Plenty To Do - Pt. 1
Topic: Sunday Sermons Scripture: Revelation 22:1-5
Transcript of our Sermon Audio:
Well, let's take our Bibles and turn to Revelation 22 verses one to five. Let's stand in honor of God's word. I want to begin a two part sermon this morning called Plenty To Do. I don't know what your idea of heaven is, but you won't be sloughing off in heaven. There's plenty to do. I'm going to answer that question today. What will we do in heaven? And you know what?
In the text we're about to read, which is really just going to be a jumping off point, you're going to see three things in this text alone that kind of speak to that issue. Revelation 22 verse one, "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the lamb in the midst of its street, on either side of the river was a tree of life, which bore 12 fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations and there should be no more curse, but the throne of God and the lamb shall be in it. And his servants shall serve him." There's one thing you'll be doing, serving him. "They shall see his face." There's another thing you'll be doing, just savoring, worshiping God. "His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there. No need of a lamp nor light of the sun for God gives them light and they shall reign."
There's another thing you'll be doing. "Ruling and reigning alongside God forever and ever." So reads God's word. You may be seated. Look, death is no laughing matter, but certain epitaphs can be quite humorous. I don't know if you've studied this, but some of the ones I enjoy, there's one that reads here lies John Yeast, pardon me for not rising. There's another one that says here lies uncle Ned, we found his body but not his head. Here's another one.
Rest in peace cousin Hewitt, we all know you didn't do it. Although I like this one maybe best, here lies the body of Jonathan Blake, stepped on the gas instead of the brake. But ladies, you'll identify with this one. And it'll kind of lead us into our sermon this morning and next Sunday. Here lies a poor woman who always was tired for she lived in a place where help wasn't hired. Her last words on earth were dear friends I am going, where washing ain't done nor sweeping, nor sewing.
And everything there, exact to my wishes for where they don't eat, there's no washing of dishes. Don't weep for me now, don't weep for me ever for I'm going to do nothing forever and ever. You might like that thought, but it's not true and it reminds us of the caricature that many people have of heaven. It's not a good one. We want to dismiss and demolish this caricature that many people have of heaven being inhabited by these angel like creatures that kind of recline on white puffy clouds strumming harps and polishing their halos.
That's what most cartoons of heaven project. In fact, heaven is often presented as one long tedious, never ending church service, nothing for those who don't like singing. Look, heaven is often the victim of caricatures. On the other end of that spectrum, you'll hear this often at memorials that you know what? You know what heaven's like? It's a place where you get to do your favorite things like panting and fishing and golfing without interruption for as long as you like.
Come on folks, heaven's far bigger, more glorious than all of that. What will we do in heaven? I'm going to answer that question. But before I get there, I'm going to take a few minutes by way of introduction, just to deal with that caricature in general. This idea that that heaven is repetitive and boring. Well, you know what? That's offensive and it's odious as a thought.
And I'll tell you why, because by implication that would mean God is boring because heaven is his abode. If you have a concept of heaven that is boring, you have a wrong concept of God and you're implying he's boring. No, I've found it mostly to be true that bored people are boring people themselves. They've shut their eyes to life, they don't find joy in the simplest of things. My friend, if you're bored, you're boring. It's not your mother, it's not your father, it's not your work, it's not your circumstances, the problem's you.
And if you've got an idea that heaven's boring and God's boring, the problem is you're boring. You're wrong in your thinking, you're limited, you're small minded, you're allowing caricatures to rob you of a glorious vision. Look, heaven will not be boring, number one, because those who are in heaven want to be there. You've got places you want to be, and when you're where you want to be, you're usually happy.
You've got some happy place you like to go to, and when you get there, you're happy. Can I tell you, according to the Bible, Christians are people whose citizenship is in heaven. Who set their affection on things above, they've been born from above, born again. And now they've got new life coursing through their body. They're in a relationship with God. They understand that the good life is the godly life and that brings them to understand, you know what, if I love God now even in my fallenness how much greater will it be when I get to heaven. If heaven's where the Father is, it's called what, The Father's house? Won't you want to be there? If you love God, you'll love heaven for heaven is where God is and where our friends are. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord. That's a beautiful thought. Heaven is home.
