Summary: Here’s a sermon that forces us to examine our lives. Do we live as those who look toward heaven for the future or those who live only for the things of this world?
Do You Ever Think About Eternity
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
I’m concerned about people who have no use for the church.
They don’t attend church regularly!
They don’t read their Bibles and pray regularly!
They seem to care only about their jobs…their families…
their forms of relaxation and enjoyment.
They have no time for Jesus!
What awaits people like that?
Today’s story is about an old man by the name of Henry Clemens. Henry’s wife had died and he lived alone in a small town. Going to church was something that old Henry had neglected. He had lived a good life and was respected by the people in the community. Henry considered himself to be a Christian. A pushy Bible School teacher had coerced him into making a profession of faith when he was a boy. He had been baptized, placed on the church membership roll, and assured that he possessed eternal security. However, old Henry had not lived like the Bible says a Christian should and going to church was something that just didn’t seem to be important. One day, a new preacher came to town. He decided to go visit the people on the church roll so off he went to see old Henry.
We will get back to that story a little later!
Most people believe in a life after death,
But not many want to talk about it very much.
Christians believe we will spend eternity in a wonderful place!
We call it heaven.
There are actually three heavens.
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Notice that in Verse 12, the word “heavens” is plural.
Obviously, there must be more than just one!
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 12:2.
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
Paul says there are 3 heavens!
It’s obvious from the remainder of that passage…
That Paul was speaking of the place where God is.
So, where are the First and Second heavens?
Turn back to Genesis Chapter 1:
Genesis 1:14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 16 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
So this is a “heaven” where we find the sun and the moon.
This “heaven” also contains the stars!
This is the Second Heaven that contains the sun, planets and stars.
We would call it “outer space” or the Universe!
Now, look at Genesis 1:20.
Genesis 1:20 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."
Do birds fly around the moon or in outer space? No!
Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Does it rain in outer space? No!
Genesis 7:19-20 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.
Do our highest mountains extend into outer space? No!
Genesis 11:1-4 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."