YOUR BEST LIFE imaginable can’t begin to compare with the reality of your life in heaven.  THE best is always yet to come for the Christian. It’s infinitely better than you could ever conceive. BUT the Bible gives us enough of a description of heaven that we know for sure that it is (a review of the last four weeks) ……

  1. the dwelling place of the glorified Lord Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us just waiting to complete what He finished at the cross;
  2. home with a room for all believers in Jesus Christ;
  3. built by the hand of God and is “eternal in the heavens;”
  4. a safe-deposit for eternal treasures; AND
  5. the assembly of the redeemed of all nations.


After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

The church is God’s “united nations.” (It is a really solid idea. One that can work.) Imagine a time and a place where there will be no more division, conflict or hatred. Envision a place where there is no more separation by class, culture or creed. Zero disproportioned attention. Zero misses.  Complete and absolute representation. That’s heaven. John the Revelator describes the inhabitants of heaven in Revelation Chapter 7. “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (This is my text for Sunday’s sermon.) 

One of the characteristics that I love about our church family is that we, like our city, are ethnically and culturally diverse. We have people from many nations, cultures and languages standing together on Sunday mornings giving God glory for His great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is as they say, “a little taste of heaven.” I remember just a few years back hosting Damaris Carbaugh as our Easter guest soloist. She is one of my favourite Gospel musicians. She resides in New York City. Upon visiting our city, she observed that Mississauga seems even more diverse than NYC. Just take a walk through Square One and you can’t miss that we are an immensely culturally diverse city. More diverse than Times Square, wow!!

The only thing better than being there (heaven) is to have a sneak-peak at the upcoming glory that awaits us stored in the sacred writing of the Bible. There are so many details to absorb that one has to walk slowly and thoughtfully through this passage. But let me just whet your appetite for more of this passage by noting two realities about the people who are gathered in glory.

  1. Their robes are spotless white. Don’t get distracted by the description of heaven’s fashion line-up. Stay focused on their colour, “white.” John uses this metaphor to speak of both the cleansing of the defilement of our sin and the righteous deeds of the children of God. Christians are those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, at the cross (1 John 1:7-9). But the white robes also reflect the life of “keeping oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). 
  2. They held palm branches in their hands. Palm branches in the Bible signify celebration and rejoicing. (See Lev. 23:40; John 12:13.) Doesn’t it make perfect sense that John joins the twin ideas of salvation and celebration? As Isaiah wrote, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Those who have received the great gift of God’s salvation have enormous JOY, and well they should!


So I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting of God’s united nations, aka, the church that gathers at 1075 Eglinton Ave West in Mississauga on Sunday mornings at 9 or 11.

Shalom, shalom,
Pastor Deric

PARTNERSHIP DAY (or why I don’t like the word volunteer)

One of the great themes of the New Testament is PARTNERSHIP. That’s why I bristle at the use of the word volunteer when it comes to the church. It’s good to volunteer in various projects around the city, but partnership as Christians is intended to be much deeper. Let me show you how the letter to the Philippians uses the word: 

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 1:3-6)

Note carefully (NB) the words in verse 5, “your partnership in the Gospel.” Some translations use the word “fellowship.” It’s the famous Greek word “koinonia.” It’s a prominent Christian concept from the earliest followers of Jesus. Here are just a few of the uses of the same word in the writings of Paul.

(1 Corinthians 1:9) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

(1 Corinthians 10:16) The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

(2 Corinthians 13:14) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

(2 Corinthians 6:14-16) Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God;

Do you see what I mean? There’s much more to Christian partnership than simply volunteering. Ministry partnership has a much deeper dimension that includes the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. We have been called to a high and holy partnership in the Kingdom. When we serve together in the church, we are expressing our spiritual oneness. Christians share a common bond unequaled in the world BUT we must maintain the spiritual unity that the Lord Himself has created in His body, the church. 

All that to say that we are over the moon excited about welcoming our church family to our PARTNERSHIP DAY this Sunday after both services. Most of our ministries will be represented by full-time staff and volunteers (LOL, just kidding). Join us in the gymnasium for refreshment and discussion about your golden opportunity to serve the Lord in the partnership of the Gospel with City Centre.

See you then,

Pastor Deric


P.S. BTW, last Sunday, our DISCIPLESHIP DAY, was excellent. Thanks to everyone that made it a great day.