Summary: We need to make a commitment this year or we could call it a News Years Resolution to try to help as many people as possible get a right view of Heaven and Jesus.
Heaven pt 2
Series: Breath of Heaven 2011:
Scripture Text: John 14:1-3
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Opening premise we must have to get a proper understanding of Heaven:
Randy Alcorn states the following: “Often our thinking is backwards. Why do we imagine that God patterns Heaven’s holy city after an earthly city, as if Heaven knows nothing of community and culture and has to get its ideas from us? Isn’t it more likely that earthly realities, including cities, are derived from heavenly counterparts? We tend to start with Earth and reason up toward Heaven, when instead we should start with Heaven and reason down toward Earth. It isn’t merely an accommodation to our earthly familial structure, for instance, that God calls himself a father and us children. On the contrary, he created father-child relationships to display his relationship with us, just as he created human marriage to reveal the love relationship between Christ and his bride” (Ephesians 5:32) (Heaven, page 54).
Last week we started our focus on our new theme for this upcoming year, our motto is: Breath of Heaven in 2011.”
We talked last week about the importance of understanding were we as Christians are heading. We talked about Heaven and we discussed the many misconceptions of Heaven from others. We even watched a video which revealed how confused the people in our society are of Heaven.
Randy Alcorn stated, “It’s our inaccurate thinking, I believe, that causes us to choose to think so little about Heaven” (Heaven, Page 8).
Randy Alcorn states, “I believe there’s one central explanation for why so many of God’s children have such a vague, negative, and uninspired view of Heaven: the work of Satan.”
We learned that the reason most people are confused about Heaven is because the Father of lies – Satan has blinded many to the truth about Heaven. He despises Heaven mostly because God had him thrown out of Heaven for his arrogance and sin of thinking he could elevate himself above God. See Isaiah 14:12-15. Since Satan’s banishment from Heaven he seeks to go around lying about God, His people and His dwelling place (Revelation 13:5-6). Satan’s goal is to keep as many people out of Heaven as possible since he knows this breaks the heart of God. His mindset is if I cannot dwell in Heaven and live there then I will seek to make sure as many people as possible fail to make the wonderful dwelling place of Heaven.
Randy Alcorn states, “It must be maddening for him that we’re (Christians are) now entitled to the home he was kicked out of” (Heaven, Page 11).
He adds, “What better way for the devil and his demons to attack us than whisper lies about the very place on which God tells us to set our hearts and minds? Satan need not convince us that Heaven doesn’t exist. He need only convince us that Heaven is a place of boring, unearthly existence. If we believe that lie, we’ll be robbed of our joy and anticipation, we’ll set our minds on this life and not the next, and we won’t be motivated to share the faith. Why should we share the “good news” that people can spend eternity in a boring, ghostly place that even we’re not looking forward to” (page 11)?
T.S. – We need to make a commitment this year or we could call it a News Years Resolution to try to help as many people as possible get a right view of Heaven and Jesus.
Quote: Christopher Hilling – in his sermon Reaching For Heaven http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/reaching-for-heaven-christopher-hilling-sermon-on-heaven-30725.asp shares the following opening thought about our subject again today:
This morning, I want to talk about the ultimate goal of the Christian life. This morning we are going to reach for Heaven. The outline of this sermon is taken from the famous sermon by the Nazarene preacher L. B. Hicks entitled "There Must Be A Heaven Somewhere". One Sunday morning before church, God gave him the main points of the sermon, he jotted them down on the back of an envelope, and preached a glorious message on the subject of Heaven. Some may ask, "How can you be sure there is a Heaven?" There are several answers to such a question:
1. Because the soul has always longed for such a place. Whatever culture you stumble across, whatever time period of history, you will find some sort of belief in the afterlife. I don’t believe God would plant in the soul a universal longing like that without making some provision for it.