Eternity Now and Forever

Sermon Summary

This is the final message of the series "The Gospel Magnified." This message speeks of the peace, provision, and resulting praise that comes to a person who accepts the truth of John 3:16 and allows Jesus to become a part of their life in this world. The second half of the sermon highlights how God’s peace and provision are forever and how those blessings will overflow into amazing praise and worship in Heaven. (Rev. 5)

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. When discussing this message in our staff devotional time, Dr. Jeff Nave made the following two statements: "Real peace comes not from present circumstances but future certainty." "Some people, even when their circumstances in life are really good, still have no peace." Do you agree with these statements? Why or why not?

2. When a person accepts the truth of John 3:16 and invites Jesus Christ to be their Savior, two big things happen at once and both have a profound impact on the ability to have inner peace. The two things are forgiveness of our past mistakes, and the presence of God in our present circumstances! Discuss how God's forgiveness and presence have brought peace into your life?

Heb 10:16  "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."
Heb 10:17  Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
Heb 10:18  And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Heb 10:19  Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,
Heb 10:21  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
Heb 10:22  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

3. Another wonderful benefit of having Jesus as our Savior is the way He brings His provision into our lives, not just material provision, but in other aspects of our lives as well. Read the following passage from Paul and see if you can pick out some other things Jesus provides to us.

Eph 1:15  For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
Eph 1:16  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Eph 1:17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Eph 1:18  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
Eph 1:20  which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
Eph 1:21  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

4. Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Discuss how this verse might relate to living a life of praise and then to our experience of praise when we get to Heaven.

Full Sermon Notes

Eternity Now and Forever

"Let the King of my heart be the mountain where I run, the fountain I drink from, oh, He is my song. Let the King of my heart be the shadow where I hide. The ransom for my life oh, He is my song!" Powerful lyrics that speak of what Jesus becomes to those who understand and accept the truth of John 3:16...

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Eternal life, everlasting life. I said it last week and I'll say it again this week...

"My eternal life begins before I die and people who don't know Christ are perishing way before they die!"

This is why I have such a passion to share the gospel, the good news, the truth about John 3:16 with the world! Let's go to the Lord and ask Him to speak to our hearts this morning in a way that will inspire us to not only believe John 3:16, but to live John 3:16 now and forever!
Let's PRAY!!

Before we get started this morning with the message, I wanted to say how much I appreciate Jay and the others who are going back to Texas today to do more relief work! And I know there are many who could not go, but have given supplies and monetary gifts. Thank you so very much for allowing God to use you in such a powerful way! Week before last, I got a call from Dr. John Babler, one of the staff members at Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth Texas. That's the church that sent 20 or more groups over to help us after Katrina. John told me they were helping a church down in Rockport Texas that was devastated by Hurrican Harvey. He asked me if they could fly me down there to encourage their staff and then speak a message to the congregation on Sunday morning. So for two days next weekend, I will be your missionary to share the Northshore Church story of how you can get wiped out by a storm, but come back strong because of the power of God and His people coming together to overcome adversity! And you're going to be blest to hear Dr. Reggie Ogea, Andrew's Dad, a very powerful man of God. He will kick off our new series, "The Gospel Unleashed!" You won't want to miss that one!

Ok, two weeks ago I only had one point in my sermon: Whoever means whoever! Last week there were two main points: Whoever believes in Him, and shall not perish! This week there are three points twice! That's right, three points twice. I'll explain as we look at Eternity now and forever! Actually I decided to just let the Bible do most of the explaining today. It does a better job than me anyway. So let's read our text again...

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Since eternity starts for a Christian at the time they make the decision to let Jesus become their Savior, there are many things that begin to become a part of their life in the here and now! Things that aren't just for the sweet by and by! We're going to look at three of those things from two different perspectives: Now and forever.  

Now

When a person accepts Jesus as their Savior they discover...

