven” not only meant the place where God dwells, that was called the third heaven. Have you ever heard someone say: Ahh, I was in seventh heaven—that’s not in the Bible, there’s only three.

And by the way, there are some churches that teach there are varying levels of heaven. They get segregated heaven, did you know that? Yeah, but depending on your behavior and your status you could be in different levels in heaven. That’s sad.

But there are three words used for heaven (uh) or the word “heaven” could be interpreted three ways. One time “heaven” it meant the atmosphere around the world where the birds fly, where the clouds float. Is our air polluted right now? That’s why it says the heavens dissolved with a great noise. It’s the atmosphere around the planet, the heavens. Remember God separated the heavens in Genesis? It talked about the atmosphere with the waters.

Then you’ve got the second heaven which is the place where the sun, moon, and stars are floating—the heavenly bodies. The third heaven is the dwelling place of God, the capital of the universe where His throne is, paradise, if you will, amen? So when God says I’m making a new heaven and a new earth that means the world and its atmosphere. Okay?

DB—Sermon Question #6: What will happen, number six, to sinners?

(Uh) This isn’t so pleasant but we need to tie off what we studied about the millennium. When the New Jerusalem comes down, remember the wicked are resurrected—“The rest of the dead live not again till the thousand years are finished.” At the end of the 1,000 years, they come out of their graves.

And the Bible tells us that after their judgment Satan tries to rouse them for a final assault, they turn on the devil, ultimately. And God reigns—every tongue confesses; every knee bows to Jesus. Everyone is judged, the great white throne judgment. God reigns, fire down out of heaven upon the wicked and it does what? It devours them.

“And again all that are proud, yeah all that do wickedly shall be stubble.” The day that comes will burn them up. They burn forever or they burn up? Devoured, perished, burned up—no more pain, all things new; ashes under the soles of your feet.

“The elements will melt with fervent heat.” Where is hell gonna burn?—Washington D.C., all over the planet, right? It’s gonna purify this planet all outside the city. Can you see why the walls need to be hundred and forty-four cubits thick? It’s gonna insulate us from what’s happening outside. That’s why it says great and high, two hundred and eighteen feet thick.

And Malachi 4 goes on to say, “You’ll go forth and you’ll tread down the wicked for they’re ashes under the soles of your feet.” Those who have persecuted you, your enemies, all the evil—under the feet in the Bible means in total submission. You will have the victory over your persecutors in that sense.

Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, who’s gonna dwell there? The meek and the righteous; where in dwells righteousness. God is offering you His righteousness now so that you can dwell there then. Amen? It’s available.

DB—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. What refreshing, thrilling promises does God make regarding the city to His people who enter the new kingdom?

This is some of the best news. When you think about all the wonderful things in heaven, what really gets you excited? (Uh) I’ll tell you one thing that I really think about—being able, not being quarantined to this planet, being able to travel to other realms, won’t that be something? That’s not in the Bible but it’s in that song “Rock of Ages.” “I’ll soar to worlds unknown”—that’s what I wanna do.

(Uh) Some kids always say: Ahh, I wanna slide down the neck of a giraffe, or I wanna hug a lion, or you know these different scenarios. I wanna be able to (uh) talk to the patriarchs and well, I’ll have some questions. But the best thing is, Martin Luther said is God Himself will be with us, to be able to see God face to face as that song says. Won’t that be something?

A) “The Lord in person will live with them.” God with us! Jesus said Father I pray that they might be with Me where I Am. God wants to be with us. Can you understand why the wicked run from the wrath of the Lamb because they have spurned His sacrifice cause He wanted to be with them? He proposed with His very blood.

B) They’ll never become bored. “There will be pleasures at His right hand forevermore.” (Uh) Sometimes we think I’d--I’d like to have heaven but I would rather have a nickel now than a thousand dollars later. You ever known a child like that? You say would you rather have you know one piece of candy now or a birthday cake in an hour? When they’re immature they say I want my candy now, right? And some of us have never outgrown that.

Moses is accounted a son of God because he was willing to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. There is a certain amount of transitory pleasure of sin but it’s nothing compared to the eternal pleasures without guilt that God is offering those who serve Him here now, amen? Why would you sacrifice that?

