SERIES: Topical Messages: Heaven
SETTING: North Kelso Baptist Church
SERVICE: Sunday AM (October 25, 2015)
SUBTITLE: Heaven: Our Heart &; Our Home
SCRIPTURE: Selected Scriptures
SUBJECT: perspective for heaven
SUMMARY: Having a proper perspective of heaven governs your daily living
SCHEME: To exhort genuine believers to live in light of their hope of heaven
Our theme is: Live like heaven is real
Proposition: Having a proper perspective of heaven governs your daily living
Interrogatory Sentence: How does having a proper perspective govern your daily living?
Transitional Sentence: There are at least two (2) ways having a proper perspective governs your daily living:
• Longing for heaven causes you to link your minds with heaven
• Longing for heaven causes you to live your life for heaven
Heaven: Our Heart & Our Home
Selected Scriptures * Part 7
1. Gain Attention:
In C. S. Lewis’s book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, a ship sails toward the east in search of some lost countrymen and for some new adventures. There is one passenger that has something else in his heart – Reepicheep the mouse. He wants to find Aslan’s Country.
Ever since Reepicheep was a tiny little mouse he had been taught a poem that prophesied that he would travel to the east and find what his heart longed for.
Where sky and water meet
Where the waves grow sweet
Doubt not, Reepicheep
To find all your seek
There is the utter east
Reepicheep did not know what this poem meant, but the spell of it has been on him all his life. So he abandons everything in order to seek Aslan’s country. This little mouse makes this statement. Listen to what he says, but listen to his passion:
“While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise…”
2. Raise Need:
How passionate are you for heaven? What is your perspective towards heaven?
Does your daily live demonstrate a proper perspective for heaven?
It is tragic and very sad that so many people have an absolutely distorted view about heaven. What is even sadder is how many people, including Christians live as if heaven was nothing more than an after-thought. You must set your mind on heaven. You must have a proper or biblical perspective of heaven.
If heaven is such a tremendously wonderful place that supersedes anything that you can dream, imagine, or think of then you should have a proper perspective of heaven which would be reflected in your daily living.
3. State Purpose:
This morning I want to help you to reorient yourselves to heaven as your home. I want to share with you how you can develop a proper perspective for heaven that will be depicted by your daily lifestyle.
Our theme is: Live like heaven is real
Proposition: I propose to you that a proper perspective towards heaven will govern your daily living
Interrogatory Sentence: How does a proper perspective of heaven govern your daily lifestyle?
Transitional Sentence: There are at least two (2) ways of having the proper perspective of heaven governs your everyday lifestyle
In order to develop a proper perspective of heaven you must…
• Link your mind with heaven
• Live your live for heaven
[But before we dig into these two important ways, let’s take a couple of minutes and…]
We are finishing up our short series about heaven. It is called Heaven: Our Heart and our Hope.
Thus far, we have looked at The Promise of Heave, The Place of Heaven, The Perfection of Heaven, The Program of Heaven, and now we will conclude with The Perspective of Heaven.
Last week we looked at what our fourth major point in this series called, The Program of Heaven. We took a look at what we will be doing in the eternal heaven for eternity.
We began by looking at some crazy, if not sinful ideas people have about heaven. Many people think heaven will be boring. Some think they will prefer hell to heaven.
We saw that heaven will be a place of constant activity. We examined at least four (4) major activities that will occupy our time and will prevent the onslaught of boredom.
[Those activities were:]
• The Adoration of the King – we will worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the eternal God.
• The Administration of the Kingdom – we will rule, we will administer under the chief administrator or ruler, Jesus Christ
• The Actions (activities of the Kingdom) – we will work at an occupation
• The Absorption of the Kingdom – we will eat, we will drink, we will feast
There will be no time nor reason to be bored in heaven. There is a full program of activities that every believer will participate in – in some form or fashion. You will enjoy heaven. You will delight in heaven. You will not be bored.
[So, now let’s move to our…]
TRUTH FOR TODAY
5A The Perspective for Heaven (Part 1)
Let me ask you this, when you go to the zoo and look at the variety of wild animals in their habitat, what do you think? Most of us enjoy looking at the animals and most of us would never see these animals up close and personal if it were not for zoos.
Regardless of how pretty, accurate, or carefully designed these habitats are; what is the one thing that is “wrong?” The animals don’t belong there do they? These man-made habitats are not their real home.
This world, this country, this state, this city that we live in is not our home. We were created for a different and better place.
Charlie Peacock, who is a musician wrote a song that included this line; I want to live like heaven is for real.
