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A Heavenly Heart Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2022 1:00 am

A Heavenly Heart Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 4, 2022 1:00 am

Have you experienced crippling fear? Our everyday problems—sickness, financial distress, or vocational challenges—often intensify our anxiety. In this message, we reflect on Jesus’ promise of heaven to his troubled followers. If we keep our eyes fixed on what Jesus is preparing for those who love Him, we can make it to the finish line. 

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Believers in Christ can be sure that heaven is a real place. That reality is a great antidote for the crushing weight of anxiety we sometimes feel.

Are you weighed down by fear? Remember the words of Jesus, a place is being prepared. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, why are so many people anxious when they know they have an eternal home to look forward to? Well Dave, I think the reality is this, all that we need to do is to look into our own hearts to see that there is anxiety there even though we have the assurance of eternal life. You know, recently as I've been reading various chapters of the New Testament, I've been impressed when over and over again there's an emphasis on eternity. You know, for example, Peter talks about the fact that we have a home in heaven, but now we are in heaviness because of different trials. He's always pointing us to the future. I've written a book entitled Prepare Your Heart for an Uncertain Future, Final Words of Warning and Comfort from Jesus to His Followers. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. When Jesus speaks, we should hang on to every word. Jesus answered and said in one of the most famous verses in all the Bible, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me, except through me. That's the entrance, a very special entrance into heaven.

When you think of it, the claims that Jesus are making is staggering. He's the way, the way to where? The way to the Father. He takes one hand and he puts it on us as sinners. He takes us from the city of destruction and he takes us to the city of light.

He takes us in our sin and he takes us into the presence of the Father and leaves us there as perfect as he himself is. He is the way. My wife knows that I have a huge distrust of signs when we're driving in places we've never been before.

She trusts them explicitly and implicitly. I always think, these guys, I don't think that that's the way. And you can understand, we were in England recently, you know where you have to drive on the left side of the road? I shall not say the wrong side, though I'm tempted to say that.

And we heard English spoken finally as God intended it to be spoken. But to trust those signs. One day, a tourist said to a guide in the desert that they were supposed to walk. He said, where's the path? The guide said, I am the path. We say to Jesus, where is the gate? How do we get there? I am the way.

I take you by your hand all the way to the Father. I am the truth. What a statement. Most of us would like to say that from time to time, we've preached the truth. We've told people the truth.

We've helped them find the truth. But to say, I am the truth. I am the embodiment of truth. Truth is who I am.

What a statement. And today in our postmodern age, people don't want to hear about truth. In fact, it is believed that everyone has his own, catch this now, has his own absolute truth. So my truth is absolute.

It's totally different from yours, but yours is absolute also. Is there any wonder why we're in such confusion? Could I say that truth has universality? Two plus two is equal to four. You say, well, would two plus two still be equal to four even if the moon turned to green cheese or the cubs were to actually get into the World Series? I mean, would two plus two still be equal to four? And the answer is yes. Is it true for all cultures?

Yes. If you ever have lunch with someone who says, well, you know, I want to give you my opinion. Frankly, I am tired of hearing about opinions, but what you need to do is to take your glasses off and look them square in the eye without glasses, though I see you more clearly with them, I might add.

And then you smile. And then you say this, you know, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own truth. If you find some truth, it applies to me too. And Jesus said, I am the truth. Everything that he says is truth. Everything that he is, is truth.

I am the way, the truth. I am the life. Physical life? Absolutely. Just like the moon has to depend upon the sun for its light, so the universe has to depend upon Christ for its continued existence. He created it and by him it continues to consist, the scripture says. Spiritual life?

Absolutely. I am come that they might have a life and that they might have it more abundantly. You want to find the way to heaven? It is Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ and none other, none other. What Jesus does here is he defines the gate. He shows us the parameters.

He shows us the way. And there's one thing about truth that is so distasteful to this modern generation. Truth always excludes.

If two plus two is equal to four, then there is almost an infinite number of wrong answers to that equation. And truth always excludes. People don't want to be excluded today. Everybody's right. Everybody's doing his own thing. Everybody coming to God in his own way.

Truth excludes. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. You get to the Father. You get to the Father through him.

Heaven has a very special entrance, Christ. Well, also it is going to give us a very special revelation, a special revelation and that is seen already here on earth in one of the most remarkable passages in all the New Testament. Even though I have memorized this passage years ago, restudied it, thought about it often, I am still blown away by the words of Jesus in the next verses. You'll notice that he says in verse seven, if you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.

And from now on, you know him and have seen him. And Philip said, Lord, show us the Father and that'll be enough for us. What a glorious statement, by the way. I think when we get to heaven, we'll just simply say, show us the Father, take us to the Father and we shall be satisfied. Show us the Father.

