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					I'm Gonna Give 'Em Heaven
by Franklin L. Kirksey

TITLE:           I'm Gonna Give 'Em Heaven

BIBLE BOOK: 1 Corinthians 2 : 9

AUTHOR:          Franklin L. Kirksey

SUBJECT:         Heaven, Death

OBJECTIVE:       A message on the subject of Heaven adapted from a book by Dr. Sam Wolfe. The
                 book is entitled, "A Place Called Heaven." The material here is helpful to those
                 wishing to preach on the subject of heaven, or those who are seeking assistance in
                 preparing a funeral message.


Introduction

I. Heaven Is A Prepared Place

II. Heaven Is A Perfect Place

III. Heaven Is A Permanent Place


Introduction
One evening several years ago, at the Serenity Funeral Home on Old Pascagoula Road near Mobile,
Alabama, a man asked me if I was to officiate at the funeral of the deceased the following day. When
I told him that I was, he said, "Give 'em hell." I looked him straight in the face and said, "I'm gonna
give 'em heaven!" It is my desire to give you heaven.

Lest you think I am one of those like General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, who
predicted that would preach heaven without hell; let me assure you that there is a hell to shun as
well as a heaven to gain.

John Elderedge shares the following: "I knew a man who as a young boy hated the idea of heaven.
He would puzzle and embarrass his Sunday school teachers by stating quite boldly, whenever the
subject of heaven was brought up, that he didn't want to go there. Finally, one of them had the sense
to ask him why. His answer? 'I don't like peas.' He had heard the familiar Christmas carol 'Silent
Night,' with the lovely refrain 'sleep in heavenly peace,' and thought it referred to the vegetable. Like
any red-blooded boy, he figured there had to be better things to do."
"Heaven: What will it be like?" By John Elderedge with Brent Curtis in Christianity: a followers guide,
gen. ed. Pete Briscoe (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), p. 242.

"But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the
things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Dr. Adrian Rogers tells, "Before the late and great Dr. R.G. Lee died I was in his home with Billy
Graham, Cliff Barrows, and Tommy Lane, our minister of music at Bellevue Church. Dr. Lee was one
of my predecessors at Bellevue, considered perhaps the best preacher of the twentieth century and
one of the greatest in the history of Christianity. His adopted daughter came out and gravely
announced, 'I believe Dr. Lee is dying.' We were shocked. An elderly doctor rushed over and found
that Dr. Lee was alive but unconscious.

Because we thought he was close to being with Jesus, Tommy suggested, 'Let's sing him into
heaven.' So we sang as best we could 'Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned,' Dr. Lee's favorite hymn.
Then Cliff Barrows led us in 'Come Thou Angel Band.' I was ready to enter heaven myself.

Then Dr. Lee revived and opened his piercing blue eyes, and his daughter said, 'Papa, Billy Graham
is here.' Dr. Lee pulled Billy's head down and kissed him. Later, Dr. Lee testified, 'I saw heaven. I
saw Jesus. I saw my mother. I never did justice to heaven in my sermons.' You say he was


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hallucinating? Oh, how I hope God gives me an hallucination like that!" Adrian P. Rogers, Mastering
Your Emotions (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1988), pp. 20-21.

The late Dr. W.A. Criswell reminds us that there are some that say, " . . .we are all going to get to the
same place. The Buddhist goes his way, the Mohammedan goes his way, the Shintoist goes his
way, the Confucianist goes his way, the Taoist goes his way, and all other faiths go their way. We are
all striving for the same thing and going to the same place. They say if a man is sincere in his
Judaism, or sincere in his Islamic faith, or in the veneration of his ancestors, as is a good
Confucianist, or whatever he is, he is just as certain of heaven and as certain to be saved as the
Christian who looks in faith to the blood of Christ. This attitude is almost universally accepted." W.A.
Criswell, Basic Sermons on the Cross (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1990), p. 25

However, in John 14:6 Jesus emphatically declares, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me."

Dr. Sam Wolfe, sent me a copy of his book titled The Place Called Heaven. Dr. Wolfe is a full-time
evangelist and the founder and president of Evangel Publications and Evangel Ministries, Inc.,
Huntsville, Alabama.



I. Heaven Is A Prepared Place
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many
mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may
be also." (John 14:1-3)

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.

The following letter appeared in Ann Lander's column:

"Aunt 'Emma' was married to a tightwad who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but
they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his paycheck under the mattress. . .
.The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age.

When Uncle 'Ollie' was sixty, he was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made Aunt Emma
promise, in the presence of his brothers, that she would put the money he had stashed away in his
coffin so he could buy his way into heaven if he had to. They all knew he was a little odd, but this was
clearly a crazy request. Aunt Em did promise, however, and assured Uncle Ollie's brothers that she
was a woman of her word and would do as he asked.

