Heaven won't be heaven because there's streets of gold or mansions or whatever. Heaven will be heaven because God will be there in His fullness and glory. And you'll be able to see it. When you can behold the faith of the Son of God, boredom will be the last thing on your mind.
Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. You know, at the moment of salvation, that's not the end. We have been justified and we've been made perfect to God's sight. But we still walk through that sanctification process and then look forward to being with God one day. Pastor David breaks that down as he continues in Romans with We Will All Be Changed.
Here's David Magee. So we're in Romans chapter 8. We left off with verse 23 and we've kind of been taking our time with Romans 8. There's so much stuff in here and we kind of hit the high mark, if you will, today working towards verse 28, which is just one of those incredible scriptures and so we're going to take some time with that. But we're at verse 23, so let's start there.
Romans chapter 8, verse 23. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. We've spoken before that, and we'll review this again more next week, but the three phases, if you will, of salvation in the sense of when you come to Jesus, you ask Him to forgive you of your sins, you are instantly forgiven of those sins.
That's being justified, just as I never did it. Then the sanctification is the working out of the process. In other words, when you come to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, instantly He does. And then you begin to be more and more of a follower of Jesus.
That process is called sanctification. And then the ultimate redemption, if you will, that this is speaking here is glorification. In other words, one day you won't have to fight against sin, you'll be delivered from this body of sin and death and corruption. And that's what this verse is speaking of here, the redemption of our body. And as you grow older, this redemption of the body concept gets more and more important, doesn't it?
Because as we get older, we begin to lose energy and whatnot, and so it gives us something to look forward to. Now, so not only will the Lord at some point take us out of this sinful world by amazing grace, but it'll take the sin out of me completely. The redemption, as it says here, of our body. Now we talked 1 Corinthians 15, 51, there's a cross reference here. It says, behold, I'll tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. And if we know Jesus, the instant change will be an incredible final act of redemption. For those that don't know Jesus and have rejected Him, ask Him not to bother them, refused salvation, grace, and mercy. It will be that moment in time where God honors that request and says, hey, you wanted me to leave you alone, okay, I will now and forevermore. So in an instant, we'll be changed.
Now, the New Living Translation in this verse reads like this, and even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also grown to be released from pain and suffering. We too wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies He has promised us. So our completion is yet to be.
It's not yet. We're not completed. We're on our way, but we're not completed.
And so we have that to look forward to. Now until then, we're going to have struggles, we're going to have battles, we're going to win some, we're going to lose some, but we're going to be in the battle up to that point when we're delivered from the battle. In times of trouble and trial and whenever somebody's really hurting and not understanding what they're going through, I love this next verse. Revelation 21, 4 says, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away. Does that sound like a day to look forward to?
Yeah, it does. And you know what I love about this verse? It says that God will wipe away the tears. Think about that, friend. The hand of God will touch your face as you come into His presence, and there'll be no more tears.
And what a day to look forward to. Now let's understand, building up to this verse, verse 18 mentions suffering, verse 20 mentioned vanity and the curse, 21 mentioned bondage, 22 mentioned pain, talking about the creation, talking about our bodies and all these things. And let's understand, you know, when the world got created, God said what?
It is good. But then the fall, and according to these passages, the fall not only corrupted us and our will and whatnot, but it also corrupted the creation itself. We talked last week, you know, this is not heaven. If your expectation is this is heaven, you're going to be really, really disappointed in this life.
And yet how often we expect things to never have a problem and always to go the way we want it, and it's not going to happen, is it, folks? So if we understand that we're going through these things, we'll understand that we are going through these things. Now, while this is not heaven, understand that we can, long before we get into heaven, we can let heaven get into us. What I mean by that is we're focusing on Jesus, we're looking forward to the future, and we're carriers of light and hope to a dark and despairing world. We can do that.
We get to do that, if you will. And so long before we get to heaven, we should allow heaven to get into us. Now, some days we wish for heaven more than others, don't we?
But here's the life lesson. Don't focus on today's groanings, but on tomorrow's glory. Don't focus on today's groaning, but on tomorrow's glory.
