Summary: First of four messages looking at eternity and the urgency and excitement we can have looking forward to it. Randy Alcorn’s book "Heaven" was used extensively for this series.
Driven By Eternity ----- P.A.S.S Away
Sunday Sermon / September 9th 2007
Intro: Heaven! Can you even imagine how awesome Heaven is? Have you ever tried to? In so doing we will find great joy and encouragement in this temporal life.
I want you to join me over the next four weeks for a very special series of messages about the Eternity. The Bible has much to say about the subject, yet few people really know what they believe about it.
According to a Barna Research poll:
81% believe in an afterlife of some sort.
76% believe that Heaven exists
71% believe in a Hell.
24% admit they have “no idea” what will happen after they die.
But I will tell you, I am 100% sure there is real Heaven and real Hell; because the Bible is 100% sure there is a literal Heaven and a literal Hell.
Have you ever heard someone say, “So and So Passed away?”
It’s a ‘gentler’ way of saying someone died. This is actually a Biblical way of thinking. We will all die and “pass away.” Our physical bodies will all die, but our spirits that will continue to exist for eternity.
Are you ready to Pass Away?
Text: Philippians 1:21,23 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
Paul actually says he wants to die. Can you image? He isn’t depressed, he isn’t sick; he simple knows that when he passes on he will immediately be with Jesus in Heaven forever!
He says there are two things that make him stay, fruitful ministry and helping those he loves love Jesus
I have to tell you, I feel exactly the same. I’m not depressed or discouraged, but I am ready to be in heaven. There are only two reasons to stay here in this world: Ministry and loved ones. That’s it!
We’re going to use the letters in PASS to explain how to have joy in “Passing away”
I. Prepare for Eternity
What would you think about a person who goes to the airport, with no luggage, no plans, they have no idea were they’re going and they only have enough money to by a one way ticket at random, they get on the plane and hope for the best? I would call that foolish.
Yet this is exactly what many do everyday. 250,000 people die everyday. Most die without making any plans, they don’t know for sure where they’re going…they are just hoping for the best.
Someone will say, “It’s impossible to know what happens after you die.”
a. You can know what lays ahead
i. I’m not talking about speculating or hoping or assuming God will work it out.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"—10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”
What is the primary way the Spirit of God communicates with us? The Bible of course!
Without the Bible you can have no idea what eternity is like.
ii. Biblical reliability – unique from all other books or revelations.
iii. You should NOT trust your eternity to any other information!!!
God says he has revealed heaven to us through His Spirit.
That means that God has explained to us what heaven is like. Not exhaustively, but accurately.
b. Find out the facts
i. No shortage of people clamoring about the after life. But, how reliable are their testimonies?
ii. You need to qualify your sources.
iii. Satan is a deceiver. He is the father of lies.
John 8:44 “Jesus said of the devil, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
iv. Revelation 13 tells us that the Devil works to spread lies about God, Heaven and God’s people.
Those lies include:
• There is nothing after you die,
• You’ll get another chance (reincarnation),
• Don’t worry you’re a good person; you’ll make it to heaven.
v. Look at his approach with Eve in the Garden of Eden: First doubt. Second, denial.
vi. “Will you die; you shall not die”
Answer these questions: Have you done your homework? Are your beliefs about eternity Biblical?
II. Anticipate Heaven
You can and should look forward with great expectation to Heaven!!!
Colossians 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
a. Tragically, however, most people do not find their joy in Christ and Heaven.