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He Holds Me Forever - A Great Big Hug that Lasts Forever, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2024 6:00 am

He Holds Me Forever - A Great Big Hug that Lasts Forever, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 15, 2024 6:00 am

Special moments with people we love are priceless. And once in awhile we experience the pure joy of gathering and really enjoying one another’s company. Do you know God’s preparing a place where His children will enjoy those priceless relationships - forever? Theresa Ingram reminds us that that’s God’s promise.

Main Points

God is preparing a home for me. - John 14:1-3

What is my home like? - Revelation 21-22:5

How can I live with the awareness each day that I am "Heaven bound"?

  • Faith is being sure and certain about unseen hopes and realities.
  • Faith views things through spiritual eyes and perceives things invisible to the natural eye; believing when you can’t see the answer.
  • Faith is not based on feelings; faith trusts God in spite of how you feel.
  • Faith is not an evidence of outward circumstances. The outward circumstances may look impossible, but faith trusts in God in spite of how things look.
  • Faith is not something that acts automatically; it’s not something that acts magically-not like a thermostat that automatically turns on and off.
  • Faith is an activity; it has to be exercised. It does not come into operation by itself; you have to put it into operation. You put it into operation as you walk in obedience to God no matter what the circumstances look like.
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Theresa Ingram

Theresa Ingram has a passion to see women transformed as they learn to see themselves as Christ sees them. Theresa has taught and mentored women in the local church for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Fairmont State University, the mother of four grown children & 12 grandchildren, and resides in San Jose, California, with her husband Chip.

About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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One of the most special times for our family is when we sit around the table together and we experience that connection and that joy of just sitting around and sharing and just loving each other. Do you know that God is preparing a place where His children will enjoy those priceless relationships forever? Well, today my wife Theresa wraps up her message on heaven, and she's going to give us a glimpse of what awaits you and me on the other side. You don't want to miss it. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. On this program we're wrapping up our series, He Holds Me Forever, taught by Chip's wife, Theresa.

Today she builds off several points she made last time. So before we get going, download our message notes. They'll help you follow along with Theresa and apply this truth to your life. Get them under the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org.

App listeners tap fill in notes. Well if you have a Bible, go to Revelation chapter 21 for the remainder of her talk, A Great Big Hug That Lasts Forever. She begins by continuing to talk about what heaven will be like someday.

Let's dive in. It goes on to say, Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the last seven last plagues came and said to me, Come with me, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. So he took me in spirit to a great high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It was filled with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious gem, crystal clear like jasper. Its walls were broad and high with 12 gates guarded by 12 angels, and the names of the 12 tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side, east, north, south, and west.

The wall of the city had 12 foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. When he measured it, he found it was a square as wide as it was long. In fact, it was in the form of a cube, for its length and width and height were each 1400 miles. Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick.

The angel used a standard human measure. The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with 12 gems, and then it goes on to tell what all these 12 gems were, beautiful, beautiful stones.

The 12 gates were made of pearls, each gate from a single pearl, and the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. And it's a real place. It's a place with walls and gates and streets, and it's just indescribably beautiful, more than we could ever imagine. And we might be disappointed with the houses we have now, but we'll never be disappointed with our home in heaven. It'll be a secure place.

It's a place where no evil can ever touch your life. And it says here that the names of the 12 tribes were written on the gates, and the names of the 12 apostles are written on the foundation stones. And all believers from all time, from the Old Testament saints, you know, we think about Noah and Abraham, Moses, David, Esther, they'll be there, the Old Testament saints. And all the New Testament saints, Peter and Paul, Mary and Martha, they'll be there. All the people from the Old Testament, new from ages past up until this day, will enjoy together this relationship with God and with each other, will be brought together for all time. Then the angel pulled out a measuring stick.

I thought this was interesting. The angel used a actual human measure and measured the width and height and length of the city. It's a big place. It's a really big place. It's big enough to hold everyone who has ever placed their trust in Christ and who ever will.

It says the foundation of the city is made of 12 precious stones. It's a solid foundation. It's unshakable. There's no earthquakes there.

It's unshakable. And the 12 gates are made of a single pearl, three gates on each side of the wall, North, South, East and West. People from all nations, from all over this world, East, South, North and West will be there. No one's excluded. People from every nation, every tribe, every part of the world are welcome there. And it says the glory of the Lord fills the place. And so it's a place of immense beauty because God is there and we will enjoy forever that beauty and be satisfied with our new home. It says no temple could be seen in the city for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple and the city has no need for sun or moon for the glory of God illuminates the city and the Lamb is its light. The nations of the earth will walk in its light and the rulers of the world will come and bring their glory to it.

