BASIC TRAINING IS NOT ONLY FOR ARMIES; NAVY TOO!

If we are going to navigate a flood we will need some sailors.  The Old Testament takes us into land warfare to win the Promised Land.  The New Testament takes us to baptism, sailors and fishermen.  Through the church age faith has travelled over many oceans to the New World.

This lesson begins a voyage, but this sea is vaster than all the oceans of Earth.  Prophesies point towards the heavens above now.  Once sailors navigated by the stars, one day they will navigate to the stars.  We will attempt to envision elements of our voyage to the heavens.  Man has dreamed of this since the beginnings of time.  They tried to build a tower to heaven in Babylon, but God stopped them.  He pointed out that they might have succeeded over time.

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.   Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.   Genesis 11:6-7

YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

Even today, man is trying to go to space by a joint venture.  The International Space Station is plagued by confusion of communication, politics, and finances, as was the Tower of Babel.  But Chemical rockets and science are too puny to journey to the stars now.  Even Star Trek only dared to explore out local Galaxy.  Their last fictional voyages went to the “Delta Quadrant”, and not beyond.  Science Fiction cannot imagine the vastness of God’s creation.  By faith you may see what man can only fantasize.

CREATION; BIRTH; GROWTH: MIRACLES OF FAITH

If you are instant in season, you are ready to bring lost sheep home to Jesus.  This is how new life is created in the Kingdom of God.  In bodybuilding one learns how to generate new cells in your body.  Preparation includes nutrition and rest cycles.  We can only work for a limited time before we need to be repaired, by resting.  The encouragement of new believers also requires us to rest, trusting God to finish teaching our new friends after a growth spurt.  Faith is his gift, not our works alone.

AFTER UNITY, OUTREACH = CONCEPTION

This is like planting seeds in God’s vineyard.  God created the life in the seed of faith, but we have to move it to good soil, and nurture it.  Then we can only wait and pray.  God also gives life to the human seed that gives us children.  When we are united with Christ, we can expect to see “children” of faith.  We are the church, the mother of these children.

Our outreach ministries are the nurturing that helps the family to reach maturity.

SENIORS KNOW: MARRIAGE BEYOND IMAGINATION-BETTER!

Marriage is our example; to demonstrate in a small way the union God planned for us.  Our tiny mind could not conceive the relationship without this carnal demonstration.  The church is the mother of new belief, and Jesus is the creator of faith.  As the bride of Christ we can only imagine what that union will be like.  As our natural imagination tries to understand what our earthly marriage will be like when we are still single, it fails.  In my experience, the imagination is silly, but the reality of human marriage (under Christ) is much better.  I enjoyed a true friendship for 16 years.  With Jesus we were a union of three partners, as a rope of three strong strands.  Now I can appreciate how we much shared in labor and in love.  We can be sure that the spiritual union is vastly superior to the best natural marriage.

COMMUNE WITH CLOUD; WITNESSES HERE AND NOW

You can ask your older Christian friends or read about those who lived before us about life in Christ.  They are so numerous as to appear like a fog or points of light in a dark sky.  Looking back at 2000 years of Christian witnesses, they shine like the Milky way.  They can testify of life in Christ, and the assurance of his promises yet to come.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Heb 12:1-2

SONG OF SOLOMON; THE WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT

The Song of Solomon examines the most famous discussion of godly marriage.  It will also reveal the greatest promise ever given to the Jews.  It is not without a warning though.  A dream sequence previews the tribulation.  It celebrates the greatest union of man and God, and points us away from the pain of seeking our own way. 

HOUSEHOLD CHORES  AND HONORS?

Heaven will bring responsibilities and honors.  It seems to promise power, perhaps a portion of that of the creator himself

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.  1 John 3:1-2 

And David observes that man has destiny greater than the angels in spite of a lower place at birth:

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  Psalms 8:4-6 (KJV)

God must judge men, to avoid giving that kind of power to the evil that lives in flesh.  Is it worth our time to allow him to make us righteous?  We won’t be angels in heaven; that would be a demotion!

PREVIEWS GIVEN; A DARK GLASS LIKE THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE

What can we see of heaven today?  The bible speaks of being caught up into the heavens.   The world we live in is a tiny part of the swirling matter of the universe.  The Hubble Space Telescope has sent images of the stars and the galaxies, but these are just faint images.  But heaven is also a spiritual realm.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  1 Cor 13:12

We will have knowledge of God even as he has of us now!  The heavens are only dimly revealed by our best views today, but more understanding will be released to us when we are received to Jesus.  What are some characteristics of our coming role?

YOU ARE CALLED TO MOTHER:  NURTURE AND FEED

Such promises require responsible service as partners in the family business of God.  Let me read some promises and responsibilities from the bible:

God;  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,  2 Timothy 1:9

God has invited you to be some one special.  He has a special purpose just for you.  Each of you is different, and he knows your special gift.

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.   Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.   Ezekiel 33:8-9

God makes you a guard in his castle and you must warn the holy city about the enemy coming to fight a war.  If you don’t warn them God will punish you for not warning them.  But if they do not listen, then God will not punish you, because you warned them.

YOU ARE KNOWN; AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE

Matchmaker, matchmaker…   The movie “Fiddler on the Roof” revealed a part of Jewish life, the arranged marriage.  We were joined to Christ by a marriage made in heaven, a pre-arranged marriage.  But even as children our assignment is established.

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Jeremiah 1:4-7

God knew you before you were bornHe made you my holy servant when you were a baby.  He will give you his words to say.  You can do it, even if you are just a child.

YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED

And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.  Exodus 4:10-12

He gives us the words and the wisdom we will need.

AND YOU HAVE HIS PROMISES

But God,… hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4

We are already sitting with God in heaven; even now we have a presence in heaven.

 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with ChristRomans 8:17-25

An heir is the one who will get his father’s possessions.  Jesus is the heir of God, but we are also heirs with him.  We are also part owners of all of this mighty creation.  But we are not greater than Jesus.  We can not forget that he came as a mortal, in humility.  He was submissive to God’s will that he should die in this life, to serve the will of the Father.

 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.   1 John 3:16-18

We will live here with people who we would not love for their goodness.  But we will overcome our nature, to take on his nature, for them.  A few of these are God’s lost sheep.  We can bring them back from enemy territory, and equip them to serve in a new army.  After all, WE DIDN’T COME TO JESUS BECAUSE WE WERE GOOD, BUT RATHER BECAUSE HE IS GOOD.

Advertisements