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Archive for the ‘Heaven’ Category

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” — John 17:3

Many think eternal life begins when we get to heaven, not so!

Frederick Buechner, American writer and theologian, accurately puts it this way:

Frederick Buechner

“You do not love God and live for him so you will go to Heaven. Whichever side of the grave you happen to be talking about, to love God and live for him is heaven” — Frederick Buechner1

— fritz@langgang.com
1. Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC as quoted in Frank Honeycutt’s Marry a Pregnant Virgin page 181

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[T]hey sung a new song, saying, Thou … hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. — Revelation 5:9-10

Too often we act as if this present world and time are the only ones God has in mind for us.

Not So! We won’t be sitting in heaven somewhere eating bon-bons and playing harps when all this is over, we’ll have work to do! Stop thinking we are all headed to some non-physical existence and begin to notice the scriptures about a tangible future that God is moving us toward.

Sound Bite: We are only in phase one!
Prayer: “Jesus, help me to get and stay on board with your training program; learning all I can, growing all I can, knowing you have a greater purpose for me than right here and now. Amen.”

— fritz@langgang.com

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Worthiness

[H]eaven is like a king who prepared a wedding party for his son. But [the invited] paid no attention and went away—some to their fields, others to their businesses. … The king was angry. … “The wedding party is prepared, but those who were invited weren’t worthy … invite everyone you find to the wedding party.” — Jesus (Matthew 22:1-9 (CEB)

What determines the worthiness for heaven is not social status, intelligence, talent, even great character. What determines worthiness is the willingness to lay down one’s own agenda for God’s opportunities.

Sound bite: “God can build character, what he needs is willingness to drop our agenda for his.”
Prayer: Jesus, help me to be alert to your divine opportunities and never be too busy to say, “Yes”, to you. Amen.

— fritz@langgang.com

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 13:47-50

Parables each have only a single lesson — and this one’s about a coming judgment.

Some think a God of love couldn’t possibly send poor defenceless creatures to a place of wailing and teeth gnashing. It’s clear Jesus did not think that way, he constantly warned judgment was coming. He often used examples of “good fish” and “bad fish”, “sheep” and “goats”, “wheat” and “weeds”.

His purpose was to encourage us to prepare while there is still time. We can be changed from bad fish to good, from goats to sheep, from weeds to wheat — he is in the life changing business!

The Bible gives a long list of the kinds of people that won’t make it to heaven,1 then adds

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” — 1st Corinthians 6:11

— fritz@langgang.com
1. 1st Corinthians 6:9-11

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 13:47-50

Heaven’s kingdom has quite a draw. So many want and expect to go there — just not yet, and not the way the Bible instructs.

Some are like Mr. Formalist and Mr. Hypocrisy in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Unlike true followers, they climb over the wall instead of entering by the gate. They saw no need to do things God’s way, theirs was easier. But they received no scroll and knew nothing of God’s path so eventually fell away.

But all those who come to Christ with a true heart of repentance have nothing to fear. Jesus said,

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. – John 6:37

— fritz@langgang.com

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Pearl Merchant

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” — Jesus (Matthew 13:45-46)

One parable has Jesus saying Heaven’s kingdom is like a treasure1 then, in the very next verse, he says it’s also like a Merchant who sells everything he has to buy a valuable pearl! To understand the message it’s essential to get the characters right.

If Heaven is the Merchant, who is the pearl and what is the currency?

There is no money in heaven; the only thing of value is God, himself. And the pearl? Why, it is you (and me)!

God considers us of such value he spent his most precious treasure, Jesus, to obtain us forever.

— fritz@langgang.com
See Also: “Heaven Is Like … Buried Treasure” – August 1, 2010

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. — Matthew 13:44

No one finds buried treasure without looking, AND looking in the right place.

The yearning for more in life is God’s gift and finding Christ is God’s answer.

— fritz@langgang.com
See also: “Hidden Treasure” – December 31, 2009
See also: “A Secret Society Anyone Can Join” – March 12, 2010

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