Ever hear of people so heavenly minded they’re no earthly good? It’s a popular sentiment. As far as the apostle Paul was concerned, however, heavenly mindedness actually contributes to the worth of our lives.

I. It Helps Us Live with Great Confidence (2 Corinthians 5:6-9)
Believing we have a home “where no storm clouds rise” helps us face the storms of this life with greater courage. Believing the unseen Jesus sees all we do motivates us to do more and better than we would otherwise. As C.S. Lewis writes, “The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven” (Mere Christianity).

Has the Christian idea that we aren’t really home here led to abuses? Unfortunately, yes. In his letters to the Thessalonian church, Paul dealt with the problem of Christian laziness. Believing that Jesus’ return was imminent, some of the members of the church had quit work. They became moochers, sponging off their more industrious brethren. The sanctified thumb twiddling of a few evoked a stern response from the apostle: “If a man won’t work, he won’t eat! (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
Our modern counterpart reveals itself less as unemployment and more as detachment: “The world’s gone to hell in a hand basket, so we’ll just hunker in our bunker till the rapture!” While it’s true that we walk by faith and not by sight, this is more than faith in Christ’s appearing. The faith we walk by sends us out among the sick, the oppressed, the lost to do what we may for them in Christ’s name while we are able. We live with the confidence that we one day will see Him. In the meantime, we live to please Him.

II. We Live Proactively, Confidently Serving Jesus Because We Have Come to a Great Conclusion (2 Corinthians 5:10-15)
Paul was a man with a magnificent obsession. He believed Christ was the be-all and end-all of everything. Not only did Paul see his own life as stitched and hemmed by Christ but all human life. “One died for all,” he declared. “Therefore, all died.” Using the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes, he concluded, “We should therefore no longer live for ourselves but for the One who died and rose.”

Look with Paul’s eyes. What do you see? Behind us is Christ dying and rising for us. Before us is Christ poised to give us what we have coming to us. All around us are the walking dead in need of resurrection! So what do we do in the meantime? There is only one good answer: We must preach the gospel, persuading people of God’s marvelous love and His ultimate justice. We don’t belong to us anymore. Hang this sign around your neck: “Under New Management.” They don’t belong to them anymore. Hang this sign on them: “Looking for a Heavenly Minded Messenger.”

III. Our Great Confidence in and Conclusion About Life Come from Our Great Conversion (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)
Simply put, we’re not ourselves anymore! As the caterpillar became a butterfly, we’ve become new creations. Cocooned in faith, swathed in baptismal waters, we emerged dripping with new meaning, purpose and hope. Our great challenge—our great need—is to rediscover our baptismal identity as the children of God.
Once we see ourselves as different from what we were, we can look at others differently. The song says, “He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.” New creations with new eyes see people as more than annoyances or obstacles. They don’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses; they look at people with Christ-softened eyes.

The cross pushes us. Heaven pulls us. Thus, do we walk…in the meantime.

Check out more great articles

About The Author

Gary D. Robinson (1955-2013) was the pastor of North Side Christian Church, in Xenia, Ohio. He also served at churches in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He was also the author of several sermon collections.

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April 27, 2008
In the Meantime (John 14:15-21)

This is one of the most precious passages in the whole of the Bible. Although Jesus had given clear and candid responses to the questions asked by each of the three disciples, He could still see the concern on their faces. Look at verses 12-14. These verses brought the disciples back down to earth. Ponder the depth of Jesus’ statement in verse 14: “…the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father.”

Remember, Jesus had just spoken to His disciples about Heaven and eternity. One moment the disciples were in deep thoughts about heaven, and the next moment they are back “in the meantime.” In the meantime is a significant part of our lives. We have the new birth on one side and going to heaven on the other side. But in the middle we have the “in the meantime.”

Jesus made a promise to His followers for “in the meantime” living. He promised to send a Helper.

I. The promise of the Helper (v. 16)

Jesus promised that one would come who would abide with us forever. He would ever be beside us and in us and around us to sustain and strengthen us in our time of need.

II. The person of the Helper (v. 16-17)

Who is this Helper? I once heard Jerry Vines say that the word “another” in verse 16 means “my other self.” In other words, the Helper is the spirit and personality of Jesus. In verse 17 we read, “…He dwells with you and will be in you.”

