Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered May 31, 2003 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Get Ready to Move

This morning I would like to talk with you about the time when we and Jesus get together. You know, Jesus is our God. And so is the Father and the Holy Spirit of course because Jesus is just as much God as the Father is. He's our Savior. And He is coming back to this world. That's what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist. We go to church on the Seventh day, and Advent: we keep the hope of Jesus' soon return in our hearts. He's coming soon. His advent will not be long.

So, let's come over here to John 14 in our Bibles. I would like for you to look at the first three verses. John 14:1-3, KJV. You probably have this all memorized. It says, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father's house[hold] are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

He's coming again. He's coming to receive us unto Himself. All His group of angels and Jesus are coming to receive us. And then we're going to go to heaven.

But, heaven is not the end, because there is such a thing as the New Earth. Have you heard of the New Earth? The meek shall inherit the earth." - Matthew 5:5 KJV. There is to be a new earth. That was in our Scripture reading today (Revelation 21:1- 3). Peter says in 2 Peter 3:13 KJV. "Nevertheless, we... look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

I think the biggest thing that I ever saw move was probably when they moved a house down the street. It was actually a big old mill three stories high where they milled flour when we lived up in Michigan. And they moved that right down the middle of the road. It hung out on both sides of the road. It was huge. That's a big move. There's a bigger move coming. Revelation 21 talks about it, and that is the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem, you see, is a real place. Revelation 21:1,2. I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away; and there was no longer any sea.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

So, this city is going to move, isn't it. It's going to come out of heaven and come down to this earth. That's amazing.

Look at verse 10. He carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God." It's going to come down. It's going to be a big move. And the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to this earth. The new heaven and the new earth will be together, and the new city. And that'll be a huge move, the biggest move yet.

Now, how big is the New Jerusalem? Well, look at Revelation 21:15, 16. The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. It was a cube, a perfect square. Scientists have looked at this and measured the cubit and have found out that this city would be 1500 miles if you were to walk all the way around it. That's a big town. That's bigger than Collegedale. Three hundred seventy five miles on a side. As big as the whole state of Tennessee North and South Carolina, probably, all together. That's a big place.

And this city twelve foundations. You can continue reading in the Bible and you can find that out. The foundation is not made out of concrete, it's made out of twelve precious stones. You can read that in verses 19 and 20. They're beautiful stones. If you analyze the color of those stones you will find out that they are basically sort of the color of the rainbow. So, this city looks like it is sitting on a magnificent rainbow. It appears beautifully.

I've heard jokes about that city. People have said, "You know, when you get to heaven you're going to meet Saint Peter at the gate. And he's going to..." and the joke goes on and on. Let me ask you something. Is Saint Peter going to be at the gate? THE gate? Is there one gate to heaven? How many gates are there to heaven? There are twelve gates, aren't there. There are going to have to be twelve Saint Peters, I guess. No! there are twelve gates. And Saint Peter is not in charge of THE gate. Revelation 21:12. Each one of these gates is guarded by an angel according to the Bible, and not Saint Peter. The gates are big. Each gate is made of a single pearl. A little boy said, "Wow, what giant clams they must have in heaven!" Well, there are not clams that can have a mile-wide pearl. I don't know how big that gate is going to be, but it'll be a big gate to let everybody in that is going to be saved. Everybody that gives their heart to Jesus and accepts Him as their Savior will be there.

The construction company is who? Hebrews 11:10 says it's Architect and Builder is God. That's right. He's the construction company and the Architect. They both do it together. The same person.

So, Revelation describes that city. Who is going to live in that city? Well, we're going to live in that city, aren't we? Isn't it going to be the home of the faithful? Isn't the better than floating on cloud nine? Have you always wanted to float on a cloud for the rest of your life? I haven't. This city is going to be a real place. I don't even want to float on cloud number ten. I don't want to play a harp forever, and that's the only thing I do. I want to meet Jesus. I want to be there with Him. And there's something interesting about those gates. Look at Revelation 21:25. On no day will its gate ever be closed, for there will be no night there. They will never be closed in the daytime, will they. But what about nighttime? Well, there is no nighttime, so what does that mean? If they're never closed in the daytime, and it's daytime all the time, then the gates are never closed. They're open. What does that tell you? It's a safe place to live. There are no enemies out there. Why would you have gates? Why do you lock your house at night? To keep out something bad that might get you. There is no need to lock the gates because there is nothing bad there. That's a wonderful place.

