Painting a Clearer Picture of Heaven – Heaven and Hell #6

Painting a Clearer Picture of Heaven – Heaven and Hell #6


Now you think it’s interesting that Jesus says to the thief on the cross, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” It tells you that a lot of “religion” is a lot━here it comes: is a lot of stuff. If Jesus could talk to a dying man and say, “This day,” because He knew what was in his heart, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” He didn’t make him, you know, “You’ve got to come down from the cross and you’ve got to get baptized, you’ve got to say the ‘sinner’s prayer,’ you’ve got to answer the ‘altar call,’ and once you’ve done all that you have to make sure that you’ve sent in your precious ‘love gift’ of your three eggs, a turtledove, and then you can be saved.” No. ♪ ♪ ♪ I was reading the news cycle that, you know, you all if you have a cell phone you have a news cycle that comes up on your phone. And the article that came up this morning was kind of not surprising, but disturbing. The headline suggested that millennials are less and less interested in religion and spirituality━anybody read that? A couple of you, three of you; that’s good, I’m, you know, I’m really impressed because I typically don’t listen to the news, I’m not interested. I’m pretty impressed that none of you did that on━it’s just three of us. We’ll go and repent afterwards. But this cycle paints a very, this article paints a very bleak outlook with regard to millennials. Now the article I believe gave the age group to be somewhere in the early-twenties to the late-thirties, saying that this group is less and less interested in religion. Now I wish somebody, whoever; it was a Pew Study or whatever, I wish they would have taken the time to done, to do some brief analysis instead of feeding out to the masses almost what we should think, because I’m actually not convinced that that’s the truth. And I’ll tell you why right now. If you think about it that age group of people, of young people, essentially is the product of━look at their parents and the generation, if they were at all involved in the church or listening, and what you have is a very interesting kind of window of about maybe the last thirty or forty years, this decline. But the decline, if you kind of look at it this way, or the distancing from religion or spiritual things is in direct correlation, and it is in direct correlation, to how as society we’ve moved away from certain things. There is no real sense of religious education which used to be mandatory. I think my generation, which kind of was at the very edge of that, was probably the last generation to have religious education in the school. Also, I mean there are so many different factors that this article does not touch upon. But the biggest one that I see that just comes to my mind, which to me is self-evident is as, perhaps maybe, if you look at the ’80s, in the ’70s and the ’80s, which kind of sums it all up because the ’80s was indeed that period of we call incredible decadence and great stupidity. And I mean listen, anybody who is going to wear parachute pants and bright neon colors and walk around the streets looking like a clown, you know. So let’s leave the fashion part alone, but it’s the mindset. If you look at a lot of what happened in the ’80s, this wave it started in maybe in the, at the edge of the ’60s, into the ’70s it built, and in the ’80s it was at its all time high clear into the ’90s, “the prosperity gospel,” which made a lot of people, a lot of smart people actually moved away from the church because they saw what I would call the greatest manipulation of people since probably the Reformation, the greatest manipulation of people who succumbed to it, if you will. But that falling away almost sped up the process of a generation kind of falling away. We now we start to think of everything, the scandals in the Catholic Church, the scandals in the Protestant Church; it all seems to have kind of eroded the trust that another generation put so keenly into the church. So as I was reading this I thought, you know, there is also another missing factor to this article, and that’s naturalism. And not too much is said about naturalism, but naturalism essentially is maybe more of a doctrine today than it was in an earlier time, which is essentially putting all of our eggs into the basket of science to tell us all we need to know, and essentially forgetting about God or the things of God, because the mindset is “through naturalism, through science we can know all things.” But I believe that God and science are kind of merging, they’re on a parallel path and they are merging. And why do I say this? Because if we were to talk to that same group of millennials and ask them if they believe in something that they learn about in school called string theory or quantum mechanics, most of the people, if we would ask them they’d say, “Of course, it’s a scientific theory.” String theory: the idea that essentially in the universe everything has a movement and vibration to it, which birthed; the science didn’t birth this, there were other theories behind it, but string theory and quantum mechanics kind of solidified the idea and understanding that there must be a parallel universe. Now why am I telling you this? Because the same individuals who say they do not believe or have less religious belief, and therefore do not believe in the afterlife; something that is after here, will say that they wholeheartedly believe in the science they’ve learned in school, which teaches parallel universe, things happening in, either in simultaneous realms, or in detached and almost as a repercussion happening realms. So basically what you have are two groups, two pieces of information that haven’t made the connection. The reality is if we went back and asked the right questions to