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He entered earth so that we could enter heaven

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A famous Christian once wrote, “God became human so that humans could become God.”
This man wasn’t a Mormon.
This man wasn’t a Mormon.
He didn’t think that we will all become gods in heaven, because he clarified this by also saying, “The reason God became man was to give immortality to his mortal creation.” God became human so that humans could become immortal, like God is.
He didn’t think that we will all become gods in heaven, because he clarified this by also saying, “The reason God became man was to give immortality to his mortal creation.”
The man who is speaking to you this morning is immortal. The people this man is speaking to this morning are also immortal.
God became human so that humans could become immortal, like God is.
The man who is speaking to you this morning is immortal. The people this man is speaking to this morning are also immortal.
Do you believe this?
Last week I met with a guy from soccer.
Do you believe this?
Last week I met with a guy from soccer.
His sister was killed in an accident a couple months ago.
His sister was killed in an accident a couple months ago.
She was 17.
She was 17.
He said to me, “I’ve never really thought of life after death.”
“But now I’ve been thinking a lot. Where is she?”
He said to me, “I’ve never really thought of life after death.”
“But now I’ve been thinking a lot. Where is she?”
I spoke to him about heaven.
He said he’d always struggled to believe things unless there was good evidence.
I spoke to him about heaven.
By evidence, he meant things that he could see.
He said he’d always struggled to believe things unless there was good evidence.
I spoke to him about heaven.
By evidence, he meant things that he could see.
I said to him, heaven is in a dimension that we can’t see.
I spoke to him about heaven.
And there are lots of real things that exist that we can’t see.
I said to him, heaven is in a dimension that we can’t see.
Think about what is keeping us alive right now. Oxygen.
And there are lots of real things that exist that we can’t see.
Think about what is keeping us alive right now. Oxygen.
We can’t see this. And yet we rely on it every moment to stay alive.
Everything that is observable in our universe is made up of atoms.
We can’t see this. And yet we rely on it every moment to stay alive.
Atoms have never been seen with the human eye.
Everything that is observable in our universe is made up of atoms.
Atoms have never been seen with the human eye.
There are lots of things that are real that we can’t see.
There are lots of things that are real that we can’t see.
Think about radio waves. These waves range from a metre to kilometres in length.
Think about radio waves. These waves range from a metre to kilometres in length.
They’re used to transmit data for satellites, computers and radios.
They’re used to transmit data for satellites, computers and radios.
Gravity. We can observe the effects of gravity, but we can’t see gravity.
Then there’s the Mind and Emotions. We can observe the brain and its chemical reactions, but thoughts are completely in the unseen realm.
Gravity. We can observe the effects of gravity, but we can’t see gravity.
Then there’s the Mind and Emotions. We can observe the brain and its chemical reactions, but thoughts are completely in the unseen realm.
Why am I mentioning all of this?
Because it can be easy to think like my mate. I only believe in things that I can see.
Why am I mentioning all of this?
It sounds right, but it’s logically wrong. Nobody lives like this, in the real world.
Because it can be easy to think like my mate. I only believe in things that I can see.
We all believe in things we can’t see.
It sounds right, but it’s logically wrong. Nobody lives like this, in the real world.
And this morning, God’s asking you to believe in something that you can’t see.
We all believe in things we can’t see.
In order to do this, you have to use your IMAGINATION.
And this morning, God’s asking you to believe in something that you can’t see.
Not your imaginary imagination. But your God given imagination, so you can enter into the realities of what you can’t see.
In order to do this, you have to use your IMAGINATION.
Not your imaginary imagination.
Every night before my boys go to bed, they beg us for a story.
How do we start the story?
But your God given imagination, so you can enter into the reality of immortality.
“Once upon a time...there was a king...”
A reality that you can’t yet see.
Every night before my boys go to bed, they beg us for a story.
Immediately they’re hooked, and their imaginations are off.
How do we start the story?
They love it.
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
“Once upon a time...there was a king...”
Immediately they’re hooked, and their imaginations are off.
If Isaac Newton didn’t use his imagination, he would never have discovered gravity.
If you didn’t use your imagination, you’d never have found that lost phone of yours.
They love it.
Although ‘findmyphone’ helps those of you who are imaginatively challenged.
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
For a Christian, imagination is absolutely necessary to know and enjoy God.
If Isaac Newton didn’t use his imagination, he would never have discovered gravity.
Because God exists in a dimension that we can’t see.
If you didn’t use your imagination, you’d never have found that lost phone of yours.
God’s home is a reality that we can’t see. HEAVEN.
