Vacation: We managed to get to the airport in Nashville, get our 9 bags checked on the plane, and even watch Samantha finally get through the security check! We survived the high altitudes of Colorado and Utah, getting up to 14,000 feet, spent a lot of time above 8,000 feet, and made it through many narrow roads with no guard rails with two who dreadfully fear heights. We endured temperatures as high as 110 and humidity as low as 5%. We also survived being cooped up together in a rental minivan for 2,284 miles and 12 days! We also had to change hotels and the four girls survived spending a night together in one. Beth and I even made it through a 3 overtime University of Tennessee football game! And all along the way we made many wonderful memories and had some special spiritual moments. Some of those triggered the thoughts for this lesson.
1. Why do Christians cling to the truth of the gospel, even after being discarded by brethren they have known for decades?
2. Why does a Christian in prison endure, trying to faithfully serve the Lord each day?
3. Why does a Christian diligently live each day as an example, speaking about Jesus to their unbelieving spouse?
4. Why does an elderly Christian caregiver make sure her older special needs men are at worship services?
Why does a 70 year old Christian travel the world (including Vietnam, Zambia, Canada, Belize, Egypt, Denmark, Aruba, Zimbawe, Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Kuwait) encouraging other Christians and trying to make new disciples? Even sometimes when he is visiting only one Christian!
5. Why do Christians want to hear sermons that challenge them to be faithful in keeping God’s commands in striving to please Him? I preached twice in Grand Junction, Colorado and all the brethren expressed much appreciation to me.
6. Why do parents and grandparents pray without ceasing that their children and grandchildren will be faithful to God?
7. Why do Christians give up jobs, careers, relationships, etc. for the Lord?
8. Why do folks, when they understand God’s Word, give up spouses that they know they do not have a right to have?
9. Why do folks in some countries walk four hours to worship God?
The answer to all of these question is that these Christians want to get to Heaven! The word “heaven” occurs well over 250 times in the New Testament!
Why do some Christians get off track in their pursuit of Heaven?
1. Friendships of the world become more important than pleasing God.
2. Man’s thinking that good, moral people will surely make it to Heaven.
3. God will overlook certain sins in my life and in the life of others.
4. Some become too focused and too attached to this physical world and lose sight of Heaven.
5. Some do not really believe what God’s word says about judgment.
Why should Heaven continue to be our goal?
1. Heaven is eternal (1 John 5:11-12) – Do you ever have moments with a loved one that you wish would never end?
2. In Heaven, there will be no Satan and no more temptations (Matthew 25:41, Revelations 20:10)
3. In Heaven, we can be with our Father and our Savior (Revelation 14:1-7 and 22:1-5)
4. There will be no more death, no more pain, no more sadness, no more evil (Revelations 21:1-8)
5. In Heaven, all will be perfect; relationships, love, joy, happiness, etc. (Matthew 6:19-21, James 1:17, 3:17)
6. Heaven is worth anything our Lord asks of us on this earth! (Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:2)
7. There will be a judgment with all either going to eternal life or eternal death. (2 Corinthians 5:9-11, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12)
These are real reminders of the battle we are in as Christians. The battle for our souls and for the souls of others, because we all want to go to Heaven!
How about you? Have you started your journey to Heaven? If not, you can do that today. You must believe the gospel message, you must be willing to confess Jesus as the Son of God, you must repent of your sins, and you must be baptized to wash away your sins. Not unreasonable requirements from the Lord.
If you are a Christian, are you staying on the path that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14)? If you are struggling and need help in your walk, we can pray for you and encourage you now.
Heaven is why we persevere and why we want all to know the message of Jesus! If we can help you know, please make your wishes known.