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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Heaven    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Matthew5:3-12
Date
   2008-05-11



Passage

Matthew 5: 3 -12

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Dear devotees, most people like to hear, "God bless you!"

They want to enjoy the blessings of wealth, fame, authority, health, long-life and for the children and so on.

But the blessing mentioned in today's passage, the blessing of God, is a little different.

It says blessed are those who are poor in spirit; who mourn; who are gentle; who thirst and hunger for righteousness; who are merciful; who are pure in heart; the peacemakers; and those who are persecuted for righteousness.

I already explained in detail why these are true blessings and what kind of blessings these people will receive.

If you cannot recall the explanations on each of these blessings, please refer to the previous sermons. But then, what is the blessing that we will receive ultimately through the 'Beatitudes'?

Like in today's passage, it is the blessing of the 'heavenly kingdom'.

If we accomplish the Beatitudes completely, it means we have the qualifications to enter into the best dwelling place in heaven, New Jerusalem.

And Luke 17:21 says, "...nor will they say, 'Look, here it is! or, 'There it is! For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."

When you have the qualifications to enter into heavenly kingdom, the heavenly kingdom will be in your heart.

Then, to what extent is heavenly kingdom placed in you? What kind of 'self' have you been making until now in your Christian life?

In the Lord, to get older is not something sad nor is it something to be distressed about.

Because you can also grow up in spirit as the days go by, you can have more hope for heavenly kingdom. If the kingdom of heaven is placed in your heart, the evidences will be shown in your lives.

You will be able to shine the light to your family and workplace and give glory to God wherever you are.

Through this message, I hope you will have more of heavenly kingdom in your heart.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will also be able to shine the light of the heavenly kingdom to the people around you.

Body

Dear Devotees, what kinds of evidences will you have if you have heavenly kingdom in your heart?

First of all, you will be filled with joy to the extent that you have the heavenly kingdom in you.

Heaven is a place where there are no tears, sorrow, or pain. And those who are filled with the hope of heaven will have overflowing joy even on this earth. Let me give you an example. Suppose a person hasn't eaten all day and is extremely hungry.

He gets a whiff of the smell of tasty food coming out from a restaurant, but he doesn't have any money.

He doesn't even have a place to stay, so he now has to look for a place to stay for the night.

But this person has a lottery ticket in his pocket.

Tomorrow, as the next day dawns, he will be able to receive 1 million dollars with this ticket.

Then, would he feel himself to be pathetic because he is in a difficult situation right now? Of course not!

He has nothing right now, but his eyes are shining brightly and he is merrily humming.

Other people may look at him and say, "What is he so happy about being in such a pathetic situation?" But because all his sufferings will end the next day, he doesn't care about the difficulties of the moment.

This is hope. Compared to the eternal time we will have in heaven, the time we have on earth is only a moment.

Those who have hope of eternal kingdom of heaven do not really care about the difficulties or sufferings of this life.

The more hope we have for heavenly kingdom, the more joy we have in our heart.

What kind of tears did the apostle Paul and Mary Magdalene shed?

"I worked hard and gave everything to the Lord, and now, I don't even have a house where I can live." "I have taken care of the souls for many years, but now, I don't have a wife or children, and what would happen to me in my latter days?" Did they shed sorrowful tears thinking this way? Of course not!

They only cried for the Lord and the souls.

You can be blessed only when you have spiritual mourning.

Spiritual mourning is to mourn for the kingdom of God and for the souls.

It is also the mourning of repentance and the mourning for the casting off of sins.

Except when you have spiritual mourning, you should only have overflowing joy.

You should not shed tears being sorrowful or having regrets about your life.

"I am already so old now. I have been giving for the Lord for a long period of time, but it seems that I am left with nothing." Or "I don't have as much as my friends or people who are of my age group." Do you become unhappy thinking this way?

You don't really sense any loneliness or sadness when you are working hard with other people, but do you feel the loneliness and sadness when you are alone?

If you do, you have to check your faith once again and make up your mind once again.

"How thankful it is that I have this faith and I can give to the Lord again and again! There will be so many rewards in my house in heaven! What should I say when I meet the Lord in heaven?" I hope you will think of these spiritual things and march on with more hope.

