daily Broadcast

A Great Big Hug that Lasts Forever

From the series He Holds Me Forever

Don’t you love it when you come home after a long day and dinner’s made, the conversation’s fun and funny, the water’s hot, and the sheets are clean? We might say, “It feels like heaven!” That’s awesome but the real heaven’s going to be so much better and totally amazing! Join Theresa Ingram as she gives us a glimpse into the REAL heaven.

This broadcast is currently not available online. It is available to purchase on our store.

2024 He Holds Me Forever Theresa Ingram broadcast art 600x600 jpg
Chip Ingram App

Helping you grow closer to God

Download the Chip Ingram App

Get The App

Today’s Offer

He Holds Me Forever free mp3 download.


Message Transcript

What we are talking about today is a great big hug that lasts forever. We are going to talk about how God tells us that His love reaches all the way into eternity as He is preparing a special home for us, and that He wants us to be with Him forever. Some of us need to know that we are loved. We need to have someone put their arms around us.

And God wants to put His arms around us. He tells us that He wants to hug us forever. Heaven is a great big hug that lasts forever.

Well, Chip and I look forward to the times that we have all of our kids come home. And one of the most special times is when we are all seated at the table. I love those times when we are at the dinner table and everybody kind of has their spot and I cook a meal that everyone likes. And we begin to really enjoy that relationship and fellowship with one another. And we tell funny stories, we laugh a lot around our table.

And we talk about deep things. We share what God is teaching us in our lives. And I don’t think that there’s any time that makes Chip and I more happy than when we have all of our kids around our table.

And our heavenly Father, right now, is preparing a home for each of us and He is looking forward to the day when He will have all of His kids around His table. And we are going to be with Him.

And so, in John 14:1 through 3, we find that God is preparing a home for us. He is preparing a place for us right now. And it says, and if you have your notes open there, “Don’t be troubled. You trust in God, now trust in Me. There are many rooms in My Father’s home and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you so that you will always be with Me where I am.”

Now, Jesus was talking to His disciples here and it was going to be really soon when He would go to the cross. And He was preparing them for the day that He would be crucified. But they never really understood at that time what was going to happen. And Jesus was telling them, He was preparing them that He wouldn’t be with them in a short time, that He was going to go away.

And He told them that there would be one of them that would betray Him. And then He said to Peter that, “There will be a day when you will deny Me three times.” And so, I’m sure they feel like all Jesus is giving them is bad news. It just sounds like bad news. And life just doesn’t look very good for them right now.

But then Jesus turns the corner and He gives them a peek into the future. And He wants them to see that life in this world may be hard, and there are disappointments. But soon there will come a time when they will rejoice with Him and be with Him forever. And so, He exhorts them and He comforts them and He gives them a promise. And He says, “Don’t be troubled.” He says, “Don’t be cast down.” Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be confused. Don’t be anxious about your life. He said, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry about the future. I have a good plan for you. And everything is under control.” How many of us need to hear that?

Don’t be troubled. Everything is under control. And He said, “You trust God, now trust Me.” He says, “Stand firm in your faith. Stand firm in your belief that God will see you through all these difficulties.” He said, “In this world you will have tribulation.” It’s a part of living in this world. But He says, “Be of good cheer. Take heart, because I have overcome the world.” He says, “Trust Me to take care of you.”

And then He goes on to say, “There are many rooms in My Father’s house.” God the Father has a home. He has a distinct dwelling place, a home. Now, we know that God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. But Jesus is also telling us here that God the Father dwells in a real place. And that place is called heaven. And in that place, there are plenty of rooms. There is plenty of space for every child.

And there’s a special place made just for you. He says, “And I’m going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you so that you will always be with Me where I am.”

And so, God says, “Don’t be troubled. Don’t be troubled about what is happening in your life today.” In our world today, which seems to be in so much turmoil. He says, “Don’t be troubled.” You know, is there anything today, think about, is it troubling you today? Anything? Does life seem really hard, and the future, maybe look uncertain.

But Jesus tells us, “Don’t be troubled.” He says, “Trust in Me. I have got your life in My hands, and I have a good plan for your future. You can count on it. You can count on it.”

