Theme: A Place Called Heaven
In these lessons we look at some of the final instructions Jesus passed on to his disciples, and see how they are also given to us for living godly lives even in the midst of difficulty.
Scripture: John 14
Let me list the things Jesus tells us are a basis for why we should not be troubled. First, there is a place called heaven, and He has gone there to prepare it for us. D.L. Moody once talked about a man he knew who had some thoughts about heaven. He said that when he was young, he never thought about it, or if he did, he thought about it as a distant place that did not have anything to do with him. It was far away and was peopled with nobody he knew. It did not mean much to him at all. 
But as he lived a bit, it happened that his younger brother died and then heaven had in it one person he knew, his brother. Now it was not quite so strange. Another brother died. Other people who were close to him died. Eventually, as he got near the end of his life, he said that he probably knew more people in heaven than on earth, and at that point heaven became something very, very meaningful to him. 
Most of us are not that old. I do not think I know more people in heaven than on earth. But what I want to say is that heaven will become increasingly precious to us as we live out the course of our lives and that it is meant to be a consolation to us even now.
That was the point with the disciples. They were going to be faced with death in just a few hours. Jesus Christ, the one whom they were closest to, the one they loved and had given their whole lives to, was going to die. But He said, “Do not be troubled, because death is not the end. There is life beyond. There is a heaven, and I am only going there to prepare a place for you.”
I find a couple things in that which have special bearing on the way we should live. Notice that heaven is a real place. We tend to think of heaven in the abstract—as being the abode of spirits and, therefore, probably nowhere or everywhere. That is not right. In the last chapters of Revelation there is a wonderful portrait of heaven. It is pictured as a great cube 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long (21:16). The NIV says that these dimensions equal 1,400 miles. That is, from Philadelphia to the middle of Kansas. Can you imagine a cube as big as from here to the middle of Kansas? 
Then the walls are described as being 200 feet thick. There are twelve gates, each made out of a single piece of pearl. There are jewels. The streets are paved with gold. I think these are images. At least, I will be very surprised if some day I discover somewhere in the universe a literal cube with walls 200 feet thick and streets of gold. That may be. I do not know. But I would be very surprised if I found that. As I said, I think these are images. But if they are images, they are meant to teach that heaven is a real and stable place. It is as real as Philadelphia or New York or London. 
Study Questions:

What is the first point that is made about heaven?  Why is that important?
Based on Scripture, what are some of the things we know about heaven?  How are these meant to encourage us now?

Study Questions
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