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Encore Interview | If God Is Good: A Conversation with Randy Alcorn

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2022 3:00 am

Encore Interview | If God Is Good: A Conversation with Randy Alcorn

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 15, 2022 3:00 am

In this classic interview, Pastor Greg Laurie discusses suffering, evil, and the goodness of God with Randy Alcorn, best-selling author of If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil.

There are two types of people in the world: Those who are going through a crisis and those who will go through a crisis. So before crisis hits, how should we prepare, and how do we deal with difficult questions we grapple with in our suffering?

Randy Alcorn says about God, “He doesn’t mind our questions. We should bring them to Him. He has answers. But He doesn’t always have the answers that we want that are direct and exact. He gives us principles and basically reveals Himself and His character and calls upon us to trust Him.”

Gain spiritual perspective from this compelling conversation!


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Hey there, thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie podcast, a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. Learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to will as you can see were doing something a little bit different. Today we have the desk set up Jerry and by the way, this is called the Randy Alcorn desk and let me tell you why, because in the first time I enter are you interviewed Randy Alcorn. Our guests will introduce in a moment. In 2010 we needed something to do the interview out so we built this test and we view the many other times are other interviews but we always call it the Randy Alcorn desk so we got the guy himself back at his desk, but Randy Alcorn is a prolific author gives written more than 40 books including the book heaven, which, if you have not read this book, you ought to read it you want to help one in your library. I think this is the finest book on heaven I've ever read and I've read quite a few. Also, he is the author of the book. If God is good that deals with human suffering is also the author of the gold medallion winning book safely home and he is interviewed on radio stations and TV stations, and writes a lot, but he doesn't get out and speak all that much, and so I'm really excited that he's taken time in his busy schedule to be with us today. No, let me explain what were about to be working about Bible studies/conversation so you get to hear a sermon preached from the pulpit but you're going to hear a sermon or maybe I should say multiple sermons in a discussion format as we need to get together were going to open the word of God, who can read through it to talk about what it means with a man that knows his Bible and can speak authoritatively to topics like heaven suffering and much much more.

So let's give a warm harvest welcome to Randy Alcorn many things are coming back.

Tell us a little bit about your family and where you live. I live in Oregon, just east of Portland. You know it was raining today so I felt right at then I have been married to my wife Nancy for 35 years was with me last time was able to make it this time, but it was really fun because we have one of our grown daughters lives just up the street from us and Saul were around those grandkids all the time.

My other daughter was married to one of the pastors at my home church church that myself and another pastor started 30 some years ago, but just three weeks ago he the whole family moved down to Oakland so yesterday on my grandsons seventh birthday, I was able to fly into Ontario airport and be there for his birthday even though they had moved three weeks earlier. So thanks to harvest. I was able to be with my grandson's birthday Dive right in and talked about some very weighty issues. Let's start with the topic of suffering. You know it's been said, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those are going through a crisis and those who will go through a crisis. It would be nice if we could live in a pain free world and a suffering free world, but of course that isn't the case in you have written about this in your book is usually of God is good and that is what you say this is how my voice will sound the rest of the time. Sorry. So you wrote these words. Most of us don't give focus talk to evil and suffering until we experience them. This forces us to formulate perspective on the fly at a time when our thinking. His mother were exhausted and consumed by pressing issues. People who have been there, will attest that it's far better to think through suffering in advance already.

Here's a question there's somebody listening to this right now watching this. That is just got the worst news imaginable. Dr. called them and said, these tests have come back positive, you have cancer or they recently heard that their husband or wife is going to leave them or they got that call that a loved one has died in the world. It seems like the world is ended and in their they have that muddled thinking what now of course you're probably asking why is this happened to me. That's one person listening but then there's other people listening that like things are going pretty well. You know the sun shining the birds are singing, no problems on the horizon. Everything's going according to plan, but suffering is either here or it's going to come so talk about a the why of suffering and be how do you prepare for suffering many years ago, on hearing the race to say woe to the man must learn principles in the time of crisis. We need to learn those principles in advance.

I was talking with Darrell Scott so daughter Rachel was the first one killed at Columbine and I asked him how to prepare for suffering and he is response was become a student of the word of God. God's word prepares us because it teaches us that this is a world that's under the curse.

