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January 30, 2021 2:00 am
What sort of existence and experiences are departed believers enjoying right now? Is the heaven we go to when we die our final destination? Paul described it as "far better" (Phil. 1:23) but it's going to get even much better! Paul lightly touches on what happens when a Christian dies and awaits the resurrection, but it's enough to give us confidence. Let's consider today the "intermediate" or temporary transitional heaven before the resurrection of our bodies.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
I once went camping for three months. I took a trip around the state that a truck and a tent and set it up every night.
You know, honestly, I had fun, but I'm over it.
After a few days you start longing for things like shower walls real bad something very temporary. Your body is like a tent. Your body is temporary and after a while Fred started to unravel. After a while, the flaps become more prominent after a while the 10 starts to leak since the nature of the temporary body notes. Interesting how some people want to make their live forever or look like laughs and been talking guide the thread some to go, but he died. He was so young. There are hundred and 40 when they got you kid the past few years seem to of been full of natural disasters have tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and fires every time we see video of the wreckage of homes and destruction of lives were reminded that in one second. Everything we have be taken away and today here and connect with Skip weekend edition skip. Isaac reminds us that even if a natural disaster doesn't rearrange our lives. One day Jeff will that kind of change is one we look forward to.
While that is coming up next. First, information about Pastor skip's latest book off does God exist, and if he dies. Is it possible to know your answer to those two questions shapes how you see the world skip. I think once wrestled with those very questions himself, you know, I've been teaching the Bible for over three decades before I became a Christian and when I was new to the faith. I studied science and philosophy alongside the Bible as I studied, I grew confident that God does exist. And yes, we can know biography of God.
The brand-new book by skip, I think you learn to remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. Everything changes when you acknowledge and believe that God is who he says he hears biography of God is our way to thank you when you give $35 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach to more people request your copy when you get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888. Our current connect with Skip weekend teaching series is from the edge of eternity. So much of our Bibles to second Corinthians chapter 5 as we join Skip Heitzig for this message. I had a friend who lost his grandmother a few years ago and we affectionately called her by the name of grandma. She was known by all of the kids and grandkids and great kids is grandma boot. She died at 99 almost 100, we were hoping that you make it 200 but she did. She loved life. Grandmother did, but she was groaning for glory.
And no wonder she lost her daughter.
She was there to bury her daughter.
She buried her own grandson.
Several of her friends died and so I remember when she said you know I think I know more people now in heaven than I do on earth. And I think I'm ready now to leave earth and be in heaven. So as good as this life was. She knew that there was something far better after this life. What a testimony was a guy in Michigan who lived over 100 years of age who also had a joy for life, true story, and he was known in his neighborhood is uncle Johnson. That's how everybody knew Michael Johnson.
He was a happy-go-lucky guy. One day he was outside gardening and a friend walked by and heard him singing praise songs set. Uncle Johnson, we are sure happy today. Our check. He said will you know I am happy, and here's what I have been thinking lately I've been thinking this if the crimes of joy which fall from the Masters table in this world are so good. What you think that great loaf in glory must be like you know death is a blessing.
And here's why the Bible says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God is good as you might look now you can get the best suit on and the nicest breasts on him looked trimmed in proper anything that decays cannot inhabit or inherit something which is incorruptible, a permanent home room and lets or wrote a great book called one minute after you die. And in that book, he writes only on this side of the curtain is death. Our enemy just beyond the curtain. The monster turns out to be our friend the labeled death is still on the bottle but the contents are eternal life. Death is our friend because it reminds us that heaven is near. How near as near as a heartbeat.
As near as an auto accident as near as a stray bullet. As near as a plane crash. If our eyes could see the spirit world we might find that we are already at its gates but death is not the end of the road. It's been in the road. It leads to some where we find that the tomb, the grave is really the entrance in the life the only way we know that the only way we would ever see that is by looking through the lens of Scripture is only by looking through the lens of the word of God, we understand anything there is about this life, death, the afterlife, heaven only through that lens back in 1999 there was a movie that was out and you probably either sign it or you heard of it called the matrix and the whole premise of the movie the matrix was that this visible world is nothing but virtual reality computer program and everybody's living in this delusion of physicality and we could see people and see things and experience things but really it's just people plugged in to a common source of common life a common computer and it's just a computer program itself toward the beginning of the film. Morpheus says to Neo, who started the main act for the film's as I have two pills in my hand take the blue pill wake up in your own bed. Believe whatever you want. Take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland, not just a few people in that film saw beyond the curtain into the really real world and I discovered that there is a whole world filled with people who have taken the blue pill. They wake up every morning. They believe whatever they want about life, death and the afterlife and only a few people have peered beyond this to the really real world.