If you step out of the city, if you're in city and you step out of the city, you walk out through that gate, where will you be? You'll be in the new earth. He saw a new heaven and a new earth and the new Jerusalem coming down. Coming down, where? Right here to this world. This world that is recreated, is made brand new, restored like Adam and Eve once saw it. They had the Garden of Eden there. The new heaven and the new earth: they go together. I think the New Jerusalem will be the capital of the new world, the new earth. And remember the beatitudes, Jesus said in Matthew 5:5, "The meek shall inherit the heavens." No! "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Now, is this true today? Do you meek people inherit the earth today? Meek people don't. You've got to be very aggressive to get very much out of this world today. The new heaven and the new earth will be inherited. Spiritually minded people will inherit the entire earth-made-new because they're sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:31, The righteous will be rewarded in the earth. Matthew 6:10, The Lord's prayer. Do you remember Jesus says, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?" Do you know what it is going to take to enter the Lord's prayer? The new earth because it is never going to be done on this world, I'm afraid, until we get on the other side of eternity. It's going to take the new earth to answer that prayer.

Psalm 37:9 KJV. ...those who wait upon the Lord shall inherit they shall inherit the earth. And also, Psalm 115:16. And 2 Peter 3:10-13, and Psalm 37:29. "The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever." We are going to dwell in the new earth.

And what are we going to be doing in the new earth?

Now, you recognize me. We'll recognize each other there. we're going to know each other. Your same name will remain, and plus you'll have a new name. And we'll recognize one another. You recognize me today by my voice. Hopefully I'll have a nice voice when I get to heaven. You recognize me today by my face. These wrinkles, this lack of hair, and all of this bad stuff. Short. I just wonder if when we get to heaven, the first shall be last and the last shall be first; maybe us short people will be tall. I don't know. That would be so nice. Men can't wear high heels, you know.

Let's go to Revelation 21:4. What's going to happen in the new earth, the new Jerusalem? He will wipe every tear from their eyes, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. They've passed away. If you go to the drugstore in heaven you walk in there to get your prescription filled, are you going to do that? We won't need to have a drugstore where you can buy Excedrin and medicines for arthritis and rheumatism and fever and pain. Would you need vitamins? Would you need crutches? Are you going to need a walker or a back brace or antibiotics. No, there wont even be a need for a handkerchief or a Kleenex. All that stuff will be out of business.

And there won't be any Walmart, Sears and Roebucks, no auto supplies, nor hardware stores. No luggage. I don't think we'll need luggage. We aren't going to wear clothes, are we? We're going to be clothed with a robe of light, probably. Will we need shoes or vending machines or computers? Are we going to be on the Internet? We're not going to need washers and dryers, surely, because there's no dirt there. No vacuum cleaners. It's going to be a different world. No lights or flashlights, because there's no night there. You'll never see another flashlight for the rest of your life. Praise the Lord, we don't need them. No power tools, no beds, probably. Will we get tired there? I doubt it. You won't need a bank to keep your money because it will be safe. But we won't even have money, will we. We'll walk on the streets of gold. And you won't even be able to see the yellow line going down the street because there won't be any.

Will there be a bus station? Will there be an airport there? Will we have wings? Do we have to flap our wings to fly? It would be kind of slow wouldn't it. One billion miles to the next place. I don't know. I think we're going to tour the universe.

There will be no police stations, no funeral homes, no hospitals, no dentists, no doctors, no beauticians. We'll all be beautiful. You won't have all these shoes that you mend in your closet. No hosiery mills, no steak houses. What? No steak house? Will there be a slaughterhouse in heaven where they kill the animals? No gas stations, no furniture factories. You're not going to need a bed or a dresser.

No insurance agencies, their will be no loss there. No lawyers or attorneys because nobody is going to sue anybody else. You're going to be in the perfect place. No army, no missiles. That'll be nice. If they play the news in heaven, they will just have to tell the good news. The good news is that Jesus is your Savior. And you're home with Him forever.

No road department, no highway department. No political government, no taxes. No preachers, but there will be special music. We're going to have ... You aren't going to play the organ, I don't think. [Genesis 4:21, Job 21:12, Job 30:31] You might not be able to play the piano, you'll be able to sing. We're going to sing when we get to heaven. We're going to do that.

There is no temple there (Revelation 21:22) because there is no sin. No offering plate. We won't be able to take up the offering for the missionaries or the poor because there won't be any unsaved people. There won't be any poor people.

Do you suppose that when we get to heaven there will be a Bible? I don't know. There'll be no reminder other than the holes in Jesus' hands and feet of sin. We won't remember the former things, will we?

There will be no zoos there. Well, wait a minute. The whole place will be a zoo, won't it?

So, what will we do, anyway when we get to heaven? Well, the bible, fortunately does not leave us in the dark. Come back here to Isaiah in your Bible. Isaiah 32. Here's something we are actually going to be doing. Isaiah 32:18 NIV says, My people will live in a peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. How do we know what this is talking about? Well, verse 15: Till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. That's a beautiful place. That's where we're going to be.