Generally speaking, people's experience of home are good. It's where love is found, it's where forgiveness is extended. We love home. We love the thought of going home. Don't you tell me heaven's boring, you're boring. Maybe you're not saved. Maybe you don't have the life of Jesus Christ coursing through you. Because if God is your father and Jesus is your brother and God's people are your family, heaven's the place.
It's an acquired taste. It's acquired by those who have tasted and seen the Lord is good. That's why although in Philippians 3:20 we're told that we are citizens of heaven. The verse before contrast Christians whose citizenship is in heaven, whose heart is in heaven. It contrasts them with people who are described as people whose God appetite is their belly. Whose glory is their shame, and who set their minds an earthly things.
I would say for the most part, although it can qualify, people who don't want to go to heaven, they are not going to heaven because I have to conclude, they don't have the love of God in their hearts. They don't understand God as their father and Jesus as their brother and heaven as their home. Mark Twain was hard on the doctrine of heaven. You can read about him, the American novelist, humorous, he loved the Island of Bermuda.
He's famous for this quote about the afterlife on one equation, he said this, "You go to heaven if you want. I'd rather stay here in Bermuda." I think that says more about Mark Twain than it does about heaven. To tell you another thing, why I don't believe heaven will be boring. Not only because we will want to be there, but because we'll have bodies and spirits that are glorified and therefore fit for there. It'll be a natural fit.
We'll be delivered says, John Gilmore in his book, Probing Heaven, we'll be delivered from being bores and being sinners. The self centered complainer in us will be gone. We'll break free from the gravitational pull of the world. We'll be spirits made perfect. Our bodies and spirits in harmony and in harmony with God. It's a wonderful thought. In heaven you'll be happy, because in heaven you'll be happy. You'll be glorified.
Any remnant of sin will have gone. You won't grumble or mumble anymore. It's going to be glorious. It's going to be pleasures in his presence for evermore. It's going to be joy unspeakable full of glory. It'll be unbroken happiness. In fact, it'll be the happiness of children. I like this thought by the English Christian philosopher, GK Chesterton. He said this, "A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess,
not absence of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say "Do it again'; and the grown up person does it again until they're nearly dead". For the grown up person is not as strong. They don't exalt in monotony, but perhaps God is strong enough to exalt in monotony.
Is it possible that God says every morning, do it again to the sun, every evening do it again to the moon. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy. We have sinned and grown too old, but our father is younger than we are. But there's a little phrase in there, "Children have excess of life". You put too many kids into this ADD category they're just kids. They're just boys. They've got an excess of life.
Just make sure they don't kill themselves, that's about it. They've got an excess of life, so much so that you know what? Do it again, do it again. And you know what, when you and I are glorified, we'll have an excess of life. And there'll be nothing boring about us, and because there'll be nothing boring about us, there'll be nothing boring about what we do. We'll have that infancy so to speak that marks God.
Here's the last thought. Heaven won't be boring because we'll want to be there. Heaven won't be boring because we'll be fitted for it in a glorified state. Heaven won't be boring because God is not boring. Don't you dare say that God is boring. Don't you dare give people the impression that God is boring. Don't you be the poster child for the book of Lamentations? No, God is not boring he is infinitely interesting. He is gloriously attractive.
Did you know he is endlessly happy? Write down 1st Timothy 1:11, 1st Timothy 6:15 look at it in your own time like good Bereans. How is God described in that letter, the blessed God, makarios in the Greek, the happy God, the delightful being. There's no greater nonsense, no greater lie sponsored by the devil himself than the idea that God and the things of God are boring. Don't forget his pitch to Adam and Eve when man first sinned.
He tempted people to believe that there was a happiness outside of God. That's what sin is. Sin is predicated on this idea that there's a happiness outside of God, that God in some sense is holding out. Not giving all he should or would give. That's not true. He's a blessed God, he's a happy being. He joys over his people like a father fawning on his children. There's no happiness outside of God. All true happiness is derived.
That means that happiness is a byproduct of knowing God. Our constitution tells us that it's a God given thing to have life, Liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness. I totally agree. Those are inalienable rights from the creator. Did you notice that? The founders want us to remember, "Hey, as you pursue happiness, that journey doesn't take you in to yourself. That journey doesn't take you out into the material world.
That journey takes you up to the creator who gives you life." You pursue God and happiness will follow. You try to find happiness apart from God, read the book of Ecclesiastics, it's a dead end street. And you're enjoying your sin at the minute I get it, but you're not to the end of the road. There's a dead end coming.
