Participants: Lonnie Melashenko
Series Code: VOPS
Program Code: VOPS000022
00:32 Some folks have the idea that
00:34 Heaven is something like a bunch of cumulus clouds
00:38 painted with rainbows
00:39 where spirits play hide-and-seek with ghosts.
00:43 It's kind of like a spook world.
00:44 Pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by, where you float around
00:47 on wispy clouds playing unearthly music
00:50 on immaterial harps forever.
00:54 Well, you know, if I believed Heaven was like that,
00:55 I really wouldn't want to go there.
00:58 I wouldn't be interested, Would you?
01:00 That would really be kind of miserable.
01:03 Interesting that some religions say
01:05 there are three heavens or even some say seven heavens.
01:10 Others say, well, Heaven is not really a literal place at all,
01:13 it's just a state of mind.
01:16 Millions believe.
01:18 "Well, eventually, everybody will end up in Heaven."
01:21 Others argue, well, no, very few will make it.
01:26 Why are there so many different opinions
01:28 when God's Word of prophecy is absolutely filled
01:31 with stupendous details about Heaven,
01:34 this colossal space station up
01:35 there in the sky under construction right now.
01:40 And, friends, the reason God wants us
01:41 to know what Heaven is like,
01:44 is so that we'll want to be there.
01:46 Heaven is not a secret God is keeping from us.
01:51 In many buildings, there are thousands
01:54 of different keys to fit each of the locks
01:57 in those high-rise structures to fit each door.
02:01 When we were down in Caracas, Venezuela,
02:03 we never say a place with more keys and more locks,
02:06 you got have at least eight different keys
02:08 to get inside your little simple apartment building.
02:12 These are pictures we took down there.
02:14 But usually the superintendent of the building
02:16 of course has one key that fits all of those doors,
02:19 called the master key.
02:22 Well, God has one master key that unlocks the mysteries
02:25 about Heaven, fits all the doors.
02:28 And that master key is the Bible.
02:30 And we don't have to be confused
02:31 by human theories or opinions.
02:33 God's Word is a reliable master source
02:36 of information about the future.
02:39 In fact, 2 Peter 1:21 says,
02:42 "...We have the prophetic word confirmed,
02:46 which you do well to heed
02:47 as a light that shines in a dark place,
02:50 until the day dawns
02:52 and the morning star rises in your hearts."
02:56 Now, it may surprise you,
02:57 but God has revealed in His Word.
03:00 Where heaven will be? What heaven will be like?
03:03 Where its capital will be? What people will do there?
03:06 What people will be like there? Where the saved will live?
03:10 And what the capital city will look like?
03:14 So for the next few minutes tonight,
03:16 let's just have a little bit of fun together,
03:18 salve and just kind of stretch our imaginations,
03:20 let's take God's master key,
03:22 the Bible and discover the truth about
03:25 "The Best That's Just Ahead."
03:29 Two years ago Jeannie and I were with a group
03:31 of Voice of Prophecy supporters and we were sailing
03:33 in the Greek Isles in the Mediterranean Sea.
03:35 We stopped by the beautiful, beautiful Isle of Patmos,
03:40 that's where the last living disciple
03:41 John wrote the Book of Revelation.
03:45 John was a prisoner on this isle
03:48 on this God-forsaken rock that's about six miles long
03:52 and three miles wide,
03:53 located there in the bluest of blue Aegean Sea
03:56 that I've ever seen.
03:58 But there God gave him a vision just before he died,
04:01 a glorious preview of the future.
04:05 And John wrote about what he saw here
04:07 in the Book of Revelation.
04:08 We find for example in Revelation 21:1, 2,
04:12 John said, "Now I saw a new heaven
04:16 and a new earth, for the first heaven
04:17 and the first earth had passed away.
04:19 And also, there was no more sea.
04:22 Then I, John, saw the holy city,
04:24 New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
04:27 prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
04:33 I'm a soft touch on a couple of things, one is kids.
04:36 I can clear up pretty quick.
04:39 But I also get choked up at weddings, don't you?
04:43 To me there's nothing more beautiful and radiant
04:46 than a gorgeous bride on her wedding day.
04:50 Well, this heavenly city is like a bride, John tells us.
04:55 And by the way, Heaven isn't something
04:56 that only John saw and only John knew about.
04:59 All of God's prophets through the ages
05:01 have known about Heaven
05:02 because Heaven is a crucial part
05:04 of God's final plan of restoration.
05:08 In fact, Heaven is His surprise wedding present
05:13 for His bride, the church.
05:15 Listen, Acts 3:20, 21,
05:19 "And that He may send Jesus Christ,
05:22 who was preached to you before,
05:24 whom heaven must receive
05:25 until the times of restoration of all things,
05:29 which God has spoken by the mouth
05:31 of all His holy prophets since the world began."
05:35 Restoration it says.
05:37 Now, what is God going to restore?
05:40 God is going to restore everything that
05:43 Adam and Eve lost.
05:46 Some of you already know that I'm a stereo nut.
05:49 I like to listen to good music.
05:51 That great big speakers at home
05:53 and from time to time when I get a chance,
05:55 I go and turn on a brand new CD of some symphony orchestra
05:58 and I stretch out there on the floor,
06:01 and I'll tell you I cranked the music up big time.
06:05 But there's nothing more disruptive
06:07 than right in the middle of that
06:08 to hear the doorbell ring or maybe the power go off
06:12 or suddenly somehow the music just stops
06:15 right in the middle of the best part.
06:18 That's a little annoying.
06:20 Well, God's original music score for this earth
06:24 was like a great big symphony.
