This broadcaster has 1500 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
June 11, 2022 3:00 am
Pastor Greg starts off with two major questions:
Why is there suffering?
Why do Christians have to suffer?
As Randy explains, “[God] didn’t make the world with all of this suffering. He made it different than that. Then we made some choices—sin—that brought suffering into the world. Now we are living with the consequences. The great thing is, according to the Bible, God doesn’t give up. He is still sovereign. He is still in control.”
Listen to this fruitful discussion about a necessary topic and be encouraged in your faith!
Randy Alcorn is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 books, including Heaven. He is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them.
Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org
This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
Support the show: https://harvest.org/support
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Grigori pod. Justin, my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events.
From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast. Today we have a very special treat in store here were going to speak with a prolific author whose name is Randy Alcorn now if you can be an expert on the topic of heaven. Then Randy is that guy. Then someone will gospel how can you be an expert on him when you've never been there. Well really is not one of these guys it's written the book alleging two of Gandhi heaven and returning to tell us about it but he is a guy who has spent a good deal of his life studying the topic of the afterlife and the new earth is probably read every book that's been written on the subject.
In addition, he has studied Scripture in and really I think it's his volume on the topic of heaven lived I would think of right here is probably the best book I've seen on the subject.
I think every believer ought to have this in their library. It's it's really the go to book on the afterlife. And if your questions don't get answered are reading this book, God be somewhat surprised because he addresses every aspect of heaven. In this book is also written other books like if God is good and what heaven is to the afterlife. This is that the topic of human suffering.
I think it's a find this volume I read on the topic and I read a lot of books as well (he has written a book called the treasure principle which is right here and then here's one that I just came across see the unseen and no Randy can add to his writing books are all the books he's written a comic book called eternity.
Not really. They call these graphic novels. Now they're very popular especially with younger people, amazing illustrations, so we'll talk about this in a few moments, but he was a pastor for 14 years now. He is a director of the ministry called eternal perspective ministries and he he speaks on this topic a lot but really doesn't do a lot of just speaking so really glad that he is made time out of a very busy schedule to come and join us here. So let's give a warm harvest welcome to Randy Alcorn good to have you so ready to they wanted to talk about three basic subjects are one of them is the topic of human suffering are the second one is would be the afterlife, heaven and hell. What happens beyond the grave and then finally, in light of these topics, but an eternal perspective is, you know, how do we live in this earth. In light of the hope that we have as believers. And finally, I would like to talk about male pattern baldness and this is something that you do not struggle with that I do well again it's great because you will have a biblical discussion in what were talking literally limits your Bible. If you would know this is one beat up Bible. This is look at this Bible, this is Randy Alcorn's Bible. I mean look at this is been set up Bible that is falling apart is an indication of a life that isn't well then your Bible is falling apart. Randy every pages marked in. This is obviously a very well used Bible so as work going through these questions. Randy will open up the Scripture will be reading something together.
We invite them to join us. This is a biblical discussions but instead of doing it from behind the pulpit were doing it at a desk to talk about these topics that encourage audit take note to give you a lot of references things you want to go back to later. So let's dive right into the problem of pain and nobody wants pain in their life.
Nobody wants to suffer, but one team shows up and moves in.
You don't really have a say so in the matter and probably if you're talking to a nonbeliever won't be long until the question is asked in some way shape or form. How can a God of love allow suffering in the world. CS Lewis said, quote the problem of pain is atheism's most potent weapon against the Christian faith. But then there's the pain that the Christian faces that sometimes doesn't make sense to us as believers and in your book. If God is good, you write quote most of us don't give focus thought to evil and suffering until we experience them.
