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February 21, 2021 3:00 am
This is the latest in the series, Revelation: A Book of Promises.
The church is nowhere to be found in Revelation 4–19.
“After these things . . .” (Revelation 4:1).
What is the Rapture?
“Rapture” is from the Greek word Harpazo, which means, “to take forcibly,” “to snatch,” or “caught up.”
Why is there a Rapture?
“A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.” —C.S. Lewis
Jesus Himself spoke of the Rapture.
The Apostle Paul spoke of the Rapture.
John sees the Lord seated on His throne.
John sees 24 elders.
John sees ominous storm warnings.
Jesus promised to keep His people from the Great Tribulation Period.
John sees angelic creatures.
There are different types of angels in the Bible.
Michael the Archangel
The Cherubim and Seraphim
What will we be doing while we are in Heaven?
We will be busy working for the Lord in Heaven.
Why do we exist?
To bring God glory and pleasure.
Living for pleasure is one of the most unpleasurable things you can do.
God created us for His own glory.
You decide in this life where you will spend the afterlife.
1 Thessalonians 4:13
1 Corinthians 15:51–52
2 Kings 2:11
1 Corinthians 10:31
Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.
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Everybody Greg Laurie here.
You're listening to the 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 harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast, the title of my message is afterlife. I like you to turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 4.
Again, the title of my message is simply afterlife. The story is told a Billy Graham going to a city to hold one of his great Crusades and Billy wrote a letter to his wife Ruth to tell her how things are going. By the way, kids letters, that's what we used to write a long time ago we wrote about. We look the envelope to put a stamp on it and went to a place called the post office and mailed them now.
People call that snail mail. Funny thing now, even email seems low would rather text but anyway Billy wanted to send this letter home to Ruth in North Carolina, but he did know where the post office was in this particular town. He saw a young man standing on a street corner and he called out to a young man wears a post office, and so the young boy told Billy Graham where the post office was and then Billy said to that young guy hey you want to come to the stadium tonight and hear me preach some of the tell people how to get to heaven. The little guy said, how would you not to get to heaven. You don't even know how to get to the post office well sooner or later. If you're a Christian, you're going to enter the afterlife, and if you put your faith in Christ you're going to go to heaven. What a great hope, that is, the Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord you close your eyes on earth and you open them in heaven. So we are basic to modes of transportation to get us to the afterlife for a believer it's either going to be death or the rapture, to talk a little bit about the rapture in this message I wanted tell you what it is why there is a rapture when it would potentially happen in a little bit more but were back here now in the book of Revelation and we closed chapter 3 with a closed door and we start chapter 4 within open door.
Remember chapter 3 ended with the words of Jesus as he spoke to the church of Laodicea and he said, behold, I stand at the door and I not many men will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in the door was closed to Christ. He was trying to get in to that church. So this reminds us if we will open the door of our hearts to Christ. One day he will open the door of heaven to us now as we come to Revelation chapter 4.
That camera swings so we been looking at earth what's happening here now, suddenly, were looking out for from a heavenly perspective were seen it from God's viewpoint.
There's a major shift from Revelation 3 to Revelation chapter 4. Because Revelation 4 and five are the introduction and background of the tremendous sweep of prophetic events that will point that will look out for the remainder of this book and it is worth noting that the church is nowhere to be found from Revelation 4 to Revelation 19. Let's read Revelation chapter 4 verses 1 to 2.
Remember John's on the island of Patmos. He's been catapulted into the future in kind of a spiritual Time Machine of the good was a DeLorean.
Eddie seen things that Arctic comedy writes about it now. Revelation 41 he says after these things. You might underline that phrase after these things. John says I look and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I will show you things that will take place after this. You might underline those words. After this and John says immediately. I was in the spirit behold of throne set in heaven, and one set on the throne. So he begins racing after these things in the Greek it met at Tulsa. The book of Revelation as I pointed out to you before comes complete with its own outline and there is a golden key to unlocking the book, there is an encryption key or a password if you will that makes Revelation understandable. It's on and Revelation 119 it says write the things that you have seen the things which are in the things that will take place after this. So Revelation is broken into three sections.