And, Isaiah 55. Come over a few more pages in your Bible. Isaiah 55:13 NIV. Look at this. Something else that describes heaven. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. That will be beautiful, won't it. He's going to change everything.

In Isaiah 60. Come over here a few more pages. Isaiah 60:18 NIV says, No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gate Praise. The sun will no more will be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine upon you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more: the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. That's going to be great, isn't it. Verse 21> Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of My splendor. That's a great wonderful thing.

"We are going," it says, "enjoy the branch of our planting." You are not going to have to hoe your garden. You're going to enjoy what you plant. You're not going to have to water it. You're not going to have to spray Malathion on it, or Sevin or some other chemical. "And you will long enjoy the work of your hands," this says. I like to work with my hands. Maybe we'll be working with soil or with pottery or clay or ... I don't know, maybe there will be stone or metal. It will be interesting.

And then Isaiah 65 describes some more. Isaiah 65:17 NIV. Notice this: Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for, I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in My people; the sound of weeping and crying will be no more heard. Never again will their be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years. And what will our years be? They will be forever. We're going to live forever. Verse 20b. he who dies at a hundred will be thought of as a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and shall eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and other eat. It looks like we will have to build our own house. Now I thought that we just read in John 14:1-3 I go and prepare a place fore you, Jesus said. Right? ...and if I go, I will come and receive you unto Myself... He has gone to prepare a place for us, but this also says that we're going to build our own house. What does that mean? Maybe we'll have a house in the New Jerusalem, and we'll have another one in the country. That would be great.

In Isaiah 65:22 it says, No longer will they build houses and others live in them. So, there'll be no contractors there. We won't plant and others eat. There won't be any farmers there. For as the days of a tree, (the tree of life) so will be the days of My people; My chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be people blessed by the Lord.

There are some beautiful things in here, aren't there. They are very beautiful.

So, we're going to build houses and inhabit them. You're going to build a house when you get to the new earth, apparently. That's what God says. And, what kind of house will it be? Are you going to put a roof on your house? Are you going to have a door in it? Will you have a lock on the door? Will you have screen on your windows to keep out the things that bite you? There won't be any chiggers there. There won't be any SARS there. No AIDS. No mosquitos. Nothing bad of any kind. And you certainly won't even need glass in your windows. maybe we'll just live in the woods. I don't know. Because we wouldn't need a kitchen, would we? You're not going to have to slave over the stove when you get to heaven, are you? Are you going to have to bake casseroles and wash the dishes. Are they going to sell soap in heaven? I don't think so.

And what about the bedrooms. How many bedrooms would you need when you get tired? There won't be any nights there. We're not going to get tired. We're going to be youthful with eternal energy. Would you need a bathroom? Would you need a septic tank? A bath tub? No. There's no dirt there.

I could ask a lot of different questions. I suppose we'll eat and just pick it off the trees. We'll pick our hot pizza of the pizza trees. And pick our ice cream cones off the ice cream cone trees. And we'll eat our food, whatever it is. It will all be healthful. Why is it that God made all of the things that are bad for you to be the best tasting things? I don't know. There's sugar and the fat and the oils... Oh those taste so good. I could eat a whole bag of potato chips. And I think when we get to heaven the potato chips will be good for us if they have such a thing.

Isaiah 65:25 NIV. The wolf and the lamb will feed together. Now, wait a minute. What do wolves eat today? Well, what do lambs eat? Lambs eat grass and hay, don't they? How can a wolf eat hay? And yet that's what's going to happen. I suppose God will have to redesign the teeth of the wolf and the digestive system so he'll have a much longer intestinal tract. And the lion will eat straw lie an ox. But dust will be the serpent's food. I always didn't care about snakes anyway. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord. It's going to be a great place.

When you get to heaven, how great it's going to be! In Isaiah 11 is some more about heaven. You know, I think God wants us to know something about heaven. He wants us to know something about the new earth. Some of these are confusing about whether He's talking about heaven or whether He's talking about the new earth. Maybe He's describing both. I don't know. But look at Isaiah NIV 11. This is a great chapter about Jesus, by the way. Notice, beginning with verse 6. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. Will there be little children in heaven? Well, what about when they grow up? Then there won't be any kids in heaven or the new earth, right? Or will there? Will we give birth? That's a thought there.

The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. This is talking of the new earth, isn't it.

Oh, it's going to be great. We'll be redesigned. The animals will be redesigned. What a great thing that's going to be! I wonder if, perhaps, we'll be able to have pets. Maybe a hippopotamus for your pet or giraffe to slide down his neck or whatever. I don't know.

