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Down-to-Earth Talk about Heaven

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2009 10:58 am

Down-to-Earth Talk about Heaven

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 16, 2009 10:58 am

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Want to talk you about heaven about the title of my messages down to earth. Talk about heaven. I don't know about you but I've always been a fan of Disney.

I've always love Disneyland.

The Disney animated films and all the rest of it. You know I remember the little boy sitting in front of a black and white television set. Looking forward to the Mickey Mouse club every single night and I actually was sad at the end when we would be led by Jimmy and his guitar is he saying now it's time to say goodbye to long-lived, and the remember all you know. I can't believe that God will sing all of them. All you see the reason that resonated with me was because I was living in such a crazy world. My mom was an alcoholic. She was married and divorced seven time I was living with my grandmother with an with friends sometimes with my mom and so this was like a little oasis boy, what's the Mickey Mouse club: I love the Disney films because they always live there always ended happily ever after. There were villains there were good guys would cannot always prevail in that world in one day watching the wonderful world of Disney wall himself on all those architectural plans for an amusement park.

He was building in Anaheim, California called Disneyland and I thought it was the promise land. I was a little kid wanted nothing. I've got to go to that place and I I would pretty much go every single year back after I became an adult I are usually when I was a boy I made about of myself right after I become an adult under the go to Disneyland every single day. That's my goal in life and I'm proud to say I have That valve.

No I haven't not really, but some Walt Disney was very imaginative, creative person, and there is a book written about him and about what made him tick by Pat Williams made the statement about Disney and I quote I know that Walt's total longing for heaven here that longing when he was a boy in Kansas City. The defense of the amusement park wanting what he couldn't have because he didn't have a dime in his pocket. I believe it was that longing for heaven that drove him to build a public place where children could write merry-go-round and always catch the brass ring, a place for yesterday and tomorrow are always within walking distance of place for anyone to be perfectly happy if only for a day and Walt's mind. Heaven is a beautiful park, all shiny and clean filled with wonderful things to see and do what I counsel rising overall train that goes around it. Here's what Disney really wanted. He wanted heaven. And deep down inside that's what we all want the Bible says God has placed eternity in our heart.

There is a sense deep down in all of us that there's more to life than what were very sick. Some people try to create a perfect life on earth, the perfect family appropriate busy appropriate counsel for job. Life has a way messing things up. Things don't go the way that you would hold tragedy strikes, reality kicks in life under disappointment. And it's a reminder that we were made for another world. Is that old song says this world is not my home, I'm just passing through life on earth compared to eternity is like a snap of the fingers.

The Bible says only here for a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our data centers are like a shadow gone so soon without a train you see were eternal. The real me. The real you is not just this body by men of the body are in excess so that lives forever and one since we will die. But in another sense, we will never die.

Now if you're a believer you will live forever in the presence of God.

And if you're a nonbeliever you will live forever set rated from God's presence. But listen, if you put your faith in Jesus Christ. You have the guaranteed hope that when you die you will go to heaven.

That's the most important thing of all, nothing even comes close to and you know when you long for heaven. You see this world or what it is.

It was Augustine that said and I quote you formed us for thyself and our hearts are restless until they find by our rest in the image to there's a restlessness inside of us until we find our way home to our relationship with God. And the more we know of God and the more we know of heaven. The more we see the world for what it is when I talk about the world enemy the earth God created this planet we live on the Bible even says the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof.

No one appreciates the beauty of a stunning sunset more than the follower of Jesus Christ because we can say my father. He did that no one appreciates the joy of life more than the Christian we don't need drugs or alcohol to help us enjoy it. We have God's spirit living inside of us in a relationship with him by. The Bible talks about the world and it doesn't mean the earth as much as it means a culture, a mentality, a way of thinking. And the Bible says in first John two goal of the world's way dome of the world's good, love of the world squeezes out love for the father practically everything that goes on in this world wanting your own way wanting everything for yourself wanting to appear important nothings to do with the father just isolate you from Jim the world and all of its wanting, wanting, wanting is on its way out. But whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. What an apt description of life apart from God. One scene wanting one omitted by just said this, I know I would be happy for this happen.

I know I would be happy it's always just beyond your reach.

It's never quite there. Listen, you are longing for a place you have never been you are prewired to know God without homesickness for heaven CS Lewis part of this when I quote there been times when I think we do not desire heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether in our heart of hearts that we've ever desired anything else. It's a secret signature of each soul. The incommunicable and on a peaceable wants."

