Series: “THE GOOD PLACE: The Case for Heaven”• Pastor David R. Stokes

Today: “HEAVENLY LIVING HERE & NOW” 

 

READ: II PETER 3:10-18

 

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawlessand fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

 

READ: Devotional

 

We’ve spent a couple of weeks examining and reflecting on the reality of heaven—THE GOOD

PLACE. Now it’s time to ask the question: How should this great doctrinal truth influence my

life, here and now? When I was a kid, people had a way of describe the idea of heaven as, “pie

in the sky by and by.” In other words, something for the future and having no relevance for

everyday living. But nothing could be more wrong.

 

Heaven is about NOW, as well as THEN. In fact, learning how to apply the great promise of

eternity with God in practical ways to our current condition will enhance our lives. That’s right:

The good place can put us in a good place.

 

Paul reminded us in Philippians 1:23 that being with the Lord one day in heaven would be

“better by far” than our present experience. But we are still here and not there—yet. That’s

why we must focus on HEAVEN-DRIVEN living, right now. I talked about four ways to use

eternity’s energy to fuel earthly excellence:

 

                   We Should Be GOOD People. (II Peter 3:10-11 NIV)

                   We Should Be GROWING People. (II Peter 3:18 NIV)

                   We Should Be GRATEFUL People. (Hebrews 12:28 NIV)

                   We Should Be GENEROUS People. (I Timothy 6:17-19 NIV)

 

Living like this will make any life “better by far” right now.

 

REFLECT:

 

  • How can being heavenly minded actually lead to earthly good?
  • How does our future hope enhance our spiritual development here and now?
  • How much of what I do—how I live—is actually driven by my heavenly hope?

 

further reading:

 

 

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