I used to read a book by Jack London called, The Call of the Wild and in there it intimated that you could know the thoughts of the animal. I wonder if we will be able to communicate with the bugs and the animals. That would be neat. Maybe in the earth-made-new.

In 1 Corinthians I want you to look at another statement about the future. There's a lot written in the Bible about the future. Notice 1 Corinthians 2:9. However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." Do you love Jesus? Have you given your heart to Jesus? Don't you go out of this church today as a lost person. You give your life to Jesus Christ. You know, He'll save you. He's a professional Savior. Jesus is. You don't need to go out of here lost. "You can't imagine all the things," it says here in verse 9, "No mind has even conceive what God has prepared for His people." We can't imagine how nice it will be. I've often wondered about that statement. It says "the eye has not seen." Now I've seen a lot with my eyes. I believe our eyes will be different. I think our eyes will be more like microscopes if we want them to be. We could hold up things and see the details.

By the way, there won't be any clocks in heaven, either. You could just preach forever [Elder Gettys just looked at the clock] The Lord will be the Preacher.

I think our eyes could just focus right in on things, or if this clock were ten miles away we could still see what time it is. The human eye will be better than 20/20. Perhaps we'll see in unknown colors. Maybe we'll see in infra red. You know there's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, and ultraviolet and maybe we'll see beyond the spectrum, do you suppose? There's AM and short wave and FM and TV and UHF and it goes on up and finally they become too short and they become white? Maybe we will be able to hear the light and see the sounds. I don't know.

It's interesting. "Eyes have not seen nor ears have heard, and our minds will be different. Maybe we'll be able to think of more than one thing at a time. I was driving the other day and we were going some place. My wife said, "We want to go here." We were driving there. She got to talking and I got to thinking of what she was talking about and went right by the street. She said, "Where are you going?" I doubt if any of you have ever done that. But that happened to me! I can only think of one thing at a time. Well, maybe in heaven we'll be able to think of a hundred things at a time. And to think about them well and never forget them. We'll have perfect memories, perfect bodies, perfect health. Isaiah 33:24 says that nobody will ever get sick.

And we'll get to sing. And, you know, maybe we'll sing with a voice that can sing a duet, ourself. Or four parts, ourself. Wouldn't that be neat? Or maybe we'll sing in an eight-part voice. I don't know. We're going to develop talents and abilities that we didn't have, that the Lord will give us. We're going to study the mysteries of the universe and understand many of them.

So, in other words, you need to be with Jesus. If you want to live there forever, then you need to make sure Jesus Christ is first in your life.

I noticed something else interesting. Let's go back to Isaiah 66. Remember we were reading about heaven here and about the new earth. I don't want you to miss this. I want you to notice Isaiah 66:22 NIV. "As the new heaven and the new earth that I make will endure before Me," declares the Lord, "so will your name and descendants endure." You're going to have the same name, plus the new name. And your descendants will endure. Your kids that make it are going to endure. Verse 23: "From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before Me," says the Lord. You're going to go to church on what day of the week? On the Sabbath, Saturday, when you get to heaven. You might as well get used to it now.

And we're going to be there as families. Our descendants will be there. Our new name will be there. Will little babies die? Will the babies who have died come back to life and be with us? "You descendants will be there."

The Bible tells of Herod slaying all the little babies in Bethlehem that were two years and younger (Matthew 2:16-18). And then in the Old Testament predicted that slaughter. Let's look at this. Jeremiah 31. This is the prediction of the slaughter that took place in the days of Jesus. Jeremiah 31:16,17. This is what the Lord says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for you work will be rewarded," declares the Lord. "They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future," declares the Lord. "Your children will return to their own land. I have surely heard Ephraim's moaning."

ow how do you get to heaven? Come to Matthew 5:5. I can't close this sermon without telling you how to get there. It's going to be such a wonderful thing. You're going to go to heaven and eventually you'll be in this new earth. How do you do it? What's the key to the whole situation? Look at Matthew 5, the sermon on the mount, the greatest sermon ever preached. Matthew 5:5. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Have you ever inherited something? I haven't. I've never inherited anything that I remember. People that die, they leave it to the church, whatever. That's fine. How do you get eternal life? You inherit eternal life. How do you inherit something? If my great aunt dies and gives me a million dollars, how did I get that? Is it because of what I did? Or because of who I was? It's because I was related to her. I was one of her relatives. You get eternal life because you are related to Jesus, because He is your brother, and you are His sister or His brother. That's how you get eternal life. You inherit it by becoming a child of the King. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to give your all to Jesus Christ today?

Hymn of Praise: #272, Give Me the Bible
Scripture: Revelation 21:1-3
Hymn of Response: #536, He Leadeth Me

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