You see, there’s more to this world than what you can see right now. And the reality is, this isn’t your home. This isn’t your true home. You’re just here for a short time. And He says: I have a home for you that is so wonderful and it’s beyond anything you could ever have in this world.” A home that is so beautiful, so secure, a home that is so happy. And that the sufferings of this world and what you go through in this life will dim in comparison to what I have stored up for you in the future.

Well, this is a wonderful promise that Jesus gives us. But as I was thinking about this, I thought, It would be nice to know just a little bit what my home looks like. My heavenly home.

And so, I thought I would read this passage and I’m going to read and just hear from God: what does our home look like? That future home that we have to look forward to?

Well, in Revelation 21 and 22, we get a picture of what it looks like. And not completely. But enough for us to know somewhat what heaven is like and give us a hope and know that we will have a home where we will be cared for and loved and complete in every way. A home that we can be excited about going to.

The apostle John was taken into heaven and given a vision of what heaven looked like and I guess it would kind of be like him having a video camera and taking a picture for us and trying to describe to us just a little bit of what our home looks like. Now, not completely. But just a picture and he tries to describe it in the best way that he can. He tries to describe actually an indescribable place. But we get an idea of what it looks like to be in heaven.

And so, let’s start here with Revelation 21. “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared, and the sea was also gone. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband.”

Now, we know that the earth that we live on today is decaying. It’s broken, it’s the natural beauty that God created when He created the world, has been polluted by the sinfulness of man and the presence of evil. And what God made to be so beautiful and good, Satan and sinful man is destroying. But God says He is going to make a new heaven and a new earth.

And there’s going to be a new city, the new Jerusalem. It’s the capital city. And it’s where God’s throne will be. And he says it’s a most beautiful city and it’s carefully adorned, and it’s prepared by God, like a bride preparing for her husband.

And God says that He is not sparing any expense in this new city, because He wants it to be so beautiful for you, His bride, to come and be there and live with Him. A place that will be so pleasing to us. And this is a holy city, it’s a place where God will dwell among His people.

And it says also here that the sea is gone. We live on the coast and it’s hard to imagine that there would be no sea, that there would not be an ocean. And I’m not sure that that’s exactly what this means. There’s water there, I know that. But it says there will be no sea and it’s hard for us to imagine not having that because we enjoy it so much.

But as you think about the way this earth is made, and two-thirds of the earth’s surface is covered with water. And do you know what that water does? It divides people. It divides nations and people from each other. And in heaven, there’s not going to be any separation. There won’t be separations between nations and people. There will be no language barrier, there will be no cultural barrier, there will be no disagreements. There’s no misunderstandings. There’s nothing to cause a separation between God’s people.

Going on here it says, “And I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, ‘Look! The home of God is now among His people. He will live with them, and they will be His people; God Himself will be with them.’” There will be no separation between us and God, because He will be dwelling with us in this place.

He will make His home with us. We don’t have to pray anymore to a Father who is unseen, because we will be in His presence. We will see Him face-to-face. God will, again, walk among His children as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But we will be in this new paradise that He is making, and we will have intimate fellowship with Him.

It says, “He will remove all their sorrows. And there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain, for the old world and its evils are gone forever.” He will wipe away every tear. There will be no more sadness. No more sadness. I have experienced a lot of sadness lately and one of the things that I am truly looking forward to in heaven is that we will never have to say goodbye again. Never again to those people who we know will be with us there – those who know the Lord.

So, think about, what is it that makes you sad? There are a lot of things that make us sad, But there will be no sickness there. There’s no cancer. There are no heart attacks. There is no MS. There is no Parkinson’s disease. There are no car accidents. There are no wheelchairs. There are no hospitals, because they are not needed.

And there is no pain caused by difficult relationships. There are no broken hearts. And there is no loneliness. There is no abuse. There are no addictions to overcome. And all the tragic things that we experience in this life will be gone. It says, “For the old world and its evils will be gone forever.”

It goes on to say, “And the One sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making all things new!’ And then He said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’ And He said: ‘It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God and they will be My children. But cowards who turn away from Me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshippers, and all liars – their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.’”

