Setting Our Affection on Things Above

Colossians 3:1-4

Oct 28, 2012 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Col 3:1-4)


A.    I have wanted to preach this subject for a long time! You see, I learned a long time ago about a wonderful place, a real place, a forever place called heaven, and have never tired of reading about it. I have never tired of yearning to go there! I have never grown weary of hearing what it is like!

B.     My heart aches for modern people of this generation who know nothing of the heaven as described in the Bible! People have heard of nirvana, the seventh heaven, Cadbury’s “Show Me Heaven” chocolate, but very few know of God’s heaven! Old time Christians knew!

C.     If I could show you pictures of heaven, and of what you will find there, I know just what will happen - you will caught-up in it all! You will start sneaking a peak more often at what lies ahead for you. You will start losing your love for the things of this life, and start laying up all your treasures in heaven.

D.    Do you know what, I think I WILL show you some pictures of heaven - not that I have been there and back, but I personally know Someone who HAS - Jesus!

E.     I just want to get you ready to go! Encourage you that suffering and struggles ARE worth it!


II.    Background


A.    What Happens When a Person Dies? Separation of Soul, Spirit from the Body


1.      Even though your body is not eternal, the human soul is eternal (Rev 6:9; 20:4)


a.       Created in the image of God

b.      Created to live forever


2.      Hebrews 9:27        Right after death, The Judgment

3.      Luke 16:19-24       Either you are instantly in Hell…

4.      2 Cor 5:1-8            Or instantly in Heaven - with the Lord (Philp 1:23)

5.      Jesus went to heaven (John 20:17) two times (John 20:18-28; Acts 1:9-11), and will take us there to “His Father’s house” (John 14:1-3). That is, until the time that He returns for good, and His “Second Coming”

6.      Paul went to heaven (third heaven, 2 Cor 12:1-f) and returned.

7.      John went to heaven (Rev 4:1-f) and came back to deliver the Book of the Revelation to the world.

8.      All believers who have died are already in heaven with Christ, and will be brought with the Lord at His return (1 Thes 4:14).

9.      So, it is either heaven or hell folks, when you die! There is NO OTHER place to go to!!! No ‘Limbo,’ ‘Purgatory,’ ‘Nirvana,’ or re-incarnation!


B.     What is Heaven?


1.      A real place, just like the earth is real – but it is spiritual, not physical!

2.      It is beyond the furthest galaxy

3.      According to Gods word, there are three Heavens. See 2 Cor 12:2 where Paul went to the third heaven.


a.       First Heaven - Genesis 1:8,9 "And God called the firmament Heaven..." This firmament (the earth's atmosphere) consists of air, and the clouds. As “the windows of heaven were opened.”

b.      Second Heaven - Genesis 1:14-17. The second heaven is filled with the planets, stars, comets, supernovas and nebulas that are outside our atmosphere, and yet do not reach God. We call this heaven, “the universe.”

c.       Third Heaven


4.      This is where God dwells (Matt 6:9; Ps 113:5). It is not anywhere near this planet (Acts 7:48,49). The Mormons believe God is from a PLANET called Kolob!!!

5.      It is where all the laws of physics end – where things don’t wear out or run down!

6.      It is where born again believers go when they die, or are taken to at the time of the rapture (1 Thes 4:15-17)!

7.      This is usually the place being talked about when we refer to “going to heaven!”


III. Message –Heaven! ( Colossians 3:1-4)


A.    Heaven’s Door (John 10:7-10; 14:6; Rev 4:1) - Jesus


1.      Not Death - don’t misunderstand me, but the door to heaven is entered BEFORE death, not just at death - fatal mistake if you wait to try and enter the door THEN (2 Cor 6:2)!

2.      Not Wide - Is Narrow - everybody thinks that everyone is headed there! Heaven can only be entered through ONE door, and ONE only! No Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal can get there any other way! It is only through Jesus Christ!

