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Summary: It does have some earthly good to be heavenly minded!

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“The Earthly Good of

Being Heavenly Minded”

Living with the Reality of Heaven and Hell Series

I Thessalonians 5:1-11

(verses taken from NKJV unless noted)

Wakelee Church ~ October 10, 2004

Theme: It does have some earthly good to be heavenly minded.

Introduction - What if our faith didn’t offer eternal life? We often hear that Christianity is all about heaven, but if it was just about heaven, why didn’t God sent us their the minute we accepted him?

The fact is what we go through in life does have some earthly good as we keep our minds set on heaven.

In fact, there’s some benefits to being heavenly minded...

Benefit: In the midst of hardship, we have hope.

“The body that is sown perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.”

- I Corinthians 15:42, 43

Our hope doesn’t end in death or in our weaknesses, it has a purpose.

Benefit: In the midst of misdirection, we have direction.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent form the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing unto Him.” – II Corinthians 5:8-9

Our direction isn’t based on current trends…we follow the way of Christ.

Benefit: In the midst of confusion, we know we’re being trained for something better.

“…Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8

ex. Presidential debates…notice that one candidate has ever apologized for past oopses? Think about it. They don’t even answer the other candidate’s charges in fear of making the charges stick.

I want a candidate that has faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, brotherly kindness and love…or is at lease willing to say that he’s working for these things in his life.

In the midst of the confusion, we’re being trained for something better.

Benefit: In the midst of doubt, we know that a better day is coming!

“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” – I Thessalonians 5:1-11

Hardship, misdirection, confusion, and doubt…have no power over my Savior.

I cannot be misdirected, confused, or filled with doubt, when I put Jesus Christ first as my way, as my truth, and as my life. I know that something better is coming!

Conclusion – “A 2 a.m. Miracle” – Joni Eareckson Tada

It was 2 a.m. and Ken, my husband was snoring softly beside me, not aware that I was biting my lip to keep from waking him up. The combination of my paralysis with middle-of-the-night insomnia always makes me feel claustrophobic. But this was different. The pain in my neck and shoulders was searing. I tried to move my head on the pillow, but was stopped short by a razor –sharp stab in the back of my neck.

“O God,” I whispered, “I need to reposition, but I haven’t the heart to wake up Ken. He only has a few hours before hi alarm goes off, yet…I cannot tolerate this pain. Please, I can’t live like this….help me?”

I began to breathe deeply and recite a favorite hymn: “And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the store - Saved by Grace. And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story - Saved by Grace.”

The next thing I knew it was morning, Ken was off to work, and my girlfriend had arrived to get me up. When I told her about my rough night, she replied, “I bet you can’t wait for heaven.” Joni looked at her friend and said, “I just experienced a small piece of it.”

Invitation to Dedicate or Rededicate Live to Christ

Prayer

Closing Song - #701 – When We All Get to Heaven

Benediction – I Thessalonians 5:23-28 (The Message Translation)

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The one who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it.

Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the Christians there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.

(And may) the amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you. (Amen.)”

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