You see, we'll go through some stuff today and then maybe next week or whatever that aren't to our liking, but we're going to get to the verse that kind of tells us that it is to our benefit. But what should we be focusing on? We should be focusing on heaven. We should be focusing on what awaits us.
Why? Because then we will live lives on a more eternal nature, on an eternal scale. Now, our nature is to what? To focus on today.
Here, now, what's right, what's wrong. That's our nature. And Jesus, a lot in the Gospels, reminds us to have a larger picture, a bigger view, a higher view of things, if you will. Not just get caught up and carried away with today.
Why? Because when we get caught up and carried away with today, we're not thinking about eternal things. And we've got that saying, He's so heavenly minded, He's no earthly good.
I don't like that saying. I've never met a person who was so heavenly minded, He was no earthly good. I've met people who were so earthly minded, they were no heavenly good. So we've got to be thinking about the kingdom. Kingdom of God, got to be thinking about Jesus.
Why? Because we don't naturally, naturally do that. Verse 24, it says, For we were saved in this hope, but what hope that is seen is not hope. For what does one still hope for that he sees? New Living Translation, let me give it to you in this. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it. We get a taste, if you will, of this freedom.
When you come to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you of your sins. You get a taste of this freedom. But that's just a taste. Ultimately, you will walk completely in this freedom. For ages, eons, thousands of years, people have looked at this life and thought, man, there's got to be more than this.
And there is. Everybody is born with this innate knowledge that this is not all there is. Now those questionings, those yearnings sometimes lead to the wrong conclusions.
We dig into the Bible, God tells us the things that we need to know. And keep in mind too, if you know Jesus and we're going through these things, this life is as bad as it gets. It's as bad as it gets. In other words, the trials, the tribulations, the temptations, the things you go through in this life, this is as hard, this is as bad as it will ever be.
Because once you take your last breath here, you take your first breath there, and everything gets better in an instant. But friend, realize something. To those who don't know Jesus, this is as good as it gets.
This is as good as it gets. And that's kind of sad. You see, if you know Jesus, this is as close to hell as you will ever become. If people don't know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, this is as close to heaven as they will ever be.
Think about that friend. Now understand, when the Bible uses the word hope, biblical hope is a little bit different than the way we use the word hope normally. We use the word hope like, I hope my team wins, I hope I get pepperoni on my pizza, I hope this, I hope that, I hope the coffee's strong enough.
Favorite of mine. But it's not that kind of hope. It's a hope with a certainty about what's going to happen, but not sure when it's going to happen. It's hope with a certainty, is what the Bible points out. Hebrews 11, 1 says this, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Or we'll go to the New Living Translation for that. What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see. Confidence assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.
I like that. People get hung up on, well you can't scientifically prove God. I guess that's true on one hand, but you know on the other hand you can certainly see the evidence of God, can't you? As you look at the beauty of a sunrise or a flowering plant or the beauty of a little infant, those are evidences of God's handiwork. When you see people working together, loving one another, as we walk with the Lord, light and warmth that's spoken of, those are evidences of our walk with the Lord.
Evidence of what? Evidence of the hope. There's just something when it gets cold, appealing about a fire, isn't there? You know when you're out and you're doing stuff in the yard or garden or barn or whatever, and you get cold and then you come in, long before you sit down at the fire, just seeing the fire, there's just something about a fire, isn't there? The light and the warmth. There's also something about the life of Jesus to people.
What was it? The light and the warmth. They were drawn to Him. One thing that mystifies me is the way that people who had messed up sinners were drawn to Jesus. They weren't repulsed or repelled. No, the people who were repulsed and repelled were the religious people who thought they had it all figured out.
But people were drawn to Jesus. I wish that we, myself, we could be more like that. Join David McGee for an inspirational live stream event on July 4th. Take part in this exciting event by becoming a host home and partner with Cross the Bridge to invite friends and family members to hear the truth about our country and our ultimate freedom in Jesus Christ. To become a host home or for more details, visit LordGiveUsAmerica.com. Again, that website is LordGiveUsAmerica.com.