When you'll wake up some morning and you're marriage, you're on a drunken stupor, or you're pinning your arm with a needle and realize that your life is empty, your life is vain, it's all plastic, it's all synthetic, it doesn't satisfy because God alone satisfies. And heaven is simply the extension of that. We need to grasp that. Listen to Randy Alcorn, this is helpful. In his book on heaven, our belief that heaven will be boring is a heresy. God is not boring. There's no greater nonsense.
Our desire for pleasure and the experience of joy comes directly from God's hand. He made our taste buds, adrenaline, sex drives, the nerve endings that convey pleasure in our brains. Likewise our imaginations, our capacity for joy, exhilaration were made by the very God we accuse of being boring? No, you're bored. I like the story, may be fictitious of the new arrival in heaven, who's being shown around all the sights and sounds, he's bulled over.
He says, "This is wonderful. I never knew it was so great. The music is magnificent. The vistas are breathtaking, the love is real, the beauty overwhelming, the abundance incomprehensible. If I'd of known it was going to be this good I'd have come sometimes sooner." And we need to get there. Man, if we could just grasp something of what it's going to be like, we would want to get there sooner.
Death wouldn't be the threat it is and the rapture would be on our prayer list every single day of every single week. Okay, that was all for free. You get your money's worth here. That was simply the introduction. The things of God is not boring. God is not boring and heaven won't be boring. I'm going to give you several things, just beginning to look at three this morning. What will we do in heaven?
We'll worship, we'll sing, we'll cease from our labors. We'll have our questions answered, we'll serve God, we'll rule in the new earth and the new heavens. We'll see God and savor him and enjoy him forever. We'll study his ways, we'll look upon his providence. We'll explore the new world. We'll socialize, we'll talk to each other. We'll sit down with the biblical characters, the family of God in heaven.
That's what we'll be doing. In fact, in the text I read, three of those things are there. Did you notice that Revelation 22 his servants will serve him? Verse three they'll see his face, verse four and they'll reign forever, verse five. So let's get started. Three things hopefully as time allows here. Number one, in heaven life will be marked by stopping. Stopping, that's our first thought.
Go to Revelation 14:13, The next life will begin with cessation, rest, stopping, laboring and struggling. This is a chapter on those who will lose their life in the great tribulation in the future, but I want you to notice the martyred of the tribulation are describe as what? Blessed are the dead, verse 13, who die in the Lord from now on, yes says the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them. Rest from their labors.
Life to come will be marked by stopping. Now this doesn't mean we'll put our feet up for all eternity and rest from our labors. This is not a call to cessation of activity or idleness. This is not an invitation to hit the snooze button in heaven. Because we're going to see next time we're together, Revelation 22:3, His servants will serve him. I mean, those two things aren't in contradiction they blend, they compliment.
So in what sense do we rest from our labors and then in what sense did we serve him? Let me deal with that first one and leave that second one to next week. I think on one hand, I think it speaks of just taking stock. You'll rest from your labors, you'll look back on your life and hopefully you'll have something to look back on. Something you're proud of, something you're satisfied with, something you're content with.
And the reason I say that is because in Genesis 2:2, after God had created the world in six 24 hour periods, six literal days, which is our conviction, it says that he rested from his labor and he sanctified the Sabbath. Now omnipotent God doesn't need to rest. It wasn't like he ceased to be active. In fact, the creation he had made needed to be upheld by the word of his power. All things find their consistency in him.
But I think what it meant was that God stopped and then he looked back and he saw that it was good. Think that's what this word rest means. If you look at Genesis 2:2, and you'll see within the life of Israel that there were days and weeks and even years, the year of Jubilee that were set aside to rest and reflect on their work and God's work among them. I think that's what one of the things, this means.
Stop in the sense that our opportunity to serve the Lord on earth and to win eternal rewards, our opportunity to contribute to the possibility of hearing his well done, faithful and good servant, that's over. You rest from that. The line is drawn, the calculation is made and hopefully it adds up to something. And that's the challenge this morning. If some day we're going to rest from our labors, this isn't the time to rest from your labors.
This is the time to keep serving in children's. This is the time to keep preaching the gospel down in Huntington beach. This is the time to do hard work on your Bible study for your small group. This is the time to support our missionaries across the world. This is the time to invest in the expansion of Kindred Community Church in 2020 because someday the opportunities to do that, to give, to serve, to sing, to evangelize, gone.