The more hope you have in your heart and the more of heavenly kingdom is realized in you, the more differently your eyes will look at things.

Your facial expressions, actions, and attitudes will be different. If you finally have New Jerusalem in your heart, even the worldly people will think highly of you.

Colossians 3:1-2 says, "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."

I hope the joy of the apostle Paul, who praised the Lord even when he was imprisoned and while being beaten, will overflow in you also.

I hope the joy of Mary Magdalene, who was first to meet the resurrected Lord, will fill you to the fullest.

Dear devotees, Secondly, to the extent that you have heavenly kingdom in you, your love will change. Your love and longing for God the Father and the Lord will become increasingly more ardent.
Your love for the shepherd and other souls will be deeper and deeper.

How many times a week do you shed tears missing the Father and the Lord?

If you love somebody, why would you not miss him or her?

The more you love God, the closer you will get to the city of New Jerusalem.

The heavenly kingdom will be realized in your heart to that same extent.

On the other hand, to the extent that you don't have heavenly kingdom in you, you don't have time to think about God.

Instead, you look at the good things of the world.

You want to have worldly things and enjoy what the world has to offer. Your striving in life is only to gain worldly things. You meet with the worldly people and get drunk to fill your empty heart. You want to enjoy the entertainment and beautiful things of the world.

If you accept this kind of lust, one by one you will seek more of the fleshly things. One will become two, and the two will become four.

To that same extent, you will lose the love for God and the hope for heavenly kingdom from your heart. To the extent that you accept the lust of the world, your love for God will cool down.

Then, even if you pray, you cannot receive grace and inspiration from above. Because you lost the grace, you lose the strength to pray.

Then, you may skip praying a couple of times. Then, you will finally stop and no longer pray at all. You even begin to skip Wednesday services and Tuesday Praise and Worship.

Because your heart is filled with the worldly things, you don't gain understanding even in the worship services, and you don't receive any grace from it. You think you know it all and you fall into idle thoughts.

This way, your Christian life turns into formality and you have lukewarm or cold faith.

And this is the case with most of those people who were once filled with God's grace and led a fervent Christian life, but have backslid or they have experienced a stoppage in their faith.

In this case, you should realize why and from what source your love has cooled down and when and how you came to accept the worldly things.

You have to recover the lost grace. You have to fill yourself with the love of God again.

1 John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Loving God and loving the world cannot coexist. If you accept one of them, the other will go away.

It's just like when the darkness comes, it is the light that disappears, and when the light comes, the darkness goes away.

Dear devotees, if you experience spiritual things, you understand.

When you deeply long for the heavenly kingdom and love God, then the worldly things do not give you pleasure any longer. Seeing the things of the world and socially meeting with people to enjoy them does not give you comfort or rest.

You will only have a heart that is 'poor' and is longing for the grace of God. You will hunger and thirst for righteousness.

You will also long for the communication with the Holy Spirit that you have in the depth of prayer.

You will feel the greatest happiness when you realize the spiritual secrets, casting off sins and evil one by one. Also, when you care for the souls and work faithfully for the kingdom of God, the comfort and peace that God gives you is so great.

Enjoying this kind of spiritual joy cannot be compared with any pleasure of this world.

From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, you feel the billows of love of the Father.

When you look up to the sky while walking on the street, you will naturally confess, "Father, I love you! Lord, I love you!"

The more deeply the heavenly kingdom is placed in your heart, the more you will be able to make confessions of this kind each moment you live. Then, you won't envy anybody in this world; you won't have any lingering attachment to anything of this world.

You will only think about how you can express this love before the Father and how you can share that love more deeply.
I hope you will check how much love of this kind you have in you. If you feel you don't have much love of this kind, I hope you will check yourself.

You should realize whether or not you looked at the world, even for a moment.

I hope you will have more of this love as you mature more in faith.

Dear devotees, thirdly, the more of heavenly kingdom you have in you, you will be more faithful. You will be faithful and hard-working in all aspects.

Not only when you do your duty in the church, but also in workplaces and in your family, you will work hard and do your best. Of course, some unbelievers are also exceptionally hard-working.