Number one the things that you've seen this is what John writes about in Revelation chapter 1 he sees the glorified Christ with all power in heaven and earth and control of all that is about to happen. Number two the things which are, this is a reference to the seven churches spoken of in Revelation chapters 2 to 3 as I describe it. It's a seven love letters of Jesus to his church. And finally, category three, and that's all right now. Those things that will take place after these things, so we basically of the Lord's person is people in this program.
That's all laid out again to review chapter 1 is a revelation of the glorified Christ chapters 2 to 3 is flyover of church history. Chapters 4 and five were taken up into heaven in the rapture. Chapters 6 to 19 we have the great tribulation.
That will last for seven years. Chapter 20 we have the millennium. Chapters 21 to 22.
We have the new heavens and the new earth. So let's talk about the next event on the prophetic calendar. It's called the rapture. Look at what John writes in verse one.
The first voice which occurred was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I'll show you things that must take place after this.
After this, after what after the things of the church on earth. So now the church are all believers in Jesus are caught up to meet the Lord. First Thessalonians 4, says the Lord himself will dissent from heaven with a shout in the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first and we which are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them in the air.
So if you're taking notes here is point number one truly a question what is the rapture so very carefully.
The rapture is a future event, when Christ will descend from heaven and resurrect the bodies of believers who have died, their spirits of God, the government, but their bodies are still here in the earth in the gray at the same time, we who are alive. If it happens in our lifetime we will be caught up together with them with you with those others who are having their resurrection bodies given to them will be caught up together with them in heaven. It will be a great reunion.
The word rapture comes from the Greek word harp also this word harp also is used 13 times in the New Testament it means to take forcibly dispatch or to catch up so so you'll for the word rapture in the Bible will depend to feel the Latin Bible you haven't, because of the Latin translation of harp also is rock tourists from beginner English word rapture. It doesn't matter what you call it the rapture harp.
Also, the greatest gate. Whatever you prefer. What it means to take forcibly to snatch or to catch up. That's what the rapture is so why is there a rapture point number two Paul was writing to the believers there in Thessalonica and they had loved ones who would die and they were wondering if they would ever see those people again. So he wrote these words inspired by the Holy Spirit to calm their hysteria and to bring them perspective. He saying you are going to see them again going back. The first Thessalonians 4 verse 13, Paul says I don't want you to be on informed brothers about those who have died so that you will not grieve as those who have no hope this is interesting. He says I don't want you to be uninformed, the sort of addresses the question of why should we study Bible prophecy. Some would say you you can understand know you can understand.
Let me take it a step further. You need to understand it, the more we know about the afterlife will better enable us to live a good life here on earth. And so it's very important how we view these things because it will affect us and so Paul is saying I don't want you to grieve as those that have no hope. Listen when a Christian loses a loved one. When a loved one dies.
We greet and I bring this up because sometimes well-meaning Christians will say to someone who's lost a level don't cry during heaven. Excuse me, I will cry. I must cry my sorrow is an indication of my love. So Paul is not saying don't create anything, don't grieve as those who have no hope he saying don't grieve hopelessly grieve. Hopefully yes, you can miss them just you can be sad but remind yourself of this fact. You will see them again and so that's what he saying to the believers there and really, in effect to all of us today and you know when you've lost a loved one, especially if they were taken from you quickly or unexpectedly.
It devastating you had conversations that weren't finished things that weren't said things you wanted to do with them adventures you wanted to have an you you find yourself thinking about them often are, or they enter your dreams and in your saying things to them that you want to say they're never far from your thoughts out. Imagine this dear grieving friends, you could be going about your business doing whatever it is you're doing. Maybe even thinking about your departed loved one when suddenly in a moment that happened so quickly it can't be measured in time though your with up your reunited with them.
There they are. And even better you're there in the presence of Jesus himself. Mothers and fathers reunited with sons and daughters husband reunited with wives, wives reunited with her husband's children reunited with parents and parents with children, siblings being read reunited with siblings, and of course friends with friends. The great reunion. Your sorrow vanishes and it's replaced with ecstatic joy.
And again, you're not only with your love one your with the Lord as well. So go ahead and think about these things and dream about these things and look forward to the afterlife.