C) There’ll be no more death, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more tears, no more hospitals, no tragedy or disappointments, trouble, hunger, thirst. As I’ve said there’ll be no more cemeteries—lot more room, no golf courses, some people are mad at me now. Oh, I don’t know maybe they’ll let you golf. But I--I fly every now and then and they take up a lot of room, you’d be surprised.

D) It tells us, “We’ll run and not be weary, we’ll walk and not faint, we’ll mount up, they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like an eagle.” Any of you ever get sick and tired of being sick and tired? You’ll never have that fatigue there. You’ll have eternal vigor and youth all the time and yet you’ll still be able to rest. But it will be like God rested when He created the world—not from fatigue, but just rejoicing, reveling in what He’s made. Won’t that be wonderful?

E) E. Every saved person will be physically whole in every way. The deaf will hear, the blind will see, the dumb will sing, the lame will be able to run—I will have hair like Absalom (Audience laughs) when I get to heaven.

Any of your defits that you--deficits you have in this life will be compensated when you get there. Now I’ve got a theory I can’t prove it but knowing the Lord. Sometimes as I travel I rent cars, frequently. And I usually reserve a certain car, I get a special rate cause I travel so much. Sometimes I get there because there’s a convention, all the cars are gone they say your car is gone. I go oh no, but they say but we’ll have to upgrade you to the next car. They don’t ever downgrade you, they upgrade you. Because if they--you don’t have the--you know, the midsize whatever the cars that I rent they say we’re gonna upgrade you.

I remember I flew in to St. Louis not too long ago and I went in there and there’s a problem with my car and while the girl there at the national desk was typing and she’s looking at me she went: are you on TV? I’m always afraid to answer that question cause sometimes I go yes, and they go: you’re that car salesman, aren’t you? (Audience laughs)

See, you never know what they’ll gonna say so I said yes. I watch your program it’s the amazing—amazing…and they couldn’t remember the name. And she said: let me see what I can do for you, says I’m gonna give you an upgrade. Said, oh bless your heart. I was so happy because I--you know I always like that. And so she said: how’d you like a convertible? (Audience laughs) And I looked outside it was snowing (Audience laughs) and I said, I said: well, I don’t know if I’ll be able to enjoy that right now. She says: oh that’s what I’m thinking. She’s--she types in, sees something, she said: you go out there, there is a car right out there.

She gave me a Cadillac (Audience says “Wow”) with a heated steering wheel. It was great! As I first got in I thought, oh heated steering wheel what’s the matter with people? But the car was cold it was kind a nice that’s with a heated steering wheel, and all these little features I couldn’t imagine.

Friends, you can’t imagine what God’s prepared for you. Everything that you—I think He’s got special upgrades for everybody. Some of you who can’t sing you’ll be leading the choir. Those of you who have trouble walking now you will be the fastest runners there then, right? A—and some of you—you who have trouble hearing you’ll be able to hear a thousand miles like superman when you get there, right? And you’ll be able to smell like a Basset Hound—that could be taken either way. (Audience laughs) But what I meant by that is you’ll have a very sensitive smell. (Audience laughs)

What about our attitudes? Will there be any of the anger and relationship problems that we have in this world? No! Jealousy, fear, hatred—and this is in Revelation 21, 8 verse 27—“jealousy, fear, hatred, falsehood, envy, impurity, cynicism, filth, worry, all evil will be forever shut out of God’s kingdom.” There’ll be nothing evil there—only good, good. What was the Garden of Eden like? Good, good, very good. God is gonna restore things except it’s gonna be an upgrade. It’ll be even better than it was before, amen? (Audience says “Amen”)

DB—Sermon Question #8: Number eight. How will the new earth dif—differ from our world today?

Well, there will be some differences but there’re improvements.

A) Answer A. It says there will be no more sea. That doesn’t mean there’ll be no more water—we already know there’s a river of water—it means there’s no more briny, salt water that stings your eyes. There’ll--there’ll be beautiful bodies of water but they will not be the vast oceans that separate loved ones now. I believe it’s gonna be wa--pools and lakes and ponds that are irrigated by the river of God and springs all over the planet—it’s gonna look like a park everywhere, amen?

B) It tells us that the desert will become like a garden. It’ll blossom like the rose. Think about the most beautiful earthly garden you’ve seen and it will be nothing compared to what God has planted there.