3.      Is Jesus Only! So many counterfeit “paths” to heaven:


a.       No self-efforts! Trying to reach heaven by reaching outer space (Gen 10) - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961 going into space said, “I don’t see any god out here!” He was a fool for thinking that He was out there!

b.      No religious efforts - Trying to get there by a “back door” - Mary, good works, best efforts

c.       No political efforts! Trying to get into heaven by creating it here on earth - politics - bringing peace on earth without the Prince of Peace being here!

d.      Only a Saviour can get you in! Heaven’s door IS a Person, not a place, or a feeling, or a prayer, or a path, or ANYTHING but surrendering to the arms of a living Saviour! Once you have done that, you are IN! As a child, teenager, adult, etc!


B.     Heaven’s Core (Isa 6:1-4; Rev 4:1-6; 5:13,14) - The Throne is at the very centre of heaven


1.      For those here who have already gone through heaven’s DOOR (not in an out of body experience), by repentance and confident faith in Jesus Christ, your first sight once in heaven will not be Christians, nor the streets of gold, nor the angels, or even the mansions that await us!

2.      The center-focus of all eternity, the CORE of all of heaven, is a throne, with a KING on it - and everything surrounds and expands from that throne!


a.       The heart of God, the essence of His being, is concentrated IN heaven (“our Father, which art in heaven…”), even though He is everywhere!

b.      The colours of the throne are semi-transparent greenish-red: like an arc welder arc - pure power radiating from that light (1John 1:5)!

c.       Surrounded first by a rainbow, all the way around - never ending – always reminding Him of all His promises!

d.      Surrounded next by 4 cherubims - mightiest angels of them all! There was a fifth cherub that used to cover the throne, and lead the music of heaven… (Ezek 28)

e.       Surrounded next by 24 elders - great men and women of faith, some apostles, some prophets, etc!

f.       Surrounded next by multitudes of all the saved!

g.      Surrounded by an innumerable company of angels!

h.      WHAT A SIGHT!


3.      That core of power and activity will cause us to fall on our faces and worship, praise, and honour the MAJESTY, AUTHORITY, and AWESOMENESS of the Great “I AM,” Jehovah – as the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit!

4.      It is about time we warmed up our praise and worship of “Him that sitteth upon the throne!”


C.     Heaven’s Shore (Rev 5:11,12; John 14:3) - Immense


1.      Once we enter through the DOOR of heaven…

2.      Once you get over the CORE of heaven, (if you ever do)

3.      You will notice the SHORE of heaven - How many of you would like to live on beachfront property? We all would right? Well if saved, your wish has come true!

4.      Only, instead of a lot of water (though that will be there too), you will be on the edge of the universe! What a sight! No astronaut ever has, or even could imagine such a view out your dining room window from your Mansion!

5.      And heaven is not crowded - it is HUGE! There is enough room to accommodate every man woman and child ever born! Talking about just ONE city 1,500 miles square! Half the size of Europe! Whew!

6.      God does not want to exclude ANYONE (Rev 22:17) - He asks every person to make up his or her own mind! To choose Christ, or your own way!


D.    Heaven’s Lore (John 14:1,2; Rev 21:4-6) - All the best dreams are True!


1.      It has a real city there, made without hands, the size of a continent, NOT a small village


a.       Called the New Jerusalem

b.      That’s where the Mansions and streets of gold are! Not little shacks, or tents!

c.       Abraham sought this city (Heb 11:8-10, 13-16)

d.      It is like a Bride (21:1,2,9).


1)      Beautiful – head-turning! Stunning!

2)      Full of believers - referred to as the Bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:1-3)


e.       Like a Jewel (21:11). Reflecting the glory of the Lord (21:23)

f.       Like a Fortress (21:12-14) - We are SAFE there!

g.      Like a Diamond, or double pyramid (21:15-21)

h.      Like a Temple (21:22) - true worship will be natural

i.        Like a bright and burning Star (21:23)


2.      There are seven No Mores there (Rev 21:1-5):


a.       No more separation (sea, 21:1) - between God and humanity, or between each other.