Although ‘findmyphone’ helps those of you who are imaginatively challenged.
says to us: “Set your minds on things that are above.”
For a Christian, imagination is absolutely necessary to know and enjoy God.
This doesn’t mean that we crank our necks and look up at the skies.
Because God exists in a dimension that we can’t see.
What it does mean is that we look to the reality beyond what we can physically see.
God’s home is a reality that we can’t see. HEAVEN.
says; “Fix your eyes on what is unseen.”
says to us: “Set your minds on things that are above.”
Today we remember the empty tomb of Jesus. Today we remember the one event that has changed the course of history more than any other, and changed more people’s lives than any other by a long way.
This doesn’t mean we lift our heads and look up at the skies.
What it does mean is that we look to the reality beyond what we can physically see.
What I love about God is that he never asks us to believe something he doesn’t give good proof for.
He doesn’t say believe, just because. That’s wishful thinking.
says; “Fix your eyes on what is unseen.”
Today we remember the empty tomb of Jesus. Today we remember the one event that has changed the course of history more than any other, and changed more people’s lives than any other by a long way.
When it comes to heaven and the spiritual realm around us, it’s really important that we understand and believe this.
God became like mortal man, so that we could become like immortal God.
He caters to our scepticism. He invites us to look and see what happened.
You might be sceptical this morning, and as we read this Scripture I want you to LOOK at the words LOOK and SEE in this recording of the eye witness account of what happened that Sunday morning 2000 years ago.
God entered earth, so that we could enter heaven.
What I love about God is that he never asks us to believe something he doesn’t give good proof for.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
He doesn’t say believe, just because. That’s wishful thinking.
When it comes to heaven and the spiritual realm around us, it’s really important that we understand and believe this.
And what do they get to look at? Heaven meeting earth.
2 (AND BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE) There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from HEAVEN and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
He caters to our scepticism. He invites us to look and see what happened.
3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
You might be sceptical this morning, and as we read this Scripture I want you to LOOK at the words LOOK and SEE in this recording of the eye witness account of what happened that Sunday morning 2000 years ago.
Seeing an angel doesn’t happen every day, and it’s no wonder they responded this way.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and (BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE), is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ (BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE), I have told you.”
And what do they get to look at? Heaven meeting earth.
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 (AND BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE), Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Believing the gospel means having your imagination taken captive and reshaped by SEEING a new story.
2 (AND BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE) There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from HEAVEN and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
says, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
Seeing an angel doesn’t happen every day, and it’s no wonder they responded this way.
Unless you step out of your own world, and step into his world, you’ll remain stuck in the world of suffering and death.
Our human story didn’t have death in it when it began.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and (BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE), is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ (BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE), I have told you.”
In the beginning, HEAVEN and EARTH were one.
Like the disciples, we have to wait to see Jesus. But the promise is for us as it was for them. You will see him. See. Jesus says, “I have told you.”
God’s home and our home were shared together.
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 (AND BEHOLD/LOOK/SEE), Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
There was no death. God made us in his image.
Again his followers had to wait to see him, but Jesus makes the promise, “There they will see me.”
Jesus has gone ahead of us, not to Galilee, but to heaven. There you will see him. Have you seen enough yet?
He made us to be immortal like him. He provided all that was needed for us to enjoy eternal life with him.
But we didn’t want life WITH God, we wanted life WITHOUT God.
Believing in Jesus means having your imagination taken captive and reshaped by SEEING a new story.
says, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Our first parents set the pattern that we’ve all followed in since. They thought they could provide life for themselves, on their terms.
Like a fish jumping out of water, wanting life without the very thing that enables it to have life.
Unless you step out of your own world, and step into his world, you’ll remain stuck in the world of suffering and death.
When they jumped away from God, they became mortal. They lost life.
Our human story didn’t have death in it when it began.
In the beginning, HEAVEN and EARTH were one.
When we follow in their footsteps, we show that this deception has infected not just them but all of humanity.
We’ve lost our ability to live.
God’s home and our home were shared together.
There was no death. God made us in his image.
We’ve lost our immortality.
Instead of heaven and earth being one, they became separate.
He made us to be immortal like him. He provided all that was needed for us to enjoy eternal life with him.
Like water for a fish, Heaven was the environment we were immersed.
But we didn’t want life WITH God, we wanted life WITHOUT God.
It provided life and immortality for humanity on earth.
Our first parents set the pattern that we’ve all followed in since. They thought they could provide life for themselves, on their terms.
Like a fish jumping out of water, wanting life without the very thing that enables it to have life.
