OceanSide church of Christ

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Are There Degrees of Heaven?
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.                Introduction

A.    Recently we studied the degrees of eternal punishment

                                                    i.     The Bible makes it clear that some will have a worse experience than others in Hell

                                                   ii.     However, will some enjoy Heaven even more than others?

B.    First of all, all the saved will be in Heaven

                                                    i.     Jesus will bring all who obey Him to Heaven (Heb 5:9)

                                                   ii.     All the saved of the nations will be there (Rev 21:24)

C.    However, there are some Biblical hints that some rewards are different

II.              Biblical Hints

A.    Jesus discussed a lost sheep being returned to the other 99 (Luke 15:4-7)

                                                    i.     Notice, there will be more joy in Heaven over that one sheep

                                                   ii.     It seems clear that moments of joy can be greater than others in Heaven

B.    Another hint is found in the parable of the nobleman (Luke 19:12-27)

                                                    i.     Each of ten servant received a pound initially

                                                   ii.     When the master returned the servants had gained different amounts

1.     Jesus rewarded them all based upon their labors and not equally

                                                 iii.     This parable gives the idea that rewards in Heaven may vary

C.    John discusses gaining a “full reward” (2 John 1:8)

                                                    i.     This implies a partial reward can be gained

D.    James and John wanted to sit in seats of honor in glory (Mark 10:35-40)

                                                    i.     Jesus’ response was not that it isn’t possible, but that He was not the one to decide who received such glory

E.    Songs will be sung about not only Jesus, but Moses (Rev 15:3)

                                                    i.     Surely we don’t think songs will be sung about us

F.    One last example comes from the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luk 16)

                                                    i.     Lazarus seems unaware of the discussion with the rich man, but Abraham addresses him

                                                   ii.     Again, this appears to denote different degrees of authority in Heaven

III.            Based on what?

A.    The degrees seem to be based upon our labors, especially evangelism

                                                    i.     The saved who bring many souls to Christ shine brighter (Dan 12:2-3)

                                                   ii.     Those who bring many to Christ will gain reward (1 Cor 3:10-15)

1.     Those who try but don’t bring as many are still saved

                                                 iii.     Finally, Paul called the Thessalonians his “joy” and “crown of rejoicing” (1 Thess 2:19-20)

1.     Paul had brought them all to Christ

IV.            Conclusion

A.    Heaven will be the home of all the saved

                                                    i.     However, the Bible does indicate some will be even more joyful than others based upon their labors

                                                   ii.     Either way I want to be in Heaven and that will never be lacking

B.    Still, this should motivate us to work even harder to not only be part of the saved, but bring others to Heaven as well