God's Parade of Homes

Dr. Steve Viars July 21, 1990 Revelation 20:11

- For the last couple of weeks an event has been going on in

Lafayette called the Parade of Homes

- I'm sure you've read about it and I imagine a number of you

have even gone through it

- The parade features a number of new homes that have been

built by area builders with the modern family of the

nineties in mind

- They have modern energy systems

- They have all the latest conveniences

- They are decorated in all the lastest colors and styles

- the genius of the program is - they're all there - right on

the same street for you to inspect, admire, choose

- the promoters are essentially saying this:

- look them over - compare - and then decide which home

would be best for you and your family

- Here's a Ranch style - look at the cathedral ceilings and

convenient floor plan

- Here's a Colonial where the bedrooms are upstairs and more


- Here's one thats decorated in mauve - the one accross the

street's decorated in peach

- Here's one with a screened porch - there's one with a

jucuzzi tub

- see, look them all over - compare - and then decide

which home would be best for you and your family

- the Parade of homes

- Did you that in the Word of God, there was a parade of


- Thats right - the homes have been built by God himself

- the Bible gives clearly describes their characteristics

- The Lord graphically lays out their amenities

- in some cases He even gives the floor plans and describes

the materials from which they were constructed

- Then He says:

- look them over - compare - choose the one thats best for


- Please turn to Rev. 20:11

- while you're turning there, let me remind you that during

our Wednesday Evening Bible studies all this year we have

been discussing the question "What In The World Is Going To


- we've been talking about eschatology - or end time events

- we've studied the rapture of the church,

- the Bema Seat Judgement for believers where the

motivation for their work will be tried

- tribulation - seven year period of judgement on this

earth and its inhabitants

- Marriage supper of the Lamb - where church age believers

will be united with their Savior

- Battle of Armageddon - which will be the climax of the

Tribulation where satan and his armies will be defeated

- Millennial Kingdom - 1000 year rule and reign of Christ

on this earth

- the passage that we're about to read describes two events

that will happen after the millennium

- these events will determine where all people will spend


- In a sense, its God's parade of homes

- Read 20:11-21:8

- without a doubt these are serious verses

- they are hard to even read because of the devastating

implications to those who don't heed them

- I'm sure there are some churches and some individuals that

would say, "Well, let's pass those verses by"

- I'll confess that I've thought that muyself

- Let me give you some reasons why we can't do that:

1) We couldn't say we studied the end times if we stopped

studying at a point that made us uncomfortable.

- Some folks want to do that. They want to pick and

choose the parts of the Bible they would like to

follow and obey.

- But thats not the way the Bible was written.

- Studying the Bible is not like going to MCL!

- Paul said that all Scripture was profitable and the

only way we're going to know God and how to please

Him is through studying His word throughly and


2) A Church shouldn't call itself a church unless it

periodically deals very clearly with how a person can

know for sure that they are on their way to heaven.

- John said - These things have I written unto you that

believe on the name of the Son of God that ye might

know that ye have eternal life

- we don't deal specifically with that subject every

week because there is more in the Bible than


- but - surely we need to deal with this subject very

clearly from time to time if we're going to say this

is God's church

3) This is a major Bible doctrine. Some folks want to

say, "Well I believe the rest of the Bible but I'm not

so sure about that literal heaven and hell business.

After all, thats just a minor doctrine"

- Printout

- Jesus spoke more about a real heaven and a real hell

then he did about going to church.

- spoke more about a real heaven and a real hell than

he did about giving money to a church.

- spoke more about heaven and hell than he did about

being good.

- This is a major Bible Doctrine

- let me just say something to the person who might be

here and say, "Well, it may be a major Bible

doctrine, but you can make the Bible say whatever you


- its true that people misuse the Bible, but my

experience with folks who say "you can make the Bible

say whatever you want" is that they haven't spent any

serious time studying the Word of God to make it say


- to use that excuse without even attempting to see

what the Bible says on this subject is to badmouth

God - because it indicates that God gave us a book

that can't be understood

- if you're here this morning with that excuse on your

mind, let me ask you to set it aside for a minute,

and to listen carefully to what these verses are

saying, and tell me in the end if you don't agree

that what we are presenting is clearly what the words

in these verses mean

4) Jesus promised great benefit to all who studied and

obeyed these words.

- remember, these verses are from the Revelation of

Jesus Christ.

