(upbeat music) – Hey, what’s going on we’re (indistinct) we’re so glad to have you joining us again digitally for church today We are excited about where we’re gonna do, and we’re excited to have you with us So this is your very first time of course, we are really grateful to have you joining us What you’re actually gonna experience is kind of like what you would experience if we were in this building in person And we hope to be doing that at some point in the near future, but we’ll tell you all about that here in the coming few weeks So today we’re gonna do some things that we always do We’re gonna sing a little bit some incredible friends of ours people who you probably have grown to love as well, EB and Keith and Abby, Caleb They’re gonna lead us in our time of worship And then I’m gonna continue our local series today We’re talking about heaven We’ve called it no place like home, but we’re gonna talk about what it looks like to find a hope in something that we’ve never been to We really can’t talk to people who have, and so how do we find hope in a place that we don’t really understand, but we’re gonna do that after we sing together So again, thanks for joining us today And we’re gonna sing some, we’d love you to sing along with us as well Hey, welcome back to second installment

of No Place Like Home, excited that you are here

If you miss last week, you should definitely catch up although this week will be helpful I hope even if you don’t check out the first installment, now we’re gonna talk about waiting for a minute And the reason is because none of us like waiting I hate to admit it but those of you who know me, this will be shocking to you I am not the most patient person I don’t really like waiting at all I hate waiting In fact, if there is any way to avoid a wait I will take it If there’s a way to avoid the line, I will take it I might have even been known to cut in line as a child because I hated waiting even then I learned at an early age, even when we believe the wait is worth it, it’s next to impossible to do it Like even when we know what we’re waiting for is gonna be worth it it’s so hard to wait I can’t believe amusement parks even made it An amusement park is basically one long wait, you should never do this But if you tallied up the time you spend waiting at the amusement park against the time you spent experiencing the ride at the amusement park, you’d probably never go back I’m the reason that the fast pass actually exists, or if you go to universal studios, I’m the reason in Orlando, you can stay on property at the Hard Rock cafe hotel, Lowe’s Portofino Bay or Lowe’s port Royal and get unlimited front of the line passes the day you check in and the day you check out, that may be the most important thing you hear from us all morning It’s an incredible opportunity to ride before everybody else And it helps you skip the lines I think part of the reason I hate lines so much, actually when I was about 10, I went to Disney world and we were there with my cousin and her family She’s two years younger We got in line for space mountain Have you ever rode space mountain? That line can be really long So we’re in line I think it was for seven, eight hours, probably an hour and a half We get to the very front of the line We’re about to get on and she looks at me and says, I have to go to the bathroom And I say, that’s incredible It’s gonna take two minutes We can go right after she says, no, I can’t wait And we literally stepped through the cart to the other side and had to exit without riding Maybe that’s why I’m so anti wait I don’t know But we’re all anti waiting, aren’t we? I mean, this is the reason that we had to replace the Crock-Pot with the Instapot, because why would you crock when you can Insta? I mean, we all hate waiting so much This is why we don’t like going to the doctor It’s not the shots or any of that We don’t like going to the doctor because you know you’re gonna wait You can’t even get out of it, but they have named a room for it and you know they’re gonna use it You remember you sit in that waiting room, all the old magazines, and you’re waiting on that door to open and them to call your name And it opens and they call everybody else’s name and eventually the door opens and call your name and you stand up and you look real proud You’re like look around and all the other suckers that are gonna be stuck there And you walk through the door, but you’re not seeing the doctor

You know what you’re doing, right? You’re gonna the second smaller waiting room That’s much colder And you’re usually wearing a paper robe It’s miserable We hate waiting, but why do we not revolt at the doctor? Why do we stand in line at the amusement park? I think it’s because waiting can be worth it Waiting is actually easier when we know what’s waiting for us The reason that we waited at the doctor’s office is because we hope on the other side, what’s waiting for us is some medicine, a diagnosis, some help The reason we can stand in line at Disney or all the amusement parks is because we know what’s waiting for us A couple of minutes of a great experience on a ride It’s worth the wait it’s worth waiting When we know what’s at least waiting for us, but have you ever waited without knowing what’s waiting for you? Like, have you ever waited and not known how long it was gonna take and what you were gonna experience on the other side? That’s part of the problem I think that we have with heaven in this conversation, we’ve been talking about heaven Last week we looked at this letter that Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome And you remember what he said about heaven he said last week, he said, but if we hope which we’re doing, we’re hoping for what we do not yet have heaven We wait for it patiently, but we don’t wanna wait for it patiently It’s so difficult to wait patiently for