Their character itself is very active and diligent, and they work harder than other people. But the hardworking of unbelievers is different from faithfulness and hardworking coming out when we have heavenly kingdom in our heart. We have to work not just with our hardworking character but with the longing for heavenly kingdom.

Also, some people are very faithful in the works that they like.

But for the things they don't like so much, they just do them reluctantly or just pretend to be doing them.

There are also people who do a fine job in what is given to them, but they complain while they are working.

They keep on pouring out their complaints saying things like, "It will be better if he does this. If she does that, this work will be perfect. He is giving me a hard time doing it like this. I am not comfortable with her because of what she does."

When somebody doesn't seem to be working as hard as they are, they have discomfort and break peace.

They may even talk about mistakes and shortcomings of others. But even these people can be acknowledged as hardworking and faithful persons in the world, if they just do their job very well.

But in God it's different. We cannot say one is truly faithful and hardworking just because they are hard working.

The faithfulness has to come from good heart, love for God, and hope for heavenly kingdom.

If we have the heavenly kingdom in our heart, we will naturally have faithfulness anywhere, any time.

In the case of our family members, we will serve them with all our hearts and with joyful faces.

So, our family members will experience comfort through our actions and attitudes.

If we have the heavenly kingdom in us, we will also be filled with joy and thanks in the workplace.

We can deal with those who are not as capable as others with mercy. We will seek the benefit of others with gentleness. We will do our best with bright faces, so that even the unbelievers will acknowledge us.

In the church, we will be even more faithful to fulfill our duties. We will cultivate generous hearts, have peace with everybody, and be praised by all people.

If you think you have faith and are faithful in the church, but you are not as faithful in other aspects, then this faith is not sincere. We cannot say you have the heavenly kingdom truly in you.

You should check whether you have fleshly hearts or not. Do you only do what you want to do? This is the fleshly heart. Are you able to do anything with your love for God? This is the spiritual heart.

Psalm 37:3 says, "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."

If you really love God and yearn for heavenly kingdom, you will try to give glory to God with everything of your life. Suppose you preach the gospel and make visits to the souls faithfully, but if you are not hard-working at your workplaces, can this glorify God?

You serve the brothers in faith very well in the church, but sometimes you neglect serving your parents.

Or, we can see a student who prays hard and attends worship service very well, but does not really study well.

In this case, this person may seem to be Spirit-filled on the outside. But this is not being Spirit-filled in true sense.
You should be faithful not only in a certain aspect but in all aspects so that you can feel the joy of heaven truly.

I hope you will calmly look back as to whether you can really be acknowledged as a faithful Christian in your family and workplace, and what kind of person you are in the sight of other people.

I urge you in the name of the Lord that you will dwell on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is of good repute.

Conclusion

Dear devotees and members, have you checked whether you have the heavenly kingdom in you?

It is said that, the more of the heavenly kingdom you have in your heart, the more joy and the deeper the love that you will have.

You will also be faithful in every facet of your life.

To that same extent that heavenly kingdom is realized in you, your face will shine.

Darkness will go away from your surroundings and you will be joy in the eyes of the Father.

Of course, this way, some of you are taking hold of New Jerusalem by force everyday.

But some others are wandering around because you are not satisfied with what you are today.

You were once filled with Spirit when you were looking up only to the heavenly kingdom, but one day, you kind of lost sight of your goal.
Some of you want worldly things, and get disappointed when you become envious of those who have many things.

It's like a marathoner has lost his goal during the race. "Why am I running so hard? Those spectators are not running, and why should I run alone?"

Marathoners have a very clear goal.
It's the same with us.

We faithfully run even today because we have the goal of heavenly glory.

1 Corinthians 15:19 says, "If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." As said, if we just consider the earthly things, we are to be most pitied.

We have given precious and good things to God, and we considered as waste what we could have enjoyed and taken.

Of course, if our souls are prosperous, we will be prosperous in all things and we will be healthy even on earth.

But even if we don't receive such blessings, and even if we suffer so much like the apostle Paul, it doesn't matter at all. It's because what we really hope for is the heavenly glory.

Now, I want you to re-establish your goal. I hope you will long for the heavenly glory that cannot be compared with anything of this world.

In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all possess New Jerusalem when the Lord comes back again.

Amen

 
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