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Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

Day 27: Groaning with a Purpose

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 27, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. – 2 Corinthians 5:2-4

Perhaps no word better expresses the deep, passionate desire to see something happen than to groan.

I watched Sunday as the Chicago Bears came oh, so close to taking the game, but a last minute interception, sucked the air out of Bears fans everywhere.  You could almost hear a collective groan across the fruited plain as people, wearing Cutler jerseys, buried their heads in a mournful silence.

Or can any basketball fan forget the final NCAA game last year as the Butler Bulldogs fired a rim-shot from ¾ court as time expired and sparked a collective gasp and subsequent groan throughout Lucas Oil Stadium.

Groaning in the Spirit

Paul takes that “groaning feeling” up a notch when he says in essence, “We groan in our spirits because we really don’t want to be here; we want to be with Jesus!”

Can you say of yourself that you really groan in your spirit to be with the Lord, or do a lot of things in this world keep your groaning spirit at bay?

I ask that question because Paul was writing this letter in a time of great turmoil.  Rome was oppressing Christians, Jew didn’t like Christians, sin was rampant in Corinth and being fed to lions really wasn’t all that appealing.

It is much easier to want to be with Christ when (a) you are going through some serious persecution or (b) you spend a lot of time with Jesus.

Groaning doesn’t just happen; you have to be truly vested in the thing you are longing for.

A lifetime Bears fan is going to groan a lot more when they lose a championship game than a person that is simply jumping on the band wagon.

If you have spent lots of time with Jesus over the course of your Christian walk (not just prayer at meal time and when your kids are sick, but REAL time just loving on God) you know what I mean.  You crave being in the presence of God, and you really can’t wait to leave this world behind.  You know what it is like to some degree to groan in your spirit.  And unlike Bears fans this season, your groaning will be satisfied.

 

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Why does God Destroy Heaven?

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 16, 2010


I have searched for this answer, and I can’t find it anywhere in any commentary or blog I’ve seen.

What did Heaven Ever do to Deserve being Destroyed?

Revelation and Peter (2 Peter 3:7) both tell of God destroying heaven and earth in the end, but why both.  What didheaven do to deserve that fate?

Like me, you probably never even thought about ‘why’.  You just accepted the fact that God was going to do it to “start over”, so let me ask the question this way, “If heaven is so… uh, heavenly, why is it scheduled to be destroyed?  What makes it undeserving of a future as it is?

The answer might surprise you, and it can be found all over scripture from before man walked the earth through today to days yet to come.

Evil in Heaven

I really can’t say this any other way, “Heaven has known evil”. In fact, it is safe to say that evil is probably hanging out in heaven as you are reading this message.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. – Job 1:6,7

In Job 1 and 2, we see Satan presenting himself a couple times before  God in heaven.  This is an interesting situation.  I mean, if you read Luke 10:18 and Revelation 12:4, you would think Satan was permanently out of heaven, but just because he was cast out, doesn’t mean he can’t return.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. – Revelation 12:10

Most would agree that God is in heaven right now.  We know that Jesus sits (and sometimes stands) at His right (Acts 7:55), but are you ready for this.  It looks as though Satan is in heaven too standing before God spending his entire time accusing us. The passage above hasn’t happened yet.

We know that there was a rebellion in heaven when a third of the angels followed Satan in his attempted takeover (Isaiah 14:13), So there has been strife and battles, sin and rebellion in heaven.

Only One Thing Makes it Through

Here’s your question; what is the one thing (not person) that makes it through the destruction of heaven and earth?

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” (John 14:2)

The place Jesus is talking about is not heaven but the place where you will be living.  Revelation 21 tells you exactly where that is… the New Jerusalem.

This huge city with streets of gold and gates of pearl will be your eternal home. (Read the chapter yourself very carefully).

The New Home Never Saw Evil

The New Jerusalem is the one thing that makes it through to the end, and there is a really special reason why it is the only thing.

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 21:27

This cannot be said about any other spot in all of creation… not heaven, earth, hell or anything.  Evil has entered everywhere except this special city.

Heaven must be destroyed because it has known sin, evil and the prince of shame and deceit.

Peter clarifies why….

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. – 2 Peter 3:7

He wraps both the earth and the heavens in the same judgement.  It is because of sin that Heaven must be destroyed.  The same reason that earth must be destroyed.  Just so you know, there will not even be a hint of sin anywhere in the new world to come.  That is some serious purging. That is far better than heaven, and it will be your new home if your name is found written in the book of Life

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What Happens in the End?

