How To Live Forever
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

How To Live Forever

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Why does death feel wrong? DIY projects have become normal.
Want to fix your car? Google it. Want to learn how to cook? Watch a video on
YouTube. But do you want to live forever? What video to you watch for that?
What book to do you read? You can live forever – you just can’t do it yourself.  

The people then turned their question to question the king concerning the term of life and the Diet of his people, and we're told that most of them live to be a hundred and twenty years old, while some, when even beyond that age, they ate boiled fish and had for their drink nothing but milk. And when the people showed wonder at the number of years, he led them to a fountain wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh as glossy and as sleek as if they had bathed in oil, and as scent came from the spring like that of violets. The water was so weak they said that nothing would float in it, neither wood nor any lighter substance, but all went to the bottom. If the account of this fountain be true, it would be their constant use of the water from which it makes them so long lived. This Fountain of Youth was first described in that little paragraph there by Herodotus, a Greek historian, in four hundred BC. Four hundred BC, they're asking the question, what happens next? How do I live forever? It doesn't matter where you lived or when you lived. The fact that you lived makes you wonder what happens afterwards, and those are big questions of life that we ask while we're living. Where did I come from? Why am I here? What's good and evil? And and after this is all over, where am I going? And it's that last question that we're going to talk about today. This mystery, This myth of this fountain of Youth. Everyone's looking for that in some way, shape or form, and those miss those legends, they show the deep desires and longings of our soul. People want to live forever. There's just something about life or something about death that feels wrong, doesn't it like it's not right. I don't want to experience that. I want want to deal with it. I want to live forever. So the question is, how do you live forever? And I love this question for so many reasons. In the first question is is we ask questions like this all of the time, or asking how to do things all of the time. Your car gets a flat tire, tire, you ask Google, how do I change my flat tire? You get a new device, a new phone, and you ask how do I back up my phone? Or you get that new tech gadget for Christmas and you ask Google, how do I get a personal loan. It's asking those how two...

...questions all of the time. We ask it all these kinds of questions because we want to do it ourselves. Right. D Why anybody do any dyiy projects around the house? We had a couple of people ere we go. We had a couple of people share some pictures this week, which was really cool. They all the time. Right, my first DIY project was with my car. It was probably five years ago or so, and I take my car into the dealership to get serviced. Okay, and if you know a local person that I'd love to work with them and that be cool to develop that relationship with them, but I don't. So I take it into the dealership for service and all the time when they'd service or vehicle, they doing an oil chains or doing tire rotations or whatever, they'll probably check your cabin air filter because it's really inexpensive and nobody knows where it is and they can charge you a whole lot to replace it. So they check it, they take it off and they look at it and they come to you and say hey, for seventy five dollars will put a new cabin air filter in your car. And so I said, okay, that's cool. Let me Google it and Youtube and see, like if I can do it myself, and so I did. I looked at my video and I got the video up on my on my phone, and I put it on the floor of my car and I reached in and unhooked some things. I got back there and peeled it off and pulled it out and looked at it and like, I don't even know if this is dirty, but sure you know. I look at it and I'm like all right, so I went on Amazon, I found the part number, I bought the cabin air filter for like twenty bucks and then I use the video and I put it in and I instead of paying seventy five dollars for a new cabin air filter, I just paid twenty and many of you probably do that in so many different areas. But this was me, just a new car owner and trying to figure out, like what can I do? What does somebody that actually knows what they're doing do? But that was my first fora and four way into being a diy person and now that we had a house, we've done so many DIY projects, but we're always trying to do things ourselves and there's a process, there's a strategy, there is a how to to do it. I wish a card dealership. This is a great idea. Would give training or like a short lesson for somebody to do the cabin air filter themselves. So instead of going to youtube to figure it out, like here, I'll pay you fifteen, twenty bucks for for me to teach you how to do it and then hey, that's a great, great thing. Just an idea. Thrown it out there. But one of the ways that people are trying to figure out the process, to the strategy, the how to of the how to live...