So I think one of the best ways we can cope with suffering is to anticipate in advance. It's going to come as Chris Peterson is not surprised by the fiery ordeal you were experiencing something strange were happening. It's telling us expected ecology that tells us God's children don't suffer as a theology that is not a God of the devil, because the fact is that we are to prepare for suffering because God promises that he would live godly Christians will suffer persecution in the world you will have tribulation. Jesus said don't be surprised that Firebird ordeal, Peter says we are going to experience it. We need to be prepared for yes but Job is probably one of the best examples of a man who suffered, he is always cited because so much calamity came into his life effectively in one day where he lost his his livelihood.

He lost people to work for Kim. He lost his health. But the worst thing a policy lost 10 of his children. They were killed, but Joe we read in the book of Job that he worship Job worship and said Nickie to my end of this work at world naked going out. Blessed be the name of the Lord. And then he went on to say in Job 23. All that I know where I might find him, that I might come to his seat. I would present my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments I would know I would want to know the words he would answer so effectively. Joe same. I don't like this. I have my arguments.

I have my question but then he goes on to say when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. So what about the person that is facing tragedy and they have all those questions and then secondly, what a joke mean and what does it mean that we could come forth as gold. The questions that we have more heaters and longer questions we should bring them to him. He has answers, but he doesn't always have the answers that we want that are direct and exact. He gives us principles and basically calls upon it reveals himself and his character and calls upon us to trust him and this is what happens when you face adversity. When you face suffering and we all do, God is using that in your life to purifying the fire of adversity as as gold is purified in the fire and picks up on that same thing you see in first Peter one in terms of buying by fire as gold. And then first Corinthians 3 talks about the word in the hammy stubble as opposed gold and silver and precious stones of all that the life of Joe mentioned Greg, I see one of the fascinating things is at the end of Job 42 were talks about Job's friends who haven't really been true friends. In a lot of ways I only work for the first week because in the first week it says they said nothing and their problems as they were real comfort to Joe for that week and the problem started when they open their mouths, but anyway it says and that after God restores Job's fortunes in blessed Sam and heals him and all that kind of stuff as everyone would know before came and ate with him in his house and then in verse 11 of Job 42.

The last chapter. It says they comforted and consoled him over all the trouble. The Lord had brought upon him. Now this is fascinating.

This is not one of his friends talking this is like a quote from somebody who might be wrong. This is the inspired writer of the book of Joe saying they consoled him over all the trouble. The Lord brought upon them. We look back and bring the truck brought the trouble just like in second Corinthians 12, Paul says my thorn in the flesh is a messenger of Satan. But it was given that I might not become conceited will. Satan would want to become conceited. God didn't. So God is seen as having his hand even in our suffering at the end. God bless Job keep double the things that he had before.

What's interesting is he did not double the amount of children he had. That's because his children were still alive, yet children in heaven, and children are I talk about more about that in the moment, but immunity mentioned this to that was allowed by God.

And we wonder why does God allow these things in our lives. And this brings us to the topic of the sovereignty of God in a person is often quoted as Romans 828 coming back to Job's counselors. Yeah, I know that when someone is suffering we always want to say the right thing and you look at those three counselors of Job and you talked about saying the wrong things at the wrong time and your people will do that don't come and say well you know it sure there's always someone worse off than you. That doesn't help because there's always someone better off than you as well or if you've lost a job, people actually safe to have any other children you might suggest oh that's good is so all you can spare a few here and there. You will trust me I've heard everything. After our son went to be with the Lord. People said amazing things to me some helpful and some very unhelpful and one question that someone said the mere statement was well are you over it yet.

They sent this to me. Two weeks after it happened and it's like no I just said knowing that over yet and I don't know that I'll ever get over it. I'm getting through it. But one thing that brings comfort to me and I think all of this is to know that there is a God in heaven at his control, and control of our lives and that brings us of the topic of the sovereignty of God. Now, ever since often quoted when someone is suffering is well. Remember Romans 828 all things work together for good of those that love God, another called according to his purpose and that is totally true and we should quoted. What is the first mean I wonder if people fully understand the meaning of that verse so maybe give us some explanation of Romans 828 will certainly Romans 828 as you lead up to it, has talked about suffering princes back in verse 18 it says I consider their present sufferings are not working. Romans that you guys because we can look at this little bit are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed when he talks about how the creation is in suffering the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed is like the animal kingdom.

