Midrand Chapel Icon
Midrand Chapel Baptist Church
Sermon Resources

A Glimpse into Heaven on Earth


Main Scriptures
Book: Revelation
Scripture References



Frustration of not knowing the length of load reduction.

If you knew details of the future, you will live differently now.


Likewise, if you knew how heaven will look like, you will live differently know.



Therefore – God has given us a description of Heaven.

So that His children would know – where they are going – and therefore be able to presently live  in light of that.



Just think of the great Patriarch of our Faith – Father Abraham. He fixed his gaze – not primarily on the information he could gather from his surroundings.

But he fixed his gaze on God’s Eschatological promises.

He looked to heaven.

This was really where the substance of God’s promises were for him.  

God promised him:

          A Great NATION with many citizens,

          A Fertile Land

          And the greatest of these was that in his offspring (singular) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen 22:18).

-      None of these things came to fruition in his own lifetime...

-      Was that a shock to him?

-      NO – he understood them to be – primarily futuristic. Eschatological in nature.  

Heb 11:10 says - 10 For he (that is Abraham) was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

He was looking forward to the heavenly city.


This morning, I want to remind you of the FUTURE.

This is God’s load shedding app.

The information about the future that once you know it and live in light of it – you won’t have any regrets about how you spent your time, and what you chose to pursue in this life.


Turn with me therefore to Revelation 21 – for a glimpse into Heaven.

Reveleation 21v 1 - Where God gives the Apostle John, a Vision of the eternal Heaven.





Chronologically – we find ourselves here at the End of the End.


This is after Christ has raptured His Church,

after the subsequent 7 year GREAT TRIBULATION,

when the Lawless One appears – Making Himself out to be God

, the Anti-Christ.

He is then Crushed by the Second coming of Christ,

Who is pictured in Revelation 19 as a Rider on a White Horse, Bolting out of Heaven, followed by the armies of the LORD.


Then, in Rev 20 - He establishes His Kingdom on earth, reuniting Israel and sitting on the throne of David – As He rules the Nations with a Scepter of Iron for a 1000 year period.


This all – is what will happen -  if you take the book of revelation at face value. Staying consistent in how you interpret scripture.


The Devil, who was bound up - is released after this 1000 year period of world piece.

And he goes out to deceive the nations.

Bringing a final rebellion against Christ.

The Battle of Armageddon.

Off course this rebellion is squashed -  Rumpled up –

And the Devil is finally thrown into the everlasting lake of fire.

After that the Book of Life is opened. The dead are judged according to what is written in the book. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was also thrown into the lake of fire.

The Final Day of Judgement.


And then, God turns the page...

And now we can read John’s Vision in REVELATION 21.



21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.


2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.


3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.


4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”


Here in these last two chapters of the Bible – (Revelation 21 and 22) we find the most comprehensive teaching in the Bible on the eternal heaven. The Final State.

This is not the same place where believers immediately go when they die.
This is not where God currently lives.

In fact – no one has ever been here. It does not exist yet.

But this future heaven – will last forever. It is the End of the End, though – in another sense it is the Beginning of a new existence.

Which is described in the last two chapters of our Bibles.

I wish we had time to go through all of it.

But we will only look at the introduction. The first 8 verses.

Which, fortunately serves (as any good introduction should) as a summary for the entire two chapters.


These 8 verses brings together 3 principal descriptions of the eternal Heaven



3 Overarching Descriptions of Heaven


1.   Heaven will be filled with – everything NEW   

2.   Heaven will be filled with Holy Fellowship

3.   Heaven will be filled by those who persistently desire God now


If you just thought of these three truths more often – your life here and now will look radically different.

This is the information God has given you about the future –

If you Heed this information – you will jump for joy at the end

If you ignore this information – you will experience horrifying regret.







After seeing all this dreadful judgement – John now sees v. 1 =



21v1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,




What did John mean when he said – a new heaven and a new earth?


Is this New Creation – A Creation Out of Nothing? As the first was? Where God just spoke – and everything came into existence.

What about the first Creation– where did it go?


John continues verse goes on to explain...


for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away



Does this mean that the Old Creation was annihilated? And effectively REPLACED by a new Creation?

Or does it mean that the Old Creation was RESTORED so radically, that it is now regarded as a NEW Creation?



This is something that sound evangelical theologians are divided upon.


Without going into all the detail – I would like to have a brief look at this.

Because I think it has implications for how we view this earth and also how we view God.


