Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Secrets of the New World God is Preparing for You.

What will Heaven be Like?


Randy A. Croft

For several years, I taught a group of high school students some of the basics of Egyptian life. We studied the Egyptian worldview concerning their gods, about the afterlife, and why they took such great detail with the pyramid design and mummification process. And they kept some of these details secret for thousands of years.

One secret was cracked, however, on November 26, 1922. Archeologist Howard Carter, and his wealthy friend, Lord Carnavon, broke a time honored seal of an Egyptian tomb and found a 3000 year old secret--the treasures of a boy king, Tutankhamun. They were astounded at the immense wealth they found, and the manner in which this tomb was largely intact-- undisturbed by tomb raiders. A life sized statue of King Tut--who ruled from age 9 till his death at 19 years of age, stood at the door of the burial chamber as if guarding it from predators.

Inside they found his well preserved mummy, they found jewels, chests, ivory, golden furniture, and other priceless items. There were more than 5000 priceless treasures found in King Tut’s tomb and it took over 9 years to remove all the objects and transfer them to the Egyptian museum at Cairo.

What makes this all so interesting, is that King Tut’s tomb could have very well been the tomb of someone we are all familiar with. Only 200 years before Tut ruled Egypt, the Israelites were slaves. And during this time of oppression--a young man named Moses was a growing prince in the land. He had been trained by the Egyptian leaders to be the next successor to the throne. He was educated and trained and extremely wealthy. Some of us don’t realize how wealthy Moses was. He could have anything his heart desired. Slaves--from his own people. Power, influence. It was his for the taking if he chose. He would lead Egypt and one day be buried in the valley of the Kings, like King Tut, with priceless treasures. But the story doesn’t go that way for Moses. Because, even though the life of ease and wealth were attractive, they couldn’t compare to a future of hardship and pain, and trial.

What do you mean? Anyone with common sense would choose luxury, success, and wealth over trials, problems, and pain, right?

Heb 11:24,25 By faith, Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.

Moses looked beyond the earthly world to the heavenly world. He wanted to be part of that city "whose builder and maker is God." He looked beyond the life of pleasure, ease, and luxury, to a world of lasting significance...and we must do the same.

Maybe you have been asking "Has it been worth it?" Has my life of sacrifice and prayers and commitment to God really been worth it? We look around and see the wicked prospering, just like king David did and ask, "Lord, is it really worth it?" We see the challenge of growing our church and ask "Lord, is it worth it?" We see the life of sacrifice, and adversity, and even denial and wonder "Lord, is it worth it?" Is it? Are the frustrations we as a church face and you personally battle, really worth it? Is it worth it?

John 14:1-3. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled....I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again"

I Cor 2:9 "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him."

I Cor 13 says "we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face."

The reason we face discouragement and depression, like Moses did, like Elijah did, like Job did, is because we don’t see the whole picture. We can’t even imagine the good life God has waiting for us on the other side. If we really knew the glories of heaven, we wouldn’t be discouraged, we wouldn’t shy away from problems, we wouldn’t fret so much.

Marco Polo, the famous explorer, returned to Venice after his journeys in the Orient. His close friends thought he had gone mad..Crazy. Especially when Marco Polo began to tell his friends the things he saw on his excursions. He told them of traveling to a city full of silver and gold.

*He’d seen black stones that burned, but no one had ever heard of coal before--they thought he was crazy.

* He’d seen a cloth that refused to catch fire, but no one ever heard of asbestos.

* He talked about huge serpents ten paces long with jaws wide enough to swallow a man, but no one had ever seen a crocodile before.

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