Episode 085 | On Dreams, Heaven and Hope

October 24th, 2017

Pastor Matt answers tough questions on infertility, how to know if you’re in the right job, who counts as a leader you should listen to and whether or not it’s actually ok to cuss as a Christian. The conversation wraps up with a discussion on heaven and whether or not our loved ones will be there with us.

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Watch Pastor Matt’s message on making your dreams come true

Watch Pastor Matt’s message on heaven

This Week's Topics

3:16 - The word says that if you trust the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. But what if we can’t have children? When do we know to give up? What if the dreams of our hearts are wrong about God’s plan for us?

What that verse (Psalm 37.4) means is that if you trust God, he will fulfill your desires because he becomes your desire. The direction of that verse is not towards what you want, it’s God moving your heart towards him. God is the treasure. If God wants you to be a parent, you’ll be a parent. We live in a fallen world and many people are struggling with infertility. Some couples end up being able to have kids and others end up choosing other options. There are many children out there that need to be loved and cared for. God builds a family in multiple ways and adoption reminds us as Christians that we are adopted into the family of God.

6:46 - In your message this past Saturday night, you stated “a dream from God will require great suffering from God to prepare you”, how were you able to persevere through the suffering it took to start Sandals Church?

There were many times where I thought, ‘I cannot do this’, but God wants us to be dependent on him. God called me to start Sandals Church and my wife, Tammy to follow me. Part of the heartache in that process was continuing to get me to be dependent on him. God is doing so many things and I would have missed out on that had I given up in those dark years. There’s a lot of struggles and pain, but all of that leads you to a lot of joy. It’s the struggle that creates the joy. God allows horrible things to happen so that we’ll enjoy heaven.

10:30 - I recently graduated from College and I landed a prestigious job. However, there is something inside me that keeps tugging me towards a career that would entail helping, mentoring or teaching in some capacity. Is God leading me to a different path? Or is this my nerves telling me to go back home because it’s comfortable?

This is why you need spiritual leaders to speak into your life. Adulthood is learning to do things that you have to do, so that you can do what you want to do. Understand that you are young and you’re having a hard time from your grind of work. We don’t find our meaning from work, we find our meaning from God.

16:53 - In your message about making your dreams come true this weekend you said to have input from leaders on whether your dream is from God or yourself. Who do you mean by leaders? You mentioned community groups but are they leaders or peers?

That’s why it’s so important to get involved at Sandals Church. The more involved you are the more you’re going to be connected with great leaders. If you’re involved with leadership we’re going to hear about you. Get more involved and you’ll have more opportunities to connect with great leaders. Not every small group is worthy of being a leader but you can give them permission to speak into your life and don’t get offended. There’s humility in that.

20:25 - Our dreams are often fueled by selfish motives. So to know God’s dreams for me means my motives need to change. What are some practical ways we can hear from God in order to discover our true motives?

God’s word is like a rudder that should be constantly directing you. If you’re not in God’s word, God’s word is not in you. We need to look at guys like Daniel, Joseph, and Paul that thrived in a non-Christian culture and context. Wisdom comes over time, there’s no microwave to wisdom. That’s why Proverbs was written. Your life depends upon it, your family’s life depends upon it, and this church depends upon it.

22:56 - You said that the reference to “dirty language” in Colossians 3.8 is not saying we should “never cuss, or never be profane.” I am unsure if you meant that is what Colossians 3:8 is talking about, or if you were making a statement about cussing and profanity based on the Bible holistically.

There are two words that are together in this list. In the Greek, the first word ‘slander’ is referring to blaspheming people. The next word refers to ‘abusive speech’. I think that Paul is putting these two words together and talking about profanity in use against others. Dehumanizing somebody with speech is destructive even it’s not considered a “bad word”. Even words like ‘idiot’ destroy your relationship with that person and God. We need to start practicing speaking good things into each other. If you value Jesus, you’re going to value you people. I am not saying to cuss.

28:50 - I grew up in a church tradition that taught from the book of Revelation in a way that was intended to scare us, so I have always stayed away from reading it after that experience. Do you have any suggestions for how to approach this book in a healthy way?

Revelation is a scary book and it’s intended to be that way. There’s the wrath of God and angels destroying things. It’s vivid imagery of the judgement that is to come because of creations continued rebellion against him. Remember that the end is coming and it’s not just a happy ending it’s a story of God coming and intervening on our behalf. Don’t become obsessed with Revelation, but it says those who read it our blessed. It reminds us of death and to get our souls right.

31:55 - On Sunday you referenced Revelation 21.22-27 and talked about the gates of heaven and how as Christians we entered and exited the new heaven. The verse continues to say that nothing evil will be allowed to enter. Does evil exist outside the gates?

That’s just one of those questions that won’t be solved until we’re there. Catholicism and the Church of England have the concept of purgatory, but we don’t believe in that. There are passages of scripture about ‘those outside’ and we don’t know much about that, but the promise is there’s not going to be any evil in the city. In modern times cities are seen as more dangerous than the suburbs but in ancient times the city was the safe place from animals and marauders. What we do know is there’s going to be nothing evil in there and that’s the promise.

33:50 - I was discussing with some family members how Revelations 21 and 22 mentions the nations. Does that mean we will have different ethnicities? If so, is this in heaven or the new earth, or both?

It’s both. Your ethnicity can be Mexican but your nationality is American. These words are used interchangeably. But the Old Testament references both. Both the ethnos and the nations are there which means we’re going to have ethnic and national diversity. The Bible is speaking for all time so there’s both nationalities and ethnicities.

36:10 - More than half of my family, including my dad, have rejected God so they can enjoy all the pleasures of this world. How do I look toward heaven with great anticipation when my heart is so heavy for my family?

Jesus says that his coming will divide families. You are called to love your biological family, honor them and pray for them. But ultimately your family forever is the church, your spiritual identity will outlast your biological identity. Some of our tears that will be wiped away in heaven will be the tears for our lost loved ones. But on the day of judgement it will make sense. Don’t give up, keep praying, but understand our family is ultimately the church. We are united and forgiven because of Christ. God must be our first love.

39:46 - The idea of healing in heaven as mentioned in the sermon continues to come back to my mind. If we are still healing in heaven from our sins on earth does that mean loneliness and regret will find its way back into our hearts? Will we repent in heaven?

No we will not repent in heaven, but there is a process where God will heal us. Part of the beauty of true healing is the process. We want God to take away every pain and he’s promised that but it will be a process. Heaven is an ongoing connection with God. There’s no healing in hell, it’s the place where even the maggot does not die.

42:04 - With so much chaos in the world, it can be hard to remember that heaven is real and it can be hard to wait on Jesus. How do we, as believers, cling to the hope of heaven when everything seems hopeless? What’s the best way to share that hope with others so they believe it’s real?

The best way to share that with them is to let them see that in you which is why we've got to go back to Colossians 3. Live like a citizen of heaven. As Christians we need to have a good reputation as citizens of heaven. Honesty, service, love and compassion should identify us. This can lead to conversations that are opportunities to share the gospel of how Jesus has done a work in you. If God’s not making you better, Christ’s not in you. It’s learning to say no to yourself so you can say yes to Jesus. The closer you are to Christ, the more aware you are of your sin.

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