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Be the Salt and Light

Shane Willard

Page 1 of 12
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?
Revelation 21:1, this is the end of the Bible. It always helps, if you want to get a good picture as to what the whole book is about, it always helps to read the beginning and the end, so here's the end.

This is what it says: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is. The sea, in ancient Jewish literature, is a euphemism for unbelief; so essentially its saying: finally everybody's on the same page. Nobody's sitting around arguing about who's right and who's wrong. This is finally, finally everybody's come together here, the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.

So at the end of the Bible, who's going up to heaven? No one, no one! I get so concerned with everybody, we just can't wait to get to heaven, we just can't wait to get there, and the idea is we're going up; oh we can't wait to go up! God's idea is: He's coming down; and I'm scared that people are going to pass in the middle you know?

Let me be very clear about this okay? I'm going to say this very slow, because I want to be very clear. When Jesus talked about heaven, He talked about heaven as a present reality, as well as a future reality. Let's say it this way; heaven is true here, and it is occupied with people. Heaven is true there, and it is occupied with people.

Hell, when Jesus talked about hell, Jesus only said the word hell 18 times; 15 of the 18 was talking about hell being a present reality today, three of the 18 was about hell being a future reality later, okay? So let's be clear about this: Heaven is true here, and it is occupied. Heaven is true there, and it is occupied. Hell is true here, and it is most certainly occupied. Hell is true there, and it is occupied as well; but the primary emphasis of Jesus' teachings was not how to go to heaven someday. His teachings were primary the emphasis was: hey, how can we take whatever's in heaven, and bring it right here to the earth?

The issue is, why would you wait to go to heaven, when there is a clear opportunity to allow heaven to be established right here, now, today? The end of the story is that heaven is coming down, and God is going to be people's God, and they will be His people. Everyone's going to be on the same page, and we hold to that blessed hope. In Revelation 21, the picture you get is: everything in heaven is coming to the earth.

Here's my question. If that happened tomorrow, would you be okay? Do reckon you'd like heaven? Be very careful before you answer that; before you answer that, at least go back and read everything Jesus said about heaven, and ask yourself: would you enjoy it?

Like for instance, Jesus said that: in heaven, all the secret conversations of your heart will be revealed for all to see. Ho ho! You want to go there? So if, right now you're thinking: what an idiot, it would be on a billboard over your head! So if your lifestyle is dodgy, and manipulative, and secretive, you're going to find heaven very challenging.

What if you're a racist? What if you know a racist, because there wouldn't be any racism in New Zealand right? So what if you know a racist, and let's say this racist has two minutes to live, and he's in the hospital; and so we send a white person to go lead him to the Lord right, because you can't send Sargin for goodness sake, the guy's a racist right? So as Sargin walks in he's like: get OUT! You know, so we send Mike or myself or Ian, we're all the right colour you know.

So we walk in there, we say look, you've got two minutes to live mate, seriously. I urge you please, I urge you to sort things out with Jesus, right now; and the racist goes: I think you're right, will you please help me? Please help me. This guy with all sincerity prays some sort of prayer, which says something like: Lord Jesus, I have stuffed my life up. Please be the Lord of my life for the rest of it, all 20 seconds, right?