The Promise of Heaven

Part 5

October 6, 2019


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


Heaven is real because Jesus Christ is real. He is the way, the truth, and the life —and Heaven is where He is right now. Exactly what we learned last week about Jesus Christ being The Way applies to Him being The Truth. He is not A truth, but THE Truth. The word truth in Greek is alātheia. When translated, it literally means “to not escape notice,” or “non-concealment,” or “real state of affairs.” Truth is what is true or real – as opposed to what is false and not real. Only an Omniscient God knows the real state of affairs! Jesus Christ is The Final Reality. He is The Truth because we look at Him “…and see the God who cannot be seen [God The Father]. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. (COL 1:15-20 The Message Bible)


We live in an age in which people no longer believe they can know the truth. They have been told so many lies (and have told so many lies themselves), that they don’t believe it’s possible to know truth. What is truth? Our Savior answers this question Himself in our main verse: Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!” (JOH 14:6-7 The Message Bible) Jesus Christ is The only Truth. And it is The Truth that sanctifies us, guides us and sets us free. Look at JOH 8:29-32-32 (The Message bible): They still didn’t get it, didn’t realize that he was referring to the Father. So Jesus tried again. “When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am—that I’m not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught me. The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.” When he put it in these terms, many people decided to believe. Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”


Let’s stop for a moment and look at what it means to be sanctified. Sanctification means to be set apart for God. Sanctification is a technical, theological term for the status quo of The Royal Family of God. Status quo means the current situation or the current state of things. The quo of sanctification exists in three phases in God’s Pre-Designed Plan for our lives. Phases one and three are attained at the moment of salvation. So, as believers, we are sanctified (set apart for God), at the moment of Salvation; but sanctification in phase two requires making many positive decisions for God’s Pre-Designed Plan.


Phase one – Positional Sanctification – is having eternal security. Look at 1CO 6:11 (New International Version): And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Your Positional Sanctification means that there is no way you can ever get out of your relationship with God! No person and nothing you do, can take away your relationship with God.


Phase two is Experiential Sanctification, which is residence, function, and momentum inside God’s Pre-Designed Plan. 2TI 2:20-21 (The Message Bible) describes Experiential Sanctification like this: In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. Our goal as Christians is to strive to be like Christ which is the result of The Ministry of The Holy Spirit in producing godliness in the life of the believer. In essence, Experiential Sanctification is strengthening, through experience, what we already are positionally in Christ.


Ultimate Sanctification is the believer in his or her resurrection body in the eternal state: For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1CO 15:53 New International Version) The apostle Paul gives us some insight about our resurrection bodies in 1COR 15:35-41 (The Message Bible): Some skeptic is sure to ask, “Show me how resurrection works. Give me a diagram; draw me a picture. What does this ‘resurrection body’ look like?” If you look at this question closely, you realize how absurd it is. There are no diagrams for this kind of thing. We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant. You could never guess what a tomato would look like by looking at a tomato seed. What we plant in the soil and what grows out of it don’t look anything alike. The dead body that we bury in the ground and the resurrection body that comes from it will be dramatically different. You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning. Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies—humans, animals, birds, fish—each unprecedented in its form. You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory by looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies—sun, moon, stars—all these varieties of beauty and brightness. And we’re only looking at pre-resurrection “seeds”—who can imagine what the resurrection “plants” will be like! How’s that for The Promise of Heaven??!!


On the night He was betrayed, during the Upper Room Discourse, Our Lord spoke these words to His Father while lifting up His eyes to Heaven: Now I’m returning to you. I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing so my people can experience My joy completed in them. I gave them your word; The godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn’t join the world’s ways, Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world. Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating myself for their sakes so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission. (JOH17:13-19 The Message Bible) Any person that is serious about searching for truth will find that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that mission!


{to be continued}

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