The following morning she took the money (about $26,000) to the bank and deposited it. She then
wrote a check and put it in the coffin four days later." As quoted in Choose Your Attitudes, Change
Your Life by Robert Jeffress (Wheaton, Ill: Victor Books, 1992), 90. Permission granted by Ann
Landers and Creators Syndicate. Robert Jeffress, The Road Most Traveled (Nashville: Broadman &
Holman, 1996), 44-45.

The Reverend Doctor Obadiah Lynes, Confederate soldier, medical doctor, and Baptist preacher,
who was the first pastor of Washington Baptist Church, Hawthorne, Alabama (Washington Baptist
Association), has the following inscription on his tombstone:

"Remember friends when passing by,
As you are now, so once was
As I am now, so you will be
Prepare for death and follow me."

I understand that another tombstone in an Indiana cemetery has a similar epitaph with the following
words scratched beneath:

"To follow you, I am not content, Until I know which way you went."



                                                                                              Page 2 of 5
Dr. R.G. Lee wrote, "Heaven is the most beautiful place the wisdom of God could conceive and the
power of God could provide." Sam Wolfe, The Place Called Heaven, (Huntsville: Evangel
Publications, 1998), p. 30.




II. Heaven Is A Perfect Place
"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh
abomination, or maketh a lie; but they who are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:17)

Dr. James T. Draper, Jr. reminds us that heaven is:

A place of perfect beauty (Rev. 21:18-19, 21);

A place of perfect fellowship (John 14:3; Rev. 21:1; 1
Thess. 4:16-17);

A place of perfect understanding (Rev. 21:6);

A place of [perfect] abundance (Rev. 22:1-6);

A place of perfect comfort (Rev. 21:4);

A place of perfect rest (Rev. 14:13);

A place of perfect holiness (Rev. 21:27; 22:3);

A place of perfect joy;

A place of perfect service (Rev. 7:15; 22:3);

A place of perfect light (Rev. 21:23,24; 22:5);

A place of perfect glory (2 Cor. 4:8, 9, 17; Col. 3:4); and
a place of perfect worship (Rev. 7:9-12)

James T. Draper, Jr., Foundations of Biblical Faith (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1979), pp. 94- 99.




III. Heaven Is A Permanent Place
"Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come." (Hebrews 13:14)

"Just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven, of touching a hand and finding it God's, of
breathing new air and finding it celestial, of waking up in glory and finding it home."

Samuel Langhorne Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain once quipped, "I'll take heaven for climate and hell
for company."

"After [Mr. Clemens] received an invitation to meet Emperor William in Germany, his daughter Jean
made a very telling statement. According to James C. Hefley, she exclaimed, "Why Papa, if it keeps
on like this, pretty soon there won't be anybody else for you to get acquainted with but God!" James
C. Hefley, "The Greatness, and the Sadness, of Mark Twain" (Chicago: Moody magazine, December
1985), p. 85.

Each week we meet many people that are in the same condition as Mark Twain and sad to say
some of them are even on our church rolls.

May each one of us from the pulpit to the pew continue to give 'em heaven!

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Savior's brow;

                                                                                             Page 3 of 5
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o'erflow,
His lips with grace o'erflow.
To Christ, the Lord, let every tongue
Its noblest tribute bring
When He's the subject of the song,
Who can refuse to sing?
Survey the beauties of His face,
And on His glories dwell;
Think of the wonders of His grace,
And all His triumphs tell.
No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
Who fill the heav'nly train,
Who fill the heav'nly train.
He saw me plunged in deep distress
And flew to my relief;
For me He bore the shameful cross
And carried all my grief,
And carried all my grief.
His hand a thousand blessings pours
Upon my guilty head:
His presence gilds my darkest hours,
And guards my sleeping bed.
To Him I owe my life and breath
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death
And saves me from the grave,
And saves me from the grave.
To Heav'n, the place of His abode,
He brings my weary feet;
Shows me the glories of my God,
And makes my joys complete.
Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine,
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord, they should all be Thine.

Next:

Angel band
My latest sun is sinking fast,


                                         Page 4 of 5
My race is nearly run;
My strongest trials now are past,
My triumph is begun.
O come, angel band,
Come and around me stand;
O bear me away on your snowy wings
To my eternal home;
O bear me away on your snowy wings
To my eternal home.
I know I'm near the holy ranks
Of friends and kindred dear,
For I hear the waves on Jordan's banks,
The crossing must be near.
I've almost reached my heav'nly home,
My spirit loudly sings;
Thy holy ones, behold, they come!
I hear the noise of wings.
O bear my longing heart to Him,
Who bled and died for me;
Whose blood now cleanses from all sin,
And gives me victory.




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