But since jumping out, humanity’s been gasping for air, flapping helplessly, suffocating helplessly under the rule of death.
When they jumped away from God, they became mortal. They lost life.
Why does my soccer mate struggle to accept death?
Why do we hate those clichés about death?
When we follow in their footsteps, we show that this deception has infected not just them but all of humanity.
We’ve lost our ability to live.
“It’s just part of life.”
We’ve lost our immortality.
“You’ll get over it soon.”
We’re craving for the world that we lost.
Instead of heaven and earth being one, they became separate.
Like water for a fish, Heaven was the environment we were immersed.
We feel like we’re suffocating, gasping for air.
It provided life and immortality for humanity on earth.
We’re craving for immortality once again.
We’re groaning under the weight of death.
But since jumping out, humanity’s been gasping for air, flapping helplessly, suffocating helplessly under the rule of death.
Why does my soccer mate struggle to accept death?
Will we ever be free again?
Will we ever be able to breathe again?
Why do we hate those clichés about death?
“It’s just part of life.”
Friends. What every one of you wishes for deep down, Jesus came to fulfil.
“You’ll get over it soon.”
God joined us on earth so that we could join him in heaven.
We’re craving for the world that we lost.
God became like mortal man so that mortal man could become like immortal God.
We feel like we’re suffocating, gasping for air.
How did he do this?
We’re craving for immortality once again.
By joining heaven and earth together again.
We’re groaning under the weight of death.
Our God is FULL of compassion. On that first day that heaven and earth parted, he promised to fix it.
Will we ever be free again?
He promised that there would be a day we would become one again.
This is the story of the Bible.
Will we ever be able to breathe again?
Jesus repeatedly said while in his human body on the earth, I am from heaven. I have come from heaven. I’m returning to heaven, from where I came.
Friends. What every one of you wishes for deep down, Jesus came to fulfil.
But first he needed to do something.
God joined us on earth so that we could join him in heaven.
God became like mortal man so that mortal man could become like immortal God.
What?
How did he do this?
He needed to do something for us, that we couldn’t do ourselves.
By joining heaven and earth together again.
He needed to enter into our condition, go through our death, and in so doing defeat the death that held it’s grip on us.
Our God is FULL of compassion. On that first day that heaven and earth parted, he promised to fix it.
In the ultimate act of shaming death, he submits himself to death, in order to defeat death.
In the act of killing Jesus, Satan and death were rejoicing, little knowing that this was the very act that secured their defeat.
He promised that there would be a day we would become one again.
We don’t know why Jesus chose to do it this way.
This is the story of the Bible.
However, because he did it this way, he has become the forerunner for all of us.
Jesus repeatedly said while in his human body on the earth, I am from heaven. I have come from heaven. I’m returning to heaven, from where I came.
Even though these mortal bodies will die, we will remain alive, and will one day be clothed with a new immortal body like the one Jesus is in now, in heaven.
But first he needed to do something.
Jesus lunges were crushed and his breathe squeezed out of his lungs so that you and I could breathe again.
What?
His arms were stretched out, and are now stretched out.
He needed to do something for us, that we couldn’t do ourselves.
He needed to enter into our condition, go through our death, and in so doing defeat the death that held it’s grip on us.
He’s inviting you to come to him, to find your story in his story.
To see your death in his death, and see your new life in his new life.
In the ultimate act of shaming death, he submits himself to death, in order to defeat death.
In the act of killing Jesus, Satan and death were rejoicing, little knowing that this was the very act that secured their defeat.
Jesus offers his life as an alternative story to your life.
We don’t know why Jesus chose to do it this way.
Do you want his story to be your story this morning?
However, because he did it this way, he has become the forerunner for all of us.
Is it your story this morning?
Or do you want to remain suffocating, cut off from life, a slave to death.
Even though these mortal bodies will die, we will remain alive, and will one day be clothed with a new immortal body like the one Jesus is in now, in heaven.
Jesus lunges were crushed and his breathe squeezed out of his lungs so that you and I could breathe again.
Where do you imagine you’ll be going when you die?
For those who have found their life in Jesus life, they’ll be going to him.
His arms were stretched out, and are now stretched out.
He’s inviting you to come to him, to find your story in his story.
To live the rest of eternity with him
To see your death in his death, and see your new life in his new life.
Sharing his immortality
Living in an incorruptible body like his
Jesus offers his life as an alternative story to your life.
Do you want his story to be your story this morning?
In the new creation
Where heaven and earth are one again.
Is it your story this morning?
Or do you want to remain suffocating, cut off from life, a slave to death.
