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Big Life Issues: A Classic Interview with Randy Alcorn

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2020 4:00 am

Big Life Issues: A Classic Interview with Randy Alcorn

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 25, 2020 4:00 am

In this episode, we revisit an conversation with Pastor Greg and Randy Alcorn—this time to tackle life’s big issues. They discuss what Heaven is like, address some misconceptions about the afterlife, and explore the importance of an eternal perspective on our problems.

Randy says, “There are many things [God] hasn’t told us about Heaven. . . So we don’t have to know those. But what He has told us is powerful. Let us study and contemplate and know and look forward to what He has told us about Heaven.” 

Enjoy this edifying discussion about the most important topics of life.

Randy Alcorn is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 books, including Heaven. He is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them.


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This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events.

From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website so thanks for joining me for this podcast, Randy Alcorn is a prolific author. He's written over 30 books a number of fiction entitled to the great fiction writer titles like deadlines, dominion, deception, as well as other books like the grace into paradox the law of rewards the purity principle, the treasure principle is probably best known for this book. Here called heaven which I think is the finest book I've ever read on the subject and I've read a lot of books about heaven, especially since my son went to be with the Lord of always taught in this topic and obviously believed in it, but I really studied it, and this is just an outstanding book and then also his latest book is called if God is good and it's on the topic of suffering and so it answers a lot of those hard questions so really glad that Randy could be with honesty. He used to be a pastor but now we uses most of his time to write these outstanding books that bless people all around the world and he doesn't travel that much these days, but it made time in his calendar to be with us, and I'm really glad and I know you're going to be blessed by what he has to say. So let's give a warm harvest welcome to Randy Alcorn. Thanks, still is hard to follow. You will in our last interview we use the time up so quickly, so I just dive right in. Randy, there's so much to talk about. But in your book. If God is good.

You make the state and all of our quote. Most of us don't give enough thought evil and suffering until we experience them them. This forces us to force formulate perspective on the fly at a time when our thinking is muddled and were exhausted and consumed by pressing issues.

People who have been there, will attest that it's far better than through suffering in advance world and the supper and it's the big question that people will ask is why is there suffering in the world today so maybe you could just give us a quick response to just the big issue.

Why is there suffering in the world today. The Bible tells us that were under a curse because of sin, you see it in early in Genesis, God makes his perfect world I he gives the gift of choice. Wrong choices may Adam and Eve send were told in Romans five we all send an atom.

The curse that came upon them also came upon the earth and came upon the children we experience it today. Romans eight says the whole creation groans with a longing for the redemption, the resurrection of God's children so suffering happens in our world. As part of the curse were living in a fallen world to be redeemed one day in the future, but the question becomes more personal. When people ask you why does God allow good people to suffer more to the point godly people to suffer but you know it's one thing only disturb tragedy in the world and it's so far away.

But when it comes to our doorstep and in a loved one close to us gets cancer. We ourselves get bad news from a doctor or is in our case, you know the one day wake up in our son of 33 years is certainly no longer with us on the spur and we wonder why did God let that happen and why did God allow a Christian, why does God allow a Christian to suffer. Bible actually gives a number of different reasons for suffering. Certainly there is character building. There's character's appearance in patients that Romans talks about the comes out of suffering. The fruit of the spirit that's born in our why this is where more dependent upon him. Second Corinthians 12 pulse got the thorn in the flash. This affliction, God says my strength is made perfect in weakness. Christ, set apart from me you can do nothing. And often when things are going well for us. We just sort of do it on our own and nothing got a little bit don't exactly and it's when we know that we lack the power, it's when we are reminded, as we are in lighthearted circumstances.

I am not in control any illusion control is gone now. I turned to the one hopefully who is in control, God, and who has run the universe without my help in the past and will run the universe without my help in the future and what I need to do is to say, I'm not in charge but I know the one who is in charge and that makes all the difference. We talk about the sovereignty of God. You talk about God being in control is in control is really aware of all the bad things are happening are something just happening randomly God reoccupied how involved is the Lord of these things and how aware of the missing is an interesting passage and in Chronicles where the evil King Ahab is going out in the battle and me dressed up somebody else to look like him so that that other person would be the target and it talks about some soldier that is an enemy that fires the arrow and it uses the term randomly that this arrow randomly shot ends up falling and hitting King Ahab and killing him in battle.