Its gates never close at the end of the day because there is no night and all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter. No one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. In the Old Testament, God's presence dwelt among His people in the tabernacle and later He dwelt among His people in the temple. There was a curtain that separated the priest from the presence of God.

No man could look at God and live. And then in the New Testament, after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God sent His Holy Spirit to live inside His people. We became His temple.

He lives in us. He lives in our hearts, those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. But in the new city, in this new Jerusalem, there's no need for a temple because we'll be in the very presence of God all the time. And so there's no need for a temple. We will be fellowshipping with Him and worshiping Him face to face.

And no longer will we have any of the frailties of our human bodies, the weaknesses and the sin that will separate us from His presence. And it says here that there's no need for the sun or moon because the glory of God illuminates the city. There's no darkness there. And the gates are never closed. In Bible times, the gates were always closed at night.

They were always closed for security purposes and to keep the enemy out. But in heaven, the gates are never closed. There's no need for a security system because there's nothing there that can ever harm us.

And when we're struggling and life seems so hard in our lives and we think about, well, I know, you know, I'm going to make it through this and there's light at the end of the tunnel. Well, in heaven, there aren't any tunnels. There's no darkness there. There's no despair. There's no fear. There's no hopelessness.

And there's no death. It says, And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street. And on each side of the river grew a tree, a tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit with a fresh crop each month.

The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Well, there's a river there and it flows down the main street of this new Jerusalem from the throne of God. And it says that there's trees and they bear all kinds of fruit.

In fact, a new fruit every month. And so we will enjoy eating and drinking in heaven. All of our needs will be met. We will have strength and health. And many of the things that we enjoy now, we will enjoy even more so in heaven because there will be no sin to mar the creation of God. You see what we enjoy now, we will enjoy a lot of that in heaven. It says no longer will anything be cursed for the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there and his servants will worship him and they will see his face and his name will be written on their foreheads.

And there will be no night there, no need for lamps or sun for the Lord God will shine on them and they will reign forever and ever. The curse on mankind because of their sin and when Adam and Eve sinned and the curse of God was then on mankind, it will no longer be there. It will be gone forever and will belong to our Heavenly Father and we'll have intimate personal relationship with him. We'll know what it's like to be loved perfectly and we'll know how to perfectly love. And we will dwell with our God with new resurrected bodies, bodies that are flawless, bodies that are complete in every way. When we look in the mirror in heaven, we will like what we see. And we'll have our very same bodies, yet they'll be perfected and glorified. We will be completely who we are, who God designed us to be, but yet glorified and made for a heavenly home. And we'll recognize each other, we'll know each other, we'll have rich relationships and we'll serve God together and we'll worship him and we'll experience perfect joy.

It says in the Psalms that in his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore. We will have that in heaven and we'll have all our questions answered. We'll understand then why we suffered so much. We will understand why things happen. For now we see in the mirror dimly in 1 Corinthians 13, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I have fully been known.

We will understand why we suffered. And in 1 Corinthians 2 11 it says, no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. We have a wonderful home waiting for us. And so the second thing that I wanted to talk about here is if we have such a wonderful hope in the future, how can we live today with that awareness that I'm heaven bound, that I have eternity in my heart. How can I embrace the reality of heaven and remember that this is not my home.

It's not my real home. And I live every day in this weak human body that just messes up. This is what I live with every day. And as I look at this world, what I see is just this world. And sometimes it seems like heaven is a fairy tale. It just doesn't seem like it could be real.

So how can I get my arms around it? How can I begin to live with the awareness that there's much more to life than there is in this world? And it's a simple answer, very simple, but yet it can be life changing if we take it to heart. In 1 John 5 4 it says, for whatever is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. It's our faith. It's our faith in what Christ has done, our faith in his promises for our lives, our faith in that the one who promises keeps his promise. And I realize that it's only by faith in the character and the promises of God that I can live with an eternal perspective.

That's the only way that I can have this. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll get you back to our guest teacher Teresa Ingram's message in just a minute. But let me quickly share with you God has called us to do incredible ministry work all around the world. And when you partner with us financially, you're part of what we do. So if you'd like to join us, go to livingontheedge.org. We appreciate whatever God leads you to give.