anything, much less something that we don’t fully understand And in a very real way, earth is kind of heaven’s waiting room But instead of having old outdated magazines, we just have pain and we have suffering We have dissension, we have tears, we have loneliness I wish we had just bad magazines And I know that isn’t that encouraging because it doesn’t feel that hopeful And really that’s the struggle I mean, therein lies the struggle with waiting and heaven I don’t want to wait patiently I don’t even wanna wait impatiently I don’t wanna wait at all and you don’t either None of us wanna wait And I know it sounds good in theory, but practically living patiently and hope for heaven That is not easy at all When I started thinking about all the reasons that we struggle to wait and kind of place our hope in something that we haven’t seen yet and haven’t experienced yet, I really came up with a there’s a bunch of different things that I think create complications for us But I just wanna talk about two specific things that make the struggle real The first one we’ve already talked about a little bit is when it comes to heaven, we just don’t really know what’s waiting for us We just don’t really know This is why the doctor and the amusement part can make it I mean, we don’t love the wait, but at least we know what’s waiting for us We hope it will be worth it But when it comes to heaven, we just don’t really know what’s waiting for us It makes the waiting It makes the hoping so difficult I mean, come on I’ve never been there I’ve never talked to anybody who’s been there If you were to move to a new city, some of you have done that before Did you just move in blindly or did you do some research? Of course you did research I mean, you’ve looked at the school systems, you looked up neighborhoods, you investigated, you learned as much as you could so that you, when you arrived at that new destination, you were as prepared and as ready as you can be But when it comes to heaven you can’t really do that That there are new Google reviews You can’t get on TripAdvisor And the reason I know is ’cause I tried and when you TripAdvisor for heaven, you get some clubs and some resorts and some restaurants, and none of them even have five-star reviews It’s really difficult not knowing where you’re going, not knowing what it’s really gonna be like When I was a kid, I felt a little bit of that, but at least we had some songs that we would sing as a kid kind of growing up in church and going to vacation Bible school and Sunday school We would sing some songs and some of them were about heaven I remember one song we used to sing kind of went this way Heaven is a wonderful place I won’t sing it for you though, filled with glory and grace I wanna see my Savior’s face ’cause heaven is a wonderful place And I really hope that that was true But I also recall that it was sang by some kind of creepy sheep puppets And so I don’t know, are these people theologians? I don’t know probably not I mean, as a kid, I was convinced that heaven was supposed to be a wonderful place, but didn’t sound that wonderful to me, it sounded like a never ending church service where we would fly around and sing hymns that never ended That’s what heaven kind of sounded like Now, of course as an adult, we can learn a little bit more There is a little bit of information about heaven, even if it doesn’t paint the simplest picture, the apostle John, the disciple John, at the very end of his life towards the end, God seemingly gave him a vision of what heaven

was going to be like And it’s in the book of Revelation Here’s part of what John saw heaven is gonna be a place where God will wipe every tear from their eyes from our eyes And there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order Meaning this earth the old order of things will have passed away But even in this it doesn’t provide a lot of clarity It provides some things to hope for, to dream about, to long for, but maybe not a lot of certainty because again, we’ve never been there We never really seen it I mean, we wanna hope, but hoping for what we’ve never seen or experienced, it’s just difficult In fact, waiting without knowing really does erode hope waiting without knowing makes hope almost impossible Can you imagine going to the doctor’s office and waiting without ever knowing if you will be called, just hoping it might happen, can imagine getting in line for a ride at an amusement park and having no idea how long the line will last and not even knowing if you’ll be able to ride when you get to the front, it kind of erodes the hope That’s a part of the problem with heaven But I actually think at least on this side of heaven, there is a bigger problem And I’m gonna focus on that bigger problem for the rest of our time The bigger problem I think is that we just need help now I mean, heavens sounds like a wonderful place And if the sheep, puppets are right, it sounds amazing But I think it’d be great when I get there, I need help now, there are things happening in my life now I’m happy to wait and hope for the future, but what do I do about now? I mean, she is driving me crazy now He is getting all of my last nerve now, like the job I have is miserable now I mean, the sickness that you have is happening now, the hurting, the suffering, the frustration, the aloneness it’s now, the pandemic is happening now, the unrest is happening now And you know what we all have a tendency to do, right? I mean, it’s just in human nature When we are experiencing trouble now we want to find a solution now, we wanna act on that This is why the fast past exists at the amusement park, because if there’s a way to not wait and find relief, we will take it If there’s a way to avoid the waiting, to deal with what we’re dealing with now, we’ll find it Now, come on if there is no real heaven, it means there really is