When we say that we invite Christ into our lives or that Jesus lives in our hearts we are accurate because He comes into us in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

III. The Purpose of the Helper (v.12)

The purpose of the Helper in the life of the Believer is for divine enabling. “…greater works than these he will do.” God’s demands are also God’s enablings. God never requires anything of His Children without giving them all that is needed to do what is required. As our Lord prepared for His return to Heaven He also prepared the disciples for their work on earth. He did this by giving them an adequate power source to do all that He had asked them to do. That power source is still available to Christians today. Do you know the Helper?

Check out more great articles

About The Author

Gary D. Robinson (1955-2013) was the pastor of North Side Christian Church, in Xenia, Ohio. He also served at churches in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He was also the author of several sermon collections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 Corinthians 5:6-17

Ever hear of people so heavenly minded they’re no earthly good?
It’s a popular sentiment. As far as the apostle Paul was concerned,
however, heavenly-mindedness actually contributes to the worth of our
lives.

I. It helps us live with great confidence (6-9).

Believing we do have a home “where no storm clouds rise” helps us
face the storms of this life with greater courage. Believing the
unseen Jesus sees all we do motivates us to do more and better than
we would otherwise. As C.S. Lewis writes, “The Apostles themselves,
who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who
built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the
Slave Trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their
minds were occupied with Heaven” (Mere Christianity).

Has the Christian idea that we aren’t really home here led to
abuses? Unfortunately, yes. In his letters to the Thessalonian
church, Paul dealt with the problem of Christian laziness. Believing
that Jesus’ return was imminent, some of the members of the church
had quit work. They became moochers, sponging off their more
industrious brethren. The sanctified thumb twiddling of a few evoked
a stern response from the apostle: “If a man won’t work, he won’t
eat! (2 Thess. 3:10).

Our modern counterpart reveals itself less as unemployment and
more as detachment: “The world’s gone to Hell in a hand basket! So
we’ll just hunker in our bunker till the Rapture!” While it’s true
that we walk by faith and not by sight, this is more than faith in
Christ’s appearing. The faith we walk by sends us out among the Great
Unseen – the sick, the oppressed, the lost – to do what we may for
them in Christ’s name while we may. We live with the confidence that
we will one day see Him. In the meantime, then, we live to please
Him.

II. We live pro-actively, confidently serving Jesus because we have come to a great conclusion (vv. 10-15).

Paul was a man with a magnificent obsession. He believed that
Christ was the be-all and end-all of everything. Not only did Paul
see his own life as stitched and hemmed by Christ but all human
life. “One died for all,” he declares. “Therefore, all died.”
Using the deductive reasoning of a Sherlock Holmes, he concludes,
“We should therefore no longer live for ourselves but for the One who
died and rose.”

Look with Paul’s eyes. What do you see? Behind us is Christ dying
and rising for us. Before us is Christ poised to give us what we have
coming to us. All around us are the walking dead in need of
resurrection! So what do we do with the meantime? There is only one
good answer: We must preach the Gospel, persuading people of God’s
marvelous love and His ultimate justice. We don’t belong to us
anymore. Hang this sign around your neck: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.
They don’t belong to them anymore. Hang this sign on them: LOOKING
FOR A HEAVENLY MINDED MESSENGER.

III. Our great confidence in and conclusion about life come from our great conversion.

Simply put, we’re not ourselves anymore! Like the caterpillar
that became a butterfly, we’ve become a new creation. Cocooned in
faith, swathed in baptismal waters, we emerged dripping with new
meaning, purpose, and hope. Our great challenge, our great need, is
to rediscover our baptismal identity as the children of God.

Once we see ourselves as different from what we were, we can look
at others differently. The song says, “He looked beyond my fault and
saw my need.” New creations with new eyes see people as more than
annoyances or obstacles. They don’t look at the world through
“rose-colored glasses;” they look at people with Christ-softened eyes.

The cross pushes us. Heaven pulls us. And thus do we walk…in the meantime.

_____________________
Sermon provided
by: Gary Robinson, Preaching Minister at
Conneautville (PA) Church of Christ.

Check out more great articles

About The Author

Gary D. Robinson (1955-2013) was the pastor of North Side Christian Church, in Xenia, Ohio. He also served at churches in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He was also the author of several sermon collections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.