Like a little boy he was flying the sky got up so high in the clouds could even see it anymore and someone walk lines of the boy what's on the other that's treasonable. Mike likes their lamentable I can see your kite.

How do you know the types there voices I know the kites.

There because I can feel it and we all feel the tug of heaven that goes back to the earliest days of our childhood and I'll tell you what I think more about heaven. Then any other time in my life for good reason. My son know my mother is been in heaven for a while, my grandmother's been there for a while. My father who adopted me as been there for a number of years on a number of friends are there, but when your own child proceeds.

You to heaven. It's like a piece of you is gone, something is missing someone is busy but it's also like part of me is there an ascent, I have an investment in heaven and Jesus said where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

My son Christopher.

We are always texting back and forth when you done I'm doing this dad what's up what's going on. I wonder what is he doing up there in heaven.

What's happening up there. That's why want to talk with you a little bit about heaven because it's a real place real people. To a lot of times when we think of heaven.

It's a sort of surreal ways this mystical place. We just float around clouds in play hearts and sleep.

That may sound appealing to some, but not to me and a little hyperactive. You see, I want you to know heaven is a real place for real people. Heaven is a prepared place prepared people and I think we all need to think a whole lot more about heaven. Here's what the Bible says. Colossians chapter 3 verse one and two. Since you been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things this way. Set your mind to exhibit diligent active single-minded investigation can also be translated. Think about a simpler translation of the statement I just read would be think heaven and another way you could put it as keep thinking about and keep seeking heaven VI heavenly minded person, but I would feel safe when older so heavenly minded are no earthly good at is one of the stupidest statements a person can.

I know people that are so earthly minded. There no heavenly good one is I mean to say here so heavenly minded you're no earthly good. Listen, those that think the most of the next world to the most for this one because were heavenly minded think about it wherever there's a crisis in the world was the first to respond. Atheist relief organizations right what I've never heard of an atheist relief organization of you are variable on a Christian one. That should reach out in a tangible way and show the love of God.

It doesn't matter if they are of our faith.

They believe what we believe will rebuild their houses will give them food will help them out because were heavenly minded people we want to show that in a tangible way the world it needs to heavenly minded people sitting on the on tonight, one of them is Willie Jordan. My aunt Willie Jordan is not a mission for the last 50 years that was started by my uncle Fred Jordan to reach out to homeless people on skid row may be impacted. Thousands and thousands of lives, feeding them, clothing them because she's a heavenly minded woman and there's another heavenly minded person. It took more was taken. The gospel and he has reached out to people helping them reaching out to communities and so many tangible way, showing the love of God in a way that people can heavenly minded. That's what we need to be, but we need to think more about what heaven is actually like. Let's think about it.

What is heaven like. Let me begin by saying heaven is a real place, the great evangelist Neil Moody said heaven is as real of a place as Chicago and that's true really did have an inheritance cannot bizarre strangely know its own real place. Jesus said, I have gone to prepare ladies for you. Heaven is not merely some state of mind. It's our destination in the Bible describes seven is a paradise.

Jesus said to the thief that was crucified next to him today you will be with me in paradise and the apostle Paul had the unique experience of dying and going to heaven and coming back to the earth.

Funny, he did write a big long book about it that you didn't sell them much about it except this in the book of Corinthians 2nd Corinthians 12. He says I was caught up in the third heaven 14 years ago whether I was in my body or out of it. I don't really know God knows that I know I was caught up in the paradise and I heard things so astounding they cannot be told. Don't ever feel sorry for anyone that is in heaven. Member.

When Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus and prior to raising him from the dead.

We read the shortest verse in the Bible. Two words Jesus wept. Why do you think Jesus wept. We usually say Willie West because death had brought such sadness when he was morning with those of Moran, and I think there's truth to that date when you're suffering and many of you are. You need to know Jesus as their walk with you to the deepest valley. The walk with youth of the hardest times will never leave you or forsake you. I know this from experience, as do many of you some of you are suffering here tonight are trying to make it on your own need to know that God can be there. Jesus wept with those that were weeping. There might be another reason that Jesus wept. Maybe wept because except for Lazarus he's in heaven and he's going to have to come back to earth.

When I bring him back to life again.

What a Triad. Lazarus had to die twice. Can you imagine getting to heaven and having the Lord say well done good and faithful servant listener got some good news and bad news. First the good news you're coming back again coming back.

Would you be at the bad news. Some people are praying that you will be raised again from the dead, listen, apply, die if you pray for me to be raised from the dead, and I come back alive.

