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August 3, 2021 2:00 am
Thomas Watson said, "Spiritual things satisfy; the more of heaven is in us, the less earth will content us." In the message "Living on Earth; Longing for Heaven," Skip shares why knowing more about heaven can make you think differently about earth.
This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
We live between two worlds. We we've Artie seen that we have dual citizenship.
We are earthborn, but we are having bound. We live on the air, but we long for what is ahead in heaven so we live effectively between two worlds, we experience the attention of that. Sometimes we even wonder when life gets really hard. How long do I have to stay here. Why can I just bypass all this and go directly to heaven as believers we are citizens of heaven and earth, knowing that how should we live connect with Skip Heitzig today as he shares vital insight on how you can look effectively for Jesus right now first reading the stories of the Bible is a very good thing.
Walking where the stories took place is at a whole another level. Skip is planning his next two and you can be on it. Here's the invitation from Skip urine for an incredible time as we travel throughout Israel and experience the culture that's so unique to that country. Now I've been to Israel a number of times over the years that I can honestly say that visiting the places where the events of the Scriptures unfolded where Jesus lived taught and healed. It just never gets old will start on the Mediterranean Sea and head north. Seeing places like Caesarea and Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River will spend several days in and around Jerusalem and see the temple mount Calvary, the garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of olives and much more.
This remarkable itinerary is made richer with times of worship, Bible study, and lots of fellowship.
The Bible will come alive to you in a way it never has before. I hope you'll join Lenny and me on what is always an unforgettable trip. I can't wait to see you in Israel.
This dream can come true for you. Start planning and saving out to tour Israel with Skip Heitzig firstname.lastname@example.org/CA BQ that's inspiration cruises.com/see ABQ chapter 1 as we get into today's message with Skip about a book that is been its so beat up, spend read and reread and it's called between two worlds. Now it's a book that has nothing to do with the subject were dealing with in Philippians but I love the title. And I'll tell you why in a moment between two worlds. The subtitle is the art of preaching in the 20th century and what the author John Stott basically says is the job of the preacher is to connect two worlds that he lives between the world of the ancient and the world of the modern world that was dominated by the Hebrew language, Aramaic, and Greek versus a modern culture which has several other languages but is principally dominated by the English language of the ancient culture is a world where people want great distances worked out in the fields during the hot sunny days. The modern world is where people drive cars and listen to radios and fly airplanes and working air-conditioned offices so what is whole premises is that a preacher to be a good preacher has to be familiar with the ancient world of the Bible and the modern world which he lives in order to effectively communicate to this world, but I like the title between two worlds, because that's what the Christian does. We live between two worlds. We we've already seen that we have dual citizenship.
We are earthborn, but we are having bound. We live on the air, but we long for what is ahead in heaven so we live effectively between two worlds, we experience the tension of that and sometimes we even wonder when life gets really hard. How long do I have to stay here.
Why can I just bypass all this and go directly to heaven like nine-year-old Marsha who said when you die you don't have to do homework in heaven. Unless your teacher is there to. It's a horrifying thought is in it that that your teacher would be in heaven but that you be given assignments like that homework in heaven. Her classmate Stephanie said doctors help you so you won't die until you pay all their bills course when you see the doctor's bill you can say Lord I'm ready for heaven. But Paul is living between two worlds. He is in prison.
He is facing the trial, he doesn't know which way it's going to go if he's in a live or die, but he sees his prison as an opportunity away in his words, for the furtherance of the gospel and he doesn't know which way the trials going to go but he sees his possible extrication from prison. His release as another opportunity to labor for the Lord and yet with all of that. He also knows that heaven is just so much better than anything any opportunity any experience on this earth, and he is expressing the tension in these verses. Now I think all of us to some degree can relate to that as believers we are earthbound or earthborn, but heaven bound. We love serving the Lord.
We love working for the Lord by we think about what is coming up for us in heaven and we remember the words that Jesus said to his disciples.
Jesus said occupy until I come. That is, stay busy with the task at hand until I come. But then at the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus said, behold, I come quickly and John said.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. So now we want occupy telecoms but boy we want them to come as soon as possible. That's the that's the experience of Paul in these verses, so we find the difficulty in living a balanced responsible life right here the same time knowing there something better up there over in Spain there is a monument to Christopher Columbus. What makes the monument to Columbus so noteworthy is that at the base of this statue there is a lien clawing one of the words that used to be the model of Spain for centuries.
The model was a Latin phrase non-plus ultra in those words nonplus ultra mean nothing more beyond see the Spaniards once believed they had conquered the world and they had discovered everything discoverable. There was no more worlds beyond what they discovered. They thought that pre-Columbus Christopher Columbus comes along and discovers there's a whole lot more than what you thought there was. And so, at the base of his statue is a lien clawing up the word. The Latin word and non-so it reads plus ultra as if to say, there is much more beyond anything you have thought up to this point, I bring that up because that really is our predicament as the life of the Christian we are surrounded by people who don't think there's anything more beyond this you live this life there's nothing else you die and you cease to exist. That's the world in which we live. We know better. We know there's much more beyond this, because our lien the lion of the tribe of Judah, took out the word non-by putting eternity in our hearts so we know there is much more beyond just this existence on the earth.
