Saturday, January 16, 2016

Who is your Theophilus?

As we read the beginning statement of the Gospel of Luke, we see he writes to Theophilus.
There are many theories of who this person was, but essentially he was someone to whom Luke wanted the truth of Christ to be known.  So...who is that in your life?  Is there someone you know who desperately needs to know more about who Jesus is?

This past week I had a brief conversation with a teacher, who used to be catholic growing up, but then converted to Mormonism.  And I asked her, how does she know that the book of Mormon represents the true Jesus, and is not just man made?
She launched into this long discussion about her Mayan background, and how she feels Jesus appeared to her people many times in history, and thus it made sense to her that he would communicate, as odd as it is, letter by letter to Joseph Smith, even though that is not at all how God formed the entire rest of scripture.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to finish our conversation.  But it even more emphasized to me how important it is to know who Jesus really is.

The Source Church this year is now embarking a study of the most important and influential person in human history!  The four Gospels record truly the “greatest story ever told.”  In them we see the birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah.  Even for those who do not follow Jesus, the gospels are an incredibly accurate and specific account of the very real person of Jesus—the most influential life that has ever lived, whether or not you believe in Him.  He has affected history like no other!
Because of Him, great things have been done.  When we look at those who have been feed, educated, protected…and from all major people groups around the world…all in the name of Jesus, His impact is clear.  As we retell history, however, we hear of great evil that has also been done “in his name.”

This makes our task this year an imperative one:
Our goal is to understand WHO this person of Jesus really was, what He was really like, and how he wants his followers to truly live.
And to do that, we turn primarily to the Gospels, which are not merely human documents but the inspired and authoritative Word of God.

So once again...who is your Theophilus?  Who in you life desperately needs you to show them the true Jesus?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Goals

Well it is 2016!
And for many, the first question that comes to mind is... "What will this year hold."  Then, knowing that a year is what we make of it, many of us aptly ask, "What will I choose to MAKE of this year?"
Do you have any New Years Resolutions?  I know each year some make them on a whim...and then they quickly get left behind.  Others, because of this fact, look down on the concept of New Years Resolutions, and point out their seemingly apparent folly.  They most often respond by simply continuing life as they always have.  But that can be a problem in and off itself.
Because of this, I am more apt to encourage people to make resolutions.  And not just New Years resolutions...but new month resolutions, new week resolutions, and even new day resolutions.  Even the business world sees the value in making daily and weekly 'goals.'  Why?  Because "we will miss 100% of the goals we don't make"...or something like that.
Do we have goals for this year at The Source Church?  Absolutely! We will be sharing them at the annual business meeting (such a dry title...but for lack of a better term) on Sunday, January 17.  I hope all of our members can be there!

"Marriage in Heaven?"

In following up with our Eternity Series (from a while ago), here are a few more answers to questions concerning Relationships:

Will We Desire Relationships with Anyone Except God?Christ is “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last” (Revelation 22:13).  He alone is sufficient to meet all our needs.
However, God has also designed us for relationships not only with himself but also with others.  After God created the world, he pronounced it “very good."  But before He was done, He said that it was not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).  Though we will need and desire no one more than Jesus in Heaven, he will still be glorified by our relationships with each other.
Will we keep our Friendships?Receiving a glorified body and relocating to the New Earth doesn’t erase history; we will still remember our lives.  Heaven won’t be without families, rather we will be one big family, in which all family members are friends and all friends are family members. We’ll have family relationships with any and all people. That’s why we call other believers our “brothers and sisters” now.  If you lived this life without the relationships God meant for you, you will have them in eternity. 
Now we get to a few harder questions:
Is there Marriage in Heaven?The Bible is not clear about marriage after death.  But allow me to present briefly both sides of the issue.
Those who quickly say “no”, refer to the comment made by Jesus in Matthew 22 (also repeated in Luke 20:27-38 and Mark 12:18-27) Vs.29 "Jesus replied, 'You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." 
Those who say ‘No Marriage’ Point to:- The purpose of Marriage in Genesis was because Man felt alone on the earth…and thus he was given a close help mate.  In the Immediate Heaven, there is no reason to be alone, or feel alone.  All needs will be met there.  We clearly can still have a close relationship with our spouse, but we will have a similar relationship with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Another argument is that marriage was also for procreation…and there is no need for that in the new Earth.
- We are married to Christ. That the church is the bride of Christ, and the earthly marriage is only a picture of what that marriage will be like.
- The Law of marriage is dissolved by death.  Romans is clear that the law of marriage comes to an end at death. (Romans 7:2)
Thus we are properly 'married' to Christ in eternity.

Those who say Marriage Continues in Heaven:
- Jesus may have given the Sadducees an indirect answer. Some say that, like numerous other passages, Jesus doesn’t answer their questions directly, but rather what they needed to hear, usually concerning their true intention.  The Sadducees did not believe in the future bodily resurrection, and thus Jesus twice notes the resurrection in His answer to them.  They felt that by asking this questions that was too hard to answer, they would make Jesus stumble, even more proving their position of no resurrection.  Jesus could possibly be simply commenting on the legal contract.  If we don’t die in the future resurrected life, than there is no legal contract to a spouse.
Jesus is simply saying what heaven is NOT like.  Some theologians suggest that Jesus is saying that people just are not “given” in marriage in heaven.  They say Jesus is simply saying that in heaven they do not arrange weddings in the same way that people do on earth.
- God made marriage to be beautiful before the fall of sin.  Genesis 1:27 shows us that in a perfect world He made them male and female, and it was VERY good, then why wouldn’t that continue in the future Earth They say that if our relationship with God is like a marriage, would it make sense that what He likens it to would end at death?
- True marriage was meant to be an eternal covenant.  Matthew 19:6 - "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."  Perhaps the Bible does not teach there will be no marriage in Heaven. Rather it shows one very important marriage, between Christ and his bride—and we’ll all be part of it.  Paul shows that human marriage is a mirror to our relationship with Christ:
          Ephesians 5:31-32 - “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
Our union on Earth points to our relationship with Christ as our bridegroom.  Once we reach the destination, our picture of that eternal relationship becomes unnecessary. Our marriage to Christ will be so satisfying, that even the most wonderful earthly marriage couldn’t be as fulfilling.
Will there be Intimacy in Heaven?
As we talked about, we will remain male and female in our resurrection bodies.  If human marriage existed before the fall, I would expect it to be a part of the renewal of all things.  God made sex to be beautiful, and I do not except that it is unworthy of eternity.
However some reason that this the one exception to the rule.  They say that sexual relations had a purpose of populating the Earth.  Now that that is no longer necessary, neither is sex.  Also, if you believe marriage does not continues, then there is probably no sexual intimacy in Heaven as well.
If that answer disappoints you, keep in mind that children often think there is nothing better in life than their limited understanding allows.  It stands to reason that we cannot even imagine of the great things in heaven, that will far surpass the good things here.  
Will there be newborn Babies in Heaven?
Most theologians do NOT believe there will be procreation in the Future Heavens and Earth.  The wait we have now for eternity is for the preordained number of saved to come to pass.  Thus  once Heaven has a designated population saved, that is the number that will reside in the New Heavens and Earth for eternity.

(Hope this was helpful.  You are always free to ask questions and respond in the comments below.)