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A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, August 28, 2016

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).


I loved to go to Arizona as a boy! Mother had an old Model A Ford. She packed everything in, and off we would go, her and I, and my friend Chuck. We’d stop in Redlands and get a Pepsi. They were the greatest back then in the 1940’s. They changed the taste of it in the 50’s. But then Pepsi was out of this world, and we were out of Los Angeles! We always left late in the afternoon – and by the time we left Redlands the sun was going down, and we started to sing. Remembering back 60 years, it seems like we sang all the way to Phoenix! Mother drove at night because there was no air conditioner in her old car. I loved those all-night trips to Arizona! They were one of the few happy things in an otherwise dreary childhood! I can hear my mother’s voice, even now – “Come on, Robert! We’re going to Phoenix tonight!” Wow! That was great! We were leaving dirty, smoggy, sad and mournful old Los Angeles behind! We were off – to the Arizona desert, to the barrel cactuses and the Joshua trees, the jackrabbits, the quail, the roadrunners and the coyotes! We were off to see Bernard Roer’s bird farm, to drink grape soda, and read Donald Duck comics! We almost felt like they did in that old movie – “We’re off to see the Wizard! the wonderful Wizard of Oz!” It was exciting, thrilling, marvelous! My heart leaped for joy when Mother said, “Come on, Robert, we’re going to Arizona tonight!”

But when I went back to Arizona later it wasn’t the same. Somehow the charm was gone. I had longed for Arizona – but when I went back it was just like any place else in this old world. That’s when I began to realize that nothing in this world truly satisfies the heart. You see, I wasn’t really longing for Arizona – I was longing for Heaven! Squire Parsons captured that feeling in the song Mr. Griffith just sang,

I'm kind of homesick for a country
   To which I've never been before;
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken,
   For time won't matter anymore.
Beulah Land, I'm longing for you,
   And some day, on thee I'll stand,
There my home shall be eternal,
   Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land.
(“Sweet Beulah Land” by Squire Parsons, 1948-).

It will be so exciting, so thrilling, so wonderful – when Jesus says, “Come on Robert, we’re going to Heaven tonight!”

I'm looking now across the river
   Where my faith will end in sight;
There's just a few more days to labor,
   Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Beulah Land, I'm longing for you,
   And some day, on thee I'll stand,
There my home shall be eternal,
   Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land.

“In that bright city!”

In that bright city, pearly white city,
   I have a mansion, a robe and a crown;
Now I am watching, waiting, and longing,
   For the white city John saw coming down.
(“The Pearly White City” by Arthur F. Ingler, 1902).

I. First, let’s see what will be in Heaven.

Mr. Prudhomme read Hebrews 12:22-24 a few minutes ago. That passage tells some of the things that we will see in Heaven.

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24).

In verse 22 we are told that this is very definitely a picture of Heaven. He calls it by three names. It is called “Mount Zion.” It is called “the city of the living God.” Then, to make sure we understand, he says it is “the heavenly Jerusalem.”

Then he gives us a list of the things that will be there. First, there will be “an innumerable company of angels” there. I believe there are angels around us all the time, guarding us and protecting us. But they are hidden from our sight most of the time. I believe I saw an angel once. But that was only one angel, and I only saw him once. But in Heaven we will see an “innumerable” number of angels, thousands upon thousands of them. In Revelation 5:11 we are told that there are “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” of angels there. That’s an awful lot of angels! You will see them. You will be able to talk to some of them. What a day that will be! What a sight that will be! I’m looking forward to it! When Jesus says, "Come on Robert, we're going to Heaven tonight!"

Then we are told that “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” will be there (Hebrews 12:23). In the Bible, almost all references to “church” speak of a local church, a local congregation, like ours. But I believe this is a reference to the universal church. Every Christian throughout the ages will be there. Their names were “written in heaven” – in the Lamb’s Book of Life! All will be there – all the Apostles; all the martyrs who were torn to shreds by lions in the Roman arenas; all the faithful saints, many of whom were tortured during the Middle Ages; all the converted souls from the Three Great Awakenings; all the missionaries; all the converts they had from throughout the world; all the great preachers of the ages; all that were martyred by Communists and the Muslims in the 20th century; all will be there! Henry Alford (1810-1871) said it well,

Ten thousand times ten thousand In sparkling raiment bright,
   The armies of the ransomed saints Throng up the steeps of light;
’Tis finished, all is finished, Their fight with death and sin;
   Fling open wide the golden gates, And let the victors in.
(“Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand” by Henry Alford, 1810-1871).