no hope, but there is no afterlife, no meaning for us beyond the kind of this, then what we should do We should just make the most of this We should eat, drink, be merry we, I mean, who really cares? We should just be incredibly selfish, live for ourself, take as many kind of, temporary solutions in as we can and make the best of it But as a Christian as a person who follows Jesus, we believe that there is something next We believe that there’s something better We believe that there’s something in store for us that is actually perfect But what does that do for us now? How does it help us now? How does it help us live through what we’re dealing With right now? See, because we don’t really understand it And because we can’t see it, it makes the struggle a real struggle And it causes us focus on the things that are right in front of us The apostle Paul dealt with so many things right in front of him He wrestled with this, I imagine all the time maybe every single day But when you read all the letters that you, the apostle Paul wrote to all these Christians and all these different churches that he helped plant and start, when you read the letters, there’s some kind of overriding themes that you see And basically every single one of those documents, and one of Paul’s kind of overriding themes was just this, that there is no place like hope and there’s no experience like heaven And here’s the reason why, because he believed that there was no person like Jesus And one of the letters that he wrote to the city of Colossae, we call it Colossians the book of Colossians He wrote about that and gave us some hope in how to live here in light of there, I love how it kind of the translators of the Bible They titled some of the different areas, different sections of scripture, the title that we’ve given to this little section in Colossians we’re gonna look at is titled this way, living as those made alive in Christ Now, without even knowing what he said there, isn’t this kind of what you would like to do Like wouldn’t you love for your life to feel like it’s been made alive,

that you can live in a way today that feels so fully alive That’s what Paul wanted for those people in the city of Colossae and I think it’s what he wants for people like you and people like me, people who are following Jesus, but aren’t really sure how to experience hope and wait patiently The cool Thing is that when Paul talks about it, he has a lot of experience He is pulling from a wealth of experience And what we’re about to see is that the advice that he gave is so full of hope, but it also is full of application And if we can apply what Paul is telling us, I think it might actually increase our hope, even though everything around us seems to want to erode it So in Colossians we’re gonna be in chapter three Here’s what Paul wrote to them And I think he’d say the same thing to you and to me, since then you have been raised with Christ, basically, just meaning since you have put your faith in Jesus, you have put your hope in him in his death and his resurrection for the payment of your sins And because of that, you’ve been made right with God, because of that faith you have been raised with Christ he continues because of that set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God and set your minds on things above not on earthly things Basically what Paul was suggesting is that we set our hearts and minds on the things of God The problem of course, is that we’re experiencing life now on earth And Paul wants us to set our hearts and minds and the things above like heaven But it’s hard to do that when we’re experiencing earth right now In a very real way when we don’t set our focus, we allow our focus to set us Paul is saying that we need to intentionally set our focus But if we don’t intentionally do that, what happens is our focus sets us It is the default It’s just kind of human nature to allow the things around us to take all of our focus, to allow the things kind of below, to cause us to focus on it rather than setting our focus on things above It’s really difficult to do that when all the things around us are causing the problems So with that in mind, Paul knows that’s a problem It’s a problem for him too with that in mind he kind of continues He says, for you died to which we wanna say, wait, whoa, no, we’re so alive And he goes, I know not physically, but you are spiritually new You’ve been made alive through your faith in Christ So the old hew is kind of dead there’s a new you, that is to be lived So for you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God It’s a little bit of a complicated way of saying that you have a new life to live and really a new way of living it In another letter that he wrote in Philippians, he kind of says the same thing, but he uses some different language, which I just love the way he says it to those Philippian Christians in that one, he says, but our citizenship is in heaven For those of you who are Jesus followers that you belong in heaven, that heaven is where you actually live that’s your home, that’s your destination, the place that you want to be, the place that you’re kind of actually homesick for So with that in mind, it is kind of important to probably note that, that when you realize that when you realize that you belong above, it changes how you see things below that’s Paul’s point, that when you realized that your citizenship is in heaven, that when you realize that the old you is gone, the new you is here, that you have been made alive through your faith in Jesus, that when you realize those things are true of you that you belong above It really changes how you see the things below, which changes how you begin to live in this life He continues in Colossians He says, when Christ who is your life, this is very important Not not that who is a part of your life, but it is so in focus, you’ve set your heart on him so much that he becomes your life When Christ, who is your life appears, then you will also appear with him in glory And then he gets really kind of application focused If you’re a Christian you’re a Jesus follower this is exactly the kind of what Jesus, what Paul wants you to do in light of that faith in light of that belief, he says, so do this put to death, kind of like he said you have died Your old, the old you has died He wants you to do the same to the old way of living, put to death therefore, whatever And he really means all the things, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, which we all kind of are born with, right? And he gives us a kind of incomplete list, but it’s a pretty powerful list