This forces us to formulate perspective on the fly at a time when her thinking is model and were exhausted and consumed by pressing issues. People who have been there, will attest. It's far better to think through suffering in advance so maybe those are listening today. Things are going reasonably well, but there might be somebody listening and they're not just here but that's to be seen by people later on the Internet it'll be seen, heard on a radio broadcast. There would be a person listening or curing this. That is just come face-to-face with the worst crisis of their life and probably the first question it's come to their mind is why is this happening to me. So maybe a two-part question why is there suffering in general and then why do Christians have to suffer while great questions and I think the Bible is clear in terms of the answers. One is that God created a world where he said, Genesis 131 he looked at everything he created and said, behold, it's very good.
There was no suffering. Originally in the world suffering is the result of sin coming into the world so sometimes people will say why would a good God designed the world with all of the suffering.
I don't get it in the answers. He didn't make the world with all the suffering he made it different than that.
Then we made some choices sin that brought suffering into the world now were living with the consequences. But the great thing is, according to the Bible, God doesn't give up and he still sovereign. He's still in control and the quickly sovereign yes visit me when you see God's thought that God is totally in control of all things, and nothing surprises God.
He has complete knowledge.
He also has complete power and sometimes we do a disservice to God by thinking that an individual human being or a demon or Satan himself can do something that totally dismantles or unravels the plan of God. The Bible teaches that God is bigger than that he's infinitely big and that even when people send like Joseph to his brothers in Genesis 45 and again in Genesis 50 you intended it for evil God intended for good and he says in Genesis 45 to his brothers, God sent me down to Egypt. Number two, you did a simple thing but God even worked through your sinful thing to get me to the place he wanted me to so that many lives. Years later would be safe. So if you have this perspective that God loves you completely and that God is in control completely.
These will be a huge perspective giving commodity coming here able to look at life through that lens and you realize gathers a lot of people and suffering the world but it is a temporary condition. If I am a child of God Bible relationship with Jesus Christ. I will spend eternity with him in heaven, where there will be according to Revelation 21 to wipe away the tears from every eye. No more pain, no more suffering no more death, and that's his prompt.
It's interesting that in the book of Genesis talking about Joseph, he said to his brothers. You know you you met the cerebral God meant it for good. But then you quote, or Joseph, that God sent me down. Interesting, because sometimes when pain comes our way was under the why this is happening. This is horrible, but that with the passing of time. There are seasons in life we can look back on what was clearly a bad thing, actually say that was a good thing and even move from God allowed it to God did it right but there are things that happen in life that never seem to be good so they don't make some sense the side of heaven. Today they don't. And this is sometimes where we take our Romans 828 yeah great wonderful verse depend on the translation God causes all things work together for good to those love God and yet we can take that verse which is true but we can share with people at the wrong time in the wrong contrary truth. So, for instance, when your son Christopher diet if somebody came up to you and maybe somebody did.
I don't know and sent a will you know Greg don't worry about it because Romans 828 yeah I got you know all things work together for good to which you're saying don't don't use the word good in the same sentence with the death of my precious son and this is what we sometimes have to be very careful of is you can take the truth of Scripture.
But there is a right time to write later, Sherry, and when a person then has been in their grief for a while, then they may be struggling for perspective and to be able to reassure reunion with loved ones who knew Christ in you know Jesus and to be together with them in all of that and maybe when the time is right to say no. We don't know how but this promise in Romans eight applies to suffering this whole chapter is about suffering and so even the things that are bad. God doesn't make the bad thing good, but he takes all the bad things together and works them in concert for a great good to great insight and I think it's so true. When you quote a verse to a person. There's a right and a wrong thing to say.
I think when you're ministering to a person who has lost a loved one, less is more.
I think Job's friends had it right.
