Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Every sign, both in the heavens and the earth, point to the soon return of Christ.


By Pastor Jim May

I want to speak to you this morning concerning a message that God has given in His Word for all who are called by His name. God has a Word for you and I and it’s a word of encouragement and strength for those who will hear what He has to say. God wants you to know that you have nothing to fear.

I feel that God wants to tell you, first that He loves you so much, and secondly that He longs to have all of us with Him in Heaven. Then, I feel that God wants me to let you know that the end is drawing ever nearer with each passing day, and it won’t be long now until Jesus comes and calls his people to come home for a great family reunion.

For some, this isn’t always an encouraging word. It’s not that we don’t want to make Heaven our home, or that we don’t love the Lord – it’s just that we also love some things in this present world and we don’t want to leave them too quickly.

There are many things about this life that are wonderful.

To look into the eyes of that special someone, whom you love so dearly; to feel their touch and to experience true love; is a truly wonderful thing that none of us wants to give up easily. We don’t really know what it’s going to be like over on the other side. The Bible says that those who live for eternity in Heaven will neither marry nor be given in marriage.

Now for some people that may be a blessing because their marriage isn’t exactly perfect anyway for whatever reason. How many times have I heard the marriage relationship referred to as a “ball and chain”? How often to hear husbands refer to their wives as “my old lady” or wives refer to their husbands as “my old man”. I suppose for these folks, the end of the marriage relationship, as they know it now will be a welcomed thing.

But for those of us who truly love our spouse, we don’t want to give that up so easily. The kind of true love that we find in a happy marriage is hard to find and we want to hold on to that as long as we can.

To experience the birth of a new baby into the family is a wonderful thing. To gaze upon that precious little gift from God that He has given to you for you to love and care for; to suddenly realize that your life is forever changed and that now you can know the joys of parenthood. This is another wonderful experience that we don’t want to give up easily.

Yet for some, even this experience doesn’t mean anything to them. How many people kill their children before they are even born through abortion, and how many throw their children aside as though they are nothing but useless garbage! How someone could cast away a new life that God brings into this world is beyond my comprehension, and yet I know that it is nothing more than a sign of the times and that the time of Jesus return is ever drawing nearer.

Many of us like to travel to see the beautiful vistas of mountain ranges, or the clear skies and beautiful sunsets over the deserts, or the ocean waves on the beaches of the world, and even to see the wonders and beauty of some of man’s power to create. We don’t want to leave the true beauty of God’s creation behind so easily because we really don’t understand or know what is on the other side of the veil of death.

Yes we hear of the beauty of Heaven. We hear of its mansions built along golden avenues, of the great wedding feast, of walking along the River of Life and so many other things, and it all sounds so wonderful. We believe it’s there, we hope its there, we pray that its there, and we try to live in such a way that we can go there, but which us of has actually seen it, touched it or experienced it and came back to tell about it?

There’s an old saying that goes like this, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In other words, we sometimes consider the joys of this life and want to hang onto them with all that is within us, simply because we really don’t know what’s on the other side, “in the bush”.

I have often prayed, as I am sure that many of you have, “God, give me a glimpse into the glories of Heaven, and give me a glimpse into the pits of hell, so that I will never falter or fail in my journey of life.” I’ve never had God to answer that prayer in the way that I wanted Him to and the reason is that God requires us to “walk by faith and not by sight”! It wouldn’t require walking by faith anymore, if I already knew and experienced Heaven. It wouldn’t require trusting the Word of God, or continuing to believe God, if I really knew what the flames felt like, or the hopelessness of separation from God.

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