Thy Kingdom Come

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Introduction (Thy Kingdom Come)

Johnny Cash, No Earthly Good, “You’re shinin’ your light, yes, and shine it you should. But you’re so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.”
Why should we think about Heaven?
Why not focus on the problems we face today instead of some mystical future prophecy no one really understands?
Isn’t it better to deal with real life rather than waste our time dreaming about where we’ll go after we die?
Two reasons why Heaven matters today.
Heaven gives us hope.
The world’s narrative paints a dismal, dark, and hopeless place destined for extinction (just look at the news).
But this world is not all there is. Death is not the end.
Hope changes our lives. Where you place your hope makes all the difference in how you live.
If you hope in money, power, comfort, or status, you life will be filled with greed, selfishness, fear, bitterness, and unfulfilled longings.
If your hope is in Jesus and your citizenship in Heaven, your life will be free.
Subject: What will Heaven be like? What is God’s Kingdom going to be when it comes?


Heaven will be here. God’s Kingdom is coming to earth.
Revelation 21:1-3 (NLT)
Revelation 21:1–3 NLT
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.
Heaven is not that perfect golf course in the sky where every swing is a hole-in-one. Heaven is not that perfect hunting range in the sky where every buck is a Pope & Young.
Christianity is not about escaping this world to go away to the clouds and live in Heaven forever after we die.
We’re not going anywhere. Heaven is coming to us. Heaven is not “Heaven” because of where it is but because of who is there: God.
Look at the benefits of living with God: Rev 21:4-7 (NLT).
Revelation 21:4–7 NLT
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
Application: Why does it matter where Heaven is?
Heaven is not a glimpse of some far off other-worldly place where we escape the trials of this world someday after we die. Heaven is a picture of this world as God intended it to be, and as God is remaking it to become.
The invitation of Jesus is not, “Follow me and someday when you die, you’ll go away to Heaven forever.” The invitation of Jesus is, “Follow me and I will send you out into the world now to be a living preview of the Kingdom that is coming.”
Heaven will be more than we can imagine or comprehend. God’s Kingdom is more than our minds and hearts can grasp.
How literal is the description of the city? Short answer: We don’t really know. The description uses a lot of figurative language and symbolism.
The whole city is symbolic of God’s people… us (Rev 21:9-11, NLT).
Revelation 21:9–11 NLT
9 Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal.
The gates and the foundations of the city are symbolic of the Old Testament covenant and the New Testament covenant (Rev 21:12-14, NLT).
Revelation 21:12–14 NLT
12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Revelation 21:15-17 (NLT). 1,400 miles is longer than the distance from New York City to Miami. 1,400 miles wide, 1,400 miles long, and 1,400 miles high (Jeff Bezos flew a measly 66.5 miles high and when into outer space).
Revelation 21:15–17 NLT
15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. 17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel).
One “layer” of this city is 1.96 million square miles—over half the size of the continental US!
If we take the current population density of Chicago and apply it to one layer of this city, we have enough room for 23.5 billion people… and that’s only on one layer!
Revelation 21:18-21 (NLT). What’s the point? That this city is more glorious and beautiful and amazing than we can ever comprehend.
Revelation 21:18–21 NLT
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. 19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.
The Kingdom of Heaven is more than just this city (Rev 21:23-26, NLT).
Revelation 21:23–26 NLT
23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.
People have strange ideas about Heaven. Some think it’s a church service that lasts for eternity.
Some think Heaven is eternal retirement.
Mormonism teaches that the men who are the most righteous will be turned into gods, given their own planets, and their wives will be eternally pregnant, populating their planet with people to rule over.
Islam teaches that Heaven will be filled with virgins who will please a man for all eternity.
But the Bible teaches us that the end of the book is only the beginning of eternity. God’s design for creation is restored—without sin. We’ll still live and build and work in Heaven. Musicians will write songs. Artists will paint and draw. Architects will design structures that contractors will build. Farmers will cultivate fields. People will cook, eat, and create culture—all without sin (Revelation 22:3-5, NLT).
Revelation 22:3–5 NLT
3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
The most amazing thing about Heaven is that we will see God face-to-face.
1,400 x 1,400 x 1,400… a cube. Do you know what else is a cube in the Bible? The Holy of Holies, the room in the Tabernacle where God’s presence visibly dwelt. This Holy City is a GIANT Holy of Holies where we will see God’s face and live.
Revelation 21:22-23, 27 (NLT).
Revelation 21:22–23 NLT
22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
Heaven will be inhabited by the people who want to be there. God’s kingdom will be full of citizens, and anyone who wants to become a citizen can.
Revelation 21:27 (NLT). A lot of people ask, “How can a loving God send people to hell?” That’s the wrong question. The right question is, “Why would a loving God force someone to be a citizen of Heaven against their will?”
Revelation 22:10-11 (NLT). We live out of our hope. If our hope is in evil and filthy things, we will live evil and filthy lives. But if our hope is in Jesus and his kingdom, we will live righteous and holy lives. Evil is the reward for evil and holiness is the reward for holiness… and we have the freedom to choose where our citizenship and hope is.
Revelation 22:10–11 NLT
10 Then he instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.”
God will not force anyone to come to Heaven who doesn’t want to be there. But God will welcome anyone to Heaven who comes to Jesus (Rev 22:17, NLT). No one who comes to Jesus to receive citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven will be denied citizenship.
Revelation 22:17 NLT
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
Illustration: There’s a path to becoming a citizen of the USA (
Application: There’s a path to becoming a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven (John 1:10-12, NLT).
John 1:10–12 NLT
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Believe that what the Bible says about Jesus is true.
Accept Jesus as the truth and hope and God of your life.
2 Cor 5:17 (ESV)… Go, and be who you are in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
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