So a randomly fired arrow reaches the exact target God intended, which was this evil King.

So how does that work.

How can there be randomness and yet how can God be sovereign and how can Satan, who we know is very powerful. He is called the God of this world prints power of the year darkness all that kind of stuff. How can he do these things, and yet God still be in control you.

You see, Joseph, who says to his brothers in Genesis 50 verse 20 you intended it for evil thing that was inspired by Satan to betray your brother and throw in that Silliman slavery was horrifying. What they did, and yet he said you intended for evil, but God intended it for good saving life, not just God will bring good out of and to bring good out of it. But God intended it, God had a plan from the beginning in Ephesians 1 makes that clear. God from eternity past has this plan. In Romans 828 God causes all things work together for good to those who love God and he is working on that plan now in all humility, we must say we don't always understand that plan and in the midst of evil and suffering going to snap your fingers and all. Obviously, God's doing this.

Got that, don't worry about the tragic situation you just endure because it's really all for the best. That is completely insensitive and inappropriate to set what is appropriate to say I love you. We with those who we rejoice with those who rejoice, I'm there for you.

I love you. Sometimes when people are trying to bring comfort to Christian. They may even say things that are correct but maybe there said in the wrong way. A little too cavalier about it, just to run off a bunch of passages you know since you know we went through all the that we've gone through and are going through a dozen and you know it just changes in what you're experiencing. The sense of loss. The sense of pain is still there, but I think what I find myself doing more know Randy is listening more.

I mean, I'm not so quick on the draw with the answer. I still will give biblical verses in the appropriate way, but at the same time a listen to a person in any know you talk about how we should weep with those that we interviewed Steven Curtis Chapman a while back and you know, of course, his little daughter, Maria, Sue, was killed in a tragic car accident and I said to Stephen what was said. That really helped you anything.

You know the best thing that was said was there are no work and there is a place for just being there.

Remember the story of Job and his counselors. They actually had it together when they kept their mouth shut, that slowly started talking trouble begin.

Therefore Job for a whole week didn't say anything. There were there just to empathize with, and the problems began when I started talking and what we gotta do is you know there is there's a time to be silent. Ecclesiastes tells us this is a time to speak. Proverbs is full of versus the talk about and after words spoken in the right time and in the wrong words spoken in the wrong time or even the right word, but in the wrong time. Romans 822 classic example.

Romans 828 is inspired by God to you think it would always be right to court right somebody's daughter died of leukemia. Do you look at him and you can say well, God causes all things work, you forgot something. I don't feel bad because the snow know that's completely insensitive thing that Scripture dies is it gives us permission to ask questions of God, the inspired word of God, you have David asking why are the heaven silent what why should you hearing me when I pray have given up on me. My God, my God, why view for second. David said that in Psalm 22 and course Jesus centered on the cross. There are going to be times where there is darkness in our lives.

Some of us including myself have battled somewhat depression and their their claims of darkness that come sometimes they relate to certain circumstances, other times not that you can put your finger on, but in the midst of them.

We need to look to the God shed his blood on the cross and one day will look at those hands and he may look at us and say these look like the hands of a God who does not care all those times you wondered if I cared. Do you have any doubts, now Romans 828 was conducted. It is inspired by God. We don't get it in the moment it's it's in process all things better transition would be our working together for good to those that love God, and there are times in life world nothing will happen. You can see a good thing come out of it.

You can see I get that then there are things in life.

We are going to them in your safe. I'm not getting this at all. And then there is something just a this is a mystery to me. But what is God's in game personal define what God means by good and then what is his in game only talk about things working together for good big picture. Let's step away not from Earth and step away and look at it from a heavenly perspective. Perhaps, I think one of the best passages in and in Scripture related to that is in Ephesians 1 talks about God's plan and it talks about his redemptive plan in Christ, he has just been asked to be adopted as children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the one you love and goes on to talk about that Grayson goes on in Ephesians 2 to talk about how, in the ages to come. God is going to be revealing to us the riches of his grace and his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Now we live in a world of evil and suffering, we would not see this marvelous attribute of God's grace that is been manifested to us in Christ.

