Psalms 23:6

Read 23rd Psalm.

Would you agree with this statement?

Satan has no happy old people.

I agree with it.

Satan has no happy old people.

Now he has some happy young people.

The kids who are living high, wide and handsome.

They think they are happy or could be arguably happy.

But Satan has no happy old people.

Iíll tell you why.

There is a principle:

Satan always gives the best first and the worst last.

For example: Proverbs 20:17:

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

 

Thatís the way it is with Satan.

It starts sweet but it doesnít end up that way.

Satan is a counterfeiter.

He is a deceiver.

And he is certainly guilty of false advertising.

Now you see these guys out in the Old Milwaukee boat there sucking down the suds...

And they have just brought in a fish...

Or they are cooking the fish...

Or coming in from a softball game.

The good old boys are sitting having a good time.

And one of them will hold up his bud and say...

"It doesnít get any better than this."

And he is right...it always gets worse.

It doesnít get any better than this.

He doesnít show the drunkard in the gutter with flies...

He doesnít show the car wreck on the road...

He doesnít show the wasted lives and ruined homes.

He gives the best first and the worst last.

Satan doesnít have any happy old people.

Dr. Jess Moody of California wrote these words...

He said, "I note among other clans Mrs. Madeline Murray, the famous atheist of Baltimore, Maryland, who reportedly has made fun of churches for trying to raise money, is trying to raise money. She plans the establishing of an atheist college, an atheist printing plant and an atheist radio station. But the most interesting plan is a home for the aging atheists."

What do aging atheists have to talk about while they sit around and wait to die?

Do they discuss the legacy of morality, decency, integrity...

Spiritual sensitivity that they leave to the children...

Or all the good the atheists have done in the world?

The hospitals, the orphanages, the elevation of womanhood...

Or perhaps they discuss the great work against communism?

Then when the sun is sinking low they can contemplate on the future...

There is so much for an aging atheist to look forward to.

Then he ends with this line...

Old atheists never die, they just go to hell!

You see, Satan gives the best first and the worst last.

Jesus gives the best last.

Remember at the wedding feast when Jesus had turned the water into wine?

When the master of ceremonies came out he said, "I donít understand this."

He said, "Most people give the best first, but you saved the best for last."

And thatís the way Jesus always does.

With Jesus it keeps getting better and better.

Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.

Every day there is so much more than that first sweet day.

That doesnít mean that itís not good now...

But it means it gets better.

What the Psalmist is saying: surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life...

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The best is yet to be.

Goodness and love...

Here is the sheep and the sheep is looking over his shoulder and he sees two sheep dogs...

Job called them "the dogs of my flock."

Two sheep dogs, goodness and love, following the flock.

Wherever the flock goes, the two dogs, goodness and love go, all the days of my life.

There was a little woman who lived by herself and was scared all the time...

She thought that two men were following her everywhere she went.

She went to see the pastor about it...

And said, "Pastor, I have a problem, a very serious problem..."

He said, "What is it?" She said, "There are these two men everywhere I go they follow me, when I go to the grocery store they follow me, when I get in the car they follow me, when I get home they are right behind me. They are always behind me."

He said, "Have you told the police?" She said, "Yes, but they say theyíre not there, but I know theyíre there, they are always there."

He said, "You most blessed woman. You are a very fortunate woman. Donít you know who those two men are?"

She said, "No, do you?"

He said, "Oh, yes, theyíre Davidís friends."

And he turned to the 23rd Psalm and read it: surely goodness and love shall follow me all the days of my life.

And he said, "Those two men have names, and one is goodness and one is love.

And God has sent them to follow you all the days of your life."

She said, "Why Pastor, thatís wonderful. Why, I have been afraid of them all the time and God has sent goodness and love to follow me."

And she was so happy. Every day when she would get on the streetcar she would wait for goodness and love to get on.

When she would get home she would let goodness and love in...

And she lived the rest of her life until she stepped to the other side in perfect happiness and no more fear.

You say, "Well, was the pastor right to tell her that?"

Friends, it would be good if we could all understand it that way.

Goodness and love follow us all the days of our life.

And every one of us who know the Lord could write a book about Godís goodness and love.


Godís goodness in the good times...

And Godís love in the bad times.

Godís provision for our failure...

Godís provision for our need.

Goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life.


Praise God, the best is yet to be!

I want to tell you how to make the best of your life the rest of your life.

