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
Everybody here is mature enough to hear something they might not have thought of before, right? Oh good, so we're all open, and flexible and non-argumentative.
It's important, for a learning environment, that all of us are springs and not bricks; because if you come into a learning environment as a brick, you're going to leave the same, and that would be tragic.
It's very important too, to understand the difference between a sermon and a declaration. A sermon asks a question, and should get you to be introspective. It's not meant to be agreed with, or disagreed with. A sermon is meant to get you to think, and change, and challenge modes of thought. A declaration tells you what you already believe to be true; and you ought to say: amen; so today I'm coming in the spirit of a sermon.
Some of what we're going to talk about today has insinuations for what happens after we die, and let me be clear: anyone who tells you they know exactly what happens after you die, is full of crapolla okay? They don't know, they've never done it, and so we're guessing; and really the insinuations about what happens after you die are not important at all.
If I read Jesus correctly, the main focus of Jesus was: why are you waiting for what happens after you die? Why not allow heaven to be established in you right now? I want to talk to you about heaven in that notion okay? I'm going to just ask a few questions about it.
Was Jesus' main message: how to go to heaven? [No.] Would everybody agree with that? Then why is our main message that? It's a sermon, not a declaration, I'm just asking. Why is the number one question I get, when I travel the world: who's going to heaven, and who's going to hell? As if that's in my pay-grade, or yours; or was anywhere even close to Jesus' primary focus? Jesus is preaching to thousands of people, in what's called the Sermon on the Mount. He doesn't even give an altar call - hmm.
At the beginning of the Bible, what is God doing? He's making a new creation (where?) on the Earth. So in the beginning God, is making a new creation on the earth, and everything is submitted to that. At the end of the Bible, what is God doing? Revelation 21:5 - behold the lamb shouts from the throne, I make all things brand new, and there's a new city.
Heaven is coming down from God, out of heaven and invading earth. So at the end of the Bible, who's going to heaven? No one. Whatever is in heaven is coming down. This is not a denial of heaven. Heaven is a wonderful truth - because if heaven's not true then death wins, and that would be terrible.
But the goal isn't to get to heaven; the goal is: whatever is in heaven is coming down. So when Jesus framed thoughts on heaven, His thoughts on heaven were: hey, what I'm describing to you is coming to earth at some point, and that is a blessed hope; and My invitation is that you establish that in your heart now, so that if it happened tomorrow you'd be ready.
There was this urgency in Jesus' teaching. He told stories about virgins not being ready, and there was this urgency; and the point of the virgins not being ready is not: well some are in, or some are out. No, there are certain people who take establishing the kingdom seriously and urgently, and then there are other people who always say: oh, I'll get to it later, and they never do. Then they find themselves 'on the outs' in the kingdom, and it's not because they weren't in - it's just because they weren't ready.
So at the beginning of the Bible, God's talking about making a new creation on the earth. At the end of the Bible, God's talking about making a new creation on the earth; and everything in the middle of the Bible is about... God making a bunch of new creations on the earth, to prepare the earth for the new creation coming to the earth. Yet somehow our message became: how do you go somewhere else? How did that happen!
The point of Christianity was never: hey, let's get a bunch of people to be like us, so one day they'll go to heaven. The point of Christianity was to establish the kingdom of heaven in every place we see hell right now; that God wanted to multiply Himself through a body, to establish a kingdom on this earth, to prepare the earth for the kingdom coming to the earth.