- these verses are to tell us about Him and His plan

- I hope one of the major reasons you came this

morning was to worship Christ and learn about Him

- Jesus said very plainly in chapter 1 verse 3,

"Blessed is he who reads, and they that hear the

words of this prophecy, and keep those things that

are written in it - for the time is at hand"

- that surely applies to unbelievers, but it applies

to believers as well

- Jesus promised great benefit to all who studied and

obey these words

- so the overall point is - we couldn't just pass these

verses up - we need to understand them and apply them

- what I'd like us to see from these verses is Three

Reasons Why I Ought To Be Sure That I'm Headed For The

Right Home

- this passage makes it clear that there is a real,

specific, future judgement called the Great White

Throne Judgement

- The Lord is revealing this material in courtroom

language - so lets divide this part of the passage that

way as well

I. The Holiness of the Judge

- the verse says there's a great white throne, but

doesn't identify who is on it

- of course other Scriptures tell us its the Lord

Jesus Christ

- John 5:22 - "For the Father judges no man, but has

committed all judgement unto the Son"

- thats consistent with what this book has already

revealed about the Lord Jesus Christ

- the book is filled with images, and one of the ways

Christ is pictured is in Rev. 1:16:

"And he had in his right hand seven stars, and

out of his mouth went went a sharp two-edged


- the judge at the great white throne judgement will

be the God Man

- the Creator of the Universe

- the Lion of the Tribe of Judah

- Lord Jesus Christ

- I realize some folks would say - "That can't be...

how could a God of love judge people?

- that question indicates a fundamental

misunderstanding of the God of the Bible

- God could not be God, and fail to judge sin

- Did you know that - God could not cancel the Great

White Throne Judgement

- God couldn't be like some parents - "OK, I told you

were grounded for a year, but its been two months,

you can come out of your bedroom now" (would you

like something to eat?)

- see, God couldn't do that

- now you might say, well God could do anything He


- Oh no He couldn't - God can only act in a way that

is consistent with His attributes

- thats why James said - "Let no man say when he is

tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be

tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man"

- see, there's all kinds of things God can't do

- He can't lie, He can't steal, he can't cheat

- and He couldn't just cancel the Great White Throne


- See, God's not just a God of love - in fact, love is

not God's central attribute

- remember in Isaiah 6, when Isaiah received a

privileged look at the throne of God?

- Remember what the angels were saying? - Not love,

love, love - but "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of

hosts--the whole world is filled with His glory"

- see, there's God's central attribute - his holiness

- God's holiness demands that unredeemed sin be


- his mercy and longsuffering can cause that

judgement to be delayed

- his grace can cause Him to send a payment for

that sin

- his truth can cause that a book be written

describing how this judgement can be avoided

- but his holiness demands that unredeemed sin be


- see, we ought to be absolutely sure that we're headed

for the right home because of the Holiness of the Judge

Secondly, we ought to be sure we're headed for the right home

because of:

II. The Hopelessness of The Defendants

the Bible says three things about these people:

A. dead (v. 12)

- these are people who have died whom God has

raised specifically for this event

- this event is not for believers - though

believers will be present

- but its not for believers

- the believers in the church age were already


- the believers in Old Testament age have already

been resurrected

- the believers in the Tribulation have received

their robes of righteousness

- this judgement is for everyone else

- this judgement is for unbelievers

1) those who wouldn't believe the preaching of


2) for those who wouldn't believe God all

through Old Testament history

3) for those who wouldn't repent and believe

during the ministry of Christ

4) for those in 1990 who heard Bible messages

and refused to place their faith and

confidence in Jesus Christ

5) for those who hardened their hearts during

the tribulation period.

6) for those who rebelled at the end of the


7) all those who believed the lie of Satan -

"go ahead and rebell against God - you

won't surely die"

- Satan the liar was wrong - they died

- they'll all be there-the dead.

passage also says:

B. small and great

- there will be all kinds of people there

- rich ones, poor ones

- nice ones, mean ones

- big ones, small ones

- white ones, black ones

- some will say - I attended a Baptist Church

all my life

- some will say - I gave money to a church

- I was baptized

- you name it - the Bible says, they will be


- and they'll have one thing in common

- thats the third thing John says about them

C. judged from the books

- Bible says that two books will be opened

- the first is the book of life

- that book exists for one purpose (to record

those who sometime in their life trusted Jesus

Christ as their Lord and savior)

- sometime in their life that person realized

that they had sinned against God, and that

there was a penalty for that sin that they

couldn't pay.

- they also learned that Jesus paid the price for

them if they would only trust Him as Lord and


Every person who's name appears in the Lamb's book

of Life has made that decision

- but every person who is being judged at the Great

White Throne Judgement will find that their name

is not there

- they'll be standing there with mouth dry, stomach

churning, knees trembling - hoping upon hope that

by some mistake their name will be there

- in every case - the name won't be there

- then another set of books will come out

- called in Scripture the book of works

- those books will contain everything that person's

ever done - ever thought - ever said

- even the things they thought no-one saw

- the things they thought nonone knew about -


- Luke 17:2-3 - "For there is nothing covered that

shall not be revealed - neither hidden, that shall not be

known. Therefore whatever ye have spoken in darkness shall

be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the

ear in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the hilltops"

- can you imagine what that will be like? - a

revelation that will actually include everything

we've ever thought?

