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October 4, 2022 3:00 am
Pastor Greg Laurie revealed last time that 81% of Americans—churched and unchurched—believe in Heaven. More than three quarters. Even more hope to go there! But what’s it like there? Is it even possible to know? Yes, it is. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg brings a biblical travel brochure about our eternal home. It’s beyond our imagination, but we’ll see today the Bible gives some good information. Let’s open our minds and hearts to God’s Word.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content. When you subscribe to pastor Greg daily defenses. Learn more and sign firstname.lastname@example.org what is urban law is a real boy. We all wonder what life would be why the Bible is not sure I want to pastor Greg Laurie brings insight, we know all better than this. Just sort of greater things to come in 1% of American venture will even have more than three-quarter or would you like it even possible to know today on a new beginning.
Greg brings up biblical travel beyond our imagination day.
The Bible gives some good information in our minds and hearts. What is talk about that a little bit here in Colossians chapter 3 and read two verses. Since then, you've been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. So we are to set our hearts. We are to set our minds on things above. This phrase set your mind to be translated. Think, or more thoroughly, have this inner disposition.
Let me put it another way versus actually saying simply think heaven think heaven that something were all supposed to do as Christians and by the way, the verb edges in this verse is in the present tense going to be translated. Keep thinking heaven, or keep thinking about heaven, or keep seeking heaven put it all together and think constantly be seeking and thinking about heaven is it okay will that that's fine but you know how to we think about a place I've never been to before.
Otto I wrap my mind around the place. I know so little about what you need to learn about heaven and see what the Bible says about Scripture because when you're thinking about heaven and you're seeking heaven. You will be a heavenly minded person in the best sense of that phrase. I know it's used to critique people all there so heavenly minded. There are no earthly good and I know a lot of people are so overtly minor there no heavenly good and I think of your heavenly minded in the right way, you'll be of the greatest earthly good fact of the matter is those that think the most of the next life to the most in this one because of I believe there's an afterlife, and I believe there's a reward waiting for me for my people must want to make me want to serve the Lord, and of I believe in an afterlife. I believe there's a potential judgment for me more that make me want to fear God and avoid sin. So you see him. I believe in the afterlife affects me in this life, but on the other. Again, I don't believe there's a reward waiting. Why do anything for anyone but me and I don't think there's a future judgment out there, why can't I do whatever the heck I want to do to whoever I want to do it to because nobody know, eternal repercussion, so as you can see your thinking about the afterlife, has a dramatic effect on you in this life. So let's just start with what is heaven.
What is while it's the dwelling place of God. All right where is heaven well we know it's up. We know that there is 1/3 heaven. The Bible talks about three heavens and the first heaven would just be basically walked outside to look up to see the sky. The second heaven would be the solar system and the third heaven is that supernatural room, but it may be closer than we think. I think we think it's so far away you know and maybe it's just right next to us in a way it's really another dimension. You see, right now we live in the physical dimension but at the same time we coexist within eternal dimension. It's a dimension of God and the devil of angels and demons of the supernatural world. Great illustration of this is found in the book of Kings with the prophet Elisha and his servant to his side, they were surrounded by their enemies and were closing in which chariots and armed soldiers and gays.
I started breakout panic is it when we get to do mastery actually woke Elisha up license.
Whatever okay Lord just open his eyes and his eyes were open and he saw the supernatural forces of God all around him, and he discovered that they had more on their side than the enemy had on their side right now were surrounded by the supernatural world. The Bible says that the angel of the Lord encamps around those in fear that we may even have guardian angels. I'm not sure of this, but I think you could make a fairly good case for it. At least maybe children have them because Jesus talks about how our little children have their angels, so it may be that we are personal angels in the maybe we just have angels that just do God's bidding, but they're working around this every single day God that works of the supernatural realm this place called heaven. We don't know where it is but it is where God is and that is the most important thing of all, because really the greatest thing about heaven is going to be seeing God.
That's it. It's seeing God. That's why heaven is so appealing. Now let's answer some questions about heaven. What is heaven like what is heaven like if we try to understand it and compare it to something well short answer. Heaven is amazing. Heaven is awesome. Heaven will exceed your wildest dreams. Let me begin by simply saying heaven is a real place. Jesus said in John 14.
I've gone to prepare a place for you. I think the problem is we form our view of heaven from well movies, TV shows, songs, images we've seen in art and usually those are not biblically accurate images. It really does kind of look like a boring place big billowy clouds. People just laying around plucking harps, little fat babies with wings hovering over us and get their little baby angels. I'm not sure what they are and that it started almost presented as a long nap which are some people may sound appealing, I don't know but I know about you but I like to be active. I like to do things I like to go out and see things and experience life in trust me when I tell you will get into this next time morbid is to be so much that we will do in heaven, but it's a real place real things real people recognizing one another, not floating around in clouds with babies with wings were active were doing things, were experiencing things or even learning new things in heaven, so heaven is a place also. Heaven is described in the Bible is a paradise, a paradise.
