Sunday, February 19, 2006

Discovering heaven

It's been a great week so far. I am about ready for the holidays to be over. Hope you have a great week - Kirk

Five words to discover the way to heaven:
Short Outline: Jn. 14:2b, 3 "I go to prepare for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also."
1. Go
2. Ready
3. Return
4. Recive
5. Reunion

Full Text:
The Way To Heaven
Jn. 14:1-6
Introduction
A. It was the hour of Darkness (13:30).
1. Judas had went out to barter for the capture of Jesus. - This brought sadness.
2. Peter gives his sacrificial “I will die for you “ speech, thinking that would change Jesus’ mind about leaving (13:37). Jesus responded by telling him that he would fail before daybreak. - This brought distress.
3. The anxiety of the disciples may be summed up like this, “If you are going to leave and Peter can’t hold up under pressure, what are we going to do?” Now we see them deeply troubled.
B. The word ‘troubled’ (Greek - tarasso) means to agitate, to roil like water.
1. You may have seen a terrazzo floor which is made of tiny pieces of stone. The stone is all jumbled up with no particular pattern. This was the disciples heart. They were terrified, their hearts had that sinking feeling you get when you hear about some terrible news.
C. It was in the mist of this agitation, this turmoil, Jesus spoke one of the most cherished statements of all time.
1. It is read by people who are extremely depressed about the condition of the world, it is read by or to loved ones who are near death, it is read and discussed by gospel preachers at funerals everywhere.
2. It is that prized cache of words which offer comfort and hope to troubled people.
3. Quote passage.
D. Our study today will center around vs. 2b, 3 in “Discovering the Way to Heaven.”
1. There are five words which qualify what it took Jesus to bring the hope of heaven to our troubled hearts.

