“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the second session of the ‘Heaven’ sermon series.
In the last session, I told you that heaven is not a virtual world but is a really existing world.
After the life of one’s body ends, it’s not the end; the person will go to either the world of light or world of darkness, namely either heaven or hell.
If people believe this fact, everybody would want to go to heaven. But just as if we have to have a ticket to travel by train or airplane, we must also have the ticket to go to heaven.
Without this ticket, nobody can go to heaven. Then, how can we get this ticket?
Also, how do our spirit and soul that are on this earth go to heaven? What is the place where we will arrive in the kingdom of heaven, and what are we going to do there?
Brothers and sisters, suppose people are listening to explanations about a tourist location. Then, those who are planning to go to that place and those who are not have different attitudes and mind set when they listen.
Those who do not have any plans to visit that place may just think, “Is there such a place? When would I be able to see that place myself?” But another person who has already bought the airplane ticket would have completely different thoughts.
This person would pay attention to every detail including in which airport he will arrive, whether the immigration is complicated, what kind of transportation there is from the airport to the hotel, how the facilities are like in that hotel, and so on.
Likewise, if you really want to go to heaven, you first have to check whether you have the ticket to enter there.
If you do not have the ticket yet, when I explain to you how to gain the ticket in this message, I hope you will listen carefully and act by the word of God.
Also, just as those who are planning to go on a trip or picnic would listen to the explanations about that place with so much eagerness and enthusiasm, I hope you will listen to these messages about heaven with that kind of mind.
In that way, as you listen to each message, I pray in the name of the Lord that more faith will be added to your faith, and more hope will be added to your hope.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, how can we get the ticket to go to heaven?
The ticket of heaven is given to God’s children by God, who is the master of the kingdom of heaven.
John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Therefore, above all, to go to heaven, with faith you have to accept Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten Son of God.
Romans 10: 9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
To confess with our mouth that Jesus is our Savior and to believe in His resurrection in our heart is to believe the providence of the cross and the power of Jesus’ blood.
Namely, it is to believe that to save us who would have fallen into hell and received eternal punishment due to those sins, Jesus Himself was hung and died on the cross, which is the symbol of the curse, and to redeem us from all sins, He shed His precious blood.
If we can believe this fact from the heart, we will have a time of deep and thorough repentance with tears and runny nose and with thanks for the love of the Lord who suffered because of us.
We are reminded of each sin we committed before and repent of them, and we pray with repentance that we will now live in the light and by the word. God will receive the prayer of repentance, cleanse us of all sins with the precious blood of Jesus, and then He gives us the Holy Spirit as a gift.
So, we become God’s children who are born again by the Spirit. Then, we can call God ‘Father’ and our names are written in the book of life in heaven.
Revelation 20:15 says, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 21:27says, “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Likewise, only those who are God’s children, who have received the Holy Spirit by believing in Jesus Christ, and those whose names are written in the book of life, can enter the heavenly kingdom.
But even if we have received the Holy Spirit and become God’s children and our names are written in the book of life, the Holy Spirit might be quenched and our names might be blotted out from the book of life.
Revelation 3:5 says, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
Exodus 32:32 says, “But now, if You will, forgive their sin and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!”
The reason why the Bible has these expressions is to tell us the fact that the names that are once recorded in the book of life may also be erased and blotted out.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 says, “Do not quench the Spirit,” and this is to warn us that there are cases where the Holy Spirit is quenched.
These cases are one of the three different cases, and to enter into heaven, we must never commit these sins.
1 John 5:16 says, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.”
Even though we become God’s children who are born again, until we reach the complete measure of faith, we cannot really live by God’s word and we do commit big and small sins.
But as we repent, God forgives us, and we march toward heavenly kingdom again.
There are sins that can be forgiven and do not lead to death, but there are also sins that cannot be forgiven in either this age or in the age to come, and thus they are sins leading to death.
The first is blasphemy and interfering with or opposing the works of the Holy Spirit as explained in Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:29, and Luke 12:10.
The second is to willfully and deliberately commit sins and fall into moral corruption even after receiving the grace and knowing the truth, and thus crucifying the Son of God again by putting Him to open shame.