He says, put to death things like sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is just idolatry And when you think about that list, I mean, that’s a pretty robust list of things that we all are tempted to live within And you know why we’re tempted to do all those things and why Paul tells us we need to put it to death The reason is because the world offers temporary solutions for eternal problems We all have any eternal problem And the world around us is so full of temporary solutions And when we’re facing trouble, now we are tempted to look around us and grab a hold of anything that will relieve the problem now, the problem is that those are just temporary solutions and they may even work for a minute, but they’re not long lasting They’re just temporary I mean, look at the verse Let’s go back to that list for a minute Don’t raise your hand, but just be honest with yourself for a minute How many of you have experienced trouble on earth, and turned to sexual morality to try to solve it? And you didn’t say out loud, this will solve the problem, but in your loneliness and your anger and your frustration in your hopelessness you just turn to a place where you were hopeful to find hope Did it work or what about impurity? What about lust? Evil desires? What about greed? What about greed? You stabbed some people in the back hoping that it would help you get ahead You took that other job even though it caused you to be gone You did things in the name of greed, but in the name of greed, did it help you feel any better? And if we’re really honest, it did, it did help for the moment because having more stuff helps in the moment, but it’s just temporary It’s just a temporary solution for an eternal problem And temporary solutions never work Again if we were to be honest, all of those solutions we have all tried them and none of them have worked permanently And when we tried them not only did it not work, ultimately it just made things worse because now we’re back where we were, but we’ve got some regret along with us We’ve got some bags along with us and we’re carrying them into the next version of our problem Paul continues and it’s just so important that we begin to see how easily those traps are He says you used to walk in these ways, used to do all those things in the life that you once lived, but you don’t have to live that way anymore That’s the old you, that’s the pre-Jesus you, the pre hope you, but now you must also he gives us a little list, rid yourself of all such things as these anger and rage and malice and slander and filthy language from your lips, where all of those things come from These are almost the manifestations in our heart When we try to grab the world solutions for our eternal problems When we reset our focus on the things above, not the things below, and when we stop looking at the things below to solve the problems below it automatically begins to rid ourselves of those things, Paul continues and he says, do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self, this is such a beautiful word picture, right? With its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed that’s the important word in knowledge, in the image of its creator talking about God, your heavenly father and Paul basically is saying like, it’s almost like you were wearing dirty clothes and you took them off lay them aside And you put on the new version of you You put on a brand new, clean, sparkling outfit that represents kind of Jesus in you that represents this perfect right standing relationship that you have with your heavenly father That’s kind of the word picture But the difference is that when you take off something and put on something else the change is immediate, but what Paul was suggesting is it isn’t quite that simple And the reason is because of that word renewed, it’s a process you can take off the old stuff, the old clothes you can get rid of the old ways of solving your current earthly problems, but it’s gonna be a process to start living differently It’s gonna be a process of start thinking differently It’s a renewal process It’s a process that really never fully comes to fruition at least on this side of eternity, see really to summarize kind of the section for Paul we would probably just say that it’s really difficult It’s really difficult to experience earthly frustrations