C) Answer C. The animals will all be tame. None of them will hurt or destroy, none will prey upon others. And you know one reason I’m a proponent of vegetarianism is not only because the science evidence is in--and you’ll be healthier now if you avoid cholesterol and animal products, do you all know that? That’s not just Bible truth it’s scientific fact that most people know. But in addition, I’m getting used to the menu of heaven. We are not gonna be naming the animals—when Adam named the animals he didn’t name them Big Mac, (Audience laughs) Mc Nuggets, Buffalo wings, (Audience laughs) did he? No, they were his friends. (Audience still laughing) I mean things are corrupted now, amen? So you wanna get used to that. (Audience clapping)

I’ve got another amazing fact for you. Do any of you remember a book called, “Little Tyke”? How many of you remember the story of the book? This is a true story. Back in I think it was 1957, 58, this very vicious lioness continued to kill her litters at the zoo. And (uh) finally, one of her keepers—she had another litter and she was trying to kill one of the cubs and they reached through the bars and they rescued this little cub and they called it “Little Tyke.”

It needed a lot of care, the mother would not care for it so they gave it to the Westbeau family that was living in Hidden Valley Ranch near—they lived in a place called Hidden Valley Ranch where they took her, whole menagerie of different animals, near Seattle. And they nursed little Tyke, this lioness cub, and she began to gain strength and they tried to then feed her what lions would eat but they couldn’t get her to eat meat. And they started saying well something wrong with this lion but she continued to thrive and all the vegetables and grains and everything else that could be eaten.

People said the lion is not gonna live unless you can get her to eat meat, something wrong with this lion. They put a little blood in her milk, she wouldn’t drink it. She was revolted by meat; a very peaceful lion.

Here we get pictures of her lying down with a lamb. And this is actually a photograph of someone trying to give Little Tyke some meat in a butcher shop—you see her turning away in disgust? They couldn’t get her to eat meat; there she is drinking milk with a lion—lived a full life as a lion, grew to full stature, had a healthy life, never ate meat—vegetarian lion. Can you imagine that? (Audience laughs)

So those who say well, but yeah you know this is all a myth because everybody knows lions have those teeth, they’re carnivores, they got to eat meat or they can’t live. “The lion will eat straw like the ox.” I believe God’s word, don’t you? (Audience says “Amen”)

Finally, the Westbeaus, someone who read the Bible said you haven’t read your Bible, has you? If you read the Bible it says in heaven the lions are vegetarians. And they finally gave up trying to force her to eat meat and she thrived. If a lion can do it, you can do it, amen? (Audience says “Amen”) Amen! That’s a good point! (Laughs) (Audience laughs)

D) There’s no more curse. Where the thorns and thistles first appear because of sin—when Jesus died on the cross He was crowned with thorns because He became a king of sin so to speak, He took the weight of the curse on His very head; all the guilt of the curse of the race He took upon Himself.

Nothing—and you know some are gonna say: well, Doug, are there gonna be mosquitoes there? I hope not! If they’re there, I hope they’re cuter than they are (Audience laughs) now. And they won’t be, won’t be eating blood.

E) It goes on to say there’s no more violence of any kind. Won’t have to lock your doors—if you even have doors, you’ll have nothing to hide. Probably have your windows open all the time just be waving in to your friends, flying in, mount up with wings like eagles. People ask: will we be able to fly? I think so! I don’t know what kind of wings we’ll have.

Nothing there that defiles. So if Daniel made up his mind not to be defiled, if we choose to keep our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit we should eliminate those things that are defiling, amen? God will give you the grace to do that. And sometimes it’s a struggle, friends. Don’t become discouraged. It took me a while to quit smoking. And if you quit and fail quit again. I tried to quit dozens of times before I quit, quit. (Audience laughs)

If you’re struggling with drinking or some of these other things don’t give up. God won’t give up on you. The danger is that you’ll give up thinking that He’ll forgive you. He’s got a lot more mercy than you have repentance. And so don’t be afraid to come back if you fail. But He can cleanse you. He can make you an overcomer.

Book of Revelation begins by saying to him that overcomes, to him that overcomes, to him that overcomes—seven times Jesus says that. Do you think He would finish by saying: now it’s not actually possible to overcome I just said that for emphasis? Yes, you can be an overcomer, amen? (Audience says “Amen”)

DB—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. There will be children in the kingdom, won’t they? If so, will they grow up?