I was at a baseball game here in Albuquerque a few years ago and I was at the stadium that we had our freedom celebration and but I just went to a game and it was a good game. I think our team was ahead, but there are a couple guys in front of me and the lower tier and I heard them talking and they were drinking their beers to the night. Several of them, so that by the ninth-inning. They were pretty well sauced and I overheard one say to the other in a slurred manner.
It doesn't get any better than this and I'm listening that I going really a baseball game in Albuquerque, New Mexico is as good as it gets for you. I wanted to say. Plus ultra.
There is a lot more beyond life than just this. Paul knows that and Paul talks about that here.
So how do we keep the balance of living on earth responsibly belonging, for heaven ultimately weathers three attitudes three words I want to give to you that express three attitudes wrestling wanting and willing. Paul is wrestling with the predicament he is wanting to depart or push off from this earth go to heaven, but he is willing to remain or persist stay behind begin with the first by looking at verse 22. He is wrestling with a predicament. Look at what is wrestling with. But if I live on in the flesh.
This will mean fruit from my labor yet what I shall choose I cannot tell for I am hard pressed between the two having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you and being confident of this. I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again, he's in jail he's looking forward to standing before the Caesar himself. He is not sure which way the verdict is going to be rendered, and so he pours out his honest thoughts. These are the honest musings of a suffering servant of God, these are the kinds of things, even Christians struggle with when life gets difficult.
Paul is saying I'm in prison life is pretty tough, but at the same time Roman guards are getting saved. Christians are becoming emboldened the gospel. Verse 12 of chapter 1 is being furthered so all of that is good, but then again there's heaven after this and that looks pretty good right about now know Paul knows that God is sovereign, Bono's got to do with what whatever God wants to trouble is, Paul has no idea what that is.
He doesn't know if it's the Lord's will that he stays on earth or goes to heaven and look what he says in verse 22 by live on the flesh. This will mean fruit from my labor yet what I shall choose I cannot tell the word tell is a very Pauline word. It's the word nor red zone.
It means literally to reveal what I shall choose I can't reveal I can't really say what I choose.
That's another way of saying I can't say it could. God hasn't said it to me he hasn't revealed it to me so I can't really say which I would choose Apollo saying is this, I want what God wants, but he hasn't told me what he want so I can't tell you what I want that's tantamount to what you think. Once God tells me what he wants him to say that's what I want you wants me to live. That's what I want. If you wants me to die. That's what I want. So look at verse 23, for I am hard pressed between the two.
We would say I'm between a rock and a hard place. The language he uses describes a journey of a traveler whose pathway gets narrower and narrower.
The more he progresses on that pathway. It's like walking through a canyon and the walls become closer if you ever walk through Petra over and Jordan. It begins by being a very wide entrance, but the more you walk through it. It narrows and narrows and narrows so promising. I'm I'm hard pressed between two on one side of me. There's a wall and that is what I want in the light of my situation. On the other side is another wall that's what you the Philippian church needs in light of your situation, so I'm caught in a canyon of a motion between my will and ultimately what God's will is whenever our life gets, confining whenever the walls of our experience close in whenever options get taken off the table.
That's when we struggle, you see options ease our burden. The lack of options increase our burden, we become hard-pressed.
It could be an illness could be the loss of a spouse the end of a career breakup of a relationship.
The death of a vision when those things happen. We feel like life is harder than it was before my options are fewer than they work then we are, we're left with the choice and we have to be careful how we go through such an emotional struggle because our choices become critical. You see it's an issue of our motivation and it's good – or so this do I want God's glory, or do I want my comfort you. Your maybe wonder why can I have both. Why can God's will. Perfect will be my comfort. It might be, but it might not be. It might be uncomfortable for you so you need to wake yourself against that motivation is this for God's glory, or is it for my comfort.
I say that because when we are in extreme situations like that. If all you want is your comfort you can fall prey to two extremes. One is fatalism.
The other is materialism explained.
Some people like the stuff become very fatalistic. This is hard. I hate life. I want to escape. This is one of tying it over with and go to heaven and those people are tempted with thoughts of suicide become very fatalistic or they might swing in another direction become materialistic all my options off the table as a whole lot of thing I can do but what I can do is have a lot of fun until I die and go to have make it all about my pleasure. It's like when Mark Trey Twain was told about heaven. He softly said heaven.
You can have heaven. Give me Bermuda just a nice long sunny vacation is all I really want this pleasure for myself.
Forget about heaven, so we can see Paul struggle.
He suspended between two worlds. He's in this in between state. I'm on earth facing possible death, which would take me to heaven.
But maybe if I stay behind. It would be better so he's wrestling with the predicament here's the second attitude, wanting what is it Paul really wants what's his desire. He tells us.
Verse 23. Four. I'm hard pressed between the two having a desire is what I want to depart and be with Christ, which is far better never to drill down in this verse for a moment.