and also forgo those earthly solutions But there is hope that there is a way to do that There is a way to experience frustration and find hope There is a way to experience the difficulty this world brings to us, but live in a way and set our hearts and minds on something that brings us hope That was Paul’s point that we can, at least as Jesus followers, we can patiently wait below by setting our hearts and our minds above We actually have the ability to do that We can wait patiently in this life, but only if we intentionally choose to set our hearts And our minds on the things not of this world, on the things above And I love the fact that Paul was telling us that because Paul’s perspective has to be taken seriously because he lived through so much trouble, so much frustration So many difficulties I mean, he’s in prison as he writing most of these letters, he’s gonna be executed pretty soon He isn’t looking ahead and thinking things are trending towards better in the world around him things are not getting better, but he is still finding hope because he is setting his heart intentionally He’s setting his mind not on the things that are fighting for his attention, the brokenness around him He’s choosing to rise above that and to set his heart and his mind on his heavenly father, on his savior on what’s in store for him heaven Which actually means that this isn’t a waiting issue It’s not a patience issue This is actually a faith issue Do you remember the last time we talked about how sin entered the world and creation? It was like a really good week in the beginning and it all fell apart And the reason it fell apart is because we broke it and it’s just been breaking us ever since But the way we broke it was by breaking trust by breaking faith I mean, God gave us just one rule to follow And the rule was basically trust me not you allow me to be in control Don’t try to take control but we couldn’t do it And you can’t do it I can’t do it We’re still not doing that well And in the middle of that, that’s what we call sin, working against what God is working for and what God is working for is a relationship with you founded on your trust in him And he already has done everything for you Are you willing to then trust in him? It’s really a conversation of faith Which means the real question to ask about our waiting that the real question to ask is, do you have faith to wait? Do you have the faith to wait on your Lord and savior? Do you have the faith to wait? You know what faith is, right? The author of Hebrews I think just defined it so beautifully Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see When you think about heaven, Doesn’t it fit beautifully into that definition? What are we hoping for? What are we homesick for? Not what we’re seeing us, not what we’re experiencing today, but what are we hoping for? And what are we trying to find assurance in? But we just can’t see it yet It’s exactly what it is That’s why this is a conversation around faith, more than waiting It’s a conversation more around faith than around patience Which means our issue isn’t with waiting or patience Our real issue is with faith because faith is what actually sets our focus Where you place your faith your focus always follows We’ve all experienced this This is why when we place our faith in relationships and they fall apart our focus goes with it This is why when we place our faith in our work or place our faith in our wealth, we place our faith on any of the things the world has to offer us It feels good for a moment but it all eventually crumbles because it wasn’t meant to be a real solution It’s a solution that the world created And our temptation is always gonna be to hang onto those solutions because I mean, come on, the problem we’re experiencing right now looks like there’s a solution sitting beside it, but that temporary solution never solves the eternal problem The placement of your faith determines the focus of your heart and of your mind,

the placement of your faith sets your heart and it sets your mind It’s a faith issue not a patient’s issue It’s a trust issue not a waiting issue I mean, I wish that our life below were easier Like I wish there wasn’t so much trouble I wish that you never had sickness I wish that you never experienced tragedy Like I wish that you could walk through your life completely unscathed full of peace Never having hope eroded But we know that’s just not the way the world works In this world we’re gonna have trouble But as Jesus said, we can take heart because he has actually overcome the world Now Jesus didn’t die so that we can be miserable on earth and eventually experience some peace in heaven He actually died so that you could begin to experience it right now And here’s what I have just come to know at least in my own life is true The best way for me to begin experiencing peace in this life is to stop looking at the things around my life, as solutions to the problems The only way to really solve the problem is to set my heart and to set my mind on the things above, you know what I really wish I really wish for me and I wish for you I wish that we could all just learn to live kind of in the way the author of Hebrews defined faith I wish we could just learn to live a little less by sight and a lot more in faith, because that is actually how we set our hearts on the things that provide hope Can we pray together? Heavenly father, this world is so miserable Sometimes it just seems to bring so much trouble layers and layers of difficulties And when we’re experiencing trouble now, our temptation is always to look to the solutions around us right now And it’s so hard to wait And it’s so hard to be patient because we need help right now and setting our heart and our mind on things above doesn’t feel active enough to solve the problem now, but father we know it is Paul knows it is And we know it is because we’ve done the other before and it doesn’t work We know it doesn’t work So God, I think the prayer that we have just as a group of people who were trying to follow you is that we will set our hearts and minds on you No matter how difficult things are around us, that instead of choosing earthly solutions, we will choose you We would choose eternity and allow that to provide us a level of peace today that leads to a mountain of peace tomorrow God, we love you Jesus thank you for allowing us to have that today We pray all of this in your name Amen Hey, thanks so much for joining us today for the second part of this conversation, we’re gonna wrap it up next week and I sure we’d love you to join us for that as well We’ll see you next time