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January 7, 2022 3:00 am
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content. When you subscribe to pastor Greg daily defenses. Learn more and sign email@example.com what is urban law is a real playing we all wonder what life will be why the Bible is not sure I want to pastor Greg Laurie brings in short, we know all the this is sort of some greater things to come. 81% of Americans conjured believe in heaven. Three-quarter even more like impossible to know today.
I'm beginning pastor Greg brings a biblical travel about our eternal home beyond our imagination today. The Bible gives good information is one of the most messages this past year. What talk about that a little bit here in Colossians chapter 3 and read two verses. Since then, you've been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. There so we are to set our hearts. We are to set our minds on things above. This phrase set your mind to be translated.
Think, or more thoroughly of this inner disposition. Let me put it another way, the verse is actually saying simply think heaven think heaven that something were all supposed to do as Christians and by the way, the verb is in this verse is in the present tense.
So to be translated. Keep thinking heaven, or keep thinking about heaven, or keep seeking heaven put it all together and think constantly be seeking and thinking about heaven is it okay will, but that's fine, but you know how to we think about a place I've never been to before. Otto I wrap my mind around the place. I know so little about what you need to learn about heaven and see what the Bible says about Scripture because when you're thinking about heaven and you're seeking heaven. You will be a heavenly minded person and the best sense of that phrase. I know it's used to critique people all there so heavenly minded. There are no earthly good and I know a lot of people are so overtly minor there no heavenly good and I think of your heavenly minded in the right way, you'll be of the greatest earthly good fact of the matter is those that think the most of the do the most in this one because of I believe there's an afterlife, and I believe there's a reward waiting for me for my people must want to make me want to serve the Lord of I believe in an afterlife. I believe there's a potential judgment for me more that make me want to fear God and avoid sin. So you see him.
I believe in the afterlife affects me in this life, but of on the other. Again, I don't believe there's a reward waiting. Why do anything for anyone but me and I don't think there's a future judgment out there, why can't I do whatever the heck I want to do to whoever I want to do it to because nobody know, eternal repercussion, so as you can see your thinking about the afterlife, has a dramatic effect on you in this life. So let's just start with what is heaven. What is while it's the dwelling place of God.
All right where is heaven well we know it's up.
We know that there is 1/3 heaven. The Bible talks about three heavens and the first heaven would just be basically walked outside to look up to see the sky. The second heaven would be the solar system and the third heaven is that supernatural room, but it may be closer than we think. We think it's so far away you know maybe it's just right next to us in a way it's really another dimension. You see, right now we live in the physical dimension but at the same time we coexist within eternal dimension. It's a dimension of God and the devil of angels and demons of the supernatural world. Great illustration of this is found in the book of Kings with the prophet Elisha and his servant to his side, they were surrounded by their enemies and were closing in which chariots and farm soldiers and gays. I started breakout panic is that when we do mastery actually woke Elisha places. Whatever okay Lord just opened his eyes and his eyes were open and he saw the supernatural forces of God all around him, and he discovered that they had more on their side than the enemy had on their side right now were surrounded by the supernatural world. The Bible says that the angel of the Lord encamps around those in fear and we may even have guardian angels. I'm not sure of this, but I think you could make a fairly good case for it. At least maybe children have them because Jesus talks about how our little children have their angels, so it may be that we are personal angels in the maybe we just have angels that just do God's bidding, but they're working around us every single day God that works of the supernatural realm this place called heaven. We don't know where it is but it is where God is and that is the most important thing of all, because really the greatest thing about heaven is going to be seeing God. That's it. It's seeing God.
That's why heaven is so appealing balance answer some questions about heaven.
What is heaven like what is heaven like if we try to understand it and compare it to something well short answer. Heaven is amazing. Heaven is awesome. Heaven will exceed your wildest dreams. Let me begin by simply saying heaven is a real place. Jesus said in John 14.
I've gone to prepare a place for you. I think the problem is we form our view of heaven from well movies, TV shows, songs, images we've seen in art and usually those are not biblically accurate images.
It really does kind of look like a boring place big billowy clouds. People just laying around plucking hearts little fat babies with wings hovering over us and gets her little baby angels. I'm not sure what they are and that it started almost presented as a long nap which are some people may sound appealing, I don't know about you but I like to be active. I like to do thinks I like to go out and see things and experience life in trust me when I tell you will get into this next time morbid is going to be so much that we will do in heaven, but it's a real place real things real people recognizing one another, not floating around in clouds with babies with wings were active were doing things, were experiencing things or even learning new things in heaven, so heaven is a place also. Heaven is described in the Bible is a paradise, a paradise.
Remember when Jesus hung on the cross next to the thief who came to a sentence he said, Lord, remember me when you come in your kingdom. And what a Jesus a truly, truly, I say to you, today you will be with me where paradise he was describing heaven and it's funny because after Paul die for a time he went to heaven and he called a paradise of a lot of people don't know that the apostle Paul die and we don't know when exactly it happened, but it may have been one of his preaching adventures when he was stoned and thought dead and in that me up in the moment when he went to the third heaven, wrote briefly about in second Corinthians about read to you in just a moment and he came back again and I just wonder what happened on the other side. So here's called the stone back in the stone and these inhabit it. It's amazing there's Jesus and he so excited to be there. And the Lord might've said so.