...forever question is in the medical world. I watched the latest you PMC commercial come up on my screen recently and they've got all this sci fi looking stuff going on and then the voiceover says we are unlocking the mysteries of the aging process. It's like, hold on, first of all, you're telling me that there's still a mystery in the medical world in two thousand and twenty you still don't know something. That's pretty incredible. But they're trying to unlock the mystery of the aging process. Why? Why are they trying to do that? Are they trying to stop the aging process? Are they trying to reverse the aging process? What are they exactly trying to do with the mysteries of the aging process? I think there's some of this idea of let's understand it so that we can control it and manipulate it, but unfortunately it's still a mystery and it will probably still always continue to be a mystery because no matter what you do, your body parts, your heart, your lung, your organs, yours, it stops working eventually. That's just what our body does. And so they've come up with an idea, and it's sort of medical and it's sort of new age and technology. But let's say, Hey, if your heart stops working, we could just create a machine to do that for you. You know, a machine won't wear out, a machine can keep things going. And so now there's people talking about how do we make our bodies so connected with technology, with machines, that we can literally live forever? But it's are the machines that are keeping US going. And if you don't believe me, there was a professor that was interviewed, and this is in Fox News, you know, not a small news company, and he said this. He said if we told our ancestors in the stone age about our lives today, they would think we are already God's but the truth is is that, even though we have developed more sophisticated tools, we are the same animals. We have the same emotions, the same minds. The coming revolution will change that. It will change not only our tools, it will change the human being itself. This is what they're talking about. Last year, he says it is increasingly hard to tell where I end and the computer begins. This professor in Jerusalem said at this conference. He said in the future it is likely that the smartphone will not will not be separated from you at all. It will be embedded into your body or brain, constantly scanning your biometric data and your emotions. So this technology supposedly is coming, but it's not here exactly yet. So if anybody wants to sign up with me, you can get your body and your brain frozen. And after time, when they develop this technology, the theory is is that they'll be able...

...to plug you back into the machine that they create and everything will keep on going. And you can do that for a mere a hundred and FIFTYZERO dollars. And if you're curious about how that works, how you can freeze your body. Go to how stuff WORKSCOM and you'll find up. We live in such a how to world and there is a deep desire and a deep longing to live for ever. However, they can possibly figure it out. They're trying. They're trying so hard because death feels wrong. Nobody wants to die, nobody likes death, so they're trying to solve it. And why are they trying to solve it? I think there's a writer in the Bible. Some live the nine hundred BC, the King Solomon, that wrote in ECCLESIASTES. He said that God made everything beautiful in its time. He planted eternity in the human heart. But even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to and see Solomon is describing that there is this eternal feeling, this eternal desire, inside of every single human being, and that's why death feels wrong, because it's not supposed to be that way. God put eternity in us. We know there's something more than just this life, but, as Solomon says, we don't understand it, we don't get it, we don't can't comprehend the scope of it, and so that's why we get or maybe it's just me caught up in the moment, and Solomon describes it this way. He says there's nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. So because we don't know how to live forever, we don't understand it, we don't get it. It's like, let's just live right now, it's just live it up as best as we can right now, because you'll only live once, right Yolo? That's the old phrase that they put out there. You'll only live one. So you have that opportunity to go to the party you're going to go. You have the opportunity to turn twenty one only one time in your life, so you better do it right because it's the only chance you ever get. The turn twenty one. You'll never see that person again, where you better enjoy the sex with them right now, because it's one time and it's over. And you know what, if there is no god and if there is this, we're just a product of evolution and random chanced and we're just a bunch of molecules that have been put together in a shore in a very good way. But like we're just we're just a bunch of Goo and chance put together.

If that is the way that we are, then this way of living, this only live once mentality, that's the only mentality that makes sense, doesn't it? Because once you die, your your cells just stop working and that's the end of that. It's it's over, that's there's no more to talk about. And you know what for us, like personally, when you think about that, if that is your worldview or if you've considered that worldview or maybe you had that in the past, like personally, for yourself, like you might be able to live like that. You say, you know, we're just here as chance, we're just here as a product of evolution. We're just here. I'm just a bunch of molecules and when I stopped breathing and one of my heart stops beating, then I'm just it's gone, I'm done. And for yourself, that's probably okay, like you can live it up, you can go a hundred miles an hour and all the different stuff that you want to do and have the most enjoyment, have the most fun you could ever have, and when you die, you die and that's it and that's okay for you, but is that okay for the person that you love? Like, can you think about your husband or your wife or your son or your daughter that way? Like that person that you love, they're just having a good time, they go to that that plays that party, and they get in a car accident and tragically they pass away, and you know what, that affects you, like there's something different in that moment when that happens. We know inside of us that this isn't right, it shouldn't be this way. It's hard, but I just keep pressing into this. If we're again, if there is no god, if we're just here as a bunch of matter, just put together, then like why, why is that hard? I mean trees get cut down all the time. Mosquitoes do you slap them, you don't think about it. You trap a mouse and you kill a mouse and it's like you move on with your life. What's different about a human being? What's different about someone that you love? I see this battle, and maybe you see it too, as we talk about covid nineteen. I mean never before have we lived in a world where there's a death count on the screen seven. How many people have died today. Right. It's in our face all of the time. And when you hear politicians, when you hear people talking about this virus, this disease, you hear numbers throwing out there, like there's twenty thousand seven hundred fourteen people that have tested positive from this virus. In Lancaster County, five hundred seventy...