1)      If someone is lost, then there is only eternal separation

2)      But if someone is born again, there is just “see you in the morning!”


b.      No more death - death is the result of sin - no more sin – no more endings

c.       No more sorrow – loss – no one is hurtful - no more burdens

d.      No more crying - God takes the time to personally wipe away all tears! No more reason to cry

e.       No more pain – we perfect bodies – new bodies

f.       No more baggage (21:4,5) - all the old things are gone! No more potential to sin, no more haunting memories of past sins, no more fears of messing-up!

g.      No more curse (22:3) - only life, and life alone! No thorns, or flies!

h.      It really is “paradise” (2 Cor 12:2,4)

i.        And it is ALL TRUE (21:5)!

j.        Oh, and one last one… No more chances (21:6-8). See Heb 9:27


3.      Called the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)! Not pie in the sky!


E.     Heaven’s Roar (Luke 15:7; Rev 5:6-14) - Rejoicing! Excitement!


1.      It is not quiet up there - that city NEVER sleeps - no night! (Don’t you see how people WANT to live in such a place, but they settle for Dublin, Amsterdam, or New York City, but are hell-holes compared to what awaits us!

2.      It is full of excitement and praise for the Lamb

3.      Heaven is like a massive football stadium just waiting for a reason to roar:


a.       When someone repents, and gets saved!

b.      When someone gets the victory over their sin!

c.       When someone finds a reason to be thankful to God, and praises His wonderful name

d.      When someone surrenders to the will of God!


F.      Heavens’ War (Luke 10:20; 2 Tim 4:9,10)


1.      Against counterfeits


a.       Drugs - so many are turning to “ecstasy,” to the bar scene for joy

b.      Entertainment - spending fortunes on TVs, activities, clothes, foods

c.       Political pipe-dreams - really believing we don’t need God or Bible!

d.      Education - teaching “scientifically” that there is no heaven, no hell - it all is in your mind - all leftover from our cavemen days! Just leave it up to the Professors, and instructors who know all the answers! NOT!


2.      Against Confusion (Rom 8:18)!!!


a.       Thinking God’s blessings are great - we have more than we know up in heaven than what we think we have down here!

b.      Thinking miracles, signs, and wonders are great - not as great as what lies waiting for every believer in heaven!

c.       Thinking the struggles and heartaches as a Christian just aren’t worth it


3.      For Priority in the lives of Christians


a.       Over love for this world - Christians have this battle! Don’t think it doesn’t matter! Colossians 3 says our affections MUST be on things above!

b.      Over the attention that problems get these days - in the old days, the struggle just forced the Christian heart to look up with greater yearning

c.       There will be a time of judgment – not for sins, but for effort – called the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor 5:10; 1Cor 3:10-15; 2Tim 4:8) – a time of rewarding!

d.      It is here that God will make up to you all that you suffered through for His sake!


G.    So, How Does Anyone Get in There? (Rev 21:24-27)


1.      Not everyone gets in (21:8,27)

2.      You have to go in by the gate/Door (Cf John 10:7-10)

3.      Only those who are “saved,” having their names written down in the Lamb’s book of Life - those Born Again, have eternal life!

4.      So, What does it take (22:17)?


a.       Come to Christ - as a sinner, broken, defeated, ruined, thirsty, wanting His salvation

b.      Take of the water of life FREELY (22:17)!

c.       Receive Jesus Christ into your heart by faith, and believe He will save you, if you would just ask!

d.      Then, Start looking forward to your new home! You wont ever look back!


IV. Conclusion - So, What Are We Placing Our Affections, Our yearning Upon?


A.    Heaven’s Door - is Jesus! Have you trusted Him yet? Fully? No hesitation?

B.     Heaven’s Core - is God’s Throne, and is all about worship, praise and adoration! Let’s get in the habit of praising “Him that sitteth upon the throne!”

C.     Heaven’s Shore- is Immense! Amen! It is huge with room for everyone!

D.    Heaven’s Lore - All True! Mansions, everywhere! No more rubbish from this life - all new!

E.     Heaven’s Roar - Rejoicing! Excitement! Over sinners

F.      Heavens’ War

G.    Are you coming?