To Paradise and Back
12 May 2001, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor. Communion was also celebrated today.)
THEME: PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE - SOUL MAINTENANCE
SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 10: 35-39
a. Dennis Tito the multi-millionaire paid millions to travel into space in a Russian spacecraft. Before he travelled he had a final scrub and bath plus being detoxed with antiseptic solutions. Last week when he arrived back he announced that he had , "been to Paradise and back." But there was no Future in his trip. He came back !!!
b. Aussie Govenor General while addressing people at the Federation Day celebrations in Melbourne recently, said, "I am confident that the democracy we have developed over the past 100 yrs will continue into the centuries ahead." That would be nice but according to God's word that is a false future and a false hope.
c. The FUTURE - What about the future- our future/your future? Are we so wrapped in the present that we have no thoughts for the Future? Governments and superannuation funds thrive on the FUTURE! What are you doing about the FUTURE?
HUMAN VIEWS OF THE FUTURE
1. Woody Allen b. 1935 - A film director, writer and actor, while speaking to a graduation class on the side effects of life said, " More than any other time in history, mankind faces the crossroads. One parth leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total exstinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." Wow! He says there is choice. What a choice! However, it is true that there is choice re the future.
2. Yogi Berra b. 1925- A famous American baseball player once said, "The future ain't what it used to be." Doom and gloom appears to be the world's view of all aspects and avenues of life.
3. C.S. Lewis once said, "The future is something that everyone reaches at sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."
So, future is choice. Future is how you handle the present. It has not changed for Christians. It is still the same- life after death. To Paradise and not back! The immediate future for all is DEATH. Our death. Your death. But there is a choice as how to die. We either die believing in Jesus Christ's gift of resurrection or we die without hope of life. Your future is your choice.
We can be sure of hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ, because He is the heavenly astronaut who came from Paradise to rescue humanity and then went back to Paradise. Actually He came from Paradise to Hell and back to Paradise. Our future will also follow His tracks if we accept the future He offers us.
Hebrews 11:9-10, 13 tells us of the faithful saints of the past who by faith believed in the the future promised by God. A city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God himself. They died in faith not having received the promises but were persuaded that God was faithful and would resurrect them in the future in His time. So we must do the same. Let us scrub up and get clean in Christ. We must follow.
Before that day we need soul maintenance. We like Dennis Tito need to have a bath. We need a regular detox from sin. We need to be cleansed. That is what feet washing is all about. It is a pit stop before the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion.
Revelation 7:14-15 Makes it clear. The saints who are victorious wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. This precedes the future. It guarantees our future. Hebrews 10:21-23 confirms the issue of the necessity to be cleansed.
Hebrews 7:25 Christ our High Priest is able to save us. If we come to God through Him. He lives forever and makes continual intercession for us. He wants us to make it to Paradise and on a one way ticket. No returns in Christ! He is already there before the Father interceeding on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24.
Hebrews 10:35-39 We are not to cast away our confidence and faith in Christ. His promise has great reward- eternal life in Paradise. The outcome for believers is "the saving of the soul."
Hebrews 11:35 Christ the better sacrifice, the better priest has assured us His gift, "a better resurrection" to life eternal with Him. Praise the Lord. All men have hope of resurrection but only believers are resurrected to life. The faithless are raised to final death for ever. What a choice.
Hebrews 13:20-21 It is by faith in Christ's blood of the covenant that gives us the peace of God in our lives and hope for the future. It is He who makes us complete in Him to do every good work according to His will.
Our future is assured in Jesus Christ. From Hell to Paradise and never back. With Him forever. Wow! WHAT A FUTURE.
ALL HAVE A FUTURE. IT IS DEATH. BUT THE BELIEVER HAS A FUTURE WITH HOPE. RESURRECTION AND ETERNAL LIFE.
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