So why does God allow what he allows for the greater good for an eternal good that is so good show good beyond measure that even the sufferings and difficulties of this life cannot be compared. Romans 818 tells us this the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that will be real not sufferings are real, very real. And Paul knew all about, and in it he documents all the sufferings in his own life. In the book of second Corinthians chapter 10, especially he knew what he was talking about.

We face the sufferings. But God has an ultimate plan and that goodness of that will be measured in the revelation of his character qualities and his grace, which we will celebrate for all eternity's transition now to the topic that's hard for a lot of people to consider that his death Stephen sometimes Christians struggle with this. They're afraid to die. I have a question from the goalie Melanie for my Facebook page he said even though I'm a believer. I'm afraid that I also like how should I view death as a Christian. I'm afraid of that moment when I passed from life to death and then another person named Terry asks, could you please talk about the topic of soul sleep and what happens when you die, you go immediately to the Lord. So let's just look at this for a moment ready okay nonbeliever, they die what happens to them. Okay, first with that one question for me to say this in Hebrews 2 it says since the children have flesh and blood Christ to share in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death, and that is a bondage.

The fear of death and Christ came to deliver us from the ultimate consequences of death, that is of sin, and in the death it brings of eternal separation from God, so that knowing now that we will spend eternity with Christ we can say to be absent from the body to be present for the war. It is better by far says in Philippians to the part and be with Christ. So II think that that perspective on death is a huge one was the second course will okay that's a believer a believer going to go to the presence of the Lord when it comes to the nonbeliever when the nonbeliever dies and immediately according we see this in Luke 16 with the story of the rich man and Lazarus the unbeliever diocese during the Missouri story this rich man dies and him immediately is suffering the fires of hell. And immediately Lazarus dies and he is with the people of God that's in the bosom of Abraham. He is with.

At that point and it appears that it's only after the resurrection of Christ that people who are in this paradise that is called Abraham's bosom are taken directly in the very presence of God because of the redemptive work of Christ, but with a believer dies, the absent bodies be present for the Lord will nonbeliever dies. It's to be and how soon a believer dies they go straight to heaven as you said now where is heaven okay heaven is that we can be defined as the dwelling place of God. Now God is everywhere present is omnipresent, but he is especially present in heaven and he's especially present wherever his throne is said to be his throne are said to be in heaven. So heaven is where God dwells, especially in that's where he is throne and that's where people enjoy his presence when they die and go to be with the Lord and the Bible teaches us that that location that is called heaven will actually change because in Revelation 21. We are told that God is going to bring down the present heaven.

His is very presence to earth. Look at Revelation chapter 21 verse one says new heaven and new earth. Minutes says in verse two. I saw the holy see the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband and then verse three and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying this now the dwelling of God is with men. This is the promise of God. He's going to come down and dwell with his people. The dwelling of God is within where on this new work in this new Jerusalem is with men, and he will live with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Three times we got this expression with them so God will come down to dwell with his people on the they were so right now, when the believer dies, we leave this world this earth to in our spirit or body stay here are corruptible when we die. Okay, then we are spirits we go to be with the Lord. So we go up to heaven to live with God in his place. That's where heaven is now we are told here that after the resurrection, which happens at the end of Revelation 20 that God is going to come down to this world where reading with resurrected bodies and the resurrected Jesus will sit on the throne of the new Jerusalem and God will dwell down here with us so that the ultimate promise of Scripture is not simply that we go up to live with God in his place, but that God will come down to the new earth.

The redeemed earth to live with us in our place. Emmanuelle God with us. Jesus Christ will sit on that throne all eternity right so let's get the big picture, drawing from what you said keep believer dies they go straight in the presence of God. But the Bible teaches there is a bodily resurrection that is to come later. We have this resurrection were in this. The body ultimately heaven comes to earth. The Lord said in the Lord's prayer as we call it thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So that's really a fulfillment of that and in the new Jerusalem. In the latter part of the book of Revelation that comes down heaven and earth effectively become one place and we said well you don't believe this whole world and go to heaven will that's true. Technically you're also going to have a new world when heaven comes to earth exactly and that they would be great cash charge because Romans eight is of references to the present, evil and suffering of this world and then it moves from you.