What I want you to notice is how Paul describes his future possible death notice the words he's first of all, he says that the departure he said having a desire to depart only tell you about this word once I tell you about a go.
I think appreciate that that beauty of it.
The depth of the riches of the word depart that he uses. Here's the work on a Luo and a means to break up to unloose or to undo it was a word that was used by three groups of people in antiquity sailors used it soldiers used at farmers used sailors use the word depart or departure when they go from one port and sale to another port they would pull up the rope off the moorings they would bring in the anchor and they would move from one port to the next. I think that is in Paul's mind when he writes his last letter.
Second Timothy chapter 4 and he says for the time of my departure is at hand Timothy it's time for me to pull up the anchor and set sail and that's why I think so much of the writing of the hymns is based upon this thought of meeting together, gathering together on that distant shore recall have. For example, the him I'll fly away some glad morning when this life is over, I'll fly away to a home on God's celestial shore.
I'll fly away.
So that's the word sailors use it. Also, soldiers used soldiers were out camping when they were fighting and when it was time for them to move from one campsite to another or to go back home. They would break the camp up in the word they used was on a Luo break up the camp and they move on and I like thinking about our lives that way were camping out here this word is a campground not much more than that were just passing through our permanent abode will be in heaven and one day it'll be time for us to break up the camp put away the tent and move on.
I love camping. I was out, but I love it for a little while and I think I speak from experience.
I once spent three straight months camping out around the United States and Canada with the body you know when I was done I was done that was done camping for a long time somebody a couple weeks or so. Let's go camping now. I'm good for a few years because when you go camping. It's cool, it's funny put up the tent like the campfire but then eventually everything smells like campfire all your clothes smell like fire. You start smelling pretty ripe yourself for a couple days. So these are longing for something more permanent and then the tent. The tent that you bring along. If you use it a lot like I've had a tent for years and to see it still works but you can tell it's old. The treads are kinda coming undone. The flaps are kind of not flapping right and that's a good description of our body. This morning when I got up and got ready for church. I looked in the mirror and I saw the tent and I saw the threads in the flaps. It's not flapping quite right. That's that's intense right there I'm looking at. That's about done.
It's been well used, but it's a tent and Paul talks about her body this way in second Corinthians 5.
We know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down. That is when we die and leave these bodies we have a home in heaven, and eternal body made for us by God and not by human hands. Another author whom I have loved besides Stott's FB Meyer FB Meyer was a contemporary with DL Moody. So century ago or about and up FB Meyer was close to death and he wrote a letter to a friend. There's a portion he said I just heard to my great surprise that I have been a few days to live. It may be that before this letter reaches you.
I shall have entered the palace to love that description and then he says this don't even bother to write, we shall meet in the morning. I love that because he says and I'm living in this campground the tents about done and I traded in for palace. I'm in a move very shortly. The problem is see if you agree with this.
We live in this campground in these tents, but we are so preoccupied with our tents has my tent look it's okay for tent, but don't be surprised when the tent doesn't look the same next year and the year after the your athlete so preoccupied with our tandem the color of our threads and and you know is the tent to pay her two smaller and it. I mean, we're so preoccupied with our bodies even to the point of death, go to funerals and the caskets open people go by. They look inside that this with a safe man. He looks good.
He looks dead, you look better a month ago. This is good or just so preoccupied with how the tent looks. Paul says there's good to be a departure I'm in a pull up the rope and set sail.
I'm breaking down the tent and move in on and I said it's also use not only by sailors and soldiers but by farmers and it was used by farmers when they had an animal that had a yoke on it. You know the yoke is it's a steering device controlling device at the end of a workday. When the yoke was lifted off the animal. The term they used was on the Luo on the Luo job is done. Yoke is taken off. It is removed. It has departed from off the animal and don't you love the Jesus said this. Take my yoke upon you know that means let me rule you let me control you. Let me steer your life. I'll be in charge, not you.
That's the powerful message for the series Technicolor to want to tell you about it will help you grow stronger in your faith reading the Bible can lead to asking various questions like is the rapture real or overcome anxiety.
These two questions are among those answered in Pastor Skip picks a new DVD of four impactful messages my Skip I think, imagine knowing somebody who knows everything about.
Now imagine somebody who knows everything about you and loves you and that's what were dealing with and we deal with the knowledge of God. This collection of some of Pastor Steph's most memorable teachings also includes what most people don't know about heaven and our thanks for your gift of $25 or more to connect more people to God's life changing word visit connectwithskip.com/offer to get online securely or call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888 and request your copy of Pastor Skip, did you know that you are helping people all around the world connect to Jesus just listened to this letter. One person signing the pastor of a small Russian-speaking congregation in Haifa was very simple. Thank you for your teaching ministry which helps me a lot.
You make stories like this possible.
With your support and help connect even more people to God's word visit connectwithskip.com/donate.com/donate or call 809 1792 team come back again tomorrow shares how you can be a fruitful and effective believer. So with Skip presentation of connection communications to go through ever-changing time