Yes! It says in Zechariah 8 verse 5, “And the streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.” Now if our kids get out in the street we have to worry. Just this afternoon, our son Steven wanna know if he could go outside and you know there’s--we’re in an apartment complex and there’s--you worry t--they’re just going outside. You not only worry about all the creepy people that live in the world today but sometimes you’re worried about even the other kids, right? Won’t have to worry there—go play. Pixy, go play in the street, (Audience laughs) go play in the streets of gold—won’t have to worry.

DB—Sermon Question #10: Number ten. When reunited with our loved ones in heaven will we know each other?

People always ask us, you know when I see Grandma on heaven how am I gonna recognize her will she still be all wrinkled and? Noooo! Everybody is gonna be invigorated but our discernment will not be less there, it will be better than it is here. It says, “Then we will know even as we are known.” So grandma will be ravishing, right? Yeah, she’ll have a glorified body you’ll still know it’s her. And somehow God is gonna let them keep an element of their experience and education that they have from this life and take it with them there, so they’ll still be respected for their status in that sense. But (uh) be youthful, I don’t know what that perfect age is—I think it’s 48. (Audience laughs)

DB—Sermon Question #11: Number 11. Will people in heaven be real flesh and bone? Are we gonna be ghosts?

The Bible says, “Jesus Himself stood among them and He said, peace be to you.” What kind of body did Jesus have? They were terrified and (uh) frightened; they thought they were seeing a Spirit. He was dead and here He is. Jesus wanted to make it clear He said: “Why are you troubled? Why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet that it is I Myself. Handle Me, feel Me and see, for a Spirit doesn’t have flesh and bone as you see that I have.”

He’s saying, “I’m real.” He did everything He could to punctuate that He had a real body after the resurrection. And while they didn’t believe for joy He then asked them if they had anything to eat. And the word “meat” there means food. And they gave him a piece of boiled fish and a honey comb. And He sat down and ate in front of them to emphasize I’m real, I’m eating.

Are we gonna just float around on clouds in heaven? When He went out of Bethany He ascended up to heaven, He took that same body with Him and they said, this same Jesus who’s ascending into heaven He will come in the same way that you saw Him go into heaven, amen?

And they’re showing—I’m rushing through those very quickly cause we’ve studied this very well. Same Jesus is coming back—what kind of body? Philippians chapter 3 verse 20. “The Lord Jesus Christ shall change our vile body that it might be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” We will have glorified, immortal bodies that will never fatigue.

DB—Sermon Question #12: Number 12. How will the righteous spend their time in eternity in their heavenly kingdom?

So many people have misconceptions. If people really could see what heaven’s like, if you could have a vision of heaven now it’d be so much better, so much easier for you to live a godly life. People have this medieval concepts that we’re just gonna float around like these little fat babies you see everywhere you know. (Audience laughs) I don’t know if I wanna go to heaven, be a naked baby on a cloud playing a harp. (Audience laughs).

We got another little picture of heaven for you. We’re gonna roll this. What are we gonna do in heaven? We’re gonna just strum harps and just float on clouds? It’s a real city, (Sound effects starts) amen? And it’s bigger and brighter than anything you can imagine. Try and picture a glowing city three hundred and seventy five miles, everybody is in perfect health and vigor, everybody is good, everybody is loving, no feelings, no lack of trust, and the most important thing—Jesus will be there.

The only flaw in heaven will be that the scars of His redeemed—you and I, will be in His hands. And there may be some who need to say: Lord what happened to your hands?—some of the people from the Old Testament time. Wolf will lay down with the lamb and a little child will lead them, amen?

It’s all very real, friends. And you know anything we might do to try to help convey it is very feeble—nothing can come up to the measure of trying to help you picture what God has in store. And we’ll be able to leave this planet; we won’t be quarantined because of sin anymore. We’ll be able to soar through the universe. We’ll be ambassadors for God because His capital will be here. (Sound effects stops) Isn’t that be wonderful to think about and be able to visit unknown realms and just go—and you know what? You’ll never reach the end of it, will you? And yet God Himself will be with us.

Bible says they will build houses and inhabit them. Now who’s making our city home? Jesus says I go to prepare a place for you. He’s making a mansion for us in the city, right? But we get to go forth from there and build our country home, just the way you wanna build it because God made us to create, He wants us to be useful. God didn’t make us to just float on clouds and strum harps. He wants us to be real people doing real things.