06:26 He had the score all written at creation.
06:29 He was the conductor.
06:31 Everything was in position and ready
06:32 and the music began to play.
06:35 Gorgeous music there in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.
06:39 But in Genesis 3 the music suddenly stopped.
06:42 Somebody interrupted, botched the whole thing up.
06:46 And for 6,000 years now God's been waiting
06:50 to get started again His unfinished symphony.
06:56 You see, Heaven is God's strategic plan for restoration.
07:01 To restore all six of the precious treasured gifts
07:04 He'd given mankind in the first place.
07:06 For example, He had given Adam and Eve a mankind life.
07:11 Eternal Life, without end.
07:14 He'd given them a righteous nature,
07:16 pure, holy character.
07:18 He'd given them a beautiful,
07:20 beautiful home, the Garden of Eden.
07:22 Bible says he'd also given them
07:24 dominion over every living thing
07:27 upon the earth that moved."
07:29 In fact, I personally believe that Adam and Eve
07:31 could communicate with the animals and the birds
07:34 just like they do at Disneyland and Sea World.
07:36 I mean, if we can do it human ways,
07:37 think what they could do.
07:39 Call them by name, they would come,
07:41 do tricks He had dominion.
07:45 God also gave them perfect family happiness.
07:49 And face-to-face communion with God.
07:53 No barriers. Open fellowship.
07:56 God's original Paradise was His forever symphony,
08:00 His original score.
08:02 And in Genesis 1, God was so proud
08:04 to show it off to the whole universe,
08:06 because the Creator Himself had designed
08:09 and decorated Adam and Eve's home.
08:11 He gave them perfect health, perfect love,
08:13 perfect happiness, perfect joy.
08:15 Everything was peace, harmony, total freedom,
08:20 if they chose to obey God's very simple instructions.
08:25 Now just "Don't eat of that forbidden tree
08:28 in the Garden of Eden,
08:30 or you'll interrupt the orchestra and the music."
08:34 But that's exactly what they chose to do,
08:37 to eat of the tree rather than listening to God.
08:42 And Heaven's harmony became the unfinished symphony.
08:46 The most tragic day in the universe.
08:49 For the first time in Adam and Eve's lives,
08:52 they felt guilt, they felt shame,
08:53 they felt fear.
08:55 By their disobedience, they lost everything,
08:58 they lost their garden home,
09:00 their lost their dominion of Earth,
09:02 they lost access to the Tree of Life.
09:04 They lost their happiness, they lost love,
09:06 they lost fellowship with the Creator.
09:08 And our world, our perfect world
09:10 became cursed with sin, sickness, suffering and sorrow.
09:15 Bible says they were no longer masters,
09:18 which means they couldn't go down
09:20 and call the fish by name any more.
09:23 Bible says Adam and Eve became slaves.
09:26 They chose to throw away
09:27 their freedoms and they liberties.
09:29 And Paul says in Romans 6:16,
09:33 "Do you not know that whom you present yourselves
09:37 slaves to obey,
09:39 you are that one's slaves whom you obey?"
09:43 In other words, they sold out to the Devil.
09:46 They chose to separate themselves from God
09:48 and life and happiness and freedom.
09:52 But I'm so glad a loving God understood.
09:57 I'm so glad that God couldn't bear
09:59 to be parted from them forever.
10:02 He'd planned too much. He'd invested too much.
10:06 He'd risked too much.
10:07 And He loved them so much,
10:09 He couldn't leave His erring children without hope.
10:13 What could you do?
10:15 As angels sadly ushered Adam and Eve
10:19 out the gate of the garden for one last final time,
10:24 God made a promise to Adam and Eve,
10:26 He promised them something, that one day His own Son,
10:31 the Seed of the Woman, would come to die for them
10:35 so that they could be restored back to the family of God
10:38 and have eternal life again.
10:40 In fact, you find that first promise right there
10:42 in Genesis 3:15
10:44 where God actually He spoke to the serpent
10:48 as He talked there with them and He said,
10:51 "I will put enmity between you and the woman,
10:56 between your seed and her seed,
10:59 He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
11:06 What a glorious promise. Jesus Messiah would come.
11:11 But, you know, unfortunately, as generations passed
11:14 and Homo sapiens multiplied in earth,
11:17 The Bible tells us that sin also exponentially exploded
11:21 and the human race almost completely forgot God.
11:24 People became corrupt, they became vile,
11:27 they became immoral, they became depraved.
11:29 Genesis 6:5 says,
11:31 "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness
11:33 of man was great in the earth,
11:35 that every intent of His thoughts
11:37 was only evil continually."
11:41 In fact, so abominably evil,
11:43 that we read that it became necessary for God
11:46 to destroy that which He had created,
11:48 this world by a flood in order it says to preserve
11:53 any life on the earth or we'd have self destructed.
11:57 And we read that only eight people survived.
12:02 Well, did we learn our lesson?
12:07 After the flood, read the account,
12:09 it wasn't many generations
12:10 before people became corrupt again.
12:13 But this time in order to preserve
12:15 a holy people on earth, a remnant,
12:17 a special Church of God's "called out" ones.
12:22 God called Abraham and his family
12:25 out of the idolatrous and corrupt Ur of the Chaldees.
12:29 Have you heard of that place recently in the news?
12:32 It's right there near Baghdad.
12:35 When our Marines started moving up
12:36 from Kuwait to Baghdad, the news reporters
12:40 on CNN and ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC,
12:43 they all said, they're passing through Ur right now.
12:47 That's where Abraham was.
