TRU-20 - How God’s Word in Revelation 4 & 5 Impacts Each of our Lives Today - Part 2

One of the most remarkable elements of Revelation is seeing into Heaven. But one of the most vital truths we learn from learning about Heaven is that God affirms that:

There is Only One Road
That Leads to Heaven

Heaven is where God is, His Throne, His perfected worship, and the way things look untainted by sin. We hardly ever get to see what something looks like that is perfect, during our earthly lives, because everything we see is marred by sin, the fall, and the rebellion of Satan swirling around us.

But each time we get to open our Bibles, we see through the window of the Word, a perfect sight of the way things are right now in Heaven,.

In Revelation 4-5 we see the perfect, flawless picture of who exactly it is that will be in Heaven. 

WHO it is that will be in Heaven? You ask that question on any day and you can get as many answers as there are people answering. Is there no definitive, last word on that subject? Yes, we hold it.

Beware of the Wrong
Pathway to Heaven

Today, religions across America and around the world offer a bloodless path to Heaven. This path allows people a comfortable journey to Heaven. They walk upright and un-bowed, they go at their own speed and in their own strength, and most of all, they get to follow their own path.

Some try to head to Heaven by way of mystical religious experience, others by way of rigorous ascetic denial. 

Some follow a road to Heaven designed by their churches (Catholics and Protestants), others by their synagogues (Jews), others by their Temples (Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists), and others by their Prophet (Muslims, Scientologists, cultists). 

Others go on a road to somewhere, but one they designed themselves (secularists, atheists, evolutionists). 

But any road that anyone travels that does not match the road that we see in Revelation: is not a road that goes to Heaven.

There Are Two Completely
Different Destinations

Any other way, than The Way of God's Word, is the way that heads straight to Hell by way of the first stop through the door of the grave called Hades. The grave is where dark terrors greet each new arrival awaiting their turn to stand at the Great White Throne’s Judge that they rejected whose Name if Jesus Christ the Lord Almighty.

This morning, note the contrast: the joyous delights of the church of the firstborn assembled in Heaven, and the horrible plight of all others. That is the last-word on destinations and roads out of this life that is finished up, once and for all by God in His Word the Bible.

God's Word today is ours. God’s actual voice has been recorded, and His actual words are written down. We have the Divine Revelation of God that is ours in the Holy Bible.

There is One Completely
Clear Pathway to Heaven

For just a moment, sit back, and with your own personal copy of the most priceless treasure you could ever buy and own, follow along in God's Word as we back through the book of Revelation.

Now to orient you to what I am doing, think of this. We are looking at how Revelation 4 -5 should impact our lives today. We saw last week that those two chapters give us God’s reliable description of the place called Heaven; and that not everyone ends up there. Those were the first two truths that should impact every day of our lives. 

This morning we are looking at the next two truths contained in Revelation 4-5, and they are both about God identifying exactly who are the humans that actually make it to Heaven. 

I actually can’t think of anything more vital to someone who has a life expectancy of 78.2 years or less, depending on your age, health habits, and gender according to the most recent stats by the World Bank.

Each of our bodies has an internal mortality clock counting down to death, of how many breaths, how many heartbeats, and how many moments are left for us to live. So, no matter what we do, God has programmed us all to inescapably face death. All humans except those to whom God has promised: whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11:25-27).

So, the most crucial question everyone should be asking is: “How do I escape death?”

We have a trustworthy picture, of everyone who will ever escape eternal death. Everyone who only has an average of 78.2 years or less to live, should be interested. 

The Final Word on Who
Makes it To Heaven

Attached to that picture of everyone who makes it to Heaven are instructions for how to get there. That is the most interesting information I can think of in the entire world. 

To see those instructions, open to the very last chapter, Revelation 22, and note these simple truths sent directly from God.

•    Those in Heaven drank the water of life (Rev. 22:17).
•    Those in Heaven believed that Jesus was who He said he was: the Root (the Lord Jesus Christ is God the Creator) and Offspring of David (the promised Seed was the Messiah through Abraham, Isaac, and David, not through Ishmael or anyone else, Rev. 22:16).
•    Those in Heaven repented of their sins and were set free of these 6 or 7 enslaving sins (Rev. 22:15).
•    Those in Heaven were doers, and not just a hearers of God's Word (Rev. 22:14).
•    Those in Heaven served God and the Lamb during their lives on earth and into Heaven (Rev. 22:3).

Now back to our goal today.

