Thursday, January 03, 2008

Heaven

Sunday I will begin a series on heaven. In all my years of going to church (many of them as the preacher), this is a subject that we mention a lot -- but I don't remember hearing a sermon totally dedicated to heaven. I did, however, heard many sermons on hell when I was younger.

Interesting tidbit: I heard Randy Gallaway yesterday on ESPN radio say that in Buffalo it is "cold as hell." Is that not the ultimate oxymoron?

I fear that heaven is kind of like our default setting. We prefer it to the alternative. But if we had a choice, we would stay right here on terra firma.

How often do you think about heaven? I am convinced we do not rival the Thessalonian Christians. If Paul were among us today, would he need to write a letter telling us to quit waiting for heaven and to get on with life? I don't think so. We would need the opposite instruction. We need to fix our gaze on eternity. As C. S. Lewis once observed (I paraphrase), it is those whose eyes are fixed on heaven who are of the most benefit here on earth.

Again, perhaps our songs have outpreached our preaching. Just think of how many songs talk about heaven.

So, what am I going to say? There is so much, I am still not sure how deeply to delve into it. And the more I read, the more I realize that to hold a doctrinal position on heaven is pretty difficult. I hope this series doesn't bog down into that. Rather, I hope to ignite an excitement in us as we all journey home.

4 comments:

Mark and Melissa Taylor said...

Mark and I talked to a couple of Jehova's Witnesses that came to our house with literature for us to read - I took it, out of curiosity, and we had a talk with them one night. I asked them if they really believe that only 144,000 people are going to Heaven. They said yes, so I asked them why they would be trying to convert us (wouldn't we be taking their place)? They tried to convince us that the "select" would get to go to Heaven with God while the rest of us got to stay on Earth, or rather a "Heaven on Earth". They tried to tell us how great our lives would be on Earth without saddness, tears, death, sickness, etc. (all the things we are promised in Heaven). Isn't that exciting?! NO - I want to go to HEAVEN with GOD - the promise we have in being a Christian. I can't wait for your series, but I can't help but feel sad for the people that look forward to "Heaven on Earth" rather than the real deal.

Jeff said...

I hate to be gone Sunday but will look forward to the rest of the series. I am curious to know whether Heaven is filled with trout streams or golf courses.

How wonderful it is to imagine a place that will far surpass whatever I can imagine.

Beverly Ross said...

Can't wait to hear it!!!!!

randy said...

I'm certainly looking forward to the study. Hopefully, we can get infused with postive motivation.