12:50 And Genesis 12:1, 2, He spoke to Abraham
12:53 and he said, Abraham,
12:55 I want you "Get out of your country,
12:57 from your family and from your father's house,
13:00 to a land that I will show you.
13:02 I will make you a great nation,
13:03 I will bless you and make your name great,
13:06 and you shall be a blessing."
13:09 Do you think that was easy for Abraham?
13:12 According to what I read in the Bible,
13:13 Abraham was a very wealthy
13:15 business tycoon playing the market
13:18 and trading on Wall Street in downtown Baghdad.
13:21 In fact his friends in the local Jaycees
13:23 and the Chamber of Commerce and the Lien's Association,
13:26 they derided him and said, "Abraham,
13:29 Abraham you're not serious, you're leaving Babylon?"
13:34 "Where on earth are you going?"
13:38 I don't know. God said He'll lead me.
13:41 "What will you do when you get there?"
13:44 Well, I'm gonna raise up a great nation.
13:50 Abraham, you've been out in the sun too long,
13:52 you don't even have any children
13:53 and you're 75 years old.
13:56 You're gonna raise up a nation.
13:57 Come on, and who is going to protect you
13:59 in this strange land?"
14:03 You know, what a lesson
14:04 for God's faithful people today.
14:06 We've got to learn to trust God,
14:08 even when we don't understand.
14:09 We got to hang on in faith,
14:11 Abraham, even if you have to leave your friends.
14:14 Not knowing where you're going, or what the future holds.
14:17 You see, you may not know what the future holds,
14:19 but you know who holds the future.
14:21 Amen. Praise the Lord.
14:23 Hebrews 11:9, 10,
14:25 "By faith he dwelt in the land of promise
14:28 as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents,
14:30 with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him
14:33 of the same promise, For he waited,
14:35 he looked for the city which has foundations,
14:38 whose builder and maker is God."
14:42 Now here's what's important tonight.
14:45 God promised to give Abraham
14:47 and his children all that Adam and Eve had lost.
14:51 And that's why the Bible prophets in all the ages
14:54 looked forward to our day
14:57 and the restoration of all things.
15:00 In fact, you look back there in the faith chapter,
15:02 it talks about, it says that Abraham,
15:06 and then it talks about Enoch, talks about Noah,
15:10 talks about Abel, Isaac, Rahab, David, Samuel,
15:15 it says they all believed in God's promise to restore
15:19 what Adam and Eve lost.
15:22 But for them, there was just one problem
15:24 as it says here in Hebrews 11:13.
15:27 "These all died in faith,
15:29 not having received the promises,
15:31 but having seen them afar off,
15:33 were assured of them, and embraced them.
15:37 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.
15:41 Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
15:44 for He has prepared a city for them."
15:50 In fact, Isaiah, the greatest of all the messianic prophets,
15:55 he gave us a description, clear back in the Old Testament
15:58 of the restoration God has prepared
16:00 for His saved people.
16:01 In Isaiah 65:17, he says, "For behold,
16:06 I create a new heavens and a new earth,
16:10 and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind."
16:14 Listen, you folks up there in Washington D.C.
16:17 where all of those snipers were shooting this last fall.
16:20 Listen back home in Los Angeles,
16:21 where the news reported record gang shootings
16:24 all this past winter and spring.
16:27 My friends living up in San Francisco,
16:29 or whether you're in Chicago
16:30 or Toronto or Sydney, Australia.
16:32 Good news, Isaiah 60:18 says,
16:35 "Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
16:38 neither wasting nor destruction within your borders,
16:41 but you shall call your walls Salvation,
16:44 and your gates Praise."
16:47 I mean, just think, no more violence.
16:51 No smart bombs.
16:53 Isn't that wonderful to think about?
16:56 No need for weapons to defend and protect ourselves.
16:59 No rapists, no thieves.
17:00 I mean, you can walk the streets of gold
17:02 not have to worry about someone coming along
17:04 and jackhammering him up and hauling him away
17:06 or being attacked or robbed?
17:10 Our Voice of Prophecy evangelistic team last year
17:13 was in Colonia Tovar,
17:15 which is near Caracas in Venezuela.
17:17 We held the campaign there
17:18 and we were out in the country one time
17:20 and Curt and I happen, Curt Johnson happen
17:22 to be in the same four-wheel drive
17:24 coming back home to get ready for the evening meeting.
17:26 But it was so breathtaking, Curt said,
17:28 hey let's just stop, we got to get a photograph.
17:29 We went out on little side road and out of nowhere,
17:34 little did we realized
17:35 that is one of the most dangerous places in that area.
17:39 Out of nowhere, all of a sudden,
17:41 a white Ford Bronco roared up.
17:44 And the lady went, "Bang! Bang!Bang! Bang!
17:47 Americans, dangerous. Bang! Bang!"
17:51 We realized we were nearer,
17:52 we would likely have been shot to get out of our vehicle.
17:57 Listen, the prophet tells us in Isaiah 11:6,
18:02 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
18:06 the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
18:09 the calf and the young lion and the fatling together..."
18:12 And I love this passage, it says,
18:14 "A little child shall lead them."
18:17 Amen. Praise the Lord.
18:19 See, God restores planet Earth back to its original beauty,
18:23 Isaiah 33:14 says,
18:26 "And the inhabitant will not say, 'I am sick."
18:31 My dad back there watching with your triple heart bypass
18:35 no more heart attacks, dad.
18:37 Lon, no more cancer, no more AVMs,
18:42 arteriovenous malformations.
18:44 No allergies for you, friend.
18:46 Isn't that great news?
18:48 Isaiah 35:5 says,
18:50 "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened."