Initially when they saw Joe from a distance and to begin the week with him. You know after our son went to be with the Lord. I spoke at a conference and it was scheduled to be at a couple of months afterwards and Evie torn Chris was there you ever heard of of the note is she popular Christian singer. I didn't even really know Evie that will, but she saw me and she started crying and hugged me that did more for me than all the little sermon that the people gave me because she she was just simply weeping was someone who wept. I was touched that she was touched and it was really when the counselors of Joe started talking that the problems began, but coming back to what you said earlier about the devil having to get permission you note to remember that story. The book of Job, there was that heavenly conversation. As I've said jokingly sometimes. I've said to the Lord Lord of your ever for a fleeting moment, feeling proud of me. Please don't brag them in front of the devil, because I sewed up and did Joe keep it yourself. Just you know God's bragging of Job in heaven. Have you considered my servant Job, a perfect and upright men under peers got insurance evil. The double challenges that remark God allows the enemy to bring a series of calamities into Job's life, but with restriction he can't just run willy-nilly and that's because there is a hedge around us and God knows what we can handle but there might be someone listening to this right now there's a wall I have more than I can handle it is not possible for a Christian what Scripture says that God will not test us beyond what were able to endure, but will with the task that were for test trial temptation and it's translated different ways was the same Greek word, but he will provide a means of escape, that we may be able to bear it now so bearing an escape may sound different escape may sound like oh I don't have to do with it and get out know there are some life long pressures suffering that we have to do. John Erickson taught in many other people for a lifetime or or the greater part of a lifetime in a wheelchair and so you you don't think of that as a passing suffering because it will last the rest of her likeness.
God has not chosen to heal her to this point. Many people prayed over her. But for whatever reason God and his perfect plan and we can see a lot of the reasons of ministry that's been unbelievable and worldwide and look how God has used it to encourage other people. But the point is, it is a passing suffering in that it will not last. It will come to indent it will come to an end with her death or with the return of Christ, whichever comes first, and that reassurance is that these light and momentary affliction. Second Corinthians 4 talks about will they don't seem like they don't seem momentary, they can go on and on but compared to the weight of glory for all eternity. Therefore outweigh you talk less about that. Like the rock of Gibraltar within the planet. Use an illustration again.
Is this what it's just like okay signal with tales yeah you got the scales meant both sides. Here you think okay my present suffering is so great it's so immense it's like the rock of Gibraltar. The beginning bigger than that and it just feels like it was Miguel but then God says over here is not minimizing the rock of Gibraltar. That's a big rock, but now he's putting on the other side of that the scales the planet Jupiter. That's on major difference of God doesn't minimize our present summary by calling it like a monitor.
He just says, compared to the glory any maternity in resurrected bodies in the presence of the resurrected Jesus with resurrected family of God, serving him for all eternity on the new earth while in comparison like an momentary so exactly did the Christians suffer less more about the same as people were not Christians.
I think I there are times where we suffer less because of the very assurance that we have in our hearts that relieves us of some suffering and even in the midst of other suffering gives us this promise blood bought promise by the blood of Jesus Christ that things will be better and so that becomes the light at the end of the tunnel, but in terms of just objective outside types of suffering, the rates of of cancer or the number of car accidents and other tragedies all of that would be very much. I think the same scattered out of range balls in the just and the unjust exactly, then there is a special suffering that Christians undergo the persecution true. Now there are some unbelievers who are persecuted for other types of things and reasons, but we are promised in Scripture that we will suffer and and Scripture says don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal that you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you and says that in first Peter four. We should view it a strange and unusual and I think one of the things that happens. Greg you seen this is that Christians start believing health and wealth gospel, prosperity, theology, and then they have an expectation of God, and they act as if God has promised that all will go smoothly in their life have any of you noticed that not everything does go sniffling and I want to set and the thing is what we do is we set ourselves up to be disillusioned with God, yeah.
I've had people say to me, God promised me this this this life and look he hasn't come through with his promise a sick give me the chapter and verse, where he promised that this life would be easy.
I can give you dozens and dozens where he promised it would be hard to write after Romans 828 is Romans 829 which is profound.
