Creflo Dollar - The Reality of Heaven and Hell - Part 2
We've been talking about the reality of heaven and hell. And last week, we talked about hell. And tonight, we're gonna talk about heaven. It's really, really gonna be an amazing thing for you to join me in the Scriptures tonight to see all the things that I'll share with you. Now, you know, intentionally or unintentionally, there are far too many Christians who find themselves loving the prospects of heaven less than they do many of the indulgences in the world today because people just don't believe it. And as I share these Scriptures with you and we'll cover as much as we can, but I think it's important for you to see it and to understand it. We hear about it, but we've never really kind of, you know, gotten in the Word, see what the Word has to say about it.
So, let's check out the place that you, as holy Christians, will live forever. Let's check out this place called heaven, amen? So, heaven is mentioned 500 times in Scripture. And the Bible speaks of three heavens. Not to bore you, but I do think it's important for you to see these Scriptures so that you'll know this is not my opinion. So, the Bible speaks of three heavens. I'll tell you now, then I'll show it to you. It talks about the heavens where the clouds are, and then it talks about the heavens where the sun and the moon and the stars, space. And then there's the heavens where the throne of God is. So, the first heaven would be the one where the clouds are, in our atmosphere. The second heaven would be the one where the sun, and the moon, the stars, and space. And the third heaven will be the one where the throne of God is.
Now, let's check it out with the Word, there are three heavens. Let's look at 2 Corinthians chapter 12 and verse 2. 2 Corinthians chapter 2 and verse 2. In verse 2, he says, "I knew a man in Christ above 14 years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell. God knoweth such a one caught up in the third heaven". So, he's talking about the third heaven, so Paul talks about being caught up in the third heaven. Now, the third heaven is gonna be the one where the throne of God is. And then you look at 2 Corinthians 12 on down there at verse 4, he says, "How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter".
So, Paul refers to this third heaven as paradise. So, in both of these Scriptures, Paul here is talking about the third heaven. And then so we must conclude that if Paul visited the third heaven and he refers to... yeah, right here he refers to it as the third heaven, you've got to conclude there's a heaven one and heaven two if there's a third heaven, right? And so, let's look at these. The first heaven, if you go to Isaiah 55:9 and 10, Isaiah 55:9 and 10. Now, I've got some places I wanna spend time, but first part of this is just identifying in Scripture so you can just get the reality of this. It's in the Word of God, and that's so powerful to me. Isaiah 55, verses 9 and 10, he says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not hither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth a bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater".
So, this heaven is the atmosphere. It's the atmosphere surrounding the earth. It's the domain of clouds and birds, that's what he's referring to there. In fact, if you'll look at Genesis chapter 1, verse 20 in the Amplified if you got that, Genesis chapter 1 and verse 20 in the Amplified. So, it's important that we can rightly divide this so that you're not thinking everywhere you see heaven, it's talking about the one where the throne of God is. In the Amplified, he says, "And God said, 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let the birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.'" The birds fly in the sky, in this atmosphere. Birds don't fly in space, okay? So, that would be the first heaven.
Now, the second heaven, Genesis chapter 1, verse 14 through 17, turn there. Genesis chapter 1, verse 14 through 17. The second heaven is the domain of the heavenly bodies. This is the place where you've got the sun, the moon, the stars, the planet, the galaxies besides our own. This is outer space, where satellites and all those things exist. Look at this, verses 14 through 17. "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, and it was so.'" And verse 16, "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, the lesser light to rule the night; and he made the stars also". So, this is the second heaven.
Now, the third heaven, let's go back to this if we look at 2 Corinthians 12:2 through 4, the third heaven. And this is, you know, don't freak out over this. Just understand that the Bible is so cool to let us in on some very specific stuff that we're about to hear. I'm talking about the place you're gonna spend eternity, okay? And it needs to be made real. This is, I'm taking all the fable and all the fantasy and all the religion out of it so you can see this for yourself here. Now, the third heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2, he says, "I knew a man in Christ above 14 years ago, whether in the body," he says, "I can't tell, or whether out of the body". He says, "I can't tell. God knoweth such a one caught up in the third heaven". So glad he mentioned that, so the place beyond the atmosphere and the stellar heavens.
The third heaven is the dwelling place of God. It's the dwelling place of God. Let me shoot some Scriptures out to you right quick just to think about. Matthew 6:9, Jesus taught his disciples to pray our Father what? Which art where? The Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16, he again refers to your Father where? In heaven. And then in Psalms 11:4, hit that, Psalms 11:4, it talks about the Lord's throne being in heaven. He says, "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men". So, this third heaven is the heaven where the throne of God is. It's the place where the throne of God is.
Now, God designed something. Now, please check this out. If I have time, I'm gonna show you an accurate description of heaven that will make you even more excited about it. But the earth when you think about this, and I'll show you some Scriptures, the earth is a copy of heaven. I was just checking out the responses. I'mma prove it to you in a moment. The earth is a copy of heaven. Most of what is here on the earth already exist in heaven. That's why it's going to be such a cool thing when you die, most of the things that exists right here that you're familiar with now... let me see if I can put it this way. Spiritual things were not born out of physical things. Physical things came out of spiritual things. The spirit world is the parent world of all physical world. There can be no physical matter except there's first of all spiritual matter. Physical things are not eternal, they change. Spiritual things, things you can't see, are forever.