- uncensored, uncut sinfullness

- it will be worse than the filthiest book ever

written, worse the vulgarist movie ever produced

- now you might ask-PV-why will unbelievers be

judged from those books?

- the answer is not to determine heaven or hell

- book #1 - the book of life already made that


- here's why the book of works will be opened

- to prove that God's judgement is fair.

- see - one of the things that will go through

the mind of every person at this judgement is

- "He knows"

- even things that they had forgotten - "He


- freshman in high school - German Class

- teacher - Mr. Hamilton - made us call him "Herr.

- school had just purchased a language lab

- big old console at the front of the room

- all of us students had earphones and microphones

- Herr Hamilton would play tapes that

corresponded to our German books, and they

would say something in Geman, we would repeat


- ein, zwie, drie....ein, zwie, drie

- Herr Hamilton had the abilty to listen to your

microphone without you knowing it - and then he

could interupt the tape and correct your errors

- the problem was - this equipment was all new

- Herr Hamilton didn't know how to operate it very


- he could figure out how to get the tape going

through your earphones - but he couldn't figure

out the rest of the system

- so he'd turn on the tape, but you'd see him up

there frantically pushing bottons, pushing

levers, and looking at dials

- that was the the perfect breeding ground for bad

students who were'nt as serious about German as

Herr Hamilton was

- so we would respond back with statements that

had absolutely nothing to do with German, and if

you said it loud enough, the students around you

could hear it over their earphones

- so it would go - Ein Zwie Drie Vier - "Her

Hamilton Wears Army Boots" - everybody would get

a big laugh

- that went on fine until one particular day when

I made one of my smart-aleck comments and the

tape went dead - another voice cut in - it was

herr Hamilton - He was very angry - he said some

German words I haven't heard before or since!

I can remember that sinking feeling-"He knows"

- thats what it will be like but infinitely worse

- see - "He Knows"

- no one on that day will shake their fist at God

and say - you're unfair

- because the books have been opened - and the

kind of life that that person chose to live will

be exposed

- in fact Philippians says that "every knee shall

bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus

Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father"

- see, we ought to be sure that we're headed for the

right home because one that day, the situation for the

defendants will be absoltely hopeless

- there's nothing they'll be able to say

- there's nothing they'll be able to do

- there won't be any last minute plea bargains

- the best lawyer couldn't help

- the best arguments won't work

- there's no one to buy off

- the situation that day will be absolutely hopeless

- while thats hard to think of, there's one more step in

Jesus' revelation

III. The Awfulness (Horribleness, Awesomeness) of the


- read vs. 15

- you know a lot of folks joke about hell

- they say things like - "I want to go to hell because

thats where all my friends will be"

- "we're going to have one big party"

- listen, I don't have any desire to simply move you

emotionally, but let me remind you of some things the

Bible says about hell

A. darkness

Matt. 25:30 - "And cast the unprofitable servant into

outer darkness; where there shall be weeping and

gnashing of teeth"

II Peter 2:17 - "these are wells without water,

clouds that are carried with a tempest, to whom the

mist of darkness is reserved forever"

- see, while heaven is a place where there will be no

night, hell is a place where there will be no day

B. torment

- Jesus decribed that in Luke 16 with the rich man

and Lazarus

- and the rich man "in hades lifted up his eyes,

being in torments"

- while that and many other things we could say about

this is horrible, here's the worst part

C. separation from God

the Bible refers to this event as the second death

- there's three kinds of death in the Bible, and it

always involves separation

- physical death - separation of the body from the


- spiritual death - separation of the person from

fellowship with God which can only be

rectified through salvation

- the second death - spearation from the fellowship

of God

- and here's the worst part:

D. Everlasting

- fixed condition that can never be altered

- please don't allow anyone to tell you that hell is

just temporary

- or that its a holding tank until you've paid

the debt

- the horror of separation from God is forever

- in fact, Jesus described it as a place where the

worm never dies, and the fire is not quenced

(may want to develop this more)

- you might say, Pastor Viars, why did God put this in His


- here's the reason - to get each of us to answer this


- Is that really where you want to live?

- see, look it over, check the design, consider the

amenities, and then decide - is that what's best

for you?

- now I realize that has been ver negative (I don't know

any other way to discuss these verses) - but listen:

- thats not the only stop on the parade of homes

- you're not in a situation where that's the only

stop on the tour

- God's got another place called heaven

- while, we won't have time to look at it today, let

me just say that to the degree to which hell is

bad, heaven is good

- Jesus said "In my father's house are many

mansions, if it were not so, I would have told

you. I go to prepare a place for you."

- now you might say - well, what do I have to do? Where

do I sign? What do I have to pay?

