Summary: 1 of 5 messages on the purpose God has for us in the church and the world. This is a foundational stewardship series of messages.
Voyage to Eternity
Passage from a Rock to a Good Place
There is a story of a sailor who was shipwrecked on a South Sea island. He was seized by the natives, carried shoulder-high to a rude throne, and proclaimed king. At first, he enjoyed his reign as the absolute monarch but then he began to wonder what happened to the previous kings.
According to their custom the king ruled for a year. During that year he was treated like, well like a king. But when a king’s reign ended, he was banished to a lonely island to starve to death.
Now most people would have been so upset with this knowledge that they would either eat, drink and be merry while they could or just curl up and die with fear.
Not this sailor! Knowing he was king for the year, this sailor began issuing orders. Carpenters were to make boats. Farmers were to go ahead to this island and plant crops. Builders were to erect a home. When his reign finished, he was exiled, not to a barren isle, but to a paradise of plenty.
Each one of us is like that sailor king. Our time on earth is short, but we do have opportunity to prepare ahead of time… for eternity…
How do we live in the world but not be of the world? It’s a challenge that has faced the followers of Jesus since the beginning of the Christian Church. We live here but we just don’t fit in. We have different values, different goals, different dreams, and different hopes - at least we are supposed to.
We are on a voyage to eternity. A passage from a rock – this world – to a new and better place – a good place – that we call heaven. Heaven is the world where we will live forever in a state of peace, contentment, joy, and love, with our God.
Turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 1:1-12 and let’s look together to see what God teaches us today about this voyage we are presently on.
We see here some very important facts about our voyage to eternity.
This is not our home
From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To God’s chosen people who are away from their homes and are scattered all around the countries of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
We are a scattered people and we are away from our homes. We live on this rock called earth but we don’t really belong here – not anymore.
We’re like the southerners who moved to Detroit to get jobs in the factories. We’re like the Acadian named Evangeline who was deported from Nova Scotia to Louisiana. We are like the puritans who left the old world in search of a new and better world. We don’t belong here anymore – not really.
These are not our values
4 Nonbelievers think it is strange that you do not do the many wild and wasteful things they do, so they insult you.
One of the effects of becoming a believer is that the longer we follow him, the more we become like him in our thoughts and actions, the more we think like him and hold dear his values the more we don’t fit in this old world with it’s systems and values based upon materialism – things.
It’s a little like growing up and discovering that Christmas isn’t nearly as exciting as it was when you were little. For one thing, the pile of presents isn’t nearly as big. For another the pile is mostly for the children and finally, it’s tough to get all that excited about another shirt and a pair of suspenders.
The reality is that it’s more fun to watch the kids and enjoy the day. We’ve grown beyond the need for more stuff and learned the value of relationships.
So we become a people without a home. We have become a people who no longer fit as a part of the world. For us it is no longer about a bigger car, a better house, and gourmet foods. Oh, we don’t mind these things – but somehow when you follow Jesus – you learn to hold onto stuff very, very loosely.
Because you discover the answer to a very simple question, “How much money is enough?” One man answers that there is never enough. The Christian answers that there is always enough.
None of this is special. It is no different than our Lord Jesus. He had no home – he had no place to call his own. He was just traveling through – and so are we.
Listen, it’s important that we don’t become too comfortable with this world and the things in it.