the millennials we would arrive at some very interesting and much different answers. See, it’s not enough to ask people about religion, because religion is like a broad brushstroke; what does it mean? It’s different for everybody. When some say, “I’m not a religious person,” does religion mean somehow that I, I have to bow before something and&? Or, or is religion that I simply live in my little cloister? Or is religion a matter of attire and humility? What is it is so dynamically diverse in people’s description that we lose track of the essence of what we should be focusing on. Just take the word in the English, “religion,” re-, which is a prefix that points us back to “again,” and -ligion, which actually comes to if you trace it etymologically, it could be “to bind again, to read again, to reaffirm again, to come back to some beginning point.” In other words it is a re-attachment to something, which suggests that we were and have been disconnected! So when somebody says, “I’m not religious,” think about kind of the silly thought process of that; what exactly does that mean? “I’m not re-attached? I’m not re-bound.” I’m mean people think that that word, “religious,” or “religion,” brings some understanding, but as I said to you the definition, ask any two people and you’ll get a different answer of what it means. Now if I say to you, which I’ve said many times, “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual,” I’m trying to tell people, I’m trying to telegraph that I believe in what the Bible says, I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I believe that He died for me. When I talk about that realm it’s perfectly clear. So why am I saying this? I think if we were to ask the millennials, “Do you believe you are going to die?” that’s a better question, do you know why? The answer is “Absolutely.” There is no cure as of yet, there is no cure for death. So if I were to ask any millennial, “Do you believe eventually you will die?” the answer must be “Yes,” unless you’re a lunatic. So then that begs the question: What happens to you when you die? Where do you go? And what exactly do you believe in? If you have no━wait for my air quotes, if you have no “religious belief” and there is nothing you can glean from this book, tell me what exactly do you believe? And there opens up the Pandora’s box because there is very little, and I’m just telling you, you who have been listening for the last few weeks, I’ve said this before, there is very little material on eternity, on heaven and hell out there for anyone to read, let alone any messages explaining, describing, helping people to understand. So we, we actually, I want you to think about what I’m going to say because it’s the most truthful statement I can say. If you, let me give some random thought, you’re going to take a vacation, it’s a vacation of a lifetime. You’re going to go to some great foreign land. Aren’t you going to be looking at the pictures? Yeah? Huh? Now we have Internet, so the folks here in the good old book didn’t, but we have Internet; we can go online and look at pictures, right? The pictures excite us, they give us some great idea of where we’re going and we get excited about it, right? Kind of; one person got excited. But we start looking. Okay, I need to ask the question, because I’m now wondering. Has anybody here ever gone on a vacation at any time? You’re all looking at me like I’ve got three heads. Okay, somewhere in the last twenty years, somebody in this room (I’m getting desperate here! Work with me, okay!) has planned a vacation of a lifetime, and you’ve gone, you’ve looked at the pictures and you’ve checked out, “Okay, when we get there this is what we’re going to do, and this is how we are going to do it,” and, “Oh, what’s the currency?” and “What language do they speak?” You ask all these questions, right; you get excited about going there! Why, because it looks like “paradise,” sometimes described as “heaven on earth,” right? Now take that same example of what I just said and apply it to heaven. Suddenly there’s no enthusiasm, like, “Oh, well, I can’t get excited about that; I haven’t seen any pictures! I can’t get excited about that because I don’t even know what I’m going to be doing there! I can’t get excited about that because that means I won’t be here!” This is the problem. Because we don’t have enough information, we can’t even get excited about telling people. And then there’s this part, because people say, “Well, there’s just not enough in the book for us to know.” And that is a mistake! Why, I hope I will have enough time to paint the picture, but there’s enough in this book that tells me all you have to do today is step outside and look around you. And I know this sounds a little strange, but you, you will see heaven. And you say, “Well, how do you figure that, because all I see is bunch of lunatics driving out in the street?” Well, let’s see. In the book of Hebrews, heaven is called a “city.” A city has people. I mean I can take different words from different places, but Hebrews actually has a lot of these. It’s a city, it is a place, a real place, a city, we’re told about the kingdom. Everything points to people, but if you talk about a city, a city requires inhabitants. And when we talk about a city, we talk about people; we talk about things around us. Don’t think for a minute that eventually; and I’m going to introduce some terminology today that will sound a little weird, but it will be necessary to understand how I’m going to explain this. There is what we’ll call the present heaven and the future heaven. The present heaven: absent with the body, present with the Lord; the future heaven: right back here on earth; new heaven, new earth. These principles are often not distinguished clearly, so when we say, you know, when somebody dies and you say, “Grandpa is in heaven,” for a