Here the psalmist talks about the house of the Lord.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I want to tell you three things about the house of the Lord...

So you can be excited about it.

#1 is the certainty of it.

Look at that verse:

I will dwell in the house of the Lord.

Do you see it?

I will dwell in the house of the Lord.

No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Itís a sure thing.

One of the sweetest passages in all of the Bible is that passage in John chapter 14.

Where the Lord just expounded on what David said.

John 14:1: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

(Verse 2) In my fatherís house...

Now he is talking about the same place David was talking about.

(Verse 2) In my fatherís house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you.

Now let me stop and say something.

Jesus was incarnated.

He never lied, he always told the truth.

And he said, "If it were not true I would have told you."

Jesus Christ would not let the hope of heaven go beating in the human heart...

If it was just a lie, a superstition or some fond delusion.

He said, "If it were not so I would have told you."

(Verse 3) and I am going there to prepare a place for you, and I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Let me say this about the certainty of it.

This place called heaven is a real place.


It is not a state of mind...

It is not a condition...

It is a place that is so real that Jesus is there in a literal, resurrected body.

I mean he is there in a body.

Heaven is a place on Godís map.

You know, we always refer to heaven as "up".

And those who debate the Bible laugh at us and say weíre wrong about what weíre talking about.

The Bible knows what itís talking about.

There is one place on the globe that is always up.

And thatís north.

It is not an accident that people say "up north" or "down south", wherever we are.

There is that polar star.

That northern fixed direction that is always fixed.

The compass always finds that northern place.

Now it may surprise you to know that the Bible speaks of heaven being in the north.

Let me give you some scripture.

Put these in your margin.

Isaiah 14:13 tells about Lucifer, who rebelled against God and tried to take his throne and replace his rule where Godís rule is.

Now listen to what Lucifer said.

(Verse 13) You have said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God, I will sit on the Mount of Assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain (thatís the north).

Now when God told Moses who to make a sacrifice way back there in the Levitical system...

He said, "You tell the Levites this..."

In Leviticus 1:11: He is to slaughter at the north side of the altar before the Lord.

Psalm 75:6-7: No one from the east or the west or from the south can exalt a man.

Now what direction did he leave out?

You see, there is a place in the north somewhere that is heaven.

The apostle Paul went there. He called it the "third heaven".

II Corinthians 12:2: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years of age was caught up to the third heaven.

Now that is very interesting.

And he says, "How can you go then out of the body or in the body?"

Jesus is there in a body, some people are there without a body.

But he says, "This person was caught up into the third heaven."

So the Bible mentions three heavens.

The first heaven is the atmosphere.

The Bible speaks of the fowls of the heaven, you know they fly through the air.

The atmosphere, the clouds.

Then there is the second heaven.

The vast reaches, the starry heaven.

But above and beyond the stars of God...

There is a place called heaven.

It is the third heaven.

Someone said...

"We see the first heaven by day...

We see the second heaven by night...

And the third heaven by faith."

I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Paul knew that heaven was a real place.

Jesus knew that heaven was a real place.


David knew that heaven was a real place...

And when a Christian dies he steps right on into heaven.

All the day of your life come to an end.

And you are going to step into heaven if you know the Lord.

II Corinthians 5:6: Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

Right now we live in a body...

This body is not me, Iím just at home here.

Iím at home in the body but absent from the Lord.

(Verse 7) we live by faith, not by sight.

Iíve not seen God and neither have you.

But he goes on to say...

(Verse 8) we are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Paul said, "If I had my choice...

I would cut out and be with God."

But he said, "Iím confident that the moment I die I will be with Jesus.

In Acts 7, there is the story of Stephen, one of the greatest Christians that ever lived.

He was stoned for his faith.

And in Acts 7:56, as he was being stoned he saw a vision.

And he said: I see heaven open and the son of man standing at the right hand of God.

And he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Jesus told a dying thief...

"This day you will be with me in paradise."

Heaven is a present place...

Heaven is a perfect place...

Revelation 21:4: And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow or crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.

No more sin...

No more sorrow...

No more suffering...

No more death...

No more disease...

No more dying...

No more doubt...

No more pain...

No more groaning...

These thing are gone...they are passed away.

Now sometimes people ask a question about heaven and they say...

"Now what is heaven really going to be like?"

Are we going to have beds?

Are we going to comb our hair?

Are we going to eat?

How old will we be?

What will we do?

All of these kinds of questions...

Folks, I donít know.