CS Lewis wrote these words and I quote a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking it's one of the things a Christian is meant to do. Paul writes in Colossians that we should set our affection on things above. Another translation says, think heavenly thoughts, or simply think Kevin so it's a good thing to contemplate the afterlife.
It's an important thing for all of us to do.
Coming back to this event that we referred to as the rapture isn't spoken of elsewhere in Scripture. Answer yes Jesus spoke of it. In John chapter 14, he said, in my father's house are many mansions were not so I would've told you. I go to prepare a place for you if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, you may be also. Jesus also mentioned this event in what we sometimes call the all of the discourse found in Matthew 24. He says there in verse 42 men will be in the field will will be taken and the other left. Two women will be at a hand mill one will be taken and the other left. So be watching you don't know what day your Lord will come. So summer in a field summer working summer sleeping, so it's a global event that will happen in a moment that you can't even really measure in time.
The apostle Paul again refers to it in first Corinthians 1551 he says behold I tell you a mystery.
We shall not all sleep. By the way, when this phrase, we shall not all sleep is used in speaking of the death of a believer is not interesting is never used to describe the death of a nonbeliever. Only a believer, I don't know about you, but as I get older I kind of enjoy sleeping or least. I like naps right and in the same way you don't have to dread a nap.
You don't have to be afraid of sleep and you don't have to be afraid even of death by Pope Paul goes on to say we shall not all sleep or die, but will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we show the change.
Now some would say we you know that there's no example of people being ruptured in the Bible.
Actually, I would beg to differ.
We find it in the Old Testament list. I was enough to remember him. Bible says Enoch walked with God and was not he was close to God in a relationship with the Lord and I guess one day in it and God were taking their daily walk, the Lord said anybody were closer to my place and yours. Why don't you come home with me but he walk with God as he was caught up to be with the Lord and haven't little commentary and then Hebrews 11 five it says Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying. Suddenly he disappeared because God took him before he was taken up, he was approved as being pleasing to God, so he was in a solo rapture if you will.
Also, Elijah did not die. He was caught up to heaven. And again, sort of a solo rapture.
You remember the story of Elijah and Elisha walking together in the book of Kings second Kings chapter 2, when suddenly the Bible says a chariot of fire appeared drawn by horses of fire. It drove between them separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind in heaven. So those are two Old Testament believers who did not die but were effectively caught up to heaven coming to the New Testament. Philip was ruptured in a way, but I might say it was like a sideways rapture. Let me explain. He was sharing the gospel with the men visiting from Ethiopia and we read in acts chapter 8 verse 39 after he baptized this man.
The spirit of the Lord caught Philip away by the word that set root word harp also again and the eunuch never saw him again. Anyone on his way rejoicing. And basically he's placed 30 miles away.
Now I would like to move around that way just going to get move from this place of that place without having to drive or walk. That's what happened to Philip. In effect, Jesus Christ himself was ruptured.
If you will, because he was taken into heaven. Remember, he had given the great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel and then we read the word harp. Also, when it says he was taken up harp also into the sky and they were watching as he disappeared into a cloud. So my point is simply this. There's precedent for it and it's going to happen for a generation of believers. Now here's the big question one that says more than any other. When is the rapture and I want to give you the answer. So get ready for it. Get out your pen get ready to write it down.
When is the rapture. Answer any talk. It could happen today could happen the night to get up in the morrow we don't know the Bible says no man knows the day of the hour when the Son of Man will return the viewer to go back to the original language that would be translated out to no man knows the day of the hour when the Son of Man returns and what that means is no man knows the day of the hour. So when someone comes along and says I've cracked the code. I know the date don't listen to them the wrong. No one knows the day or the hour to get up and it any time in a moment in a twinkling of an eye. It's been said that the twinkling of an eye is 1000th of a second. So what's going to happen first. Well, when the rapture happens, the dead will rise first to you might be asking Greg are using people gonna burst out of their graves and be given new bodies.
Actually, that's exactly what I'm think because that's what the Bible says. The Bible teaches that there is a bodily resurrection. So this is something we can look forward to. In fact there's even a prototype for this event found in the Gospel of Matthew. After Jesus died on the cross.
