Today’s sermon message by our guest pastor, Rev. Phil Taylen at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana, focused on the theological basis for our assurance of Eternity in Heaven.
It was timely, especially given the fact that this is the week my only sibling, my sister Sally, went to her eternal home.
If you die today, do you know where you’re going from here?
Is it Hell or a Black Hole?
My guess is that the choice is pretty clear. I was looking for a picture of a black hole… because some people believe this is it! We’re here and then we’re nowhere. A black hole… that’s where they think they’re going. They don’t believe there is a place called Hell where they will burn in the fires of an afterlife separated from God.
Or is it Heaven?
Rev. Phil Taylen’s sermon was titled, “Soaring with Eagles.” He began with that question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” His answer was part of a movement he called “The Evangelism Explosion.” Even though he grew up in the Presbyterian Church, he was ordained by an Evangelical Ministry – and his sermon lecture today definitely got down to the basics!
Heaven by Grace
Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor poured out on us.
Grace can’t be earned or deserved.
Heaven is a free gift.
He cited Ephesians 2: 8-9 as further proof of the point he was teaching and preaching:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works,
lest any man should boast.”
Not By Man
Good works are important, but they will not save us.
I am a sinner.
I can’t save myself.
He cited John 8:24 to prove his message that man cannot save himself:
“Unless you believe that
I am who I claim to be,
you will die in your sins.”
God gave us basic instructions to live by before leaving earth.
God is Love.
God is just and righteous.
In the Bible, our instruction book, God told us:
Be still, and know that I am God. …
Heaven Through Christ
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus Christ is God.
Faith is Belief
Faith is the Connector.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I don’t see the whole staircase. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, but I do not believe God will send all the Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists to Hell because they do not share my belief in Jesus as a part of the Trinity.
I believe God is bigger than religion. I believe God is omnipotent. I believe God knows all people – and He sees them through His eyes, not mine. That may make me a non-believer in some evangelical eyes. But I believe God is more inclusive than we can fathom.
I find enormous comfort in my faith – my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ – and I want to share that comfort and love with all I meet. I believe 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as quoted below:
Do you believe in Christ?
Thanks for visiting today.
Have a Blessed Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.