Think about good advancing. That's why this man is your pastor and I'm not. So we all could you know Romans 828 all things work together for good to those that love God mother called according to his purpose, but then goes on to verse 29 for whom he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his own dear son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. So God's in game if you will, is to make us like Christ. But let's shift gears now from suffering a let's talk about the afterlife. You know there's probably no topic out there with her is more confusion than this topic. Of course, is a plethora of books on the afterlife and it seems like more and more these days your reading of people who have our telling of their out of body experiences. They died and went to heaven. Summary for put up by Christian publishers and in you read these, and I'm amazed at how sometimes even believers will read these books and take all of they said it in the book and must not be true, or it must be true or not comparing that to what this book says, which is the only authoritative book on the topic and we have all these misconceptions ranging from heaven.
Is this boring place to all. When we die we become angels so while the confusion on the topic of heaven will first let me really reaffirm what you were saying there Greg about how important it is for us in an and access 17 verse 11. Premiums were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message. Now this was a message being preached by the apostle Paul. Okay they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day every day to see if what Paul said was true, while.
If you're going to examine the preaching of the apostle Paul by the Scriptures everything should be examined by the Scriptures and this is why think many of these books and many of these reports, the afterlife and you know we can't definitively say since God can do anything he wants to know if God wants to send somebody to heaven and then they come back he can do that, but whatever they say we better examined by charter and if it doesn't hold up Scripture, we can know for sure it's not true, and there are things that are said like for instance I think there's many things that are good and right that don't conflict with Scripture about Colton number below the boy who tells the story you know heaven is for real.
I raise dad, you know, as written this book and this is what a son experience and have it there are things in there that I will say well when he talks about people in heaven have angels, and they have circles around her head like Caleb to bring the Bible does anyone ever have a halo in heaven or on earth around her head. There are some people who physically shine like Moses, but that halo thing is artistic sanction in the ancient world and then revived again in the Middle Ages and then people never have wings in Scripture. There's not 1 Single Pl. Angels sometimes have wings sometimes don't have wings.
People never have wings. So what when somebody says what we know people have wings in heaven because after all it says it right in the book heaven is for real. I these people arch are genuine Christians who love Jesus. I'm not questioning motives or anything else. I'm just saying while some others things just don't match up with what Scripture says and I think one of the worst things is, then it opens up the minds of people to start believing these books and a more recent one by I think it's Mary Neal to heaven and back, also published by a Christian publisher will. She says that she went to heaven and Jesus are an angel. She's not sure which which makes you wonder really you don't know that she's an angel, but one of either Jesus or angel sister look at all of these spirits up in heaven that are about to be born into the world down below.
They have a right relationship with God, then there born into the world down below and spend the rest of their life trying to regain the relationship with God. They once had as preexistent spirits in heaven. That is a totally un-biblical teaching, and yet a Christian publisher, pungent music, well, if it is an angel or Jesus sent out to her. I guess it must be true. No, this is true, that's right, MN. So I posted on my Facebook page and we talked with Freddie Alcorn. Any questions will guide us and this is one going through it you just said her name is Leah who is worried about or wondered about angels and their place in heaven. Is it possible that humans are transformed into angels and the heaven were angels. A separate entity in heaven created differently to serve God so will become an angel. When we get to have a doing we don't. And this gets to something that's very critical to understand there is a biblical doctrine that could be called the doctrine of continuity and what it means is that people always remained people we are created in God's image. We are now. We will be for all eternity.
We don't become a different kind of been right.
We become glorified human beings, meaning were still human and you see that in the in Job 19 work. He says I know the my Redeemer lives, and that I will see him right in here it is in verse 25 I know that it of chapter 19 of Job. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth interest not he will just stay up there in and in heaven, but he will stand upon the earth and then Job says, and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God there people are saying that the Old Testament never refers to a resurrection. Well, if you've written. Daniel 12 verses one until you know that's not true.
It's clear statement about resurrection. Isn't this I mean this is the oldest written book in the Bible. People say yeah and it says after my skin has been destroyed.
Your skin gets your body. Your body has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. That's resurrection. Yes, I myself and here's the continuity, Job says I myself will see him with my own eyes resurrected, authorized, and then he says I and not another. How clear can that be.