A lot of amazing phenomena took place. We read in Matthew 2751. After Christ died at the moment the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook.
Listen in the tombs open and bodies of many godly men and women who died were raised from the dead after Jesus resurrection.
They love the cemetery and walked into the holy city of Jerusalem and appeared to many people.
This is only in one gospel. It's amazing. So you're walking through Jerusalem and and a and that's I just saw uncle Harry walked by me. I thought we buried him three days ago is alive again the people gonna come out of their graves and be alive again salute. Listen to the chronology of these things and try to understand that because sometimes people confuse the rapture and the second coming, the rapture is what we might call a stealth event.
That's why it's called Jesus coming like a thief in the night of the guys going to come rip you off in the 90's and call you until you actually robbing you breaking into your home at 3:04 AM, so you might want to know they don't tell you that that they come like a thief in the night when he comes, it'll be sort of a quiet event were just caught up to meet the Lord in contrast, the second coming is a big global event in everyone's aware of it. Jesus says as the lightning shines the east of the West, so will the coming of the son of man be. The rapture is when he comes in the air and the second coming, he returns to the earth and the rapture.
He comes for his pride for his church and the second coming, he returns with his church and the rapture. He comes before judgment.
In the second coming, he returns with judgment. So here's John on the lonely island of Patmos writing these words and he's concluded again with the words of Jesus standing at the door knocking now. A door is open for John in heaven and he's hurtled into the after life revelation chapter 4 verse two. John writes immediately. I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne and he who sat there was a good jasper and sardius stone in appearance.
There was a rainbow around the throne I find it interesting. Complete circular rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald around the throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones I saw 24 elders sitting, clothed in white robes and they had crowns of gold on their head and from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings invoices seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God before the throne were six there was a sea of glass like Crystal and in the midst of the throne and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had the face of a man in the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle, and the living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. They don't rest day and night saying holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was who is and who is to come. John is now in the afterlife.
And what does John see in heaven. First of all he sees the Lord seated on his throne. You know that's a phrase we use often as Christians will gods on the throne.
And that's our way of saying God's in control, and indeed he is.
John sees the Lord sitting on his throne in control of all things, and it's beautiful to behold John's trying to describe these things he says in verse three. They were like were like you know if I like the way teenager says a deal and those they like Imo and she's all in. He's like and unlike at him like he shut up you know it's not that kind of thing. It's John is trying to the best of his ability with first century language to describe this amazing thing he has seen how Kelly described heaven.
The apostle Paul was caught up to heaven.
The third heaven and he said what I saw was indescribable. There's hardly even words I can use to explain it to you.
But Paul said it was like a paradise.
Imagine trying to describe paradise to someone who's never seen it. Imagine trying to describe the island of Maui to a two-year-old.
How are you going to convey that information.
So here is John trying to convey to us what he is seeing as he is taken into the afterlife, but he sees the Lord on his throne.
Also, verse four he sees 24 elders, who are these owners, nobody knows they could be angelic beings are perhaps it's the 12 patriarchs from the Old Testament and 12 apostles from the New Testament, but their given cramps and we know already that there are rewards promised to us who faithfully serve the Lord in their crowns. The Bible speaks of a crown of life and a crown of rejoicing and more. And so the elders are given crowns with this is what's important.
What did the elders do with the crowns.
They cast their crowns down before the Lord. So what were never not working. We walk around and check out all my crowns. Amanda interjected all the metals in the ribbons. I have a friend who's been in so many track meats and other athletic events. He has so many ribbons. I don't think I won a single ribbon or award throughout my childhood, but this guy has so many nights it going to just put them all on a one time just hanging around your neck and wear them all out with. I would be a little ridiculous so no agility walk around with them and say look at all my rewards you know otherwise you like Billy Graham in good touch is not about that.