18:54 I'm listening and talking to my friend from time to time,
18:57 like Robin and Stephanie Dawn.
19:01 You know, dear hearts, I want to be there
19:05 when you can open your eyes and see the face of Jesus.
19:09 What a glorious day that will be.
19:12 And you folks watching this Bible lectures
19:14 by sign language.
19:17 That's closed captioning, many of you don't see that,
19:19 but it's on behind the screen,
19:20 the Bible says this for you who can't hear,
19:22 Isaiah 35:5, 6,
19:24 "And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
19:27 The lame shall leap like a deer..."
19:30 No more wheelchairs, my friend Jeff,
19:32 whoever this evening or, Estelita back at our Voice
19:36 of Prophecy where you had your one leg amputated.
19:40 No more quadriplegics, friend.
19:42 No more crutches.
19:44 Everyone will be absolutely perfect with perfect body.
19:49 There goes grandma on the Sea of Glass,
19:52 sparkling, glittering,
19:53 all kinds of things shooting up, sensational.
19:55 And she is even walking on water.
19:58 Isaiah 35:6 says,
20:00 "And the tongue of the dumb shall sing."
20:04 God used our imaginations a little bit here.
20:07 Perhaps they will be given vocal chords
20:09 that can sing in 4-part harmony at one time.
20:15 What a happy day.
20:16 But there's more, Isaiah 35:1,
20:18 "The wilderness and the wasteland
20:21 shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice
20:24 and blossom as the rose."
20:26 Near where I live in southern California,
20:29 a beautiful southern California golden state,
20:32 that means it's desert.
20:34 But right near where we live, it is a citrus paradise.
20:38 I have a Chinese friend,
20:39 he is the late Dr. Philip Chen now,
20:41 but I would go to his home
20:43 and this guy was an amazing scientist,
20:45 he could grow five different kinds of citrus on one tree,
20:49 gorgeous grapefruit,
20:51 tangerines, lemons, all in one tree.
20:55 But I read about the new earth,
20:57 the beautiful new earth has the Tree of Life
20:59 that has 12 different fruits every month.
21:04 Isaiah 65:21, 22 tells me something else, it says,
21:08 "They shall build houses and inhabit them,
21:10 they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
21:13 They shall not build, and another inhabit,
21:15 they shall not plant, and another eat,
21:18 for as the days of a tree,
21:19 so shall be the days of My people,
21:21 and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands."
21:26 I mean, we'll realize our wildest dreams up there,
21:29 unrestricted, limitless innovations.
21:32 creative and ingenious inventions
21:35 because in Heaven, folks, there is no lock on earth
21:38 that God won't let us pick.
21:41 Heaven's a real place with real people
21:43 that's going to do real things.
21:44 The Bible says in fact,
21:45 people will know us by our own names,
21:48 God will give us some new names too,
21:50 but we'll even be known evidently
21:51 by our unique personal idiosyncrasies.
21:56 Our long nose, maybe our big ears, big hands,
22:00 of course, there will be perfect noses there,
22:02 perfect ears, perfect hands.
22:05 Our voice will be similar.
22:06 Our smiles, our little dimples, laughter.
22:09 Isaiah 66:22, 23 says,
22:13 "For as the new heavens and the new earth
22:15 which I will make, shall remain before me,"
22:17 says the Lord, 'so shall your descendants
22:20 and your name remain.
22:22 And it shall come to pass,
22:23 that from one new moon to another,
22:25 and from one Sabbath to another,
22:27 all flesh shall come to worship
22:28 before me,' says the Lord."
22:31 Every Sabbath will be one grand
22:34 family reunion party that will never get tired of.
22:36 In fact, we'll have such a good time,
22:38 do you know that the Bible says even God will laugh.
22:42 Amen. Whoa!
22:43 There goes grandma on the Sea of Glass!
22:46 Isaiah 35:10 says,
22:48 "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
22:50 and come to Zion with singing,
22:52 with everlasting joy on their heads.
22:55 They shall obtain joy and gladness,
22:57 and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
23:01 Ladies and gentlemen,
23:02 if that doesn't sound exciting, you're dead.
23:06 Wonderful, joyful celebrations
23:09 as we assemble each Sabbath from traveling
23:11 all over the four corners of God's great universe.
23:13 We come back evidently at the speed of thought,
23:16 back to the Capital City, the Holy City,
23:19 on Sabbath to praise and sing and have fellowship.
23:23 And you know what?
23:24 Our Bible says that at this very moment
23:28 there are the sounds of construction up there,
23:32 jack hammers, saws sawing, hammers hammering
23:35 and paint sprayers buzzing,
23:37 because Jesus said He went away
23:39 to personally build each one of us a mansion.
23:44 Can you imagine Jesus up there tonight
23:45 with the angels helping Him out,
23:47 building mansions that are beyond description?
23:50 In fact, Paul says we wouldn't believe it
23:53 if it was described to us.
23:55 They are so majestic, so perfect,
23:57 because Jesus Himself builds that mansion.
24:01 And then Isaiah surprises me even more it says,
24:04 "Lon, you know, something, Lon,
24:07 you're gonna get to build a house, too.
24:09 You'll have a second home.
24:12 And Jesus will help you as the Heavenly Architect
24:15 and Divine Carpenter."
24:18 I try to use my imagination little.
24:20 Perhaps we'll build that home
24:23 out in the country or maybe by the water
24:26 or perhaps if you like a mountain,
24:27 you could have a mountain.
