Farmville Enterprise March 15, 2017
The apostle Luke records the opening words of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount this way. “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Luke 6:20b-23a) The gospel writer Matthew uses the term “kingdom of heaven” over 28 times where Mark and Luke often use “kingdom of God.” Heaven is a place of reward that Jesus says he prepares for those who have faith. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:1-2) In heaven things will be different than anything we have experienced- peaceful, without crying or pain. “See, I will create a new heaven and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” “The sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.” “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” (Isaiah 65:17,19, 25)
“’Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water,’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” (Revelation 7:16-17) “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” (Revelation 21:1-4) “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. ” (Revelation 22: 3-5) In Matthew 22:30 Jesus says that people will not marry in heaven. Revelation speaks of the future marriage feast of the Lamb. John explains that “the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’” (Revelation 19:9) People will not become angels but it sounds like we will join them in worshiping the One who has a future prepared for us which is better than anything we ever could hope for or imagine.