Job is saying it will really be me so when Greg and I are in heaven and any of the rest of you here know Jesus Christ be in heaven someday were in heaven we will be it will be grade made new. It will be Randy but Randy without sin.
And so it will be the real us, just like it will be the real Job and you seem to be close to what you are now, but I'll be a lot better. Better than you are now are better than money know better when I am now pretty close to the way you know let's plug told not, but the two, but the truth is, it will really be yes and the times people get very confused on this because they say well I don't think will even remember anything they think one verse in Isaiah 65 completely out of context and signal were not can remember what what are we told were told in Romans 1412 that each one of us will give an account of our entire lives. You have to remember to do that, exactly. In other words, will have to remit have better memories. Can you remember everything in your life know you can't now are memories of this life will have to be that are not always. We are known so exactly yeah so you know, so it's not like the blue the brain, wiping men in black where you forget everything you do not no less present than that addresses the subject will we recognize one another in heaven, or why would we know lesson heaven that we know on earth will know more. So clearly we would recognize one another. We we would have recollection, but I think you would be with perspective right exactly and that's the difference because you sometimes people say well okay if we could remember the things on heaven when we had the sad yeah yeah and the same thing if we could see the things on earth when Raven we be sad. We have to remember is when we get to heaven are our peace will our peace of mind will not be dependent upon ignorance right. It will be dependent upon perspective grants God will give us that perspective like I have little granddaughters.
And unlike the other day they were playing with one of their dolls and head came up with.
I think the end of the world to grandchild and I'm just looking out. I say no, don't worry it's okay I'll take care of it then know you know but I'm just going to go by renewing. I know that beak but I have the adult perspective they have excels perspective so hundreds we have a child's perspective, if you will in heaven will see it from God's perspective all the thing that looks so bad from this side. I look at it from this side and I see how God used it for good.
So it's not ignorance, but it's like you said perspective. So that brings us now to the obvious question. You know two people in heaven know what's going on earth are they sitting up there like a little chairs watching us right now or are they completely oblivious to what's happening on earth. This is a question that asked a lot. I think they were with us in the first part of the message but they lost interest and right now, no, no. But seriously, people in heaven that we know from several passages of Scripture in Revelation 6 is one of the readily answered Revelation 6. Revelation 6 we have people martyrs who died, gone to heaven and then picking up in or around verse nine.
It talks about those who been slain because of the word of God is the water just for clarification. These are people. These are mortals who have died on the earth for their faith. So that's why this is important, what were talking about people in heaven right. These are angels. These are people and then it says in verse 10 these people died and gone to be with Jesus. They called out in a loud voice, saying, how long, sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood will you.
They clearly remember their lives on earth. They clearly remember something very bad like they were murdered and how much worse does it get the net they clearly remember that, but they have a perspective now. Yet they still have a longing for justice and judgment and I think along the other suffering saints on earth would be delivered from their suffering, so they're saying how long Lord before you bring judgment on those who killed us in clearly they know that God has not yet brought judgment on the how do they know that will presumably because they can see they can see what's going on personally know God hasn't yet brought judgment so you're asking him how long to think there's an example of people who remember bad things that happen, see bad things that are happening and are asking God to intervene and judgment. And God says wait a little longer until the last of the martyrs died. That's I think it you know we think of the return of Christ, and one way to ask you when will Christ return. And people speculate as to days and times and dates and Jesus told us not to do that the people do, but the great thing is the way from God's perspective what he's saying in this Revelation 6 passages I will return after the last martyrs died and only he knows that landlord will be so we go to heaven when we die as Christians, we don't get a glorified body. Whenever we die. That's a future event, the resurrection, but then we come back to earth.