24:29 And each weekend
24:30 we'll go into the capital city in the New Earth
24:32 and stay in our mansion that Jesus built us in the city,
24:36 but then we'll have our own home
24:37 that we're building out in the country.
24:40 Now, it may surprise you that all this is going on
24:44 and it's going to take place eventually right here
24:47 on this re-created Earth,
24:50 this is going to be the future home of the saved,
24:53 because Jesus said in Matthew 5:5,
24:56 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit" a star.
25:01 What did He say?
25:03 We would inherit "the earth."
25:07 While the meek don't have much of it today,
25:09 most of it's in the hands of finance companies.
25:12 But listen, God as we've learnt
25:14 on previous nights is going to restore Planet Earth
25:17 to its original perfection, a glorious New Earth.
25:21 By the way, this is another reason
25:23 why no one is in Heaven yet today,
25:24 because Jesus says
25:27 this earth is where God
25:30 is going to finally re-create Heaven.
25:34 This earth will be our final ultimate home, recreated.
25:35 I want you to repeat out loud
25:37 with me one of Jesus' most wonderful promises,
25:40 it's on the screen, John 14:1-3,
25:42 "Let not your heart be troubled,
25:46 you believe in God, believe also in Me.
25:48 In My Father's house are many mansions,
25:51 if it were not so, I would have told you.
25:55 I am going there to prepare a place for you.
25:58 And if I go to prepare a place for you,
26:02 I will come again to receive you to Myself,
26:05 that where I am, there you may be also."
26:07 The only reason Jesus is coming, friend,
26:11 is because He doesn't have a one of us with Him tonight.
26:12 And Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer,
26:15 to pray that day of restoration come soon
26:18 in Matthew 6:10, we should pray, Lord,
26:21 "Your kingdom come.
26:24 Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
26:26 We're not up there yet.
26:30 So, friend, we need to pray that prayer every single day.
26:32 But now, for the grand finale of the story,
26:35 let's go back once again to that Isle of Patmos
26:38 and consider the details of that magnificent city
26:39 which John saw in vision.
26:43 And poor John, it seems like as a prophet
26:45 he had a hard time finding the right words
26:48 to express the grandeur of that Holy City.
26:51 As gorgeous as pictures are on the screen are,
26:53 as mind-boggling any visualization,
26:56 as crazy and preposterous as our zany imaginations
26:59 try to picture Heaven, Paul says,
27:02 Lon, you aren't even close.
27:04 1 Corinthians 2:9 says,
27:08 "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
27:09 nor have entered into the heart of man,
27:11 the things which God has prepared
27:13 for those who love Him."
27:14 But wait a minute.
27:17 Most people don't read the next few verses.
27:22 1 Corinthians 2:10 says, "But God has revealed them
27:25 unto us through His Spirit."
27:29 Enough information to give us a little sneak preview.
27:32 Now, if He described what it was really like,
27:34 Paul said we'd be so absolutely astonished
27:37 and blown away, we wouldn't believe it.
27:40 So, as we read the Bible it's kind of looking through
27:43 a dark pair of sunglasses.
27:45 We got to use our imaginations a bit.
27:48 There goes grandma on the Sea of Glass.
27:49 But he says, you can imagine that
27:52 but the half of it hasn't been told.
27:56 I mean, if Peter could walk on water, so can we.
28:01 So say John and Isaiah and all of the prophets
28:03 that it's all true.
28:04 And John tries real hard
28:07 to unfold the details of this Holy City.
28:10 But then he just kind of puts his pen down,
28:13 takes a deep breath and he says, Wow!
28:16 "It's just too fabulous to be true."
28:18 But we have God's Word for it.
28:22 John continues over there in Revelation 21:1, 2,
28:25 "I saw a new heaven and a new earth
28:27 and there was no more sea."
28:30 At least not big oceans like we have here.
28:33 "And then I, John, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem,
28:35 coming down out of heaven from God,
28:39 prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
28:41 And then he kind of struggles with his attempt
28:42 to use human language
28:46 to tell us about the city in Revelation 21:11.
28:49 "Her light was like a most precious stone,
28:53 like a jasper stone, clear as crystal."
28:55 Revelation 21:17,
28:59 "Then he measured the wall: 144 cubits."
29:04 That's 66 meters high Revelation 21:21,
29:10 "The 12 gates, wow, there were twelve pearls."
29:12 So there are pearly gates,
29:15 on which are written the names of the 12 tribes
29:18 of the children of Israel, Verses 21-22 it says.
29:22 "The streets and the city are pure gold,
29:24 transparent as glass.
29:27 Verse 16 gives the measurements of this city.
29:30 "The city is laid out on a square, the Bible says,
29:33 its length is as great as its breadth.
29:35 And he, that's the angel
29:38 measured the city
29:42 with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs.
29:45 And then it adds: The length and the breadth
29:48 and the height of it are equal.'
29:49 ' Or we might think, well, maybe that means proportionate.
29:52 Let's do some mathematics.
29:57 A furlong is one-eighth of an English mile
29:59 or for our Canadian friends, one-fifth of a kilometer.
30:02 So translated into everyday arithmetic
30:08 that makes that city somewhere around
30:14 1,500 miles around or 375 miles on each side.
30:15 But maybe what we just read, maybe it's a perfect cube?
30:18 Maybe we don't know how to think
30:23 in the third dimension.
30:26 This would mean that city is also 375 miles high!
30:28 Will it be big enough?
30:30 Well, you know, Tokyo has nearly
30:33 35 million people last I heard.
30:35 New York, about 20 million people.
30:37 Seoul, Korea and Mexico City,
30:40 they each have nearly 20 million each.
