Summary: Today is a good day to look beyond and ask, "What then?"

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Title: Embrace Eternity

Text: Luke 12:13-21

Thesis: Today is a good day to look beyond and ask, “Then what?”

Series Introduction;

Tim McGraw’s hit song Live Like You Were Dying, is the springboard for the current series of messages. The song is the story of a man who learned he was dying of a fatal disease and what he learned about living his final days well. It is a song about what he found to be important and how he hoped everyone could have the chance to live like they only had thirty days to live.

The series is based on the materials provided for the Live Like You Were Dying Church Campaign Resource Kit available from WWW.LLYWD.ORG. In addition to the suggested sermon titles and general outlines, I have attempted to cite any other specific references lifted from the resources.

Message Introduction:

Embrace Eternity Clip - People on the Street Interview Clip

The clip certainly raises some questions in our minds. I am reminded of my 1970’s vintage Evangelism Explosion training. We were taught that when

engaged in a spiritual conversation about someone’s eternal destiny, we asked two very pertinent and thought provoking questions. These are the questions:

1. Have you come to the point in your spiritual life where you know that if you were to die today you would go to heaven or is that something you are still working on?

2. Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” what would you say?

The questions assume the existence of God, heaven, the alternative to heaven, and an afterlife. And if we believe the bible is the inspired Word of God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; that it straightens us out and teaches us what is right (II Timothy 3:16 NLT), then despite all the questions raised in the minds of the people interviewed on the street and in our own minds, we may know the truth.

I John 5 specifically states, “This is what God has said: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son, Jesus Christ. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write this to you so that you who believe in the Son of God, may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:11-13

Many people feel like an Olympic Skier. We have watched the jumpers racing down the slope in a tuck position and then catapult off the end of the jump. They lean forward into the jump extending their bodies out over their skis as long as possible. As long as possible, they lean into the jump…

We are all doing just that. We are leaning into life. We are fully extended. Air-born. And just like the skier, we are eventually going to come down. We are going to complete our jumps and cross the finish line.

That fact is what raises this question: Then what?

When live like we were dying we live in such a way that we can embrace eternity with some assurance about the “then what” question. Perhaps we can sort out the “then what” as we examine a story from the life and teaching of Jesus Christ in Luke 12.

Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me judge over you to divide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.” And he gave an illustration: A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing.

So he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have enough room for everything. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:13-21 NLT

We’re not talking Warren Buffett or Bill Gates rich… and we are not saying that the rich are necessarily spiritually destitute. Jesus told a story about a man who lived the American dream. He worked hard, saved his money, and retired figuring he could live very well for a long, long time. He thought, I’m going to take it easy. I’m going to eat, drink and be full as a tick on a bloodhound and happy as a pig in slop. But that wasn’t his problem… his problem is that he did not consider the “then what” question. He was solely concerned about this life and gave no thought to the next.

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