And then we're left with their resume. I've got a question to myself and to you, is the resume thin or is the resume thick? Because you're going to have to look at it. Remember when we looked at the judgment seat, Jesus is going to look at and you're going to have to look at it. You don't want to be ashamed that He's coming, do you? One life to live twill soon be past. Only what's done for Jesus will last.
Remember what Jesus said in John 9:4 My Father works I work for the night cometh when no man works. I'm not saying you can't rest in the sense, we all need to rest. Jesus came apart and prayed, but my goodness, I hope you're serving, I hope you're participating, I hope you're not sitting on your hands doing nothing for Jesus Christ. Shame on you. That's going to come back to haunt you. That shouldn't be.
He's given you works to do. Ephesians 2:10 Get doing them. Get to Bible college, get to seminary, get to mission school. Get about working for the Lord. Raise your family, disciple your children, disciple your friends, whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. Because some day you're going to rest from your labor. And you know what?
You know that when you've had a hard day's work or a good week and you rest from it, it's a great feeling when you can look back on a job well done, a sermon well preached, whatever the case might be, that's what we want to look forward to. That's why Amy Carmichael, who hails from our home city in Belfast went to India for Jesus Christ. I actually preached at the Welcome hall on the Shankill Road where she left from some years ago.
She said this, "We have all of eternity to celebrate our victories, but only a short time to win them." You'll rest from your labor. She did, she exhausted herself, helping children, orphans. My friend, let's exhaust ourselves. Let's be like DL Moody he rolled his large bulk of a body into bed one night, basically closed his eyes with these words, "Lord, I'm tired Amen." Some day he rested from his labors.
I think that's what's involved here. But there's another thing here, you notice that it's the martyred saints of the great tribulation that are being spoken to here. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. They will rest from their labors. So, I think this idea of stopping, resting, ceasing, not only is it we will stop and look back on the life we have lived and hopefully we'll hear the well done, but it's the end of our battles. It's the end of our struggles.
It's the end of our sanctification because we'll be glorified. It's the end of persecution, it's the end of spiritual warfare. Listen to second Thessalonians, chapter one verses six to seven, as the second coming of the Lord Jesus is anticipated. But I want you to notice the language as he comes, It is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation, those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled, rest with us.
When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven. That's a verse that the martyred saints of God lay their head on. That's a lifeline this morning to our brothers in Africa and Asia and China and North Korea. Those who trouble you, God will trouble and someday you'll rest. It will be worth it all when you see Jesus. Look folks, the path to paradise is a bumpy one, but it's a wonderful thing to contemplate a day when we will no longer struggle with indwelling sin or surrounding sinners.
You know what? Richard Baxter was an English Puritan. He was told in his thirties that he was most likely to die, and so he started meditating on heaven 30 minutes a day, but he didn't die in his thirties and he didn't die in his forties and he didn't die in his fifties and he didn't die in his sixties. The doctors can get it wrong or the grace of God can show up in a marvelous way.
He dies in his mid seventies but he kept the practice of studying on heaven 30 minutes a day for his whole life, and then he put it down in a book about 700 pages. A typical Puritan book, 700 pages. You need to get it sometime, flip through it. You don't need to read it word for word. It's called the Saints' Everlasting Rest. And in it he talks about this, rest.
He has categories and I,m just going to give you them. Rest from the devil's attention and attacks. We can feel him breathing down our neck, can't we? The cold breath of his hellish designs on us. He's our adversary, he hates us. He accuses us, he beats us up mentally and spiritually. Done, you'll rest from that struggle. Rest from the opposition of an alien culture. We're swimming upstream folks all day long.
This is a world that hates the Lord Jesus and they'll go on hating him, but we'll rest from that struggle. The rest from fighting temptation of any kind, rest from pain and sorrow and the effects of our sin. Rest from doubts and fears and conflicts of conscience. Mental torment, emotional hangups, gone. Rest from the disciplines of grace that help us deal with temptations and conflicts of conscience and doubts that fight to just stay spiritually sane and spiritually straight.
That's a lot of agony. But that's okay. That's what the Bible says. It's a wrestling match, it's a boxing match, it's a battle field and some day it will end. Fight one more round for the man that fights one more round is never defeated. That was the words of a world champion boxer once. Let's move on. Number two, a life to come will be marked by solving.
