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How Eternity Brings Focus to What Really Matters: Living with Purpose

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2021 3:00 am

How Eternity Brings Focus to What Really Matters: Living with Purpose

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 17, 2021 3:00 am

All cars are equipped with rear-view mirrors and side-view mirrors. But the safest way to drive is obviously looking out the windshield. It’s best to look ahead at what’s coming. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie says we should take the same approach to life. We should look ahead to see what’s coming. And today we’ll do just that as we look at eternal life to help us properly focus on how to live this life. A good many of your questions about heaven will be answered. We’ll learn to look ahead.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign and harvest out alert. I think that those that think the most about Windows live the most in this one is a war with the heaven and earth are turns out those were heavenly minded are the most pressure Greg Maurice's life everything to do with how you live for life. So on her mind should be and have side view mirror the safest way to drive is obviously looking on the windshield. It's best to look ahead, today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie says we should take the same approach to life. We should look ahead to see what's coming today will do just that. As we look at eternal life properly focus on this one. Many of your questions about heaven will be answered.

I read the article in the paper this week about some for me by finances.

Isaac them off and that he wrote an article in 1964 I had to read as predictions that are 50 years old soap scientist Isaac Asimov predicted quote there would be electroluminescent panels that would be uncommon.

You what I think you got that one right. We have all the retail displays and signs in the course. Flat-panel TVs are everywhere now, so I think that was a pretty accurate prediction number two communication, says Asimov will be sight and sound. You will see as well as hear the person you telephone. Let's clearly care with Skype and Google hang out then faced Simon all the other resources that are out there.

Video chatting is become quite common. Thirdly, he said. The screen will be used not only the see the people you call, but to study documents and photographs and read passages from books that sooner was accurate.

We have computers we have tablet devices, even smart phones now and so these were some pretty amazing predictions, but there were other predictions he made that didn't quite come true because I really think that's all I want to read all the predictions he made.

So I found the actual document that he wrote this article and I shared some predictions he made that didn't quite happen. Jets of compressed air will live land vehicles off the highways, bridges will be of less importance. Since cars will be capable of crossing water on their jet. Oh, I wish that were true.

Have you ever been stuck in driving it just would say he is going right over the top of everyone, so that clearly didn't happen. Maybe Isaac was watching too many episodes of the Jackson, which was out of the time you made this prediction by the way also.

Asimov envisioned kittens that would produce auto meals so you wouldn't have to make your breakfast, your kids and would water make copy does bread scramble your eggs in your bacon, and he also predicted that robots would be doing our yardwork. Well, I don't know about you but I don't have a robot doing my yardwork over they have these little robotic vacuum cleaners abusing these eight and a scooter around the floor so that that's barely close and so you know he was a fascinating guy Asimov. He was brilliant.

He wrote hundreds of books on the road. Science fiction books as well, and he also was very wrong on one subject that he thought he knew about them. It was a topic of heaven because he was an atheist.

Isaac Asimov said of heaven quote I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life. You know are fearing heaven even more for whatever that tortures a bell. I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse." He could not be more wrong. Reminds me Soviet jury got direct with the first man in outer space, and he was quoted to say I saw the earth and it was beautiful but being a good communist. He's also said I looked and I did not see God. Oh, insightful if Yuri would've taken off his helmet for three seconds, he would've seen God, and Isaac Asimov is now entered eternity. I hope he put his faith in Christ some last moments of his life and he could see how glorious heaven in the last thing heaven is is a place of boredom. In fact, heaven is a place of bliss where it is set around is that caricatured version suggests on big billowy clouds strumming hearts and taking long nap, but I probably appeals to some people but actually according to Scripture. Heaven is a real place for real people who do real thing.

The Bible is very clear, and pointed out heaven is a city.

Heaven is a country. Heaven is a garden. Heaven is a paradise heaven is a place that's where we will be reunited with loved ones were proceeded us. Heaven is a place of activity in building and eating and worshiping and much more in the Bible teaches that one day heaven will come to work so only say I'm in the diet is a Christian one day and go to heaven and live there forever.

That's not completely accurate because one day heaven and earth will become one and so we think a lot about the afterlife and so we should or maybe we don't think enough about it and I think we need to give a lot of thought to what's going to happen later and it will affect this in the life were living now listen your belief in the afterlife has everything to do with how you live in double for life because you might say what is a matter what happens in heaven.

That's a long ways away when you don't know that you want to think deeply about this now. I am a student of heaven. I'm certainly not an expert on the top but but I'm a student heaven and I become more of a student of heaven. In recent years, for obvious reasons. Our son went to be with the Lord. So I find myself often just thinking about heaven trying to imagine heaven trying to wrap my mind around heaven. It's a fun thing to do. It's not an easy thing to do and you know there's a lot of books out on the topic of heaven and many of them are written by people that claim to a been there and of return and I'm just going to be upfront with you and tell you that I don't immediately believe someone when they say they been they have and then come back okay because the only way I know of knowing what heaven is like is by going to another sort of source I only know one person who's been they heaven and come back to this told me about it and that is Jesus Christ.