The suffering there is all looking forward to the redemption of the earth itself is never the ground was cursed the earth itself was cursed with the Bible promises got to make it work. Maybe original earth. We no longer live in, and we don't live yet on the new earth we live in the in between place and so verse 20 for the creation was subjected to frustration and that was the curse that we were the creation was put under and then it says God had a purpose, though, even as he placed the curse's intention was that ultimately the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought the glorious freedom of the children got it St. hate the whole creation fell on her coattails, it's gonna rise on our coattails. Verse 22 we know that the whole creation has been groaning not just human being. The whole creation.

It's just not right you look around you look at animals suffering.

Look at natural disasters look at people suffering and dying and you say this is just so wrong and God is saying right and that the consequences of sin and that's one thing we should think about when we look at suffering. That's how bad sin really is and that will help us appreciate the amazing grace of God that he will take that suffering to us for our sin and take it upon himself so that one day in heaven when we see him we will not be able to say and should not say. Now if we really understand God, it's like you just didn't care and then you can just imagine him stretching out his hands. You know the male peers, scars, and thinking things look like the hands of a God does not care he's given himself for us, so the whole creation is been groaning anticipating the deliverance it's going to come in verse 23 we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit.

We groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as children, the redemption of our body is interesting. This is God's children grown presently all have you ever had this thing where we should all be smiling Christian at every moment, and it's kind of a fake make it type thing where were just so smiley.

You know what you just so smiley all the time and you never groaning rudely because of the suffering of this great creation, it's probably because you're out of touch sensitive person.

There's a time where you need to just say what I can have the showing of the Lord. That joy is not a super show happiness based on how well things are always going it's a joy that is rooted in Christ. As I look to him.

The author of my salvation and I believe his promises that he is at work in this world sovereignly is going to cause all things to work together for good, but right now there's a lot of suffering in my life in many otherwise how can I serve you today Lord and represent you accurately and totally not in some triumphant way all the time. As a Christian, but ministering to people who have great need for in this whole where say hope it seems no hope at all. Anticipate this is the word hope in Scripture it's not wish is not wish. It's this whole blood bought reality of Jesus Christ made it so that forever. We would be delivered of our suffering and then it says in the same way verse 26, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don't know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express God so identifies with his beloved children. The Holy Spirit with groans and say wow even God is not happy. Even God is burdened by the condition of this world, but he paid the price and redemptions coming and he searches our hearts knows the mind and spirit to spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with love having people were prayer warriors to pray for you will. How about the Holy Spirit of God, praying for you think he's a prayer warrior.

Yeah, I mean that that is so encouraging and then that all builds up to verse 28 and we know we know based upon everything he's already said we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him with been called according to his purpose. We know that in all things each and every thing God's work in all things man's in the original Greek in all things all things, no exceptions. God is at work in those things called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of the sons of God is using our trials and are suffering conformist. The image of Christ to make us more like Jesus. To draw people to us because you know what people are not drawn to faith in Christ because God rewards his children with the finest houses and in the finest athletic success and drive the finest cars and our lives are just always happy he is. People are drawn to Christ as they see someone who is facing the realities the sufferings of life somebody like them except they are responding with a supernatural sense of grace and faith and trust and they are drawn towards that that is the way that we exemplify Christ and that's what God brings their suffering sodas.

Romans 828 says all things to all things include suffering, they don't just include suffering that's primarily what they were about seven Paul and Silas are great example of that. I mean, they're thrown into a present and we meet at midnight Paul and Silas begin to sing praises to God, the prisoners listen and of course the earthquake came and the general was about to kill himself. Also, do yourself no harm are also here.

What does he say Sirs, what must I do to be say it was their testimony, their songs in the night that won him over.

This hardened Roman jailer that truly beat them himself and then he ended up watching the stripes in the back and took him to his home and so forth. But that is a powerful testimony when we can glorify God in times of extreme adversity and you mentioned verse eight verse 29 foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his own dear son. It seems to me Randy that God's and gain is to make us like Jesus not to make us happy as much as make us holy. But if we live a holy life will live a happy life is a byproduct. You know, if you chase after happiness shall never be happy.

But if you chase after holiness or to be more specific if you follow the Lord put him first in your life and seek to be made like him, you'll know that adversity can accomplish God's purposes, but you know when someone dies unexpectedly and we all know that Loveland will die. We expect their grandparents to die. Usually the first to go.

