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A CLEAN AND HAPPY PLACE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, May 5, 2013

“There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).


According to the Bible the universe will be destroyed in fire. Then God will create a new Heaven and a new earth. Then the New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven. The Apostle said,

“I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

The New Jerusalem is the capital city of the eternal state. The fact that it descends shows that it already exists. But in that day it will come down like a gigantic cube and hang over the earth. This is the capital of Heaven. This is the eternal home of God’s children. This was spoken of by Jesus when He said, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

We cannot say too much about it. The Bible doesn’t give us many details. The Bible gives us a glimpse of glory of the New Jerusalem. The entrance to the Holy City is given in our text,

“There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

This text reveals some important things about Heaven.

I. First, Heaven is a clean and holy place.

That is evident from those words, that nothing that “defileth” or “worketh abomination” or “maketh a lie” will be there.

There is always a sharp difference between the clean and the unclean in spiritual things. Some time ago a girl told me she sensed a spirit in her bedroom. She said it was a “dark spirit.” She knew it was an evil spirit, a malignant demonic force. I have heard other people speak that way. I remember reading about a fortune teller in Wales who went into the church pastored by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. She said she felt the presence of a spirit there. She described it as “a clean Spirit.” Not long after that she became a Christian.

This morning I spoke about sensing the presence of God in my grandmother’s back yard when I was a child. Someone may say, “How do you know it was God?” I can only say that it was “clean.” I felt it was God because it was clean.

Many members of my family were involved in various aspects of the occult. Some of them told fortunes, read tea leaves, that sort of thing. Others were interested in mind science, theosophy, and so forth. One uncle was a Mason, and involved in pyramidology. When I went into the house I often felt dark spirits were there. But when I went into the back yard, or down the street to a church, there was a calm, clean feeling. In one place there was confusion and darkness. In the other there was a clean feeling of peace.

Someone may think I was deceived, but I don’t think so. The difference between those feelings has gone with me throughout life. It has helped me to avoid many pitfalls. For instance, I could sense the uncleanness of the liberalism at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in the early 1970s. I could feel it. It was a confused, dirty feeling. It felt like the dark spirit of mind science, the Masons, or pyramidology. It held no appeal for me. I fled from it each day, and took a long walk in the afternoon out in the clean air around the peninsula where the seminary was located.

Young people, can’t you tell when you’re in the wrong place? Can’t you feel the uncleanness on those Facebook sites? Can’t you sense the darkness on certain websites? Don’t you want to avoid the unclean spirits, and be on the side of God? I don’t see how a person can fill their mind with trash during the week, and then come to church and expect to be saved on Sunday. How can it be? The Bible says,

“Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

The Bible says,

“Come out from among them, and be ye separate... and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you” (II Corinthians 6:17, 18).

Some foolish people think they can have fellowship with the Devil during the week, and fellowship with God on Sunday. It can never be – neither here or in Heaven!

“There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

II. Second, Heaven is a place of rest.

The sin of this present world prevents us from having complete rest. The world is a restless place because of sin. The Bible says,

“The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:20, 21).

Sinners “cannot rest.” Like the rolling sea, they cast up “mire and dirt.” That is why there is no peace on earth.

Go and try to make a happy, peaceful life on earth. Choose everything you think would make your life enjoyable. Take money, a house and investments. Take learning, health and beauty. Take vacations, sports, and scores of friends. Take everything your mind can picture or your heart desire. Take all you can, and yet I tell you, even then you will not find rest. I know very well that in a few short years it will be all hollow, empty, and unsatisfying – all weariness and disappointment. Then you will feel like Solomon, who said,

“Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 2:17).

Bishop J. C. Ryle said,

      This life, so full of trouble, sorrow and care, of anxiety and labor and toil; this life of losses, bereavements, of partings, of separations, of mourning and woe, of sickness and pain...truly I should be crushed to the very earth with misery, if I felt this life were all. If I thought there were nothing for me beyond the dark, cold, silent, lonely grave, I should indeed say it would be better never to have been born.
      Thanks be to God, this life is not all. There is a glorious rest beyond the tomb. This earth is only a training-school for eternity. These graves are but [a] half-way house to heaven. I feel assured this my poor body shall rise again; this corruptible shall yet put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality, and be with Christ forever. Yes, heaven is truth and not a lie. I will not doubt it. I am not more certain of my own existence than I am of this – There remains a rest for the people of God (J. C. Ryle, “Home at Last!”).

And that rest is up yonder in Heaven!

When the roll is called up yonder,
   When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
   When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
(“When the Roll is Called up Yonder” by James M. Black, 1856-1938).

Amen! Sing it with me!

When the roll is called up yonder,
   When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
   When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

You may be seated.

Heaven will be a place of rest and peace. Those in Heaven will no longer be at war with the world, the flesh and the Devil. In Heaven there will be no spiritual enemies to fear. There will be no vile earthy body to mortify. There will be no evil to pray against. In Heaven sin and temptation are forever shut out.