So please turn for a moment to 2 Pet 3  - a key text on this issue.

2 Pet 3 from v. 10


Here Peter is refuting the claim of scoffers who say that God’s future judgement will never happen. It’s all a just a fairy tale... Designed to scare people...


2 Pet3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away (heavens is sometimes used to refer to all of creation – as it seems to do here – so everything will pass away) with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

v. 12 says basically the same thing.

“Dissolved” really does sounds like Annihilation doesn’t it.

If you look at the context here - Peter is arguing here that God’s judgement will come.

And he says it will come just like Noah also predicted judgement will come.

Back up to v. 5)

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished

But does the world that “then existed” and “perished” still exist today?

Yes – Obviously, we are not to think of Annihilation here

And so – neither do we need to think that the “current world” will be Annihilated and Replaced with a New Creation.


So back to Revelation 21.

In what sense is this New Creation then New?


In Greek you can say something is new – as in Recent – by using the word “Neos”

Or you can say something is new –as in – New in Nature – As in Exceedingly improved and advanced. – That is the word Kainos – which Paul uses here.


This same word is used in 2 Cor 5:17 for example:

If anyone is in Christ He is a – NEW – Creation.

Same Greek Word Kainos...



New here therefore means RESTORED – even beyond it’s original glory.


This is actually what Creation is Currently LONGING for...

In Rom 8 we read that Creation is Groaning – waiting to be set free from it’s current bondage to corruption.


This drives me to believe that this world will not be Annihilated, and Replaced.

It will be Totally Transformed  and RENEWED.


So, what does that tell us about God?


That He is A MASTER at RESTORATION projects.

He fixes that which we have broken.

He heals those who have been trampled on

What you and I would discard and replace – He would pick up and turn it into a True Work of Art.


You might think that your life is a mess –

and you think that this world is a mess

Well, your hopelessness would have been spot on if you push God out of the picture.

But He is not out of the picture.

God has the Power to fix your life.

Come to Him with all of your sin. With all of your brokenness.

Our Father is compassionate and skillful.

His gospel transforms sinners into saints.

It restores marriages and heals relationships.

It can set you free from the vilest addictions.


If you would just turn to God in repentance and faith.


Even though, God makes you a new Creature when you come to faith

And even though He continues to transform and sanctify us

We still live in a cursed environment.

A fallen world with thorns and thistles.


But in this Future New Creation – that will be a thing of the past.

Look at v. 5



V5) He who was seated on the Throne said: Behold I am making all things new



Just try and imagine it!


No harmful bacteria’s, no pestilence, no viruses

No deadly animals, or poisonous spiders

No destructive winds or tornados

No changing your gate motor, because of lightning!

We don’t know exactly what will be there and what woun’t be

But -  Whatever is there – will work in perfect harmony.

The ground that was once cursed because of Adam’s sin – will no longer be invested with thorns and thistles.


Whatever you think is Wonderful about creation now – (the beautiful mountains, waterfalls down to the smallest flower – Will be a thousand times better!


All your senses will be working perfectly, better than they have ever been!

Who knows – we might even – in our glorified bodies – receive additional senses.

May that is one of the reasons why we don’t have more information about heaven that what we do have – is that in our current bodies and minds – we woun’t even be able to understand what awaits us – only in our glorified state will we be able to fathom, and experience all that God has for us!


Whatever we perceive in the eternal heaven – John says – will be first and foremost NEW.  


Because that is what God does – He RESTORES, and Transforms.

He makes everything new.




At the end of v. 1 – we read, interestingly -  that there will be no ocean in heaven.


Which, if taken literally, indicates that there will not just be a Moral Transformation in the New Creation, but also perhaps emphasizing again that there will be a COSMIC transformation of the earth.


So – what will heaven be like? 

The First description we get is that – Heaven will be filled with Everything NEW,

-      This should make us marvel at Christ’s work of redemption. Even extending to creation.

-      This should also help us when we get despondent with the effects of the curse on our daily lives. We know that one day, that curse will be lifted.

-      If God can restore the earth – He certainly has the power to restore and transform our marriages, parenting, and our own sinful habits in the present. Which He has promised to do.


That was the first description of heaven.

But v.1 is just the setting.

It just describes the environment that will surround us.

For all it’s glory – it is not the main thing.


My second description of Heaven, is the most important one

2) Heaven will be filled with Holy Fellowship


Let’s read v2)

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

This is a wedding scene.