If your life has no connection to Jesus life, when your body dies you’re soul will continue suffocating, gasping for air, for all eternity, remaining under the control of death and your sin.
Where do you imagine you’ll be going when you die?
An existence Jesus repeatedly described as weeping, and grinding of teeth; as total darkness, as torment.
For those who have found their life in Jesus life, they’ll be going to him.
Don’t be mistaken.
For those of you who have entrusted your life to Jesus, this life is as close as you’ll ever get to hell. Be encouraged.
To live the rest of eternity with him
Sharing his immortality
Our most joyful imaginations of what heaven will be like don’t even compare with what the reality is.
Living in an incorruptible body like his
But for those of you who are holding on to your life, refusing to entrust it to Jesus, this life is as close as you’ll ever get to heaven.
In the new creation
Be warned.
Your worst imaginations of what hell will be like don’t even compare with what the reality is.
Where heaven and earth are one again.
I plead with you on God’s behalf this morning, don’t go there.
If your life has no connection to Jesus life, when your body dies you’re soul will continue suffocating, gasping for air, for all eternity, remaining under the control of death and your sin.
An existence Jesus repeatedly described as weeping, and grinding of teeth; as total darkness, as torment.
Be reconciled to God.
Believe in Jesus, who died in your place for your sins.
Don’t be mistaken.
Who suffocated, was cut off from life, so that you could be brought back into life and breathe again, starting now, and continuing forever.
For those of you who have entrusted your life to Jesus, this life is as close as you’ll ever get to hell. Be encouraged.
Our most joyful imaginations of what heaven will be like don’t even compare with what the reality is.
But for those of you who are holding on to your life, refusing to entrust it to Jesus, this life is as close as you’ll ever get to heaven.
Be warned.
Your worst imaginations of what hell will be like don’t even compare with what the reality is.
I plead with you on God’s behalf this morning, don’t go there.
Be reconciled to God.
Believe in Jesus, who died in your place for your sins.
Who suffocated, was cut off from life, so that you could be brought back into life and breathe again, starting now, and continuing forever.
Some of you might be thinking, yeah but why did Jesus go back to heaven? Why can’t we be with him, and see him now?
Philip Yancey said, “The ascension represents our greatest struggle of faith...Wouldn’t it have been better if the ascension had never happened?”
I feel this. I’m sure you feel this tension too.
But Jesus said repeatedly; It’s better for us that he returned to heaven, rather than stay.
Why?
They are many reasons, and I don’t presume to know them all, but we get two of them from our passage:
1. So that He could sit at God’s right hand of power, as our advocate.
JI Packer compares heaven to the control centre of a bustling train station.
Standing on the platform, you can’t see all tracks
You can’t sense which train should go where and why and when.
Only from the control centre, where a grand conductor can see all the trains and schedules and tracks, does each part make sense.
Another theologian calls heaven “the CEO’s office.”
From heaven Jesus rules with all authority over every world leader, over every country. He also rules with all authority in heaven.
He is the king of kings, the lord of lords.
He’s working all things together for the good of those who love him and are joined with him.
2. So that he could be with all his people on the earth forever.
What does he say?
“Behold/Look/See, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus returned to heaven having all authority in heaven, and from there he has given his Spirit so that heaven and earth can be one even now.
So Jesus is in heaven physically, but he is on earth spiritually. Living in every person who calls upon his name.
Remember the two commands from the beginning.
“Set your minds on things that are above.” Remember where Jesus is now physically. Remember he has all authority in heaven and on earth.
“Fix your eyes on things that are unseen.” Remember where Jesus is now spiritually. Inside of you believer. Or if you are not yet a believer, in the believer sitting next to you.
Heaven and earth have been made one in Jesus spiritually.
What we’re all waiting for us for heaven and earth to be one physically.
But for this we have to wait for Jesus to come physically again to the earth, bringing heaven with him, to renew and recreate this world.
What is he waiting for?
For the great rescue mission to be completed. What were his final words to his followers? And to us?
As you go, MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
He’ll return once people from all nations have found their life in him, for he came for all humanity, not just one part of humanity.
This is his story. This is HISTORY. Make this your story and jump in to life this morning.
God became like mortal humanity, so that you could become like immortal God.
God entered earth, so that you could enter heaven.
If you know God is speaking to you this morning, calling you to come to him, then respond to him.
This reality could be yours, if you make Jesus story your story. If you make his life your life.
And if you’re already part of his story, then set your mind fully on things that are above, not on earthly things, both now and until our faith will be sight. Our imaginations no longer be imagination, but very present and physical reality.
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