The topic assigned to me is called "Return to Me" - a sermon about repentance, turning back to God.
We could look at this topic from so many different angles but here's why I'm preaching from .
In the familiar Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Son leaves his father and squanders his inheritance.
When does he decide to come home?
When he was sitting with the pigs thinking to himself, "Man even the servants in my father's house eat better food than this!"
Its not a perfect analogy but I hope you get the point.
Its when we realise just what we are missing out on that we will be motivated to return.
My goal today is to make you home sick.
So that you’ll return to our Heavenly Father.
The Book of Revelation was written to churches that had all kinds of different problems.
Some of them were suffering, persecuted by the world.
Some of them were compromising, allowing the church to become like the world.
And so the apostle John is given these visions, some of them are very scary, but some of them are so wonderfully beautiful, both to encourage and challenge the church to return and remain faithful to Christ.
Repentance comes when people catch a glimpse of the horrors of hell and the happiness of heaven.
Some people warn that if you think about heaven too much then you won't be of any use here on earth.
Firstly I haven't met anyone like that, have you?
Our problem is we don't think about heaven enough.
We are so earthly-minded.
Thinking only of the present and thinking only of whats right in front of us, what we can see and touch here.
Thats why we always focus on things that don't matter.
And love things that won't last.
I even know of professing Christians who don't want Jesus to come back.
They rather have a jolly good time here thank you very much.
Heaven sounds boring.
Unfortunately our idea of heaven is mostly drawn from cartoons.
People in white gowns playing harps etc.
Or from books written by people who have supposedly been to heaven and came back.
The most gracious thing I can say about that is: let's stick to the Bible.
It's the most dependable source.
It has all that we need to know.
Anyway what we are looking at today is the final state of the new heaven and new earth which nobody has ever been to because Jesus hasn't come back yet.
Right now, if you're a believer and you die now, you body will go to the grave, but your soul will to go be with Jesus in heaven.
Contrary to popular belief, thats not the end of the story.
Eventually when Jesus does finally return at the end, there will be a resurrection ().
Resurrection doesn't mean we will live forever spiritually.
Resurrection means we will have our physical bodies restored to us again.
Of course our bodies will be newer and better.
They will be incorruptible.
The point I'm making is our final hope is not that our souls will escape this earth to go to heaven.
Our final hope is that we will have resurrection bodies in a radically new heaven and a new earth forever.