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Destined for the Best, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2024 10:00 am

Destined for the Best, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 20, 2024 10:00 am

C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”. There are longings within all human hearts that can only be filled by the One we were made for. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 remind us that we groan in these early bodies, longing for the eternity with God we were made for.


Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

C.S. Lewis said, If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. There are longings within all human hearts that can only be filled by the one we were made for. 2 Corinthians 5, 1-8 reminds us that we groan in these earthly bodies, longing for the eternity with God we were made for. Let's listen in to this message titled, Destined for the Best. This is part 2 of a message first preached on March 30th, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Gilgamesh epic, an ancient Babylonian legend, refers to a resting place of heroes, and it hints at the tree of life.

The pyramids in Egypt, the embalmed bodies had maps placed beside them as guides to the future world. The Romans believed that the righteous would picnic in fields of perfect happiness while their horses grazed nearby. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, said this, The day thou fearest as the last is the birthday of eternity. You see, eternity is not a distinctly Christian thing.

However, Christianity distinctively defines eternity. And so, there is a universal human longing. Here's another example. In 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1 and 2. And attached to Voyager 1 and 2, there was a golden record. You see, back then they didn't have CDs or digital.

It was a golden record. And on that, they had recorded some sounds that someone out there might eventually someday get a hold of this, assuming they could play a record. And they had recordings of human sounds, of the human heartbeat, and sounds that represented humanity. And the lady, the scientist, that was in charge of what they call the Voyager interstellar message, what song did she choose to represent humanity to whoever might be out there to hear this and to understand us as humans? She chose a piece from Beethoven, from Opus 130, it's the Cavatino movement. It's a very sad, slow moving piece of music.

It is a piece of composition in the margin of which Beethoven wrote the word, Senchust, which means longing. And what the NASA scientists wanted to communicate to whoever was out there was that at the core of our being, we are a longing people. How true it is. It's in every one of us. But what is it for which we long?

That's what some people struggle to identify. And we've approached that longing in so many different ways. Take, for example, the last 100 years and all the great clashes of the last 100 years. You take the nine centuries before these last 100 years and not one of them comes close to rivaling these last 100 years in terms of bloodshed. And every one of the major clashes of the last 100 years, maybe with the exception of World War I, all of the major clashes, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, the Taliban. All of those clashes have not been about the expansion of lands and the acquisition of riches. They have been about ideas and ultimately about the possibility of human perfection. That utopia where everyone is equal, Stalin would say, or where there was the great race, as Hitler would say, or the Taliban would say everyone is equally under Sharia law. How's that working out for us? Not so well, is it?

I think C.S. Lewis said it well in terms of understanding the longing. He said, creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist. A baby feels hunger. Well, there is such a thing as food.

A duckling wants to swim. Well, there is such a thing as water. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. It probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it to suggest the real thing.

That's good. This is what Paul wants us to understand. We're not going to find our satisfaction here, so we ought not be pursuing it here. Look what the psalmist says in Psalm 17-15, as for me, I will see your face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness. What a tremendous truth. And the writer of Hebrews said the same thing, he for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory. You see, that's God's objective, to bring his children home where we belong, because that's where our longing is.

It's where we belong. And so we move beyond just the human longing, which we recognize is a universal longing. We move beyond that universal longing to Christian longing. What is the Christian longing? He points it out here in this text, verse 2, desiring to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. Desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven.

That's our longing. And look what he says, verse 4, when mortality is swallowed up by life. You have a picture of this great fish swallowing up this little fish, right? And you know what that does? That turns our current existence right on its head.

Because in our existence today, it seems like life gets swallowed up by mortality, which means that which is subject to death. But no, God turns that around. It's the glory of the gospel.

Only the gospel gives this hope. And it's like the prodigal son who rebelled and he ran away from home and he lived prodigally, riotously, lavishly in satisfying himself. And when that ran out, he shared a meal with the pigs and his thought went home to dad. And he says, I want to be home with dad because that's where I belong.

And so he went. That's Christian longing. We read to you an example from the book Heaven Our Real Home by Joni Erikson Tada, who herself knows something of what it is to have a genuine physical longing for wholeness. She writes this at the end of a five day retreat for families affected by disabilities, a microphone was passed around so all the participants could share a couple of sentences about how meaningful and how fun the week had been. Little freckled face red haired Jeff raised his hand. We were so excited to see what Jeff would say because Jeff had won the hearts of all of us at the family retreat. Jeff has Down's syndrome. He took the microphone, put it right up to his mouth and said, let's go home. Later, his mother told me Jeff really missed his dad back home.

His dad couldn't come to the family retreat because he had to work. Even though Jeff had had a great time, a fun filled week, he was ready to go home because he missed dad. Johnny says this world is pleasant enough, but could we really want it to go on forever?

I don't think so. I'm with Jeff. I miss my daddy, my Abba father. My heart is longing to go home. Don't miss the chance down here on earth to begin investing in eternity so that heaven can be your heart's home. That is exactly the message of the apostle Paul. He invested himself with abandon because heaven was his longing.

He was fixed on the objective and was not distracted by the circumstances. You see, something that the apostle Paul makes very clear in this text. We know that we are destined for the best. We know it.

We groan for it, but there is something else. We can taste it. We can taste it. Listen, we have been given a foretaste. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine. God has given us a foretaste and that foretaste is the spirit as a guarantee. The spirit as a guarantee. This is Christian longing once again and it's the guarantee that we have. It's the foretaste that we have.

Let's think about that for a moment. As a Christian, you're already sensing God's presence because God has taken up residence in you in the third person of the Trinity. You are sensing his presence.

Picture yourself walking through Haynes Mall down here and you're innocently looking through the stores and stuff. Then all of a sudden you get the smell of butter and cinnamon and dough, sugar. It's cinnamon attacking your olfactory senses. All of a sudden, what is it you want? You want a cinnamon. You see, that sense is not just imaginary. It's real. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in him. The one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-20 12:21:25 / 2024-05-20 12:25:35 / 4

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