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A Sermon on “A Better Place”

Author: T.O.D. Johnston

Publisher: Owen Johnston

The author shared this message at Paran Baptist Church on

November 4th, 2018. The church is located at -
1603 Johnsonville Hwy, Lake City SC 29560
“A Better Place” by T.O.D. Johnston –

T.O.D. Johnston's Sermon on “A Better Place”

About this message
Johnston, T.O.D.
A Better Place/Religious Non-fiction
This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-
NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Contact the publisher:
Owen Johnston
E-Mail –
All of the author's Bible study lessons may be read and/or downloaded for free! Visit
our website and click on the “Free Downloads” link.

“A Better Place” by T.O.D. Johnston –


John 14:1-3.

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 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.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto
myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:27.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I
unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 17:24.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am;
that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the
foundation of the world.

These words describe a place in every way different form our earthly experience. To
help to visualize the difference – think about the life of a caterpillar and how different he
experience of the same insect is when it is transformed into a butterfly. No longer grounded,
or building a cocoon.
Our lives are grounded by our physical bodies. Our physical condition affects every
other part of us (mental, emotional, spiritual). We are constantly made aware of the world’s
values. The exaltation of the self – and what you are, what you have, what you can do; how can
others help me become like them. Also we are constantly reminded of the worst aspects of
human nature – crime, cruelty, discrimination, and violence etc… an endless list!
The best parts of this life are seen in unselfish love, kindness, giving, helping,
compassion, acceptance.
To measure or monitor the proportions of each category from day to day would be
exhausting and most likely would be quite discouraging. A much better use of our
contemplation and thinking would be to consider the present role we have as Christians: we
are in the place of learning, training, and correction as God’s beloved children. We should be
preparing for heaven.
We should not concentrate on or spend time and money and effort on what we will
leave behind (even a castle and a kingdom). What gifts and abilities we have here should be
used and developed to become useful to glorify God, to become more like His Son.
Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is a loving one: continual, unchangeable,
eternal. This also describes our relationship with our Lord Jesus. I John 3:2 - “We shall be like
Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

“A Better Place” by T.O.D. Johnston –

This was God’s eternal will and plan. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18 -
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into
His likeness with ever increasing glory.” What begins in earth is to be perfected there.
The better place will have no sin – all will speak openly, honestly, truthfully, full of love.
No pretenses or insecurity, no need to conceal, no temptation. Only light, truth, good, kind,
and holy things will be present. The mind will be cleansed, the heart in perfect tune with the
perfect environment.

Paul: I Corinthians 13:12 “Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am
known.” We will have emerged from the cocoon and entered the air in flight.
What we know of Jesus, and God the Father and the Holy Spirit are now mostly by
faith. When there we will observe, experience and understand everything more widely and
Our present earthly bodies (at whatever stage of aging and loss of abilities – increases
of wrinkles, aches and pains, loss of strength and energy) as everything else is wearing out.
Our eternal body will be renewable, indestructible, eternal, perfectly suited for the Better
Place (eternal as well).
A new heart and mind, attuned to the tally positive: God, Christ, and His environment
prepared for us. Nothing negative will be possible. Our Jesus will be to fully serve, honor, and
give glory to our Lord forever, our greatest desire will be to please Him.
Prepare for Heaven: there will be The Judgment Seat of Christ for rewards for His
saints. Our present lives are to be setting aside treasure in heaven – by our words and deeds,
glorifying God and His Salvation in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Paul emphasizes setting your mind on things above, not things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-4. “...your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life,
is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” This describes that life every
waking moment.

The Path – consider:

Earthly life is temporary
Our next life is eternal.

The wisest way to live today is to be constantly aware of ultimate destination, as certain
as it is eternal. It is promised by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And they will bring it
to pass as certain as all the rest of the promises in Holy Scripture: from the Seed of the
woman, the birth of a virgin in Bethlehem, the miracles, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the
ascension, the rebirth of the nation of Israel, etc. Whether we think about it or not, we truly
are preparing for heaven now.
Paul uses the analogy of a foot race to run to receive a prize at the finish. Not an earthly
one but a heavenly one (I Corinthians 9:24-27). Our citizenship is there, our path leads there.
Paul describes those who set their minds on only earthly things, their fleshly appetites,
as only seeking their own destruction.

“A Better Place” by T.O.D. Johnston –

Rewards are not based on any talents, abilities, or resources that we may have, but they
are based on faithfulness. Don’t we all long to hear our Master speak to us those words of
Matthew 25:21 -
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I
will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Paul mentions a few things about ruling and reigning with Christ: authority over
nations, judge angels. Be part of Christ’s perfect heavenly government, run by the perfected
people of God.
Our present lives are our only opportunity to prepare for greater service and
responsibility there.
Old proverb: give up what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

Consider: what are you about?

Where is your time and effort being spent, getting more of what you will leave behind?
Or getting yourself attuned to the path to heaven you are traveling on, to be better prepared
cor your usefulness and service there.
Are you becoming more like Jesus, or less like Him? Keep your eyes on the prize -
Rewards will be given according to our progress and faithfulness. In all things be
thankful and praise Him for all He has done, is doing and has promised to do, both here, now,
and forever. Amen. So be it! Let us pray!

A Sermon on “A Better Place”
Author: T.O.D. Johnston
Publisher: Owen Johnston
T.O.D. preached this sermon at Paran Baptist Church on November 4 th, 2018. The
church is located at 1603 Johnsonville Hwy, Lake City SC The author was licensed to preach
the Gospel by Paran on May 26, 1979. He has been a student of Scripture since 1972. He was
an art teacher for over 30 years in Florence School District 3.
Contact the publisher:
Owen Johnston
E-Mail –
All of the author's Bible study lessons may be read and/or downloaded for free! Visit
our website and click on the “Free Downloads” link.