Summary: Let the future reality of heaven determines the character and conduct of our present life. Our choices and actions in this life have a bearing on the world to come.
RECAP – Deut 1:26-36
• We saw in Moses’ personal experience as well as the Israelites encounter with God in the wilderness, that UNBELIEF angers God.
• It is not for a lack of EVIDENCES or ASSURANCES from God. God has spoken and God has performed, but the people chose to doubt Him.
In Rom 10:21 the Lord says of Israel, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people." Put into the positive, we have these:
• Cultivate a READINESS to obey (obey first, in spite of…) and cultivate a WILLINGNESS to trust (give Him the benefit of the doubt).
Today, I want to share with you our VISION for the next 5 years.
Before that, I just want us to THINK ETERNAL. That’s the title of my sermon today.
• THINK ETERNAL. This is not something we are good at. We don’t usually think so far. In fact, I’ve difficulty sometimes, just thinking about what to do for the next few months.
• Maybe some of you already find it hard planning ahead, week by week. So we procrastinate, we let things just drift, we leave everything status quo.
• I’m guilty of that myself. We need people to push us. Parents. Teachers. Financial planners, urging us to by their plans and start saving up for our retirement, or for our children’s education.
We just don’t see so far, but we need to. That’s our destiny in Christ.
• If this world is not our home, then we need to think eternal.
• Let’s read 2 Peter 3:8-13.
A few things are sure:
(1) the day of the Lord will come and surprise many – Second Coming of Christ
(2) this world will end and it will be destroyed by fire – Judgement Day
(3) we can look forward to a new heaven and new earth – Our Destiny
We are to “look forward” to these because they will come! Are we prepared?
We’ve set our vision for the next 5 years to be EVERYONE A DISCIPLE AND A DISCIPLE-MAKER
We know that this is the command of Jesus in Matt 28:19-20 “Therefore go and MAKE disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and TEACHING them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We are all called to BE disciples and commanded to go MAKE disciples.
• Come to think of it, this is MORE than just a command.
• It is the only thing that makes sense. It is the purpose that gives meaning to life.
God is restoring us to His original image by calling us to follow Christ, and telling us to bring the rest of the world onto this same path.
• Any other endeavours, apart from this, are inconsequential.
2 Pet 3:7. 10 “7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”
A day is coming when everything will be destroyed by fire. History will end.
• It is not ‘may come’ but WILL COME. God has ordained this day to come. Life on earth will end.
• We can be so overwhelmed by the present circumstances to see it coming. We can be too caught up by the temporary to see the eternal.
We conducted two funerals recently. I looked back at my record and realised that I’ve conducted over 80 funerals (based on what I have on record).
• I come to appreciate what Solomon says in Eccl 7:2 “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.”
• It is better to go to the house of mourning because there, we are reminded of the destiny of every man – our destiny, our departure from this place!
This is the perspective we need! Heaven is our destiny! So in the meantime…
2 Pet 3:11-12 “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.”
• Let the reality of heaven determines the CHARACTER of our present life! Character matters. Character counts.
• Our goal is to be like Christ, and by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit we shall be. That’s our pre-occupation today!