The next moment….
We have had so many die over the last few months far more than I have ever had in such a short time period…it is on so many hearts and minds I thought I had better talk about it…I know I have been talking about love lately and believe it or not this too is a love story
What do you think happens when you die?
What will heaven be like….
Interesting a kids take on heaven
Here are a couple of different verses regarding the way God looks at death
Psalm 116:15 (NASB)
Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His godly ones.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 (NLT)
“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.”
From the moment we are conceived, we will live eternally! Whether it is with God or away from God is hell is our choice…I will talk about that later…but know this it is all about a love relationship
As human beings, we have a tendency to fear death. I don’t want to die either but I don’t have any fear of death. I have shared with most of you my stories, my encounters with death. I know Psalm 139 is true that. “my days are numbered by God”…as long as I am following Him, I am bullet-proof until it is the day for him to take me home.
That is where these verses have real meaning…these too are all about love.
When the Psalmist is writing about God finding our death precious He is talking about how very much God loves us and when this life is over God rejoices because we can now spend eternity with Him face to face. We can feel His arms around us, hear His laughter, feel His heart-beat. Know Him as He truly desires to be known by us.
Solomon understood that as well…he knew for those who know the Lord the day we take our last breath we are really alive for the first time, our sorrow, and lack of understanding in this life all have gone away, love is no longer conditional in any way but is 100% unconditional 24/7 there is no more darkness, fear, worry…and everything will be known…we will live in pure love forever.
But when I die, in the next moment where will I be?
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
“So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
There is no waiting place, no purgatory, no need to pray people into heaven…the Bible tells us that when we cease producing electronic function in our brains we are, as Christians, in the presence of the Lord…Jesus showed us the reality of this on the mount of transfiguration when Moses and Elijah long dead were shown to be alive with Him
“and He was transfigured before them (Peter James, and John). His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.”
…However, in the moment we die, there the book of life is opened and because our names are written in it, because of our relationship with Jesus, we are welcomed into heaven, our temporary housing
What did I just hear the Pastor say heaven is our temporary housing?
Yes, you did because that is what the Bible says. After Christ return, God is going to judge the earth and make everything the way he planned for it to be before Adam and Eve sinned only this time Satan will have been bound and placed in the lake of fire…
We are not floating around on clouds, we do not become angels (we will judge angels 1 Corinthians 6:3)heaven is a real place where everyone who has died knowing Christ physically lives in all the beauty of the garden of Eden and more but it is still temporary housing because God has a bigger plan of restoration.
In the next moment….you could be in heaven but that is not our permanent home God has a better plan
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God, Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Here is how the place where we will spend eternity is described in the Bible
1 – While the present heaven is a physical place– Jesus came from there (John 6:42) and lives there (John 14:2,3), God dwells there (Matthew 6:9), angels are there (Hebrews 12:22) they will not always live there
2 – The new earth is a place where our inheritance is waiting. Reserved specifically for each of us. (1 Peter 1:4)
3 – We will be free of the corruption of this earth and will be made righteous and pure. (Matthew 6:20; Romans 7:24; Matthew 13:43
4 – We will be with our loved ones who have died in Christ before us. (1 Thessalonians 4:14 – 18)
5 – We will be given rewards (Matthew 6:19 -25; 25:20-21)
6 – It is a place where those things that may have been disregarded on earth will be acknowledged and rewarded (Galatians 6:9)
7 – It is a beautiful city (or large dwelling of people) with many dwelling places for each of us. (Revelation 21:1 – 27; John 14:2)
8 – There is light, water, trees, and fruit (Revelation 22:1,2)
9 – We will be able to walk in and out of the city, the city is only part of the new earth. Revelation 21:24,25; 22:14
10 – There are animals there. (Isaiah 65:25; Revelation 6:2-8;19:11)
11 – We will eat and drink there. (Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:29,30; Revelation 19:9)
12 – We will know everyone and everyone will know us (1 Corinthians 13:12,This means we will also be completely loved by everyone and they will completely love us)
God really loves us and spending eternity with him is about living for eternity in perfect love joy peace freedom and so much more there is no more pain, sorrow, rejection, fear…can you imagine that in the next moment
When we understand this, our passion and drive are not to be selfish and hold on to such a blessing for ourselves but each of us will die and the only thing we can take with us is those who we present the most powerful life-changing message.
God cant have sin in His presence so he gave us a gift of a loving son who took on your sin and my sin on the cross so our sin could be obliterated…if we accept this gift then we have the right to enter into heaven…our goodness can’t compare to God’s goodness so it doesn’t get us into heaven…God made a way and we need to share that way with others but if we reject that gift the we choose hell over heaven
God sends no one to hell, we choose to go there.
If we reject Christ then our sin load is our own and there is nothing we can do to earn salvation it is only the grace of God our acceptance of what Jesus did on the cross for us that makes the decision.
Hell is not a place where we will see our friends and party.
It is a place where people feel utterly alone, no love, joy, peace because God’s presence is not felt there
It is a place of eternal regret, gloom, depression, constant torment for eternity (Job 10:21,22;1 Samuel 2:9;2 Peter 2:4,14; Matthew 25:30
It is totally dark, alone and yet fire constantly tormenting those who live there…it is eternal (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:44)
It is a place of constant terror and fear because there is no love there and it is only love that eliminates fear…imagine the most terrifying movie or event you have ever experienced and that would be nothing compared to hell and people will suffer that terror for eternity (Psalm 73:18,19)
When you understand this you know better the great love that Jesus has for us and for every human being…Jesus knows hell, he knows what it is like and he wants no one to go there so he willingly went to the cross..because of his great love he took the beating, the whipping, the nails, the thirst, rejection, hatred on himself for you and I and when that is rejected His heart breaks because he knows that person has chosen hell
If we understand this…how can we not share the story of love…how can we not love enough, how we can we be so callous as to allow bitterness, unforgiveness, fear hold us back from being the love Jesus has called us to be…what kind of person calls themselves a Christian and does that? How can you knw how amazing, wonderful, loved and joy-filled heaven will be and allow someone to miss that?
The greatest love story is Jesus knows what hell is like, he knows what heaven is like…he loves and adores mankind….man chooses his own desires over God’s desire and rejected him and because of that can’t be in God’s presence
Church two things
1) if you are here today and you have not made Jesus your Lord and Savior, you have not accepted the sacrifice he made for you in the next moment you could be in hell…and Jesus’ heart would break or you can come to the altar and tell one of the altar workers you want to accept what Jesus did on the cross for you, you want heaven
2) Some of you this morning need to come to the altar to repent…you have forgotten heaven and hell or you have taken it for granted you don’t know what people in your life will be there in the next moment and you have become lukewarm in your walk with Christ…The Holy Spirit is stirring you today to take the love we have talked about over the last few weeks and continue to allow it to bring healing to you, but to also allow it to soften your heart, to accept the Father’s heart, see through His eyes and allow Him to break your heart with the things that break His the condition of the people all around you who may never see heaven but are destined to hell and until now you really didn’t care…that breaks the Father’s heart to receive so much love to understand so much love and yet to not share that love with others…we need to repent so that His love will flow through us in even greater measure….I am asking you to come to the altar, ask for forgiveness, accept the gift of His love you have been given and ask Him to open your eyes to all the people around you and ask Him to make both heaven and hell real to you
Where will you be in the next moment? Where will your friends or family be in the next moment?