“God the Judge of all” will be there too (Hebrews 12:23). It wouldn’t be Heaven if God were not there! I don’t believe we will ever see God directly. Psalm 104:2 tells us that God covers Himself with light “as with a garment.” The Bible says, “No man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18). I believe it will be the same in Heaven. We will see the light around Him, but we will not see God the Father Himself. Yet we are told that He will be there with us in Heaven.

“The spirits of just men made perfect” will also be there. Dr. McGee said these are the “Old Testament saints whose salvation has been made complete now that Christ has died as the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, volume 5, 1983, p. 608; note on Hebrews 12:23). Every one of those Old Testament saints will be there in Heaven! Adam and Eve will be there, cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb; Abel will be there. So will Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and Sarah, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and Moses, and Joshua, and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah, and David, and Samuel, and all the prophets! What a day that will be when we see them all in Heaven! When Jesus says, "Come on Robert, we're going to Heaven tonight!"

And we are also told that “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant” will be there (Hebrews 12:24). It wouldn’t be Heaven if Jesus were not there. We are going to see Jesus!

A quack doctor poured poison in her eyes when she was a few days old. She was completely blind all her life. But Fanny Crosby, in one of her charming songs, said this:

...I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
   And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
   And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
   By the print of the nails in His hand.
(“My Saviour First of All” by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).

And then we are told that one more thing will be there in Heaven – “and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). Dr. McGee said, “Abel’s blood cried for vengeance, but the blood of Christ speaks of salvation” (McGee, ibid.). Of course the Blood of sprinkling is there! It wouldn’t be Heaven without Christ’s precious Blood.

Dr. W. A. Criswell earned his Ph.D. in New Testament Greek. He was one of America’s greatest preachers for nearly 60 years at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Billy Graham was a member of his church. Dr. Criswell said this about the Blood of Jesus in Heaven,

Our Lord enters beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies, bearing blood, not of bulls and goats, but pouring out His own blood to purge and to make atonement for our sins...In the heaven of heavens, in the sanctuary of sanctuaries where God is, our Christ had to enter with blood of propitiation, atonement and forgiveness, and He cleanses the holy place...That is what Christ did for us when He entered beyond the veil. How could we, sinful men and women, enter into that holy place where God lives? We enter under the blood of His atonement (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., Great Doctrines of the Bible, Volume 2, edited by Paige Patterson, Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, pp. 194-196).

I do not know how any man who believes in the verbal inspiration of the Hebrew and Greek Bible, the inerrant Word of God, can cut those words out of his Bible, “and to the blood of sprinkling.” Oh dear brother, preacher, do not let Colonel R. B. Thieme or John MacArthur cut these words of God out of this inspired chapter! “And to the blood of sprinkling” – that seals it and settles it forever, in the verbally inspired text of the Word of God Almighty! “And to the blood of sprinkling.” For all time, and for all eternity, it is there in the holy of holies; in Mount Zion, in the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem!

Some people have said to me, “Why do you keep after Colonel Thieme and John MacArthur on the Blood? Let it alone! Let it go!” But, you see, I can’t let it go. These men have influenced thousands of preachers. They have! They have! When was the last time you heard a whole sermon on the Blood of Christ? When was the last time your church sang the great “Blood” hymns? When was the last time your church sang “Nothing But the Blood,” or “Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One,” or “There is Power in the Blood,” or “When I See the Blood,” or “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”?

Dr. MacArthur learned to downgrade Christ’s precious Blood from Colonel R. B. Thieme. I was there, in the meetings, in 1961. Thieme had been barred from speaking at Biola University because of his false teaching on the Blood. So he taught in a high school auditorium. All of us from Biola went out of curiosity. I saw Dr. MacArthur taking notes night after night as Thieme downgraded the Blood. When I read Dr. MacArthur’s statements, I see that they come directly from those lectures, given by that strange man, Colonel R. B. Thieme.

But I know we will never have another great revival unless the Blood of the Saviour is given the respect that it deserves. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was an authority on revival, and he said,

       You will find that in every period of revival, without exception, there has been a tremendous emphasis upon the blood of Christ...Of course, I know perfectly well when I say things like that I am saying something that is unusual and highly unpopular at the present time. There are Christian preachers who think they are being clever in pouring ridicule upon this theology of blood. They dismiss it with scorn [but] I see no hope for revival while men and women are denying the blood of the cross... (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Revival, Crossway Books, 1987, pp. 48, 49).

There is a fountain filled with blood
   Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
   Lose all their guilty stains.
(“There is a Fountain” by William Cowper, 1731-1800).

My dear Christian friend, you will see all of those wonderful and holy things when you get to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, in the Heavenly Jerusalem! And none will be more important than the Blood of Jesus!

