Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Truth About Heaven

Studies show that--even in our increasingly non-religious society--a vast majority of people believe in life after death. But there are an endless variety of opinions about what that life will be like. Our images of Heaven are influenced by classical literature (Dante's Inferno, for instance), popular culture (movies like Ghost, Heaven Can Wait, What Dreams May Come, and bestselling books like The Five People You Meet In Heaven), world religions, and even some kooky ideas that Christians tend to believe. But what does the Bible say about Heaven? This Sunday, we'll begin a series of sermons called "The Truth About Heaven."

I have two goals for this series: First, that we followers of Christ would get an idea of what our future home is like. That vision is what the Bible calls hope, and when hope becomes vivid in our hearts and minds, the world and Devil have no weapons to defeat us. That hope transforms us and motivates us to live eternally significant lives. Hope is a foolproof solution to spiritual mediocrity.

Second, I hope that these messages will help persuade people to give their lives to Christ. I want to challenge each of our members to invite someone to church during this series. Here's a link to the page on our website that gives the sermon titles and dates: The Truth About Heaven You can send that link to a friend through email, or print it out and hand them a copy. We'll have some paper copies this Sunday for you to use in inviting friends as well. Please pray with me that this series will accomplish those goals.

Do you want to do some personal study on the topic of Heaven? I can recommend two books that have been enormously helpful to me in preparing for this series. Heaven, by Randy Alcorn, is a look at biblical teaching on eternal life. Alcorn is such an engaging writer, and his topic is so fascinating, the book is hard to put down once you start. Then there's Surprised By Hope, by the English scholar N. T. Wright. Whereas Alcorn is mainly concerned with giving his readers a guided tour of Heaven, Wright is more concerned about the question: "Based on what we know about Heaven, how should we live right now?" Wright is a great writer, as well, and when you read his books, the voice inside your head has a British accent. At least, it does for me.

For now, you may enjoy reading this brief article on Heaven by one of my favorite authors and preachers Joe McKeever: Get Ready, Heaven!

I can't wait to start this series. I hope to see you there.

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