Summary: A message on how we take the character we have fashioned; the contributions we have made and the converts we have led to Jesus to heaven with us.
BIBLE MESSAGES ON EASTER
Yahoo to homeorchurchbiblestudy.com bob marcaurelle
Annual Sermons: Vol. 11 Sermon 9
Bob Marcaurelle: 1998 Rev. 14:13
THREE THINGS WE TAKE TO HEAVEN
There’s an amusing story of the Christian who served God well but had a deep love for his collection of gold coins. He apologized for doing it, but about once a week in his prayers he begged God to let him take his gold coins to heaven. He was so faithful in other areas that God decided to let him do it. When he died his coin collection vanished and the family thought it had been stolen while they were at the funeral.
The man found himself standing before heaven’s gates and sure enough, there around his feet were his 200 gold coins. He saw Peter and thanked him over and over. Peter said, “Thank you!” but added that his prayer had most people in heaven confused. When the man asked, why, Peter said, “We can’t figure why you wanted to bring PAVEMENT to heaven!” Well, WE CAN’T TAKE a lot of things to heaven and money is one of them but today I want to share with you three things we do take to heaven. One is. . .
I. OUR CHARACTER (Ps. 24:3-4)
Remember last week’s text, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord. Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3-4). Well, those clean hands (CONDUCT) and clean heart (CHARACTER) go to heaven with us. We take our character. . .
1. Humanly Speaking (Lk. 20:37)
We will live with ourselves, who and what we are, humanly speaking. Jesus said His Father was the “God of the living” and called Himself “the God of Abraham. . . Isaac. . .and Jacob” (Lk. 20:37). Read the OT and you will see these three men were different. Abraham is still Abraham, the quiet friend of God and Jacob is still the anything but quiet prince with God, but they are free from sin and developing in love the unique personalities given and fashioned on earth.
Illustration: In the movie “Return Of The Living Dead” the dead, with different but expressionless faces walked alike, looked alike and acted alike. It will not be that way in glory. God doesn’t mass produce “clones” He creates human beings. Moses was a statesman who ruled. Elijah was a “Tazmanian Devil” who never wrote a book and never made a long speech like Moses but he stuck his finger in the nose of kings and told them dogs would lick their blood because of their sins.
Everything good and bad that has happened to you and me has gone into making you-you and me-me. God is not going to waste that. We will be, I believe, much the same as we are now, but rid of sin, rid of all impurity, jealousy, competition and pride.
Illustration: The grand old African American preacher, John Jasper, used to say he would know where his mother lived in heaven, BY THE ROSES IN HER YARD. The mother he sent away was the mother he was looking for, only better.
2. Spiritually Speaking (Ps. 24:3-4; Ph. 2:5). But more important, we will take what we are spiritually and God’s standard and goal for us is Jesus Christ. To be like him is why we are here. Paul says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ “ (Phil. 2:5). Max Lucado in his marvelous new book, “Just Like Jesus”, tells us what this means and next Sunday I hope to preach on just this.
Today I give the outline. He says Jesus had a pure, a peaceful, a pleasant, and a pious (God oriented) life. To that I add two more. Jesus had a very painful and private life - He was never alone but He was often lonely, when His disciples bickered in His presence (Lk. 22:24), when Judas sold Him (Mt. 26:25), when Peter denied Him (Lk. 22:34), He was lonely. And this, to Him was every bit as painful as the whip and the nails. Zech. 13:6 says the Messiah was wounded in the “house of his friends”. And so if we are willing to be made like Christ we must be willing to pay the price like Christ.
II. OUR CAPACITY (1 Cor. 3:8-15)
The second thing we take to heaven, and it is based upon our faithfulness and perseverance in being made more like Jesus, is our CAPACITY to receive the blessings and responsibilities of heaven, what the Bible calls REWARDS. This whole idea of reward is confusing. Sometimes HEAVEN ITSELF, the fact that we go there, is seen as a reward.
For example the Bible says, “Moses. . .regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as a greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Heb. 10:26).