And he says in John 638. I have come down from heaven not to do my will but the will of Kim sent me, so he is the expert on heaven, but I am a student of heaven, and I praise a lot of sermons on heaven because I wanted bring the idea of how our believe in heaven should affect this what we live on earth you know it sometimes said oh you're so heavenly minded you're no earthly good.

My greater concern is that I would be so earthly minded. I would be of no heavenly good. I think our belief in the afterlife has a lot to say and how we live in the before life. How we live in the here and now, the way we view the buyer by offenses in the here and now, that brings us to a text that I want to look at with you that tells us what our focus as Christians ought to be. Colossians chapter 3 verses 1 to 2.

Let's read that that's one of the passages we turn to Paul Wright. Since then, you've been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things know what is that mean this phrase set your mind speaks of the diligent active single-minded investigation. Have you ever concentrated your energies on a single thing researching something wanting to learn as much as you could about some place. Perhaps you were going to go visit that's what we should do with heaven. It is a place for you to one day go visit it someplace or get a one day go and live in, so we should be actively thinking about it another way you could translate this phrase a Paul gives us here is think or have this inner disposition, a way to simplify this think heaven. By the way, the verb used in this verse is in the present tense, so I would say keep thinking heaven or another way to put it, keep seeking heaven supported altogether. So Paul is saying constantly keep seeking and thinking about heaven like that our feet must be on earth, but our minds should be in heaven. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan that one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home.

I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents we have church in the home for you every weekend is called harvest that you get invited to we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvested home were learning to be more heavenly minded pastor Greg is leading our study of the hereafter called how eternity brings focus to what really matters.

Let's continue. I think that those that think the most about the next life to the most in this lot say why would that be, well, it's because we know life goes on in life doesn't just stop here.

We know there's a future reward or rewards I should say waiting for the follower of Jesus Christ. We also know there's a final judgment of final Court of arbitration.

We know every sin we committed would ultimately come out of it's not forgiven by Jesus Christ. So our belief in the afterlife affects us in this life and the way that we live in the things that we do because heaven and earth are connected. You don't. We often think of heaven is far, far away. Maybe it is. Maybe this many heaven is just right next door, so to speak.

Maybe it's just a thin veil that separates the scene world of the unseen world. There's that story, of course, of Elisha and his servant Jay Hayes. I and and they were surrounded by the enemy armies and and get Hayes. I saw them. Elisha was sleeping and he is I woke up and was freaking out. I woke up the sleeping prophet and I love Elisha said. He said, Lord, help them to see that those that are with us are more than those that are with them and suddenly this man's eyes were open and he saw the supernatural world of angels all around him right now as we sit here in our comfortable little user seats and we hear this message, there's an unseen world around us, a world of God and Satan of angels and demons. And yes, a world of heaven, then ultimately hell I don't know how far away heaven is but I know that it may be closer than we think. And heaven affects us here. What did Jesus teach us in the Lord's prayer. He taught us to pray like this are father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus is clearly telling us that our life on earth is affected by our thoughts on heaven, we ought to be thinking heaven is it a great why should we do that because this could be your last year on this or not.

I hope that thought does not frighten or terrify you the Christian is always ready to go home because the as is ticket. By that I mean that we have our reservation.

It's secure. We know what's going to happen. It's not that we have a death wish, but we know we will see God.

One day, so it's not something we stress about we just live our lives that the God gives to us, but it could be our last year and what if it was, let me ask you this question if you could read your own obituary today what you think people would remember you for what would be written about you read an interesting article in the paper about many Val Patterson, who died last year and he decided that he wanted to talk to Trent and write his own obituary on this soy right because of you been to some people, services, and after you have them describe you think I don't really know who they're talking about because that's not the person I knew.

So this guy decided to write his own obituary.

So here's what he said these are his words.

As it turns out I am the guy who stole the safe from the mortar view Drive in back in June 1971 he says I can let that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest. He also admitted to kicking rocks into the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park and also admitted that he was banned for life from Disneyland, NC world for youthful hijinks. I mean honestly, I cracked up reading this that I found it kind of refreshing, and so on is now. I hope you'll be remembered for more than business but at least the man was honest. Listen, I don't determine the date of my birth and I don't determine the date of my death but I have everything to say about what happens in between those today. The great evangelist Neil Moody was asked the question if you knew the Lord was returning tonight. How would you spend the rest of your day. That's a good question is in it. If you knew let me ask it of you know if you knew the Lord was returning tonight.

How would you spend the rest of this day.

Moody's response was I wouldn't do anything different than what I do every day.

And that's the right response from a Christian who is truly heavenly minded, we want to redeem the time that God is given to us.