Visit that site today and join with us to change America one soul at a time. The apostle Paul laid the foundation for the New Testament church, and yet few of us in the church today really understand the events and places that shaped this remarkable man. But now, pastor and Bible teacher David McGee has created the Footsteps of Paul Tour through the heart of the ancient world. You'll be a part of a breathtaking three-day tour of the famous Greek islands. Also, during the tour, David McGee will be opening the Bible to teach on Mars Hill, the very place in Athens Paul taught about the unknown God. We'll go up to the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon. Also, we'll visit Patmos, the place where John wrote the book of Revelation. We'll continue to Ephesus in Turkey, sharing the history, stories, and reality of these historic places that changed the future of the church. Plus, be a part of an actual television production as we film parts of the tour for our national TV program, Cross the Bridge. The Footsteps of Paul Tour with pastor and Bible teacher David McGee. Combine your vacation with an in-depth experience in the reality of God's Word. For more information, visit CrossTheBridge.com or call us at 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508.
Contact us today, because space is limited and this tour will fill up fast. Now let's return to our study. Verse 25 says, But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. If we hope for what we do not see. In other words, the thing that we're hoping for is what? The ultimate redemption of our body, back to verse 23 that Paul is talking about. We don't see it yet, but the Bible talks about, the Bible promises us that it's going to happen so we can eagerly wait for it. Eagerly wait for it.
Let's understand what we're talking about. When will we have the ultimate redemption of our body? Well, at one of two events, one obviously would be what we call the rapture. That is when the church is taken up. Those who know Jesus will be taken away.
It comes from the Latin word rapturos or snatched away in the New Testament. That we don't know when, we don't know where we'll be, but there's another event that we know is going to happen as well. That is an individual dying. Everybody in here will face that one. You understand that? The statistics are staggering. You realize that 10 out of 10 people are going to die? You realize that? So every one of us is going to face that.
The question is, how will we face it and with who will we face it? I've been honored to, during funerals to preside over things and I've taught it at funerals where there was a lack of assurance over whether the person knew the Lord or not. As a matter of fact, most would say probably not, but gracefully, you never know that final moment if they called on the name of the Lord.
And I tell you, friend, those are tragic. And the loved ones there, they are saying goodbye. And I've also presided or talked over those funerals where you know, you know that this man or this woman is now in the arms of Jesus. And the comfort that the people have in that moment, their loved ones, they realize they're not saying goodbye. They're saying, see you later.
Or as Tigger would say, ta ta for now. They'll see him again. See, if you know Jesus, death isn't a doom and gloom proposition. It's the ultimate redemption of the body. Paul says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Heaven won't be heaven because there's streets of gold or mansions or whatever. Heaven will be heaven because God will be there in his fullness and glory and you'll be able to see it.
This old notion of floating around on the cloud getting bored is very unscriptural. When you can behold the face of the Son of God who died for our sins, boredom will be the last thing on your minds. We will worship him. It's so much to look forward to. Now, the world doesn't look forward to that event.
They try to do all these things to put off that event. But as believers, we're not infatuated with death. We don't love death, but we don't fear death. Don't fear death.
Think about that, friend. 1 Corinthians 15 says death, where's your victory? Sin, where's your power? See, Jesus has beaten sin and death.
We're following somebody that has beaten sin and death. If you're going to go do something, if I'm going to go somewhere, I want to talk to somebody that's been there. If I'm going to South Florida, I want to talk to somebody that's been to South Florida. Tell me what this is like.
If you're going to New York City, tell me what this is like. Why do I mention that? Because 10 out of 10 are going to die, right? Don't we want to talk to somebody that's been there? Jesus? Not only somebody who's been there, I'm not talking about talking to dead people, okay, and like the crossing over.
But Jesus not only died, but he turned that tomb and death into a changing closet and popped out a few days later. I want to follow him because he knows. The experience that's before every one of us, he understands and he knows he wants to deliver us from that, this ultimate redemption. And so because of that, we can eagerly wait with perseverance. And at that point, God is going to complete what he started.
Philippians chapter 1 verse 6 says this, Being confident that this very thing that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. You notice that capital H in he? You know what that means?
It's not you, it's him. So he began a good work and now he's leaving it up to you to finish. Is that what it says?