Look, for instance, and not in verse 19, the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice by the will of him a subject subjected it in hope that verse 21 Romans eight that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. So then verse 22 says, we know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. But what happens in the pains of childbirth as opposed the pains of death.

The pains of childbirth result in life so we can look at our present sufferings. Not as just "things as what is leading to an eternity of life. The promise of eternal life with God. So the whole creation fell.

You know, in the wake of the choices made by Ottoman leave. But it will all grind with us in the resurrection. So the whole creation will be ready. Jesus didn't just come in order to snatch our spirits from this world to another. He came to redeem this whole creation that it doesn't mean that everybody will be safe. That's on your universalism. Always yes, some people go to hell. But in terms of his creation. God cares about animals.

God cares about this world, which I think is there is a solid biblical basis for Christian to be responsibly, not excessively, but responsibly concerned with and caring for the world. God has entrusted to our care because this world itself will be one day made right again all the real words in the Bible redeem, reconcile, reconcile, renew, resurrected his redirect, bring back in a bodily form all those three words are to bring back what was lost in the fall and bring it back in a greater form for all eternity. Because the redemptive work of Christ in Colossians 3, Paul says that your affection excellent things about the things of the earth and really another way to translate that is constantly be thinking about or seeking heaven a simplified version might be think Kevin Ennis we try to wrap our minds around this Future Pl., God has for us to have and what we go to meet the Lord. And then of course we get our glorified body in heaven comes to earth. Still, for many, it's really hard for them to grasp. It doesn't seem real to them if they believe and say well you know the Bible doesn't address these issues in verse is often quoted first Corinthians or 290 10. I have not seen nor his or her doors and entered in the heart of man the things of God is prepared for those that love of all, you know, we don't know these things general.

Even Paul himself said he was caught up in the third heaven and what he heard was unspeakable, indescribable, so some will say we can know about heaven, but that's not really true, is it it isn't because that very passage that you quoted. Many people have quoted that passage to me because this is a great thing about memory verses. But it's sort of a downside is that memory verses are actually preceded by and followed by other verses that we don't memorize so you heaven first Corinthians 29 know I is seen, no ear has heard no minus can see what God does love it that's used as a basis for three can't know anything about what except it doesn't end there that it's actually the same sentence, but it's in the next verse, verse 10, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit revealed in the word of God. So the things that we never could've imagined on our own. We never knowing what was coming, but God has revealed them to us so Deuteronomy 2929 the secret things belong to the Lord our God doesn't stop there, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever. In other words, what God has told there's many things he hasn't told us about. Okay, so we don't have to know about what he has told us is powerful, S study and contemplate and no and look forward to what he told us about heaven.

I was reading last night and second Peter three work three times in a sequence of three or four verses, it says we are looking forward to a new heavens and the new earth. And since were looking forward to it.

What kind of people ought we to be in terms of life and and godliness and we are looking forward to these things and then I start thinking there's just a lot of Christians who are not looking forward to have their thinking oh I'm just enjoy the beauty of this world and we won't be able to experience that anymore. I'll know well will experience him far better version of this it will be a redeemed work yet because earth is not a copy of heaven seized I get is a copy of that. What I meant to say is heaven is not a copy of her birth is effectively a copy of heaven.

It is in Hebrews 85 it says that they serve in a place of worship. That's only a copy or a shadow of the real one in heaven. We often reason about it the wrong way we think, well, earth is great.

I don't heavens going to be like. But it's really the other way around is how God has made it did say give us a sense of humor did Satan make us to like food. Did Satan give us taste buds did Satan make to enjoy a relationship to know each other.

God says it's not good for the man to be alone I will make a helper suitable for God created human relationships. Human human community.

And God made us desire to do things with her body company to watch some of the Olympics part of its record is just like it is a lot worse is I know, but that there were other things that there were actually athletic event and I and you look at it you go that inspire because Satan desires no can sports be abused. Of course, can you over yet live in Bennett that limited personal little things, a plurality I currently just will we do curling in heaven. I don't think so.