It is explained in Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-27.
The third kind of sin leading to death is to commit the works of the flesh that are evident, as explained in Galatians 5:21, “that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
If you would like to find out more about these, please refer to the 19th and 20th sermon sessions of the “Message of the Cross”.
One thing you should clearly understand is that as salvation is accomplished according to the word of God, even judgment is accomplished exactly according to the word of God in the Bible.
Therefore, I hope you will all be awake in spirit until your spirit safely reaches the heavenly kingdom.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, if a believer whose name is written in the Book of Life in heaven finishes his life on this earth and his spirit and soul leave the body, how will he go to heaven?
If the spirit leaves the body, will it be automatically pulled up to heaven like a piece of iron is drawn to a magnet? Or, can the spirit clearly see the way to heaven, so that it can find the way to the heavenly kingdom by itself?
When the spirit comes out of the body, the object that recognizes its entity is not the body but the spirit.
So, the spirit can see the body from which it came out. It might get surprised when it sees the body with same shape as itself or become confused about as to what is going on.
Even if the person listened to God’s word and knew these facts, when the spirit has just come out of the body, it feels everything is new and strange until it adapts itself to the spiritual realm.
So, when the saved spirit comes out of the body, in order for that spirit not to get surprised but reach the heavenly kingdom safely, God sends two angels beforehand to wait for the spirit. This is reason why many people say they see angels at their deathbeds.
John 20:12 says, “and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.”
Also, first part of Luke 16:22 says, “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.”
It also says, ‘angels’ in plural form, so we can see that it’s not only one angel. Likewise, God makes two angels wait until the spirit of a saved believer comes out of the body. From there, they escort it at both sides and guide it to the heavenly kingdom.
Now, where will this saved spirit go first being guided by the two angels? It will not go into the heavenly kingdom immediately, but it will have to stay in the waiting place of heaven.
The reason it cannot go into heavenly kingdom immediately but has to stay in the waiting place is because it needs time to adapt to the spiritual realm.
Unlike the physical body, the spirit that is separated from the body does not feel any weight, and it feels like flying into the sky.
Also, because everything in spiritual realm is new, it also needs time to learn the basic things about it.
It’s just like astronauts, before they actually go to space, they have to be trained to be able to move in a space-like environment without any gravity.
Then, what is this waiting place where those in the heavenly kingdom adapt themselves to the spiritual realm?
So, where are the saved spirits expected to go to adapt after the stress of the time that was spent on the earth? This situation and place was different before and after the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus. Before the Resurrection and Ascension of the Lord a portion of the place called ‘Grave’ was the waiting place of heaven.
That is why, in the Bible, we can find some forefathers of faith confessed that they would go to the grave after they would die. In Genesis 37:35, Jacob said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.”
Job 7:9 says, “When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.”
Moreover, Numbers 16:33 says that Korah and his people who had stood against the man of God, Moses, went down alive to Sheol.
We can find more about this in Luke chapter 16.
A rich man and a beggar named Lazarus died. The rich man was suffering from the flames of the grave while Lazarus was at the bosom of Abraham.
Also, between them, there was a great chasm so that they could not come and go. Putting these things together, we can see that when a man dies, he would go to the Grave, and the Grave was divided in two parts, one for those who will be saved and the other for those who will not be saved.
Here, the part for those who will be saved is the ‘Upper Grave’ belonging to heaven, and the place for those who will not be saved is the ‘Lower Grave’ or ‘Hades’, which belongs to hell.
Therefore, the waiting place for those who were saved before the resurrection of the Lord was the ‘Upper Grave’. There are some very exceptional cases, too, but I will explain about them in the next session.
But after our Lord’s resurrection and ascension into heaven, the waiting place for heaven was changed.
In John 14:2 Jesus says, “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, a house in heaven is being built for each one. So, after the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, those who were saved during the Old Testament days and used to be in the upper grave moved to the waiting place, which is located in ‘Heavenly Kingdom’.
