Psalm 23 Part 11
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Several weeks ago we talked about Cairns that are markers for hikers to help them know the right paths to follow.
God puts a lot of things in our path to help guide us.
Q: Do you think that God guides us only as to “How” to live.
A: That is what most people think.
He does guide us as to “how” we should live, but most importantly he guides us to the most important destination – Eternity.
From a biblical perspective, the “eternity” that God desires for everyone is called Heaven or Paradise.
And God wants everyone to go there.
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Heaven is not for "Good People".
Heaven is for "Forgiven People".
Of course Satan would give an entirely different and deceiving message to us that is opposite of God’s will.
“He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
SATAN’S TEACHINGS ON HEAVEN
There is a heaven, but you are not good enough to go there.
Heaven is for “Good People” of which Satan will make you feel guilty that you are not one of the “Good people”.
There is a heaven and everyone will go to that “Better Place”.
There is no heaven or afterlife, so don’t worry.
One example of not worrying is the “YOLO” philosophy gone wild.
“You Only Live Once”
While there is truth in that as far as taking chances, there is not truth in that with regards to sinning.
Another example is the, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” philosophy.
Did you know that is actually a Bible verse.
It reflects the philosophy that Satan wants to push.
It first shows up talking about the wrong attitude and hearts of the Israelites in Isaiah’s time.
“… you did not look to the One [God] … there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!”
Then it also shows up in the New Testament by Paul when he was talking about how crucial, and central to all truth the resurrection of Jesus was.
Because if Jesus did not raise from the dead, game over, we lose.
Here is how Paul said it;
“If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
-1 Corinthians 15:32
And even worse than that, Paul says that if there is no heaven and no resurrection of Jesus, then Christians are losers, to be pitied for our stupidity.
”For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
[Meaning that Jesus called him, but it was after Jesus was raised, rather than being called as one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles before his 3-1/2 year ministry leading up to the cross.]
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And IF Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ,
we are of all people MOST to be PITIED.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man… 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death…
32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” ... 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body…
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
-1 Corinthians 15:3-58
THERE IS A HEAVEN
Jesus answered him [The thief on the cross], “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
JESUS IS COMING BACK TO TAKE US THERE
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed [A double-negative, not uninformed] about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus
died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up [Raptured] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. [Eternity] 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
WE SHOULD LOOK FORWARD TO HEAVEN
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things ABOVE, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things ABOVE, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
-1 Corinthians 2:9
"He will wipe away every tear from their
eyes. There will be no more death
or mourning or crying or pain, for the old
order of things has passed
away…"He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces..."
-Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 25:8
“Our citizenship is in heaven. And we
eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the
power that enables him to
bring everything under his control, will
transform our lowly bodies so that they will
be like his glorious body.”
“You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” -Psalm 16:11
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us… and purify us from ALL unrighteousness."
-John 3:16; 1 John 1:9
"For it is by grace you have been saved
through faith… not from yourselves, it
is a gift from God- not by works so that no
one can boast… we are created in
Christ Jesus to do good works which God
prepared in advance for us…."
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33
“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life… I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
-Revelation 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:7
He is our Returning Chief Shepherd.
“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, (Comes back again on the last day)
you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
(dwelling in the house of the Lord forever)
-1 Peter 5:4
HEAVEN IS LIKE A RETURN TO EDEN
Life is made up of:
Past: Garden of Eden.
Present: Our life on earth.
Future: Our life in heaven
No ______, Yes_____, No _____.
Past Present Future
Fill in the blanks with the following words to help in looking forward to Heaven:
There was no Sin in the Garden/ Eden (Past)
There is Sin now in our world (Present)
There will be no Sin in heaven (Future)
Struggles (Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Mental, Relational, Financial, etc.)
“I am THE WAY [THE RIGHT PATH] and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.