30:42 One mathematician has estimated
30:47 the New Jerusalem, if you calculate it carefully,
30:51 could easily house 2 billion people
30:52 in the first dimension only.
30:54 In other words, folks, there is going to be
30:55 more than enough room for everyone
30:57 and anyone who wants to be there.
31:03 says also,
31:06 "The city does not need the sun nor the moon to shine on it,
31:09 for the glory of God gives it light."
31:11 Then I read something else that the twelve foundations,
31:14 they have the names of the apostles on them,
31:17 and they are garnished with precious stones
31:20 precisely the colors of the rainbow,
31:23 so from a distances as we come zooming in,
31:25 the city looks like it's sitting on a rainbow.
31:29 And, Revelation 22:1, 2 says,
31:33 "A pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
31:34 proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb."
31:37 This is interesting.
31:40 "On each side of the river is the tree of life,
31:42 bearing twelve kinds of fruit."
31:46 A different fruit each month.
31:50 I can picture this sort of a trunk of the tree
31:52 is on each side of the river, and perhaps joining together,
31:54 kind of like a banyan tree like you'd have in Hawaii
31:57 or somewhere overseas.
31:59 And then Revelation 22:5 says,
32:01 "There shall be no night there."
32:03 Revelation 22:4,
32:04 "And there shall be no more curse,
32:07 but the throne of God
32:09 and of the Lamb shall be in it."
32:12 And then the most wonderful promise
32:16 found in Revelation 21:4,
32:20 "And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes,
32:21 there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
32:24 There shall be no more pain,
32:25 for the former things are... What?"
32:28 "Passed away."
32:32 I can't wait for that, can you?
32:34 I never get used to a funeral.
32:35 But what will we do to keep us busy
32:36 in such a wonderful place?
32:39 I mean, there's gonna be no crime,
32:42 we don't need any policemen, there will be no sickness,
32:45 all the hospital employees will be out of work,
32:47 there will be no hunger, no disease,
32:49 no regular jobs like we have here.
32:52 Just peace and harmony and happiness forever.
32:56 Well, what will we do?
32:58 Listen, friend, we'll get to do all of the things
33:01 that we ever dreamed of doing here
33:03 in this world only zillions more.
33:06 We'll build our dream home in the Alps if we want.
33:08 We'll plant our vineyards over there on the Riviera.
33:09 Jesus, the Creator, will be there to open to us
33:13 the mysteries of creation.
33:16 We'll never quit learning new things, science,
33:19 astronomy, astrophysics, mathematics, geometry.
33:22 We'll be able to travel any time we wish.
33:24 "Whoa, there goes grandma again on the Sea of Glass."
33:26 We'll have forever-time to be with our friends
33:27 and our loved ones.
33:29 I want to go home and be there with you.
33:30 Don't you want to be there with me?
33:40 I want to spend a couple
33:41 of thousand years with you there.
33:45 I want to go there and be there
33:49 with all of these wonderful people from West Columbia.
33:51 I want to spend a couple of thousand years with you be.
33:56 God's gonna say let's you two off
33:59 to some part of my universe and share your testimony.
34:06 You'll play back this moment,
34:07 and you too, Barry, Leslie, each of you.
34:10 I see people here from night to night,
34:11 I haven't got a chance to get acquainted with them all.
34:14 I want to spend a little time
34:17 with you up there in Heaven, and with you.
34:19 God's gonna show us back in videotape, remember, Lon,
34:21 you guys stopped together, you folks,
34:23 you wanted to go to Africa with us.
34:27 We gonna get to travel some big time up there.
34:28 All of these young people back there, each one of you.
34:30 How about it?
34:32 Can we plan out some big time travel up there?
34:34 Amen. Amen.
34:37 I'll never forget you.
34:41 Everyone of you dear hearts and gentle people.
34:52 Heaven's gonna be real place. We gonna get to go there.
34:56 I'm looking forward to being there with you.
34:58 You know, every weekend in Heaven after we've traveled,
35:01 gone out into space somewhere,
35:04 Bible says we gonna return back at the speed of thought
35:06 to spend Sabbath in our city home,
35:08 praising God and singing with the angels
35:12 and Jesus, can you imagine hearing that
35:14 great big deep rich resident baritone voice of Jesus,
35:17 our special time of fellowship with Him
35:18 and our Lord Jesus Christ.
35:21 Well, someone asks,
35:23 "Lonnie, it almost sounds too good to be true.
35:27 Sound so glorious.
35:30 Can I be certain that I can make it there?"
35:34 The answer is simple.
35:37 And yet, friends, many people try to make that so complex.
35:42 Jesus turns our master key in the lock
35:45 to get every one of us inside those pearly gates.
35:50 Tonight, He's your ticket to Heaven.
35:52 Galatians 3:29 says, "And if you are Christ's,
35:55 then you are Abraham's seed,
35:59 and heirs according to the promise."
36:01 In other words, if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior,
36:03 that means He's Boss.
36:05 Then the same promise made to Abraham
36:07 is your promise, too.
36:10 Paul calls this something kind of different,
36:12 in the writings of Paul, you read his writing sometimes,
36:15 it's called the "in Christ" motif.
36:16 See how many times it says in Christ.
36:20 That's kind of like if you put a little piece of paper
36:22 here in this Bible, it becomes part of that Bible,
36:23 and it is one with that Bible.
36:27 When you become Christ when you're in Christ,
36:29 all the promises made through Christ to any of us
36:30 on Planet Earth are yours.
36:33 They are yours.
36:37 You have the title deed to your crown of life
36:39 and your home in Heaven forever.