And what he’s saying here is, this is truth. I’m giving you the facts that all those who come to me for this living water will have life. It says, “I am the source of life.” And we have that life by placing our trust in Christ as our Savior.

And then He says, “I’ll give them all the blessings of heaven and I will dwell with them forever and have an intimate relationship with them.” But He says, “Those who practice a lifestyle of the unbelieving world, those who practice that kind of lifestyle, those who don’t believe, those who turn away from Me, who don’t trust in Me as their Savior,” He said, “I will not allow entrance into My new city, but they will be cast into the burning lake.”

And so, that’s a good reminder for us, because we have this love inside of us. We have so much to share, that we need to be letting that ooze out all over the place, because we don’t want anyone not to be there with us.
It goes on to say then, “One of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the last, seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come with me, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ So he took me in Spirit to a great high mountain, and he showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It was filled with the glory of God, and sparkled like a precious gem, crystal clear, like jasper. It’s walls were broad and high with twelve gates, guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side: east, north, south, and west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

“The angle who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, it was in the form of a cube, for its length and width and height were each fourteen hundred miles. Then he measured the walls and found them to be two hundred and sixteen feet thick. The angel used a standard human measure. The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve gems.”

And then he goes on to tell what all these twelve gems were. Beautiful, beautiful stones. “The twelve gates were made of pearls, each gate from a single pearl. And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.”

And it’s a real place! It’s a place with walls and gates and streets. And it’s just indescribably beautiful, more than we could ever imagine. And we might be disappointed with the houses we have now, but we will never be disappointed with our home in heaven.

“Then the angel pulled out a measuring stick,” I thought this was interesting. The angel used an actual human measure, “and measured the width and height and length of the city.” It’s a big place. It’s a really big place. It’s big enough to hold everyone who has ever placed their trust in Christ and who ever will.

People from all nations, from all over this world – east, south, north, and west – will be there! No one is excluded. People from every nation, every tribe, every part of the world are welcome there.

And it says the glory of the Lord fills the place. And so, it’s a place of immense beauty because God is there and we will enjoy forever that beauty and be satisfied with our new home.

It says, “No temple could be seen in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need for sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations of the earth will walk in its light, and the rulers of the world will come and bring their glory to it. Its gates never close at the end of the day, because there is no night. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter. No one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonestly, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

In this new Jerusalem, there’s no need for a temple, because we will be in the very presence of God all the time. And so, there is no need for a temple. We will be fellowshipping with Him and worshipping Him face to face.

And no longer will we have any of the frailties of our human bodies, the weaknesses and the sin that will separate us from His presence.

And it says here that there’s no need for the sun or moon because the glory of God illuminates the city. There’s no darkness there. And the gates are never closed. There’s no darkness there. There’s no despair. There’s no fear. There’s no hopelessness. And there’s no death.

It says, “And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street. And on each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”

Well, there is a river there. And it flows down the main street of this new Jerusalem from the throne of God. And it says that there are trees and they bear all kinds of fruit, in fact, a new fruit every month. And so, we will enjoy eating and drinking in heaven. All of our needs will be met. We will have strength and health.

It says, “No longer will anything be cursed. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him. And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there. No need for lamps or sun, for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.”

And we will belong to our heavenly Father and we will have intimate, personal relationship with Him.

We will know what it’s like to be loved perfectly and we will know how to perfectly love. And we will dwell with our God with new resurrected bodies. Bodies that are flawless.

And we will recognize each other. We will know each other. We will have rich relationships and we will serve God together. And we will worship Him. And we will experience perfect joy.

It says in the psalms that in His presence is fulness of joy. And at His right hand, there are pleasures forever more. We will have that in heaven. And we will have all of our questions answered. We will understand then why we suffered so much. We will understand why things happened.

“For now, we see in a mirror dimly,” in 1 Corinthians 13, “but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I have fully been known.” We will understand why we suffered.

And in 1 Corinthians 2:11 it says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” We have a wonderful home waiting for us.

And so, the second thing that I wanted to talk about here, this is if we have such a wonderful hope in the future. How can we live today with that awareness that I am heaven bound? That I have eternity in my heart? How can I embrace the reality of heaven and remember that this is not my home? It’s not my real home.

