This Sunday I will be finishing up our short series on Heaven. In the short time we have been able to dwell on this wonderful topic together I know we have hardly begun to scratch the surface. In light of this fact, you may want to continue your own study and reading about our future as Christians. Here are two resources I found particularly helpful in the preparation of my sermons on Heaven. Maybe you will be encouraged by them as well.
I had not heard of Paul D. Wolfe before I read this book, but I was very impressed! A wonderful book on being heavenly minded.
It is probably worth reading anything written by Paul Tripp, and this book is no exception! Tripp always has wonderful insights about human nature and motivation, and he applies this skill to how an eternal perspective (or lack thereof) impacts us as Christians. The book covers some of the same ground as Wolfe’s book, but their styles and perspectives are varied enough that you could read both books and not feel like they were redundant.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan
LMCC Men’s Work Day
This Saturday, June 28
8:00 am – noon
All skill levels welcome. Coffee and breakfast items will be provided.
Most of us have probably heard this phrase (or something very similar): “Too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” This seems to be a phrase used to describe people who are so focused on heaven that they neglect their responsibilities in this world. Hopefully it goes without saying that it is decidedly unbiblical to neglect our responsibilities here on earth. However, what troubles me more about this whole issue is that the above phrase seems to imply that we as Christians should be careful not be too mindful of heaven. As I look at my own life, and the lives of fellow Christians I really do not think that we need to be encouraged to be less heavenly minded in our Christian lives. I think we are far more prone to neglect thinking about eternity and living in light of it. Paul Tripp, in his book Forever: Why You Can’t Live Without It, says that we often function as “eternity amnesiacs” (p. 12). While we know heaven exists and are vaguely comforted by this fact, we really don’t dwell on it like we should.
I have been working on preparing a short sermon series on Heaven, and this has forced me to ask, “Does the Bible encourage us to be less heavenly minded so that we might not become less good here on earth?” It probably comes as no surprise that we find precisely the opposite message in the Bible. The Bible seems to continuously exhort Christians to be more heavenly minded, not less. Look at passages like 2 Cor. 4.17-18, Col. 3.1-4, and 1 Pet. 1.13. All of these passages tell us to think on things above, and to be ever-mindful of heavenly realities. In fact, these passages seem to indicate that the more heavenly minded we become, the more equipped we are to live righteously here on the earth. The passages listed above show that we can face the realities of suffering and trials, and live more righteous and godly lives the more aware we are of heavenly realities and of our eternal destinies as Christians. It seems that, in the Bible’s view of things, if we are no earthly good, the problem is probably that we are not heavenly minded enough!
Of course we still have to ask ourselves what it means to be heavenly minded, and what that looks like. We will see some of this in the upcoming sermon series. But I don’t believe that we as Christians need to be challenged to be less mindful of heaven, and of God’s Kingdom; we need to be more mindful of these things. And as we are more mindful of these realities, we will love our neighbors better, obey God more consistently, and face trials and tribulations with faith and perseverance. In short, we will be of immense earthly good.
Pastor Nathan Hogan
It is graduation season! This means lots of ceremonies and celebrations. This also means that both students and parents are often looking for resources to help transition into and navigate college life. One great resource you may want to check out (if you haven’t already) is a book called Thriving at College by Alex Chediak. This book is written to and for college students (or soon to be college students). The author is a college professor at California Baptist University, so has a lot of experience with college students and the various struggles they face. He presents 10 common mistakes that college students often make while in college and goes on to provide biblical, practical and wise counsel about these issues. Some of the topics covered include: maintaining your faith in college, maturity, relating to the opposite sex, balancing responsibilities, grades, and many others. Students, this can be a helpful book in helping you to navigate this very big transition in your lives. Parents, this can be a great tool to put in the hands of your students. Just to give you a taste of what the author attempts to accomplish with this book he says, “College is a temporary season of academic preparation and growth so that you can serve God more effectively with the rest of your adult life. If you’ve chosen to go to college, then God’s plan is that college be a springboard into all that goes with responsible Christian adulthood” (pp. 26-27).
Two more quick items regarding this resource: 1) Some of the material deals specifically with those students who go away to college and live on campus. However, most of the material in the book is just as relevant for those attending college near home. 2) The author, Alex Chediak, also wrote another book titled Preparing Your Teens for College. As the title implies this is a book written to and for parents of college students, and soon to be college students. I have not read this book myself, but I am sure it would prove helpful.
May God give you students and parents faith and wisdom as you navigate these college years.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan
I was reading one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons today, and came across this wonderful quote about the sufficiency of God’s Word. Spurgeon stated, “Believer! there is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon forever…if thou shouldst live till Christ should come upon the earth, there would be no necessity for the addition of a single word; if thou shouldst go down as deep as Jonah…there would be enough in the Bible to comfort thee without a supplementary sentence.”
Even with the somewhat dated way of speaking, I think the power of the quote is easy to see. We love things that are new and exciting, and I think we sometimes worry that God’s Word can’t possibly be sufficient for salvation and godliness for our whole lives. We go looking for newer and flashier ways of growing in the Lord, because on some level we struggle to believe that God’s Word as it is read, studied, and preached can possibly be sufficient for our growth in the Lord. However, the more we study God’s Word, the more we see that we will never outlive the sufficiency of the Scriptures. As Spurgeon so eloquently put it, even if we live until the return of Christ, there would not be the need for a single additional word in the Bible for our lives as Christians. We should be eternally grateful for the sufficiency of God’s Word, for in it are the words of eternal life, and godliness. We can rest easy that God’s Word will never outlive its usefulness and sufficiency in our lives.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan