Common Ground 9.9.20

Noah Deyo leads us in worship on Tuesday nights.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it.

Matthew 13:44-46 HCSB

There is heaven and there is hell. No one really likes to think about eternity or what happens when a person dies, but if you believe the Bible, the outcome is binary. Heaven and hell are important! In the parables above, Jesus unloads a lot in a very brief moment. Pastor and theologian John MacArthur point has identified a few of the points we can glean and his was the template for the list below.

  1. The kingdom of heaven is priceless. Unlike modern times when diamonds are considered the ultimate gem, at the time Jesus was talking the ultimate gemological prize was a pearl. Brings new meaning to the “pearly gates,” doesn’t it?
  2. The kingdom of heaven is personal. The men in these parables get after it themselves, they don’t send servants, win it as a prize or inherit the treasure. They get after it themselves. You can’t rely on others for your fortune. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from or how privileged you upbringing might have been, you still have to access it yourself.
  3. The kingdom of heaven is the source of true joy. Notice how joyful the first man is. You can almost imagine him skipping on his way to buy that field. Nothing, nothing brings true joy like unlocking the mysteries of eternal life. To know that your future is secure is a beautiful thing, priceless, personal, and joyful.
  4. The kingdom of heaven is invisible and real. Wind is invisible and real. So is love. And so is heaven. You can’t find it on a map or buy it on Amazon.com, but when the wind hits your face or you fall in love, you know it. You don’t doubt it. You don’t rationalize it away. You believe. Having a personal relationship with God will make you believe too.
  5. The kingdom of heaven is accessible. So, one man stumbled on a treasure seemingly by accident. Another was earnestly seeking. Both found the treasure. Heaven is accessible to anyone. The Apostle Paul was persecuting Christians. The Ethiopian eunuch was reading in a chariot. God found them both. The point is that your situation in life is completely irrelevant to you ability to experience heaven. What matters isn’t how you found the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but what you do with it after you find it.
  6. The kingdom of heaven is expensive. The grace of God is free, but it isn’t cheap. You don’t have to do anything, but you do have to give up everything. That doesn’t mean you just go donate all your earthly possessions, but it does mean that all your earthly possessions belong to God, and that includes your free will, your relationships, your pride, your (gulp) patriotism… all of it. His.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that basically this: you aren’t enough, He is. If you want to get to heaven, if you want to see, hear, touch, and yes, even smell and taste the goodness of heaven in the future you need to be ready to surrender your self and all your stuff to Jesus now. It’s real, it’s worth it, no one can do it for you, but you can the offer is there for everyone and that means you too. What’s holding you back?

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