I do not know how children feel today when vacation time comes. But when I was young we felt liberated! We were free to laugh and play, and do as we pleased. That is how we will feel in Heaven! Now we must endure hardness and fight the fight of faith. Now we must face disappointments. Those we try to bring to church often disappoint us. Our own children sometimes cause us pain. We work so hard to win the lost, and build up the church. Yet there are times when one crushing blow after the other nearly makes us waver in our faith. But in Heaven it will not be so. Now we are tossed on a stormy sea. Then we will be safe on shore. Now we have to work. Then we will receive our wages. Now we have to do battle. Then the victory will have been won. Now we must bear the cross. Then we will receive a crown. Now we are travelling through a desert wilderness. Then we will be at home! No wonder the Bible says, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13).

No chilling winds, nor poisonous breath,
   Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,
   Are felt and feared no more.
I am bound for the promised land,
   I am bound for the promised land;
O who will come and go with me?
   I am bound for the promised land!
(“On Jordan’s Stormy Banks” by Samuel Stennett, 1727-1795).

“There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

Nothing “that defileth” will enter Heaven. Those who live only for this world will not be there. Those who defile themselves with filth on the Internet will not be there. Those who think only about pleasure, those who think only about money, those who know no sorrow for sin – will not be there.

Nothing that “worketh abomination” will be there. These are pornographers, adulterers, those who follow their passions, whose only object is to please themselves. They will not be there.

I was surprised to see a woman at my gym on Friday. I hadn’t seen her for several months. I happen to know that she lives a pretty loose life. But she said to me, “Things are getting worse. In the past few months I’ve been shocked to see and hear what people are doing now.” Even some non-Christians are now shocked by the way people talk, the way they act, and the things they do. The Bible makes it plain that such people will not be in Heaven.

Nothing that “maketh a lie” will be there. You know how people lie today. They promise one thing and then do something else. They say one thing, but do something different. They even come to church and pretend they want to be Christians. This is the worst kind of hypocrite. They may deceive the pastor. They may deceive their friends and families. They may even try to deceive themselves. But they are liars in God’s sight. And if they do not repent they will not enter Heaven.

You may think I’m being too hard. But if you ever stand outside the gates of Heaven and are turned away – if Christ ever says to you, “I never knew you: depart from me” – remember that I warned you (Matthew 7:23). Remember then that I told you those who are worldly and live evil lives will never enter Heaven. If you cling to the things that God hates you will in no wise enter Heaven!

Who then will enter Heaven? The text says, “but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27). Who are they? Who are those whose names are “written in the Lamb’s book of life”?

They are those who have been convicted of their sin. They are those who stopped thinking they were good enough to enter there. They are those who confessed, “Lord, I am indeed unclean.”

Also, they are those who trusted Jesus. They found that Jesus died to pay for their sins. And they threw themselves on Him and cried for mercy. They have believed on Christ and trusted Him for salvation.

Once more – they are those who have been born again, and now live a new life. They are those who want to be more holy. They love God and want to live for Him. That is the character of those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Those are the men and women that will enter Heaven. And nothing can keep them out!

Think hard. If you cannot give your heart to Christ now, how could you possibly enjoy Heaven when you die? Could you be happy there in your present condition? Could you sing glad songs with the saints in Heaven? Could you enjoy long conversations with the prophets and the Apostles? Surely you’d want to get out of there and join your friends outside! There could be no rest for you in Heaven if your heart is not changed.

You must repent of your sin and trust in Christ. The night before He died on the Cross He knelt in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. There in the darkness He was weighed down when your sins were placed on Him. He sweat “as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,” under the weight of your sin. The next day He went willingly to the Cross. There He paid the full penalty for your sin. But you must turn from your wickedness and trust Him. You must surrender your life to Him. Surrender your body, your mind, and your heart to Jesus. Trust Him as the Lord of your life. Let Him have full control of you. That’s what it means to trust Him. And when you trust Him, you can be certain that your name is in the Book of Life. You can be certain that you will be in Heaven when you die.

I’m going to ask Mr. Griffith to come and sing his solo again. If you want to speak with us about becoming a real Christian, please leave your seat and step to the back of the room while he sings. If you would like to speak with us about the things I preached on tonight, go to the back of the auditorium now. Go quickly right now while he sings.

What rejoicing in His presence,
   When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
   And the dark things shall be plain.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
   Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
   I shall see Him by and by!

Face to face! O blissful moment!
   Face to face – to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
   Jesus Christ who loves me so.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
   Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
   I shall see Him by and by!
(“Face to Face” by Carrie E. Breck, 1855-1934).

Dr. Chan, please come and pray for those who have responded. Amen.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF "A CLEAN AND HAPPY PLACE!"

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
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write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Revelation 21:16-27.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Face to Face” (by Carrie E. Breck, 1855-1934).


THE OUTLINE OF

A CLEAN AND HAPPY PLACE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

(Revelation 21:2; John 14:2)

I.   First, Heaven is a clean and holy place, James 4:4;
II Corinthians 6:17, 18.

II.  Second, Heaven is a place of rest, Isaiah 57:20, 21; Ecclesiastes 2:17;
Revelation 14:13; Matthew 7:23.