Then in time my parents and even though we expected it still very hard when it happens but then perhaps something unexpected like a sibling dies are our spouse dies or a child dies and their young and we think this is in fair you know they had so much potential, so much promise in the whole life to live in. And so we asked the question will was at their time and so here's my question to you. Once someone dies young.

Did they die before their time. Is it sometimes stated or that they die at the appointed time and is there an appointed time for death. In Psalm 139 the Lord says that the days of our life are determined in advance. The days of her life are to us now. We never should take verses like that and say oh well then that means that we shouldn't do anything to try to save somebody's life because this is there reported that no we should of course try to do what we can to save a life should also say that even though to us it seems like this person die before their time, that God had a time in line that God is sovereign and other Christians who argue so much for human responsibility and for accidents and for the power of Satan to bring disease and accident certain amounts of truth and that God they failed to recognize the sovereignty of God, and you know it's of no great encouragement and no encouragement at all for me to think in terms that if a drunk driver took the life of my child, my beloved, then I think that my child's life was in the hands of that drunk driver was an hands of Satan. What am I believing about God. I'm not believing in a sovereign God know my child was in the hands of God. Now God didn't do what I wanted him to do but focus is there anything new about that. You just write a prescription for God and if you have how well has that works for you. This is what my life is supposed to look like Lord I mean I I'm I have had many days where I've had great plans for that day. What I was going to do over that week for that month and then suddenly something happens and they are completely radically changed. We either accept the sovereignty of God that he knows better than we do what we should be doing today sending this divine appointment, or we just say God, you're really not in charge, so even with the death of level. Just remember this, God is preparing a place for us.

God is also preparing us for that place. That's what he's doing and every time somebody that we know and love is taken to be with him.

What I found in my life, my heart is more ready for work. Prepare to leave this world to go to heaven because where your treasure is there heart be also. So many of my treasures great night my friend died as a teenager, Jerry, my best friend from childhood, died of cancer at age 38 my mom died in 1981. Shortly after I had had the joy of lead her to faith in Christ you know these people are waiting for me and Jesus is going to extend open his arms to make also going to be reunited with God's people. Yes that's right Spurgeon said dying this but going home. Indeed, there is no dying for the saints known a Christian dies they going to God's presence going to have. But where is heaven help all talked about being caught up to the third heaven. So is heaven really far away, or is heaven closer than we think it's a great question. Not that any of your questions are great but but really because you think about it where where is heaven will Paul talks about being caught in the third heaven as you say sacraments well and called it paradise member Jesus or the thief on the cross today you will be with me in paradise. Know there's an example somebody can do anything to work for his salvation something from the cross. Today, with me in paradise because you look to me. We need to tell to look to Jesus, but but what is this place where is this place what second Corinthian arrives in second Kings chapter 6 where Elisha springs and he says Lord, open your servants.

I know what is the servant see when God opens his eyes he sees right around him. Chariots of fire and the horses and angelic warriors.

Now God just create those and make them there.

So the server can see them know that were already the servant just didn't have eyes to see right now were surrounded by angelic forces. There is a world next door you can make the case that heaven is far closer than we imagine. Instead of notably being way out there somewhere.

More of the universe next door so that when a person dies and leaves this world. They have a very short trip there taken by the Angels as as Lazarus was. But then they go right into the very presence of God.

Yet the Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Paul says I decided apart and be with Christ, which is far better. It doesn't say department going to some suspended state of animation during the soul sleep or purgatory or whatever so it's immediate so you know when you write books of theology and that's really when I look at your book Kevin, this is a theological book made understandable. You taken a very complex subject and and made it very understandable and approachable. Same thing with your book of God is good, but so that you also write fiction great fiction writer really liked your book is safely home.

In the book you you have a story that your conversations unearthing conversations in heaven happening simultaneously showing the connection between the two. So use your sanctified imagination as a writer is a student of Scripture. But as a writer of fiction and tell me what happens when a Christian dies here, so we usually hear it.

