Sermons

Summary: Planning for our eternal future is now; today. We can still plan for our earthly future for a career, marriage, family and finances, but nothing could be more timely than securing our eternal destination.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE…IT’S A GOOD THING. WE DO A LOT OF PLANNING: LIFE PLANS SUCH AS COLLEGE, MILITARY, CAREER, MARRIAGE, CHILDREN, FINANCES/SAVINGS. WE HAVE MANY ROUTINE PLANS: VACATION, BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES AND HOLIDAYS. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE ALL OUR PLANS IN OUR FUTURE ARE WELL PREPARED FOR AND WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN MEETING OUR DESIRES AND REACHING OUR GOALS.

HOWEVER, IF WE ARE HONEST WITH OURSELVES, MOST, IF NOT ALL OF THESE “GOALS” ARE SIMPLY “LIFE-TIME” RELATED. THEY ARE EARTHLY PLANS….GOOD PLANS….BUT, PLANS THAT USUALLY DON’T INVOLVE ‘ETERNITY’ AND WHAT HAPPENS AFTER OUR EARTHLY LIFE IS FINISHED.

JAMES 4:14, IT SAYS, “YET YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? FOR YOU ARE A MIST THAT APPEARS FOR A LITTLE TIME AND THEN VANISHES.” LIFE IS SHORT. YEARS PASS QUICKLY. IT IS A REMINDER TO US THAT DESPITE THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN THE “HERE AND NOW” IT IS EVEN MORE CRITICAL TO MAKE PLANS, NOW, FOR WHAT HAPPENS UPON OUR DEATH. WE SHOULD, IN THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON, ASK “ARE WE READY FOR OUR SPIRITUAL FUTURE? HAVE YOU PLANNED FOR ETERNITY?

YOU MIGHT BE THINKING, “THAT’S NOT CHRISTMAS AT ALL! IN FACT, THAT IS NOT A JOYFUL HOLIDAY MESSAGE BY ANY MEANS!” BUT, IT IS…CHRIST WAS BORN TO DIE, SO THAT WE COULD LIVE. WE LIVE NOT JUST FOR A SPECIFIC TIME ON EARTH, BUT FOR ETERNITY.

OUR PREPARATIONS FOR DEATH IS WHAT FREES US IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO LIVE OUR EARTHLY LIFE TO ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL. ALTHOUGH, HUMANLY SPEAKING, WE HAVE A NATURAL DREAD OF DEATH, WE CAN STILL SPIRITUALLY LOOK FORWARD TO IT.

WE CONCLUDE THE “APOSTLE’S CREED” BY SAYING “I BELIEVE IN….THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY, AND THE LIFE EVERLASTING!” IF WE BELIEVE THAT, THEN WE SHOULD PREPARE FOR THAT, BY LIVING NOW LIKE WE TRULY ACCEPT IT AND EXPECT THAT!

THE REALITY IS THAT EVERYONE WILL DIE AND ALL OF US WILL GET ETERNAL LIFE. THE “CATCH”, SO TO SPEAK, IS FOR SOME, ETERNITY WON’T BE IN HEAVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS AVAILABLE AND BOTH ARE DETERMINED BY HOW WE CHOOSE HERE ON EARTH. IT IS OUR CHOICE NOW. IN ETERNITY, NO FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE AFFORDED. YOUR DESTINY IS SET AND GOD WILL HONOR YOUR EARTHLY CHOICE.

OUR SCRIPTURE PASSAGE TODAY COMES FROM THE FIRST GOSPEL WRITTEN AND THE FIRST RECORDED WORDS OF JESUS, WHO EMPHATICALLY STATES, “TIMES UP! GOD’S KINGDOM IS HERE! REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS!”

THIS PUTS AN END TO ANY ATTEMPTS TO DELAY THE DECISION OR FIND MORE EXCUSES SUCH AS “I’M NOT READY” OR “MAYBE LATER WHEN I’M OLDER!” JESUS ELEVATED THE PRIORITY BY MAKING IT A “RIGHT NOW THING.” IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE “GET AROUND TO IT LATER” AS IF A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION.

I AM NOT DOWNPLAYING THE IMPORTANCE OF OBEDIENTLY LIVING A FRUITFUL LIFE HERE ON EARTH. AS CHRISTIANS WE LOVE OUR EARTHLY LIFE BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT GIFT FROM GOD. MY POINT IS: WE WERE MADE FOR SOMETHING GREATER!

1 CORINTHIANS 2:9, ““NO EYE HAS SEEN, NO EAR HAS HEARD, AND NO MIND HAS IMAGINED WHAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” THE SCRIPTURE IS CLEAR THAT GOD’S DESIRE IS FOR OUR DESTINY TO BE UNITED WITH HIM IN HEAVEN. HE DESIRES A RESTORED RELATIONSHIP WITH US WHERE HE IS OUR FATHER AND WE ARE HIS CHILDREN. A COMMUNION RESTORED BY GOD’S GRACE, THROUGH OUR FAITH, CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE. A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A FATHER AND CHILD THAT IS SO GREAT THAT, FOR NOW, IS BEYOND OUR HUMAN COMPREHENSION TO FULLY GRASP.

WE ARE NOTHING MORE THAN “ALIENS AND STRANGERS” IN THIS WORLD. WE ARE ONLY HERE A BRIEF TIME BECAUSE THIS EARTH IS NOT OUR TRUE HOME OR OUR DESIGNED DESTINY. IT SHOULD BE A CHRISTIAN’S DESIRE TO TIRE OF THIS WORLD AND TO LIVE IN EXPECTATION OF ETERNITY.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:2-4, “WE GROW WEARY IN OUR PRESENT BODIES, AND WE LONG TO PUT ON OUR HEAVENLY BODIES LIKE NEW CLOTHING … WHILE WE LIVE IN THESE EARTHLY BODIES, WE GROAN AND SIGH, BUT IT’S NOT THAT WE WANT TO DIE AND GET RID OF THESE BODIES THAT CLOTHE US. RATHER, WE WANT TO PUT ON OUR NEW BODIES SO THAT THESE DYING BODIES WILL BE SWALLOWED UP BY LIFE.”

JOHN WESLEY SAID OF SUCH FAITH: “TO BELIEVE (IN THE CHRISTIAN SENSE) IS, THEN, TO WALK IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY; AND TO HAVE A CLEAR SIGHT OF, AND CONFIDENCE IN THE MOST HIGH, RECONCILED TO ME THROUGH THE SON OF HIS LOVE.”

ETERNITY, ALTHOUGH FUTURE IN NATURE, IS FOR ALL OF US, A CURRENT EVENT THAT MUST BE SETTLED HERE AND NOW. JESUS GAVE US THE “INSTRUCTIONS” SAYING “REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS.” SO, WITH THAT PRESENTED TO US, IT COMES DOWN TO WHAT WILL WE DO WITH JESUS AND THIS GOOD NEWS HE PRESENTS TO US FOR OUR ETERNAL FUTURE?

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