In any wedding scene – the first thing you want to see is – the BRIDE.


She is called The Holy City, a New Jerusalem.

John gives us a snippet of her here –

            But In the next section - in chapter 21 he will detail all the glories of this wonderful city.

            It’s architecture alone will be breath taking – just imagine a city – that is measured a perfect cube - over 2000 km from side to side.

            To give you an idea 2000km is about the distance from Musina (way up on the South African Border with ZImabwe) all the way down to Cape Town. That is one side of the cube.



But in v.2 – John give us the most radiant thing about this bride.

It is not her Looks – but her HOLINESS that strikes him first.


The people of this city are free from sin.
Separated from anything that is wicked, vile and detestable in God’s sight.


John goes on to describe this city as -  coming down out of heaven from God.

            It is a city – birthed in heaven.

            It is a divine city.

                        Prepared by God as a bride – adorned for her husband.


How can you describe your relationship with Christ to someone?

Is he your buddy? As some make Him out to be?

Is Christ your servant? Kind of like a genie in a bottle?

Or is He a distant Cousin? That you hardly talk to?


The picture we get here is that he is our Husband – to be.


Now we need to bear in mind, that being betrothed to someone in those days was just about the same as being married to them.

It was just about a done deal.


So even though the scriptures does talk about us the church being the bride of Christ presently –

There is a sense in which we are awaiting the consummation of our betrothal to Christ in marriage.


We are awaiting the marriage supper of the Lamb.

We also look forward to this event – where we will come down out of the new heaven as our Lord’s Bride.

In a sense then -  You could think of your relationship with Christ as moving from it’s current state of “engagement” to it’s future, eschatological state – of “married”

It will be so much more – the REAL THING.


Not that any of you – struggle in your relationship with Christ now right?

I mean, your prayer lives can’t get any better...

I know you just have a constant flow of communication with God.

Prayer is just one of those things that you have mastered... Right?


So there will be a New Jerusalem. –

The Old Jerusalem failed to be the place where God was worshiped.

The peoples hearts were far from God.


Even though God made a Covenant with Israel -  to be their God and to take them as His people –

their fellowship with Him was still hindered by their sinfulness.


Remember when God spoke to Israel in His glory from Mt Sinai, when He gave them the Law?

 – they cried out as we read in Deut 5v25

If we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?



Even though God tabernacled with them – it was not in the full sense of the word.

Because of their Sin and His Holiness, He just could not.


But we see here that the Holy Bride of Christ will come down from Heaven to earth.

The people of God will be a NEW JERUSALEM.


And then and only then – can verse 3 really happen -  we read v. 3)


And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

 This is the final complete fulfillment of the Covenantal Promise.


In the New Covenant – God places His Spirit in our Hearts and removes our sins from us –

and So we experience a radically improved level of fellowship with God than that of OT saints.

But still, even for us now who are beneficiaries of the NC in Christ - our fellowship with God is still hindered by our sin..



Christs work on the Cross removed our guilt, and shame.

It has removed the Penalty of sin

it has removes the power of sin – so that we can live Holy in this evil world.

But then – in the eternal state - - God will remove the Presence of sin from all creation.

Only then will the New Covenant be completely fulfilled.



Each time you sin –

You feel distant from God.
you feel dirty,
you feel unworthy,
Your sin has broken your fellowship with God.


We know that our sin does not affect our Relationship to Christ – Positionally.

When you are saved you are imputed with Christs Righteous

You cannot in that sense be any more Holy. (Positionally Speaking).


But Practically – This side of heaven – our fellowship with God is broken each time we sin

And needs to constantly be restored through confession and repentance.



But what Glorious Fellowship awaits us in the Eternal State!

Where we will never have to confess a sin to God again.

Since we will have been made fore-ever holy.



In the Final State we see that the Paradise lost with Adam – Is Found again in Christ.

Restored and Improved beyond measure.

God will be dwelling with Man again –

He will make His abode with me and you where we are...

It will be “heaven on earth” Literally.



No more feeling guilty about how you constantly fall short. There will be no falling short.

No more – fearing that at any moment you may fall into the most grievous of sins and in so doing dishonor Christ.


No more having to fight doubts of – “Am I really saved?”

No more disappointing your loved ones – with your old stubborn fleshly habits.


But there is more...!

We see that not only will the presence of sin be removed – but also it’s painful consequences.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


As Paul quoted Isaiah in 1 Cor 15:54 = Death is swallowed up in victory.


