Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do Not Pass "Go" . . . Go Straight to Heaven

Each week I ask people to text me a question during the service and I choose one or two to answer in my BLOG. Last week I talked about death and I got this question: What's the point of Earth if Heaven's going to be so awesome? Why didn't God send us straight there?

Answer: Thanks for your excellent question, but I have to say there is an assumption in this question, which I will point out in a minute. There are at least four reasons that God does not send us directly to heaven, and here they are.

First of all, we are born on earth, so it would be impossible to bypass earth and go straight to heaven. The only inhabitants that start their existence in heaven, without going to earth, are angels. Angels are not born, they are created, man is generated (gened) through a birth process, involving both human and divine decisions.

The second reason God doesn't take us directly to heaven it that it is not His choice. There is an assumption in the question that whether we go to heaven or not is God's choice, but that is not true, it is our choice. God does not send anyone to either heaven or hell. He allows us to make that decision based on our acceptance or refusal of Christ as our savior and leader of our life (Jn. 3:16 & Acts 4:12). God has provided the way for everyone to go to heaven, based on our obedience to His plan. God doesn't choose who goes, we do.

A third consideration is that we grow, change and learn a lot about God while we walk this earth. God wants to "do life" with us here on earth. He made earth for us as a proving ground and a place for us to grow spiritually. Check out the parable of the talents (Matt. 25) and also how Jesus will reward us (I Cor. 3) to get a further picture.

Finally, we influence other people while we are here on earth. I am going to heaven because of the earthly influence of someone in my life, my father. I know that there will be people in heaven because of my influence and hopefully there will be people in heaven because of you. If we were to go straight to heaven, others would miss out on our influence and we would miss so much of what God wants us to expereince. We need to be ready for heaven at any moment, but willing to stay here and work with Him as long as His purposes require it.

Good question!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jesus for President

Did you watch the presidential debates? I don't know what went through your mind as you watched, but I was just frustrated. I am so glad that I am not going to do all my living here on earth. Someday there really will be one world leader and his name is Jesus. Until then we are relegated to follow frail men . . . God help us.

How are your stocks doing? Up . . .then down . . . then up. Do you see a pattern here? Jesus warned us abbout trusting in money, that it is not dependable, and he was right. There are a lot of people re-evaluating values and priorites these days, and that's agood thing.

When you think about the future, what comes to your mind? Yes, we'll have a new president soon and the stock market is going to do what it's going to do. It reminds me that I am a temporary citizen of both the United States and earth. I have a higher citizenship.

Eph 2:19 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household."

Saturday, October 11, 2008


WOW . . . what a brood. I know this picture isn't the best, but hey, it shows all the recent humans added to our family.
Noah is on Brenda's lap with Judah infront rubbing his nose and Kai is looking up watching everyone. I have the newest kids, Jocelyn and Taylin, two granddaughters in three weeks. That has to be some kind of record.
We love playing with them and then running out the door to a nice, quiet house. You what they say about grandkids, "If we'd known how much fun they were we would have had them first.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Why Students Leave Church

This week I had the opportunity to be at a conference with a bunch of other pastors. The speaker was good and I enjoyed being with friends that I only see occasionally, but that wasn’t my biggest take away.

Sometimes you can attend a three day conference and a one line sentence is your biggest take away, and that was my experience this time. One of the leaders asked us to pray for the students at this conference meeting in another room nearby. Then he said that one potent sentence I’m talking about.

“Do you know the number one reason why students leave the church?” he asked. He continued, “Between the ages of 15-18, 70% of students leave the church due to lack of relationships with other adults.” He then cited his source as the Barna Research Group.

Basically, he is saying that as students move into adulthood, they want to be part of the church community, but if they don’t feel welcomed by an adequate number of adults outside their family, then they began to look for life support from another community outside their church.

So what can you do about this? Simple. Get to know three young adults, between the ages of 13-20 in your church that are not part of your family. You will be helping to build a bridge for their fulture.