Paul, I have some good news and some bad news, good news and bad news. What you will.
First the good news.
This is heaven and you'll be coming back here again. Again, that's the bad news down and earth are some believers praying for you to be resurrected Lord Almighty said don't listen to their prayers, their sinners, I don't want to go back. Trust me when I tell you, no one who is in heaven would ever want to come back to earth, even if given the choice. Meanwhile, back in the Lord raised Paul up all Lord bring Paul back to us. Oh Lord, we need Paul suddenly that color returns to his face, his hand against the move declined to exhibit I would get someone who's idea was that the brain for me to be raised from the dead. Listen, however it happened, or whatever, and Apple.
We know this much, Paul die, he went to heaven and he came back and even write a book about so what about all those books about heaven. Can we trust them. I don't know should I there's only one book, I trust that's the Bible now look at some of these books and I find them interesting writing on unicorns over rainbows and all these things they say they see it, knocking us either making it up though. I think some of them are. I'm not going to say that none of this happened. Maybe something happened to them. I'm not really sure but I'll say this much. I would never base my belief about heaven on the basis of someone who wrote a book about it. But I do believe that the Bible says and it's interesting because one minute like she did go to heaven and return of your head actually very little to say about it. Here's what Paul writes in second Corinthians 12 I'm reading from a modern translation justice and he says I knew a man 14 years ago was seized by Christ, you swept into ecstasy to the heights of heaven. I don't know if this took place in the body or out of it. Only God knows I also know that this man was hijacked in the paradise is a word paradise again whether he is in the body or out of the body I do know God knows. Then he says there he heard the unspeakable spoken, but he was forbidden to tell Woody her an interesting he says it all to you this much. It was paradise in the word that he uses for paradise is a word that speaks of a royal garden. I don't know if there's anything we can think of that compares to what Paul is referring to is referring to the kind of a garden, you would see on a royal estate. It just something amazing, something awe-inspiring, something that makes your jaw drop.
While the beauty of it. He says it was like paradise at the word he uses a heaven's apparent great glory will have the second half of this message just a moment, everybody great glory here encouraging you to join us as we get for what we call harvesting that home it's worship. It's a message of the word of God. You can watch it your family, your front room. You can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you think the word of God with you.
Join us for harvested home harvest pastor Greg is bringing several biblical inns today on heaven, our eternal home. So far he's pointed out heaven is a real place and it's a paradise was continue never to heaven to city heavens, a city Hebrews 1314 says here we do not have an enduring city but were looking for a city that is the, he was 1110 says of heaven that the city has an architect and a builder.
The cities are real places you go to different cities in the world and they all have unique features. I had the opportunity to visit a lot of amazing cities, Jerusalem, Rome, Paris you go to some cities and you remember a certain thing about my Paris is called the city of lights. Jerusalem is called the city of gold. You know, so cities are real places there's neighborhoods are streets there's activities as places get food there as places to get good coffee.
There's beautiful parks to walk in something of the best city you've ever been to, but without all the bad stuff. No crime, no urban decay, nothing that would be frightening to you in any way shape or form, not cars trying out run you down like New York City, but the best you've ever experienced in the city is fingering her eulogy telling me that we were in heaven we might go and sit down and have a meal.
Why not Bible talks about eating in heaven.
Are you actually saying that we could be in heaven we would go to a concert, why not this can be some pretty awesome singers up there. Are you telling me like when were in heaven week we we might go do fun stuff.
Of course you do fun stuff on know that your fault but you can do it in heaven heaven is better than her earth is just sort of a glimpse of greater things to come highly when they go.
This is that this is and I just go to the clouds and float with the fat babies. No, no, this is just a glimpse of greater things to come is the imitation heaven is a real thing, not the other way around. Heaven is a paradise heaven is a city and it appears from Revelation 21 and 22 that there is a translucent quality to have says are the foundations of city walls were garnished with every precious gem imaginable.
The main street of the city was pure gold translucent as glass.
There was no sign of a temple for the Lord God and his lamb of the temple. This city doesn't need sun or moon or light. Heaven is also described as a country country.
Hebrews 11 six says now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he is prepared city for them. So there it is heaven a country city garden, a paradise, a real place that we will go to the listener. Earth is great. Enjoy the beauties of birthing it's created for us by God.
Even in its diminished state and even with the entrance of sin and the curse and all that there are still many beautiful things to see here on planet Earth that we can enjoy the been given to us by the Lord, even Jesus took time to admire a simple flower that me to pick up a flower in a civil look at these flowers, how they grow, they don't work or make their own clothing. Yet Solomon in all his glory was addresses beautifully is one of these. So I think we should enjoy the creation God has given us.
But understand, there are greater things coming alright so let's come back to Colossians chapter 3 because were talking about heaven houses that affect this in the way that we live on earth.