child, the child’s imagination of what heaven is like actually is kind of exciting, because a child sees or imagines the splendor. But we tend to have more of a gloom-and-doom picture. And that’s why I said to you imagine using words from this book when we talk about the new Jerusalem and the city is described and the streets are described, everything that has capacity to, to be pulled out of the book. When John sees into heaven, he looks into heaven, God lets him get a glimpse, and there are people singing. That means that we will not be mute in heaven. There are people who are actually engaging in worship. It means that we will not be bored, in fact, we will be worshiping. And don’t think of heaven as a fulltime church service either, because if that’s the case, most of you are going to be sleeping. But I’m just saying. But if you start taking the pieces of information that are in here, you realize that we have enough information to paint a picture and we should be excited about it. We should be talking about it. The problem is because we end our conversations at death and “rest in peace” on a tombstone, or because we have been indoctrinated, and this is, this is a huge problem. It’s a problem for me, it’s a problem for you, because we’re, we’re flesh. We think death and dying and we think darkness, gray, bleak, dismal, but if you read a lot of the ancient literature, especially the writers up until maybe the fifth or sixth century, you will find people absolutely dazzled! And when I’m using that, that’s the only word that I can use that’s an adjective to describe the, the joy, the, the imagination of what it will be like. And somehow, we get to now, most current writers; there’s very little talk about this place called heaven, because we dare not leave the earth. But what if I told you you’ve got time here on earth and when your time is up, whatever time that is, this body is laid down and the soul is essentially, the essential being of the person that is attached to what God sent into your heart, we’ll call it the spirit and soul that are locked together and into God’s presence, awaiting the resurrection and new body. Suddenly it seems like everything that, if I really am looking at it with truthfulness, not imagination, not false hope, but truthfulness of what I’m gleaning from here, and I’m, I have the knowledge that I, in that state, will be forever with Him, and I’ll be back here; not like Arnold saying, “I’ll be back,” I will be back here and you will be back here when the new earth is created is radical. But it’s not that radical, because it’s in this book. So why is it, what is it about death and dying? For many of us, we refuse to, even though we’ve come to know the truth, we refuse to jar ourselves out of the gloom and despair that comes. Well, that’s because we don’t have the clear picture of where we’re going. You see, I go back to my vacation, and in my vacation I’m looking at all the pictures and I’m looking at everything, and I see it vividly! And I know that when I get there, and at least if the pictures are right, I will be dazzled by what I see. I had a glimmer of it. Now why is that I can look at that and I can get excited about that, but I can’t get excited for this thing over here. It means the picture’s not clear enough and I cannot see. If I really could see what this is all about, and this is referring to eternity, and I had a clear picture of it and it’s not just the white or the white sand and the blue ocean of some tropical destination; no, this is a destination that its glory and splendor is even more than anything my eyes in the flesh could identify with, I might be more excited. I might be actually talking about it like it’s a real place! Well, guess what? It’s a real place. And my job will be to paint the best picture that I can for you so that over the course of time, when we revisit these messages there will be some clarity and some certainty about the destination for every believer. So I go back to the millennials for a minute. Indulge me. And I say this to you. I don’t believe a word that the media says about anybody or anything. If the goal is to get people to not believe, and that is the goal, then maybe, maybe, just maybe there’ll be a few voices like mine and I know that there are other people, other pastors elsewhere that are still heralding the message to tell people God has not changed. We have changed, we’ve degraded, we’re worse, but God has not changed. His word has not changed. And guess what? Heaven has not changed. That’s the one good thing I can tell you. We may change here on earth, fashions may change, genders may change kind of, but heaven does not change. I’m looking forward to something that does not change whatsoever. Now for the people who object and say, “Well, you know, heaven is for those people who have lived a good life,” I’m going to say what the Bible says. “All have sinned,” Romans 3:23, “and fallen short of the glory of God.” So that means that no one deserves to go to heaven, nobody, just like nobody deserves God’s grace, but it is unmerited, just like God’s grace, that He promises to go and prepare a place for us. And I always think the other thing is if you look hard enough you will find enough pieces of information in the Bible to tell you. 1 John 5:13 says it abundantly clear. Let me, let me read it to you, because I think it’s worthwhile to just say, here, John didn’t have a problem with eternity, but he says here, “These things have I written unto you,” this is 1 John 5:13, “that you believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” Now I’m going to ask you a question. Why, not just once, not just twice; multiple times over we have this, that you may, “that you may have eternal life”? Now for people who say they; I’ve said this for weeks now, if you cannot understand it’s important to study this book and to