36:41 That's why today God wants you and me to know
36:44 the best is yet to come.
36:45 Are you homesick for Heaven?
36:48 I am.
36:50 Friend, don't you want to be there?
36:53 I do.
36:55 God gives us an invitation tonight.
36:57 The last verses of Book of Revelation.
37:02 Most beautiful in all of the Scriptures,
37:04 in Revelation 22:16-18 right at the very end.
37:05 Jesus speaks if you have a red letter edition,
37:08 it's in red type, it says,
37:11 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel
37:13 to testify to you these things in the churches.
37:15 I am the Root and the Offspring of David,
37:18 the Bright and Morning Star.
37:21 And the Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.'
37:23 And let him who hears say, "Come!"
37:24 Let him who is thirsty come.
37:27 Whoever desires,
37:30 let him take the water of the life freely.
37:32 For I testify to everyone who hears the words
37:35 of the prophecy of this book."
37:38 It is true, friend.
37:41 You can be a part of God's fabulous tomorrow
37:45 if you invite Him into your heart today.
37:47 Revelation 22:20, 21, he continues and says,
37:51 "He who testifies these things says,
37:52 'Surely I am coming quickly.'
37:55 Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
37:57 And then the Bible ends,
38:00 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
38:04 be with you all."
38:05 Amen. Amen.
38:09 There is a series of books, most of you probably have
38:10 at least one of them called "Chicken Soup for the Soul"
38:12 or "Chicken Soup for the Golfer's Soul
38:16 or whatever they are.
38:18 One of those books has the most touching story
38:20 from Seattle, Washington.
38:25 And it's about the 100 yard dash competition
38:26 in the Seattle Special Olympics for the disabled.
38:28 I hope I can tell you this story,
38:31 I get all choked up.
38:33 Nine little kids, contestants,
38:36 all physically or mentally disabled,
38:39 and they position themselves there at the starting line
38:40 in that huge stadium, 16,000 people there.
38:43 And the gun fires and off they go
38:46 with their arms flailing in a half-sprint.
38:49 One little boy, however, he's barely out off the blocks,
38:50 he trips and he falls face down into the asphalt.
38:54 And as he tumbles to the ground,
38:57 he lets out a mournful wail and begins to cry.
38:59 Hearing the forlorn sobs from well up the track now
39:04 those other eight runners,
39:06 they reduce their already slow pace.
39:10 And they all turn around.
39:13 And all eight of them, they go back
39:16 and they pick up their fallen athlete friend to his feet.
39:22 Then the entire group links arms
39:27 and together they walked to the finish line,
39:34 to the thunderous standing ovation of 16,000 fans
39:37 cheered for 15 minutes for all nine gold medalists.
39:43 It was so refreshing. It was so innocent.
39:45 So unhuman-like to give an opponent a break.
39:48 Folks, that's what Jesus has done.
39:51 Luke 6:32-36 says
39:56 that's why He came down to the race track of life
39:59 because we've all fallen down, we've become disabled.
40:01 We were damaged goods and He came to pick us up,
40:03 set us free from our problems and our sins
40:07 and our self-centered broken lives,
40:10 and to link arms with us and go marching to Zion
40:13 right to the finish line together.
40:15 And the best news of all is those golden crowns,
40:17 those Olympic gold medals,
40:21 they won't be given to just one winner
40:24 but to everyone who finishes the race with Jesus Christ.
40:27 You know, He is on that race track right now.
40:30 He's here. He has come.
40:34 And He is reaching down around each one of us.
40:37 He's lifting us up, giving us another chance.
40:40 And tonight He offers to pick us up,
40:45 put His arms around us, and walk us all the way
40:48 to the finish line and give us Heaven.
40:50 Would you close your eyes for just a moment
40:54 wherever you are, I just want to bow your head
40:56 and use your imagination and think about Heaven.
40:59 Imagine that it's evening up there tonight
41:01 and there's two lone figures Christ
41:03 and you recognize the other one must be Gabriel,
41:06 they are walking silently
41:08 in the gathering dusk of the city.
41:12 They're all alone, and they are passing
41:14 huge sections filled with mansions.
41:15 Can you see them there as they walk along
41:18 those silent streets,
41:20 it's Gabriel who breaks the silence,
41:22 and he says, "Master!
41:26 They're so lovely, so perfect,
41:33 and so wonderful as only You can make them."
41:36 "Yes Gabriel, they are. If only they weren't so empty."
41:39 "But, Master, didn't You plan sometime ago to go down
41:45 and receive Your people?"
41:49 "Yes, Gabriel, but not yet."
41:54 "But, Master, I look down and see the people
41:56 in Toronto, in Los Angeles, in Sydney, Columbia,
42:01 they seem so content like
42:05 they don't even want to come to this place."
42:07 "Yes, Gabriel, I know."
42:10 And they walk in silence and tears begin to flow.
42:12 And again it's Gabriel who finally breaks the silence.
42:15 And he turns with tears in his eyes
42:16 and he says, "Jesus."
42:19 And Jesus loves to be called that name
42:25 because that's his human name.
42:27 "Jesus, when are You going to get them?"
42:31 "Not yet. A little longer."
42:33 See, Jesus realizes that so few are ready
42:34 if He would come.
42:35 And they walk just a little further.
42:38 Can you see them there?
42:41 And this time it's Jesus who finally breaks the silence
42:46 and through tear-dimmed eyes He turns to Gabriel
42:51 and He says, "Gabriel,
42:55 "Gabriel, don't they want to come home?"
42:57 Do we?
43:01 I ask you, friend, to look into your heart.
43:10 Would you be happy if He'd come tonight?