They see a great light right and then there hovering over the place where they died in there looking down and then the than they go on to describe what they say they've seen and will come to that topic in a moment of people have written books about this, but to the best of your ability. How do you envision this like a Christian dies, what happens next time we actually relocate will cease to exist, we relocate so right now Greg and I were to walk out this backdoor on the platform here and you heard the door close and you can no longer see us. What would you say well Greg and Randy cease to exist in their display. They don't exist anymore will, of course, not just realize I can't see them or hear them, but they're still there, just where I can't see that that's what happens when people die they leave this world with their relocate, not ceasing to exist are going another place for the believer we go into the presence of Christ. You know it in impulses and full-page one that's better by far to be in his presence and to remain here, but they going to present Christ when I envision happening as we see the Lord. We see the Lord missing the risen Jesus with the scars in his hand. He gave his life for us. We followed our knees before him, and he pulls us up to himself and embraces us and then were told that the resurrection took calm. We will ultimately sit down at table still come from the West, and sit down at the table. Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob, not those who used to be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the real Abraham, Isaac and Jacob know Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were then all our loved ones who are with the Lord. They will be there. Christopher will be there all my mom will be there all of the people that we've known and loved Jesus will be there will be in charge of the seating arrangements you Jesus and the one the central conversation and when he talks every I just imagine that when when we were all talking around the table group.

Maybe Charles Spurgeon is sitting here maybe six or seven of us are saying to him and and then Greg Laurie sitting over there and listening alone hundred and but the head of the table. Here's Jesus and when Jesus talks everybody just stops and turn and look at him to be in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be in the presence of our love with real bodies that are like Christ and he said no I'm not just a spirit spirit doesn't have flesh and bones as I have, we will literally eat food and drink in each other's presence of what happens at banquets. People are laughing. We get together at our home for Sunday night football missing tonight, but we get together for Sunday night football and we just laugh and we are together and we will experience that kind of relational pleasure with our Lord and with each other for all eternity. That great that's looking forward to that pole we mentioned this already, Paul was caught up in the third heaven, and he said I saw things that are really indescribable.

It's not lawful for a man to utter King James so he can give us a lot of detail. He described it as paradise of the Royal Garden of the King I think is probably a mission of it. Probably the most beautiful thing Paul could envision in his earthly life and experiences. It's like the Royal Garden of the King but then John the apostle speaks great detail in the book of Revelation about what heaven is like okay so I bring these two examples up because there are books that are written books that have been very popular that have a very wide audience of people alleged to have gone to heaven and they say here's what I saw and have and it's amazing how people believe what they read these books I spoke with someone recently and they asked me why we didn't have a picture of Jesus on the wall at our church. I said what we don't really know what he looked like doing.

She said well in this book containing the book. A description of Jesus is given as of the book is like the gospel or something it and I said well I wouldn't with my confidence in which someone writes in the book doing book. I put my confidence in is the word of God.

Let's think about these books for a moment that alleged these experiences and things that people have seen. Should we read these books, how reliable are these books and what could be the potential dangers some of the things in them. I think we need to.

If you choose to read those books and I think, and in some cases it is fine read them and view them through the lens of Scripture and ask 1711, where the brands were more noble than the Thessalonica and search the Scriptures daily to see whether next things were true. Just look at and evaluate in terms of what God's word says because never God's word is inspired, it's God brief in his other books, including online are not going somebody tells of an experience they may be 100% sincere. I think some of the best-selling books written by Christians are very sincere. I think they they're drawing on certain memories they have and they piece certain things together but one of the books that talks about a rainbow colored unicorn being in the presence of God.

And I hear somebody else saying she was great to see a rainbow colored unicorn and the Bible doesn't say that right now I don't tells everything about heaven. Could there be a God wants a rainbow colored unicorn that's totally up to you.

But just because someone says that they died and went to heaven and saw the old days. Death meant you didn't come back. You know, in other words, like when somebody has what you know that we say they died, we mean that earthly human scientific medical instruments could no longer measure their heartbeat or their brain waves, but in the old days. If somebody was appearing to die. But then they came back you say they didn't really die and so sometimes these experiences just don't know. And some of them are individual Christians are couple of them are pastors who tell their story and I've met a few these people I think are great people and their sincere but here's my concern. I have read numbers of others written by people who don't know Jesus and who come back and say all kinds of things about how you have to worry God loves you show us the way you are and you don't have to change and you can go right over the waves. Think of the way that you want to connect with Jesus Christ.

Stay away from the church which is full of hypocrites.

