Fred Hill – Foundations – Wrap-Up
Week 6 into our Foundations series we were talking about Heaven & Hell.
To recap, at Celebration Church we believe in a real Heaven and a real Hell.
We spent some time going through different descriptions, images, characteristics of both places as we find in Scripture. And as I encouraged on Sunday, test everything – test what you heard on Sunday, test what you hold onto as your belief of these places, test it with your circle of friends and family, and most importantly – test it against Scripture.
If you would like to relisten to the sermon, it is available on HERE.
To put it simply, we get caught up with the idea of “How can a good God send people to hell?” but the thing is God loves us too much to take away our free will. He allows us the freedom and the opportunity to choose. It is a choice that is available for everyone to make – choose God or reject God, choose life or choose death.
We also have to keep in mind that Heaven is not the reward – Christ is! We are made to worship and we are made to be in unity with God – and to do that we have to become Christ-like and to be where He is, which is Heaven. Heaven is just part of the package of the reward.
God has made a way for everyone to be made clean, He has made a way to wipe away all the sins so that everyone can be reconciled to Himself. This is a gift that must be accepted and received though. God will never force it on anyone, but makes it available to everyone.
And this is what God wants people to choose, he does not desire ANYONE to perish but rather EVERYONE to come to life.
This Sunday I ended with the following verse which captured me and I believe we need to take to heart – for our own lives and for those around us.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
That is God’s desire – to see people repent and be saved and be gifted with eternal life.
May our heart break for what breaks God’s heart, and may we move to action to love those around us into a right relationship with God.
This coming Sunday we are wrapping up our Foundations series which will include a recap on the past weeks as well as allow an opportunity for questions to be answered. If you have further questions on any of the topics, things we did not cover or things you require more clarity on, please email myself or Fred by the end of today (Tuesday – February 9th) and we will do our best to address your questions. Cam – email@example.com or Fred – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Heaven & Hell”
Cam Liske – Foundations – Heaven & Hell
This past weekend we talked about angels at church. Neat subject. I had never really explored the ideas or truths about angels before so this was an interesting study for me. It reminded me of the important value of investigating what is actually in the scriptures, not just what I think is in the scriptures.
Angels have wings, right? Well – I didn’t find that in the scriptures. I guess that doesn’t prove they don’t have wings, but I couldn’t come to the conclusion that they do either. It’s a very subtle thing – but points to a much larger and more important issue. There is so much misinformation out there on biblical subjects – so many people interpreting scripture for you that you have to be very careful.
Study the word of God for yourself. Test long held beliefs with what you can actually find and support through the scriptures. Get involved with other brothers and sisters in Christ – and study the Word together. Ask God to provide you with wisdom and insight into the scriptures.
As we learn together, as we come to understand more and more of God, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our natural inclination will be to want to know more, to be more like them and to spend more time with them.
One of the most common reactions I found in scripture relating to encounters with angels was fear and reverence. God’s angels were created by Him to worship Him, to be His messengers, to help effect His will on earth. When people encountered angels, and knew they were encountering angels, they fell face down in reverence and fear. But they did one other thing – they listened for the message and were obedient to follow it through. Usually they were already on God’s mission and the angel was providing further instruction, or encouragement to carry on – so obedience was a decision that had already been made. But in some cases they were receiving amazing messages instructing them to carry out activities that would only be possible through complete trust and obedience.
As we spend more time intimately studying God’s word, we build a more trusting relationship with Him. As that trust grows – when we hear from God, from the Holy Spirit or from a Rhema (living) Word out of the scriptures – we can choose obedience as a response because it comes from a relationship of trust.
What are you trusting God for right now? What are you hearing from God right now? What are you finding that seems new and exciting in the scriptures right now? The staff at Celebration, or your caregroup would love to know. Why not share with someone what you’re hearing and what you’re believing God for this week.
Fred Hill, Pastor
Fred Hill – Foundations – Angels