It'll be enough for us. Verse nine, Jesus answered, don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Philip, put this together. Anyone who has seen me. Oh, here it comes now. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

Wow, I can't take it in. What an affirmation of who he is. Of course, we can't see God as God, but we can see God in the flesh. We sing at Christmas veiled in the flesh the Godhead see. Yes, the Godhead see. He that has seen me have seen the Father. To see Jesus is to see God.

You know, when it comes to the problem of evil and why God permits and ultimately even causes the things that happen in the world, whether they are earthquakes or the suffering that is so great upon this earth because of things like that, and why God would permit men to do evil things to others such as the Holocaust, I've wrestled with that question as I'm sure you have for years. I took an entire course on it when I was studying philosophy in the university. I've read the atheists. I've read the believers. And I have to say to you today, and I've never said this before publicly, I don't think, although I may have. I'm to the age where it's possible for me to say something twice.

I don't think that there is really a rational, a fully satisfying rational answer to these kinds of problems. We just need to grasp God in faith. But what Luther said is this.

Luther, to be distinguished from Lutzer, by the way, we do get some mail here that says Erwin Luther. He said when it comes to these questions, he says God remains a mystery. He says flee from the hidden God and flee to Christ. Luther didn't mean that there are two gods. There's the mysterious hidden God and there's Christ. No, the reason that we can flee to Christ is because Jesus said this mysterious God whose ways are past finding out if you see me, you have seen him. Show us the Father and I will be satisfied. And Jesus said, look at me and be satisfied for if you see me, you have seen the Father.

Wow. When we were in England, we were in Trafalgar Square. That's the way Americans pronounce it. Actually, I guess it's Trafalgar.

You just kind of drop those last letters. And you know, you see about 100 feet in the air that statue of Lord Nelson. He's too high for me to see. I can only see him generally. I can't see the features on his face. That statue is too high.

But it is said that in London, I tried to find it and couldn't, but it is said that there's a statue of him, same representation, but on eye level so that the people can see what that statue up there looks like. Jesus is God at eye level. I can't handle the mysteries of God. I'm convinced that there is much more about God that we do not know than that which we know. I can't handle his mysterious purposes.

All that I can do is trust him. But I can look at Jesus. Ah, now.

Now I begin to understand. So this is what the Father is like. And imagine seeing him someday. Someday we will see the Father directly once we get to heaven. To know Jesus is to know the Father.

To listen to Jesus is to listen to the Father. We've all thought to ourselves, you know, I wish I could have a conversation with God. There is a book written by that title, which is not a conversation with God.

It's really should be entitled a conversation with me, the author, Walsh, who wrote that book. It's pure blasphemy. It's human thoughts.

It's the echo of this man's own voice. But we all wish that we could really talk to God. Well, the disciples were able to.

And you and I can read their dialogues. Because Jesus said that, don't you know, Philip, you say, don't you believe, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. The words that I say to you are not my own.

Rather, it is the Father living in me who does the work. Do you think you can make it, you who are discouraged today? Can we make it because we realize that heaven is a special destination and that's where we put our emphasis and our mind and it is a special reunion because we're going to be with Christ and with others. It has a very special entrance so we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and we have confidence in him that he's going to lead us to the Father and ultimately heaven is going to have a very special revelation where we understand God more fully and we begin to do that as we look at Jesus.

Can you make it? Have you seen the shore? Well, just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven, of taking a hand and finding it gods, of breathing new air and finding it celestial, of waking up in glory and finding it home. That's our destination.

That's where we're headed. That's why you can make it through today. When Jesus said, let not your heart be troubled, I almost have to interpret that to mean that your heart can't be troubled without your permission. So you can let your heart stop being troubled. Jesus is saying if you understand these truths correctly, you have authority over your heart. You do not have to let your heart be troubled.

Stop letting it do that and focus in on the shore and then you can make it. The bottom line, of course, is that if we have our eyes fixed on heaven, we can make it. We can make it on this earth.

You can go through almost anything. You can read accounts of prisoners in concentration camps who suddenly burst out with applause and singing. Well, why would they do that? Here they are, almost ready to die, shriveled, emaciated, and they're full of joy. Why? Well, the story is one of them had a radio that he had smuggled into his cell and he heard that World War II was over.

When you've got that private information, you can make it. Ella Wheeler Cox learned what some of us need to, since we're not acquainted with sailing, at least I'm speaking for myself, that actually you can have a wind blowing in a certain direction on a given day and one boat can go west and the other boat can go east because it's not the direction of the wind, but it's the set of the sail that determines where the boat goes. And so she wrote a poem. One ship drives east and another west with the selfsame winds that blow. Tis the set of the sails and not the gales which tell us the way to go. Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate as we voyage along through life. Tis the set of the soul that decides its goal and not the calm or strife. A heavenly heart enables us to keep going. Don't, don't let your heart be troubled.