Anyway, on your going okay now who is the angel of light their purchases. Satan disguises himself as an angel like so my concern is, even when you read the Christian box about heaven measure them in light of God's word. But also remember don't like that open the door of susceptibility or gullibility on your part two other books and future books which will surely be written because anytime there's a bestseller, one kind up a bunch more written like that in hopes that they'll be a bestseller. Just remember that some of these may be made up somebody's making from the devil himself and the intended to communicate something that is not true and not honoring to Christ. That's why Paul said if I were David, an angel from heaven come reaching any other gospel than that which you've already heard B or Kirsten is described as an angel of light that you mentioned remembering okay so we get to heaven, will give the piano a resurrected body. Ultimately, we can receive a resurrected body from Christ it's Kennedy's you're going to be you on to be me, you'll probably look the same on may have hair I'm hoping for an upgrade. Here is a serious upgrade, but the movie men in black with the little device they would do a memory why you would remember anything. Sometimes when I hear certain people preach about heaven.

It sounds as though there will be a collective memory why you will just a lobotomy or something where although I don't remember anything about earth because the former things have passed away and there's no tears so therefore I can't remember those things that are said because they would bring sorrow to me, or I'm not aware of what's happening on earth because of I saw something bad happening that have been with me heaven, this is Alex often presented. So here's my question do people in heaven remember things on earth are they aware of what is still happening on earth do they care will sometimes we know that people in the presence of God in heaven know what's going on down earth we get little clues. For instance, in Revelation 60 of the martyrs they died there in heaven with Jesus in there saying how long Lord before you bring judgment on those who persecuted what they are not asking Lord, have you brought judgment. They seem to know yet brought judgment. How do they know that will because I think they're observing events on earth number member God is working out his unfolding drama of redemption on planet Earth heaven is interested in what's going on is God interested in absolutely are the angels interested their concern on our behalf. So doesn't it make perfect sense that God would allow his children in heaven to know what's going on that they have a sense of history so that the when they return to the earth with Christ in his second coming or not.

Suddenly set a wide front all about or what's this about. Even Moses and Elijah in the in the Transfiguration. They're discussing with Jesus what's being acted out there. There he doesn't have to tell them what's going on.

They know what's going on. Why because they presumably have observed in 15 where you got Jesus saying that whenever a sinner repents. There is rejoicing in the presence of the Angels rejoicing behind angels, but rejoicing the presence of angels will who lives in the presence of the Angels, God's people and probably many of the people who pray for those very people to come to faith now are witnessing the answers to their prayers, their beautiful picture.

It is so in heaven. People would be aware of the passing of time humans in the tribulation martyrs there saying how long the Lord, holy and true, the judge and avenge our blood. Those that dwell on the earth aware of time passing there aware of an injustice when he bends our blood on those that dwell upon the earth, so there is an awareness in heaven, but something you mentioned in your writing is there's perspective in heaven. My grip my grandmother the other day was playing with one of her dolls and they had came off she was strong You know it all will I know I'm either going to fix a doll or buyer. Another game often it's okay know don't tear the heads off you. But you know something of the lovely think this is the worst thing imaginable. But in Himalaya perspective you talk about things how God can refinance his goal so maybe I would see you know this bad thing happen, but I know that this got things and leave the best thing to that thing to this ultimate amazing thing. So what perspective I could be aware of those events, but all know all things as I know, so I would see it differently. What exactly perspective.

The key to heaven.

What makes heaven heaven is not ignorance is not like oh God keeps us from knowing that there are bad things that have happened or are going to have a look at the stars in his hands and feet reminder forever. The most thing that ever happened and by the way, we call that day when the most horrible things in human happen.

Good Friday.

How can we call it Good Friday. Only in retrospect only in retrospect, call it Good Friday because as horrific as it was God brought ultimate good out of it.

Likewise, people were now in heaven can look back at their lives, and we, the pain, the terrible things that have happened, but not be controlled by not being dominated by the by 10 learn from God himself. What God was accomplishing causing all things to work together for good happen to me. You mean you brought these people to Christ.

When that happened to me. Maybe more like Jesus, so that my life was a shining example to other people that were touched by you mean you accomplish these things for all eternity.

Things that that otherwise would not have been a good would not otherwise have been without the bad that I went through. Thank you Lord know that's what faith is faith to say one day I will see Romans 828 to be fully true but you know what is true right now.

And faith is trusting God that is true. That's right, all things work together for good. Maybe God's definition of good is not always the same definition that we have good you know what I think will be getting heaven some things that we thought of as bad were good and something to me about it is good may have been somewhat bad getting eternal perspective of working to remember things that can be important because the Bible speaks of a judgment seat for Christians itself is a great white throne judgment for nonbelievers and if you're not found written in the book of life.