Don't wait and then there's good to be in Newark so I'm going to be like all just dying go together live there forever. That's actually not with the Bible teaches is it it isn't and and turn to Revelation 21 and you see very clearly in verse three and let me just preface this is your trainer. Revelation 21 three to say that okay when we die like it. Grandma dies. Somebody loves the Lord dies they go to be with Jesus and what we always think of heaven and properly so right now of us leaving the earth to go to live with God in God's home the place for God and the angels live but the ultimate promise of Scripture, even though that's true for now is the God what God will ultimately do is he will bring heaven and heaven is wherever God specially dwells wherever his throne is. He will bring that all down to the new earth to dwell with his people and look at Revelation 21 verse three where it says I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, now the dwelling of God is with men, and backing up its he sees a new heaven and a new earth. He sees the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. That new Jerusalem comes down it's only earth, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed, and then says, and a loud voice says, now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Now with them is used three times so here's here's a paradigm shift. We tend to think of as it is for the moment, we tend to think of it permanently, as if heaven means us going up to live with God in his place. The ultimate heaven will be God coming down from his place to live with us in our place, which will be the new earth. And remember, when we think about the incarnation of Christ.
Some people act like Jesus. Like took on a body like we might put on a coat and then later take off the coat and now he no longer has a body own notes.
Scripture teaches the permanent resurrected body of Christ. He ascended in that same body that this same Jesus physical Jesus who ate and drank with his disciples fed them breakfast went up to heaven, will come again, and he will return and he will set up his kingdom. Some believe in a thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. I take a position other people to different positions than following that in the new heavens and the new earth. God will bring heaven down to earth were told the throne of God will be there in that city and that will be a little heaven on earth that some people try to make heaven on earth. They try to make this utopia down here. They say will if we just do this. We just knew that we improve the human race that will build ourselves up to for perfection and will conquer death. That's nonsense.
None of that is going to happen, but while we will bring heaven on earth. God promises he will bring heaven to earth and we will reign with him as his people resurrected, people raining, ruling the earth, to the glory of God. Just as God originally intended for Adam and Eve. We think that was a failure when he briefly reigned had dominion over the earth to God's glory. And then it all went south. Okay will know for eternity. God's people will as kings and queens yell he's the King of Kings, but we will rule the new earth to God's glory. And then that sounds good doesn't it.
Yeah, come on, let's talk about the eternal perspective. Okay so we have this hope of heaven, we have the hope that heaven comes the earth and the new earth.
We have the hope of a glorified body will serve the Lord we have a future. Sometimes people seem to think that this life under is all we have and so maybe the hugger bucket list. There's a guy that wrote a book called 100 things to do before you die. And in his book, he offered this counsel and I quote this life. Is that your journey make sure you fill it with the most fun to visit all the cool places on earth. He says you need to make like accountants on his bucket list was attending the Academy Awards and running with the bulls in Spain. Tragically, the author of the book, died at age 47 after hitting his head after a fall in the Psalm he himself only was able to accomplish half of the items on the list, so I thought you were going to say, jokingly, died in the bowl now right well that what I got real low on mileage that is not that's how to end your life quickly run with the bulls. That makes a lot of sense but but this guy is single you going to do it all. Notes of the ideas. It's all in the here and now all men.
If you don't do it now. That's it.
But there is a future. Of course, but should a Christian of a bucket list will here's the interesting thing about the bucket list. It makes an assumption and it sometimes it's expressed like this. We only live once you're on earth are you only go around once.
Will, according to the Bible we go around twice and the second time will never end. Yes, that's literally what the Bible teaches. Now that is a paradigm shift right because now when I think of all, I got a taste of a certain kind of food before I die and travel to some country where they serve this food and experienced this situation. The Bible teaches Jesus, probably seven or eight times talked about eating and drinking in God's kingdom and some people said you take that literally. Of course we take that literally because in his literal resurrection body. He ate and drank with yeah that's right, he fished from the eighth to gather and when Jesus and his resurrected body. The food dropped through the ground. You know he wasn't a ghost. He says I am not a ghost, a ghost does not have much and only as I have, we will have flesh and bones because our bodies will be like if so, with the bucket list thing you think well okay I want to go visit Lake Victoria in Africa well this going to be a new Jerusalem. There's going to be new nations on the earth. The kings of the nations of the earth will bring their treasures into God's kingdom into the new Jerusalem were told this at the end of Revelation 21 continuity between older to new earth present bodies will be resurrected right so I can say I will serve God with these very hands.
