Dr. Steve Viars July 21, 1990 Revelation 21:9-27

- This morning we studied Rev. 20 and titled that passage

"God's Parade of Homes"

- I'd like to finish that study tonight and actually conclude

our study on the end-time events

- This morning we said that in these chapters, God is laying

out 2 very distinct eternal options

- and He's encouraging us to answer this question - which

place would like to live in?

- now I'm going to assume that those who here tonight have

already trusted Christ as personal Savior, and as a

result, you know you won't have to sepnd eternity in hell

as we described it this morning.

- now in these final two chapters, God says-for those of

you who have trusted Christ as personal Savior, let's

continue the tour

- let me show you your house

- read Rev. 21:9-27

- We'll read some more of the surrounding verses in a little

bit, but what I'd like us to see from these verses is:

Seven Descriptions of the City of God (seven ways God

describes Heaven)

I. Divinely Designed

INPUT - what are some things that stand out to you about

the design of heaven from these verses?

A. Foundations - permanence

INPUT - why do you put foundations in a building? (so

it won't move)

- God wants us to look at this description and

conclude - this is permanent - its not going


- Do you like to move?

-how many of you have moved in the last five years?

- how many of you have moved more than once in the

last five years?

- we live in a mobile, temporary society

- people are all the time changing jobs and moving


- I'm not saying thats wrong, but it sure is


- some folks know the people fro Century 21 better

than they know their neighbors

- but not in heaven - it will be permanent

B. Walls - protected

- verse 17 said the walls were 144 cubits

- assuming they were using an 18 inch cubit, thats

a wall of 216 feet

- that doesn't mean much to you and I because we're

not used to city walls, but people in Bible times

knew what that was all about

- if you had strong walls, you had protection

- not that anything could interupt heaven's

perfection, (verse 27 says that), but just for our

assurance God has designed heaven with high walls

and angels guarding the gates

- can you imagine a city like that

- no reason to fear in heaven

- we don't know what thats like, even here in


- they used to kid Kris and I about being from the

East Coast till Kris was in the Jewell store the

night they had the shooting

- even in a small town like ours, you still have the

possibility of serious crime

- but not in heaven - its designed for protection

C. Jewels - Perfection

- we're not sure what all these stones are, but think

about what thats going to look like

- Jasper is clear crystal

- Saphire is dark blue

- Emerald is green

- Sardius is deep red

- Chrysolite is yellow

- Amethyst is purple

- God is a God of beauty and heaven will be a

beautiful place

Point is - heaven is divinely designed

- Have you ever been in a building that was poorly

designed? (hallways too small, not enough light,

restrooms on the third floor)

- thats not heaven - its been designed by God

- not only is heaven divinely designed, its also:

II. Divinely Prepared

Read Rev. 21:1-2

INPUT - what point is God trying to make with his analogy

of the bride? (she's prepared)

INPUT - what are all the things a bride has to do to be


A. Prepared

- Q. - Have you ever seen a bride that looked unprepared?

- I never have. Every wedding I've ever been to has

taken an emmense amount of planning.

- The bride and groom have worked hard to be ready.

- The bride especially has worked for hours on the day

of the wedding to look her best.

- The veil's just right.

- There's not a hair out of place.

- When she comes down that aisle, she's prepared.

- men, do you remember what it was like when your

wife came down the aisle?

- see, brides are always prepared.

- thats what God wants us to see about heaven.

- its going to be ready.

- nothing like living in the average town.

- have you noticed that about cities and towns. They're

never ready. There always a old building being torn

down or a new one being put up.

- there's a street being repaired, a bridge being built.

- sometimes you sit there in the hot sun waiting on the

detour and want to shout - "Hey, is this place ever

going to be finished?

- It won't be that way in heaven

- it will be all ready

- you won't have to call "Heaven's Angels Plumbing" to

finish installing the garbage disposal

- you won't have to wait for Moses come plant your

landscaping (burning bushes)

- its divinely prepared

- both those words are important - we've been talking

about the prearation side

- let's think about who's doing the preparing

B. Prepared by God

- if I asked you tonight, if you could have your

dream home built, what contractor would you use?

- I think most of you could give an answer

- word seems to get around town concerning who builds

the nicer homes

- you probably know who you'd ask

- think about this - Jesus Christ is building heaven

- you say - how nice will he build it?