Well, here again is Teresa with the rest of her message. In Hebrews 11, 8 through 10, it says, By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

You see, it was by faith that Abraham in the Old Testament lived as a pilgrim. He lived as a foreigner in this world because he was looking forward to that city even then, the new Jerusalem, his heavenly eternal home. And then we see in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul, the apostle Paul, looking forward to his new body, this new body that he would receive in heaven. He says in 2 Corinthians 5, 1 through 7, For we know that if the earthly tent, which is our house, is torn down, our body, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed, in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed, while we are in this tent we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now he who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge, therefore being always of good courage and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. It was by faith that Paul was able to focus on his future in heaven, recognizing that the physical body that he was now in was just a temporary thing. It's like a tent that wears out. But someday we will be clothed with a new body. God calls it a strong building, a stable building.

It's a body that will last forever. And both of these men, Abraham and Paul, were able to endure the difficulties and the hardships that they experienced in their lives in this world. And they were able to obey God's calling on their lives.

Even though it was hard, much of what they lived through was very difficult. But they were able to do that because by faith they were trusting in the promise of a better life to come and that their true home was in heaven. And Jesus then is our supreme model of living by faith and looking forward to the day when He again would be in heaven with His Father, sitting at the right hand of God. And He lived on this earth and He endured the sufferings of the cross because He wanted you and me to be there with Him. In Hebrews 12, 1 and 2, it says, Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, all these people, Abraham, all these people who have gone before us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. Listen to this, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. That's how we keep our faith, by setting our eyes on Him, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross. He was looking forward to being in heaven with you.

That's why He did it, despising the shame and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God. In Hebrews 11, 1, it tells us what faith is. It says, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. And I've given you in your notes six definitions of faith, because sometimes it's hard for us to get our hands around.

What does this really mean? Well, faith is being sure and certain about unseen hopes and realities. It's things we can't see, but they're promises of God.

And by faith, we take hold of those promises. Faith is things through spiritual eyes and perceives things invisible to the natural eyes, believing when we can't see the answer yet. It's trusting Him when the answer is still yet to come. Faith is not based on feelings.

It's not a feeling. It's trusting God in spite of how we feel. There's many days lately I haven't felt like I had faith, but I keep walking forward as though I do, trusting in the promises of God. Faith is not an evidence of outward circumstances. The outward circumstances may look impossible, but faith, trusting God in spite of how things look. Aldewald Chambers has my favorite definition of faith, and he says, Faith is an utterable trust in God, a trust which never dreams He will not stand by us. You just never dream it would never enter your mind. Whatever you're going through today, God is not going to stand by you and see you through that.

It just wouldn't enter your mind. That's what faith is. Faith is not something that acts automatically. It's not something that acts magically.

It's not like your thermostat in your home that just automatically adjusts the temperature of your house. But faith is an activity. It's something that we have to exercise.

It doesn't come into operation itself. You and I have to put it into operation, and we do that as we walk in obedience to God, no matter what the circumstances look like. In Romans 10, 17, it says, Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of God. And as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and as we hear His Word, as we apply it to our lives, we walk in obedience to God, our faith will grow.

And so, like Abraham and like Paul, it's by faith in the promises of God that we can live with confidence in our lives and live with certainty that we have a hope for the future beyond this present life. It's by faith that we endure the hardships and the sufferings of this world, because we know that this isn't our real home. We're here for a short time, and we do have a purpose in being here. We need to enjoy the time we're here. But it's not our real home.

It's not our true home. One of the hardest things for me ever is saying goodbye to people that I love, especially when I know it's going to be a long time before I see them again, or sometimes I never see them again. And two of my sons, when they went to college, went someplace far away.

And I just vividly have imprinted on my mind the day that we dropped them off and drove away. It was such a hard day, such an overwhelming time of grief for me, just as a mother, letting go and trusting that God was going to take care of them. But there will be a day when we will never again have to say goodbye to our children when they go to college, and we'll never have to say goodbye to friends when they move away, or to loved ones when they die. We'll never have to say goodbye to those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior. And one day, God will have all of His kids at His table, and they will be fellowshipping around His table, enjoying wonderful fellowship with Him and with each other. And because God loves us so much, because He loves us so much, He sent His Son to die for us so that we could know Him. And then He made us His temple to come and dwell within us, fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we could experience His love in our lives. And then He has allowed us to express His love to other people in a way that they can touch and see. And He loves us so much that right now He's preparing a home for us in heaven, and He wants to hold you in His arms forever. And again, our verse, I hope we'll never forget. 1 John 3, 1. How great a love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.