The Bible says, “They’ll build houses and inhabit them, they’ll plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them, they’ll not build and another inhabit; they’ll not plant and another eat from mine elect will long enjoy the fruit of their hands.”

I heard a story one time about this very rich duchess and she had a chauffeur who was a dedicated Christian and he always looked like he was dressed a little bit slovenly. And (uh) she said you know I pay you well, why don’t you spend more money on your attire? And I’ve seen the kind of car you drive when you’re not in the limousine, you could afford a better car than that. And he said, well, madam, you know I do a lot to support mission work and I give a lot to the church. She said, well, you just--you need to think more about yourself, you think too much about others.

Well, they both died, went to heaven as the story goes. And when they’re in heaven the angel is taking this duchess around and he says: and here’s your mansion. And there in the city she’s got you know a modest little mansion and she’s very happy with it but she looks up on the hill and she sees this big’o gorgeous mansion, she says: that belong to one of the patriarchs, or kings, or prophets? Said, no that belongs to your chauffeur. (Audience laughs) She said what? What are you telling me? Says he was my chauffeur; he’s in that exquisite mass of mansion up there? Said yeah! How did that work out? And he said well, he just sent a lot more material ahead than you did. (Audience laughs)

Where are you storing your treasure? If you’re storing all your treasure here now you’re gonna have a little house up there. (Laughs) (Audience laughs) If you wanna have a nice mansion there, you need to start sending on ahead now, amen?—investing in heaven.

DB—Sermon Question #13: Number 13. What other thrilling activities will the redeemed be engaged in?

(Uh) Some of these are review but I wanna share it again. The Bible says, “The eyes of the blind will be opened,” be able to see like an eagle. “The ears of the deaf will be unstopped.” Then it tells us, “The lame man will leap like a hart.” A hart is a deer jumping like a gazelle. “And the tongue of the dumb shall sing. And they’ll not hurt and destroy in all My holy mountain. The wolf also will dwell with the lamb and a little child will lead them. They’ll sing and will be able to play heavenly music.” Won’t that be something, friends?

I’m looking forward to singing in heaven. You know I--I’m reluctant to sing cause sometimes my voice wavers and I--I get off key and problem is I get better ear than vocal cords so I hear when I’m off key. If you don’t know when you’re off key you can make a joyful noise and be happy. (Audience laughs) But I’ve got the worst of both worlds cause I’ve got a good ear and a bad voice so I know when I’m off key—but it sounds good in the shower. (Audience laughs)

And (uh) but there, everybody will be able to sing and you’ll be able to play and you’ll have a lot to sing about, amen? Forever—and we’ll be singing new songs. We’ll get to visit with our loved ones and the patriarchs and prophets, and there’s gonna be some blessed reunions there.

You got some loved ones that you like to see? I think I told you when (uh) my grandpa died. Even though he was my Jewish grandpa he used to believe in Jesus and I--I prayed with him and kissed him goodbye, and he said Dougie, I’ll see you in heaven I’m gonna die tomorrow—and he did—on his birthday. And I’m hoping to see poppy in heaven. And he’ll have (uh) a glorified body.

But you know what’s really gonna be special? Some of us have lost children. Karen and I laid our son, Micah, in the grave. Died in the construction accident and oh, it’ll be so nice to get to heaven and see our loved ones. And some--I remember showing a slide one time in a meeting like this of an angel handing a baby to a mother. And that lady came up afterward she said can you get me a copy of that picture? I’ve buried two of my children that died in infancy and I’m looking forward to heaven so much, I wanna see them then.

There’ll be some reunions there, friends, and we’re gonna know each other. Oh I wanna talk to David. I wanna ask him what it was like when he stood before Goliath. Did he tremble at all? I wanna talk to Abraham and ask what was it like when you heard God say: take your son and bring him up there? We’re gonna have a lot of questions.

We’ll travel and explore without ever becoming weary through the cosmos—not the speed limit, not 55 or 85, but we’re gonna be going not the speed of sound, what is that 600 and 50 miles an hour? Not the speed of light—a hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second, we’ll be traveling the speed of thought. There’s a whole another measurement we don’t know nothing about, it’s the speed that angels travel.