Yeah, or true athletic event yet this is what you think you know you and I sorry I know offensive if you're like a Norwegian curler back. I blackjack anyway. But the point is, God made us to love these things look like somebody will say say to me one time when there's no possible way that on the new earth, for instance, that we could participate in sports. Why, why would you say that to because competition brings out simple as it will I coach tennis. I know competition can bring out simple. It also can bring out great character and can build character in the young men that I work with been able to lead you know teenage boys to Christ and disciple of a member. See, I've seen the best come out in them as well as work that even in this fallen world. But what about the world to come. That unfallen God made these bodies and he promises us resurrection body and when he says were to have new bodies. That's not a non-body when it says this to be a new earth. That's not an honor. Earth is the operative term bodies. The operator are real but you know I said I'm to give you a new car Greg which I'm not going to do, but if I said I said that I but let's suppose it, you wouldn't say all reason to give me a new car a bit. It doesn't have a windshield transmission wheels, tires he doesn't have this. It doesn't have the know is if it didn't have those things it wouldn't be a car when God promises a new body. It will be what our body is accepted of the incorruptible were told it will be subject to disease, but we will eat and drink piece together with the Lord come from eating and drinking. I could tell people like I think this fits in with those the things we do in the Bible does say that will have this feast and will be reunited with our loved ones.

You know sometimes we know when we knew someone that goes to be with the Lord you long to communicate with them. You miss them deeply and sometimes you wonder will I want to go to heaven to see the loved one will. It should I instead be longing to be with Jesus. Is this taking the place of Jesus in a dress that is there a balance there. How should we look at that point think there is a balance, but I've I've seen some people go way overboard.

One direction. Some people it seems like all the other talking all the time is all the great things there will be about heaven.

Not really talking about the Lord. There's actually a very popular book, you read the the Mitch album book 5 people you meet in heaven. Some of you that you shouldn't have any of you really the strange thing about that book I'm reading this book is as of the top of the New York Times bestsellers list and it was very popular as writing my book, and I got the five people you meet in heaven. You know what striking the book, not one of the people is God. God is an easy's virtually no were present and so heaven God is the source of all joy. He's the fountainhead of joy. So if you're not thinking about God when you're thinking about heaven. If you're just thinking about will be great to see somebody that I used to know or even a loved one, that's all you're thinking your you're really missing the greatest thing that heaven has to offer, which is God, then I've heard people take it the opposite extreme, which is just what you're saying there were the question Greg and that is St. Paul. You shouldn't think about being reunited with a loved one, because after all, you should care about is being with God contradicts Scripture because first Thessalonians 4 says, specifically verse 13 brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep and that is not so slick that's a euphemism for death because on the outside it appears that the person who dies. It's as if they've fallen asleep, but the spirit goes to be immediately with the Lord and will be until the resurrection about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. Now notice it does not say Christians do not agree.

It says we don't read as the saint in the same way that the rest of men who have no hope. We agree with the hope and anticipation of reunion with a loved one who knows Jesus. So now he goes on to explain why we shouldn't read as those who have no hope because we're not being permanently separated from those we love. It's an interruption of relationship. It's not a termination relationship so he says we believe that Jesus died and rose again.

So we believe that God bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Then he goes on to say that those are still alive. The we won't. We won't perceive those will fallen asleep in the resurrection. In other words, is prompting will be reunited for 16 for the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. That is, those we been temporarily separated from after that we were still alive and are left will be caught up to gather with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In other words, you will be together with the loved one. You've lost and that's why you don't cream as those who have no hope of reunion so with forever perfect balance.

We look forward to be with the Lord and we look forward to be malevolent and remember our loved ones are a gift from God to love your loved one is to do what God made you to do and they are his gift to you. So I would know God no more presents are wanting to be with the loved one to Scott on the forest as you would resent your grandchild for your child enjoying a Christmas gift you give, you want them to enjoy the job site, you shouldn't enjoy the gift you should only enjoy me now you're enjoying me by enjoying the gift that I gave well put. That's great. Let's talk about these new bodies now that God has for us. You're talking about the creation, groaning every time I dropped some on the ground that the pick it up. I understand that I groaning when another picking it up.

I think myself. What else can I do while I'm already down of your time. No these new bodies that that were going to receive from the Lord. There are still laws were still lustful run. The glorified state by heaven is the earthly life of the believer glorified and perfected.

We don't lose memory of what happened here. We know more but simply stuck a little bit about the new bodies again. I know that you've used problem.