- I don't know, but think of it this way

- are you impressed with the earth?

- does the grand Canyon impress you

- does Niagra falls impress you

- do the smokey mountains impress you

- does Gary, IN impress you? (how'd that get in


- see, does our earth impress you?

- Well, God made that in 6 days

- he's had 2000 years to work on heaven

- it will be quite a place

- the next verse makes it even better - read 21:3

III. Divinely Inhabited

- this is by far the greatest thing about heaven

- this is the culmination of God's plan and program

- this is what redemption is all about

- this is why Jesus died

- this is why the Bible was written

- see, one of the main themes of the Bible is that men

have been separated from God.

- Sometimes those passages talk about how God had to

separate Himself from us.

- Sometimes those passages talk about how we

separated ourselves from Him.

- INPUT - can you think of any passages that fit into

that theme (where God separated Himself from man or

where man separated himself from God?)

- Garden of eden (man banished from his presence)

- when God wrote Ichabod over the temple - Glory of God

departed from the temple

- Isa. 53 - All we like sheep have gone astray

- Isa. 59:2 - Your iniquities have separated you from

your God

- I Tim. 2:5 (different version) - "God is on one side

and He is on the other side, and Christ Jesus,

Himself man, is between them to bring them together,

by giving His life for mankind."

- see, heaven will be divinely inhabited

- He will be our God and we will be His people

INPUT - Why is that so good?

1) we'll finally know Him. - Do you ever get

frustrated with ability to know God, or your

ability to understand his word?

- in heaven He will be our God

- As most of you know, a good of the hymns in our

hymnbook were written by Fanny Crosby.

- Fanny was blind, but used the gifts and abilities God

gave her to sing and write beautiful music.

- in 1890, L.W. Mulhill was holding a camp meeting and

Fanny Crosby was providing the special music

- one evening before the meeting, there was a beautiful

sunset, so Dr. Mulhill described the colors to Fanny

since she couldn't see them

- you'd think that that might be depressing for a person

that was blind, but Fanny Crosby left Dr. Mulhill and

went to her room and wrote these words:

Some day the silver cord will break,

And I no more as now shall sing

But Oh the joy when I shall wake

Within the palace of the king

And I shall see Him face to face

And tell the story, saved by grace

And I shall see Him face to face

And tell the story, saved by grace

- thats what it will be like in heaven, because its

divinely inhabited

2) there will be no guilt

Col. 1:20 - "And having made peace through the

blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto

himself, by him I say, whether they be things in earth, or

things in heaven. And you, that were once alienated and

enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He

reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present

you holy and unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight"

- see, heaven will be divinely inhabited - He will be our

God and we will be His people.

- so heaven will be divinely designed, prepared, inhabited

IV. Divinely Blessed

- read 21:4

- passage says there will be no more tears, death, sorrow,


- we've been talking about what heaven will have, but John

also describes it by what heaven won't have

- Surely this would have been encouraging to the folks who

were originally reading this book

- they were going through persecution and needed to hear

about a place where the curse of sin would not exist

- but we all need to hear that

- we all know what its like to live in a fallen world

- there is death, sorrow, crying, tears

- if we took time tonight, I'm sure many could illusrate

that truth graphically

- but it won't be that way in heaven

- it will be divinely blessed

V. Divinely Populated

- read vs. 7

- its important that we don't miss what John says about

those who are in heaven

INPUT - how does he describe us? (Overcomers)

INPUT - how would we say that today? (winners)

INPUT - why do you think I would say that its important for

us to pick that up? (Ted Turner - Christianity is

a religion for losers)

INPUT - how does that come accross in other ways?

- Creation/Evolution debate

- media - Christians portrayed negatively

- if we're not careful, that attitude will start rubbing

off on us.

- advertising people say that if you tell people

something long enough, they'll believe it.

- Can I try to prove that? What do you think of when you

think of Maytag appliances? (They don't break down)

- Why? Because Maytag has run the commercial for years

that shows the Maytag repairman with nothing to do.

- And some folks here tonight believe that who have never

owned a Maytag appliance.

- Point is that we live in a world that is very negative

towards Christians and christianity.

- they're a bunch of losers

- Christianity is just a crutch for those who are


- listen - if you listen to that stuff long enough, it

will start affecting your behavior.