read it and to take it, take God at his word, but there are people that say, “Well, I just can’t do that. I don’t know about the verity or the validity of God’s word.” I’m not going to address that now, but I am going to tell you something. There is a guarantee; no one’s going to argue with me on this. You may argue about my theology, you may argue about everything. There’s one thing you can’t argue with, because it, it is a fact of life: death. You can’t argue with it━that and taxes, but I’m only talking about death today. And taxes may feel like death, but it’s not, trust me. So what do we do here? Well, the first thing I want to show you is why using the Bible, and I’ve said the bookends, using the Bible to kind of give some clarity that we don’t have to use a caricature, okay. So the first thing is let’s separate (and I’m trying to figure out the best way to do this), so Genesis and not, not including Genesis, so we’ll go Genesis 1 and 2. And then we’ll say━watch my, my abbreviations━the rest of the Bible, excluding Revelation. I know, you’re like, “Wow, what’s happening here?” So you have here “creation” that is perfect, the origins of mankind. Here we have “fallen creation,” that’s throughout the Bible. And it’s only the last two chapters where we have a real glimmer, a real clue of we’ll call it the “resurrected life” that’s the last two chapters. We’ve got creation of, I’ll put under here “mankind.” This may get a little messy here, so indulge me, but forgive me. I had, sometimes it’s hard to read. I try to not write over my writing like somebody else did. All right, “earth” in its creation, which was perfect. Then we have “fallen earth” and “new earth.” You know, if, if you line this up, you know it’s 66 books but if you line it up you can see clearly that when people say, “Well, I don’t know about the book,” well, it’s kind of a strange “accident.” Then it’s a happy accident; the first two chapters, last two chapters, and the rest of the book tells you about the unfolding drama of the redemption of mankind. So if you keep going, you have here “God was on the earth,” right. Then during the time which is the rest of the Bible, excluding the last two chapters, we have God essentially at a distance. He appears in Christophanies and Theophanies, but He’s at a distance. He is present, but at a distance, so we’re going to put here “distant”; present but distant. And then “back here on earth.” So it’s kind of interesting when you start looking at all of this. You can really see the beginning here we had “no curse.” Here “everything is cursed.” If you ever stop to ask yourself what would the animal kingdom be like without the earth being cursed? We know what we would be like, kind of, without being cursed or being under the curse of the fall, but what would the animal kingdom or what would plant life be like? And I’m, I guess a lot of times we cease to ask these questions, because we thing we’ve asked them all or we’ve answered them all, but I think the answers to those questions are found in some of the chapters of Isaiah where it talks about a diversity of animals who’d be natural enemies laying down together and being in harmony. I don’t know if, you know sometimes you read that and you think, “How is that possible?” But maybe that would be exactly what it would be like devoid of a curse. Here we have the “curse no more,” the curse is lifted because it’s a new creation; new heaven, new earth. We have here in the beginning of Genesis 1 and 2 there was no such thing as shame. Actually I should put here, “no shame,” there was no guilt, there was no shame. All the sudden through the rest of the Bible, the rest of humankind we have “shame,” we have guilt; we have all those feelings that are associated as a byproduct of the fall and sin. And here, Revelation 21 and 22, we have there’s “no more,” no more. So the one thing we can know, because somebody asked me this after last week’s message and the one thing that we can know, because there are all kinds of subjects to tap into and it’s almost like I feel like I have to focus really hard because there’s so much to say and so many sidebars that I have to try and stay focused. But I’ll give you just one sidebar. Somebody asked me about sex and sexuality in heaven and on the new earth, which I thought was a really good question. Why, because if you think about it, God gave the reproductive organs to Adam and Eve, even though He made them, He gave them those reproductive organs and reproduction was not a sin. You know, it was only a sin in the 1950s. Reproduction was not a sin. It was part of what they what they were told to do to replenish the earth. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. But what’s interesting is when Jesus is asked what we will be like and He says, He essentially describes, you know, we’ll be like the angels. Well, here begs the question then. We know that there are gender assignments, so if there are gender assignments even with angels, that means that in the new bodies we have we will actually maintain our gender, but that begs the question. Here it comes, it’s the million dollar one: will those organs be able to reproduce in the new earth, because if there’s no more sin and there’s no more death and there’s no more dying, then what do you do with those organs? You get a piano player. Never, never mind; we’ll come back to that. Just blame it on the Dayquil, okay. Not responsible. This is the disclaimer: not responsible for what I say while I’m taking cold medication, all right. Okay, let’s go back to the Bible. That’s probably better and safer, all right. The rest of the Bible, that’s simple, and Revelation 21 and 22. You never heard a message like this. Oh boy, all right. So we have here the “tree of life.” And we for the rest of the Bible, humankind has been “cut off” from that tree of life. And then in Revelation 