Your cast in the lake of fire, but at judgment seat of Christ, also known as the bema seat. Scripture says in second Corinthians 510 we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in this body according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad and you know it's an interesting think of the word. The beaches there for bad means evil of another, another way to translate it is good for nothingness. So it's not so much a judgment about good and bad but it's like to do with your life did you squander or waste your life when lords are meted out for faithfulness.

Responsibilities are given later, when we rule and reign with Christ as Jesus spoke of ruling over 10 cities and so forth. The crown of life is mentioned, the crown of rejoicing and so forth.

So talk about the judgment seat of Christ, and so this is sort of not talking about heaven's effect on us now. Okay I'm going to heaven.

That's great. There's a judgment seat of Marty in heaven with an appetite and worry about it, but I don't want to come empty-handed that day. So how should that affect me now. Well, it should affect us dramatically because second Peter three talks about the fact that in light of the destruction of this old world is going to come at the return of Christ. In light of the new heavens and the new earth.

He is promised. It says what sort of people ought to be in terms of life and godliness. If you know where you've come from, you know God's intention, even in the fallen house and brought destruction to the world and you know that Jesus Christ, as in the present era retained in St. you know that in the future you're going to live in this perfect world, the whole of righteousness then you want to get a head start now on living righteously you want to live out the reality of the redemption, the redemption that Christ has accomplished not just in the world and will accomplish the what he has done in your heart and your soul. You also know in terms of the continuity of this life and the next.

Because of the stand before the judgment seat of Christ, as we will enjoy. Even as believers, it means Randy Alcorn is going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ giving account of the life I have lived right now and him living right now as Randy Alcorn so I don't look at this life and say well it doesn't matter at all, since Jesus died for my sins and his will soon know what if I did righteous things what difference would it make I can run my salvation, my righteousness anyway. You know, we can stand short-term and this is what we end up doing. If we don't think in terms of eternity. Don't think enters the judgment seat of Christ, to think of giving an account of our lives were far more prone to wasted because what is my time matter anyway. God's is reading the time. Why does money matter anyway, I need to spend it all on myself will that's the attitude of someone was acting as if this world under the curse with their home. Note don't live for this temporary residence. Anything that you accumulate here you delete behind live for your eternal hall don't lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, Jesus said, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven they'll never perish, and when you die will go to be where your treasure is, instead of when you die your leaving behind your treasure so should a believer give up their finances to the Lord like tithing is typing biblical is that only from the Old Testament from the law, or is that something a believer should do today and what about giving to the Lord.

How does that work practically. I am lying about managing God's money and made a couple of my other books as well.

I talk about tithing as the training wheels of an and what that means is that in the Old Testament God called upon his people to practice the time direction three different times. One of them would be roughly pulled into the church because it was to the priests and Levites as their spiritual leaders and representatives and so they were to try. It was never all we were to do because there were ties and free will offering that throughout the Old Testament free will offering is new in the New Testament and in the New Testament, there are free will offerings but a lot of people say Gavin are we under obligation to type in the way that I would put it best is just just do what God taught is old covenant people to do to start their don't finish their don't act as if that's the pinnacle but just just start another thing I would say to people is like if because many people will argue and justify giving far less than the time never just say do you really want to stand before the Lord and say okay God. I believe that you wanted me to give out a lower level then Old Testament saints who had not seen the redemptive work of Christ and did not have the indwelling spirit of God. And then I redeemed by Jesus Christ. Having seen a sacrifice for my sins and living in the wealthiest country in human history, felt free to give less when you called upon the poor saints in Old Testament times if you think that arguments can fly at the judgment seat.

More power to I actually build know and I agree with you infecting your book the love rewards right. What's the biggest misconception Christians have about giving that when we give our money away to a church or administrator help the needy, it's gone.

We hope others will benefit from it were quite sure we won't.

