Summary: A sermon on how Christians out to look at Heaven.
Introduction: Navy’s requirements for sailors on leave in foreign countries
Background: Paul continues the contrast of the enemies of the Cross
Purpose Statement: As citizens of heaven we ought to…
I. Keep Our Minds On Things Above (v. 20a)
A. Are you living like a Christian or a Cretan?
1. Paul pointed to dual citizenship of the Philippians
2. Our allegiance is first and foremost to God
3. Do we live like the ambassador for heaven that we are?
B. I’ve never been there (Heaven) but I hear it’s great
1. Unknown Region with a well known inhabitant Illustration
2. Three wonders in Heaven Illustration
C. It’s not about a place it’s about a Person
1. Those who love Him must be preoccupied with Heaven because that’s where He is
2. We pursue Christlikeness in expectation of His return
II. Eagerly Await Christ’s Return (v. 20b)
A. Do you say “not yet Lord or Maranatha?”
1. Why are so many Christians so reluctant to be with Jesus
2. It should be a positive thing
3. Meditating on Heaven gives us motivation, accountability and security
B. Only those with something to hide fear the return of the master
2. Neither are we to be passive or disinterested in His return
C. It’s not about an event, it’s about a Person
1. The majority of my problem with the Jack Van Impe’s and Hal Lindsey’s of the world is they are event centered
2. Americans are fascinated by end times theology, re: Left Behind success> Turn their facination toward Christ
III. Prepare for His Coming (v. 21a)
A. He’ll transform our body upon His return
1. Paul tells us this corruptible cannot inherit the incorruptible
3. For many of us we thank God for that
B. Our soul was, is being and will be transformed in the here and now
1. For now we war with our flesh
2. Salvation means so much more than being freed from Hell. It is being transformed into His image.
3. MacArthur Quote
IV. Trust in God’s Promises (v. 21b)
A. Do you believe that Heaven will be a better place than here?
1. I don’t believe the majority of us do, why is this?
B. He is able because He has subjected all things to Himself
2. If He can do all this, certainly He can take care of you too.
Conclusion: As they run the spiritual race, believers must look to godly examples for inspiration and instruction. They must also look out for those enemies of the truth who would lead them astray. Finally, they must focus on the glorious hope that is theirs at the return of Christ Jesus – the transformation of their bodies into conformity with His. Then, regenerated fully in soul and body, they will be suited to eternal, holy glory and joy.
UNKNOWN REGION WITH A WELL-KNOWN INHABITANT
We know very little about heaven, but I once heard a theologian describe it as “an unknown region with a well-know inhabitant,” and there is not a better way to think of it than that.
Richard Baxter expresses the thought in these lines:
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim,
But it’s enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.
To those who have learned to love and trust Jesus, the prospect of meeting him face to face and being with him forever is the hope that keeps us going, no matter what life may throw at us.