I hear people say why I don't buy into the supernatural. I live in the real world. Paul the apostle would say okay this is the real world there's a really real world even more real and much more permanent than this last week we were in first Thessalonians 4 last week and the week before we discovered some things about death and that message we discovered that when we die our relationship with Christ is actually deepened, we discovered that after death there is a great reunion. If you're a believer in Christ you will reunite with moms and dads and children and brothers and sisters and friends who are also believers a be a great reunion in heaven and also we touched on the idea of the future resurrection. But here's the question today after we die until the resurrection. What will life be like, what will we look like, what will our form of be like what is the experience now at the point of Christian departure death until the resurrected body. Let's look at second Corinthians chapter 5 the first eight verses in us just skim them first for we know that if our earthly house.
This tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens for in this week grown earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven. If, indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent grown being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now he who has prepared us for this very thing is God who also has given us the spirit as a guarantee, so we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith not by sight. We are confident yes well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord how Paul brings up three important truths.
First is our destination.
Second is our frustration, and the third is our affirmation.
He tells us what we know, he tells us why we grown and he tells us when we are confident, which is always let let's just look more carefully at verse one at our destination. Now this is what we know, for we know that if our earthly house. This tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Do you notice how frequently Paul uses such terminology as we know, like, he says here you never read Paul saying that my fingers crossed. I guess I hope boy would it be great if, but he uses this on ambiguous definite language we know even back in first Thessalonians says we don't want you to be ignorant, brethren, as if to say, let me dispel any ignorance that there may be. I want you to know what is it we know we know according to verse one, that when we leave earth as a Christian we go to heaven.
We know that when we move from this tent. This physical body we go to a permanent temple house of the analogy was simple and everybody understood it in the first century because there were still people back then who lived in tents. They were nomadic dwellers and there still are some today in the Middle East. Headwinds though pitch their tents, their animals will feed and graze until there's no more food than the MoveOn and pitch their tents and put it somewhere else Paul himself. This was his profession. He was a tent maker so the analogy is clear.
One is temporary. That's the tent. One is permanent. That's the house.
The building one is flimsy. That's the 10th one is sturdy. That's the building one is weak. That's the tent one is strong.
That's the building. Also, any Jewish person reading this would maybe think back immediately to the tabernacle in the wilderness where God was once worshiped in attempt until they moved to a permanent location called the Temple known in Judaism as the house they called it the house.
So here's the principle verse one. The principle is this the way we look when we die isn't the way were going to look forever.
Can I get a hallelujah out of that one. The way we look when we die isn't the way were going to look forever. The real me is spirit.
This is only a tent you're looking at. But the real me is able to convey and communicate who I am via this medium called the human body, but it's temporary and if you ever camped you love to go out in the tent.
It's a lot of fun but not for very long. I once went camping for three months. I took a trip around the United States at a truck and a tent and it set it up every night. You know, honestly, I have fun, but I'm over and after a few days you start longing for things like a shower walls are real bad. It's something very temporary. Your body is like a tent. Your body is temporary and after a while the threads start to unravel. After a while, the flaps become more prominent after a while the tent starts to leak.
It's just the nature of the temporary body now.
It's interesting how some people want to make their tent live forever or look like it's a brand-new model younger than it really is so they'll stretch the flaps and nipping talking die.
The threads; they die they were so young there 140 when they died. Are you kidding now Paul calls our body at 10 James goes a step further and says not only is it that temporary, it's even less temporary.
He says what is your life. It is a vapor that appears for a time and then vanishes away, so James says here's your body here's your life that and then another comes as the next generation in another and then another and then another. We are temporary. Our bodies are meant not last.
We take down the tent. In fact, did you know the last letter Paul ever wrote was second Timothy and in chapter 4, toward the very end of the end of his life. He says the young Timothy for I know that the time of my heart sure is at hand member. The little phrase that louvers the time of my departure. The word is onů It means it's time to take down the tent and move on. So were used. He was vacating the tent look back at verse one and noticed that we trade in the tent for a building.
