Summary: The Bible says that we're already in the "heavenlies." How can that be? I like living in Indiana, but it's never been my idea of real heaven. I pictured something with a few more clouds and harps. But it's true that I'm now in the heavenlies. Find out why
OPEN: I recently heard the story about a young married couple. The Groom wanted to do something special for his new Bride so he planned something special for her. The plan was – after their reception – he would drive them two hours to a special destination where they would spend a glorious evening together.
So, they got in their car, he set the GPS and away they drove
SEVEN hours later, they reached their destination.
Exhausted, they settled in… and then left on a short errand.
And it took them another hour to find their way back.
Their problem was that they depended entirely upon their Navigation GPS to find their way to their destination. And, apparently their system worked off of pre-loaded maps. Unfortunately for them, their destination wasn’t on any of those maps.
Their GPS couldn’t help them, and since they depended entirely on that system they became hopelessly lost and totally without a clue as to where they were headed.
APPLY: Ephesians 2 tells us that God has pre-loaded His GPS with a map that tells you exactly where you and I are and where we’re headed.
Ephesians 2:6 says
“…God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”
I’m in the heavenlies? (PAUSE)
Now Indiana is a nice place to live, but this really isn’t my idea of heaven.
I expected more clouds and harps and such.
But here in Ephesians 2, Paul is telling me that it is a TRUTH – I am in the heavenly realms right now. Well, how does that work?
Well, first – it’s a Spiritual Truth.
In Ephesians 1:18-20 Paul wrote:
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the
· hope to which he has called you,
· the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
· and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms”
So what Paul is saying in the first chapter of Ephesians is this:
Your goal as a Christians is to understand the Spiritual Truths of…
· the hope you have
· the riches of your inheritance that you have
· and the power God has given you
And that power you have is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the heavenly realms.
Jesus is in the HEAVENLY REALMS right now
And because He is there… you’re there.
Ephesians 2:6 says
“… God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”
We are “IN” Christ Jesus.
HE is IN the heavenlies.
Therefore – since we are in Christ and He is in the Heavenlies… we’re in the heavenlies too.
ILLUS: It works kind of like this:
Almost every nation in the world has an embassy that is owned by the United States of America. No matter what nation that embassy is in, the ground on which it rests is US soil. That land does not belong to that foreign country.
Now, if you - as a US citizen - are in Europe or Asia or any other continent, the moment you step into our Embassy in that region… you are in the USA. BUT you are only in the USA because you are IN that embassy.
That’s what Ephesians 2:6 means when it says you are “…IN the heavenly realms IN Christ Jesus”. You are IN the heavenly realms because you are IN Christ Jesus. If you were not IN Christ Jesus – you would NOT be IN the heavenly realms.
Now, the question is – why would that matter?
What difference does it make whether or not you are in the heavenly realms?
Well, it matters because WHERE you are influences who has control of your life.
ILLUS: If I’m in a foreign country – and there’s no embassy there I’m at the mercy of the authorities of that country. If I’m arrested, there is no one there to protect me. If I’m imprisoned, there is not authority to step in and defend me.
One of the major purposes of an embassy = is to serve and protect the citizens of our nation. And if I find myself in trouble, I can flee to that embassy and know that I am on US soil and that legally, that foreign power CANNOT touch me.
While I’m on US embassy soil - neither the police, nor the militia of that (or any other) nation can reach in there and harm me.