21 and 22 we have the “tree of life appearing” once more. This is why I said to you when people say, “Well, you can’t depend on this,” but they were all written at different times, but they all are confirming what one said hundreds, if not thousands of years to the prophecy of another at a later time to the last words in the last days. Which is why it’s almost like witnesses at the scene of an accident, they may have all seen something just a little bit different, they were focused in different areas, but one thing that will be absolute is that an accident happened at that particular intersection, for example. And when I talk about the validity of the word, you know, you’ve got to go back to the reliability of the witnesses, which is a different message, but it’s kind of like that that makes me stand firmly on what I’m sharing with you and what you’re reading as absolutely credible. All right, the “tree of life” in the garden, the rest of humanity for the rest of the Bible is “cut off.” The “tree of life reappears,” for what, the healing of the nations. So it’s very interesting. We have here the “river of life,” a river that flows through the garden, and then we’ll say what is, what is a true statement, which is we, we no longer have access. But in the book of Revelation (and I’m going to come back to this, so I’m leaving it blank), the book of Revelation there is a river that flows from the throne, which tells you that He will be ruling and what will flow from Him, essentially, will be the waters of life, the “river of life.” For us in the rest, in the middle right there, I would say to you those who have the desire to taste and see that the Lord is good, to drink of, to partake of, we are fortunate that God woke us up to be able to desire, to have the thirst and the hunger for Him. But I’m leaving that as a kind of as a blank, because it is essentially not something we have access to apart from what I’m doing right now. In Genesis 1 and 2, “sin was unknown” or was not; no such thing. The rest of the Bible is “sin, sin, sin, sin, sin, sin, sin, sin, sin,” and then Revelation 21 and 22 says “no more sin.” So you keep doing these and you see here God brought the “first Adam,” “all born in fallen Adam,” but new birth in Christ. And here we are seeing the “last Adam, Christ,” in His fullness. And I’ll keep going because I don’t know if I saved the first one, we’ll save the last one. We’ll save this one if I didn’t save the other ones. All right, let’s do this again: Genesis 1 and 2, the rest of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22, 22, there we go. All right, we have here in 1, Genesis 1 and 2, there is no, “no evil” in that evil has affected or afflicted until the fall. If you read the rest of the Bible, it is that’s all it is, is God saw what was in the heart of man, “evil.” Or if you want to go to the New Testament that God saw the thoughts of man; He did not give Himself, because He knew what was in the heart of man. And then of course, here there is “no more evil.” And if you’re reading Revelation 21 and 22, you kind of see it’s, it is exactly the bookend of the first two chapters of the Bible. Again, in Genesis 1 and 2 we have, or specifically in 2, we have Adam who is “walking with God.” Here the best we can do is we have faith, we have faith that God is with us, we, we operate in faith, but we are not visibly, tangibly, with our eyes, we are not seeing. But here, in Revelation 21 and 22 we will be with, we will see, we will behold (I wish I could have other words), but “with God” once more. So that’s why I said to you anybody who says, “Well, well, I don’t, I don’t have information of what will happen to me,” absolutely you do! You absolutely do. And if we talk about; let’s just keep lining these up. We could talk about how God essentially gave this would be labeled “paradise.” The garden was paradise. “No more paradise,” the rest of the book is essentially an exercise on what could have been God saying what He would have been, what they could have been, and then here is “paradise once more.” Now you think it’s interesting that Jesus says to the thief on the cross, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” It tells you that a lot of “religion” is a lot━here it comes: is a lot of stuff. If Jesus could talk to a dying man and say, “This day,” because He knew what was in his heart, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” He didn’t make him, you know, “You’ve got to come down from the cross and you’ve got to get baptized, you’ve got to say the ‘sinner’s prayer,’ you’ve got to answer the ‘altar call,’ and once you’ve done all that you have to make sure that you’ve sent in your precious ‘love gift’ of your three eggs, a turtledove, and then you can be saved.” No. The man is dying; Jesus says, “This day&.” This is why I said spirituality, religion, or if you want to call it the right word, which is “faithing and trusting God,” it’s very simple. We complicate it, we make all of these manmade ideas and traditions that essentially make void the word of God. So let’s go back one more time here. In Genesis 1 and 2 we had, we had “innocence.” Here the whole creation is “not innocent”; once more, “restored.” Now I could keep going because the list is very long, you know, how they were naked and unaware that they were naked, and then suddenly they were made aware that they were naked and they were full of shame, and then of course God clothes them. We’ve got all of these, what happened as a cause directly related to the fall, the in-between part, which is the whole Bible essentially, the lessons that God is teaching humanity and the last two chapters that say God didn’t leave anything undone. So to connect all these dots, and there’s so many of them, I, I only listed the few that I listed; to leave any undone you can go and search them out for yourselves, but I think the biggest thing that I, I want to push out today and I want to make clear today is that there will be a recreation. And that recreation is you are not outside of the recreation. See, a lot of people have proposed a lot of different ideas, but let me show you something. If you will, turn with me to Isaiah 65 and verse I believe it’s 17, because I’d like to show you why I’m going to keep forcing this over and over and over again. In Isaiah 65 and verse 17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” That’s one time. I’m going wait because I still hear you turning, some folks are still turning. If you have a Bible like mine, page 918. Let me read that again for those that are catching up. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” And then again in Isaiah 66, next chapter over and verse 22: “For as the new heavens and new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain”” New heavens, new earth, it’s being repeated. Let me read to you from the New Testament. 2 Peter, go there with me. This is important for you to see. Some people who are not that well versed in the Scriptures might think, “Wow, Pastor Scott sounds like a lunatic. She’s, she’s got all these crazy ideas.” Well, if they’re crazy ideas they’re God’s crazy ideas, not mine. I have my own, thank you. 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we,” that’s page 1545 if you have a Bible like mine, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Are you ready for the last one I’ll give you? Revelation 21, because they’re all saying the same thing and I could pick from, I could give you more, but I think these are enough examples from a diversity of places in the Bible to say, as I repeat, 21:1, “And I saw a new,” Revelation 21:1, the last book of the Bible, last call. No. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Let me read the rest of this here: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” So this is what’s important. As you see these repeatables, it has to mean something for us. New heavens, new earth, and all of these say, “And I saw&come down from&.” So it’s important to kind of start establishing some thoughts here. Just as literally as they saw Jesus, they were looking up and they saw Jesus ascend, and we say, “Well, that’s a real event; they saw Him ascend, they saw Him go up in the clouds.” These at the end of days, will see something coming down out of heaven to the earth. But guess what? This is the interesting part. We will be beholding, this is an interesting thought; we won’t be here just yet. We will be beholding from a different vantage point. Do you remember I said to you because I think science is coming, converging with the mind of God in, I’m not saying a parallel universe, but we will be able in the present heaven to see the recreation of the earth, to behold it, and then to be a part of it in our new, resurrected bodies. So I’ve got to ask the question. There’s a certain element perhaps, you know, when we look around and we see people we know and places we know and we get nostalgic and we think, “Oh, this would be very sad,” but would it be really sad if you were in a place where you saw all the people that you once knew, except that there was no more sin, there was no more sickness, there was no more dying, there was no more curse. And if you are reading the same book that I’m reading with the same verses of Scripture, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. So we need to debunk these bad caricatures of what happens to us. Now most of you know we have the Berkeley, up in Berkeley there are folks that are watching right there now, it’s a mausoleum. It’s an above-ground condominium building for the dead, okay. And you know, or you could look across the street and you can see acres of headstones. And you can say, “I choose,” because you can, you have a mind of your own, “I choose to believe that that’s the terminus,” put in a box or put in a whatever, you know, a wall, in the ground and that’s the end. Or I choose to investigate this more. And I’m going to tell you something. There are so many references to the “recreation,” the new heavens and new earth. I just read you, I believe, only three or four, but as I started to investigate this, I thought, “Wow,” and there are even places where, for example, Job says, he says essentially he knows at the end of his days when the Redeemer will be standing there and he’ll be standing and beholding. There are abundant witnesses, whether they are direct or indirect, to point to the validity and the veracity of what is being said about our future. Now as I begin, as I said, to try and fill in and paint a picture that has more color and more vibrancy, some will start to actually say, “I can start to see it. I can start to see the destination.” And it’s not, it’s not the destination of blue skies and white sand, it’s the destination of endless joy. It’s the destination of never being separated from God. It’s the destination of complete and utter fulfillment and nothing lacking. So I don’t know why this subject has been so neglected, but perhaps, I say this perhaps in ignorance or in fear or whatever it is, but my, it’s now clear to me. I had to kind of formulate a little bit better how am I going to get to this point? How am I going to explain this? And every week I’ve been thinking, “Well, I need to do a word study. I need to show you the words.” But the reality is before I can even do that I need to paint the picture. And the picture begins with understanding there will be a period of time that, if you read what Peter says, he says that essentially all this is going to be burned up. It’s all going to go away. Now Peter was given understanding and visions of things that we haven’t gotten. We have them through his word. John was given visions of things that we haven’t gotten, but we get them through his word. So I’m taking all of that plus the vision, the clarity, the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel, of Daniel and Jeremiah, to fill in the blanks to show that there wasn’t a time in this whole book from cover to cover, save for the first two chapters, where the wasn’t a thought of needing another place in man’s mind; not in God’s mind, but in man’s mind. That God had a plan all the time and His plan was to have that perfect communion. And God will have His way. God will get what He wants. As I’m reading this it says very clearly that there will be people that will enjoy the new earth. So the next question that’s asked for people that want to know, “Well, how will I get there? How; how am I going to ensure that I get there?” Well, there’s only one way to do it and I’ve said this a bazillion times. And that’s not an exaggeration. Faith. Not faith in faith. Faith in the risen Savior; everything in our Christian walk, everything, begins and ends with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you don’t have that straight, the rest of your faith is going to fall apart. Why, because it says Jesus is the Firstfruit. He is the First-goer, He’s the first of His kind, He’s the first when there have been many people that died that were brought back to life, but died again. But He’s the first to be, to come back to life, no one, He says, “No one takes my life. I lay it down of myself.” But He took it to be raised up again to the words that He spoke, saying, “On the third day,” which came to pass, He came out of that tomb, showed Himself to His disciples and as Paul says, “and to above five hundred brethren at once” who were, who saw. And all I can tell you is that fact of the Resurrection starts the, we’ll call it the foundation for understanding eternal principles, for understanding the restoration and reconciliation of humankind. And if I look at my first and second Genesis, the rest of the Bible and the rest of until the last two chapters of the book, it is essentially a universal fight for the soul of humankind to be reconnected. And there is a negative side to this, and I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it in a different way. The negative side is that just like I referenced at the beginning of this message how young people seem to be, or at least we’re told, young people are disinterested in religion and the subject of God and understanding religious education, if you will. I’m going to tell you something. The sad, sad, sad part of this is that without education of this book, you cannot know God, you cannot know about heaven, you cannot know about hell; you can’t know about anything pertaining to these. And this is what’s, this is what is killing the church today, and the future of the church, because if these messages are being put out and they’re; it’s black and white; it just is a fact. We have not come to the point yet; science has not arrived at the point to be able to say that we have established how man can live here on earth in this day and age forever, and not die. That has not happened yet. And you can say, “Well, but we’re, we’re approaching it, we’re fast approaching it.” Well, maybe people are living longer, but they are still not in control of their final, the years allotted to them are controlled by Him. You say, “Well, we can manipulate it a bit.” Well, we can, maybe, but that’s all we can do. Millennials and all people alike will face the same end result. And if we are doing our job, I’m now talking to pastors out there, teachers and ministers, if you’re doing your job and you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, we are telling people, explaining and taking away the fear. I’m not here to try and give you some fire and brimstone, so you “make a decision today” that you will follow Jesus, because you don’t want to go to hell. Wrong! Because you might still end up going to hell anyway, because it’s for the wrong reasons; God’s looking at the heart saying, “I’m not interested in people saying, ‘I just don’t want to go to hell. I’ll believe in this because I just don’t want to go to hell,’” versus “I believe in You, Jesus and I want to be with You.” And Jesus says, “Come on.” It’s just that simple. So I don’t want to complicate, nor do I want to scare, but what I do want to do is educate, and as I said, I’m painting the picture that when, hopefully, when I’m done we will have accomplished one, the understanding that this is a real place, this is the ultimate destination that each person can find out for themselves in their lifetime. This isn’t something where you say, “Well, gee, I really hope I’m going to go to the right━I really hope.” Are you kidding me?! This is not a lottery. This is not a, “I toss the dice and I hope it comes out properly.” This is you put your heart and soul in the hands of Him who spoke your name before you ever were, saying, “I trust You to lead and to guide.” Don’t trust me, do not trust Melissa Scott or any other person, but you trust God and you take Him at His word and you say, “If, if this is the One that spoke and called my name and brought me into the realm of desiring to know Him, then I will follow this course all the way until I get to see Him, because I am determined.” This is each person has to be with that mindset: I am determined to live my life by faith and I will see Him. I am not perfect, I’ve made mistakes, I’ll continue to make mistakes. I sin, I will continue to sin, but I look and understand at what the word says. The forgiveness that God gives me is not a onetime deal. He did it one time, but I keep going back every day and I talk to Him afresh and anew and tell Him about all of my issues, and there’s a lot of them. But that’s all He asks me to do. He knows my frame. What does Ecclesiastes 12:7? Essentially from the dust we were taken and from the dust we return, save