I'm coming after you for the hurt on your generous eminence and will be praying for me to come back just get ready to join me is when a person is in heaven. Cities have building their culture. They have art the music goods, services that we think of heaven as a cloud.

No, it's a place it's a city Bible says Hebrews 1110. God is the architect and builder of this city looking for the city that is to come in certain cities have certain qualities about them like when the sun is setting on Jerusalem. It is bathed in a golden glow are morning in Paris or the afternoon in Rome or evening in Barstow like set on another scene of a cities are real places and when we think of a city.

We think of no crime and and maybe Hilton and other problems. No one heaven it'll be like the greatest city you've ever been to, without any problems without any con like without any sorrow. Without it, sadness without any darkness with righteous people worshiping the Lord. That's another thing will be joined in heaven will be singing the praises of God and we done a good job getting ready for that benign heaven is a paradise heaven city heaven is a country.

The Bible says in Hebrews 1116 we desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called your God. We tend to think the current is the real thing in heaven has a surreal thing and it's the other way around.

Heaven is a real thing is like the imitation the Bible we read how God commanded them to build a temple like the one that was in heaven. The earthly one was just resembling a heavenly one. What were seeing here is only a taste of greater things to come again to quote CS Lewis all the things that ever deeply possessed her soul had been, but since of heaven. Tantalizing glimpses promises never quite fulfilled at those that died away just as he caught your ear. Lewis says of I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy the most probable explanation is I was made for another world.

He concludes earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy but to arouse to suggest the real thing. Listen, friends, the real thing is heaven and it's a few third future destination of everyone with with their faith by have you done that. Are you going to heaven when he tell you something else about heaven when you get there, but God says he is going to give you a new body. The blueprints for our glorified bodies are the bodies we now possess heaven as a earthly life of the believer glorified and perfected Emily pass over to the other side our minds and our memories will be clearer than ever before. That's great to know because I'm always forgetting thing I lose my car regularly now were like target what level of the garage since I got a little alarm button pushing the trying to find it is about 100 other people doing the same thing you know your minds will be clear.

The Bible says in first Corinthians 15 bodies now disappoint us going here and amen to that.

When there are rays of a full of glory. A week now the when the rays will be full of power.

Your natural human bodies, when the rays they will be spiritual body will be no physical disabilities in heaven last night. I interviewed Nick a young man who was born without his arms without his leg and yet he sat on the stage and give glory to God in heaven will be no disability will be no handicap be none of these things that we have here in this life. 11 new body that God will give to us and you know this so body ages start realizing time is marching on.

I'm so old now micros feet have sneakers I mean The clock is ticking.

I used to have love handles. Now I have death grips, it's a bad thing, but as a mentor last night. I'm trying to get back in shape under 100 crunches every single day hundred grunt nestlings. You should try the very good but sometimes a window will begin to heaven only know one another. When we recognize one another when were there. I think the answer is obviously yes now I will still be needed.

Heaven and you will still be you will be there in a perfected state.

So I think you could assume that if you're going to try to hook up with me in heaven look for a guy with some hair and I mean that. But then again what if in our glorified Satan. Everybody is volume thought about that. Maybe here's a part of the curse. Don't know I just said something but you know when Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. They were recognizable. I don't think that Moses was standing there with two commandments.

Elijah is over there, fired up, you know, our little incense hi my name is most know they were recognizable and will be recognizable in heaven will know one another in heaven. You will still love your family and your friends but it will be a stronger, sweeter, pure love. There is no more a break in our love. And heaven, and there will be a break in our thoughts, death break ties on earth, but it renews them in heaven. Evidence at time of reunion.

