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Heaven Is My Destination

Revelation 4:1-3 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

We are in the middle of the heaviest traveling season of the year.

Nearly 43 million travelers will take to the roadways, railways and airways from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  Most drivers will go less than 50 miles from home, but 1.62 million people are expected to fly to their destination. 


Websites like will find the lowest fares for you, plus book your room, your rental car, your restaurant reservations, your tee time, and shopping guide.

From African safaris to climbing Mt. Everest, from salmon fishing in Sarah Palin’s Alaska to the opera house in the middle of the Amazon jungle, somebody is ready to take you to any exotic place you desire—and take your money in the deal.

From Reykjavik to Cabo San Luis, from Durban to Davao City, from Istanbul to Christchurch, the options are nearly unlimited.  My sister and her husband were in Shanghai this Thanksgiving and some friends of ours were in Budapest and Prague. 

We are a mobile society.

I am not preaching a complicated message this morning.

I want to be very simple.  As a commissioned travel agent, I want to talk to you about going to heaven. 

I want to tell you what the travel brochure says it will be like when we get there.

More specifically, I want to talk about getting there.  In order to get there, you have to decide if heaven is really where you want to go.  (We currently are offering only two destinations.) 

Then, you have to get started on your journey.

After that, you have to find out what route you are going to take in order to get there.  (Again, choices are limited—there’s only one way.)

You will need to know all the obstacles you will face on the way.

Finally, you need to make sure you arrive safely and on time.

I will assure you of one thing, once you catch a glimpse of your destination; it will be worth whatever the price of the ticket will be, whatever hardship you have to endure along the way, and however long it takes you to get there. 

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.


21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.

24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.


Revelation 22:1. And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.


Now, you may say, “Preacher, that sounds wonderful.  Great.  Fabulous.  Intriguing.

There is only one problem.

I have to die to go to heaven, right?”

To which I say, that’s the least of your worries!

That’s right!

How many of you rode in a car to get to church today?

You were in danger from the moment you got in your car and backed out of your driveway until you turned into the parking lot here at 5701 Sylvania Ave.  The danger stopped when you pulled into your parking spot.

How many of you said, “Oh no, I’m here!”  Did you say, “I’m not getting out of this car!  I’m not ready to end this trip!”

No.  You just yanked on the handle and hopped out.  No big deal.

When you reach the end of your journey on this earth, you just open the door and get out.

The pain and suffering may be in the journey, but it’s not in the destination!

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,

Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;

One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,

So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

So, you might say, Pastor, you talked me into it.  I think I’ll choose heaven as my destination.

Now, how am I going to get there?


Well, it’s too far to get there by yourself.

You need some help.

You need to get into something.  There is a vehicle especially designed to take you from where you are to where you want to go.

And it doesn’t really matter where you are.

There is an advertisement out there about a rental car company that claims they will pick you up, wherever you are.

That’s a lot like the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will pick you up regardless of where you are or how far God has to go to get you!

He’ll pick you up at Suicide Cliffs, Gamblers Gulch or the Cave of Depression.  He’ll pick you up at Jilted Lover’s Lane, Devil’s Den or Alcoholics Alley.  He’ll turn your mess into a miracle.  In fact, He’ll lift you up out of your mess and leave it for the Devil to clean up.  He knows how to unwind, untwist and untangle your life.  Like OnStar, he knows where you are and how to get to you.  Just whisper His name, call His name, shout His name! 

But here’s where many people start getting into trouble.  They think there are many ways to get to heaven.  That’s like saying “I like the ending to this book, but I like the plot to this other book better.  I’ll just read my favorite book and then switch to the ending of this one.  Well, you can have it your way, I suppose, if you’re reading fiction.  But, if you want the ending called heaven, you have to take the Bible road to get there.  And that’s not fiction.  That’s truth!

There is no other way to go but to get into the church.

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

So, how do we get into the church?