You view the Scripture sites Christ himself as the prototype if you will that we look at his resurrected body of Christ is alive, shall appear, we show up there with them and what we shall be like him so let's talk about this new body.

How is it different from us. The body on earth. How is it the same great question. The Bible says that Jesus is the firstfruits from the great and and as you quoted Greg we will be like him for will seem as he is so what is his resurrection body like we want to know what resurrected bodies will be like were told will be like him in his the firstfruits from the grave in the firstfruits represent what's to to come. In the case of the other fruit, and that is awesome, we are going to have bodies like Christ.

So here it is in Lucca, 24, verse 37.

They were startled and they were frightened when they saw Jesus at first because I think they saw a ghost, thereby this man died in and says this is a ghost. He said to them, why are you troubled, and widely do doubts arise in your mind's first 39 of Luke 24. Look at my hands and my feet.

Jesus says it is I myself. Touch me and see ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have and what he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet and he says do you have anything to eat and they gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it any aid in their present he went to great lengths to demonstrate that the resurrection body is a real actual physical body and so that we don't take figurative those passages are shouldn't rather we talked about eating and drinking at tables I've had people I I had a man in my church where I preached a message on this years ago and talked about the fees and coming East and West came up to me old saint of God.

One of the good doctor and he said you are not actually saying will have real and that will eat and drink. That's what the Bible says it just sounds so unspiritual. Why does it sound unspiritual God is the one who made the bottom. I thought here is a great saint of God who would die before he would deny the Of the resurrection, but he doesn't actually believe the resurrection in Job 19 Job says I'm here's the oldest book in the Bible, Job 19 verse 25. Job in the midst of his suffering that he is undergoing. He cries his old that my words were recorded there written on the scroll that they were inscribed with an iron tool online or engraved in rock forever.

The person going through suffering feels like I wish my words would last. Will Job were reading your words and they blasted. I know verse 25 Job 19. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Not just that he'll be out in heaven somewhere.

He'll stand on the earth and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see you got some people think we can find the resurrection in the Old Testament. I don't well, that's what it is yet in my flesh I will see God.

I myself will see him with my own eyes I and not another.

It will really be me. It'll really be us will have memory when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ were told to give an account for everything be done in the body, so when people talk about all we will remember anything in heaven.

On the contrary will remember more because I can't remember everything now but what if I may give an account for my life. I have to remember so Heather and her right now. We coexist at the same time there's a physical realm. There's a spiritual realm right now in heaven. Here's a person they they write her name is Becky. My husband passed away a few years ago and sometimes people will tell my children or me. He's looking down at us from heaven. While it's encouraging the thinking seems as this seems contradictory to Scripture. Could you shed light in this are people who've gone before us believers in the Lord. Looking down on us right now or looking down at us at any time what the people in heaven no about what is happening hereunder. Good passage to turn to for that is revelation chapter 6 where you have the martyrs in heaven they die. They've gone home to be with the Lord there with Jesus in the present heaven you looking at Revelation chapter 6 verse nine I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Now here's what they do.

This is what life is like for them in the present heaven they called out in a loud voice, how long the sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood law. Clearly they remember their life on earth.

And some people say will if we could remember anything of our life on earth and heaven, surely we can remember the bad thing. How much worse does it get than having been murder and they remember that they were murdered. But see, the key to heaven is not ignorance it's perspective on their life so they remember the date the lives of earth. They remembered bad things actually happen. But now they see them through redemptive lies and there also aware that God has not yet brought judgment upon their persecutors do not ask the Lord happy Rogers brother St. when will you bring judgment so they know that he hasn't yet. They know that because there seem, at least to a degree, at least aware of what's going on down earth.

