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Anticipate the Hope of Heaven

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, When We All Get To Heaven.

1 John 3:1-3

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, When We All Get To Heaven.

Not everybody is enjoying life. Many are living in quiet desperation. Without Jesus, a rich man is poor, a strong man is weak, and an educated man is ignorant. If you don’t have Christ, what hope have you? Without Jesus, nothing makes sense: man is ignorant of his past and afraid of his future.

But if you only know the Savior, you have the sweetest fellowship this side of Heaven—and then think of the fellowship when we all get to Heaven!

That We Should Be Called the Sons of God

1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Sons and daughters of God. Did that sink in? We are children of God, the King. You are a blood brother or sister of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11).

Are you ashamed of Jesus? He is not ashamed of you. He has our nature because He took human nature; we have His nature because we have been born again as sons and daughters of God. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Jesus prayed in His high priestly prayer:

John 17:21-23
…That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (Emphasis added)

God loves you as much as He loves His own dear Son. “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4:6). “Abba” is an Aramaic diminutive that means daddy.

What Does It Mean to be Children of God?

God Provides for His Children

Matthew 6:26-27
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Because we are children of God, we are not beggars. Your Father is obligated to take care of you—and He will. “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

God Disciplines His Children

Hebrews 12:5-6
You have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

Sometimes God engineers your trouble. Why? Because He loves you.

God Has Compassion on His Children

Psalm 103:13
As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him.

His heart is broken when your heart is broken. Therefore, it ought to be easy to talk with Him. You don’t talk with Him as Judge, Ruler, or King. He is those things, but for you He is more. Talk to Him as your Father.

He’s never too busy to talk with you.

When We See Him, We Will Be Like Him

1 John 3:2
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

John is telling us, first, that there are things we are not supposed to know yet. That ought to be comforting. These things have been kept from us on purpose. But John tells us three things that we can know.

1. Christ is coming. He is coming back to Earth literally, visibly. Bank on it.

2. We shall see Him as He is. Jesus prayed, “Glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was….Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:5,24).

3. We will be like Him. John links seeing Jesus with being like Him. If you were to see Him now, you would disintegrate. Your body, without being transformed, could not bear it. (See 1 Timothy 6:16.) We will have to be like Him in order to see Him as He is.

We can ask a lot of questions; these are the three things we know: Jesus will appear, we will see Him, and we will be like Him. “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

The Duty with Our Blessed Hope of Heaven

1 John 3:3
Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

What does this mean for you?

Purify Your Life

In the Bible, hope means an absolute certainty mingled with anticipation. The Day of the Lord, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, is a divine certainty that should be mingled with, “I can hardly wait.”

“Purifies himself...” Is your heart pure? Or are you nursing a grudge, some vile habit, some filth? If you knew Jesus Christ was coming back this afternoon, would you make some changes? Then make them—because you do not know when He’s coming.

If you are saved, you want to live a holy life. Not because you are afraid of what God will do to you if you don’t, but because you are afraid to hurt God. You should want to be pure when the Lord comes.

Don’t worry that you will have missed out on something if Christ comes back now. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Pray for Those Around You

If you know that you are saved, pray for those around you who may not be. They do not understand all of this. The only way to be a child of God is to be born again into His family.

John 1:12-13
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

List of Scriptures Referenced in This Article

1 John 3:1-3; Hebrews 2:11, 12:5-6; Romans 8:29; John 1:12-13, 17:5,21-24; Galatians 4:6; Matthew 6:26-27; Psalm 17:15, 37:25, 103:13; 1 Timothy 6:16; Philippians 1:21

More Bible Verses About Our Hope of Heaven

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Hebrews 4:1
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
John 10:27-29
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.