You can’t read very much of either Paul or Peter and see that is how they wanted to live also. They wanted to live like heaven is real. They both want you and me to live our lives the same way.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
This is probably the most potent description of heavenly-mindness that you will find in the Bible. This is the mindset that every believer should have. The things that happen to us in this life, especially affliction,means oppression, tribulation, pressure, distress, or dire straits. These things that happen to you every day are God’s means of preparing you for heaven.
Notice what Paul says – “as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are not seen. Our orientation, our perspective is to be on the things that are eternal.
Colossians 3:1-4 - 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
First Paul says be oriented to the things that are invisible and now he says be oriented to the things that are above. He means that we are to focus on them, to prize them, to desire them.
1 Peter 1:13 - Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Peter tells his readers to focus or have a proper orientation toward the future. We are to focus on the grace that is to come.
So our theme is live like heaven is real.
A proper perspective towards heaven will govern your daily living.
Having a proper perspective involves at least two (2) things. The first thing you must do is:
1B Link your mind with heaven
How do you link your mind with heaven? We will examine at least four ways you are able to link your mind with heaven for a proper perspective.
1C You must develop the discipline of meditation on heaven
This is the very foundation of developing a proper perspective of heaven. You must think and reflect on heaven regularly.
Psalm 1:2 – “…his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law he meditates day and night.”
The word mediate is a verb. It means to growl, or to groan, to sigh, or to mutter. It is used in the Bible to refer to meditate or to ponder.
The Psalmist made the Word of God the object of his constant contemplation. He took time to think about what he read. He thought out loud about it. The Psalmist filled his mind with God’s word.
A Jeweler will hold a diamond toward the light and with a magnifying glass look at every facet, every angle of the diamond. He will turn it very slowly and look intently at every angle to see the light and look for flaws, cutting angles, beauty, and value.
This is how a genuine believer meditates on heaven. You need to treat the truths of heaven deliberately, slowly turning all the scripture that relates to heaven around and around.
John Calvin wrote: “We who claim to have a personal religion must call to mind that this present life will not last and will soon be over. We should spend it thinking about immortality. Now eternal and immortal life can be found nowhere except in God. It follows, then that the main care and concern of our life should be to seek God. We should long for him with all the affection of our hearts and not find rest and peace anywhere except in him alone.”
I will admit that this dedicated meditation is not easy. It goes against our nature, our culture, and our fast paced life. We can get a lot of spiritual food from a number of different sources, but do we ever really digest it? Nourishment comes from digesting, not just tasting.
And so, we need to think. We need to think on heavenly things. In order to have a proper perspective of heaven, in order to link our minds with heaven, we need to think often and hard about heaven.
Someone wrote, “We need to reflect, ponder, dwell, and linger on heaven.”
The Puritan Henry Scudder in his book, The Christian’s Daily Walk, wrote some very convicting words, “For according to a person’s meditation such is he.”
What he means is what a person thinks about, what he thinks about reflects the type of person they are.
So, to link your mind with heaven you must meditate frequently and deeply.
[Secondly, to link you mind with heaven…]
2C You must develop the inward orientation toward heaven
Not only does Psalm 1:2 say that the blessed man meditates on God’s word, it says that the blessed man delights in God’s word.
The blessed man mediates on God’s word because he is drawn to God’s word. It seems that he jumps at the chance to meditate. So, it seems that the blessed man who is meditating on heaven looks at heaven because he loves heaven.
How can we develop a love for heaven? It is because we have a new orientation, or we have new heavenly desires. Granted sometimes a Christian can get discouraged, distracted, or deceived and his love and new desires for heaven can sink to almost nothing. But even under those conditions the orientation for heaven is still there in a genuine Christian.
This new orientation which is a result of our conversion and regeneration needs to be cultivated. We need to ask God through His HS to cultivate, nourish, and grow this orientation so that we do love heaven more than this world.
When I was in Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines for 13 long months all I could think of was home. I wanted to go home. I wanted to “go stateside.” We had an expression, “we wanted to rotate to the world.” Home, the USA was our home, it was our "world."
Most of our conversations centered on going back to the world. The world was our home. Why? We were Americans, we were not Japanese or Pilipino. We were oriented to the Unites States. I was oriented to California and to Irene. My heart pointed to the good ole USA.
This is the way with genuine Christians. Their heart is now oriented to or pointed to heaven. The genuine Christians mind is draw toward heaven.
To link your mind with heaven you must develop the practice of meditation and cultivate the orientation that is placed in you at salvation.
[Thirdly, to link your mind with heaven…]
3C You must develop the anticipation of heaven
This is another important aspect of linking your mind with heaven. Not only does a believer meditate or think about heaven, and not only does is a believer drawn toward heaven by an internal orientation, but a believer looks toward heaven with great anticipation because he is drawn toward heaven.
