John 17:1,5,8,11,13,24; 1 Kings 8:30; Psalms 2:4; 73:25; 123:1; Ecclesiastes 5:2; Jeremiah 23:24; Matthew 6:9; Acts 7:49,55,56; 2 Corinthians 5:1,6,8; 12:1-4; Philippians 3:20,21; Hebrews 8:1; 12:22,23; 1 John 5:7
Actually this whole chapter of John 17 highlights an important subject and a great revelation which must not be overlooked by any man. Man is so occupied with earthly things that we forget about Heaven and Heavenly treasures. We are looking at selected verses in this chapter (John 17:1,5,8,11,13,24) that talk about Heaven, that is so important, precious and real to man. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:” (John 17:1) “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). Christ had been in heaven before the world was created and now having completed His work here on earth, He was going back to the Father in Heaven from where He came. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). There is glory, wonder and splendour in Heaven, so He wanted His disciples and us who believe to be with Him in Heaven to behold His glory.
God is Eternal and His dwelling place is Heaven; Jesus Christ is Eternal, and He lived with the Father in Heaven before He came to this world to save us; the Holy Spirit is Eternal, and His eternal abode is Heaven from where He ministers to us on earth. Also, the angels since their creation have been abiding in God’s presence in Heaven and the believers, saints of God who have left this earth either by the Rapture or death went to live with the Redeemer forever in Heaven. Heaven is the dwelling place of the Almighty God, and we need to understand that: “And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in Heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive” (1 Kings 8:30). Let there be no doubt in our minds that there is Heaven and God our Father is in Heaven. Jesus gave us the assurance, and taught us to pray to God our Father, who is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9).
If Earth is real, then Heaven is real, if earth is a place where people live, then Heaven is a place where the Godhead, angels and the saints on high dwell. Heaven is the throne of Almighty God and earth His footstool. Stephen saw Jesus our Saviour, final Sacrifice and Sanctifier dwelling in Heaven on the right hand of God. So there should be no doubt in our hearts that there is a place called Heaven where God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit dwell, and Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. Heaven is not like earth that will be folded up someday, but it is eternal. The moment a saint, a child of God dies, the spirit is absent from the body and present with the Lord in Heaven. “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). Our mind, life, thought, passion, and citizenship should be in Heaven. Jesus, angels, the apostles and disciples spoke about Heaven, so Heaven is a real place. Jesus came from there, and went back there. So He was helping His disciples understand that if there is any place that they should think about, it is Heaven. He was so eager He was going back there, and that we should be with Him there in Heaven. You will not be in this world forever, you want to go to Heaven to be with Jesus Christ
Point 1: THE DEPARTURE OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN TO HEAVEN
John 1:18; 3:16; Psalms 2:7; John 17:1,5,11,13; 13:1,3; 16:7; 20:1-17; Acts 1:9-11; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51 ; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14; 9:24; 1 Peter 3:22
Jesus Christ is referred to as the Only Begotten Son of God, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). He is the Only Begotten Son, and He came to give us eternal life so that we will not perish. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). Before the creation of the world, Christ had been in existence because He is Eternal. Also, He knew His hour had come and where He was going; back to the Father (John 13:1). It is wonderful to know when your hour has come. He came from God in Heaven and after finishing His assignment here on earth, He was going back to the Father.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7). He promised to send the Holy Spirit to us when He got back to Heaven. So when did this happened? After this chapter, Jesus was betrayed, beaten, crucified, died, was buried, and then after the third day, He rose again from the dead, and ascended to Heaven to be with God the Father (John 20:1-17). The angels said that He had gone to Heaven (Acts 1:9-11), and Jesus said that He was going to Heaven to prepare a place for you. He is coming back again for you.
The Father sent Jesus from Heaven to the earth for the following purposes: (1) To reveal the truth that saves; (2) To seek and save the lost world; (3) To sacrifice and pay the price for our redemption; (4) To bring many sons to Glory; (5) To convey the love of God to sinful humanity; (6) To grant us grace, mercy and salvation as we repent and turn to the Lord; and (7) To raise ambassadors and representatives who will continue the work that He had begun.
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). When He went to Heaven, He sat on the right hand of the Father, of Majesty on high (Mark 16:19; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14; 9:24; 1 Peter 3:22). Thank God that my Saviour, Redeemer is in Heaven. He got to Heaven, and He will give you the grace to get there too.