- this is where the tours become radically different -

- because entrance to heaven is free

- Jesus paid it all - All to Him I owe

- Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as


- you do have to do something - you have to believe it

- you have to have had a definite time in your life when

you've said to the Lord -

- Lord, I know I've sinned - and you know it

- I've lived my life going my own way.

- I've told myself I'm pretty good and will probably make

it into heaven, but I know thats not true

- not when the book of works is opened

- Lord, I realize I need a Savior to pay for my sins and

a Lord to rule my life

- I want to ask Jesus to be my savior and my Lord

- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only

begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should

not perish, but have everlasting life

- I think there are 2 values of studying a passage like this

1) To give unbelievers a clear opportunity ti trust Jesus

Christ as personal Savior. If you're here this morning

and you've never been saved, I want you to know that I've

been praying for you, and so have others.

- we've been praying that you'd be here, and that you'd

make the decision for Christ that God wants you to


- I can say that without hesitation

- thats the decision God wants you to make

- God wants you to choose Christ and live with him

eternally in heaven

- God never created hell for people - he created it for

the devil and his angels - every person who goes

there will do so because thats the home they chose

- Peter said that God was "not willing that any should

perish, but that all should come to repentance"

- I realize that I could be criticized for preaching

this so forcefully that it might cause someone to

doubt their salvation.

- Can I answer that with this - in my mind - there's at

least one thing worse than a true believer doubting

his salvation and wrestling with this issue for a

little while

- See, what's worse than a believer doubting his

salvation is an unbeliever going through life

thinking he's saved.

- thats possible, for a person to come to church,

enjoy the singing, enjoy the friendship, benefit

from some of the teaching

- without ever settling the matter of his eternal


- One of my concerns this morning is for individuals who may

be pretty good folks, but have never taken the first step

in the Christian life, namely salvation

- In 1925 a man named Goose Goslin played for the washington


- Goslin was a great center fielder, and the team had had an

excellent year

- In fact, if you check the history books - you'll find that

the Senators made it to the world series that year against

the Pirates.

- after the first 6 games, the series was tied 3 games


- The 7th game was played in Wash., D.C.

- After 8 innings the score was tied 2-2

- the Pirates got up to bat and went down in order, 1, 2, 3

- Then the Senators got up

- The president was watching from his special box seat

- Everyone was watching intently

- the first batter for the Senators struck out

- the second man up hit a long fly ball that was caught

- the next man up was the best hitter of the series, Goose


- Goslin let the first pitch go by - a fastball - call strike

- he let the second ball go by - another fastball - called


- Goslin knew that pitcher had never thrown 3 fastballs in a

row in his life

- and he didn't that time either

- it was a slow curve and Goslin hit it with everything he


- the left fielder leaped up with all that he had and the

ball hit the top of the wall and bounced back into the park

- By that time Goslin had already rounded second base

- he rounded third and headed for home

- everyone's eyes were fastened on home plate

- Goslin slid, the throw came in, and when the dust settled,

the umpire signaled him safe

- Goslin had won the game!

- but no he hadn't, because the firstbaseman and the first

base came charging in, and reported that Goslin had missed

first base

- if you check the books, you'll find that the Pirates beat

the Senators that year and won the world series in the 11th

inning - 4-2

- A reporter grabbed Goslin after the game and said - Goose -

didn't you know you had misses first base

- Goslin reportedly said - I knew, but I didn't think

anyone else did

- See "These things have I written unto you that believe on

the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have

eternal life" - and if you don't know it today for sure - I

would encourage you to trust Christ as Savior today

- theres another benefit of studying this passage

2) For believers to be committed to spreading this message to

everyone they can.

- its no accident that these verses are placed at the end of

the Bible.

- they are the capstone of God's plan and program

- Jesus wanted these things written down

- Jesus wanted them shared

- His first method is not public preaching

- While it ought to be done in public group settings, God's

first choice is that believers, because they've been

growing and changing, have the opportunity to tell others

about how to have a home in heaven

- God deliver us from the attitude "Well, I'm saved - I don't

have to worry about these verses"

- we ought to read these verses and think "Oh my-I have

people all around me who don't know Christ as Savior - I

need to find some natural and creative ways to tell them

about Christ"

- Can you think of some folks like that?

- family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends

- listen, many of those people God has placed around you are

ones that our church will never come in contact with

- if you don't tell them - who's going to? (the other guys in

the office - the liberals - the secular media?)

- There's nothing more important to God than where a person

will spend eternity

Question is - Has the truth of these verses had the prominent

place in your mind that they have in the mind of God?

- Perhaps the decision you need to make this morning is to be

much more concerned about where those around you are going

to make their eternal home.

Believer or unbeliever - if there's a decision you need to

make, I hope you'll make it this morning.

(illus - intern - "I can't do anything about it today" - he

was never more wrong in his life)

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