...seven people have died. That's two point seven percent of people that tested positive. And so as they're going on to explain these numbers, you sometimes look at the numbers and you're say, well, that's there's six hundred thousand people in Lancaster County and only five hundred and seventy seven of them have died since March. Like there's thousands of people that die every single day. And this is what people, this is what politicians this is what maybe what you have thought, what you have talked about. But then what comes next? You have to, or they do? You feel like you have to? What, clarify these five hundred seventy seven people, because what are they? They're people, their husband's, their wives, their sons, there's daughters, are brothers, their sisters, and every single life matters. And so yes, the numbers are. You know, you look at them and you try and figure them all out, but one death is too much. I mean, every single governor I've ever heard of always clarify that exact statement. One death is too much, and my question for us is why, like, why is that a thing? If we're just here as a product of chance, we're living up for today and we're gone tomorrow and we're done, then why is one death too much? And I think it's because God has planted eternity in our hearts. Like, whether you believe in a God or not, you know that death isn't right and that there is something more to life than what we are experiencing right now. So what does it mean to live forever? Thankfully, Jesus has a lot to say about this. He calls it eternal life, and before we talk about how to get eternal life, we have to first talk about what eternal life is. So many of us think about heaven, don't we, as we think about living forever? When our body dies and goes in the ground, who we are, our spirit, our soul, goes into heaven, and many of us long for that day when every wrong will be made right to you long for that day, everything that is not right with this world will go away. This is how revelation twenty one, for describes heaven. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the older things have passed away. And I would say that every single person wants that. You want that. And the writer of John, the writer of revelation, the Apostle John, who wrote this about probably seventy ish a...

...d he wrote this about his vision of Heaven. So this is what happens in heaven. What does Heaven Look like? Well, this is this is what he read, what he wrote revelation twenty one. Just listen. As as you look at that cool picture of fool, it's shown with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone, like Jasper, as clear as crystal. The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels, and the names of the twelve tribes of visual were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side, east, north, south and west, and the city wall of the city had twelve foundation stones and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the lamb. The Angel who talked to me held his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates and its wall, and when he had measured it, he had found it was a square as wide as it was long. In fact, it's length and width and height where each one four hundred miles. Then he measured the walls and found them to be two hundred and sixteen feet thick, according to the human standard used by the angel. Thanks John for that clarification. The Wall was made of Jasper and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones. The first was Jasper, the Second Sapphire, the third gate, the fourth a gate, the fourth emerald, the five on x, the six Carlian, the seventh Christ the light, and the eighth barrel and the Ninth Topaz, and the ten prived phase and the eleven j Ki and the twelve a meth. And the twelve gates were made of pearls, each gate from a single Pearl. And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. Now you don't have to be a gemologist to know that what John is describing is pure beauty and it's pure any out of this world anything that we could ever imagine. Heaven is going to be so much better than that, so much more perfect, so much more amazing than that. But sometimes we get so caught up in the descriptions of heaven. What's it going to be like? What are we going to do? And sometimes we picture heaven as a bunch of Chubby white people with angels wings, you know, striped strumming harps. But Heaven is so much more. Eternal life is so much more than that. This is how Jesus describes heaven, or eternal life. He says, now this is eternal life. Okay, this is it. This is it. Right here, Jesus says that day, what know? You, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. See, eternal life is not so much about a place as it is about a person. It's about Jesus.