We take these things that we've done for God on earth and we present them back to the Lord in heaven. In heaven there are also ominous storm warnings. Look at verse five John writes from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings invoices seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. This is all symbolic of judgment in Scripture from the safety of heaven. John can see that the storm is brewing on earth he is in a shelter from the storm, but all in his things are coming to planet Earth, which of course will be the great tribulation. I already pointed out earlier God's promise to keep his children from the great tribulation. Because remember earlier we read in Revelation 310 because you've kept my command to persevere, Jesus says, I'll keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those at tall in the art. Think of Noah judgment came of the earth in the form of a flood. What did the Lord do. He got Noah and his family safely in the ark, and as the rain came down as the judgment came down the ark went up, God will preserve us, he will deliver us before this time of tribulation is coming upon the earth. And it's interesting to think about the simple fact that when were in heaven working in know so much more than we know now you know you ever seen those little bobble head dolls and other heads really big in the can was run. You know, and is only going to be bobble heads in heaven.
All I know so much, but it's interesting because the Bible says will continue to learn in heaven but were told in first Corinthians 13, we will know as we are known so many ministries will be revealed to us. Many problems will be solved.
Many questions if not all immediately will be answered with them will spend the rest of eternity. Just discovering more about the Lord. More about his glorious nature and his plan etc. but in heaven you're also remembering earth.
I think sometimes people think that we have sort of a brain. Why remember that movie men in black and in the people would see an alien so they do that little thing where they their memory would be a race of people think your memory will be erased and have because the site well.
We can't remember what happened on earth because will be so set that's not true.
The Bible never says that. Actually, because the fact is in heaven. You will have perspective you'll see things the way God sees them as an example, in heaven you're aware of the passing of time because over in Revelation 610 we have those folks that have come out of the tribulation.
Seeing how long will Lord, holy and true to you judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earth, so there remembering earth how good you have a reward for something you did on earth and heaven. If you had no recollection of what you did, what does ribbon for this brown white away. However, they don't remember anything know you remember but with perspective. Now do people in heaven know what is going on in her immediately. People say no there oblivious to it. I don't know that that's completely true.
They may know some things that are going on, on earth as an example. Every time a person comes to Christ on earth.
There's a party in heaven right Jesus said, I tell you there is joy in heaven in the presence of the Angels over one sinner that comes to repentance, so that shows a direct connection between an earthly event in a heavenly awareness so we need to expand our thinking about heaven that we have a lot of un-biblical idea organ and no more than we know now that is for sure MOC it were perspective. I remember when my granddaughters were younger ripe for granddaughters and grandson and to they were an adult phase and they just love dolls. It was a little doll. I used to buy for them.
If I'm not mistaken I think it was called Lala loop seek and it was. I had a big little head.
And for some reason the little legs didn't work so you just Dr. Malik up against the wall or something and they collected them and so they were losing them, or they would come apart.
So I bought a couple of extra boxes of these little dolls and one day one of my granddaughters give you pop up Mike Dall's head came off and there she was holding a decapitated doll. I said, everything's okay. No you don't understand came up it'll be okay now and she's so upset I said looking, I pulled up the box and give her a brand-new doll. So we come to God, Lord, everything's a message for the Lord says it'll be okay because he sees it from a different perspective, as will we when we get to heaven. Also, John sees angelic creatures.
Look at verse eight. Four living creatures eats having six wings full of eyes around and within that they don't rest day or night scene, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was who is in who is to come.I know this is so hard to visualize if he did a drawing of this. It's almost a little scary right this is symbolic with John is saying that presence of the eyes just conveys the awareness of the angelic beings. The Bible tells us there are different rankings of angels. It seems to me that at the top of the heap. If you will, of the angelic world is Michael who is uniquely identified as the ark angel. So he's a high ranking angel. He plays a singular role going back in first Thessalonians.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the ark angel. So Michael's a part of the great rapture of then we read of them elsewhere in Scripture. But there's also Gabriel and I don't know if Gabriel is an archangel, but certainly Gabriel is a high ranking angel Gabriel was given the special blessing of revealing to Zechariah that he would be the father of John the Baptist and of course it was. Gabriel. They came to Nazareth and revealed to the young lady Mary that she was going to have the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah. Also we read about cherubim and seraphim spoken of in Isaiah 6 when it says I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne. He was high and lifted up in his glory filled the temple and the Angels cried, holy, holy, holy, so cherubim and seraphim archangel all kinds of angels doing the work of God in their dental work in your life to because the Bible says the angel of the Lord encamps around those that fear him. Sometimes a question is asked, do we have Guardian Angels. I don't know maybe we do. We have angelic protection. We have angels assigned to us, but we do. What do we have a personal angel that follows us his life. Who can say. But Jesus did say this, I let the little children come unto me, but no matter what know that angels are actively involved in your life.
