LOOKING BEYOND

Andy Hollifield 5-3-18
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
As I sat in church on Wednesday night, I heard people talking about things that their friends and family were going through. I also thought about some of the things that people I knew were going through. Pastor Terry Sprouse was talking about the fact that we all have problems. The way he put it was, “It don’t just rain at your house, it rains at mine too.” Of course, he was speaking about the storms of life. None of us are exempt and they come to all of us sooner or later. I have always believed that a born again Christian always lives in one of three places. You are either heading into a storm, smack dab in the middle of one, or just coming out of one. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic by no means but if you think about it and accept that those are the facts of life, you will spend a lot less time defeated spiritually. If you know that the forecast calls for rain on a given day, you take an umbrella or a rain coat and try to park close to the building wherever you are. It’s just being prepared. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have  tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Those battles, as hard as they may be, should encourage us to look past our troubles and look toward that home that awaits us.
There was a song that the REDEEMED QUARTET quartet from Rogersville, Tennessee used to sing entitled “Keep Looking Beyond.” The message of the song was that during stormy, rough, times in our lives that we just need to keep looking beyond this life and look toward what is waiting on us. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” In John 14:2-3 Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” That should most definitely give us something to Keep Looking Beyond for.
Revelation 21:1-4 describes the place that Jesus was talking about. (1) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” That is unspeakably wonderful but there is still more. Rev 22:1-5 (1) “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (5) And there shall be no more night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.” If you want to look back at Revelation 21:22-27 “(22) And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (24) And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (25) And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. (26) And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. (27) And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 2:17 says that we are going to get a white stone with a new name in it that no one knows except the one that receives it. Revelation 4 goes on to describe the throne and also the 24 elders.
Well, how is that for encouraging. I didn’t even get into talking about all of the saints that are there. I didn’t even talk about when Satan is cast into the lake of fire. That is why the bible says “neither has it entered into the heart of man.” We can’t even begin to imagine how wonderful heaven is going to be. Can you imagine living in the very physical presence of the one that gave his life that we might live and have forgiveness of our sins? We will be with all of those that have ever trusted the Lord throughout the ages. I hope that this little glimpse of what is waiting ahead for us will pick you up wherever you are today. This is just scratching the surface of what awaits us and that is even aside from all of the reunions with loved ones and friends. Isn’t heaven going to be worth it all? And to me, one of the best things that is not going to be there with us is that same devil that has afflicted me either spiritually, physically, and emotionally all of my life. To be able to leave him standing on this side of the river when I make my crossing or leave out in the rapture, what a joy that is going to be. I hope you have been helped enough to where, when trouble hits, you can keep looking beyond. This ain’t as good as it gets for a child of God! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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