The genuine Christian is eager to be in heaven. He is waiting for heaven. Listen to 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10:
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
Philippians 3:1-10 – “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” As genuine believes we are anticipating heaven and a savior from heaven.
Heaven, to be in the presence of God is our hope. The believer anticipates going directly into the presence of God when we die.
In order to link your mind with heaven you must develop mediation on heaven, develop the internal orientation towards heaven, and develop the anticipation for heaven. But there is at least one more thing you must do:
4C You must develop biblical consecration for heaven
First of all, consecration carries the idea of being set apart unto God.
Some words that are related to this idea are hallowed, holy, sacred, and sanctified.
So for a genuine believer to be “fixed” on heaven lives as if he is already there. The genuine believer gives him/herself to holy or heavenly living in the present.
Peter tells his readers, “…make your minds ready, and keep on the watch, hoping with all your power for the grace which is to come to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; like children ruled by God, do not go back to the old desires of the time when you were without knowledge: But be holy in every detail of your lives, as he, whose servants you are, is holy; Because it has been said in the Writings, You are to be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16, BBE)
The genuine believer is to be hopeful and holy. Peter is directing the immediate attention of his reads toward heaven. When we are thinking of and on God and heaven it has an effect on our daily living.
Put sin to death in this life. Walk worthy of your calling, live your daily life in light of your hope of obtaining heaven and it will affect your daily life in the here and now.
Also, remember what Peter told his readers in his second letter?
Seeing then that all these things are coming to such an end, what sort of persons is it right for you to be, in all holy behavior and righteousness, Looking for and truly desiring the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will come to an end through fire, and the substance of the earth will be changed by the great heat? But having faith in his word, we are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, which will be the resting-place of righteousness. For this reason, my loved ones, as you are looking for these things, take great care that when he comes you may be in peace before him, free from sin and every evil thing. (2 Peter 3:11, BBE)
The heavens and the earth will be destroyed and recreated. If this is true, how should we live our lives? We should live our lives in holiness and godliness. We should be looking every day for the coming of God in Christ. We should be looking eagerly and excitedly for the new heaven and new earth. So, we should be free from sin and every evil thing
In other words, we should be set apart to God. We should be consecrated.
Look what John wrote to his readers:
“See what great love the Father has given us in naming us the children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not see who we are, because it did not see who he was. My loved ones, now we are children of God, and at present it is not clear what we are to be. We are certain that at his revelation we will be like him; for we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him makes himself holy, even as he is holy.” (1 John 3:3, BBE)
Do you have the hope in you that you will one day be like Christ at his revelation or unveiling? Then the natural result of having this hope is to make your holy in your daily living, set yourself apart to God. Consecrate yourself!
Secondly, keep something in mind. Biblical consecration is more than just saying no to sin when you are tempted. Holiness or consecration also has a positive side.
God actually calls you to say yes to everything that he has created and given to you. Make the most out of every potential to glorify God.
So, seeking to consecrate or set yourself apart to God is not just saying no or denying yourself any pleasure. Consecration is saying yes to God and all his goodness.
So, what is involved, what is necessary to link your mind with heaven? It involves: meditation, orientation, anticipation, and consecration.
[What do you say we wrap this up?]
Having seen these things this morning, check your pulse! What does your spiritual heart monitor register? Are you linked to heaven?
• Do you ever think about heaven?
• Do you find yourself drawn toward heaven? Do you feel something is missing?
• Do you long for and desire to be in heaven?
• Does your thinking, drawing, longing affect the way you live here today?
Granted sometimes we can’t feel a strong pulse, sometimes our pulse is a little weak. Every Christian experiences ups and downs. But in every Christian there beats a pulse for heaven.
If you check your pulse and find you have no thoughts of heaven, are not drawn towards heaven, have no anticipation of heaven, and your hope of heaven does not affect your live today, then repent, turn to the living God and call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved.
Remember James tells us that our life is very short, just like a puff of smoke, therefore I challenge you to focus on the eternal.
God has granted you a fantastic future, a future that is unparalleled by anything you can measure against it. If your mind is linked with the glories and joys of heaven you will learn how to live on this earth in your present lifetime.
So, develop a passion. Remember Reepicheep? Remember his passion? Even if he failed and drowned, his nose would be pointed toward his goal. No quitting, no turning back, no distractions.
Where is your nose pointed? Be like Reepicheep!
Maranatha! Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!
So, What Should You Do? (Application)
Every genuine believer has an orientation towards heaven that should lead to an anticipation and consecration that is developed by meditation.
Today I wanted to exhort genuine believers to live in light of their hope of heaven
What Should You Do?
Realize that everything in this life is preparing you for heaven
Set your mind and affections on heaven and not on this earth
Set your hope on the grace and glory that well be revealed