Don't give it permission to do that. Believe in me, Jesus said, and you'll have rest for your souls. Let's pray together. Our Father, we want to thank you today for your word and for the comfort of Jesus. We thank you for his astounding claim that he that has seen me have seen the Father. And we ask today, O Lord, give us confidence in this age of confusion that the one in whom we have believed is the one who is the anchor for our souls and will keep us all the way to the Father's house. And if you're here today and have never trusted Christ as Savior, you've never believed on him, this would be an opportunity for you to do that. Simply say, I accept Christ as the way, the truth, and the life, the forgiver of my sins and the one who leads me all the way home.

You talk to him. Grant us, O Lord God, your peace and your calm in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

I don't know about you, but I need to hear that over and over again. We're living at a time when there is so much strife, so many loud voices, and it seems as if the person who shouts the loudest wins the argument. What we need to do is to go back to the words of Jesus, the words of comfort, the words of hope. I've written a book entitled Prepare Your Heart for an Uncertain Future. And you and I know that the future for us certainly is uncertain, perhaps even fearful. Prepare your heart for an uncertain future, final words of warning and comfort from Jesus to his followers. When Jesus spoke there in the upper room, he was talking to his disciples, but really he was talking to all of his followers.

I like to think that he was talking to all of us. I believe that this book will be a great blessing to you, and for a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the book Prepare Your Heart for an Uncertain Future, final words of warning and comfort from Jesus to his followers. Yes, indeed, in the midst of all that is going on in our culture, all the discouragement, all of the clashes of world views, we need to calm our hearts in the presence of Christ. Thanks in advance for helping us in this ministry. Remember, if you want a copy of this book, which I believe will be a great blessing to you, go to rtwoffer.com.

It can be yours for a gift of any amount, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And I want to thank you in advance for your prayers, for the fact that we have so many people who stand with us regularly. God bless you and keep your heart calm.

It's time again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. When parents and their daughter disagree about marriage, trouble may be on the horizon. Emily from Illinois asks, I am a 24-year-old single lady. I'm self-employed and live at home with my parents. I grew up in a godly home, was taught the Bible, and was homeschooled. My parents have taught me and my sisters the importance of Proverbs 31, so I strongly believe in biblical marriage and believe that raising godly children is a very high calling for a wife and mother. The problem has come as my parents have only one goal for me, to marry and have children.

They believe a girl should stay at home with her parents under their authority until she marries and is placed under her husband's authority. I've been content with this, but about a year and a half ago, God began to do a work in my heart that it was time to move on. I feel so strongly that God would have me use these years to serve him in a ministry that would not be possible if I should marry and have children. I've prayed much, asking God if he would have me stay single for the sake of the ministry. My parents' viewpoint is that if God had called me to ministry, he would have shown it to them as well. I know the Bible tells me to honor and respect my parents, but does there come a place in my life where Christ becomes the greater authority?

Emily, what an interesting story you have to tell. First of all, let me say that you are very fortunate, I'll begin there, by the fact that you have Christian parents who care about you and who want to make sure that they have the very, very best for their daughter, and no doubt they are praying that God's will will be done in your life, etc. There are many children who can't say that. But having said that, I really do feel that your parents are wrong in insisting that you marry. You know, after all, God may have something else for you, and if the right man doesn't come along, what are you to do? To make that the dominant desire on their part for your life, I feel, is really wrong and misleading. Indeed, God may have other things for you.

Now you say that you are 24 years old. There comes a time in your life when you are held accountable to God and not your parents. Seems to me Jesus said that on one occasion when he said that you have to love me more than you love your mother and your father. There comes a time when a child has to find his own way in his relationship with God. I like to point out that, humanly speaking, we would never have had the Protestant Reformation if Luther had believed that one should always obey his parents, because his parents certainly did not want him to enter the monastery there in Erfurt. They wanted him to be a lawyer. His father was miffed about that for many years. Well, I'm glad that Luther did enter that monastery to seek God.

I'm glad that his life did take the path that it did. So, I really do believe that there is such a thing as respectful disobedience, and your parents are worthy of respect. But at the same time, you cannot be held in bondage to their desire for you to marry. Seek God. Be kind.

Be respectful. But also, you're going to have to decide in God's presence what your future is going to be about. I pray that he will give you the grace to work this out so that you can go on with what God has called you to do. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to have your question answered, go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer. Or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. In his famous Upper Room Discourse, Jesus said that those who would believe in him would do greater works than he did.

At first glance, that appears impossible. What works could be greater than his. Next time on Running to Win, join us as Erwin Lutzer turns again to John chapter 14 and explains this astounding statement. Thanks for listening today. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 12:03:51 / 2023-05-12 12:12:34 / 9

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