Remember when Jesus hung on the cross next to the thief who came to her senses he said, Lord, remember me when you come in your kingdom. And what a Jesus a truly, truly, I say to you, today you will be with me where paradise he was describing heaven and it's funny because after Paul die for a time he went to heaven. Then he called a paradise of a lot of people don't know that the apostle Paul die and we don't know when exactly it happened, but it may have been one of his preaching adventures when he was stoned and thought dead and in that me up in the moment when he went to the third heaven, wrote briefly about in second Corinthians about read to you in just a moment. Then he came back again and I just wonder what happened on the other side. So here's called the stone back in the stone and he's in heaven and it's amazing there's Jesus and he so excited to be there.
And the Lord might've said so. Paul, I have some good news and some bad news, good news and bad news.
What you will. First the good news. This is heaven and you be coming back here again again. The bad news down and earth are some believers praying for you to be resurrected Lord Almighty said don't listen to their prayers, their centers I don't want to go back. Trust me when I tell you, no one who is in heaven would ever want to come back to earth, even if given the choice.
Meanwhile, back in the Lord raised Paul up all Lord bring Paul back to us. Oh Lord, we need both. Suddenly, that the color returns to his face, his hand against the move declined to exhibit I would get someone whose idea was it a break for me to be raised from the dead.
Listen, however it happened, or whatever, and Apple. We know this much, Paul die, he went to heaven and he came back and even write a book about so what about all those books about heaven. Can we trust them.
I don't know generally there's only one book, I trust that's the Bible now look at some of these books and I find them interesting writing on unicorns over rainbows and all these things they say they see and not do this either making it up though. I think some of them are.
I'm not going to say that none of this happened.
Maybe something happened to them. I'm not really sure but I'll say this much. I would never base my belief about heaven on the basis of someone who wrote a book about it. But I do believe that the Bible says and it's interesting because one minute like she did go to heaven and return of your head actually very little to say about it. Here's what Paul writes in second Corinthians 12 I'm reading from a modern translation just listen. He says I knew a man 14 years ago was seized by Christ and he was swept into ecstasy to the heights of heaven. I don't know if this took place in the body or out of it.
Only God knows I also know that this man was hijacked into paradise is a word paradise again whether he is in the body or out of the body I do know God knows.
Then he says there he heard the unspeakable spoken, but he was forbidden to tell Woody her an interesting he says it all to you this much. It was paradise in the word that he uses for paradise is a word that speaks of a royal garden. I don't know if there's anything we can think of that compares to what Paul is referring to is referring to the kind of garden you would see on a royal estate. It just something amazing, something awe-inspiring, something that makes your jaw drop. While the beauty of it. He says it was like paradise at the word he uses a heaven's apparent great glory will have the second half of this message just a moment to everybody. What are you doing this weekend.
I like to hang out with you at harvest and home services home. It is time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place so you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home. Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for harvest email@example.com Pastor Greg is bringing several biblical insights today on heaven, our eternal home.
So far he's pointed out heaven is a real place and it's a paradise was continue number two heaven to city heavens, a city Hebrews 1314 says here we do not have an enduring city but were looking for a city that is the, he was 1110 says of heaven that the city has an architect and a builder know cities are real places you go to different cities in the world and they all have unique features.
I have the opportunity to visit a lot of amazing cities, Jerusalem, Rome, Paris you go to some cities and you remember a certain thing about it right.
Paris is called the city of lights. Jerusalem is called the city of gold. You know, so cities are real places there's neighborhoods are streets there's activities as places get food there as places to get good coffee.
There's beautiful parks to walk in so think of the best city you've ever been to, but without all the bad stuff. No crime, no urban decay, nothing that would be frightening to you in any way shape or form, not cars trying to run you down like New York City, but the best you've ever experienced in the city is fingering a Yorky telling me that when were in heaven we might go and sit down and have a meal. Why not Bible talks about eating in heaven. Are you actually saying that we could be in heaven we would go to a concert, why not this can be some pretty awesome singers up there.
Are you telling me like when were in heaven we we we might God do fun stuff. Of course you do fun stuff on know that your fault but you can do it in heaven heaven is better than her earth is just sort of a glimpse of greater things to come highly when they go. This is that this is and I just go to the clouds and float with the fat babies no-no. This is just a glimpse of greater things to come is the imitation heaven is a real thing, not the other way around. Heaven is a paradise heaven is a city and it appears from Revelation 21 and 22 that there is a translucent quality to have says are the foundations of city walls were garnished with every precious gem imaginable. The main street of the city was pure gold translucent as glass.
There was no sign of a temple for the Lord God and his lamb of the temple. The city doesn't need the sun or moon or light is also described as a country, a country Hebrews 11 six as now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he is prepared a city for them. So there it is heaven a country city, a garden of paradise, a real place that we will go to the listen for this great enjoy the beauties of birthing it's created for us by God.
