Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tough Minded About Heaven

Dr. David Jeremiah's sermon this morning was, as usual, just awesome! He is currently doing a series regarding "everything you wanted to know about heaven." Of course, we can't know absolutely everything, but the Lord has provided much information through His written Word, the Bible.

Dr. Jeremiah's topic today was one not to be missed! Every Christian who visits this blog will be blessed by what he shared.

Christine

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Here are the notes:

Tough Minded About Heaven
by Dr. David Jeremiah

As saved Christians do you think it is important how we spend our energies here? It has been said that those who are "heavenly minded are of no earthly good." But that catch phrase misses the point.

The New Testament shows us many verses of consistent truths; that what you think about heaven determines how you live today.

In a previous study, the renovation of the earth at the end of the age was shared.

2 Peter 3: 7-13 (NKJV)

7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward *us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

The Day of the Lord

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be *burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Verse 11 asks us, "what manner of persons are you to be now!" How are we to live in light of what we know about the future? As Christian believers who are born again in Jesus Christ, we have gained new truth. We continue to gain upon that truth through study of God's Word. With this, comes new responsibility. We are to be different people because of what God has shown us! We need to discipline our minds to think differently!

Our culture, the media, and all the "things that are not of God" can lure us away from who we are meant to be in Christ Jesus. If we are not tough-minded, we could be led to drown in it all.


1Pe 1:13 (NKJV)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

The term "girding up" described how the ancient Jews would take their long robes and stuff it into the girdle at the waist in order to run. It's like the saying, "rolling up your sleeves" to get busy working. We are to roll up the sleeves of our minds. We can't be sloppy or casual in our minds.


Do you think critically? Or do you just float along by, and according to the culture? The trap is that you could be overcome by it...

Being born again, studying God's word, prayer and attending church helps to change the way we think; for the better!

2 Peter 3 shares 5 things that demand our tough-mindedness. Knowing that there is a heaven and a hell makes us more diligent to share the Good News of the gospel of Christ with those who do not know Him!

(1.) We need to be tough-minded about our purity.

2 Peter 3:11 - [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, (KJV)

As Christ followers, we are to be set apart for service to God!

1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV)

Living Before God Our Father


13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."*

*1:16 Leviticus 11:44, 45, 19:2, 20:7

We are called to be tough-minded about godliness! This is the inward attitude towards God!

1 Timothy 4:7 - 9 (KJV)

1Ti 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself [rather] unto godliness.

1Ti 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

1Ti 4:9 This [is] a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

We are to exercise ourselves toward godliness. This involves reading the Bible, prayer, attending church. We don't become more godly doing nothing!

Titus 2:12 - 15 (KJV)

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Compare those verses to what the culture and media expose us to on a daily basis! We can be lulled into complacency. We can be lured through the guise of "tolerance." We can be desensitized to what is sinful and evil.

Sensitize yourself to this: the Holy Spirit associates godliness and holiness to the return of Christ!

How often does the bible discuss the return of Christ along with holiness and righteousness?

1 Corinthians 1:7-8 (KJV)

7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:4,5 (KJV)

4 When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

[Added 7/31/06: I looked up the definition of the term "mortify" at dictionary.com and this is what it says:

1. To cause to experience shame, humiliation, or wounded pride; humiliate.
2. To discipline (one's body and physical appetites) by self-denial or self-inflicted privation.

This is why the gospel message is often ridiculed and rejected by reprobate man. They need to face the bad news about their sinful nature before the Good News of the gospel can be accepted.

It's not just about the "Sermon on the Mount" as many liberal theologians like to think and teach. It's about facing our sin and our inability to save our own souls from the penalty of eternal death. This requires recognizing the "bad news" first. We must have sorrow, remorse, confession and repentance of all sin before the Good News of the gospel of mercy and grace can be bestowed upon us!]

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (KJV)


11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all [men], even as we [do] toward you:

13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (KJV) - And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:28 (KJV) - And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

1 John 3:2-3 (KJV)

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

When we read about our future in heaven, it motivates us to live in a godly way here!

When your mind drifts from heaven, there can be a tendency to backslide into sin.

Analyze yourself. How much time do you invest in things that don't really matter?

Don't allow the world to pour us in it's mold!

[Note from Christine: That sentence really says a lot about what we are up against in this fallen world. We are either "molded (meaning, being formed) into the image of Christ," or, we could be poured in the world's "trap of sin mold." Or, even more descriptively, when we are not tough-minded about purity, the rot of actual mold can engulf us!]

(2.) We need to be tough-minded about Jesus' Second Coming.

Some people don't care about this; they see it as not important.

[Christine: I have run into Christians many times who have never read the book of Revelation! Apparently, their pastors do not see it as important!]

However, it is extremely important! About 1/4 of the Bible teaches about the future!

Christ is coming back! First, in the Rapture, then he returns with his saints.

There will be scoffers, the Bible warns us:

2 Peter 3:3-4 (KJV)

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.

Haven't you noticed many skeptics scoffing at us and saying, "He's been gone over 2,000 years! If he hasn't returned yet, what makes you think he ever will!"

The Bible tells us that to God, 1,000 years is as 1 day and 1 day is as 1,000 years. He doesn't exist on our timetable.

The fulfilled prophecies in the New Testament from the predictions in the Old Testament (about 300) about Jesus Christ serve as proof that we can have confidence in Jesus' ultimate return! They were fulfilled exactly as predicted. The science of statistics shows how staggering an accomplishment this is for one man to fulfill!

Titus 2:10 (KJV) - Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Hebrews 9:28 (KJV) - So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Peter 3:12 (KJV) - Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV) - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Notice the verse says, "unto all them also that love his appearing." The term "Maranatha" means "the Lord comes." When we exhort that term, it means that we look forward, with joy and love, his marvelous appearing!

*******to be continued*******

[Next: Tough-minded about our purpose.]

1 comment:

Bob said...

That was really good. The holiness of the saints is not an end of itself but actually a work of Christ (purchasing our sanctification) and the Holy Spirit working it in us, to present the church to God the Father a spotless bride at Christ's coming.

Oh, to long for heaven and Christ return more that the broken cisterns of this world is my prayer. For in His presence is fulness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps 16:11)