43:14 Do you really want to go Home?
43:20 If your life so full of duties
43:27 That your Lord is crowded out
43:31 Do you neglect to study and to pray?
43:36 Or would your heart be ready
43:44 And with glory fill your soul
43:49 If Jesus would come for you today
43:53 Do you really want Jesus
43:55 Your Lord to appear?
44:01 Do you long
44:05 For your Savior's return?
44:11 Your lips praise His name
44:14 Does your light show us today?
44:23 Do you really
44:24 Want Jesus to come?
44:29 Let us bow our heads as we pray.
44:33 Lord, precious Jesus,
44:36 thank You for the wonderful promise of a place in Heaven.
44:41 For the assurance that Jesus is coming soon.
44:44 Would you help us to be ready moment by moment
44:47 by surrendering to You everyday.
44:50 Everything, our all, our broken dreams,
44:52 our failures, our disappointments,
44:54 our frustrations.
44:58 Lord, tonight we have a wonderful little glimpse
45:01 of the best that's yet to come.
45:03 And we want to make a decision.
45:04 Want the row captains to pass please
45:08 those containers right now,
45:09 we'd like to have you take your response card.
45:13 I'd like to go through this with you
45:14 because this is an eternal commitment tonight.
45:17 Take one of those
45:18 and we'll go over this together.
45:21 Thank you for passing them down
45:24 in the downlink locations, row captains,
45:27 thank you for servicing all of our guests.
45:31 The first one says, I understand
45:33 what Heaven is like and we'd like to be there.
45:35 I hope everyone will check that first one.
45:37 Thank you for checking that off right now.
45:39 I see many of you doing that.
45:40 Secondly there maybe someone here
45:43 who like to say I want to accept
45:44 Jesus Christ as my personal Savior,
45:48 please check that tonight,
45:50 that's the most important decision you can make.
45:51 Number three, there may be individuals
45:54 who need to take the step of baptism
45:55 we've talked about from night to night, not tonight
45:59 but somewhere in the near future,
46:00 please check number three, I want to be baptize soon.
46:03 Our staff will be in touch with you
46:04 at all of your downlink locations
46:06 will help you prepare
46:08 for that wonderful and glorious event.
46:10 Then number four, maybe you've come recently
46:12 and you have some question, you'd like to have someone come
46:13 and visit you or talk with you.
46:15 You check that and we'll try to arrange it
46:16 in your community.
46:19 Number four, make your decisions
46:22 and mark your cards and then pass them down
46:25 to the baskets as the row captains
46:30 continue to service you as Joey sings.
46:35 Do your lips say come Lord Jesus?
46:37 Yet if He would come today
46:42 His lovely face
46:46 You could not stand to see
46:51 So many things unpardoned
46:53 Cherished sins you've held to dear
47:00 Would you tremble
47:04 To face the eternity?
47:09 Do you really want Jesus
47:11 Your Lord to appear?
47:17 Do you long
47:22 For your Savior's return?
47:27 Your lips praise His name
47:30 Does your life show the same?
47:39 Do you really
47:42 Want Jesus to come?
47:53 Do you really
47:57 Want Jesus to come?
48:00 Thank you, Lord, as we close this prayer season.
48:02 Lord, I want to thank You for every sincere decision,
48:07 and help us all to fix our eyes on that
48:09 glorious tomorrow, the best is yet to come.
48:14 And hasten the day when all of our wars and strife
48:18 and pain and sickness, old age will be no more.
48:24 May we all meet at last to enter our heavenly
48:25 and our eternal home, in Jesus' name, amen.
48:28 We have a discover lesson
48:29 for all of you in our downlink locations.
48:31 It's one of the most beautiful
48:34 in the entire discover Bible lesson series.
48:35 If by chance you haven't signed up yet,
48:37 tonight's your chance
48:39 to take a discover lesson, get started.
48:42 You'll get all 26 of these beautiful lessons,
48:45 there are some advance course lessons as well,
48:47 they will now called "Focus on Prophecy.'
48:49 Be sure you take that as you go home tonight.
48:51 Also in your downlinks locations,
48:53 make sure you find out like you're in Columbia
48:54 where your continuing class is going to be
48:57 the next time I'll be with you.
48:59 Remember, next Wednesday evening,
49:01 we're moving with our meetings now
49:02 to just Wednesday nights.
49:05 Next Wednesday night, our subject
49:07 "The Mark of the Beast."
49:09 How do you avoid receiving the Mark of the Beast?
49:10 What is it? Does anybody have it?
49:12 Don't miss.
49:14 Forever Marked next Wednesday 7:15
49:15 at all of our downlink locations.
49:17 We'll see you there of course.
49:19 But now, we want to close our meeting
49:20 just a little different tonight.
49:22 All of the folks here in Columbia,
49:24 maybe wherever you are located,
49:27 I want to invite my staff to come on the platform.
49:31 We want to sing a song about being in Heaven together.
49:34 Song that was made famous in the Christian gospel world,
49:36 "Side by side we stand, awaiting God's command.
49:40 Worshiping the saving King,
49:43 Living by His grace and moving forth in grace."
49:44 Brothers and sisters, I'll be there.
49:47 Meet me in Heaven.
49:50 Stand together, move across the aisles everybody.
49:52 Take someone's hand and let's sing it together,
49:54 all of us, all right?
49:59 Come on up and join me.
50:05 As we go, remember, friend, God really does love you.
50:06 Let's sing.
50:13 All together.
50:20 Side by side we stand Awaiting God's command
50:24 Worshiping the saving King
50:28 Living by His grace