Even in its diminished state and even with the entrance of sin and the curse and all that there are still many beautiful things to see here on planet Earth that we can enjoy the been given to us by the Lord, even Jesus took time to admire a simple flower that me he picked up a flower needs that will look at these flowers, how they grow, they don't work or make their own clothing. Yet Solomon in all his glory was addresses beautifully is one of these. So I think we should enjoy the creation God has given us.
But understand, there are greater things coming alright so let's come back to Colossians chapter 3 because were talking about heaven houses that affect this in the way that we live on earth. So first we read set your mind and your heart on things above. Think about heaven. See Kevin now back in Colossians 3, Paul starts with the word therefore put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires.
Don't be greedy for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Because of these since the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life is still part of this world. Now is the time to get rid of rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don't lie to each other for you stripped up your old sinful nature and all of its wicked deeds put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your creator you become like listen if you put your faith in Christ you're a child of God. You are a citizen of heaven and it's time to start living like why a child of God or not known for slander were known for love were not known for condemnation were known for forgiveness and restoration that so you want to be you want to be that guy that girl that people go to and say you know you're always fair-minded about these things. You're always compassionate you're always carried don't be known is that mean-spirited judge mental harsh person be a heavenly minded person because one day this life that we love so much will possible enter into the after life. I think when it is all said and done we really need. We need something greater to move us through this life and the things that distract us so often in old minister. Put it this way. I love this phrase used the explosive power of a new affection. That's good.
The explosive power of a new affection so the ideas I have something that I am so committed to and so enthralled with and so filled with that. I don't even want to look at these other things. It's the explosive power it. It drives out those other things. It's a new affection and what is the new affection it's Jesus when I love Jesus with all of my heart, with all of my soul, with all of my mind. It's going to change the way I look at everything in life.
So here's what this is really saying put the Lord first and every part of your life and the thoughts you think in the friends you choose in the way you use your time and it will transform you make every year, every month, every week every day and every hour count. May God give to each of us the explosive power of a new affection for Greg Lord pointing out how heaven can be the thing that compels us, drives us forward in the Christian life. Good insight today here on a new beginning. In his message called let's talk about heaven part one W. regular car guy right I am. I've always liked cars ever since a been a little chip for sure.
I read about the nude Dodge charger Daytona SRT concept car.
It's a Dodge charger electrified, it's battery-powered. It's a battery-powered muscle car was nearly 900 hp while but you know, one of the things people like about muscle cars is there deep throaty sound yeah no but electric car doesn't go for room it goes Jean is like this car has a way to artificially replicate Devereaux all that's fun and I don't know how they're doing it that is going to sound like a classic muscle car artificially and that while file funny at something.
A big toy really doesn't fit with a big price tag. Yes, you know.
But sometimes I wonder about the sounds we make as believers, you know, there's the verse that says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks what can we do to make sure our hearts are causing us to speak like a believer. Well I think that's how you know when you first become a Christian.
There's sort of a cryptic language that believers sometimes use that I describe his Christian knees. I remember when I was a brand-new believer. I didn't know what the Christians meant when they said this is worldly like what worldly what you mean or or you know they would use words like redeemed and justified and sanctified, and I didn't know what those words meant, so I went to the crash course on learning what these words meant learning what the Christian life is all about. I wish I had someone to explain it to me because of that it's been part of my mission as a pastor and as an evangelist to make the things of God is understandable as I can two people almost like we're just sitting down and having a cup of coffee and talking about these things together so my objective is not to be complex it is to be simple, not simplistic but simple and understandable. You know the Bible says of Jesus, the common people heard him gladly.
Jesus was understandable. He was assessable and he still is today and they hope you understand what the Bible says about life which Scripture says about what your focus and priorities are to be as a Christian I written this book called the new believers guide to effective Christian living. This is the huge book but it's action-packed. There's a lot of great material in it.
I deal with all kinds of topics that believers face each and every day, like how to know the will of God.
How to resist temptation, how to share your faith with others why the word of God is important where study of it is necessary what the role of the church is why he should be involved in the church how to pray more effectively a lot more. So my hope is to make these Jews were assessable to you. I heard one preacher say that the goal of a pastor is to get the cookies on the bottom shelf so the kids can get to them right. So here's some cookies on the bottom shelf if you will. Here's a simple book that you could read in one sitting that I think will enrich you and help you and perhaps clarify some things for you as well is called the new believers guide to effective Christian living.
Would like to send it to you for your gift of any size yet us right and we have a copy waiting for you right now. Get in touch and ask for and by the way, we depend on the generous support of our listeners.
It's the only way we can bring you these studies there are no churches or large organizations paying all her expenses so please show your support today and be sure to ask for the new believers guide to effective Christian living. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300 were here to take your call 24 seven. Again, the number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest God for what next time will get some words of warning about those things that so easily distract us from the eternity we're waiting for.
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