Now here's the big question, what are we going to be doing and have this is important because sometimes people think heaven is going to be boring. It's going to be a drag regular just sit around and fluffy clouds and plucked Harbison and just sleep now. Actually, some people like that.
Feeling like a long nap, but working to be doing a lot of things in heaven starting with a worship will be worshiping the Lord and have a look at verse 10. Here in Revelation 4 the 24 elders fell down before him who sits on the throne and they worship in the lives forever and ever that cancer grounds of forum listen to what they say you are worthy overlord to receive glory and honor and power, you created all things for bar. Your will be exist and were created. So they are giving honor to God, and we will be worshiping the Lord so get in the practice now be a worshiper of the Lord because this is something we'll be doing a lot of in heaven but were not going to just sit around that one long church service. I think that's all some people envision oocyte church on Sunday when it goes too long.
Nono W worship and you will see the Lord in his glory, and you want to worship. But listen, you will be doing things as well. You will be busy serving the Lord. Revelation 22 three says his servants will serve him will serve him. So the be tasks for us to accomplish.
Can you imagine the Lord's, and would you go do something for me right now just Lord what can I do anything you want were told in Revelation 715 that were going to be serving him day and night in his temple. I mean, I'm looking forward to rest, but I can only rest for so long. I like to get out and do things and I even like to accomplish things.
You wonder, will we be able to accomplish some things in the afterlife. We were not able to complete in this life you know we all have dreams and aspirations things we wish we could have done or maybe our dreams were shattered and done. I think sometimes people act as though everything that can be done must be done in this life and if it's not done in this life and that's it.
There's no other chances.I think it is important to do what we can with our life on earth. We certainly don't want to waste our life was Corrie 10 boom, who wrote a life is not measured by its duration, but by its donation. We all want to make a donation with our life, but one of the life was cut short through disease or a disability or that life was shorter than we hoped it would be because they died as a young man a young woman they had no control over those circumstances. That doesn't seem fair. So do they just lose and that said too bad you died younger and that's the way it goes for you and then you see other people living long lives sometimes honestly long wicked lives long wasteful lives, and then you see someone that had so much promise and so much potential.
I think of my own son, age 33, just such a wonderful young man so full of talent envision and plans for his future.
He was taken to be with the Lord at 33 but why do we think everything that can be accomplished can only be accomplished on earth. There are things that we will do in the afterlife as well. And don't forget will get into this later.
Heaven is going to come to work. We read about at the end of read about that at the end of Revelation is also the millennial reign of Christ at the thousand years. In fact, we read in Isaiah 6521 will build our own house and eat the fruit of our own vineyard.
Wait, what I thought we were going to just sit around and clouds and plug car so no, we a lot of things are going to be doing working to be worshiping working to be learning working to be serving were even going to be building houses in the millennium so you might get that dream home. After all, let me restate that you will get that dream home after all. And now, as we close this message. The elders give us an insight as to why we exist because this is a question that is often asked why am I hereunder what is the meaning of life. Why was I placed here. These elders in heaven.
Tell us what we are here on earth.
Let's go back to Revelation 4, verse 11 they say you're worthy a Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, you created everything and it's for your pleasure that they exist and were created white away exist. Why do you exist why was I put here occurs the answer I exist and I was created to bring glory and pleasure to God I was not created to bring glory and pleasure to myself. But there are people that dedicate zero lot tire life to the pursuit of pleasure. The Bible even tells us in the last days people would be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God first Timothy 56 were told she that lives for pleasure is dead while she lives.