In 1 John 5:4 it says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.” It’s our faith. It’s our faith in what Christ has done, our faith in His promises for our lives. Our faith in that the One who promises keeps His promise.

And I realize that it’s only by faith in the character and the promises of God that I can live with an eternal perspective. That’s the only way that I can have this.

In Hebrews 11:8 through 10, it says, “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place, which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise as in a foreign land dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was looking for the city, which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

You see, it was by faith that Abraham, in the Old Testament, lived as a pilgrim. He lived as a foreigner in this world, because he was looking forward to that city, even then. The new Jerusalem. His heavenly, eternal home.

And then we see in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul, the apostle Paul, looking forward to his new body. This new body that he would receive in heaven. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:1 through 7, “For we know that if the earthly tent, which is our house is torn down,” our body, “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed, in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed, while we are in this tent we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

“Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

It was by faith that Paul was able to focus on his future in heaven, recognizing that the physical body that he was now in was just a temporary thing. It’s like a tent that wears out. But someday, we will be clothed with a new body. God calls it a strong building, a stable building. It’s a body that will last forever.

And both of these men, Abraham and Paul, were able to endure the difficulties and the hardships that they experienced in their lives in this world. And they were able to obey God’s calling on their lives, even though it was hard, much of what they lived through was very difficult, but they were able to do that because, by faith, they were trusting in the promise of a better life to come, and that their true home was in heaven.

And Jesus then is our supreme model of living by faith and looking forward to the day when He again would be in heaven with His Father, sitting at the right hand of God. And He lived on this earth and He endured the sufferings of the cross because He wanted you and me to be there with him.

In Hebrews 12: 1 and 2, it says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,” all these people – Abraham – all these people who have gone before us, “let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us. And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,” listen to this, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,” that’s how we keep our faith, by setting our eyes on Him, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”

He was looking forward to being in heaven with you. That’s why He did it. “…despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In Hebrews 11:1 it tells us what faith is. It says, “Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Now, I have given you in your notes six definitions of faith, because sometimes it’s hard for us to get our hands around, what does this really mean?

Well, faith is being sure and certain about unseen hopes and realities. It’s things we can’t see. The promises of God. And by faith, we take hold of those promises. Faith views things through spiritual eyes and perceives things invisible to the natural eye. It’s believing when we can’t see the answer yet. It’s trusting Him when the answer is still yet to come.

Faith is not based on feelings. It’s not a feeling. It trusts in God in spite of how we feel. And there are many days lately I haven’t felt like I had faith. But I keep walking forward as though I do, trusting in the promises of God.

Faith is not an evidence of outward circumstances. The outward circumstances may look impossible, but faith trusting God in spite of how things look.

Faith is not something that acts automatically, it’s not something that acts magically. It’s not like your thermostat in your home that just automatically adjusts the temperature of your house.

But faith is an activity. It’s something that we have to exercise. It doesn’t come into operation itself. You and I have to put it into operation. And we do that as we walk in obedience to God, no matter what the circumstances look like.

In Romans 10:17 it says, “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of God.” And as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and as we hear His Word, and as we apply it to our lives, we walk in obedience to God, our faith will grow.

And so, like Abraham and like Paul, it’s by faith and the promises of God that we today can live with confidence in our lives and live with certainty that we have a hope for the future beyond this present life. It’s by faith that we endure the hardships and the sufferings of this world, because we know that this isn’t our real home. We’re here for a short time. And we do have a purpose in being here. And we need to enjoy the time we are here.

But it’s not our real home. It’s not our true home. One day, God will have all of His kids at His table. And they will be fellowshipping around His table, enjoying wonderful fellowship with Him and with each other.

And because God loves us so much, because He loves us so much, He sent His Son to die for us, so that we could know Him. And then He made us His temple to come and dwell within us, fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we could experience His love in our lives.

And then He has allowed us to express His love to other people in a way that they can touch and see. And He loves us so much that right now, He is preparing a home for us in heaven. And He wants to hold you in His arms forever.

And, again, our verse. I hope we’ll never forget. 1 John 3:1. “How great a love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God,” and that is what we are.