You can look forward to it. If you have love one set of their soft okay fine you think heaven, a sevens, a city heavens of paradise were going to have new body for what we didn't do in heaven to be busy for starters are going to be worshiping will be singing the song of Moses will be glorifying the Lord will also be serving the Lord. Revelation 7 says will stand in front of the throne of God serving him day and night and not only will we be worshiping not only will we be serving. We will be eating in heaven. Revelation 19 says blessed are those that are invited to the wedding supper of the land. These other two words of God. I like that phrase supper you know they use that in the South. California was they want to go to dinner but in this office a hate don't want to come to supper and they know how to do supper you know my grandmother was a great cook and I was raised on one of the great Southern cooking like all black-eyed peas and collard greens and fried chicken. My grandmother's crowning achievement was for biscuit if a biscuit could be anointed by God. The biscuit my grandmother that we used to call mama's Ella made was just so wonderful and I'm sure the Lord would employ her skills as a great wedding supper of the Lamb elicit not only to be there at this great supper will be there with the heroes of the Bible. Matthew Wade said that people come from the East and the West and take the place of the piece with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Can you imagine sitting down and having a meal for the great men and women of the Bible, Moses, could you pass me the manically I know I know you're sick of it, but I'm just having a for the first time Elijah my needs a little bit underdone. Could you call a little higher down on a lot which you mind handing the salt. How much are so sensitive to will be reunited with love one loved ones that have gone on before us. My son Christopher was a little boy, he was filled with curiosity bacterium around and he would point at things and say sat, which means what's that it's a set set that to treat sat at the car sat that's another tree sat with a bird sat always seen. He's been in heaven now for a while when I get up to heaven, and I walk up to him and say sat at the throne of God sat at the sea of glass that sat that's a wedding supper Wednesday and are now the main event of heaven is glorious is reunion with loved ones will be an eating and worshiping and all the rest of it. The main event of heaven seeing Jesus face-to-face setting all eternity with him, never to be separated again.

So what does this mean to us. That means we need to get ready I said earlier, heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. The Bible says in Psalm 9012. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. That phrase number your days means make the most of your time. Let me just say don't ever take a loved one for granted. Let your husband or your wife know you love them, let your children know you love them, let your parents know you love the but know this, make your life count. Don't throw your life away. There was a book that was quite popular: 100 things to do before you die written by Dave Freeman in this book he wrote life is a short journey. Make sure you fill it with the most fun and visit all the cool places before you pack those bags for the very last time. Some of the ways he said that you can make your life count was to attend the Academy Awards and run with the bulls in Spain. I think running with the bulls in Spain is a good way to go to have an even faster, you know, seems a little cycle to me, but whatever sadly the author of this book die recently at the age of 47 after hitting his head after a fall in this home. It only accomplished half of the items on this list.

See you never know when life You never know when death will not get your door. That's why you need to be ready. That's why you need to be right with God and listen the reason you are on this earth is to know God never relationship with him in anything short of that will never satisfy you again to quote CS Lewis aim at heaven and get earth thrown in payment earth and get neither one is any. If you live for the moment you live for pleasure and you live for fun and live for accomplishment or the accumulation of things you'll never be satisfied if you live for God and follow Jesus Christ to be heavenly minded got to have a Monday and a life that is fulfilling and meaningful because you know the God who made yes heaven is real.

I know I feel it's time you are you prepared coming back to Disneyland for a moment.

Years ago I was given to free tickets to Disneyland so we went into the park and the person I was can get the other ticket to didn't show up and I thought well commuter homework and rated on a ride. I said to my wife, Kathy, I'm feeling by the way, I've been introduce my wife Kathy Kathy stand up. My wife is out there on the platforms and I Kathy Santa visionary 35 she's the most godly woman I've ever met why she married me.

I have no idea, but I said to Him, feeling a little bit guilty walking around with this ticket for Disneyland anyone of the cost to get in there like you know thousand dollars in venture but I need to give it away. She said all great that'll take a lot of getting getting a ticket division away to take off to be the easiest thing I've ever done is I'll be back in five minutes start counting out want out of the park for this particular's of people standing around getting ready to buy the ticket is at hi would you like a free ticket to Disneyland actually like From what I will go to someone else. Hi would you like a free ticket to leave us alone, that they thought it was some kind of a trick.

Everyone's a suspicious of me. Finally I feel a person stuck it in the pot know I didn't get much on it took me like 20 minutes to get rid of that stupid to get you know why no one believes someone would just give them a ticket to Disneyland in the same way we say hey you want to have a relationship with God. All of your sins forgiven you want to go to heaven when you die believing she could get away from. I want talk. That makes me uncomfortable. Why would we reject a gift like eternal life is the only gift that keeps on giving.

God is offering it to you now just because it's free doesn't mean it was cheap.

God purchased it with his own sons life.

Jesus still visible for this ticket. You could never have afforded it yourself yet.

He offers it to you now know when you give a gift to a woman there will always read the car for the loop in the car to be very careful reading though be touched by what's up that's so sweet, then the carefully undo the ribbon on the save this for later in the open up again and enjoy you give a gift to a man who put a card in their hands they don't read your car. The only reason live and open it to see if there's money in it that the athletic arena. They are saying whatever return the favor life. You begin to give a gift or magic to bitumen paper bag and save the time wrapping my. I don't care how you open this give. I don't care reviewed carefully. Take the gift of God being offered to you tonight purchased for you by Jesus Christ. So you can know you will go to heaven. In closing some of your things and close. I would not be telling you the whole truth.