The Upper Grave belongs to heaven, but it is not located in the part of heaven called the “Kingdom of Heaven”.
Now, where is this waiting place in heaven? There is a place called ‘Paradise’ in the kingdom of heaven, and since the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, the outskirts of this place called Paradise is used as the waiting place for the heaven.
So, those who are saved in the New Testament era, when their spirits leave their bodies, they will first go to the Upper Grave and stay there for 3 days to adapt themselves to the spiritual realm, and then, they will move to the outskirts of paradise. Here, too, there are some exceptional cases, and I will explain to you about them in the next session.
Brothers and sisters, when I say those who are saved move to the heavenly kingdom from the upper grave, you can think they are already in the kingdom of heaven, and yet why did God make a waiting place at the outskirts of paradise and let them stay there? It’s because those who are saved can go into their own dwelling places only after the Judgment of Great White Throne.
After all human cultivation is over, and after the Millennium Kingdom, God decides each one’s dwelling places and rewards for what each one has done, according to precise justice.
I will explain about this in more detail later, too. Until before the Great White Throne Judgment, more precisely, until before the Lord’s coming back in the air, the outskirts of paradise is the waiting place for those souls who are saved.
Now, you may wonder, “If everybody who has been saved since the Creation is waiting in that waiting place, how big is that place?”
Yes, paradise is so much bigger and wider than men can ever imagine. Let us compare the sizes of this physical universe. If you compare the size of the galaxy to which this earth belongs and the size of the whole universe, the whole universe is so big that our galaxy will only be like a small spot.
And they also say that this kind of universe is not only one but many, so we cannot really imagine the size of the universe.
Even the size of this universe that God has made in the physical realm is too big to imagine with human brain. Then, how much more would it be so with the heavenly kingdom, which is in the spiritual realm?
Therefore, I hope you can believe that all saved souls since the creation of world can stay in the outskirts of paradise, which is the waiting place for heaven.
Now, what kind of place is this waiting place of heaven in the outskirts of paradise? Since I keep on saying ‘a waiting place’, do any of you think it’s a simple space with many chairs like a waiting room of a train station?
If it were true, how suffocating and boring it would have been for the people who died in the Old Testament, since they had had to wait there for thousands of years! But the waiting place of heaven in the outskirts of paradise is not that kind of place at all.
I will also explain to you about paradise in detail later, but even this waiting place at the outskirts belongs to heaven, so it is adorned much more beautifully than any beautiful place of this earth.
Let me just explain a little bit about this place. In the endless grass-covered plain are blooming so many beautiful flowers.
Unlike this world, there aren’t any insects or any dirt, so you can just sit or lie down anywhere. Also, the grass is so soft that you feel very comfortable.
Even though you roll on it, you don’t have to worry about getting grass stains! Even if you slip, there is no worry of getting injured.
Even if you sit on the grass for a long time, you don’t have to worry about getting sun-burned. The temperature is neither cold nor hot; it’s the most appropriate temperature. With the softly blowing breeze, sweet fragrance of flowers and beautiful sounds of birds come together. So, just by being in that space, you feel so happy.
Then, what will the people do in this waiting place of heaven? I will continue to explain about this in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this session, before you start the journey to heavenly kingdom, I explained to you about the way to get the ticket to the heavenly kingdom.
Also, I explained to you that the saved spirit will leave the body and arrive at the waiting place of heaven, and how these waiting places are different in the times of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Now, do already you have the ticket to go to heavenly kingdom if God called your spirit right now at this very moment? Then, you already belong to heavenly kingdom.
Therefore, even in this earth, to the extent that you live by the word of God, you feel the happiness and heart-moving emotions of heavenly kingdom.
And we should know that it is such a happy thing to have the heavenly kingdom in our heart and to live this world without any worries.
In this world, even the richest people like the owner of biggest business conglomerates or politicians with so much fame and authority always have worries and concerns.
But if you follow goodness and spirit to be worthy of being heavenly citizens, you will always feel the emotions and happiness of heavenly kingdom.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all accomplish the kingdom of heaven in your heart so that you will always rejoice and give thanks and glory to God everyday.