That's not what it says. He who began a good work or has begun a good work in you will complete it. Who will complete it? He will complete it. He started it and he's going to finish it. If you can just grab a hold of that verse right there, it will change your life.
He started it, he's going to finish it. Especially in this day and age, you know, there's a popular Christian book out there. You know, if it's going to be, it's up to me.
And that is kind of a weird title. According to Philippians 1 verse 6, it's not up to you, it's up to him. Now granted, we've got to make decisions to follow him and make biblically sound decisions. But he started it and he's going to finish it and understand something better is coming. Remember that. When you're in the middle of a trial or tribulation, keep in mind that's going to pass.
Something better is coming. I'll tell you a beautiful story. This dear saint of God, somebody who knew Jesus was preparing, knew she was going to die, called upon the pastor who would do the funeral to share with him what she wanted done. So she talked to him about songs and poems and different things that she wanted done. And she said, you know, I want to be, I want a fork, I want to be holding a fork in my casket. And then, you know, I'd like for you to close with this verse.
This has been a really powerful verse in my life. And, you know, he's like, fork, fork. You know, she kept talking. He was kind of focused on the fork, which seemed really weird, you know. So he left.
He took notes and stuff. And then he comes back and, you know, a couple weeks later, he's going to talk to her. And the fork thing is just, why, it's just killing him.
I thought, what fork? So he comes back and goes, okay, just going to review this order of service. And she says, yes, that's good. And yes, that's good.
And yes, okay. And he says, you know, I got to ask you, the thing with the fork, I don't get. You want to be buried holding a fork? She said, yeah.
He said, well, explain that to me. She said, pastor, when we get together and we have these covered dish dinners, and we all sit together and we eat together and we fellowship with one another, then the ladies will come around to get the plates before dessert comes out. And what they say when they're about to bring the dessert, the best is yet to come. Keep your fork. Someone will be holding a fork in my casket because the best is yet to come. The pastor with tears in his eyes agreed to it.
And at the funeral, as people filed past the open casket, person after person, what's up with the fork? And over and over he got the share that if you know Jesus, friend, the best is yet to come. Sometimes we forget that. And that's what this verse is saying. We're eagerly waiting for the perseverance. Why? Because the best is yet to come. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer. Really telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.
And I'm sorry. Forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free.
This package will help you grow in your new life. Receive your First Steps package by calling 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com. When you call, let our call team representative know where you heard about our broadcast. Cross the Bridge with David McGee is a ministry dedicated to sharing the whole Bible with the whole world. If you've been blessed by Cross the Bridge, consider financially supporting this ministry. Your gift will be used to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, while also supplying resources to new believers. To give, simply call 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com and click on the donate button. Once there, you can choose to give a one-time gift or become a Bridge Builder monthly supporter.
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Now, have you been praying or asking God for help? Here it is. You see, we've put together a teaching from 1 Corinthians 7, seven separate teachings that are sure to be a blessing to you, from topics about relationships and sex and marriage and divorce and parenthood. And I want to share it with you. It's over a $30 value, but right now what we're doing, for an offering of any amount, we'll get this right out to you. So give us a call at 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508. Or you can visit us online at crossthebridge.com and order it through the website.
That's crossthebridge.com. Now, friend, whether you've just gotten married or been married for 50 years or you're recuperating from a failed marriage, this teaching can really help you. We know that God's Word will not return void. It will help you.
It will accomplish that which it was sent forth to do. And you're just a step away from a growing, healthy marriage, and we're here to help. So call right now, 877-458-5508. Or you can visit us online at crossthebridge.com. You'll be glad you got it. One of the most important parts of growing in Christ is being in fellowship at a local church.
But what happens on those times you're sick or traveling? Simply log on to crossthebridge.com and click the live stream button, and you'll instantly be streaming from David McGee's home church, The Bridge. Catch every life lesson and scripture reference as you take part in hearing the Word of God from anywhere in the world. Pastor David McGee teaches live online Sunday mornings at 9 and 11.15. Watch this week at crossthebridge.com. Thanks for listening to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Join us again next time and invite your family and friends to listen as together we cross the bridge.
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