And then there told that they had to wait a little longer member there saying how long the Lord wait a little longer. People say will is her time in heaven very clearly there is here and then he says when the last martyr dies. That's basically what is going to return, but you look at Luke chapter 15, where Jesus says there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels when a sinner repents. It doesn't say the angels rejoice, it could easily say doesn't say that I'm sure they do rejoice, but saying there's rejoice in the presence of the Angels. When a sinner on earth rejoices any repent so how do they know that the sinner on earth has repented have to know about it. In order to rejoice. Who are those people in the presence of the Angels. I think it's the people of God is that it's a part of the body of Christ it's already gone home. They may be prayed for years for that person. They see that that person repented, there is rejoicing in the very presence of the Angels were the people of God are when someone down on earth repents, so people in heaven are aware of what is happening in earth, as you pointed out a one versus "additional were surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that run the race with endurance and set before us, and some would interpret that is saying. Well, these are the people that are just gone before us in the sort of set the example which is true, of course, Hebrews 11 proceeds Hebrews 12 and that's the hall of faith about the great heroes of the Bible. But then again, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, some wonders that you wanted of its heavenly grandstands, but certainly some form of viewing or watching from a heavenly perspective is seen it from that view, I think so II think you could compare. I do this in the heaven book. It's like center court at Wimbledon so you got you got this great tennis match that's going on than the people in the grandstands are watching some of the people in the grandstands are people. They always kind of focus in on former champions all that is like who have gone before, who are now watching those will participate and I agree that in Hebrews 11 he can't really probe the cloud of witnesses is is is exactly that they're all watching. But when you put together these other passages. It makes perfect sense.

Focus of heaven is on the on holding drama of redemption that is happening on planet Earth.

And so Christ is going to return and does it makes sense to think that the people up in heaven are kind of like all business oblivious to what's going on down on earth to which they're going to return with Christ like. It doesn't in Thessalonians, another passages and return with him and his plan for the redemption of planet Earth will be culminated. Do they care are they interested in what's going on down in heaven done on earth, from the perspective of heaven.

I think the answer is yes. I think there cheering us on, I don't think, by the way that we should ever there is no biblical basis in fact contradicted scripturally that we should ever pray to the saint. We do not pray to the saint is one mediator between God and then the man Jesus Christ.

First Timothy tells us by his maybe a different question of whether the saints are, pray for us. I mean there there there because even in this passage. Revelation 6 there saying how long before you bring judgment there. There almost praying for judgment to come down on these centers but meanwhile if there seen the righteous people of God are they upholding them in prayer, prayers, talking to God will we talked about last once we go to heaven than we do and where I think we'll talk tomorrow. So what were in heaven. What is how are we related one to another.

Right now you're a father, your husband, your son, your grandfather and will we be married still in heaven because of earth. It's often cited that the 22 Jesus at the resurrection will neither marry nor are given in marriage, like the angels of God in heaven, so we married in heaven. Are we still husbands, sons with daughters, mothers, etc. how does our this one passage, Jesus defined this related to marriage. There will be no more human marriage exactly as we know it. And in that one specific respect will be like the Angels who are given but is not an overall thing like will be like angels in other respects are most respect, but what I think is so significant about this is my wife Nancy is my best friend she is here today, but she likes to be in the back and not be publicly knowledge so I will not point out where she is, but she's in her summer and if you find her.

She's adorable. Anyway, so I love Nancy but what I what I've had people say to me, all you know I got a great marriage here on earth and and I I really bothers me that we won't be married in heaven will here is the way I look at Nancy and I will be part of the same marriage in heaven because the Bible doesn't say there will be no marriage in heaven. It says will be one marriage of heaven.

Christ to his bride, the church, we are part of the church so eat together will be part of the bride of Christ.

So I will be part of a marriage with Nancy to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the most important person in both of our lives and were second in both of our life and what a great thing that will be to be together in marriage to him.

And let's be honest, there are other people who unfortunately have gone through very difficult marriage experiences on earth were not been married on earth at all, and they have something to look forward to, which is a perfect marriage relationship with a bridegroom Jesus Christ will never let us down to write "care that's a good quote ready. Currently, marriage is a shadow in echo of the true and ultimate marriage.

The purpose of marriage is not to replace heaven, but to prepare us for that. I do well.

It's a familiar song is still another quote from your book, the Gunflint doesn't stop in heaven and the newer that continues. God doesn't abandon his purposes. He fulfills them friendships and relationships begun in earth will continue in heaven richer than ever. Kate doesn't know maybe because running on time. Some quick answers because we do here this will our pets be in heaven not let this establishment think in heaven. My time to really go you know, we might so my life that I hope that's in heaven. People get very attached for their pets and what is a possibility.