We don't know wasted and we certainly don't want to try to kill it.

It's been said that men talk of killing time while time quietly kills them." Life comes and goes just like that doesn't the Bible says is like a vapor of smoke that appears for a moment and then vanishes away. The Bible says we live our life like a story that's already been told.

Then comes the afterlife and trust me when I tell you when you get to the afterlife and you look back on the boat for life. You will see things far differently. You'll see them from an eternal perspective, you realize what really mattered in life is not what you want, but what you bill what will matter is not what you've got what you Jay. What will matter is not your competence but your character. What will matter is not your success but your significant so let's ask ourselves the question why are we here in the first place. Why am I taking up space. Why am I breathing air wino I exist of all was taken among Americans and the rest the question and 61% said the main purpose of life's enjoyment and personal fulfillment. So we know that over half the population of our country thinks that life is here that they are here to simply the fulfilled and enjoying life.

50% of those who call themselves born-again Christians said the purpose of life's enjoyment and self-satisfaction really do these Christians read their Bibles because if they did they would not come to that conclusion is the purpose of life. So satisfaction let me try some living for pleasure is one of the least pleasurable things a person can do and everybody lives or something. Everybody has something to get them out of the bed in the morning.

Everyone is something that gets your blood pumping something they're passionate about. And we often set goals that we want to reach. Maybe some of you will set a goal. A lot of times are goals of losing weight right getting in better shape, etc. I read an article this week about a woman who set a goal last year that she was able to reach here was her goal. It was to only eat at Starbucks store was her goal and she was successful her name and I'm not making this up is beautiful in existence.

Timothy had hippie parents refer only hippies would name their kid that she ate only products made from Starbucks for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 365 days over the course of a year, she spent approximately five to $600 a month on prepackaged solids, pastries, wraps in a variety of copy drinks all from Starbucks.

No, when I was reading this. The first thought that came to my mind was why why would you set such a goal and beautiful existence. Her name which have a hard time believing give her response. She said the reason I didn't is because I'm fearless and I want to explore new things in my life. I love that test the water.

Anytime I challenge myself and I learned a lot. Okay beautiful existence welder would goals that you set how should I what is my purpose. Why am I here good encouragement today to let eternity influence how we live our lives on a daily basis and there's more to come in this message here on a new beginning. If you weren't able to hear all of today study from Pastor Greg. You can hear the entire message Pastor Greg movies and TV programs about Jesus go back decades, but it seems they're more common now than ever before. That's true.

What you think. That is, I think people have a real interest in the Bible and I think when you visualize it when you cast people to play parts and it's directed well and you add music and you know what you're doing.

It can be a powerful way of getting people into the greatest stories ever told and I'll pretty much watch any dramatization of the Bible. I've seen some okay once I've seen some pretty good ones.

But we are offering you right now, which I think is the cream of the crop. I don't know if you've seen it yet, but if you haven't, you're going to see it now. It's a special series on the life of Jesus, called the chosen, it's directed by Dallas Jenkins. Dallas is the son of author Jerry Jenkins who wrote the left behind books and Dallas is got lightning in a bottle. Here he is just cast this series so perfectly.

Peter and Andrew and Thomas and Marianne Nicodemus he's made these characters come to life.

But his crowning achievement is the casting of actor Jonathan Rumi in the role of Jesus.

I've seen many cinematic portrayals of Christ, of the years and I think this is the best I've ever seen. In fact, I was speaking with actor Jonathan Rumi, who plays the role of Jesus and told him how powerful this portrayal of Christ was in those scenes of the chosen, seen from spiritual death. God loves the world's way. He gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not do with that same God's saving program. So I'm very excited to announce that hearing harvest we are offering season one of this amazing series on the life of Jesus, called the chosen to you for your gift of any size is is not the perfect time to watch this with your children and I'm telling you, your kids are going to love it.

My grandkids love it, you're gonna love in older people get 11 because it's done so well.

The New Testament stories will come to life for you in a way like you've never seen before. So for your gift of any size to us here at harvest ministries for the month of December, the month when we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We want to send you the chosen. Some of you can give more some of you can't give as much, but whatever you send will be put to use to continue teaching the word of God is you cured here in a new beginning and giving people an opportunity to come into our relationship with Jesus Christ else right and it's the most strategic time of the year for that investment. Not only are there tax deduction benefits at the end of the year, but this is one we determine how far we can reach with the gospel in the coming 12 months and we have huge plans for 2022, including a large Crusade outreach and a film documenting the Jesus movement were praying God sends another revival like the Jesus movement so your donation couldn't come at a better time and with your investment should ask for season one of the chosen on DVD you can donate or write us at a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300.

The next time Pastor Greg brings us even more insight about eternity insight that will help us keep a sharper focus in the here and now join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and everybody thinks or listening to an beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner. Just go to

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