We are not called just to go to heaven one day, but to be a minister of the power of the kingdom of God, to everyone you come into contact with. Sometimes the greatest miracle is someone who is angry, and now they're peaceful. You can bring a miracle of kingdom power to your home tonight, by being calm.
First of all, we have to be springs, and not bricks. What I mean by ‘bricks’ are, people who think they've already figured it all out; so they've got their theology worked out - and that's it - we're not willing to grow. We're going to be springs okay, which means we can stretch. We can grow. We can expand. We can do all of this stuff.
The second thing is, we've got to be okay about being challenged. Let me make one rule about being challenged: I am not the big guy up here, who's figured all this out. I'm simply someone on a journey with God, and God's challenging me; so I'm inviting you to join in on this challenge with me, because it's miserable being challenged alone! Main Message
I want to talk to you tonight about the topic of hell, and I want to challenge us with some major questions. There are no right or wrong answers to this, it's just: where you are?
Where have we embraced a cross that saves us and forgives us and heals us; but we've neglected the cross we've been commanded to pick up every day?
Where have we been guilty of living a Christianity that's all about getting to heaven someday, versus bringing heaven to earth here?
Where have we wanted mercy for ourself, but justice for everybody else? Where have we wanted mercy?
We love to embrace this cross that saves us and forgives us and heals us - because Jesus bore it for us; but we neglect the cross that Jesus commanded us to pick up, which says things like: don't gossip about people - that's a serious thing. Don't slander; don't worry - just let stuff go. It's a glory to overlook offences, versus living offended.
Where have we been guilty of embracing this and not embracing this; that actually the main call of God on our life is not to go to heaven one day - although we're all for that right? Come on, like heaven/hell, let's go to heaven right? And that's real - and if it's a choice between heaven and hell, let's go to heaven okay. And if that's all it was, then it's all still a pretty good deal - but its way bigger than that!
Isaiah 49:6, and I'm paraphrasing, says: it is a light thing for me to forgive you, and restore you back to the land; but I'm going to go one step further than that, and I'm going to make you a light to the gentiles. Isn't that something? It's a light thing. This is God, talking to the nation of Israel, and He says: it is a light thing. It is a light thing.
Forgiveness, being brought back - how big is that? God is saying: compared to the plan I have for you, to bring heaven to earth - it's a light thing. It's a light thing.
Psalm 115:16 says “the highest heavens belong to God, but the earth He's given to man”.
Later He was teaching His disciples how to pray, and He said things like this: when you pray, say: your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is already is in heaven.
The highest heavens belong to God, but the earth He has given to man. In other words, it is not just our responsibility to go to heaven one day; it is our responsibility to bring heaven to earth - today.
Does the girl at KFC know that you're saved - even if she messes up your order? If someone cuts you off in traffic, do you point your finger at the sky, because they didn't get the memo that where you're going is more important than where they're going?
Does your husband know you're saved - even if he leaves a wet towel on the floor? I'm a counsellor by trade. I have had women in my office who were seriously degrading the intelligence of a man, that they would expect to die for them if need be - over a wet towel on the floor.