Your pet to be in heaven well you know I got to chapters in the big heaven book 1 on animals and it relates to Romans eight, Isaiah 60, a passage that refers to a number of animals and definitely refers to the new earth, because it cited twice. Isaiah 60 and Revelation 21 and 22 and application of the newer that it's part of God's whole creation so because the whole creation groans with a longing for deliverance and it's not just human beings. It emphasizes the whole creation is currently suffering what. Who else besides human being suffers animals and their in the whole creation is looking forward to the limited sounds like someone being besides humans who are now suffering will experience the relief of that suffering and will be part of life on a new earth and again that conforms to Isaiah 60 and Ezekiel 47 and a few other Old Testament passages as well.

Then the question becomes what's put some of those animals that God restores as part of a new creation could be that my question would be why not if there's going to be some animals, why not animals that God entrusted to the stewardship and care of his people and by the way, if you want to read a fascinating passion sometime. I reread it the other day. Genesis chapter 9 God makes his covenant with Noah. He repeatedly I believe it six or seven times says I made this covenant with you and with all the living creatures that walk the ground and swim in the seat you as he repeatedly keeps saying that he's making a covenant with animals will because he views animals as the second most Wharton entities on this planet.

Human beings are first animals or second, for whatever reason he actually has a plan for them and I think that's another passage that would indicate God has a future purpose for the Bible says that will rule over certain things in the new earth and probably because it marked So many times all rule over a lot of Summer listening to this right now is hurting the they their living with a disability someone close to them died recently, they found out there terminally ill. It seems that the walls are closing in the unknown them and they believe in the Bible. They believe in Jesus Christ but right now, didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel they they seen in an insurmountable obstacle they see something that they don't think they can survive. What would you say that person right now.

I would really say look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising this change is now seated in the right hand of God and that in Hebrews 12 that I was just courting from is preceded by the stories of great saints of God. In Hebrews 11 something they all had in common was how much they suffered and there is a lot of suffering going on in this world and we have a God who cares, it's not the God of what's called deism.

Who was the watchmaker who started it all, and then departed and doesn't really care what's going on. It's a God who looked down he cries he weeps for his people were told that in Exodus now. He wept for his people.

Jesus weeping over the people of Jerusalem and it's a God who came down to become one of us in the person of Jesus Christ who loved us so much that extended out arms.

His hands bear the mark of the greatest evil and suffering that has ever happened in human history we call that day Good Friday.

Why do we call it Good Friday, what we call it bad Friday Friday because God brought great good out of the worst thing that ever happened and he can do that for you to and one day you'll be embraced by the Lord, you hear him say if you've been faithful to follow him and by his grace at work in your life well done my good and faithful servant entering your masters joy and when that day comes, we all will know it was worth it. God you accomplish things that I didn't even know about and I look forward now to finding out now that I'm with you, and I'm sure that God's going to explain a lot of things to us that we don't understand now, but God, thank you that you were faithful to me. Even in the dark times and enjoyable experience of your unfolding riches of grace for all eternity.

I know it will prove worth it. Think those thoughts. There was a beginning that was perfect. There is an end without in that will go on forever.

That will be perfect. We live in the difficult middle put it in perspective.

By the past and the future that is built on the finished work of Christ.

But if somebody is here, and most people are the least bodily but they did nothing to go to they think why I live the good life in. I've tried that you know do good things for other people and I think you know the good Lord on the date when that the comfortable letting the heaven, but we can know were going to heaven so how can you know what, how do I know I'm going to have a widow I need to do what Scripture is very emphatic on this course. A lot of you know this and Greg, I think even you know this clearly knows this but he is like message but you but you know in first John in first John five you know that there is not a sense of uncertainty. He says this in first John 513 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have.

It is the finished work of Jesus Christ. No work not by grace you been saved through faith that not of yourselves.

It's a gift of God not by works, lest any man should boast.

There's only one way we can get into heaven. That's why the finished work of Christ.

If we trust in our own work works there as filthy rags.

They will do nothing. Our destiny as hell.

That's what were trusting in what God sent his son so that we could place our faith and trust in him.

He guarantees through his finished work on our behalf eternal life.

We can know that we have eternal life by trusting not what we have done nothing to trusted in what he has done for us by his grace into his eternal state ready for coming today. Everybody Greg Laurie here thinks listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries.

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