The great Methodist preacher, Charles Allen, used to tell the story of a little girl who was taking an evening walk with her father. Wonderingly, she looked up at the stars and exclaimed; “Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be!”

-Michael Shannon, Cincinnati Bible College


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There is an old legend of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in wonder and then inquired: “Where do you come from?”

“I come from heaven!” replied the swan.

“And where is heaven?” asked the crane.

“Heaven!” said the swan, “Heaven! Have you never heard of heaven?” And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made of precious stones; of the river of life, pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane.

Finally the crane asked: “Are there any snails there?”

“Snails!” repeated the swan; “no! Of course there are not.”

“Then,” said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, “you can have your heaven. I want snails!”

-Michael Shannon, Cincinnati Bible College


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In the book, Salt, the author describes a fictional character (though based on fact) who left the southern Appalachians to live and work in Kansas. When she became ill she said she wanted to go back to North Carolina to die. She got on an eastbound train, but died before she arrived. She died on the way home! All Christians die on the way home. This world is not our home, has never been our home; will never be our home. Whether we die on an outbound journey, or die in some distant place, all Christians die on the way home.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching January/February 2004


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James Oglethorpe founded the city of Savannah, Georgia. He had already decided how to lay out the city before he even knew exactly where he would build it. He took a Roman encampment as his plan – a grid. All the streets were to meet at right angles with squares at regular intervals. There are 21 of them in the historic district of Savannah. No other city on earth has anything like it.

We may be certain that Jesus already had Heaven’s plan in mind when he said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” And we may be certain that Heaven is like no other city!

-Robert Shannon, Preaching March/April 1998

 


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Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq has built 50 palaces at a probable cost of two billion dollars. Each one has an underground bunker covered by concrete two feet thick reinforced with steel. They can withstand the blast of a five hundred pound bomb. Some are so far beneath the ground they could withstand a nuclear attack! We look forward to a palace that needs no bomb proof shelter; that needs no protection from war or destruction. An old song says, “They’re building a palace for me over there.” That palace we call Heaven. The Bible calls it “the New Jerusalem” and Jerusalem means peace!

 

-Robert Shannon, Preaching July/August 1999


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On
Oct. 3, 2004 – for the first time in American history – someone became a U.S.
citizen on foreign soil. On that date 34 foreign born American soldiers gained
their citizenship in Iraq. Paul says we are citizens of Heaven. In that case,
we all received our heavenly citizenship on foreign soil!

 

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.


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In
her book, Three Kentucky Towns That Never Were, the author, Mariam S. Houchens,
names Lystra and Franklinville in Nelson County. They existed only on paper. Elaborate
plans showed streets, parks, churches, markets, town halls, colleges, aqueducts,
piers and places of amusement. But, it was only on paper. At present everything
we have of heaven is on paper, but one day we will discover it is real.

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.


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In
the book, Salt, the author describes a fictional character (thought based
on fact) who left the southern Appalachians to live and work in Kansas. When
she became ill she said she wanted to go back to North Carolina to die. She
got on an eastbound train, but died before she arrived. She died on the way
home! All Christians die on the way home. This world is not our home, has never
been our home; will never be our home. Whether we die on an outbound journey,
or die in some distant place, all Christians die on the way home.

_______________
J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.


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Future Home

Years ago, Andre
Kole, the talented illusionist who traveled all over the world as a representative
of a Christian youth organization, wrote about the death of his wife Aljeana.
She had an incurable brain tumor, and for two years she endured incredible suffering.
She gradually lost the use of her arms and legs and couldn’t move her head or
body. She became totally blind. Day after day she could do nothing but lie helplessly
in bed. Kole wrote, “While Aljeana was still able to do some speaking,
she always shared a poem that ended with these lines: ‘We should not long for
heaven, if earth held only joy'”

Heaven is a place,
designed by the greatest architect, and it is promised that there we will receive
our glorious inheritance.

________________________
Sermons Illustrated


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Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq has built 50 palaces at a probable cost of
two billion dollars. Each one has an underground bunker covered by concrete two
feet thick reinforced with steel. They can withstand the blast of a five
hundred pound bomb. Some are so far beneath the ground they could withstand a
nuclear attack! We look forward to a palace that needs no bomb proof shelter;
that needs no protection from war or destruction. An old song says,
“They’re building a palace for me over there.” That palace we call
Heaven. The Bible calls it “the New Jerusalem” and Jerusalem means
peace!


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James Oglethorpe founded the city of Savannah, Georgia. He had already decided
how to lay out the city before he even knew exactly where he would build it. He
took a Roman encampment as his plan — a grid. All the streets were to meet at
right angles with squares at regular intervals. There are 21 of them in the
historic district of Savannah. No other city on earth has anything like it.
We may be certain that Jesus already had Heaven’s plan in mind when he said,
“I go to prepare a place for you.” And we may be certain that Heaven
is like no other city!


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The novelist and poet Conrad Aiken was in his ancestral city of Savannah,
Georgia when he saw a ship named Cosmos Mariner. The name struck him, since
cosmos means universe. He looked up the vessel in the Shipping News. Beside the
name Cosmos Mariner it read “Destination Unknown.” Aiken liked that
so much he had it put on his tombstone in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery.

Conrad Aiken


Cosmos Mariner


Destination Unknown.

It’s rather sad, isn’t it? Most of us want to know what our destination is
going to be when we leave the harbor of this earthly life. And we can!


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Many Florida road maps show the location of the ruins of Sam Jones Old Town in
the Everglades. People often go to the place looking for ruins, but there are
no ruins there. The reason is that such a town never existed. Sam Jones was a
Miccosukee Indian Chief. He fought against Zachary Taylor in 1837. Sam Jones
lived to be 110 years old. But he never founded a town. The place simply has never
existed. We need to have no such concern about Heaven. The Bible makes it plain
that Abraham found what he was looking for: “the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)


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