Yes, these hats that will be resurrected into a permanent incorruptible state. Also the new earth will be the old earth made no so there's a new Jerusalem might there be a new Paris New London new Riverside why not. But in any case, natural wonders on the newer gifts were told of the mountain were told of all of the river that flows through the throat would talk about the tree of life which is now forced of life that grows on both sides that yields a new fruit for people to eat every month so we will eat and drink so on. The bucket list.
It's like no the very best that we will ever experience on this earth will not be experienced here and now.
But in a new earth with new bodies.
The old earth made new. The old bodies made new.
My favorite food. Very likely is one that I've never tasted you and I will taste for the first time on the Newark because not only will the food be better but our taste buds will be interrupted, uncorrupted, and we will be able to experience all God has Jesus said live for yourselves treasures in heaven were neither mop the rust to corrupt nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is there with your heart be also doesn't mean because here I'm talking about heaven, but I'm living here on earth at the time and Huntley lay up treasures in heaven. I think clearly in Matthew six when you compare it to some parallel passages were so similar words. He is talking about giving. He is talking about taking earthly treasures and doing something with them and laying them up in heaven. How you do that how do you turn in earthly treasure in a heavenly treasure and and the answer is quite giving it over to the Lord so that it can bring the gospel to the nations so can bring the gospel to our communities so that he can feed the hungry people in the name of Jesus. So all of these good and God honoring things can be done as long as I hold onto it. It's a treasure earthly treasure that I can lose. That's we talk about moth and rust and thieves break in and steal as long as I call it mind and hang onto it, then it can be lost. But the moment I give it to the Lord. It's yours Lord belongs to you own everything here is the firstfruits generous giving here you go. Use this use this as you know best how to use it and you know what for some of us. The call may be Nancy my life that the call to us that what we believe is what we live in a good middle-class life, but a lot of book royalty money coming beyond that we don't need that and so we give that so everything that's above and beyond.
We give to God's kingdom and where we should feel sorry for us but we are able to lay up treasures in heaven, we believe, and that we will experience someday, but meanwhile the joy that you have in giving Jesus said, in fact, the book of acts as one single statement made by Jesus. That's not in the Gospels and it's not. It's a chapter 20 verse 35 where it says Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive an outward translator blessed means in the ridgeline which it means happy making it is more happy making to give than to receive. Nothing will bring you greater happiness and joy than to invest to give to lay up treasures. And do you think that tithing is something that is still relevant for today for a person living in the new covenant present merely an old covenant teaching to bring your tithes into the storehouse, like Malachi in the book of Malachi cuts is bring all the ties in the my storehouse says the Lord, and see if I will not open above the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that you want a room enough to receive it. Is that still apply to today. Do you think I think to a degree at us and and and here's I think that scripture these Old Testament passages.
Sometimes we think okay were no longer under the law.
So for instance we don't need to keep the Sabbath, but, yes, but is there a principal on a day of rest is rest being built into our life, something God still advocates. I think the answer is yes and no you not to keep all the detailed rules by let's set aside the day of rest. I think the same thing is true with the tie-dye think there's a timeless truth in it.
Take the firstfruits number. You know, the giving of the first and the best give that to the Lord and that's kind of symbolic that the other 90% belongs to God as well.
I come to take a middle position on the type. Some people say oh yeah, what we got on live under the tie doesn't matter applies to us, just like it did in the nation Israel and then I say well you know I'm little hesitant on that because do you do that with all the other commands probably not within there's people to go to the other extreme, and I say Christian shouldn't I literally had people say because you're putting yourself in bondage or put yourself on the wall you know if you tie-dye signal. Tithing is is like the training wheels on a bicycle. I look at God's old covenant people. They did the tithing.