It's about having a personal relationship with Jesus forever. So there's a powerful story in the scriptures where Jesus makes this super clear. It's in John, Chapter Eleven, and one day will spend a whole sermon series. Definitely multiple sermons on this chapter because it's so powerful and it's so just impactful. But I want to see you to see something here today in this passage in John Chapter Eleven. It's where Jesus's friend Lazarus dies. And what is incredible about the story is Lazarus's sisters, Mary and Martha, they're they're calling out for Jesus to come and do something about death. Lazarus, your friend, he's dying. Jesus, Jesus, your God, you're powerful, your healer, you do miracles, come and save your friend. and Jesus says, I'll be there in three days. And Mary and Martha they say Lazarus doesn't have three days. He's going to die. And when Jesus shows up, he shows up too late and his friend Lazarus is dead. And what does Jesus do in that moment when he learns Lazarus died? Anybody? What did he do? He wept. Jesus cried because his friend died. So I know I've been talking about death and a real objective sense today in this message and I want to pause for a moment and kind of get into the real world with you, because death is real, it hurts it's not right, and I find comfort in knowing that Jesus thought the exact same thing. Like when someone that I love passes away, it's okay to cry, it's okay to feel bad, it's okay to miss them. Jesus did, my God, my savior did. He knows that feeling of death and he experienced it. And in that moment of death, Jesus wanted to do one thing and that was to be with his friends. And I believe that God, that Jesus, wants to be with you, even in those darkest moments of death, because Jesus is setting this all up, less he always does with everything. This is what he tells his friends in that moment. He says, I am...

...the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will what will never die. That's the promise that Jesus gives. And then he asked the question. Do you believe this? And I believe that's the question that Jesus is asking us, he's asking you today. Do you believe this? Because here's the thing. You either do or you don't. You either have eternal life or you don't have eternal life. Jesus is a line in the sand. He says you're either in or you're out, and I referenced Yo Loaf or a little bit earlier. It really should be you'll lift. And then there's a pastor in North Carolina, Jd Greer, that use this in a sermon to probably a couple years ago. You only live forever, Yo life, because everybody lives forever. We've talked about eternal life with God, a relationship with God, knowing Jesus going to a place called heaven that's beyond our comprehension, where there's no pain, no crying, no tears, nothing like that. But there's also another place where people live forever, and that's a place separated from God for all eternity, in a place called Hell. There's no good, no love, no light, no hope, no peace in this place and it's devoid of all things good and all things God. And I don't want you, I don't want my friends, I don't want my family, I don't want my city to go and experience forever in that place. So as saying that everyone lives forever in a place called Heaven or a place called Hell, and forever is a long time. So, if this extension cord represents the timeline of all of humanity, all of the world, all of forever, and this was the beginning of forever pretended continues. This is before creation, before you were created, before the first man was created, before the world was created, before there was a son, before there was a sky, before there was anything, there was in the beginning God, Genesis One, one in the beginning God, and so God existed for all this time. All this time God existed, he just existed and lived and had a perfect relationship with the other two members of the Trinity, and at some point in time he created everything, everything that we know, everything that we see, and there was a beginning to it all. That's this...

...little piece of blue tape and somewhere along the line you were born these see yourself on this timeline. You see yourself on there. Let's just say you were born like right there. And however many years later you'll eventually pass away, unless the Lord comes back before that, and then the rest of human history will continue on this earth. And then then what happens? Time goes on, eternity goes on and it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on. You're falling asleep yet and on and on, and eternity goes on and eternity is long and eternity is forever and eternity never ever ends and what you do in the short time that you have determines what happens for the rest of eternity. And the question is, how do you live forever in all of this timeline? How do you do that? How do you how do you make it work? So, before we wrap up today, I got to tell you about one other thing which is just so interesting. Is We experience. Human beings experience something called neardeath experiences. I don't know if you've ever heard of these things before, but it's when people on this earth, in that little blues, Little Blue Area, kind of have a vision or kind of have an experience of what the future, what eternity, looks like, and it's really, really interesting. There's an author of a book, He's a pastor in Texas, that put together a bunch of these stories that have been put out over the years and he gathered them all up and he looked at them because he wanted to know the common themes of what people experienced. Like what do the what do all of these stories have in common? And then he wanted to compare what the commonalities were with what the Bible said. So it's a really cool book. It's called imagine heaven. I really recommended if you're interesting. And so these people talk about and out of body experience. So this is what happens. Somebody clinically dies. Sometimes it happens like on the operating room table. Imagine being a doctor and you know somebody dies and then they come back right. I'll tell...