I. Go - 14:2b
A. This word implies a purpose and a destination.
1. No one goes anywhere without having a reason to travel or a place to reach.
2. Jesus said, “I go” to a place - Calvary! I have a destination - Right hand of God.
B. Christian, the way to heaven requires us to GO!
1. Go to your Bible to receive instruction (2 Tim. 2:15).
2. Go to the water to receive forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.
a. That’s where the first Christians were commanded to go (Acts 2:38,47).
b. That’s where the Samaritans were commanded to go (Acts 8:12).
c. That’s where the Ethopian Treasurer as commanded to go (Acts 8:36-38).
d. That’s where Saul of Tarsus was commanded to go (Acts 9:18; 22:16).
e. That’s where Cornelius was commanded to go (Acts 10:48).
f. That’s where Lydia was commanded to go (Acts 16:15).
g. That’s where the Philipian Jailer was commanded to go (Acts 16:32, 33).
I. NOW THERE’S a lot of folk who attempt to discredit this activity but it is a divine order. We must go to the water for remission (Acts 2:38); for washing away sin (Acts 22:16) and for regeneration and salvation (Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 3:21) having faith in the blood of Christ that it will do what he said it would perform.
3. Afterward, if a Christian wishes to discover the way to heaven he must go to church (Heb. 10:25).
4. Discovering the way to heaven means that the Christian must Go.
II. Prepare or Ready v. 3
A. Jesus readied a place for us.
1. The dwelling places were already in tact “In my Father’s house are many...”
2. Jesus readied a place for us by:
a. Preparing his body (Heb. 10:5, 10).
b. Preparing his apostles (Lk. 24:45ff) through knowledge.
c. Preparing his church for service (Matt 23:23). Formalism is a sham.
B. Dear Christian, if you want to discover the way to heaven, you must ready yourself.
1. Why go to scripture if you are only going to argue with what it says. Why go to the water if you are not planning to follow. Why go to church if you do not plan to ready yourself for service?
2. Since Jesus has been portrayed as the greatest servant of all time who do we think we are when we hear and do not listen, see and do not act, pray and do not serve.
3. The house of God is a place of EMPLOYMENT not enjoyment!
4. Phil. 2:12 tells the Christian servant to WORK or continue doing things which need to be done for spiritual growth and development of the kingdom of God. Work not to earn but because you are indebted.
5. Ready yourself in your godliness, holiness, manner of living. Ready yourself in your duties of attendance, prayer, and washing the saint’s feet. Ready yourself in showing others the way (Matt. 28:20). Prepare now to go to heaven, you can’t live like a sinner and die like a saint.
III. Return
A. Jesus promised to come again.
1. To go without returning seems so futile (this is what atheist believe).
2. To return without a purpose is just as lame (2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jn. 5:28, 29).
B. Christian man or woman, boy or girl, if you want to discover heaven you too must return.
1. Return frequently to your Bible classes, worship times and church work activities, and so much the more as you see day drawing near (Heb. 10:25).
2. Return to your prayer life, your study habits, your spiritual labors.
3. Return to your brother who has asked forgiveness and forgive from your heart.
4. Return to the Shepherd and Bishop of your soul if you are wandering in sin (Jerm. 3:22 Return you backsliding children and I will heal). What joy will be had, like the shepherd who found his sheep, the woman who recovered her jewelry, or the father who welcomed his errant child: So joy will be made in heaven (Lk. 15).
IV. Receive
A. Jesus to helps us discover the way to heaven, by his willingness to receive all who come.
1. On earth he was known as the friend of the tax man and the sinner (Mk. 2:15).
2. His primary mission was to the lost house of Israel, but other sheep he had in mind (Jn. 10:16).
3. Though he will receive anyone, they must be willing to repent and follow (Jn. 15:14). You may come just as you are, but don’t remain just as you were (Mt. 16:24ff).
B. My fellow soldiers of Christ, we too must receive some things in discovering the way to heaven.
1. Receive the teachings and admonition of Christ.
a. To argue with a stop sign does not change its meaning. People want ‘Jesus in their heart’ with no rules or expectations. Jesus did not come to make men religious, he came to make them religiously correct. Some worshipped idols, others, who knew the truth only put on a show.
b. Cain substituted, Pharaoh hardened his heart, Korah rebelled, Jehoiakim cut it up, Pharisees doctored it up, Alexander and Hymaneaus made shipwreck of them.
2. Receive the teaching of his apostles and ministers.
a. That which is written in black and white is just as binding as that written in red.
b. To maintain purity of doctrine we must remind men to preach the same things everywhere in every church (1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Cor. 1:10ff).
3. To discover the way to heaven we must receive forgiveness the Bible way not by traditions of men.
a. Salvation is not by dreams, visions or near death experiences. Salvation is not by just living a good moral life, but by hearing and obeying the word of God (Rom. 10:17; Lk. 13:3, 5; Acts 8:37; 22:16).
V. Reunion (go, ready, return, receive, reunion)
A. “Where I am, there you will be also,” places us INSIDE the Beautiful Gate!
1. Heavenly scenes, as revealed by John, puts ‘God in our mist’ (Rev.21:3).
2. Today, Christ Jesus may dwell in our hearts by faith (Eph. 3:17), but there we will be able to sit down with him face to face (Rev. 3:21).
B. As dear children of God, we must believe in this great reunion.
1. If we don’t we might loose our first love (Rev. 2:4).
2. If we don’t we might become factious (1 Cor. 6).
3. The resurrection of Jesus should place desire in the heart of man.
a. We desire to be with the one we love here on earth. This is my greatest joy during the holidays.
b. If we desire to be with loved ones, should we not desire to be with Jesus! It is he who saved us and intercedes for us.
c. When we get to heaven who is the first person we should seek out? And though we may long to see those who have passed on before us, let us be noble enough to desire to see Jesus and worship him throughout all eternity!
4. Discover the way to heaven by anticipating that great reunion between you and your God!

CONCLUSION:
A. Troubles: Someone wrote, “If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles in the backside, you wouldn't be able to sit down for two weeks.”
Bits and Pieces, December 1990.
1. Sure we are troubled and will have many more troubles but let not your heart be troubled because:
B Jesus has shown us the way to heaven:
1. He would go through life with purpose - to prepare a body for a perfect sacrifice and a place where he could intercede for you and me.
2. He readied us to enter those mansions fair by giving the apostles the instructions they needed and by dying on the cross.
3. He promised to return with a purpose - judge.
4. He will receive all who choose to repent and follow.
5. Because he has this strong desire to be host to you in the great reunion feast.
C. Will we not discover the way to heaven?
1. Will we not go to the scriptures for truth then go to the water and church?
2. Will we not ready ourselves to service?
3. Will we not return to our tasks we have left behind, our brother who has offended, the Shepherd and Bishop of our soul?
4. We can discover heaven if we will receive his teaching, his apostles instructions, and their plan of salvation.
5. Is it your desire to be reunited with God? Love and live for him daily.

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