So we'll rest from our labors and I think our questions about God's Providence, his assignments, his allotments in life, they'll be answered. I don't know if you have you ever watched the Actor's Studio with James Lipton? I used watch it sometimes where he would interview actors. And at the end he would ask them invariably if there is a heaven and if there's a God, what would you expect to say? Robert DeNiro said in his arrogance one day, you can look it up.
He's going to say, "God, you have a lot of explaining to do." Well from him, I'm not sure God will take that well. He might say, "Hey DeNiro, who do you think you're talking to?" But perhaps to a suffering saint, Christians who have been put to bed in the dark. I think God in his grace will start to explain his Providence.
And the reason I say that, is first Corinthians 13:11 to 12, we're in a context, let me just put it here quickly, I'm not going to spend a lot of time where Paul is discussing revelatory gifts, tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy and whether they're temporary or permanent. He tells us here, For we know in part and we prophesy in part, verse nine, but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
Then he gives this analogy, look when you were a child, you do certain things that children do. Then you grow up and that passes. He says in verse 12 for now we see in a mirror dimly then face to face, for now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known. So I'm not going to get into the depths. Time doesn't allow me to unpack this whole issue of the sign gifts, the supernatural gifts, but we'll keep a big picture.
Paul admits that they will cease. Now some would argue they've seized now and others might argue no or in part, but Paul says, look, there's coming a day when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part will be done away with. So let's keep it big picture. These gifts contribute to God's revelation. Some of the prophecy was added to scripture and we have in scripture and God's revelation a sufficient revelation of God's mind and will, but it's sufficient, but it's not all.
It gives us enough to live on. It gives us many answers to many questions but not all. And Paul says, you know what? The perfect will come. And he may be making a good argument that the perfect is the eternal state. The new heaven, the new earth. Because there are some expressions of these supernatural gifts in the millennial kingdom. When will they cease? When the new earth and new heaven comes. Let's just run with that idea.
And so Paul's point is this, right now our knowledge is partial and our understanding somewhat dim. We look in a mirror darkly. Ladies interesting, this is a picture in Paul's world of a woman sitting at her vanity desk with her mirror, but it's not glass like yours where you get to see every blemish and every pimple. This was a piece of brass that was polished to a place where you got to see a basic outline of your face.
But it wasn't perfect by any imagination. And Paul's taking that image and he says, "There's coming a day when we will see face to face, when our knowledge will increase and our understanding will expand." I love that and I think that's what's going to go on in heaven and it may be some of the first things that we do in heaven in a conversation with God or in God's conversation with us. What seemed inexplicable to us will be explained.
Now we won't become omniscient, we won't know everything there is to know about God because God alone is omniscient. But there will be a substantial increase in our knowledge and we will increase in our knowledge throughout eternity. And I think that will be part of what we do. It's a wonderful thing to look forward to if you've got questions.
If there are closed chapters in your life that you've just had to leave alone and say, you know what, God's going to have to explain that because you know as the Puritans used to say God's providence is like Hebrew, it must be read backwards. So sometimes in life you just do need to close the books on a thing and wait for God. When we get to heaven, looking back to explain it, because right now what you're going through is like Hebrew, you don't understand it.
You don't know what God's up to. What is the purpose? I see no purpose. Why me? Why do the righteous suffer and the wicked seem to be at ease? You know those questions. But here we have this promise. When the perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away with, we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. We know in part but then we'll be known as we're known. Remember in that situation I love it, I realize this is a secondary application but it's ... I think it's a worthy one.
Remember that situation where Jesus is washing his disciples feet and they don't understand what he's doing. This is beneath him. He shouldn't be doing this, whatever. And Jesus is explaining to them how his humility, his incarnation, he's going to put it on display on the cross, Philippians two. Remember what Jesus says when they say, "Lord, what are you doing?" What does Jesus say? What I do now you know not, but you shall know here after.
And in that case he's talking about the cross, the resurrection and the Ascension. But I've used that phrase in hospitals, death of an infant, sorrowing saints, God's people put to sleep in the dark. What he's doing now we know not, but we shall know hereafter. Give him your trust and give him time. God's ways are perfect and all his ways are just. The judge of all the earth will do right. I think we need to embrace that thought.
