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?
I want to give you stuff that is much more deeper food-for-thought okay? On the way out today, if you'll stop by the table, you can get this full discussion in my series: The Flames of Heaven. You can also - the follow up to this is in my series called Winning at Life, where I talk about how to develop a sense of worth. Once again all that goes to our main mission in the world, which is to take care of the poor, so just check all that stuff out.
Alright, so let's ask ourselves these questions: Are you envious because God is generous? If you have a problem with God giving someone the same wage as you, even though you don't think they deserve it as much as you, then there's two options: 1) you don't believe God can do what He wants to do; or 2) you have an envy problem. Who was the famous fellow, he said that all atrocities in the world are birthed out of human envy? Or you have an envy problem.
Let's ask it a few ways: if you hear someone talk about the generosity of God - do you get angry? Would you rather hear a message on God judging people? Of course any message I've ever heard on judgement includes the imagery of a white guy with a black robe and a white wig - not a farmer with pruning shears, so what is that? If you hear someone talk about the generosity of God - do you get angry? To avoid the flames of heaven, we have to die to the idea that God must be fair. Grace, by definition, isn't fair. Let's say it this way: heaven consumes in flames any ideas of rank. Heaven consumes in flames any idea around rank.
We're going to get to that in a second okay, but let me just ask you simply this question: how much money, energy, resources, and time have you spent trying to be 'er? Richer, smarter, thinner, faster? How much time, energy, resources have you spent trying to keep up, trying to rank better? Is the motive of your Christian service to rank better in heaven? You know what we used to be taught, is that in heaven, God pays people different; and we're going to talk about that tomorrow by the way. I'm going to handle the other side of this, about what you bury and what you use, and how it's important to do that.
I'm not talking about method - you should be doing things to establish the kingdom; but if the motive of your heart is for God to like you better, now you're entering into witchcraft, this subtle sort of thing. Heaven consumes rank, it frees you. Do you know that last year, Europeans spent $11 billion on cosmetics? $11 billion trying to be prettier - did it work? Do you feel better about yourself? Of the $11 billion, $3 billion were spent by men - what are you doing? That surely isn't working! There are now whole sections in department stores for men's cosmetics. What is wrong with us? You know $11 billion would put clean water and sewer in the whole world? What are we doing? What are we doing? Are you trying to rank better? Heaven, if heaven invaded your life tomorrow, it wouldn't matter how well you rank. You would just be overwhelmed with God's presence - but there's something about no one being worthy, and all of a sudden you're consumed with the presence of this ultra loving God who lets you in anyway. It doesn't matter who's righter, it just matters that you're there.
Can you imagine standing around Jesus in heaven and someone having the gall to go hey this is all great and all but I can't wait to ask Him who was right and who was wrong between me and you? [Laughter] No, it just won't matter - which leads me to this question. Is there any place in your life where you've lost the privilege of being overwhelmed with God's presence at the expense of being right? Is there anywhere in your life that you've lost the privilege of being overwhelmed with God at the altar of [unclear 00.04.55]? Let me ask it this way. Would you rather see someone healed or would you rather understand healing? I'd rather see someone healed, I don't really care how He does it really. Remember there was this story in Luke, Chapter 9, where the disciples say Jesus, we saw a man casting devils out of people and we tried to stop him because he wasn't doing like we do. Now hang on a second, in my experience the less devils the better right? So if you're getting devils out of people do whatever you want to do, I mean that's fantastic. That's fantastic.