If I didn't mention there is also a hell. Just as there is a real heaven for real people. There is a real hell for real people to Jesus and brought as a way that leads to this project and many there are that go that way. There was a way that leads to life, and few there are that find it.

If you want to go to heaven. It's a deliberate decision. It's a choice you make to accept the forgiveness of God and put your faith in Jesus and he alone to give you eternal life is a lot I can't believe in a God of love that would send someone now you know what God doesn't send people to hell for my final quote of CS Lewis. He said the gates of hell are locked from the inside. Listen if you went up in hell and that final day, you'll have no one to blame but yourself because the last thing God wants is for you to spend eternity separated from him that his wife paid such a great price and sending Jesus to die in your life. You can go to heaven tonight by putting your faith in Christ, though it was certain say my JLI Greg what I need to do. I want to go to heaven.

I want to get my ticket number one you up to adventurous and the Bible says all of sin and fallen short of the glory of God. Every one of us have broken God's commandment.

We have fallen short of the standards that we have crossed the line and broke the commandment over and over again. I won't be able cite you I don't need Jesus Christ.

I live by the 10 Commandments all safe. That's great, name informing those so psycho I'm not sure and you yes I live by them. I just know the check this out. If you are broken one of the 10 Commandments are guilty of all of them. The Bible says that we have been in one point of the law were guilty of all of it. The 10 Commandments were not given to make us righteous.

They were given the show us our need for God and send us into the open arms of Jesus Christ who will forgive us, but we sin that we have to admit that that's hard for some like to say were centered. Listen were all sinners.

When we tell you something else. Kevin is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven because no one is good enough to get to heaven if you're forgiven by Jesus, you will be there number to realize a Jesus Christ, the son of God died on the cross for your sin. 2000 years ago, he voluntarily went to the cross and laid his life down and they counted spikes into his hands and his feet and he took the sin of the world upon himself.

He took your sin. He took my the apostle Paul said he loved me and gave himself for me. And Jesus showed his love for you by dying in your place.

He came to pay a dead. He did not know because you loaded that you could not pay. Thirdly, if you want to know you go to heaven when you die, you must repent of your sin.

The word repent means to change your direction.

The Bible says repent and be converted in times of refreshment will come from God's presence.

The Bible says God has commanded people everywhere to repent.

Stop running from God, and run to God, then you must receive Christ into your life. Being a Christian is not just believing in a creator. Going to a church being a Christian is having Christ himself, lives inside of you. Jesus says behold I stand at the door and not and if any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in standing at the door of your life right now and he is not leasing. Let me in and then you must do it publicly. That is why in a few moments on the ask you to do over 7000 people of God over the last two nights here at Angel Stadium, and ask you to make a public stand for Jesus Christ. While I do that because everyone that Jesus calls he calls openly and publicly Jesus said he will acknowledge me before people, I will acknowledge you before my father and the angels in heaven.

But, he added. If you deny me before people, I will deny you before the father in the listen coming down this field will not make you a Christian believing in Jesus will do that this is a way to publicly demonstrate your faith and say I want to follow Christ that I don't care who sees because I mean business.

Deny Dominic Collier to make a public stand. And lastly, you must do it now. You must do it now.

The Bible says today is the day of salvation. Listen, every time you hear the gospel is reported tonight the message that God loves you will forgive you.

You can go to heaven. Every time you hear that and you say no to it. Check it out. Your heart gets a little harder it gets a little more callous. The Bible says he was often approved hardens his heart and he will be cut off, and that without remedy. You can just harden your heart for so long and then something God is in speaking but you don't room anymore. That's why the Bible says harden not your heart if you can hear his voice.

He done inside something stirring your safe. I need to do this I need to believe in Jesus, I get it. It's time to act on it. Don't put it off till say I'll do it tomorrow or next week. Today is today. Tonight is the night to get right with God because honestly you may never have another opportunity when you have to not, I hope you'll make the right decision and follow Jesus Christ. I caring see you will never regret it in a Moberg and a prayer nominal invite you to change your eternal address from hell to have nominal invite you believe in Jesus Christ and of your sin forgiven and your guilt. Remove I'm annoyed by you will fallen away from the Lord to come back to him again tonight prodigal sons and daughters returning home to your father never stopped loving you, not even for a moment. So I'm in a play and then I will invite you to come. Let's pray now father to every person hearing these words help them to see the things that we have shared to hide are true there.

The gospel truth. Help them become due and believing you now. We pray this name, amen

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