That doesnít bother me, you donít know...

For the Bible says: it does not yet appear what we shall be like.

You donít have to know.


Let me tell you what heaven is going to be like.

Itís going to be the presence of all that is good.

And the absence of all that is evil.

If that doesnít satisfy you...

Here is something else.

Heaven is going to be all that the loving heart of God can conceive.

And all the mighty hand of God can prepare.

It is a present place...

It is a perfect place...

It is a purposeful place.

Donít get the idea that when you go to heaven...

You are going to get a wooly robe, a rusty halo...

And set around on a fluffy cloud.

And pluck a harp for all eternity.


Thatís not what heaven is.

You donít get that idea from the word of God.

The Bible teaches in Revelation 7:15, his servants shall serve him.

Every time I preach I say, "Why couldnít I have done better."

Every time we pray, we say, "Why canít we have more power".

Singer that has ever sung praises to God has said, "I wish I could have more power and feeling and beauty to give God the glory."

But we have this old sin that holds us down.

But one of these days weíre going to serve him like we have never served him before.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord.

The certainty of it.

But this secondly of the company of it.

Notice what he says.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord.

Now when he says "house of the Lord"...

He doesnít mean a building of God.

There is a building of God in the eternal heaven...

But thatís not what he is talking about.

He is talking about the household of God.

Thatís what Jesus meant when he said: in my fatherís house there are many rooms.


All of us together Ė the saints...

Of all the ages are going to be there together.

All of the brothers and sisters in Christ.

Remember the story of David who had an illegitimate child who died?

Story...

II Samuel 12...

David has a little baby in heaven...

Brenda and I have a little baby in heaven...

And I am going to see John.

You call that sentimentality?

I call it Bible truth.

You have a mom or dad that has stepped over to the other side...

Weíre going over there to see them.

Story of the shepherd carrying the little lamb across the river...

Friends, when Jesus took the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration they had never seen Elijah and Moses but they knew them.

They didnít have to be introduced.

Yes, we will know our loved ones when we get to heaven.

Moses will be there...wonít it be something to talk to him?

And David will be there, and weíll say, "David, wonít you play the 23rd Psalm and sing it for us?"

Old Paul will be there...wonít it be something to hear him teach Romans?

Old John the Revelator will be there...heíll explain Revelations.

And weíll know as we were known.

We are going to be there with all the saints.

But that is not really whatís going to make heaven, heaven.

Listen: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

To see the Lord and be with him.


Now we walk by faith and not by sight.

Isaiah 33:17...

Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches far.

Thatís what Jesus prayed in John 17 when he said:

I pray for them that you have given me, that they may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, the glory I had before the world was.

What a time that is going to be!

But look at a third thing about this place called heaven.

Not only the certainty of heaven: I will dwell in the house.

Not only the company of it: the house of the Lord.

But also the constant of it: I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Sheep just wander...

If theyíre not wandering theyíre being led by the shepherd.

Beside the still water...

In the green pasture...

Through the dark valleys...

Over the hills...

They wonít settle down and stay in one place.


The book of Hebrews talks about it. It says, "This world is not our home, weíre just passing through."

Hebrews 11:8: By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

(Verse 9) By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

(Verse 10) For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

And I feel the same way.

One of these days Iím going to settle down.

And itís going to be a place of constant joy...

A place of constant service...

A place of constant praise.

Have you ever thought about that?

I will dwell in the house of the Lord...for how long?

Forever!

Have you ever thought about eternity?

The length of it?

Story of the preacher...woman...husband...

Eternity is a long time.


Can you say, "The Lord is my shepherd"?

I will dwell in the house of the Lord.

Are you sure if you died right now you would go to heaven?

Woe to me if my soul be wrong five minutes after I die.

Behold now is the accepted time.

Now is the day of salvation.

Friend, if you want the Lord Jesus and you want to be saved...

Let me help you pray and ask God into your heart.

Just turn your heart toward God...he loves you.

Would you pray this prayer: Dear God...

Thank you for loving me.

Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me.

Lord Jesus, I believe you are the son of God...

I believe you died on the cross to pay my sin debt.

Lord you said if I would trust you, you would save me. I do trust you". Would you tell him that?

Right now, at this moment come into my heart, Jesus. Forgive my sin and save me."

And then pray this way: "thank you Jesus. I receive it by faith and I will acknowledge you as my Lord and Savior. I will make it public, to give you the glory.

In your name I pray, amen."