What is heaven like ? A family service

I don’t usually post family services because they are not usually scripted and much more relaxed. But folk found this one particularly helpful so here it is exactly as my notes appeared.

At one point the children went to the back of the church where they drew or coloured their pictures of heaven. I had worksheets for these with different pictures of heaven as city, banquet and worship each with the caption “Heaven is where Jesus is” and the text “I am going there to prepare a place for you. … I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)

During that time adults listened to and reflected on two songs “Prelude” and “This land is where you belong” from the Adrian Snell Album “Goodbye October” on the Adrian Snell “The Early Years 1975-1981” triple CD album, with the words and suitable images projected. I warmly commend those songs to everybody. There were also images for the earlier talk on heaven.

Family Service What is heaven like?

Call to worship – Ephesians 3:14ff
19 Amazing grace
Prayer Romans 8 end
544 There is a Redeemer

What was the most beautiful place you have ever been? Or the most peaceful place you can remember?
Heaven is so much more beautiful! And so much more peaceful! Every good thing we enjoy in this life will be there with none of the bad things which spoil life now. And if there are times in this life when we feel we don’t really fit in, that is because we were made for heaven and we are destined for heaven!

943 No eye has seen
1030 The Lord’s my Shepherd
BRING FORWARD OFFERING AND PRAY
NOTICES

What is heaven like? POWERPOINT What is heaven like family service PPTx slides 1-6
Very few films or television series and few works of art have ever tried to portray heaven. The only one which springs to mind were those adverts with pretty girls with wings all dressed in white floating around on clouds where their only topic of conversation seems to be Philadephia cheese!
Not surprising that we can’t imagine what heaven is going to be like

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Jim Packer wrote, “We know very little about heaven, but a theologian once described it as ‘an unknown region with a well-known inhabitant.’”

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

HEAVEN IS WHERE JESUS IS
To believers who have learned to love and trust Jesus, the prospect of meeting him face to face and being with him forever is the hope that keeps us going, no matter what life may throw at us. Centuries ago Richard Baxter expressed our Christian hope like this.
My knowledge of that life is small, The eye of faith is dim,
But it’s enough that Christ knows all, And I shall be with him.

THREE PICTURES OF HEAVEN FROM THE BOOK OF REVELATION

A Heavenly City
Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
“City” implies people, community, activity. But the most important thing about heaven is that God will be there and the most important person in heaven will be Jesus. We want to be in heaven because we want to be with Him. And when we are with him, because we will be with Jesus, there will be no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain.

A Heavenly Banquet
Revelation 19 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” ….
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

We all love parties but the very best kind of parties of all are the parties we have to celebrate weddings. And in Bible times and in the Middle East Wedding Feasts didn’t just last hours, they last days and days ! Heaven will be like a great big party, a party to celebrate who Jesus is and the wonderful salvation he has provided for us all.
Heavenly worship
Revelation 5: 9 And they sang a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

God will be at the centre of Heaven. Heaven will be filled with the praise and worship of the angels and the whole company of believers from every place and every age, worshipping God in His presence.
CHILDREN – and if you want to ADULTS – draw pictures or colour pictures which represent heaven for you.
34 At your feet we fall
REMEMBERING CONNIE (who died last Wednesday at the age of 90 – she was at the heart of the church and was well known to all the children since she led our Sunday School until she became ill at Christmas – hence this family service focussing on our happy certainty of Heaven)

Heaven is like the most beautiful places we have ever been and the most beautiful sights we have ever seen – only more so  So here are two songs which give me a picture of heaven. During these song you might like to take a few moments to reflect – what is YOUR picture of heaven?
“Prelude” and “This land is where you belong” wp3 files and PPTx slides 7 to end

CHILDREN AND ADULTS SHOW US THEIR PICTURES
How do we get to heaven? Listen to these comforting words of the Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus said, ”I am going there to prepare a place for you. …
I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)
1346 In Christ alone
Blessing

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