Do you know how many promises God makes to you and I in the Bible? 7,487 promises. This week, I just want to sit with five of the best and brightest promises God makes to us. If you and I pitch a tent every day this week on another beautiful promise, I believe we’re going to be better off. Today, we’re looking at promise #1: Heaven.
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Okay. You’re not going to believe this, but I think you’re going to love it. Do you know how many promises God makes to you and I in the Bible? 7,487 promises, and every single one you can take to the bank. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica. And notice the word “busy” in the title of this podcast. So, we’re not going to cover all 7,000…. Lemme check this out. I wrote it down, 487 Promises. But how about five? How does that sound to you? I just want to sit with five of the best and brightest promises God makes to us. I just think if you and I pitch a tent every day this week on another beautiful promise, I believe we’re going to be better off, especially with this world wobbling as it is. You and I are going to stand on the promises of God. They are tried and true. Nobody has ever written a song about how small God’s faithfulness is. Great is His faithfulness.
So here we go. Promise number one, the first promise of the week, we are going to pitch a tent on one of my favorite topics and it is Heaven. Do you know that the Bible says there is a heaven and there’s a way for you and I to go? Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, for your sins. And all we have to do to open that door to heaven and walk in after we take our last breath is to accept the love of Jesus, to accept his forgiveness of our sins, to just say, Lord, I’m sorry for what I’ve done and I give my life and my heart to you. I accept your love into my heart. That’s all you have to do.
The thief who was crucified next to Jesus? All he had time to do in his life was to believe, to say, Lord, remember me when you enter your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, to I tell you, you’ll be with me in paradise. I could never get into heaven on my score. You could never get into heaven on your score. There’s not enough good we can do to make up the gap in that relationship between God and us. It is Jesus Christ who does the work for us, and we receive the free gift of salvation, of peace here on this earth that we can’t explain most days, and life forever in heaven with him in a perfect place. We get in on Jesus’ score. It’s just the way it works, and I hope it gives you a deep breath and a sigh of relief today.
So let’s dive in. We’re going to be in the gospel of John chapter 14. This is Jesus speaking, and my hope is that right now the shawl of peace, that’s what I like to call it, falls on you as you listen to the words of your Lord.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
My heart feels a little bit less troubled, hearing those words, being reminded that not only is Jesus right now preparing a place for me and for you, he’s going to come back and get us and bring us there and care for us forever. And maybe you’re like me. You’re like, what is heaven going to look like? Well, let’s spend a little more time with John this time in the Book of Revelation. He’s the writer, chapter 21.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared.
By the way, if you’re new to the faith, to this community, just know that John was given a vision of things to come on the isle of Patmos. That’s where he wrote the book of Revelation.
And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. 8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” 9 Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. 12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
For the sake of time, we’re going to skip down to verse 22, now.
22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
And like my friend, Susie, likes to say, once your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, once you’ve accepted the love of Jesus Christ and asked his forgiveness of your sins, it’s written in sharpie. Until next time, you are loved.
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