- if you hang around the crock, you start smelling like a


- the Bible says that we are overcomers

- I'm talking about some pompous "we're #1 business"

- But I am talking about the way you think about yourself

and your position in this world

- its not how you feel about yourself, but it is how you

think about yourself

- if you wanted to call that self-image, in that limited

sense you would be using that phrase acurately

- see, the Bible does say that we are supposed to think

about ourselves in certain ways

- and in this context we better remember that the

believers are the overcomers

- there's something wrong with the believer who hangs his

head when he's around unbelievers thinking - well

they've got their life together and I'm just a little


- surely, one of the results of our studies this morning

and this evening should be to convince us that it

doesn't matter if a person is powerful, attractive,


- if the person doesn't know Christ as Savior, he's


- as one of our pastors says - lost as a ball in high


- we've been calling this passage the "Parade of Homes"

but thats not really accurate

- to extend the metaphor, its really the parade of one

home, the heavenly home, or the parade of the dump!

- Can you imagine that in next week's paper - the Parade

of the dump!

- and thats literally true - because the word often

translated hell in the NT is the word Gehenna which

literally was their dump. All their garbage was burned

in Gehenna.

- Heaven will be divinely populated by the overcomers

VI. Divinely Illumined

read 21:23, 22:5

- this morning we said that hell would be a place of

utter darkness

- but heaven will be just the opposite

- it will always be light, and the glory of God will be

the source

- God has shown his glory in different ways throughout


- in the OT, God's glory led the children of Israel

as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night

- later, God's glory resided in the tabernacle, and

then in the temple

- in the NT, God's glory resides in individual

believers whose body are the temples of God and who

are supposed to bring glory to Him

- but all of those ways have been veiled or hidden in

one way or another -

- but not in heaven - His glory will be visibly

evident, even to the point that artificial

lights will not be needed

- it will be divinely illumined

VII. Divinely Sustained

read 22:1-3

- this morning we saw that the judgement at the Great

White Throne Judgement is referred to as the second


- the person has died physically, spritually, and now

they have experienced the second death

- but heaven is just the opposite

- it will be life at its fullest

- a pure river of life proceeding out of the throne of

God and of the lamb

- Because of Christ's death and God's goodness, we'll

experience life at its fullest

- think for a moment what you would list if asked to list

your 10 best days

- your salvation

- your marriage

- the birth of your children

- an opportunity to lead someone else to Christ

- a pleasant time with a friend

- watching Purdue beat IU

- you best days - and then think of this - even your

best days are nothing compared to what heaven will

be like

- it will be life that is divinely sustained

- did you also notice that there will be a new tree

of life?

- except this time men and women will be able to

freely partake of it, because the passage says

there will be no more curse

- no more struggling against sin...no more living in

a sinful world

- no more fearing death

- In heaven, we'll be divinely sustained

- well, we've seen that heaven will be divinely

designed, prepared, inhabited, blessed, populated,

illumined, sustained

- lets talk about some applications:

VIII. Applications

A. Be motivated for continued service

read Heb. 11:8-16

- the truth of heaven is a truth that has motivated

believers for centuries

- I realize you may be here tonight & you'd say, PV,

there's are times I grow weary of living for God,

fighting against sin, serving him

- maybe you've tried serving him and things haven't gone

very well

- Maybe someone has hurt you even though you were trying

to do what God expects

- listen - the truth of a heavenly home has motivated

believers for centuries - it can motivate you as well

B. Be Reminded where a believer's real home is

- I realize that you may be here tonight and would

say, PV, these truths honestly don't move my heart

that much

- if thats true, thats a sign for alarm

- there's nothing wrong about having goals, or

looking forward to certain events in life,

but to hear some believers talk, its almost as if

God put the question of the rapture to a vote,

they'd vote to table the discussion until I got

this, or did this

- listen - if thats true for you tonight - you are

holding onto the things of this world far too


- One of the old choruses goes -

This world is not my home,

I'm just a passin through

My Treasures are laid up,

Somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beackon me from heaven's open door

And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

- these truths were so important that God has

designed a special crown just for those believers

who have loved his appearing

- there's something drasticlly wrong with the

believer who doesn't have a special place in his

heart for the subject of heaven

C. Be Looking For Opportunities To Take Someone With You

- It is great to think about heaven, but I hope you'd

also think about how great it would be to have a

part in seeing someone choose heaven as their

eternal home.

- Illus - painting - hands outstretched - why not one

reaching back?

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video