Acts 2:37-41  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

It was the same as saying, how do we get there?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

What is this about baptism?  Surely you don’t think baptism is necessary, do you?

Galatians 3:26-28  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Not only is baptism necessary, the Bible makes it clear that it must be done in the name of Jesus Christ. 


Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

What about the Spirit?  All who go to heaven don’t have to be Spirit-filled, do they?

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

I’m talking about the born-again experience.  It’s the heaven-qualifier.

The Bible calls it the wedding garment, the keys to the kingdom, the door to the ark.

John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Whenever you get into the church and begin your journey, you have the next series of events to negotiate.  I am going to boil it down to three things that you will encounter between embarkation and destination. 

There are places you will go through that you may not want to endure.

There is no four-lane, limited access superhighway that goes from here to heaven.  The road you have to travel is the same road that the Apostles took.  The early church traveled this road, and so did our Apostolic pioneers.  It goes through the mountains and valleys, takes you around hairpin turns and across narrow bridges.  And, you’ll meet oncoming traffic—they’re the ones who will tell you to turn back, that it can’t be done.  You can’t let them affect you. 

Do you know why I know it can be done?  Because there are faces that I’ve never seen coming back.  The Kinzies, the Urshans, the Bectons, the Roses.  The Jack Leizures, the Ethyl and Avery Griffeys, the Frank and Rita Gillens and the Katherine Farnsworths—just to name a few. 

Psalms 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

There are weaknesses in you that you may not want to admit.

Yes, you are going to get tired.  Sometimes the road ahead looks blurry and you will wonder if you are going the right way.  It will get dark.  You will have to go through blinding rain and sleet and snow.  You will have to refuel along the way.  But none of these things can cause you to abandon the journey.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

If your journey exposes weakness in you, do not think it’s because God is against you or that you are not cut out for this road.  Remember this:  either your weakness are exposed or they are not.  Keeping them hidden does not eliminate them anymore than hiding your head in the sand makes the world go away.  Having them brought to light is God’s way of confronting and delivering you from them. 

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

My message to you today is Keep Going!  There is renewal and refreshing for you if you keep going.  There is positive change for you if you keep going. 

There are forces out there that you may not want to face.

There are intriguing side-roads out there that beckon you to explore.  I’m convinced that most people lose their way, not because the road map can’t be trusted, but because they can’t control their wanderlust ways.  They can’t drive past the Dinosaur World signs, the Lookout Mountain advertisements, and the promise that they will be shocked, thrilled or scared to death if they will just turn off the main road and try out the tourist trap.

But this is not a family vacation.  This is not a few days off to relax.  If you are on a journey to heaven, you can’t afford to lose sight of your goal whenever something tempting pops up along the way. 

You are going to come face to face with the wiles of the devil.

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Demas was on the right road, but the attractions of the world along the way became too much for him. 

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Paul does not say that Demas was a bad person.  He was not crazy, or stupid, or a pagan, or an atheist.  He was not a criminal.  He just loved the wrong things. 

Yes, places to endure, weakness that are exposed and enemies that fight against you. The road to heaven stretches out before you and you have everything you need to get from here to there.

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

Finally, you might say, “No thanks.  I really don’t want to go anywhere.  I think I’ll just stay here.”

I’m sorry.  That’s not possible.  There is coming a great destruction upon the earth that will make it impossible for you to maintain the status quo.  There is the problem of the sixth seal.

Revelation 6:12-17 (KJV)
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:  17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The fact is that you have to leave here sometime and go someplace.  The question is not if, but when. 

You may think that the journey is your problem.  You may not like the way you have to get there, you may not want to endure the hardships along the way, and you may not want to be denied the freedom to choose your own way.

But what you really need to pay attention to is your destination. 

Heaven.  Pay any price.  Endure any hardship.  Fight any foe.

Take any risk.  Heaven is your destination and you cannot be denied.  Let us stand.



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