When We All Get to Heaven

Series: HOMECOMING!

Lessor 4 – July 21- 27, 2021

AIM:  As we return to the church building, we will be missing some members who have transitioned to their heavenly home due to COVID-19 or other medical issues.  Also, we will encounter members who have had to deal with the death of a loved one during these difficult days.  After studying this lesson, we must realize that there will be a FAMILY REUNION one day, or perhaps we should call it HOMECOMING DAY!

BACKGROUND: 

The disciples were troubled!  They had reason to be troubled!  Several things had happened that would disturb them. . .

  • Divisiveness had set in among them. 
  • Desertion and betrayal by one of them, 
  • Discussion of separation from the Lord, 
  • Denying Jesus had been discussed 

Luke 22:24-27 (NLT) 24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people’.  26 But among you it will be different.  Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?  The one who sits at the table, of course.  But not here!  For I am among you as one who serves.

John 13:18 (ESV) ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’

John 13:33 (ESV) Little children, yet a little while I am with you.  You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 

John 13:38 (ESV) Jesus answered, “will you lay down your life for me?  Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.”

Just as the disciples were troubled, today’s believers are greatly troubled, disturbed, agitated, perplexed, worried, tossed about, confused, and distressed!   How often we need the same words of encouragement and hope – the same deliverance!

John 14:1-3 (KJV)

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

In the above verses, Jesus lets us know that deliverance from trouble comes through five things:

  1. Deliverance through belief (v. 1)
  2. Deliverance through the hope for God’s house and its mansions (v. 2)
  3. Deliverance through Jesus’ work (v. 2)
  4. Deliverance through Jesus’ return (v. 3)
  5. Deliverance through an eternal habitation with Jesus (v. 3)

 

John 3:14b-15 (NCV) 14 . . .the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15 So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in him.

John 11:25 (NIV)  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV) 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV) 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

2 Timothy 2:11 (NIV) Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;

John 5:25 (NIV) Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

John 5:28-29 (NCV) 28 Don’t be surprised at this: A time is coming when all who are dead and in their graves will hear his voice. 29 Then they will come out of their graves. Those who did good will rise and have life forever

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV)

13   But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14   For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16   For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17   Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord

18   Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  1. Return of Christ
  2. The supreme Majesty of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, will rent the skies and miraculously appear in all the spectacular glory, pomp, and power of heaven itself.
  3. When He appears, three spectacular events will occur.
  4. The Lord God Himself will appear “with a shout”!
  5. The word used for “shout” means a military command.
  6. The commander-in-chief of the universe will shout louder than any voice has eve shouted – shout even as He did when He was upon earth.
  7. When He shouts – the dead gets up!

 

John 11:43 (CSB) After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

Matthew 27:50-53 (MSG) 50 But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last. 51-53 At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised. (After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the tombs, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.)

1 Thessalonians 4:16 (AMP)  For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

  • The voice of the archangel will cry out.
  • His shout will probably be the rallying cry for all the armies of the heavenly angels to join in the praise of the glorious event.
  • The trump of God shall sound. 
  • The trumpet has always been for the purpose of arousing attention and warning.
  1. Resurrection of Believers
  2. Second, the dead in Christ shall rise first. 
  3. Only departed believers will arise; no unbeliever will be resurrected at this point.
  4. Only those dead in Jesus Christ will be resurrected when the Lord rents the skies.
  5. Third, we who ae alive will be caught up right after the dead have risen. 
  6. There will be a glorious transformation of our bodies just as there will be of those whose bodies have decayed in the earth.
  7. The change will be as Scripture declares: the infusion of a totally new nature.

 

1 Corinthians 15:53 (KJV) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15:53 (NCV) This body that can be destroyed must clothe itself with something that can never be destroyed. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that can never die.

  1. The nature of the believer’s present body is corruptible and mortal: the nature of his new body will be incorruptible and immortal.
  2. The “corruptible” and “immortal” nature means that believers will be made heavenly, that they will be transformed and given a perfect nature that will never. . . age, deteriorate, die, decay or decompose. 
  3. Note the word “must” in 1 Corinthians 15:53, it shows the absolute necessity for the change of man’s body. 
  4. If man is to live with God, his body must be changed.
  5. It is essential, a must, an absolute necessity if man is to live forever.

 

Luke 20:36  (NCV) In that life they are like angels and cannot die. They are children of God, because they have been raised from the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT) For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

  • The great union of the living with the dead will take place.  Note the emphatic declaration: we “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord.”
  • We shall be reunited with all our loved one, and even more wonderful, ALL believers – our loved ones and those whom we have never known – shall all be united together with our Lord!
  • Comfort one another with these words!!
  1. Realities of Heaven
  1. Death for the Christian is not a miserable END. . .but a glorious EXCHANGE! An exchange of. . .
  2. Earthly toils for heavenly thrills
  3. Earthly discord for heavenly harmony
  4. Earthy crisis for heavenly comfort
  5. Earthly darkness for heavenly delight
  6. Earthly pain for heavenly perfection
  7. Earthly suffering for heaven safety
  8. Earthly poverty for heavenly wealth!
  9. For the Christian, the grave is but a gateway.  The gateway from. . .
  10. Earthly gloom into heavenly glory
  11. Earthly rubble into heavenly riches
  12. Earthly problems into heavenly peace
  13. Earthly miseries into heavenly mansions
  14. Earthly tribulation into heavenly jubilation

Progress in the Journey. . .

  1. Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
    Sing His mercy and His grace;
    In the mansions bright and blessed
    He’ll prepare for us a place.
    1. Refrain:
      When we all get to heaven,
      What a day of rejoicing that will be!
      When we all see Jesus,
      We’ll sing and shout the victory!
  1. While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
    Clouds will overspread the sky;
    But when trav’ling days are over,
    Not a shadow, not a sigh.
  2. Let us then be true and faithful,
    Trusting, serving every day;
    Just one glimpse of Him in glory
    Will the toils of life repay.
  3. Onward to the prize before us!
    Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
    Soon the pearly gates will open;
    We shall tread the streets of gold.

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                         Thank God for the hope of the believer’s reunion when Christ returns or we return home, which ever may come first.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:            Give others hope by sharing they can have a hopeful future.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:                Explain how what Christ has done (death on the cross and resurrection) and will do (returns for believers) gives believers hope.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:                Remember our giving helps others have hope.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:                 If you are in doubt about your future home, reaffirm your relationship with Christ to guarantee success.

NEXT WEEK’S SERIES: Who Moved My Cheese

NEXT WEEK’S LESSON: What happened to my Church?

NEXT WEEK’S READING: Revelation 3:1-7

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