Friday Teaching – Faith and Future

Friday Teaching – Faith and Future

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Message Notes

Faith & the Future #7

The Difference Tomorrow Makes Today

Our view of tomorrow greatly impacts our lives today = reason why we are called to fix our focus on Eternity (2 Cor. 4:16-18)

“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next…”     C.S. Lewis

“Resolved: to endeavor to my utmost to act as I think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven & torments of hell”   Jonathan Edwards Resolutions #55

  1. Spiritual renewal & growth accelerates as we “fix our gaze” on the “unseen realities” of Eternity

Contemplating the awesome realities of the future world strengthens the soul to _overcome_ worldliness & resist the temptations of this life – as we see the _Unseen_ & look to the “Rewarder” (Heb. 11:6, 24-27, Matt. 5:28-29)

The only sensible way to live is in radical pursuit of personal _holiness_ (2 Peter 3:11-12, I John 2:28)

“Life is too short, too precious…to _waste_ on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity” J. Piper

  1. Fear of physical _death_ recedes as we contemplate the glories of Heaven (Phil. 1:23) – which engenders in us strong comfort & hope (I Thess. 4:16-17)

This hope enables us to “glorify God in [our] death” by regarding it as _gain_ over life here on earth– since what we gain far surpasses what we lose (Phil. 1:20-21)

  1. A clear hope of Heaven revolutionizes our attitude towards _wealth_ (Luke 12:33, I Timothy 6:17-19)

“Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is    immediately touched with immortality”    A.W. Tozer

“Resolved: to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, & vehemence…I am capable of…in any way that can be thought of”   Jonathan Edwards Resolution #22

“Only a clear vision of things _eternal_ is powerful enough to drive out the love of things temporal

  1. Contemplating the next life greatly increases motivation for _evangelism (Jude 23, 2 Cor. 5:11a)

  1. Contemplating the coming joys of Heaven empowers us to patiently endure & power through _suffering_ without bailing out on God (4:17-18, Rom. 8:18)

“We will trade an ounce of _pain_ for a _ton_ of joy” “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. Earth is Heaven’s womb, and our sufferings are birth pangs.”    Thomas More

“The blessedness of Heaven should pull us forward, while the brokenness of this present world should push us forward…When you see this world as a preparation for the next, not as the be-all-and-end-all to your happiness, you can suffer its disappointments without being _crushed_, and savor its delights without forgetting there’s _better_ to come.”   Stephen Witmer

  1. The certainty of future Resurrection & of heavenly rewards should motivate wholehearted _service_ in the mundane of our everyday lives (I Cor. 15:58)

God’s redeeming & recreating work has been decisively launched, & everything we do in serving Him & fulfilling both the “Cultural Commission” (Gen. 1:28) & “Great Commission” (Matt. 28:18-20) – matters for eternity – & will have never-ending _repercussions_ (Col. 3:23-24)

  1. The terrors of the Eternal fate of the unsaved & the teachings of Christ about the end of human history should inspire in us greater zeal for World _Missions_ (2 Peter 3:9, Matt. 24:14, 28:19)

 “God has a _Mission_, & He gave it a Church”    Ralph Winter

“The Christian that is bound by his own horizon, the church that lives simply for itself, is bound to die a spiritual death & sink into stagnancy…We can never thank God enough for giving us not only a whole Gospel to believe, but a whole world to give it to.”    A.W. Tozer

  1. The biblical teaching about the future should motivate us to highly value & seek the health & effectiveness of the _local church_ as a beacon of hope & preview of the future (2 Cor. 5:18-19)

 “Our message is not simply a rescue plan for individuals. It is the much bolder message that the kingdom has arrived and that it is time for everyone to participate in God’s work of making all things new.”     N.T. Wright

Recommended Resources:

Randy Alcorn, In Light of Eternity. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook, 1999

Owen Strachan & Doug Sweeney, Jonathan Edwards on Heaven & Hell. Chicago: Moody, 2010

Larry Dixon, The Other Side of the Good News. Wheaton: BridgePoint, 1992

Stephen Witmer, Eternity Changes Everything. The Good Book Co., 2014

N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope. NY: HarperOne, 2008