If our earthly house. This tent is destroyed, we have a building from God know what is he referring to when he says the building. Some people believe it's heaven itself. Other say well it's more specifically a mansion in heaven as Jesus promised in John 14 verse two in my father's house there are many mansions. The building then is the heavenly mansion, it seems, however, in reading the text that Paul is speaking about something more close than that, something we wear something were closed with. It makes more sense as I read this in context that the building from God, must be a reference to our glorified resurrected body. Okay there is a different view. There's 1/3 view and I just I just touched on the last week on elaborate a little bit this week. Some people believe that the building from God, that Paul is referring to is eight temporary intermediate body that we receive upon death as we wait for our bodies, then buried in the ground to be resurrected. We can't can't be dogmatic on this. This is only a possibility, and by the way, it's a view I do not lean to, but I just want to cover it today. Some people think this way.
Just as there's an intermediate heaven that will last forever because God will make a new heaven and a new earth, and that's our ultimate destination, then there must be an intermediate body to enjoy that intermediate heaven until we get to the new heaven and the new earth.
And so they'll cite examples. For example Moses who died, but was at the transfiguration with Moses and Jesus are Elijah and Jesus and the disciples saw him. Moses was dead but he had some physical form so he could talk and they knew it was Moses or this view will say look at Paul the apostle who said I was caught up into the third heaven second Corinthians 12 and he says whether I was in the body or out of the body. I don't know only gotten so this view will say because of his uncertainty whether he was in or out of the body and must mean that he had some different form different than his earthly body with a disagreement comes in verse one as to what period of time. He was referring to was he referring to. Immediately after death, or was he referring to eventually after death notice in verse one, Paul tells us what happens if not, when, for we know that if our earthly house. This tent is destroyed. Now here's Paul waiting for Jesus to come back, hoping he'll come back in his lifetime, but if that doesn't happen if I die in the meantime, many tells the rest of the story so simply, this verse is giving you and I a way to contrast something temporary with somewhere permanent is basically saying, yet we live in the real world, but there's a really real world. It's much better and more permanent like a little girl.
I love the story she was walking with grandpa one evening and she looked up and she saw the stars starting to sparkle and come out. She said grandpa if heaven looks this good on the wrong side.
Grandpa can you imagine how good it must look when were on the right side for pulses. Here we are in this temporary body.
On the other side. It looks much better. So that's our destination. That's what we know. That's in general terms.
Now he expresses the frustration. This is why we grown notice.
That's what he says. For in this verse two, we grown earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven. If, indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we were in this tent grown being burdened and not because we want to be unclothed but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now he was prepared us for this very thing is God who also has given us the spirit is a guarantee.
Let me first tell you what Paul is not saying Paul is not expressing the pagan Greek view, the view of Plato. The Platonic view that says the body is in prison were trapped and death is good because it frees us to be who were meant to be. This was not Paul the apostle expressing some morbid desire for death.
This is in the Herman Munster theology some ghoulish weird.
I really just want to die know quite the opposite.
When he is hoping for is for the Lord Jesus Christ to return so that there has to be nothing in between him and that experience of the full presence of God in the resurrected body is groaning for glory is eager for Jesus to return so that he can experience his glorified body, overgrown means to sign along how descriptive is Paul going groaning saying, groaning and longing for heaven is everyone who is a follower of Jesus, I will hear more. This message groaning for glory coming up next time here and correctly Skip weekend edition as we continue the series from the edge of eternity. This series provides answers to deep questions about life after death that we all have so why not share with a friend. You could order the entire series on 17 audio CDs for only $39 plus shipping. Find out more correctly skip.com or when you call us at 1-800-922-1888 and be sure you ask about our current January resource offer. Here's more on that the best biographies make you feel like you personally intimately know the person you've read about from Mozart to Mother Teresa Sojourner Truth to Steve Jobs. It's exciting to learn the details of influential people, but one biography stands out above the rest.
Biography of God hears the author skip. I think there's nothing more elevating to mankind in the study of God himself discovered the omnipotence paradox is an mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is.
I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate of God's new book is our thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, call 800-922-1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. So are you longing for heaven, joining next time for the conclusion of the teaching groaning for glory, hearing correctly Skip weekend edition presentation of connection communication, connecting you to God's ever-changing true and ever-changing time