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Posts Tagged ‘Randy Alcorn’

Jesus taught that how we live on earth has bearing on what we will have in heaven.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Mat 6:19-21 NASB)

Now, this is a bit controversial, and I thought like a lot of people until I read works by Randy Alcorn and began looking at the Scriptures more closely. Many have the view that when we all get to heaven, we will all be the same. We will all have the same reward and the same level of knowledge. While we are all saved by grace, their are different levels of reward in heaven based upon the way we live our lives here. We will not be condemned for our bad works, but our works will be judged. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
(1Co 3:12-15 NASB)

So, we see that there will be a difference.  How we live and minister now will have eternal consequences.  Therefore, we should approach decisions and life asking if what we are doing or may do will have lasting, eternal significance.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember who exactly said it, but someone once pointed out that there are three things that will last for eternity: God, His Word, and the souls of people.  In as much as we invest our lives in those three things, we have invested our lives in something of eternal significance.

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For the next few posts that, I want to write about having an eternal perspective. Randy Alcorn has written extensively on this subject. His ministry’s website and his blog are great resources for further study and thought. His book, Heaven, has helped many grow in their understanding of how thinking about eternity can help them in living the Christian life in the here and now. While I am not certain of everything in the book, I can not deny the plausibility of anything that he writes.

I’ve had a couple of people express to me the fear that heaven will be boring. These verses (and many more in scripture) make heaven sound anything but boring. In fact I believe that based on these verses not looking forward to heaven or thinking it is boring is a sin that cripples our service and worship. Notice the verses in bold type:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
(Heb 12:22-29 NASB)

When we meditate on all that heaven will be, the price paid to open the door for us and the glory of God that we will know there, it will stir us to have greater gratitude toward God. Our living will be an act of worship as we obey God with reverence and awe.

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This morning I was reading in Mark 10 and the contrast between the things Jesus said and what the disciples had assumed to be true struck me. They assumed that divorce was OK, but it wasn’t. They assumed children could not be near Jesus, but they could. They assumed that wealth showed God’s favor on a person, but it didn’t. They assumed that they had sacrificed much, but in reality, they had gained much more. They assumed that greatness meant having the authority to rule others, but it meant being a servant. They assumed that a blind man shouting at Jesus was a nuisance, but Jesus gave him sight.

It makes me ask, “How much do I see the things around in the same way that Jesus sees them? How much of what I assume is just plain wrong?” The pursuit of God, as A.W. Tozer called it, is the pursuit of such a deep intimacy with God and His holiness that we see the world with His eyes. Our assumptions must give way to His truth as we draw near to God through His word and through prayer and through fellowship with other believers. It is as Randy Alcorn wrote at his blog seeing “…God as He is and ourselves as we are.”

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My writing on the blog has been very hit and miss lately. This is partly because I haven’t thought of much to say, my reading has been hit and miss and I just haven’t been feeling well. I will be traveling to a nearby country to get things checked out in about a week and a half. Medical care here for anything more than the flu is not very reliable and tests that can be done here are limited. That’s just a fact of life for living overseas.

Another fact of life about living overseas is that holidays sneak up on you. If someone had not left a comment on one of my previous posts (thanks Todd) about Mother’s Day coming up, I might have missed it and been scrambling to find a nice e-card today from Dayspring or something like that. Instead, I was able to go buy a couple of nice gifts yesterday, one from the children with money they contributed and one from me. I also fixed breakfast this morning while disturbing my wife with the typical male questions such as, “Is it supposed to take this long?” Usually I ask even more intelligent questions on the rare occasions when I cook such as, “How do I know when it is done?” I had the added challenge of help from our two year old daughter, who also took the liberty of waking up her teenage brothers and calling them to breakfast when it was done. I suspect that in ten to twelve years they will bring her future nieces and nephews over not to see the grandparents but to wake their aunt up in the mornings.

Anyhow, if you need some good Sunday afternoon reading, you might want to check these out. C.J. Mahaney has posted a chapter about modesty from his upcoming book entitled Worldliness. You can find the chapter is seven parts here. It’s a good explanation of the passage in 1 Timothy 2. Bob Kauflin also answers the question, are hymns too weighty for worship? Randy Alcorn shared his list of favorite non-fiction books. Also, CBMW’s blog gives good advice for couples whose families may disapprove of their Biblical lifestyle and family choices. Much of what they say applies to any circumstance in which we may find that we face criticism or disapproval for the choices and stands that we make.

Hopefully, I will feel up to writing more this week.

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…Tim Challies suggests books for Christmas gifts.

…My favorite Christian writer, Randy Alcorn, has a blog.

…some interesting thoughts on what it means to be community as a church.

…and Christianity as both inclusive and exclusive.

…and by the same writer a piece on on why some of us don’t take criticism very well.

…a workplace related post on when an apology is real. Though the source may be secular, the truth is the same.

…and for some humorous satire (and sad but true at times) try here.

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