So first we read set your mind and your heart on things above. Think about heaven.
See Kevin now back in Colossians 3, Paul starts with the word therefore put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires. Don't be greedy for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Because of these since the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life is still part of this world. Now is the time to get rid of rage, malicious behavior, slandering dirty language. Don't lie to each other for you stripped up your old sinful nature and all of its wicked deeds put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your creator you become like listen if you put your faith in Christ you're a child of God. You are a citizen of heaven and it's time to start living like one child of God or not known for slander were known for love were not known for condemnation were known for forgiveness and restoration.so you want to be you want to be that guy that girl that people go to and say you know you're always fair-minded about these things. You're always compassionate you're always carried don't be known as that mean-spirited judge mental harsh person be a heavenly minded person because one day this life that we love so much will possible enter into the after life. I think when it is all said and done. Here's what we really need. We need something greater to move us through this life and the things that distract us so often old minister. Put it this way.
I love this phrase used the explosive power of a new affection.
That's good. The explosive power of a new affection so the ideas I have something that I am so committed to and so enthralled with and so filled with that.
I don't want to look at these other things.
It's the explosive power it.
It drives out those other things.
It's a new affection.
What is the new affection it's Jesus when I love Jesus with all of my heart, with all of my soul, with all of my mind. It's going to change the way I look at everything in life. So here's what this is really saying put the Lord first and every part of your life and the thoughts you think in the friends you choose in the way you use your time and it will transform you make every year, every month, every week every day and every hour count. May God give to each of us the explosive power of a new affection for Greg Laurie pointing out how heaven can be the thing that compels us, drives us forward in the Christian life. Good insight today on a new beginning. In his message called let's talk about heaven part one well is a real privilege to have not only Pastor Greg with us today. Of course, but to his friend, Pastor Levi Lesko for Montana and pastor Jonathan Lori. I'm surrounded by pastors today. Yes. Are you intimidated but did Pastor Levi Lesko has just authored a new book, a kids book a kids devotional book called roar like a lion and a pastor Jonathan is here today because he is a user of that very book. Right now Jonathan you're actually going through this book with your kids shall hear about that just a minute. But the question I wanted to ask both of you Jonathan and Levi in our devotions with kids can be a challenge. You know the challenge is to get them to sit still for what counsel do you have for moms and dads or me working to provide them with this great resource, but lust gives in them semi-practical suggestions on how to have a successful devotional time. I really found that having them do hundred jumping jacks before badness is a great way to get him to wind down now. Just kidding. Ask I really have found that so often after dinner time for us is usually there is about an hour before that and we start winding down for bad when the kids will yield planner devices and so forth that we found like an hour before bedtime. Have them wind down and they do their own personal reading. They have little books you like to read the other candles.
I like to go through stuff that helps Canada calm them down. Prepare them for bad. He searched a little bit sleepy and in that mindset that really transitioned so well for us into devotion time and so just that little a little break between device time and going to bed having them read for a little bit have a little quiet time make such a difference even if it's 1015 minutes it makes a difference. That's great advice. Jonathan and I would just add note, these kids have so much energy and I would just as parents say look at that the opposite way.
Don't look energy is the enemy find a way to harness it.
So, for example, in one of the days in this devotional will talk about the seven laps around Jericho UK money bouncing off the walls and it's like okay great stop right there and say all right. I want everybody to seven laps around the Seven laps around the kitchen island and so I clean ended at find ways to tire him out, and ways to use that energy for good enough, or even straight so everybody you're listening to Pastor Levi Lesko, my friend for years and pastor Jonathan Lori, my son there talking about Levi's brand-new book a devotional for the whole family, but especially for the kids and it's called roar like a lion 90 devotions to courageous faith. And if you always wondered how they kind of get started on exploring the Bible with the little ones. This is a great way to get in the game and to engage her kids.
It's beautifully illustrated its truth is given in bite-size pieces where your kids will understand it and I think you as the parent or grandparent will have a great time exploring these truths of the little ones as well. So we want to send you this brand-new book by Levi Lesko called roar like a lion 90 devotions to a courageous faith for your gift of any size whatever you send will be used. To continue this ministry because I know a lot of you make a new beginning, a part of your daily life or you listen to the podcast or you tell others to listen to it will thank you for doing that and by ordering these great resources we offer. We don't offer junk resources people. I think you know that if we are going to send you something. It's going to be something you want to have in your library and this is no exception.
So for your gift of any size to harvest ministries. We will send you roar like a lion. Yeah, that's right. And we hope will help us start this new year off right with the resources to reach out as far as possible with the gospel. You know you not only give to us.
You give through us to touch lives and we hear from so many who have been touched, but those connections were only possible because someone invested in the work of evangelism. We hope you'll make that investment.
And when you do will send you Levi's new children's devotional book called roar like a lion, you can make a donation firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or we have a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300.
Again, that's 1-800-821-3300 flextime has her series of most requested messages continues look at some words of warning about those things that so easily distracted eternity waiting for.
Join us to run a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God