We think were divesting ourselves of money disassociating from it once it leaves our hands. We imagine it is no connection to us no future implications, but now implications are relevant to our lives, but now is our window of opportunity not to the best ourselves of money, but to invested in heaven. This is again just getting back to the idea that that life goes on. We never die and so these things we do on earth have eternal ramifications, and we have a reward waiting for a sleep for yourselves treasures in heaven when neither Martha Rust and corrupt thieves break in and steal. But Randy is the lifetime up and I want to say that this interview that I didn't write in this service is almost completely different than the one I did in the first and it'll probably be different than the one we do in the third to look at it take all of this and put it together on one CD and DVD for people to hear all of these are questions answered. But no, just come to a couple of I want you to tweet your answers to me now.

Okay I just cannot keep quick questions things people ask about heaven. Okay Randy will our pets be in heaven well let's just say that because the whole creation includes suffering that is nonhuman suffering includes animals who are suffering now looking forward to the redemption that we will experience then and based on Isaiah 60 and Ezekiel 47 and some other pastors that speak of animals in the context of the new earth. I think there will be animals on the new earth will be connected to what was on the old earth. And the question then will some of those animals be pets, which we have had, that's totally up to God. There is no biblical proof of that, but I would suggest that just like the Lord to lovingly entrust to our care.

Animals which made Satan did make them put in the world against a special relation will there be coffee in heaven.

I think there will be. This is interesting because you know here's the thing that talking tree made those coffee beans. Once again Satan no. So some people say will wait a minute though. I mean if you you have a caffeine addiction.

We will be free of addictions or whatever will you know what things will be as they were intended to be and we won't be addicts, but we can still enjoy the blessings of life so much more I could ask you. Let's close with this Randy, a person is watching this right now and they're saying, you know, I don't know that I go to heaven. You know there is a hell just like there is an eternal heaven there is an eternal hell.

One person wrote quote eternity that the godly is a day that has no sunset eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise. It goes on and we can believe in an eternal heaven and not believe in eternal hell blessing God wants us or any person made in his image to spend eternity separated from him.

And hell, this is why Jesus died on the cross for us as you've already said, but here's my final question, how can a person know with absolute certainty that they will go to heaven when they die. You know for believers this life right now is the closest we are ever going to get to hell for unbelievers. This life right now is the closest they will ever get to heaven unless they turn to Jesus Christ abandoning all hope of earning their way to heaven and look at the finished work of Jesus Christ on their behalf.

They can not think they are accomplishing 2% or 1% or a fraction of 1% of their own salvation because that's contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us so each person must look at the reality of the dead-end street of their own sin rebellion against God repented not confess their sins and say God I turn to you to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ come into my life transformed me on the basis of what you have done that I might experience heaven forever. That's the only way amen thank you, ready for coming and joining the outgoing there might be some of you that have never made this commitment to follow Jesus Christ. You don't have that hope of heaven, and I want to close our service today by giving you that opportunity to get right with God. So if you never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin. If you do not have this certainty that you will go to heaven when you die and respond to this invitation to get to know as we close in prayer.

Let's all bow our heads or preppy what father I pray for every person here every person listening and watching. If they did not get to know you, Lord, help them, but calm and believe in Jesus and be forgiven of their sins so they can have this certainty that they will go to heaven when they die when a heads up out of her eyes are closed.

If you want to know that you will go to heaven when you die if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life right now if you want your sins forgiven anyone true guilt taken away if you ready to say yes to Jesus wherever you are want you to stand your feet nominally chewing a prayer I can just stand here feet nominally chewing a prayer. God bless you to stand up. God bless you wherever you are, stand up and I'm an only child in a prayer of commitment to Christ you watching that artist Orange County harvester and stress to stand here feet. Nominally, Jim. In this prayer as well. Outside in the courtyard.

The amphitheater you stand up up in the court building stand is well watching the screen. There the Legion with the spread of commitment. Anybody else you want to know that you will go to heaven when you die, you want Jesus to come into your life, stand here feet now.

God bless you. Anybody else stand up now.

One final moment stand now in Abraham's bless you. God bless you and you one final moment stand now. Bless you that are standing want you to pray this prayer out loud after me.

This is where you're asking Christ to come in your life. So again, as I pray pray this out loud what we stand, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but you died in the cross for me and absorbed the wrath of God in my place and you rose again from the dead three days later, in the my heart and be my Savior and my Lord my God and my friend. I choose to follow you, Jesus. From this moment forward.

Thank you that I am not going to heaven.

In Jesus name I pray that everybody this is great glory and you've just been listening to a classic message from harvest ministries. This podcast is supported by harvest partners to learn more and find out how you can become harvest partner just a little

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