Monthly Archives: June 2012

Heaven in 5 Minutes

We asked Pastor Bill Warrick what he would say if he only had five minutes to tell someone about Heaven.  (Then we asked him several questions, so we ended up with more than five minutes.)

This is the third in our series of posts on the subject of Heaven.  The previous posts highlighted thoughts from Randy Alcorn’s Heaven, and presented an interesting look at Heaven through the lens of science (with scores of Scriptural references).

It turns out—contrary to what many people believe—the Bible has a great deal to say about Heaven.  And it’s amazingly encouraging to consider God’s plan for each of us.

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D.L. Moody’s Bow Wake

I think about Jesus Christ’s words in John 16:33 a lot:

“…In this world you will have trouble…”

D.L. Moody built upon this obvious truth when he characterized his life’s mission in a verbal self-portrait:

“I don’t find any place where God says that the world is to grow better and better…I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel, God has given me a lifeboat and said to me, `Moody, save all you can.’ ”

D.L. MoodyOf course Moody was right.  The world is a sinking ship—just read the Bible. Or read the news.  As Mark Driscoll would say, “There, now you know.  You won’t be disappointed.”

Armed with this maritime perspective, it is very easy for us to rationalize the disappointments of our circumstances and culture.  “The world is going to hell in a handbasket!”  Right?

Not so fast.

We need to get over Moody’s bow wake.  Both and.  The wisdom in Moody’s statement is at the end.  It’s what Moody was called to do.  He didn’t sit in judgment of the sinking ship, and—as Dick Woodward said when I first heard this quote in a Mini Bible College lesson years ago—Moody did’t try to fix the ship or keep it from sinking.  He spent his life working passionately to lead people to Jesus Christ.

Moody was a remarkable man, born poor, in harsh circumstances.  He couldn’t afford a higher education, so he studied on his own.  And his study made all the difference.  He made the most of his time and gifts.

If anger is rooted in unmet expectations, there are a lot of people who are angry at God because things don’t appear to be getting any better.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our world is indeed a sinking ship.  But if that’s all Christians have got as a comeback, we’re really missing the boat.  Time for a little more study.  God loves us and has a perfect plan—it’s our understanding of that plan that often needs some work.  The Apostle Paul had his own bow wake in Romans 12:2:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Scripture is full of verses admonishing us not to put our hope in the things of this world.  It also tells us that our hope is in the next world.

Or as Jesus offered at the end of John 16:33,

“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The best thoughts are orbital—they keep circling and circling and we’re never quite done with them.

Nick Vujicic

Getting C.S. Lewis

C.S. LewisC.S. Lewis has always been hard for me to read.  I started out with an immature dislike of the man’s writings—because one of his science fiction classics was on my summer reading list in junior high.  I didn’t get much out of the little bit that I actually read.

To get C.S. Lewis you have to know something about his subject, or at least have formed an opinion or prejudice.  Consider his famous “Trilemma Argument” from Mere Christianity:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

He seldom wrote merely to supply information.  He argued.  He defended.  To take on his trilemma argument you have to know more than a little about what Jesus actually said.  And then you have to interpret—and therein lies the efficacy of C.S. Lewis.

It helps to get to know him a little bit as a person, not merely as an Oxford don.  To this day he is reviled and revered.  He died the same day that JFK was assassinated.  He smoked and met colleagues and friends in the Eagle and Child pub.  He loved, he lost, and he hurt.  And he reasoned himself out of atheism.  He is one of the most widely published and influential Christian authors of all time.  But there were only 21 people at his funeral.

Here is a fascinating essay that provides some insight into his character.  As tempting as it might be to jump ahead to the videos, don’t miss this essay.  You might identify with this reluctant but nonetheless effective evangelist.

The following videos describe his enduring significance (notice the Chi Rho) and his home life.  It helps to know a little about the man before you get into his writing.

Faith and reason. Who knew?

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