Listen to this living for pleasure is one of the most un-pleasurable things that you can do is say that again living for pleasure is one of the most unpleasurable things you can do. It's been said, the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it didn't go for your sins or Greg. Are you saying that we can experience pleasure as Christians know I'm saying told live for it. Don't make out the pursuit of your life. Because if you do, you'll never find it. However, the Bible says in his presence there is fullness of joy in his right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Jesus said in John 1010 I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly. So all yes you can experience pleasure, but you experience it, not by living for pleasure, but by living for God, my friend, Randy Alcorn put it this way and I quote it, we come to see the purpose of the universe is God's long-term glory rather than our short-term happiness, then we will undergo a critical paradigm shift in tackling the problem of suffering." Well said if I understand that that the ultimate goal of my life is bringing glory to God, it changes everything. Here's the bottom line when you seek to fulfill the purpose you were created for. Which is to know glorify and worship God, you will find the happiness you been seeking in life, you will find the happiness you want in life by seeking it, you'll find the happiness you want to live by seeking him because the Bible says happy are the people whose God is the Lord yes God created you for his own glory.
Isaiah 43 seven the Lord says everyone that I've created I've created for my glory, then first Corinthians 1031 Paul says whatever you do, do it for the glory of God is what it means whatever you're doing in life, whatever your career path or if you're a student tour husband or wife or a parents or whoever you are, whatever you're doing to it for the glory of God and if he can't do it for the glory of God baby you should be doing it anymore. Jesus taught us in the Lord's prayer to pray. How would be thy name.
If you can't write how would be his name are honored be his name over what you're doing, then don't do it, do what you can ask God's blessing on Intuit for his glory.
Why because life is preparation for eternity.
We were made by God. We were made for God and God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
Let me close with this. Are you ready for the afterlife. You cannot escape it. It is there to get there.
If you're Christian by death or by rapture, but nonbelievers are getting into the afterlife to be of course would not go be a rapture. They will go via death and life here will and for some sooner than later. We all have an appointment with the afterlife. I decide in this life where I will spend the afterlife. Let me say that again I decide in this life where I will spend the afterlife. You have two choices heaven or hell.
Smoking and non-smoking. You decide where you will go. Sometimes people will say how can a God of love, send people to hell.
Why do you say that you're immediately questioning the love of God has God not shown his love by sending his son Jesus Christ to suffer and die in our place. Listen, God doesn't send people to hell. We send ourselves to help a CS Lewis wrote, quote the gates of hell are locked from the inside. Listen Frank if you end up in hell one day and will talk about this later in Revelation, but if you went up there.
It's on you. It's all God's fault.
I was not created for people. According to Jesus, hell was created for the devil and his angels are his demons. God doesn't want people made in his image to spend eternity separated from him.
That's why he sent Jesus to die on the cross in your place, and he took his anger and wrath and judgment imported upon Christ when it should have come upon you and me and Jesus rose again from the dead, and as we pointed out, he stands at the door of our life in the Knox nipple hear his voice and open the doors will come in as I said earlier, it will open the door of our heart to Christ on earth still open the door of heaven to us later. So it's your choice where you want to spend eternity if you want to go to heaven when you die you want to know that you're ready to meet God than you need Jesus to come into your life.
Jesus is standing at the door of your life knocking ready to come in. Only you can open the door and invited him in and receive his forgiveness. No moment I'm in a pray for you and I'm in a pray that you will make this decision to follow Christ.
So let's all pray. Father, I thank you for your word to us. Thank you for your promises to us. They pray for everybody watching, listening, wherever they are right now speak of their heart. Show them their need for Jesus to help them become to you and believe, so they can change their eternal address from hell to heaven from hopelessness to hope, from death to life in Jesus name we pray.
Amen. You want Jesus Christ to come in your life you want him to forgive you of your sin, you want to go to heaven when you die, I'm in the lead. Doing a simple prayer and I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me if you like you can print quietly if you prefer, but I want you to pray this prayer immediate. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved and in this prayer doing just that. If you want to go to heaven when you die if you want to be forgiven of all of your sins. If you want want to find the meaning and purpose of life. If you want.
Hope instead of hopelessness of your ready to say yes to Jesus pray this prayer with me right here right now. Pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for me, and rose again from the dead.com in the my life and forgive me, I choose to follow you from this moment forward in Jesus name I pray, amen. Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show.
Just go to harvest.org and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know God.org that's key NOW GLD.org