And you know we’ll gather together, we’ll come back, it won’t take long, we’ll gather together, God Himself is the temple and who will be the preacher? We will hear the word of God—how many of you wished you could have lived back when Jesus lived and hear Him preach, and sit at His feet like Mary did? You can! When you get to heaven He’ll be there and you’ll be able to sit at His feet and He will teach and preach.

And you think, oh, but I want some time alone with Jesus, there’ll be so many people. Don’t worry, you’ll have a zillion years, you’ll get your turn. He’ll have time for you and it’ll be worth waiting for, amen? You’ll have quality, uninterrupted time, Jesus is gonna say I’ve got an appointment with you, it is a billion years form now but just you and Me. And you get to look forward to it. (Audience laughs)

Worship before God’s throne. We’ll be able to study, we’ll never cease. You know right now the closer you look through a telescope or a microscope, when you look at what God made you see more perfection. And through the eternal ages we’ll be looking at the creative genius of God and our minds will never be able to stop praising Him for the wonders that He’s made, and just rejoicing in it. That’s what God planned for Adam and Eve. He wanted them to work in the garden just go, wow…woww! And forever you’ll be saying praise God, wow. That’s what it will be like.

The Bible tells us that God will sing. It’ll be something for us to all to sing on key, amen? It’ll be something to hear the angels sing. But then they’ll all silence their harps and then God will sing. Can you imagine how that will thrill your soul?—to your very core?

Can human feeble language describe the wonders that God has prepared? We can’t even begin to imagine it, friends. The Bible says in I Corinthians 2 verse 9: “The eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard, neither has even entered into the heart of man,” meaning the imagination of man, “the things that God has prepared for those that love Him.” It is a wonderful upgrade that you can’t fathom. Is it worth it?

What in this world is worth sacrificing eternal life with Jesus for? “Pleasures at His right hand forevermore,” will you sacrifice that for the passing guilty, wicked, defiling pleasures of this world? That’d be so sad. That would be like a teenager saying: I’d rather have a matchbox car than a brand new Mustang. I mean why would you wanna trade the passing pleasures of this life that don’t even satisfy for eternal life and Jesus?

The Bible tells us, II Corinthians, there are struggles in this life, that’s right—“For our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us,” look at this beautiful language, “a far, more, exceeding, eternal weight of glory.” Yes, there are struggles!

You know I’ve discovered in life the way the devil operates you get a little bit of pleasure and then you feel bad for a long time. You’ll have that buzz from the drug and then the withdrawal—I know what it feels like, you’ll have the high from the alcohol and then the shame making a fool out of yourself. You’ll have the passing pleasure for a moment and then the guilt of an improper relationship and the shame.

But the things that God offers, there is self denial but then lasting pleasure. There’s a struggle against temptation but then self respect and dignity. And you just have to decide which end you wanted on. Do you want just the temporary pleasure: give me my candy now and lose eternity? Or are you willing to say: Lord, I’m willing to suffer affliction with the people of God now. Keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and think about the eternal reward—it depends, do you believe it’s real?

You know whenever you’re tempted if I could show you a real video of heaven, temptation would evaporate just like that, am I right? Because you have instant perspective because you believe—if I could transport you right now to heaven and show you like a prophet in a vision what God has prepared you can find it a lot easier to resist temptations. So the question is: do you believe what God has said and His word is real? If you believe it’s real you’d find it a lot easier to say no to the devil and yes to God, amen?

In that kingdom the former painful memories will not be remembered, they won’t even come into mind. God will wipe all the tears from our eyes. Is this kingdom being prepared for me personally? Yes! Jesus is saying it’s for whomsoever will, are you a whomsoever? He wants you to be in that kingdom. He said I’ve gone to prepare a place for you—for you, yes, you! Each one of you! He’s gone to prepare a place for you. What a shame if it’s vacant when He comes because you don’t believe it’s there. There’s room for you.

How can I be assured of a place in that kingdom? Well, the Bible says Jesus stands at the door and He knocks and He’s asking you to open the door. He’ll come into your heart because the kingdom of heaven is at hand now! It’s at hand now! You don’t have to wait till then when Jesus comes. In heaven is wherever Jesus is, friends. It begins now and the reality of that kingdom will expand from there on. You can have a place in that kingdom now by inviting the King into your hearts.

