1. In these verses Jesus touched on 3 special events that will occur on that last great day, including: a. His return [according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16, His voice will be heard when He returns] b. the resurrection ["all that are in the graves shall come forth"] c. the judgment [there will be a separation into two groups, one on the Lord's right hand and the other on His left -- Matthew 25:31-33]. 2. At this point eternity will begin. 3. The 2 eternal destinies include "life" and "damnation." 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on "the resurrection of life" [an eternal home in heaven]. Discussion: I. LET US FIRST ESTABLISH THE FACT THAT HEAVEN IS AN ACTUAL PLACE THAT IS WONDERFUL
A. According to John 14:1-3, Jesus has gone there to prepare a place for His followers. B. Heaven will be prepared in such a way that: 1. certain things will not be there (Revelation 21:1-4, 23-27) 2. certain things will be there (Revelation 22:1-2; 14:13). C. Jesus referred to heaven as "life eternal" (Matthew 25:46). D. This eternal life has been promised by God (Titus 1:2; 1 John 2:25). II. LET US NEXT ESTABLISH WHO WILL BE IN HEAVEN
A. God is there. 1. In John 14:2 Jesus said that heaven is "the Father's house" (Matthew 6:9). 2. Since heaven is God's dwelling place, we know that it will never end because God is eternal (Psalm 90:2b). B. We learn from Revelation 21:27 that those whose names are in the book of life will be permitted to enter heaven, including: 1. the saved (Revelation 21:24a; Mark 16:16) 2. the obedient (Revelation 22:14) 3. the faithful (Revelation 2:10) 4. those who have sown to the Spirit (Galatians 6:8; 5:22-23) 5. those who have been "in the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Galatians 3:27). C. Unfortunately, "few" will pay the price to go to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14). D. Those who do "shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 22:5). Conclusion:
1. The eternal destiny known as "the resurrection of life" will not be experienced until after the judgment. 2. The Lord wants us to watch and be ready for His return. 3. As we watch, let us focus on certain important matters that relate to heaven. a. Heaven is where we are to lay up treasures (Matthew 6:19-21). b. Our "conversation" [citizenship] is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). c. Our hope is laid up in heaven (Colossians 1:5). d. Our inheritance is reserved in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).