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Summary: When we say in the Lord's prayer "on earth as it is in heaven" and really mean it, the way the world around looks around us should change.As we become more like Christ we become the eternal church that will exist forever, right now.

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Title: Community-Eternal Church (Where Are We Headed)

Place: BLCC

Date: 3/5/17

Text: Isaiah 65.17; Acts 3.21; Revelation 21.1-4

CT: The Church will continue eternally starting now.

[Screen 1]

FAS: Say the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven.

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and glory forever.

Amen.

In their book Next Door As It Is in Heaven, authors Lance Ford and Brad Briscoe discuss the profound loneliness people are regularly experiencing in our world—and the subsequent (and sobering) sense that they have very little value at all. Sadly, many of us contribute to this loneliness and lack of self-worth as we move throughout our day, rarely even lifting our heads to offer a simple greeting. Ford and Briscoe contrast our relational aloofness with the daily practice author Peter Senge noticed among the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa:

The most common greeting, equivalent to "hello" in English, is the expression: Sawu bona. It literally means, [Screen 2]"I see you." If you are a member of the tribe, you might reply by saying Sikhona, [Screen 3] "I am here." The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It's as if, when you see me, you bring me into existence.

"A deep truth resides in this cultural practice," Ford and Briscoe observe. "When we merely move throughout our days without seeing people as people, then as far as it matters to us in that moment, they really don't exist. … [But] being conscious of how we approach people we encounter through the normal routines of our day is a step toward bringing … heaven here on our patch of earth."

Lance Ford & Brad Briscoe, Next Door As It Is In Heaven (NavPress, 2016), page 76; submitted by Brian Lowery, Avon, Indiana.

LS: We as followers of Christ should see our fellow followers as being with us on this journey that will never end. When we pray on earth as it is in heaven we begin to understand what this means.

This is the final week of the sermon series [Screen 4] Community. We have looked at what God would want the church to be. We have tried to discern what Jesus would want us to do as a church.

Today I shift gears a little bit to try and look ahead to what the Bible says about where we as the church are going.

Let me say up front that the Bible does not give a precise, indisputable, clear roadmap of end times to come. Many try to tell you it does but it doesn’t. Only God knows. That is why there are so many different theories and predictions that fall through.

My goal today is to see what the future of the church, the followers of Jesus, and the Body of Christ looks like according to the Bible.

[Screen 5]

As a preacher I get to talk with people who struggle with the day to day struggles that years of life and sickness have weighed down on them. I had one precious lady tell me just a couple of weeks ago she was ready to go home. Oh she knew she wasn’t going back to the house she once lived in. It was no longer. She was speaking of the home she longed for with her Lord.


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