It's a good thought. A book has helped me called The Promise of Heaven by Douglas Connelly. A couple of things quickly and we'll move onto our last thought. And in it he brings out this fascinating little tidbit, if you go to this passage we were looking at in Revelation seven before and we have the promise here that God will wipe away all tears. He helped me see something I hadn't seen before. That John is being spoken to by one of the elders that's around the throne of God.
Most biblical commentators believe that's a representation of God's people glorified saints. Then, one of the elders answered saying to me, who are these in red and white robes and where did they come from? And I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of great tribulation, who washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God.
They serve Him day and night in his temple and he who sits on the throne will dwell with them." And you scroll down to verse 17 and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. He brings out something I think it's very interesting. The person that says that is a human being whose own eyes have been dried by a kind and loving God. And he seems to imply that this idea of wiping away all tears is much more than simply coming under the shelter of God's Providence.
Implicit in this is the idea that as God wipes away the tears, he may explain the purpose in the tears. Here's what Douglas Connelly says. I think this phrase means far more that we will never cry again. I think it means in heaven we will come to understand why we cried so many tears on earth. I like that thought. One of the elders, a human being who's now glorified says to the martyred saints, you know what?
God's going to explain those tears and wipe them away. I've had tears. Tears are part of the human story. In fact, in the book he goes on to tell this story, a friend of his carries a piece of a jigsaw around in his pocket all the time. It's been there for a while. It's now a little dirty and [inaudible frayed around the edges. And the story behind it is that this friend of his and his wife went through a very difficult time.
They had an out of control child that was driving them up the walls and they had a collapsing business. And during this difficult time, they went away for a weekend just to shower their heads and gather their thoughts and massage their hearts. And the wife thought it'd be a good idea if they bought one of those big puzzles. And so they bought like a thousand piece puzzle. And they spent the weekend putting it together and talking.
So it was a bit of a distraction, something fun, and it allowed them to talk about their child, their business life. They completed it and then when they had completed it, his wife took one of the pieces of the puzzle and handed it to her husband and said, "This is our understanding of what's going on in our life in the midst of life." God sees the big picture. We only see pieces of the puzzle.
And it spoke to him and he took that piece from the puzzle and he put it in his pocket and kept it there to remind him, we only look in the mirror dimly, but when the perfect has come, we'll see face to face. I shared that at our staff recently and I heard that one of our staff people went and bought themselves a puzzle. Thought about doing that. It's a good metaphor. It's a good little parable in life. Here's the last thought.
Piggybacking off this one for about five or six minutes. In the life to come, it's a life marked by stopping resting from our labors, solving answers to our questions, studying, growing in our knowledge. You say, pastor, where do you get that? Two verses. I'll throw one your way and turn to one. Write down Habakkuk two verse 14. Habakkuk two we believe deals with the millennial kingdom after Jesus comes back.
Sits on the Davidic throne establishes a thousand year reign, which is talked about in Revelation 20. And in Habakkuk two verse 14 it says this, And the knowledge of God will fill the earth as the waters covered the sea. So the millennial kingdom will be a time of expanded knowledge about God. But here's the verse I love that I think ties into what we're talking about. What about Ephesians two verses six and seven.
Let me read it for you, you write it down. Ephesians two, six and seven, and this is the promise of what God's going to do in the life to come. Listen to this, in verse six he's raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Listen to verse seven, that in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace and his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.
Wow. The word show there can mean reveal. Read it that way, in the ages to come, God will spend the ages to come. In eternity, God will spend eternity revealing to us the riches of his grace. We will expand our knowledge of God and his grace. We will see new evidences of his Grace day in and day out. I'm not going to run with this thought for too long. But heaven and the new earth will be a place of constant learning ever expanding horizons of knowledge and discovery.
You will bring to heaven the insatiable childlike attitude of curiosity. Because the knowledge of God will increase like the waters in the sea. And God will spend the ages to come revealing the riches of his grace. On the one hand, we'll spend all of eternity knowing God better. I'm going to hold that thought mostly for another thought thats coming down the pike here about savoring and enjoying God forever. But remember that John 17:3 would tell us what is life eternal?
It's to know God, the one and true God. If the gift of eternal life is to come to know God and be known by him, the God who's made himself known in Jesus Christ, creation and the conscience and the word of God, then we will spend, won't we. It's a good deduction. If that is what the gift of eternal life is won't we spend the gift of eternal life exploring the knowledge of the one true God? I think so.