All right, now keep that in mind as we walk up to this. Heaven is not a flat place in the sky, floating around covered clouds with baby angels dropping grapes in your mouth. That's not heaven. All right, now listen to this. You know, and I worked all day trying not to get excited, just I want to be kinda cool so you can get excited, okay? But I'm getting excited. Now, listen to this, it's a literal world. It's round just like the earth, only huge in proportion. I bet your mama never told you, did she? It's round. It's a world. Earth is an exact, it's a shadow of heaven. Everything that has been manifested in the physical world is a shadow of something that already exists in that spiritual world.
Okay, time for Scripture. Hebrews chapter 8, verse 5. Let's try this in the King James and then the New Living, the NLT. King James first. He says, "Who serve unto the example and the shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, see, saith he, that thou make all things," how? "According to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount". So, the tabernacle, the pattern of the tabernacle that Moses had was the pattern of the heavenly tabernacle. Look at this in the NLT, he said, "They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy". It's only a copy. "It's a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the tabernacle, God gave him this warning, 'Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.'"
You're not the original, you're a copy. That's why your physical body is gonna resemble the physical one, and we will know one another when we get to heaven because, let me keep going, it's too early for me to say that. Let's keep going, you need more Scripture. All right, so listen. This place called heaven, let's examine it a little bit more. Go to Hebrews chapter 11. This place called heaven, let's look at it a little bit more. I've said some radical things, all in the Word, all can be explained and seen. Hebrews 11:16, he says, "But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly; whereas God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city".
All right, I wanna show you this, but God's Word talks about heaven being a city and country just like on earth. All right, let's back up to verse 13, Hebrews 11:13-16. Let's look at this in context. He says, "These all died". He's referring to the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. He said, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country," the one that they came from in the natural, "from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned to that one. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly country; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city".
God has prepared for us a city. My goodness. Now, look at John 14:1 and 2, I'm getting ready to show you a description of the city. John 14:1 and 2, he says, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me". Check Jesus out. "In my Father's house, there are many dwelling places or mansions; if it were not so," he said, "I wouldn't have said nothing". I'm not lying to you, he said, "If it wasn't so, I wouldn't have told you. I go to prepare a place for you". And then Jesus says, "So where I am, you shall be also". All right, now heaven is a real place, say that. It's not a figment of someone's imagination. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
Now, not that I want to take a lot of time 'cause I know we don't have a lot tonight, but go to Revelations 21, and I'm gonna give you some details here. I won't be able to do all of it, but give you some details. This is awesome. I'm on Amplified, so verse 10, "Then in the Spirit he conveyed me away," this is John, "to a vast and lofty mountain, exhibited to me the holy, hallowed, consecrated city of Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God". Jerusalem the city. The new Jerusalem, not the one in Israel, the one in heaven. "Clothed in God's glory, in all his splendor".
I got to go back to King James, I'll never finish reading all them words in Amplified. "Having the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone clear as a crystal. And had a wall great and high, and had 12 gates, and at the gates 12 angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had 12 foundations, and in them the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. And he talked with me and had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the walls thereof. Now, the city lies in a square, its length being the same as its width". That's awesome. "And he measured the city with a reed, and it was about 1500 miles; its length and width and height are the same".
Fifteen hundred miles. And the length and the height and the width 1,500 miles. That's a big city. New York ain't got nothing on the New Jerusalem. "He measured its walls about 72 yards by a man's measure. The wall was built of jasper, while the city itself was of pure gold, clear and transparent like glass". You ain't never seen gold. "The foundation stones of the wall of the city were ornamented with all the precious stones. The first foundation stone was... the second sapphire, the third was chalcedony or a white agate, the fourth emerald". Look at this, beryl, onyx, sardius. "Twelve gates, twelve pearls, each separate gate being built of one solid pearl".
Now, them little bitty thing round your mama neck. Main street, broadway of the city was of gold and pure, translucent as glass. "The city had no need for 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". No moon, no sun. "The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth bringing their glory and honor. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there". There shall be no night there, ain't never gonna be no night there. Kinda like Alaska in the right season. "And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life," are the only ones that are permitted in the city. Wow.
All right, so let's see if we can find it. Where exactly is this place called heaven? See, because we got that little woo thing. Well, it's in the Spirit. No, we want to locate it like you locate Atlanta on a map. Can you do that? Well, the Bible does. You ready for this? Now see, even if I tell you where it is, you can't get there. I don't care what kind of ship you build, you don't have that much life. Even traveling at the speed of light, you can't arrive there. It's at the end of the second heaven, where there is gonna be little to no stars or galaxies. And our scientists think that the second heaven is infinite. It is not. You ready? These are in plain sight of Scriptures you've read over.
Ephesians 4:10. Let's locate it, Ephesians 4:10. "He that descended," referring to Jesus, "descended into hell is the same also that ascended," where? "Up far above all heavens," first and second, "that it might fill all things". Where he ascended what? He also descended down, you know, when he went to hell for three days, but then he ascended up.
All right, Acts 1:10 and 11. Acts 1:10 and 11, he says, "And while they looked stedfastly towards heaven as he went up". As he went what? He said there were two men that stood by them in white apparel. Those were angels that were standing by the disciples when Jesus was going up. And those angels said, "Which also said, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as they have seen him go into heaven.'"
So, he went up into heaven. When he coming back, he won't touch the foot of the earth 'cause he's got to get everybody who's dead in Christ changed. And those of you who are alive are gonna be changed in a moment of a twinkling of an eye. And there's a meeting in the sky, and then he will escort you... see, you can't get there in that physical body, that's why you gotta be changed. You gotta be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of the eye. The dead in Christ shall rise first and they shall be changed. Mortal will put on immortality 'cause mortal man can't make it there.