Thursday, May 08, 2008

Living with Questions 8

Living with Questions: What’s So Great About Heaven?

I. Introduction: Review from last week’s question: Am I Good Enough?

“Am I good enough? I’m afraid not. But there’s Someone who is. Someone who will clean us up, bandage our souls, smooth out the twisting sin does to us, and put us back on our feet. This Someone doesn’t come from within the Wild, but from outside of it. He invaded history to rescue us, and now he invites us to follow him Home.” – p. 195

A. Our Response: So what are you going to do about it?????

1. FAITH is trusting God
2. We put our TRUST in the work that Jesus has done for us
3. We are FORGIVEN for our brokenness
4. We are restored to a NEW BIRTH to walk in God’s love and to be the way he created us to be

II. Living with Questions: The final question is: What’s so great about heaven?

A. The Reality of Death:

1. Statistic of people who die: 100%

2. Sudden Death: 9/11; car crash; heart attack; plane crash

3. Gradual Death:
a. A slow moving disease, aging
b. Ultimately we are all gradually moving in that direction

B. The Reality of God

1. He did not discover us then force us to worship Him

2. God made us and created us to find meaning through Him

St. Augustine in his Confessions states: You have made us for yourself. And our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

3. God knows our needs
a. He is the Living Water
b. He is the Bread of Life
c. The good life is inseparable from God Himself since He is the source of all good
d. Knowing God is the natural thing; rejecting God is the unnatural response.

C. The Reality of Hell

1. God respects the choice of those who want to separate themselves from Him

2. Being forced to go to heaven would be considered hell for some

3. It is not that God sends people to hell more than he honors our choice to live with His goodness and grace or without it.

D. The Reality of Heaven: Read John 3:16-18

1. Jesus sees heaven and hell as present realities that we live in right now.

2. Eternal life does NOT add quantity to our life so much as quality of life from the very moment we believe.
a. God gives us His peace
b. God gives us purpose
c. God gives us His love

3. Eternal life begins IN THIS LIFETIME

E. The Reality of Death Revisited:

1. Read 1 Cor. 15:55-57
a. No fear of separation, emptiness or cutting off of love
b. No fear of judgment
c. We have HOPE through Christ’s resurrection that we to will experience
resurrection and a new body.

2. Read Revelation 21:1-7
a. We have HOPE in a new home one day! Heaven is temporary. Earth will be
restored to what it was meant to be.
b. What would God have to be like that you would want to worship Him forever?

III. Conclusion

From p. 216: “He’d have to push the boundaries of my imagination! I suggest that this is what God is like. And God will evoke worship from us that will flow from the depths of our souls. We’ll find ourselves in the place where we finally feel like we BELONG – surrounded by LOVE and UNDERSTOOD. . . . We’ll worship God by enjoying his world. . . with our work . . . with our play . . . by loving one another . . . with our activities. Worship will make sense of all of life. We’ll welcome God’s presence into everything because with him, everything will mean something more. Heaven can begin NOW as we look to God instead of tinkering with our diversions.”

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