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 29, 2010


Had this discussion in our Sunday morning class, so I thought I’d walk it out here a bit.

We are not the center of God’s universe

Our self-centered nature shines through when we look at God from our vantage point with the thinking that His universe revolves around mankind.  He was here for eternity before we arrived and will be here for eternity to come; our world and existence is but a blip on that radar.

Do we really think that God was sitting around for eternity then one day decides, “I’m bored; I think I’ll create people?”

God’s Plan Rules

God had a plan that spans eternity to eternity. Our little minds can’t even fathom never having a beginning. It blows our minds because it’s against all our physical laws, but God didn’t start with our universe. He already was.

His plan “includes” people, but it also includes angels, demons, and even the devil himself.  It contains players we probably haven’t even heard about yet.  Point is that God is infinite in his majesty which means he was doing stuff before we came along.

Worlds that are Captured in the Bible

Just look at these things God has documented in Creation that directly affect us in the Bible. These are the worlds that we know of:

  • Created heaven in the beginning
  • Created Earth in the beginning
  • Created angels (and all the other spiritual beings mentioned in the Bible)
  • Angels fell / their kingdom shatters and Satan is born as the accuser
  • Created man to fill the Earth
  • Destroyed the Earth with water
  • Re-established man through Noah
  • Ushered in a Covenant through Abraham
  • Ushered in a New Covenant through His Son, Jesus
  • Jesus will rule this world for a 1000 years (A segment of believers will reign with Him) Revelation 20
  • He will destroy the heavens and earth again (Revelation 21)
  • Will rebuild both heaven and earth (notice from Revelation 21 that the only thing that makes it from the old heaven to the new earth is the New Jerusalem.

The New Jerusalem

In the New World, there is an interesting feature:

  • All the laws that govern that new world change (21:1 and 4)
  • The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into the New Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:24)

What does this mean? Who are the kings? What are the nations? What is God up to? Is he done, or does he have another part of his plan to unfold?

He has done this before. Remember the angels?  They were all created perfect, but then 1/3 fell with Lucifer. Jesus later says that hell was made for the devil and his angels – Matthew 25:41 (meaning hell was probably fashioned after the angels fell).

Now those good angels are ministering spirits to mankind at the bidding of God.

Food for Thought

What if He continues that trend.  What if we are going to be ministering spirits to whatever God has next like the angels are to us? One thing I’m pretty convinced of, we probably won’t be sitting around on clouds playing harps.

You never know what God has planned, but one thing is for sure. With God, all things are possible.

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The True Message of Hope

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 18, 2009


If I asked you what you think “hope” means, I’d probably get the dictionary definition:

Hope – the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

To look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.

It would be used in a sentence like, “I hope for an early spring.”

The problem with this definition is that while it may work for general issues, it is not a biblical definition of hope.

Our definition of hope is circumstantially influenced.  We actually look at hope with a sense of doubt.  For example, in the sentence above, “I hope  for an early spring”, you see that in the mind of the person, they know the reality is that they have no control over it and that they may not see an early spring. 

This kind of hope is not very secure.  Would the person hoping for the early spring plan for it? Would they set dates for cookouts in March? Would they plant their garden in February in Indiana? Or would they wait until it happened to plan their cookouts?

Biblical hope functions differently.  When you see Paul say, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1), you see that Jesus is the hope.  It is a type of faith that has assurance. 

Later Paul tells Titus,

“We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

We see that Jesus is the hope, and his return is the manifestation of that hope.  There are no doubts that he might not return.  Hope is the embodiment of assurance.

Peter breaks this down even more:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. – 1 Peter 1:3-12

This hope Peter calls “Living” actually kept people going through tough times.  The hope they had that they knew their eternity was secure. 

  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that kept them in peace when thrown to lions.
  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that inspired them to ask God to forgive their killers
  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that strengthened their resolve to meet together even when they knew doing so might mean their death.
  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that gave them all the strength they needed.
  • And it was this hope that Paul says, “and now these three remain- faith, hope and love” .  (1 Corinthians 13)

We know how faith and love are eternal factors in our relationship with Christ they are the elements that get us there, but now you know that it is the hope of glory that will sustain you through the journey. It is hope that will keep you going when all seems lost. It is hope that will give you comfort and strength.

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