Peace Now

They could be in a war zone, but there's something about meeting and trusting Jesus to be your Savior that brings peace no matter the circumstances. That peace comes for several reasons. First there's the peace of knowing your sins have all been forgiven!

Romans 4:4-8 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.
However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

And then there's the peace of knowing that God is present with you in every circumstance, and I do mean any circumstance no matter how bad! I just love the way Paul spoke of this concept in 2 Corinthians chapter 1...

2:3-5 Corinthians Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

It's because of John 3:16 that Paul was able to be comforted! How do I know that? Because he speaks of the sufferings of Christ and how through Christ his comfort overflowed. And if you had any question about the severity of the issues Paul face and what you are going through listen to what Paul says in vs 8-11...

2 Corinthians 2:8-11 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under
great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.
Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely
on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our
behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

But our eternal life that comes through Jesus and begins when we allow Him to become our Savior not only includes peace it also includes...

Provision Now

Paul reminds the Philippians of this...

Philippians 4:19-And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

I don't have to wait for heaven for God to begin to provide for me. And this provision is not just monetary or material provision. Oh He'll definitely do that, but Paul tells the Ephesians…

Ephesians 1:15-21 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to
which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given,  
not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

That's eternity now and forever!!! And what a list of provisions...

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation to know Him Better!

The eyes of our hearts enlightened to know hope!

The riches of His Glorious inheritance!

His incomparable great power!

And when God provides all that in your life what happens next is naturally supernatural!

Praise Now

Paul tells the Colossian Church to get their praise on, but before he does he reminds them why they should give praise to God…

Colossians 3:1-4 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Now, listen to what he tells them to do in regards to praise...

Colossians 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and
spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

And I love that last verse which tells us not to just praise God with our words, but to praise God with our deeds! And just in case you're not sure what it looks like to praise God with deeds, Paul spells it out in verses 12-14...

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Ok, but John 3:16 says those who believe will not perish but have eternal life, so surely this is not just about life here on earth now. You're right, it's not! It's also about eternity...

Forever

Peace Forever

Now we know we have peace in this world no matter what happens, but in this world our peace is not 100 percent! In fact Jesus said this...

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And because He overcame the world we have the promise of eternal peace without trouble. In fact Jesus told His disciples this...

John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”

In heaven we will have peace because of this promise found in The Book of Revelation…

Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  
Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Eternity will not only bring us eternal peace, it will also give us an eternity of provision. Every thing we will need will be provided because of Jesus! Listen to the next two verses...

Provision Forever

Revelation 21:6-7 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Why does it say we will be given to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life? It's because of John 3:16!! Jesus paid it all when He became sin for us and took our punishment! And listen to these amazing words about the source for our provisions in eternity...

Revelation 21:22-25 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

I don't know about you, but I think I now understand why Paul said this in regards to now and eternity...

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Okay, one last thing!  

Praise Forever!

As wonderful as our praise and worship is each and every week, I sometimes find myself just wondering what it will be like and like the famous song, "I can only Imagine!" However, we get a glimpse in Revelation 5 which happens to be one of my favorite passages in all the Bible! Get ready for amazing and it's all brought to us compliments of John 3:16...

Revelations 5:1-14 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.
And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.
I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.
He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures
and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and
they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you
purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They
encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor
and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits
on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

It's so appropriate that we end our worship time today with an invitation to those who would like to receive Jesus as their Savior, or those who need to recommit their lives to Him and those who have prayer concerns. But also, today we have tables set up around the room so we can remember the sacrifice of that perfect lamb of God who was slain for our transgressions.

We must never forget that the healing of our sin sickness was only possible by the stripes, the nails and the crown of thorns Jesus endured for you and me! Today we invite you to receive Him as your Savior and if you already have, we invite you to go to one of the tables and take a moment to reflect and remember. The bread that represents the broken Body of Christ is there. The juice that represents the blood Jesus poured out to cover your sins and mine! Let's pray and then you can make your way to one of the Lord Supper tables or you can come down front and pray with one of our staff.