Our friend Rob Bell has begun a series entitled “The Flames of Heaven”
you will see this message under Jan.8th.
Revelation – Apocolyptic writing
To the Jewish mind - Heaven – far less of a physical place to go to, and far more of a realm. A place where things are where things are as God wants them to be. A present reality, not a far off place…
Heaven and Earth are united (marriage)…in Revelation, we see heaven crashing into earth. Is this necessarly a good thing? The earth is invaded by pure unadulterated joy, would that be a good thing for you? If you haven’t forgiven others, then when the One who forgives all comes crashing into earth…would that be heaven for you? If you are stingy, and you find yourself in front of the most generous being…would it be heaven for you?
Is it possible that the flames of heaven are hotter for you than the flames of hell? You never enjoyed worshipping God…and then you are thrust into worship….is that hell for you?
Three images of heaven – the invasion of heaven
1. Who God is…”v5 there will be no more night…they will not need the light of the sun…God will give them light”
Heaven crashing into earth – is light
He will bring to light, what was hidden in darkness….what was hidden…the secret motives in peoples hearts…in that time people will recieve their due praise.
Luke 12 – be on gaurd from the teaching from the pharasees…”there is nothing consealed that will not be disclosed….” “what you have said in the dark, will be heard in the daylight”
Light will expose EVERYTHING
To live with the reality of heaven, is understanding that everything I say and do matters. Live in light.
God’s judgement – many people have this idea of His judgement is that it is like He has this list and He’s waiting to lay waste “bad” people…but all He has to do is to show up.
Judgement – purity, truth…because that’s who God is.
We aren’t talking about doing good so God will love us more, but the God who already loves us.
Man going on a journey, gives his servants lumps of gold. 19 – master returned. The man who recieved 1 bag of gold, comes back and states an improper view of master and buries the gold
Dirt and Buried – second image
who has done something with what they are given, and those who have buried it.
1 Cor 12. “there are different kinds of gifts…but the same Lord….it is the same God at work…”
talking about a local church putting on display a new humanity as God makes us to be. The gifts are given through God’s Spirit, and are given for the benefit of others. You have a divine resposibility to use your gifts for each other. We all suffer when you don’t use your gifts.
If heaven were to crash into earth, we would find out who has buried their gifts and wasted them.
To be a Christian, is to in anticipation of heaven crashing into earth…I will do my part in bring a little bit of heaven here on earth wherever I can.
What have you been given?
The church is to give herself away for the world….
1 Cor 3 – Third Image
Heb 12 – Consuming Fire
1cor3 – God being fire – many people translate fire as destruction …by the grace….
Gold, silver, costly stones….hay straw…will all be burned up…will test the quality of each person’s work.
Fire is about refinement, purity…
Heaven, the day invading earth…essentially, no impurity can exist in the presence of God because God is pure.
This isn’t buring people up, “what did you do with your life?” I can build a life with hay or straw…or one with Gold and silver.
Most of us have a built in radar in regards to this. certain things you do matter, and some things just don’t.
Ask very difficult questions about what you do with your time.