the soul and the spirit of the individual that returns back to God. Ecclesiastes 12:7 makes it abundantly clear this may be laid down for a time, but what God has placed in my heart, or better yet, where it says God has placed eternity in their hearts. I know it’s in mine, I know it’s in yours, so the only thing to do is to understand, get a real clue of where this ultimate destination, which is not some hot spot for a brief, you know, a limited time, but a place to go that is a real place, a real destination. And it is not something that somebody says, “Well, well, I can imagine this. Well, you have great imagination Pastor Scott”” No, I don’t actually. This book tells me exactly what I need to know. Now I’m earnestly praying, you know, I’m asking you actually to kind of come along with me in this prayer. It is my desire that people might come by “accident” to hear this message or this series of messages, because, you know, we can live delusionally. We can live, and we do, I think most of us, most of us; I’m including myself, live in a delusion. The delusion is “I’m fine,” you go along, you, you go to bed, you wake up the next day and as long as you’re waking up the next day and going to bed at nighttime, you do it all over again, all is good in the world, right? But there will come a day, don’t, don’t believe anybody telling you like somebody said to me, “Well, you believe in soul sleep?” What, are you crazy? You know, there’s an expression in the Bible that says that they are asleep. That’s talking about the body. That’s not talking about the soul. So all I know is absent from the body, present with the Lord, and looking to that ultimate beautiful place, I’m excited. I don’t want to leave here just yet, because I know I’ve got work to do. I don’t want you to leave here just yet, because I know God’s got things for you to do. But it shouldn’t be looked on as a place where people say, “Oh, it’s gloom and despair. It’s the end of the road and that’s that.” No, how about as I’ve said, this is boot camp; down here is boot camp for eternity. Learn the lessons now, because there will not be some━boy, I have to say this right. There will not be somebody standing in the middle like an information desk. “Excuse me, can you tell me where to go to?” No. It’s I learnt it down here, I’m equipped. Why do you think those words Paul says “equipping of the saints”? It is for us to have and glean the knowledge in the now to be able to navigate the course all the way home by faith. So all I’m telling you right now is, hopefully the picture is coming together each week. Stay with me, because this is, it’s, it is a very difficult way to try and put this together, but I think clearer pictures each and every week will come if you will be patient and stay the course with me. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California. Every Sunday morning I teach the Word at 11am. I invite you to join us. If you’d like to receive a pass, simply call the 800# that is 800-338-3030 to join us. Now, we’re going to take you in to another teaching segment, not from the sanctuary which you’ve just been watching but from the other place I teach from during the week. We call it the Festival of Faith. You know what’s interesting is when you start looking at the subject of eternity and Heaven and Hell and really paying close attention to what Jesus says, more than anything else that is said anywhere else. You find that there are some amazing things to glean. It’s not just reading a parable. There are some amazing things to glean regarding our eternal future and I think, as I said, I haven’t addressed the subject, certainly not in a message like today, but I think it’s something worth looking into. Everybody says, “I want to know about life eternal” because that’s the promise in Christ. It’s important to read and make sure we’re aware. Don’t just read on the things that you like to read on because they delight your soul. Read about it all and not in a caricatured fashion but in reality. Put flesh and blood on it and you find it’s really just kind of sobering. And then you kind of wake up to the fact, I mean this is the reality, nobody lives here forever. Somebody asked me if in heaven, can the people in heaven and this is one that remains an open, we’ll call it an open question because I don’t think you can have a definitive answer for this. If in heaven there is no more sorrow, there’s no more pain or suffering, then can you loved ones see you? Because if they can see you, then they can see you in the times that you are suffering and that would affect& You have to ask these questions right? I’m not afraid to ask them which then makes you think about other things. But the thing we are absolutely told there exists none of that in Heaven. But we also know there is a band or gallery of witnesses, which I’ve said many times over that I think that gallery or band of witnesses may not ben necessarily of the human kind either. It could be an angelic gallery of onlookers. But in any case there’s all these wonderful questions that come up. You study one passage then you compare the passages, kind of what information they give and you’ll end up with more questions, but you’ll also have a few more answers too. So, I don’t know. It’s a fascinating subject and we don’t have, we won’t get all of the answers now, but eventually we will and eventually we’ll see what we could only see with the eyes of faith we will behold in its fullness and its entirety. Until that day, we have to keep faithing and keep walking the same way by faith so with that being said; I know that you’re going to be making your reservations and your commitments. I have a one track mind right now, so that’s what I need you to do. I need you to get on the telephone. Make your commitments right now. Get busy.

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