Dear Dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
   Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
   Be saved, to sin no more.
(“There Is a Fountain” by William Cowper, 1731-1800).

II. Second, I want you to see one of the things we will be doing in Heaven.

Now, then, we come to our second point, and our second text. Please turn to Revelation 5:9 as I read it.

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Here we see the 24 elders, who represent all the Christians in Heaven. “And they sung a new song.” I am not going to comment on the opening of the book in verse 8. I am going to focus on the main point of what we will sing in Heaven. Here is what we will sing about,

“...thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

MacArthur and Col.Thieme will have to sing about the Blood - if they are in Heaven!

In Heaven, an uncountable number of Christians, billions upon billions of us, will sing praises to Christ. “The new song” is the song of the new covenant, the song of redemption through the Blood atonement of Christ. Indeed, this song will be about Jesus’ death on the Cross, and about His precious Blood! In other words, we will be singing about what the two elements in the Lord’s Supper represent. “Thou wast slain” – His crucified body, represented by the bread in the Lord’s Supper. “And hast redeemed us to God by thy blood” – His precious Blood, represented by the cup in the Lord’s Supper. Thus, the death and the Blood of Christ are represented by two separate elements in the Lord’s Supper. Therefore Dr. MacArthur is wrong when he says repeatedly, that the “Blood” of Jesus is just another word for His “death,” a “metonym” for His death. He is dead wrong. The two separate elements in the Lord’s Supper show that he is wrong. These are not two words for the same thing! They are two separate things! And the two parts of the song we will sing in Heaven show that he is wrong,

(1)  “For thou wast slain,
(2)  “And hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”

Praise God! Hallelujah! We shall praise Christ for dying on the Cross to atone for our sin! And we shall praise Christ for His Blood, that redeems us from sin! Praise the name of Jesus! Dr. McGee said,

“And hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” [We will] sing of His shed blood in heaven. Down here many denominational churches are taking out of their hymn books all references to His blood, but in heaven they will be put back in the hymn book. I guess that may be the reason the Lord isn’t going to embarrass some of those folks by taking them into heaven, because they would have to sing about the blood there (McGee, ibid., p. 937; comment on Revelation 5:9-10).

And I would have you notice that those of us who will sing in that great choir, billions upon billions of us, will have been redeemed by the Blood of Christ “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” I am glad it says that, “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” If it hadn’t said that there wouldn’t be many people in Heaven, because such a very small number of American church members are saved! I think we are going to be surprised at how few Americans, especially from the 20th and 21st centuries, will be there in that choir in Heaven!

The American churches have come up with every conceivable craziness to take the place of the plain Gospel, “thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” Without the Cross and the Blood no one will be in Heaven!

Someone may say, “Dr. Hymers, why do you preach so much on Christ’s Blood?” I will let Spurgeon give the answer. Spurgeon said,

      I heard one, the other day, say of a certain minister, “Oh! we want another minister, we are tired of this man; he is always talking so much about the blood.” In the last great day, God will be tired of the man who said that. God never wearies of the precious blood, nor will His people who know where their salvation lies. They do not, even in heaven, say that [His Blood] is a dreadful word to mention. “Oh, but I do not like the word [Blood]” says some delicate gentleman. Your Lordship will not be bothered with it, for you will not go to heaven. Do not [worry] you shall not go where they sing about the blood. But, if you should ever get there, you will hear it over and over and over again! “Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” How they will [sing] it out! “Thou, thou, thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”...Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” They are not ashamed of the blood of Jesus up there! (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Heavenly Singers and their Song,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1975 reprint, volume XXXIX, p. 391).

I want you to ask yourself if you will be in that choir in Heaven. Would you go to Heaven to sing with them if you died in an accident tonight? Would you? Would you? Would you? You will not go to Heaven if your sin is not cleansed and removed. Only the Blood of Christ can do that! “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb?” Have you? Have you? Have you? You will not be in Heaven if your sin is not washed away by Jesus’ Blood. Will you come to Jesus tonight? Will you be washed clean from your sin by His Blood right now?

If you would like to speak with us about your sin being cleansed by the Blood of Jesus, please walk to the back of this auditorium right now. We will take you to another room where we can talk and pray about that. Amen.


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Hebrews 12:22-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Sweet Beulah Land” (by Squire Parsons, 1948-)/
“The Pearly White City” (by Arthur F. Ingler, 1902).


THE OUTLINE OF

A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

I.   First, let’s see what will be in Heaven, Hebrews 12:22-24;
Revelation 5:11; Psalm 104:2; John 1:18.

II.  Second, I want you to see one of the things we will be doing in Heaven, Revelation 5:9.