He said, “Blessed are those who do His commandments that they might have a right to the tree of life and enter in through the gates of the city”—last chapter in the Bible, friends. That’s why we’ve made an issue of this. God wants to come into your heart and then help you be a doer of His will. This is what real Christianity is about! Because you love Him! He wants you to eat from that tree. He says you’ll be blessed, but you need to trust Him enough to obey Him. He that overcomes will inherit all these things. The blood of Jesus Christ is what makes that possible.

You know before Karen and I travel to a foreign country, we do it frequently. (Uh) Last year we went to New Guinea, we’ve been to Russia, Australia, Korea, we like to study about the different customs of the place we’re going. I really enjoyed going to India—trying to learn a few words, find out how they dress, what do they eat?—so that you can be prepared.

You know, friends, we’re getting ready to go to another world and God has called us now to be ambassadors. We should now be finding out how do they talk in heaven? Start talking that way now. How do they spend their time? They glorify God, do it now. Do they dress differently? They spend their means differently? I don’t think there’s money in heaven, what do you think? We’re walking on gold what are we gonna buy? (Laughs) (Audience laughs) But the idea is He wants to take you to that place.

You know Jesus appears as a lamb and a lion. First, you must accept Him as your Lamb if you’re gonna be able to face Him as a Lion. He came the first time as a Lamb; He’s coming the next time as a Lion. You don’t need to be afraid of the lion if you first know Him as a Lamb. Have you accepted the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world? Is that your desire, friends? I wanna be in that land, don’t you?

A father took his boy to a city pound—I did this with Steven about a year ago, got him a dog, didn’t buy an expensive one, I get these dogs that need homes—they had a pure-bred Lab there. Father took a boy there and he looked at all these different dogs and he saw one dog in the cage yapping a mongrel, tail was wagging furiously, and said: Dad, I want that one. And the father said: ah he looks like a mutt. I want that one. Says, why do you want that one? Says, he’s got a happy ending. (Audience laughs)

God has a happy ending for you, friends. There is a land that is fairer by day, and by faith we can see it afar, for our Father waits over the way, (Background music starts) to prepare us a dwelling place there.

He wants you there, He wants you there. He’s prepared this very real place for you. It would not be appropriate if I close this series today without giving you an opportunity to respond to Jesus in a special sense. Are there some of you here—and the Holy Spirit has been speaking to your heart and you say, you know I’ve been distracted by the world, my focus has been down here, and I want God to change my focus. I wanna fix my eyes on Jesus.

Is that your desire, friends? Would you like to say, Lord, do in my life whatever you need do to prepare me to be a stone in that temple. Right now the kingdom of heaven can begin in your heart. Would you like to be there?

There maybe some of you here and you know that in your heart you have not made that firm decision to say, Lord, I really want to accept you and make you the king of my life. I’m ready this morning, this afternoon, to say no turning back. I’m gonna put Jesus before me. I’m gonna give Him the throne of my heart that I could be there in that kingdom. I wanna trust you. I wanna have my priorities too, here it is: seek first your kingdom and your righteousness.

Are there any here who would like to stand now and say, Lord, that’s my desire? I’ve been struggling and--and I wanna make that decision now to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness? Those who are watching make that decision now. Today if you hear His voice don’t harden your hearts.

You know before we close I wanna do something special. I’m gonna invite John to kneel with me and we want to pray for you. You can just stand where you are.

Father in heaven, we are praying that you’ll pour out your Spirit on these people. You see into their hearts their decisions to seek first your kingdom. The devil has a thousand distractions out there—infinite number, but we pray that you’ll help us to be myopic. Help us to fix our eyes on Jesus where He is our all and all.

Come into our hearts. We know He stands at the door and knocking. We come as we are, Lord, we’re sinners. We pray that the blood of Jesus will wash us from our sins. Clothe us with your righteousness, justify us right now. And then Lord, work in our lives to sanctify us that we can be ready for the Lion when He comes. We’re accepting Him now as our Lamb.

Bless these people, heal their bodies. I pray that you’ll work miracles in their lives that they’ll be able to say something happened that night at that meeting. Do something wonderful for them, heal their souls, bless them and their families, and help us be ready for when Jesus comes which is very soon, we pray in His name, amen.

Back To Top