How should what we hear God say impact us from Revelation 4-5? May I show you just four ways that are critical to making it through the maze of daily life and safely into our Father’s House in Heaven? I call these:

Four Foundational Truths
To Guide us Through Life

Here they are:

1.    God’s Voice from Heaven in Rev. 4-5 describes the Real Heaven: There is only one Real Heaven and Rev. 4-5 describes what it looks like, so none of the other accounts that you read or hear about Heaven, other than the truths of God's Word, are accurate or inspired.

2.    God’s Voice from Heaven in Rev. 4-5 declares Eternal Heaven & Hell: There are only two destinations, one is an eternal place God calls Heaven, filled with joy, peace, bliss, and endless pleasures; and the other is a place of conscious, endless torments called Hell: and you are going to one or the other.

3.    God’s Voice from Heaven in Rev. 4-5 demands One Way of Salvation: that the only way to Heaven is through having imputed to you by faith alone, the redemptive, blood-soaked, substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross, as described in God's Word.

The Only Way to Heaven is faith in the
Substitutionary Sacrifice of Jesus 

Point number three that we each need to settle in our minds, and hold tightly to in the days ahead is this: Beware of other ways of salvation that bypass Christ.

God’s Voice from Heaven says: that the only way to Heaven is through having imputed to you by faith alone, the redemptive, blood-soaked, substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross, as described in God's Word.

A decade ago theologians across the country were buzzing about Boston College’s religion professor’s newest book on ecumenical ministry. The idea was to join hands with every religion possible to help get the world changed for good. I came across his book as I was researching my dissertation at Dallas Seminary.

The book was entitled, Ecumenical Jihad: Ecumenism and the Culture War by Peter Kreeft (Mar 1996). This book is a prime example of the notion that it is okay to work with anyone as long as they believe in God. Ecumenism is when you fail to identify who “God” is by using God's Word the Bible as the final word. The lesson for each of us:

Beware of Ecumenism’s Dropping
Doctrinal Differences to Advance Good

Briefly stated, the author, a Dutch theologian who teaches at Boston College, was out surfing, got hit on the head, and had an out-of-body experience and stepped into heaven. The first to supposedly greet him and shake his hand in heaven was Confucius. The theologian asked him, "What are you doing here?" Confucius explained that he believed in one God, too, and assured him that it was the same god. 

Then Kreeft met Buddha and was really shocked. Buddha told him that the four laws of Buddhism are exactly what he, the theologian, believed. After thinking about it, Kreeft answered Buddha saying, "Yes, I guess I do." 

Next, he met Mohammed and asked, "Mohammed, you are in heaven?" He said, "Yes, I believe in Mary, too." And I thought: Okay, this must be a joke.

Then the theologian met Moses in this out-of-body experience in heaven. Moses reportedly informed him, "Yes, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, and a lot of other people are here because we all are seeking the same thing. We are seeking to worship Jesus and his mother."

Amazingly Kreeft exposes the unifying element that will end up bringing all world religions together: it is Mary. Eastern religions, Islam, and Catholicism all can revere Mary. Here are Kreeft’s nine conclusions on pages 171-172: 


 

 
Beware of Anyone Who
Preaches Another Gospel

The whole book was dropping the offense of the Cross, taking away the heart of the Gospel. That’s what ecumenical co-operation almost always does.

I shut the book right then. But as I shut it, on the back cover I noticed that two of the best known Christians of the day had their recommendations printed right in front of my eyes on the cover of this heretical book. Who were they? 

The first was by J. I. Packer who says: "Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox alike need to ponder Peter Kreeft's vision of things-preferably in discussion. What if he is right?" 

The second was by Charles Colson who says: “Peter Kreeft is one of the premier apologists in America today”.

Is that hard to believe? Then type into Google: Amazon Kreeft ecumenical jihad, when the book appears click on the “look inside” link, go to the back cover and read it for yourself. 

The Only Way to Heaven is Faith in the
Substitutionary Sacrifice of Jesus 

Point number three that we each need to settle in our minds, and hold tightly to in the days ahead is this: Beware of other ways of salvation that bypass Christ.

God’s Voice from Heaven says: that the only way to Heaven is through having imputed to you by faith alone, the redemptive, blood-soaked, substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross, as described in God's Word.

Jesus Christ as God’s Lamb was our substitute that was sacrificed to take the penalty of our son. This guiltless, sin-bearing sacrifice by Christ is remembered in Rev. 5:6:

And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns (code for Omnipotence, all powerful) and seven eyes (code for Omniscient, all seeing and knowing), which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

At Communion We Remember
The Price Christ Paid

The wonder of Christ's redemption needs to be is always kept before us. When Charles Wesley (1707-1788) wrote down his personal meditation on redemption in 1738, it took the form of a hymn #203 called “And Can It Be”.  

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.