A sermon based on Revelation 21:1-8
When I give thought to what I am thankful for, I cannot forget that there is more to life than the life I am now experiencing. God created me. He has shown me grace. And he has a plan for my life. I am thankful beyond measure for these things.
Our “thanks-living” will always rise to a new level when we remember that God created us to last forever. One day, our bodies will die, but that is not the end of us. We were created in God’s image. That means we have an eternal soul.
So far, in this country, the mortality rate has been 100%. We are all going to die. It would be pure foolishness to go through life unprepared for something you know is going to happen.
You’re not ready to live until you’re ready to die.
~ Rick Warren
The Revelation tells us about the wonders of heaven. John, isolated in a prison on the island of Patmos, in the middle of the sea says heaven is a place where “there is no more sea.” In the scriptures, the seas are used as allegories to describe other things. It is these “other things” that will be missing from heaven, and that makes heaven special.
Revelation 21:1-8 NKJV
 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”  And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
What’s so special about heaven?
1. I will never hear “I don’t know” again.
This life is filled with unknowns, mysteries, unanswered questions, and “why?’s.” In the scriptures, the great depth of the seas was used to describe the unknown will of God.
Psalm 77:19 NKJV
Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known.
The Jewish people were land lovers. When they started out for the promised land, from Egypt, the first thing that got in their way was the Red Sea. There are no seas in Israel (only a large lake called The Sea of Galilee). To the Jewish person, who preferred green pastures and still waters, the ocean stood for awesome mystery and awful misery.
For many of us today, despite how much we travel it, study it, and explore it, the ocean is a mysterious marvel. We loved Jacques Cousteau because he revealed some of the mysteries of the ocean. Imagine if we could drain the oceans dry. We would find mountains, valleys, canyons, sunken ships, and treasures.
The depth and the mystery of the seas describe our lives quite well. When I served as a pastor in Livingston, Texas, I stood beside the casket of a two-year-old child whose mother whispered to me, “Why?” All I could say was, “I don’t know.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
I am looking forward to the day, in heaven, when there will no longer be any questions unanswerable, any mystery unsolvable, and the “why?’s” of this life will be swept away by the perfect peace of God’s presence.
2. I will never be hurt by evil again.
The events of September 11, 2001, are still fresh on our minds during the Thanksgiving season. Why does God allow events like 9/11 to happen? We don’t know (see point #1 above), but we do know that we live in a sinful world where people hate and hurt one another.
In the scriptures, the seas are also used as a picture to describe evil and wickedness on earth.
Isaiah 57:20 NKJV
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
And the New Testament writer, Jude, has this to say about the wicked…
Jude 12-13 NKJV
 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;  raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
There is a special place where evil and wickedness will not exist. It’s called heaven. There are no more seas there.
3. I will never be anxious or worried again.
Several years ago, I read that 15 million Americans were in search of psychiatric help, but that only half actually needed to do so. We can look around and see crowded hospitals, tranquilizer abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, broken homes and marriages, and immorality. A lot of these ailments that have plagued our nation are due to unrest, anxiety, and uncontrolled worry.
The seas are also used, in scripture, to allegorically represent unrest and worry.
Isaiah 59:2,8 NKJV
 But your iniquities have separated you from your God…  The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.
Never has a generation invented so many devices and drugs and spent so much money to feel better and worry less, yet we seem to be the most unhappy generation. Peace is a rare commodity!
But Jesus promises us that peace can be ours.
John 16:33 NKJV
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
I can take heart and be of good courage now because Jesus has overcome the world.
4. I will never be separated from loved ones again.
The seas represent separation. How lonely John must have been on the Island of Patmos. He was in his 90’s. His beloved church members and his friends among the apostles were gone. He longed for the day when there would be no more seas.
God has done something about our separations. Listen to the promise of God…
John 14:3 NKJV
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
William Jennings Bryan said, “Life is a narrow strip between the companionship of yesterday and the reunion of tomorrow.”
I praise God for the companionship of others and I will praise him again when we are reunited. And greater than the prospect of seeing old friends and companions is the fact that we will see him who loves us the most, Jesus!
This sermon was adapted from notes belonging to Pastor Danny R. Kirk (1955 – 2023) and was originally preached at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church in Florissant, Missouri on November 17, 2002.
Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash.