Sunday, October 2, 2016 - Living With Heaven In View!
Bro. Roger C. Marcos
October 2, 2016
In my travel to the Philippines, I enjoyed meeting believers from churches, delivering sermons to churches who invited me to speak. On September 4, 2016 in the morning at Diffun Quirino Church of Christ, then in the afternoon at Sunshine Wave Resort Church of Christ. September 6 heading to Cagayan visiting the Aparri Bible Seminary, Ballesteros Church of Christ, and Bagu Pamplona Church of Christ, then on 11 of September preached early morning at Backiling Church of Christ, then Paruddun Church of Christ, the church I served after my graduation at Aparri Bible Seminary. 1986-1994 the years I gave to Paruddun Church and Backiling Church, then going back to Isabela pastor Paul Ysmael, want me to speak one more time at Quirino church on 18 the third Sunday of September. What a wonderful experiences to my vacation so on September 25, 2016 my last Sunday sir ninong Edwardo De la Cruz, asked me to preach at San Guillermo Church of Christ.
San Guillermo, a blessed town which a Christian Institution was established by the missionary Charles W. Selby the SOUTHERN ISABELA ACADEMY, high school which I graduated.
Yes, so great and wonderful being with fellow brethren, and people ask, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? In respond life is a preparation for ETERNITY.
We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in heaven. One day our heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of our body but not the end of us. WHY? Because if we believe in Christ, heavenly minded, we will be living with the Lord to eternity. WE ARE MADE BY GOD AND FOR GOD.
2 Cor. 5:1-10NKJV 1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The Lord wants us to know that our true home is not here on earth.
Throughout our lives, our triune God reminds us where our true home is, and as he does so, he wants us to walk by faith and not by sight. He wants us to look forward to the day of resurrection.
That does not mean we check out of present-day life. On the contrary, we are to be fully engaged in what God has for us today. Actually, the truth of the matter is that we will be of more earthly good if we are heavenly minded. If we make earth our heaven, it may turn into a prelude of hell. But if we make earth our way-station to the new creation, we thank God for every gift he gives us, live every day for God’s glory, and look forward to the glorious future promised us. Since Jesus is risen and has conquered death, we too will conquer death given our faith union with him.
I. Paul Recognize That This World Is Not Our Eternal Home. Hebrew 13:14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
While we are down here upon the earth we may experience heavenly joy and peace in our hearts. Remember we are not destined to live down here for ever. We are bound for our heavenly Home!
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 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. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
What is the connection between 2 Corinthians 4 and 5? It is this: the outer self-wasting away stands for our bodies that are dying. And the unseen promise we look for is the resurrection of the body. Paul unpacks these truths for us in 5:1-10. We see three truths in these verses. Let us look at each of them in turn.
Paul begins by saying that we know, which means we can be certain that when our earthly tent, the weak bodies we have now, die, then we will have a new resurrection body. Three times in these verses Paul says our present body is a tent. And in verses 1 and 2 he describes our resurrection body as a building or as a house. The bodies we have now are like a tent.
Our bodies now are wonderful in so many ways, aren’t they? But our bodies cannot match the aspirations of our spirits. They are weakened by disease, by allergies, by injuries, by old age, and finally by death. I still remember when I turned forty-six. Why? Because I could hold my own in basketball one on one against my son Kenneth until I turned forty-six. Then I started getting the rebound in my mind but my body was not there.
A. Paul said, "We Walk By Faith and Not By Sight." 2 Cor. 5:7
In this context, Paul is showing that "our faith in someday being with the Lord" becomes our motivator. To walk by faith means that you believe and obey the Bible's commands before mankind's commands. To walk by faith means that you choose righteousness over sin, no matter what the cost. To walk by faith means that you trust God in every circumstance rather than going by your own wisdom.
2 Corinthians 5:7 gives a reminder and exhortation that believers are to "walk by faith, not by sight." "Walk" speaks of how we live our lives, conduct ourselves, behave, and use the time and opportunities God has ordained for us. Walking "by sight" speaks of choosing to live based upon how things naturally appear, feel, and seem at first glance. Those who walk by sight rely upon fleshly instincts and temporal pleasures to make decisions. They are concerned with the present rather than the eternal and with blending in with the world rather than with keeping the commands of Christ. Walking by sight is selfish, shallow, and according to the Scripture, a totally insensible way to live. Walking by faith, on the other hand, makes sense if we understand what faith is and the profound glory of what it accomplishes and gives back to us in return.
To walk by faith means that you believe God rewards those who seek Him, no matter what anyone else tells you.
Anything we might enjoy in this life is only temporary.
B. One Day We Will Leave All Things of This Life Behind. What Will You Leave Behind?
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, Heb. 9:27
When Christians die, they gather to a place that the Lord has designated, described as “very much better” and “paradise.” Instead, the sorrow was due to the fact that these would be missed by those left behind; their friendship, support and kindness. The Scripture says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on! ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their deeds will follow them.” Rev. 14:13
When we die, we leave behind the effect we have had on the world; on our loved ones, neighbors and friends. There are far more important legacies we can leave behind than money and property. The Bible states that “none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself Rom. 14:7. Those who live by faith will be missed when they die, but in Christ, even in death they are made alive, and their words and deeds continue to influence the world. What will you leave behind?
7 We do not live for ourselves only, and we do not die for ourselves only. Rom.14:7 GNT
C. Our Citizenship is in Heaven. Phil. 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
We understand then that God has already given believers citizenship before we arrive our heavenly home.
Thus, so far as this earthly life is concerned, we are but strangers and pilgrims, passing through, and we will not let fleshly lusts take control or win the battle for our souls.
II. Paul’s Say There’s A Better Place to Live Called Heaven.
A. Paul’s Say Depart and be with Christ Was Far Better.
Phil. 1:21-23 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
As we live in this life, there are many discomforts and pains that we must endure.
Paul's understanding of this is clearly seen as he wrote to the Corinthians.
2 Cor. 4:16-18 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Paul speaks of the discomforts of this life as "light afflictions."
He also added that they were "but for a moment."
Paul describes them as being weighed in a balance (scales), and the afflictions in this life are very insignificant when compared to exceeding weight of glory.
He stated in Romans that there is no comparison to the sufferings of this present time to the glory which is to come. Rom. 8:18
Paul is not suggesting that pain and suffering are easy to endure, but as one lives a life with a view of heaven, they were overshadowed by the great reward that is to come.
We must adopt the attitude of Paul which I believe eternal home enough to inspire him to go forward in order to be rewarded all of his endeavor.
We can endure the hardships of this life, knowing they will be brief, and anticipating a far better place.
III. PAUL HAD CONFIDENCE IN THE PROMISES OF GOD.
9-10 Paul encourages us to please the Lord in everything since our future home is the ultimate reality and we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
This truth is clearly taught in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10.
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
We need a reason to live. We need a vision to inspire us. We need a cause to give ourselves to. So many of our young people are bored and unhappy, for they do not have a purpose in life. They are not inspired by being told: be yourself. They are not helped when people say: do whatever makes you happy. They need something bigger than themselves. And it is crucial that they give themselves to the right cause.
A. The life of Paul was indeed a life of faith and confidence in the promises of God.
Remember, Paul said, "We have a building from God," not "we might have a building from God."
That's the faith and confidence Paul lived with. 2 Tim. 1:12 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
He lived knowing that if his life were taken from him at any moment, there was a wonderful abode reserved for him.
2 Tim. 4:7-8 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Why? Because the Lord promised there is such a place.
John 14:1-3 NKJV “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
It is a tragedy that those who claim to be Christians are filled with doubt, fear, despair, and uncertainty. 2 Tim. 1:7 NLT For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Rom. 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Let us have confidence in the promises of God.
A. "How was Paul able to endure all that he suffered in life ministry? What was the secret of his success?
The answer is: "He Lived with Heaven In View."
His all-consuming goal was to reach his eternal home.
Phil. 3:13-14- 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Let us live the kind of life Paul lived, realizing that this world is not our home, that there is a better place, the heavenly home, and that God will fulfill His promises He had made to us.
If you haven't been living that kind of life (with heaven as your all-consuming goal), you can change all that today.
Why Not Start Living "With Heaven In View" Today? If you do so you will never be the same.
Please THINK ETERNITY!