Turn off the Dark Sermon on the mount: don't get what you need by judging others, or by manipulation - simply ask, seek and knock - be clear. Be aware of how your concept of God affects how you treat others. "Knowing God" is directly tied to how you treat other people. Don't follow teachers, whose teachings destroy your life - if it isn't working, then dump it.
Jesus assumes a community that can talk through darkness, with the sole purpose of bringing light to it. Gossip makes us consumed with self-preservation, and destroys that necessary environment of openness and honesty. When we neglect correction, we are on a slippery slope to destruction. You don't have to fall on purpose; you just have to live with no feedback, and destruction will be a natural part of your life.
Live with Purpose (Men's Breakfast) Ghenna was the town rubbish dump (a present reality), and Hades is an afterlife (a future reality), in English its Hell. When we think of Hell, we tend to think about: them (in the future); but in the vast majority of Jesus' teachings, Hell was: us (in the present). Heaven & Hell are both true, and both occupied, in the here/now. They are also both true of another place in the future, which is also occupied, by real people. Jesus' emphasis was far, far, far more on one, instead of the other. When you take care of the poor and the afflicted, that is what it means to know God.
Your intentions are just the starting point. Pure motives, and consistent obedience, mixed with focussed intentions, will lead you to a life that cannot be shaken. What are you rationalising today, that you'll regret tomorrow? One yes requires a thousand NO's. You can never beat sin by fighting sin. Instead you beat sin by empowering something else. The power that you give something else overcomes the sin. Have you ever lost your ability to enjoy what God's given you, because you've compared it to somebody else? Can you clearly define what you want?
Are You Worthy (1 of 2) There are four verses in the Bible that say homosexuality's wrong. There are 2000 verses in the Bible that tell us to love each other, so maybe we've got our emphasis wrong? Who is worthy to break the seals, and open the scrolls? But no one in heaven - so there's people already in heaven, who aren't worthy - no one in heaven, or earth, or under the earth, could open the scroll, or even look inside of it.
Jesus' invitation was not to be a certain way, in order to go somewhere. Jesus' invitation was to allow what is somewhere else to be established in you right now. The "Flames of Heaven" is God's relentless pursuit, to make you the best you can be in His kingdom, without taking your free will away. Hell will let you stay greedy, heaven won't; Hell will let you stay racist, heaven won't - lots of fire in heaven.
Jesus' message for His followers is this: get in line with God's kingdom today, as fast as you can, urgently. I urge you to do this. The whole world's at stake.A disciple is someone actively participating with God, to establish His kingdom on the earth
Are You Worthy (2 of 2) Grace, by definition, isn't fair. Heaven consumes in flames any ideas of rank. To avoid the flames of heaven, we have to die to the idea that God must be fair. If heaven invaded your life today, who would you have to accept, that you now see as unacceptable? Jesus described heaven as tormenting to those who don't forgive. Jesus is at the centre, and everybody's equidistant around Him, because no one was worthy to begin with. There's always someone that's done less than me, but Heaven includes us all in a circle.
Heaven is not created by the exclusion of imperfect people, but by the inclusion of imperfect people - by grace cleaning them up, purifying them with the flames of heaven. If heaven invaded our life today, we would be overwhelmed with how much it's not about us, and not care where we ranked; we would simply be overwhelmed with God's presence. Why not let that part of heaven be established in you right now?
Be the Salt and Light There are 6 mentions of fire in hell, but 229 mentions of fire in heaven! If you walked into heaven tomorrow, what parts of you would be burned up? 15 of 18 of Jesus mentions of hell, was about us, here, now. It's about: what are you bringing to the earth? How's your lust problem? How's your anger problem? Do you call people fools? How is fear of man instead of fear of God? What are you bringing to the earth?