...you in a second how that happens. Sometimes it happens in like someone gets in an accident and it happens then. But what do they experience? They experience kind of separating from their body. They're like on the ceiling and they look down at themselves like on the operating room table. It's crazy. They talked about angels, they talked about a light, a tunnel of light, a point of no return. They see a city, they see their loved ones. And then what was really, really fascinating about these commonalities of these stories is they almost always see a person and they don't always know, they don't always call the person. So that the interpretation of these things is always different, but it doesn't matter, like if you are a Christian or if you're a Muslim, if you live in the United States, if you live in the Middle East, it doesn't matter where you live, you all have these they all have these commonalities and all these people, excuse me, they have this commonality of experiencing this person in this neardeath experience and when they come back and they tell their story, they all kind of describe this person as like I just knew him, and it was almost always a hymn. I just knew him and I felt this incredible piece and I felt this like overwhelming sense of love. And sometimes, again, it's not always described as a certain person or what, but this they just almost always describe this as a person. And so imagine you're a doctor doing surgery on somebody and they clinically die and then you try your best to resuscitate them and they come back to life and when they come back they're screaming like the city even know, don't let me go there, don't let me do this, don't know, no, no, and they're supposed to be under anesthesia and all this stuff, and they're screaming, because not every neardeath experience is a positive experience. Sometimes they're also in negative experiences of people going to that other place called Hell or somewhere, you know, on the way in that way, and so those don't usually get reported as often because they're very often traumatic and you know who wants to tell the story of actually doing that? And so but this this one story was happening. And so this guy was on the operating room table and they resuscitated him and he was screaming no, don't let me go back there. No, no, no, and the doctor and then he clinically died again. And then then they resuscitated him and he's like stop, stop bringing me back though. I don't want to go, I don't and he died and then they resuscitated him again and I think the doctor, I don't remember the story completely, but the doctor almost like he wasn't a Christian, but he liked just said a prayer that he remembered as a kid, like in Sunday school or something, and like then this guy came back and like the experience stopped. It was it's amazing to think about. So we don't understand all of these things. Like. We don't. We just have a...

...picture of it and we've looked at the scriptures to see like this wonderful place called heaven. We've seen that there's a eternity for all of us. Somewhere, some place. We either with God or eternally separated from God. But how do you get eternal life? How do you know for certain today that if you were to die, that when that time comes, that you were going to continue to have a right relationship with God no matter where you were? If you weren't physically present on this earth, then wherever you would end up, you would be with God forever in a right relationship. See, I don't think, and Jesus says this, you don't have to wait until you die to start experiencing eternal life. Eternal life is not a quality quantity of life, you know, forever. It's also a quality of life. In John Chapter Three, first twenty there we go, that's when your death experience. Picture in John Chapter Three, twenty six. Who Ever believes in the sun has eternal life, but whoever rejects the sun will not see life, for the God's wrath remains on them. So whoever believes in the sun and that could be you. Maybe it is you. I hope it's you. You have eternal life right here and right now, and whoever rejects the sun will not see life. See, it's all about, I told you, that little blue area. What you do in that little blue area affects everything else. What you do with Jesus right here in this time affects everything else. But some people, some people, they look to their own good works to get to heaven, to have this right relationship with God. They think that if they do enough right things, then eventually the right things will outweigh the wrong things and God will let them into heaven. Other people they think that religion is going to solve the problem for them. They're going to attend church, they're going to give some money, they're going to read the Bible, they're going to maybe pray, they're going to maybe have a relationship with a pastor and through that they're going to get eternal life. And other people, and this sort of the reason why we're talking about this today. In Our world today, our culture today, there's a lot of people that don't think about these things. They just say, Hey, you know what, everybody has their own opinion. The Jews, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhist they all have their own thing and you know what, in the end it's going to be okay. Or you know what, for me right now, who am I to tell them they're wrong? Right WHO's wrong? But Jesus, says, and John Fourteen six, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the father except through me, Jesus said, I am the way, I am the way...

...you get eternal life. And so that's that age old question that are our message takes us to so perfectly today, is is when that time comes that you pass away, do you know for sure where you are going to be? Because you know what the death rate is still the saimed today as it was ten, fifty hundred years ago. A hundred percent of people still die. Imagine that. So if you aren't sure about all of this stuff, if you have questions, I'd love to talk with you about them. But I want to invite you in this moment to make a decision, to trust in Jesus, to have a relationship with Jesus that will change your eternity. How did he make this possible? Well, God became a man, the person of Jesus Christ. That's what we celebrate at Christmas. and Jesus lived a perfect life and then he died on the cross, where he paid the penalty for your sin. He died in your place, he died as you he paid for your penalty, so that he was buried and then he rose again the third day, so that anyone, and this includes you, who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ can be saved, have their sins forgiven and have a right relationship with God for ever, be guaranteed a place in heaven, a right relationship with God forever. And I don't know about you, but if there was somebody that predicted their death and resurrection and pulled it off, I'm going to go with what that guy says. And that's exactly what Jesus did.

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