This world is not our Home  -

We are just passing through.

Let us put our eyes – like Abraham did – on the eternal city.

Our Dwelling Place – is With God.


How long will this New Creation Last?

How long will the Holy Fellowship go on for?

See v. 5+6)

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

John is told to write these words – It is done.

Signifying the completion of all of the decrees of God.

The Salvation that Christ accomplished on the Cross – when He said – it is done. Will here, in the eternal state, have been finally fulfilled.

This is the last piece of the puzzle.


Up to this point – We, have been introduced to the eternal Heaven - 

Through brief descriptions...

We have seen that it will be filled with the NEW.

            Restored, Improved, Advanced.

We have seen that it will be filled with HOLY FELLOWSHIP

            God will dwell with us - Christ will have His Bride – with no sin present, not even the consequences of sin will be there to plague us.


The Question now remains – Will you be there?

That brings us to our Final Point



3) Heaven will be filled with those who persistently desire God now


We continue to read from v6 – the second half...


To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”


There are only two end destinations.

You will either end up in Heaven – to dwell with God for all eternity in the New Creation.

Or you will face eternal damnation in Hell.


According to these verses those who will go to heaven are called:

The one’s who are thirsty – who desire God.

Those who do not long for this current world or the things of this world -
But those who long for His coming.


Rev 22:17 – one of the last words in the Bible – we read:

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.



Can I ask you - Do you desire GOD?

Do you want more of HIM in your life?

            What is it that occupies your thoughts?

            Jesus taught that the eye is the gateway to the soul.

            What are you looking at?

            Where do your eyes turn to?


Why are you even here today?

            What do you want out of this gathering?

                        To feel better? Like you have done something good?
                        To chat to your friends
                        To gossip?

Ask yourself – did I came through that front door DESIRING GOD?

            If we really desire to meet with God – the prayer meeting would have been packed.

            So much of our Christianity is just a vail.


Can you say with DAVID in Ps 42:

As a deer pants for flowing streams,

so pants my soul for you, O God.

   My soul thirsts for God,

for the living God.

     When shall I come and appear before God?



It’s easy to Desire God – for a brief time...During a crises.

But when the crises is over to go back to desiring what you really want – Comfort... Security... The praise of Man... The things of this world...


CS Lewis said that the problem is not that our desires are too excessive.
But it is that they are so pitiful

We settle for the thing Created. And we Miss the CREATOR


When God saves a Man – He gives him a new heart – with new Affections.

A Heart With a deep – Persistent Desire for CHRIST, above all else!

A Hunger that can only be satisfied by GOD. By reading His Word, By praising His name, by meeting with His people, by spreading the gospel, by secret prayer.

I am not saying that true believers do not desire other things. Sinful things, at times.

But when God exposes those things to us, we feel ashamed, we RUN to Christ for forgiveness, we lay hold of the Redemption that we have in Him by Grace through Faith.

And God fulfills His promise in James 4:8 which says if you draw close to God (that would be through the gospel), God will draw close to you.


The text gives another description of the kind of people who will fill heaven:

Not only those who are thirsty for God, but also those who conquer...


Paul said in Romans 8, that it is through receiving the love of God, that we are “more than conquerors”

He also said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me in Philippians.

You know what the context is there?


There lies the power of the gospel! To honor the Lord, weather you have much or little.

Only Christ can do that for you.


These two go together, conquering and desiring. They describe the same people.

You conquer sin, by turning away from it to that which you desire more.

You cant just kill sin – you need to replace it, with something that is more desirable = Christ.

The repeated refrain in the letters to the 7 churches, at the beginning of the book of Revelation is what?

“to the one who conquers” I will grant ... some eschatological promise” – basically saying,

To the one who conquers” will be in heaven with God.


            A true believer is not someone who lives in constant defeat against sin.

            A true believer gets up, places his faith in the grace of God and hungers for more of Him.


If you do not – then you are the person in v.8, or one of them:

You are a coward. Faithless. Detestable. Murderer. Sexually immoral. Sorcerer. Idolater.

And incase you say – none of these apply to me – the last one says: And all liars!


Such were some of us right... If it was not for the grace of God.

What will happen to you, if you don’t repent and believe in Christ?

Your portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur...

And the devil will be waiting there for you.


Repent now – while there is still time.


As Jesus said:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?" -Mark 8:36”