And that is what we are. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Teresa Ingram has been our guest teacher for this program, Teddy Bear Hugs from Above, from her series, He Holds Me Forever. She and Chip will be back in studio shortly to share their application for this message. Through this series, Teresa highlighted a fundamental attribute of God, His love. She explained why people view God as cold and distant and revealed the deep-rooted issues that cause people to struggle with their identity. We pray that if you're wrestling with your self-worth or purpose, these messages have helped renew your mind with God's Word. Let me encourage you to go back and revisit any part of this teaching from Teresa by going to livingontheedge.org.

That's livingontheedge.org. Well before we go on, our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is in studio with me now. And Chip, I see you want to jump in here for a second and share something with our listeners.

So why don't you go ahead and take a minute and do that. Thanks Dave. I want to talk to those of you who partner with us financially. Your gifts help us not just stay on the air, but they provide the necessary funding to create curriculum and develop our website and provide resources at extraordinarily reasonable prices. I mean, your giving is making an amazing impact.

So thank you very, very much. And for those of you that are enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge, but you haven't yet become a financial partner, would you consider doing that today? Your gifts are going to get invested right back into the ministry to assist us to develop resources, stay on the air, and help Christians live like Christians. I mean, is there ever a day when we need to make a difference?

Well, it's now. Will you help us? Thanks Chip. As you prayerfully consider your role in this ministry, I want to remind you that every dollar is significant. When you partner with Living on the Edge, you'll multiply our efforts and resources in remarkable ways. To give a gift, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or go to LivingOnTheEdge.org.

Tap listeners, tap donate. We appreciate whatever you can do to help. We'll hear now our Chip and Teresa to share a few final words. As we wrap up today and as we wrap up this whole series, it's been a great reminder. You know, sometimes we say, God loves me, Jesus loves me. And the word love just has lost its power. And Teresa, thank you for reminding us of the kind of love, the love that changes your life, the love that makes a place in heaven, the kind of love that's sacrificed, that Jesus wants to reach in into the very core of our being and our struggle and our hurt. And it's been a great series and a great reminder, especially this last couple days of heaven and the reality that, you know, we're so caught up in what's going on and people posting and saying terrible things about one another and being so divisive.

The fact of the matter is that we can know the Prince of Peace. And thank you. Thanks for teaching.

This is very, very timely. He actually does hold us forever. As we wrap up, is there any sort of final thought that as you think about the problems, the challenges, and the struggles that people are going through that you'd want to share just to kind of put a bow on this time together?

Yes. My last thought or what I would say, putting the bow on the end of the messages is just to remember God's truth because that is what we need every day. And His truth becomes our life. And in 1 John 3, 1, these are special passages from my life. He says, How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should become His children.

And then he repeats it. And that is what we are. We are as believers the children of God. And this passage says that He lavishes His love on us, that it's beyond what we can ever imagine.

It's abundant. And He promises us that that's what we have every day of our lives. And the second one is a verse that God has used many, many times in the difficulties of my life. And it's Romans 832 and it says, He that spared not His own Son, that's Jesus Christ, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not with Christ graciously give us all things? And I have thought about that so many times that this is the true meaning of God's Word, of His love for us, is that Jesus died on the cross because He loved us so much. And if God gave His Son the most precious love that He has, that He is always with us and always watching out for us and will give us all that we need. And the last one is from John 14 and it says, Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me. This is Jesus speaking and He says, In my Father's house there are many rooms and I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am there you may be also. And it's such a wonderful promise that this life is not all that there is, that we have hope beyond all the brokenness and all the troubles and concerns of this life and we will be with perfect love forever and ever and ever. Wow, that's really an encouraging word to end this series on, Teresa.

Thanks so much. And before we go, since Teresa mentioned that eternal hope we have in Jesus, if you've been searching for some solid biblical answers about heaven, let me direct you to our resources for The Real Heaven. Whether you get a copy of Chip's popular book or you and your friends dive into the small group study, you're going to walk away with a more accurate and exciting view of the place God's preparing for us. For complete details for these resources, visit special offers on the Chip Ingram app or at livingontheedge.org. Well, from all of us here, I'm Dave Druey thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge and I hope you'll join us next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-15 04:08:09 / 2024-05-15 04:18:55 / 11

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