We'll try to plumb the depths and measure the breadth and length and height of God's great love for us, right? Ephesians 3:18 we'll spend eternity plumbing, the glory of God's person and the greatness of his attributes. As one theologian said, we will constantly be more amazed with God, more in love with God, and thus ever more relishing his presence in our relationship with him. Our experience of God will never reach its consummation.
We will never finally arrive. As if upon reaching a peak. We discovered there's nothing beyond. Our experience of God will never become stale. It's like we'll have a mountaintop experience. We'll get to the top of that mountain. We'll come to know God better we'll look beyond and go, there's another mountain there's a range of mountains that go out and out and out and out into eternity. Well it'll certainly be nothing like the little girl who came home from school her first day at school and her mother asked her, "Well, what did you learn today?"
And the little girl replied, "Probably nothing. The teacher told me I had to come back tomorrow." We're going to keep coming back and keep coming back and keep coming back. To the shoreline of the greatness of God that we'll swim in and wade in for all of eternity. But here's the other little thought. I think this expanding knowledge, this exploring, this discovery, this revealing of God's riches will also include the new heaven and the new earth and exploring it.
That's going to be part of the riches of his grace, isn't it? A new heaven, a new habitation. We're going to explore God's creativity and wisdom and might. We're going to see sights and sounds of a regenerated planet. Quickly. I know time's gone, we'll delve into this more. But let me just hop, skip and jump across, Revelation 21 and 22. I want you to notice the language. Listen to the language of Revelation 21 verse three.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, behold, take a look at this, come to see this, the tabernacle of God is with man. Look at verse five, then he who sat on the throne said, behold, I make all things new. Take a look at all these new things, beautiful. Verse nine then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled the seven plagues and said, come, I will show you the bride and the Lamb's wife.
Skip over to chapter 22 verse one and he, that is the angel showed me a pure river. Come on, take a look at this, let me explain what it is. Look at verse seven, behold I'm coming quickly says the Lord Jesus to John. Behold, look let me show you. That's all the language of discovery, investigation. Oh my friend, the reformed theologians and none better than Jonathan Edwards talks about this world as the theater for God's glory.
We see it in plant life, we see it in an animal life, we see it in the sunset, we see it in roaring mysterious depths of the ocean. It's the theater of God's glory. Well, if that's true, how much more true in the new world? Let me ask you, how much of the world have you seen? Now, for some of you probably not a lot. Some of us have traveled more than others. God in his goodness has let me visit I think I'm up to about 34 countries. Some fascinating cities.
I've been on the Alps. I've been to the barrier reef of Australia. It's magnificent. I've gone there mostly for ministry. So, I get maybe one day or an afternoon to scoot down to the beach and take in a cup of coffee and take in the scene. And we haven't seen the half of it, and that's this little world, scarred. Do you know what you'll be doing for a good part of eternity? Traveling, exploring, discovering how is that for a thought? Some of you can't afford it, that's okay.
I'm not saying that to embarrass you. I knew a man in my congregation in Northern Ireland he told me one day ... Tommy McCormick standing over his fence. He says, "Pastor, you know I haven't gone more than 70 miles from my home in my entire life." I said, "Tommy, you probably haven't missed a whole lot to be honest about it." But I don't know how far you've traveled, but in the new world to come, you'll travel, you'll explore.
As Ray Stedman said, there will be new planets developed, new principles to discover, new joys to experience. Stopping resting from our labor. Solving, having our questions answered. Studying the glory and character and attributes of God and the new world. He has made his theater in our playground. Lord, we thank you for your word. You're wetting our appetite. Our faculties and facilities can hardly take it in. It's beyond imagination. We can only imagine what it will be like.
And then there's our sin nature and our clouded judgment that gets in the way. Lord, we thank you for these teasers this morning. May we wet our appetite, may we like Richard Baxter, whether we're dying or not just spend sometime every day meditating on the life to come because that's where we're headed for a long, long time. Lord, help us to be doing now what we'll be doing then.
Worshiping, glorifying you, serving you, savoring you, loving on your people, meditating on your Providence. Help us to do now what we'll do then, so that the transition will be as natural as possible. We pray for those who are not yet saved this morning, may they waken up by the grace of God and join us on the journey for we ask it in Jesus name. Amen.