Point 2: THE DESTINY OF OBEDIENT SONS IN HEAVEN
John 17:24; 12:23-26; 14:1-3,24,28; 1 John 3:1-3; 1 Peter 1:2-5,14-16; Philippians 2:2-16; Hebrews 5:9; Revelations 22:14-15
Our destiny is in Heaven. What a wonderful day it will be that where He is, there you will be also. That is why we are born again and sanctified. Thank God you will be there and I will be there too. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26). It is His will that we believers be with Him in Heaven. The mansions will go round for all who are saved and obedient. He has gone to prepare a place for you. Heaven is for obedient sons. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). The time to have assurance of our salvation is now, not until death. There is assurance in salvation and the grace of God. When He shall appear we shall be like Him.
The angels will see us and rejoice, but there is a condition for this, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). We should not excuse sin or bad behavior. We don’t follow or measure our lives by the lifestyle of Abraham, David or Aaron, but to be like Jesus Christ, that as He is pure, so are we to be pure. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). He will keep you, and you will overcome every temptation and trial that come your way, in Jesus name.
The Father and the Son desire that all the true sons will dwell in Heaven, and to: (1) Abide in the truth; (2) Live in the truth; (3) Obey the truth; (4) Delight in the truth, appreciate, love and embrace it; (5) Spread the truth; (6) Defend the truth; and (7) Hold forth the truth.
A real child of God is not self-centered, but desires the advantage and profits of others as well. Follow the life of Christ, purify yourself as He is pure and humble yourself. “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). This is your confession, Jesus is your Lord, and you will not go back to any form of idols. You are always obedient to His Word, living a life that glorifies God in holiness and righteousness, in marriage, evangelism and love. ”That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). You will shine and be different anywhere you find yourself.
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9). Eternal security is only for those who are obeying the Lord all the time. Nominal believers disobey, deny, disregard, despise, depart from, diminish, and disallow the truth in their decisions and cannot get to Heaven. But the people who are going to get to Heaven are obedient sons, and thank God you are one of them. We need genuine salvation, righteousness, obedience, and divine love to get to Heaven. You will see me there and I will see you there. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). This is where you belong and not verse 15.
Point 3: THE DEDICATION OF OVERCOMING SAINTS FOR HEAVEN
John 17:11-24; 3:3,5,6; Psalms 24:3,4; 15:1-5; Romans 6:11-14,16-18; 12:17-21; Ephesians 5:1-2,7,25-27; 2 Peter 3:9-14,17-18; 1 John 2:14; 4:1-4
Why are we dedicated to the Lord? Because we know that it takes commitment, devotion and dedication to get to Heaven. A person cannot accidentally find himself in Heaven, for it is a prepared place for prepared people. I pray that none of you will be lost or be a son of perdition in Jesus Name. Through your life, many people in the world will come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. To get to Heaven, Jesus Christ has given us what it takes: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). You must be born again, and your life must reflect that old things are passed away, for you to get to Heaven. “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4). Clean hands – not stealing, not committing abortion, not signing fraudulent papers; and have pure heart to get to Heaven. These are the characters of overcoming saints of God that are getting ready for Heaven. You are an overcomer. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). Sin will knock at your door, but you will stand and guard against it. For sin shall not have dominion over you.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). He has made you free from sin, set you free; the Blood has made you clean, and you will not be dirty again. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). This is what make us dirty, when we repay others for the evil they have done us.
This is not your home nor kingdom, don’t talk as they talk, you are going to Heaven, your life is different, so avenge not yourself. How to make it happen – (Ephesians 5:1-2;,7,25,27; 2 Peter 3:9,10-12,14,17-18). “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God does not want any to perish but to come to salvation through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: you will not perish.
There is a wide difference, basic fundamental, spiritual and permanent difference between saints and sinners. Sinners are overcome by evil, sin, flesh, the world and Satan. Saints overcome temptations and trials, sinfulness and sensuality, hatred and hostility, enticement and allurements of Satan, defilement and derailment, covetousness and corruption, pollution and perversion. Saints go to Heaven but sinners go to hell.
How do we overcome? We overcome by: (1) Faith; (2) Word of our testimony; (3) Blood of the Lamb; (4) Resisting the devil; (5) Self-denial; (6) Grace; (7) Crucifixion; and (8) Total identification with Christ.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). They will come one, two ways, in the dark but you will overcome them.