Three Visions That Will Change Your Life

Title: Three Visions That Will Change Your Life

Bible Book: Proverbs 29 : 18

Author: Frank Cox

Subject: Heaven; Hell; Redemption; Salvation



We are on the threshold of 2008 [New Year]. May I ask a question? Do you want God to do something out of the ordinary in your life? Do you want a move of God that will literally change your life--a move that will propel you to a different realm of the Christian life?

I want more than normal Christianity. I want to make a mark with a life totally surrendered to Jesus. There is a story in the life of Paul that has always captured my heart. Paul was performing some great miracles. (Acts 19:11) He was healing the sick and casting out evil spirits. It was so tremendous that the seven sons of Sceva, who was a Jewish chief priest, tried to duplicate it. In the midst of it all the evil spirit speaks. Here's what it said, "I recognize Jesus and I know about Paul, but who are you?" (Acts 19:15) This one verse has always intrigued me. I want it to be said, "I recognize Jesus and I know about Frank." I don't want even the demons of Hell to have to wonder who I am. I want my life to be that different.

"Pastor, why is that the desire of your heart?" Because of what it says in Acts 19:20. Listen. In order for God to so work in us that way, we must have three visions that will literally change our lives and drive us to have a passion for our Lord that will change our lives.

T. S. The three visions are of great magnitude.

I. A Vision Of Heaven

If you want to make a difference for God then you must capture a vision of Heaven. Paul makes this tremendous statement: I Cor. 2:9. What can we know about Heaven? All we can do is turn to the pages of God's Word. It is there we will discover three things about Heaven.

A. Heaven Is A Place (John 14:1-3)

Heaven is as real as earth. For most of us, our perception of reality consists of what we can touch, taste and experience. When we cannot see, touch, or grasp, we then claim it is not real. That is exactly what an unbelieving world does. In fact here is the way they react...The atheists believe Heaven is the illusion of spiritually intoxicated people. The scientists claim Heaven is nothing more than a medieval fantasy. The liberal theologian sees Heaven as a worn out superstition. The philosopher says Heaven is appallingly idiotic, while the eastern mystics say Heaven is the absence of existence.

No matter what the skeptical world says, Jesus said He went to a real place called His Father's house and prepared a place for you. (Jn 14:2-3)

So often we want to focus on the streets of gold, pearly gates, and mansions in glory. We want to focus on the benefits of Heaven that if we are not careful we will forget about the Benefactor of Heaven and that is God. Jesus said, I go to My Father's house (Heaven) and prepare a place for you. He goes to the very mercy seat of God and through His shed blood on Calvary made a way for you and me so we can have a place in eternity with God. Heaven is a real place prepared by the Son of God. It is where our heavenly Father resides.

B. Heaven As A Portrait (Rev. 21-22)

The portrait of Heaven is breath-taking. It is laid out 1,500 miles wide, 1,500 miles long and 1,500 miles high. It is 2,250,000 square miles. It is 780,000 stories high. It can accommodate 100 billion people. It has a golden glow because God is the One who illuminates this glorious place.

As God paints for us a portrait, He uses three word pictures.

1. Heaven Is A Tabernacle (Rev. 21:1)

It is the place of fellowship with God. Nothing will ever separate you from the presence of our loving Father.

2. Heaven Is A Walled City (Rev. 21:12)

The old cities are marked by great walls. When danger would approach, the call would go out. People would enter the city and the gates would shut, and they would be protected. In the walled city of Heaven, there is protection. When one enters those pearly gates, healing takes place forever. (Rev. 21:4) The irritation of sin and its results are forever gone!

3. Heaven Is A Garden (Rev. 22:1-5)

Have you ever noticed that the drama of Heaven revolves around three gardens? The Garden of Eden where man fell; the Garden Of Gethsemane where Christ agonized; and the Garden of Heaven where man's redemption is made complete.

C. Heaven As A People (John 14:4-6)

Heaven will be populated with those who have turned away from their sin and turned to Christ and allowed Him to transform their lives. You must decide for Christ today. Heaven is real!

II. A Vision Of Hell

John the Revelator makes two facts very plain. Name in the Lambs Book of life - Heaven Bound.

Those whose names are not found in the Lamb's Book of Life will be cast into Hell.

Now Hell is not popular to an unbelieving world, but it is reality. You would think everyone would want to be on the glory train to Heaven, but not so. Here is something that is alarming: according to John Vaughn, Church Growth Research, 6,250 people die every hour of every day. Most of those go into eternity assigned to Hell. Church, we must get a dose of reality! Hell is real!

A. The Scripture Proclaims Hell To Be Real (Rev. 21:8; 20:15)

All one has to do is read to discover that the Scripture describes a real place. For example,

In Matthew 16:18 it says it has a gate. Mark 9:43-47 says it has fire.

Luke 16:24, 28 says it has torment.  Jude 6 says it has darkness and chains. Revelation 1:18 says it has keys.

Revelation 14:11 says it has smoke. Revelation 21:8 says it has brimstone. Revelation 20:15 says it has occupants.

Hell is real according to the Word of God!

B. The Savior Proclaims Hell To Be Real (Mark 9:43-48)

In Mark's account of the ministry of Jesus, he records from the lips of Christ a dire warning. (Read Mark 9:43-48) The Savior proclaims Hell to be real.

C. A Sinner Proclaimed Hell To Be Real (Luke 16:22-24)

This is one of the most challenging and convicting stories Jesus ever told. This man who had everything died and went to Hell. From this story we learn several truths concerning Hell without personally having to experience it.

1. He Was Consumed With The Reality Of Punishment (v.23-25)

Just look at the words chosen by Christ to describe the reality of Hell. He chose words like....torment (v. 23), cool off, agony, and flames (v. 24), and agony (v. 25). As you read these verses of Scripture it doesn't sound like the spa at the greatest and latest resort. He is consumed with the reality of punishment.

2. He Was Conscious Of The Reality Of Permanence (v. 26)

He wanted out and God told him there was no escape. Every person in Hell cries out from their agony the consciousness of permanence. It isn't a day trip, it's a forever trip. It's not a temporary location, it is permanent.

3. He Was Convicted With The Reality Of Proclaiming (v. 27-28)

He was concerned with his five brothers who were on their way to the same place unless someone warned them.

You might be sitting here this morning and the devil is whispering to you "Are you really going to believe what the Scriptures or the Savior has to say about Hell?" Let me remind you that a sinner has nothing to gain. There is no other motive for declaring Hell to be real unless it is!

From the lips of the sinner we are encouraged to go and warn.

III. A Vision Of The Harvest

A. The Shameful Condition Of The Lost Proves The Harvest Is Ready (2 Timothy 3:2-5a)

Here is what is frightening: today most do not realize they are on the road to Hell.


Chuck Swindoll says, "The safest road to hell is the gradual one, the gentle slope, soft underfoot without sudden turnings, without milestones, without sign posts...the long, dull, monotonous years of middle-age prosperity or middle-age adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil."

So many today are just living with no thought that they are just one breath away from eternity in Hell. We need to reach out to them.

B. The Satanic Conflicts Of This Life Prove The Harvest Is Ready (Rev. 12:12b)

People are perishing without the hope of eternal life. We have the message and if we ever get a genuine vision of the harvest, it would change our lives forever.


Heaven is real. Hell is real, and the harvest is ready.

The harvest-What do they look like? They look like your dad, mom, brother, sister, your co-worker, your boss, your schoolmate. If you will listen carefully, you will hear people from the very pit of Hell cry out, "Please! Go warn them lest they come to this place!

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