So as a new covenant person. I say okay God, do you want me to give just at the level that those people gave you want to give less than that you want to get more than that would very least, how about a start doing what you have them do, and it can't be a bad thing running. God had them do it, but I do it. Not thinking I'm coming favor with God. Not checking off the box not being legalistic but just saying okay to help me get up on the bicycle of giving. I'm getting use the training wheels of tithing, not to like you type in of these this little talker having will be seen by people later and there's probably someone watching this right now, or maybe even here with us, who is suffering there suffering deeply. Maybe they have cancer. Maybe they've just lost a loved one in their Christian so what hope do you offer them will certainly of the promise of ultimately the new earth, for all those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the promise of resurrection, not just temporarily going to have about the new heaven that God will bring down to earth to live there for all eternity. Scripture says those who are believers now will be with the Lord forever, and we shall see God's face. God is the source of all blessing God is a happy God directly told that her first of the one first of the six that same word the 10th in acts 20 McCarty us that he is the blessed God is the translation but anyone that lived and spoke to Rick that day if they were to translate English would think the happy God. And when the King James version was translate the format the happy God. He is the blessed God, the happy God, and we will live with the happy God, and the source of all happiness for all eternity and we will see his face.
We will enjoy his presence. Scripture says, Psalm 1611 in your presence is fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures for evermore, and that with that promise blood bought promise Jesus shed his blood on the cross to gain for us that eternal happiness and that should bring great encouragement. Anyone even in the present suffering.
I have a good friend who is dying right now and that dear woman I desire.
Lots of verses of scripture and great quotes about heaven and and she is about to enter the presence of the Lord and she truly has a joy even in the midst of some serious stuff.
Heaven set the default destination of every person that was it. There is a hell and Jesus spoke more about it than all the other teachers in the Bible put together. So how does one make sure that they will go to heaven when they die ultimate guarantee that first and foremost we need to realize there is nothing we can do to earn status before God. You can't talk a point you don't have this little checklist.
I do this this nest and got a let me in and that's the way you you think you are thinking completely wrongly and tragically, unless you change that when you view you won't end up in heaven.
The presence of God. The Scripture says it's not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved for by grace you have been saved through faith that I'm not of yourselves.
It's the gift of God not by works, lest any man should boast will have nothing to boast about. So what I have to do is recognize my moral bankruptcy.
The fact that I am a sinner that I do not deserve heaven. I actually deserve hell. But Jesus, so to speak. Took hell upon himself on the cross so that I am trusting in him and his redemptive sacrifice will be able to experience heaven in his presence forever. That's the gospel that's the gospel to Greg goes around preaching everywhere. That's the gospel that he preaches here, that's the gospel that has been entrusted to us and really in the end, what is more important than the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ alone to write I say I did interview with Pastor Chuck is in heaven now only weeks before he died and I said Chuck if you could preach one last sermon, what would your text be in this response was John 316. That's in the one you choose that, I think I knew the answer but I want to know his reason is it will it's the gospel note the gospel in a nutshell.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life that so endeavor. Any of you that are listening or watching and you've not put your faith in Christ. So we want you to do that today so you can know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die and so I would like to close in prayer and give you that opportunity to make the commitment to Christ if you've not done that yet, so let's all pray together. Father I pray for any here any watching any listing that do not yet know you Lord help them to turn from their sin and put their faith in Jesus and Jesus alone so they can know with certainty.
They will go to heaven when they die and you the one Christ to come of your life. Maybe you would just pray this prayer after me right where you said just pray this after me, Lord Jesus, I know in the center but I know you're a Savior and you died on the cross for me and shed your blood and absorb the wrath of God in my place and then he rose again from the dead, the coming of my life and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord is God and friend. Thank you Lord, in Jesus name I pray, amen. Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast and the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to harvest.org.
By the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know God.org that's Cano W Geo D.org