Bringing God’s Heavenly Will to Earth
Bringing God’s heavenly will to earth is an attitude that God instills in each and every redeemed person.
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
10 November 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
2 Thessalonians 2:1-20
Bringing God’s heavenly will to earth is an attitude that God instills in each and every redeemed person.
Our problem is that most people who consider themselves to be Christian seem to reject this important aspect of our salvation.
Bringing God’s heavenly will to earth should be front and center of every Christian’s witness to the world around them.
This is exactly what the Lord taught us to pray for in Matthew 6:9-13, The Lord’s Prayer.
9. “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name
10. ‘Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.]’
And a vital part of bringing God’s heavenly will to earth is being peacemaking children of God who seek to free creation from its present corruption, which means that we do no harm to any other living being or the environment in which we all live.
Think about this in terms of what we put on our plates and eat.
Are we planning to have a roasted turkey for Thanksgiving?
If we are, we certainly aren’t bringing God’s heavenly will to earth, for we are participating in the further corruption of God’s creation.
Also, think about this in terms of what we pray for in our everyday lives.
Does it include the praise of God as David did in Psalm 145:1-7?
1. I will extol Thee, my God, O King;
And I will bless Thy name forever and ever.
2. Every day I will bless Thee,
And I will praise Thy name forever and ever.
The way we truly bless God is through our living in His heavenly will.
If we continue to participate in the corruption of creation, we are being hypocritical.
3. Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
4. One generation shall praise Thy works to another,
And shall declare Thy mighty acts.
There is nothing greater than the acts of creating the heavens and the earth, with all its peaceful perfection where all beings lived together as companions and ate only plant foods.
These are reasons that we should praise the Lord, and at the same time ask for His help in bringing God’s heavenly will to earth so that once again we would have His heavenly peace here on earth.
5. On the glorious splendor of Thy majesty,
And on Thy wonderful works, I will meditate
6. And men shall speak of the power of Thine awesome acts;
And I will tell of Thy greatness.
7. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Thine abundant goodness,
And shall shout joyfully of Thy righteousness.
This is what we try to do every day in both our words and deeds.
But at the same time we realize that we are in a spiritual struggle between the perfection of God, and the evil upon this earth.
This is also what Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12.
12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We also remember an insect repellant called 6-12, and thought about the similarity.
Our job as truly believing children of God is to take our peaceful spiritual stand against the forces of evil and act as a repellant against their evil acts and intent.
This is another way of bringing God’s heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven.
With these things in mind, let’s take a look at Haggai 2:20-23.
20. Then the word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month saying,
21. “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
God is obviously not pleased with what is happening upon the earth with all of its evil acts and corruption.
22. ‘And I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.
Among other things, God will punish those who cause and participate in the warring madness that has plagued our earth to this very day.
23. ‘On that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ ” declares the LORD of hosts.
This is what God desires to do for everyone who lives in His heavenly will.
We who are truly born again and filled with God’s Holy Spirit should be doing everything we can to free creation from every form of corruption.
Let’s go on and look at Luke 20:1-8, where we read about Jesus being challenged by the religious leaders.
1. And it came about on one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him,
These religious leaders didn’t want to hear the truth, and they definitely didn’t want to have the people hear it, for it would challenge their authority; for these leaders were not living in God’s heavenly will, but in their own covetous ways.
2. and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?”
Jesus knows their evil intent.
3. And He answered and said to them, “I shall also ask you a question, and you tell Me:
4. “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”
This question is putting these religious leaders on the spot.
5. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’
6. “But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
7. And they answered that they did not know where it came from.
8. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
We can also challenge the religious leaders of our day who don’t want to hear us talk about the evil ways of the world, with all its warring madness, pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death of millions of our fellow human beings and billions of animals every year.
We can ask them: “Does God take pleasure in having His beloved created creatures (humans and otherwise) suffer horribly and die?”
So no matter how they answer this question, they put themselves in the same kind of spot that Jesus put the religious leaders we are told about in the Bible.
For if they answer yes, they are saying that the teachings of Jesus are lies, and if they say no, then we can ask: “Then why do you support the suffering through your lifestyle and teachings?”
In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20, Paul gives us an example of how we are to conduct our ministry of peace for the world around us.
1. For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain,
2. but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.
When we talk about the evilness of raising animals for food and eating them, and the chronic illnesses it causes human beings, we also run into a lot of opposition, even though it is true and a vital part of bringing God’s heavenly will to earth.
Even if we simply talk about how eating whole plant foods, as God created for us to eat, can heal and reverse many of our chronic diseases, we most often run into the same kind of opposition.
3. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;
4. but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.
5. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed — God is witness —
We sure have heard a lot of this kind of speach coming from clergy, especially televangelists.
6. nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.
7. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.
This is being a peacemaking child of God.
8. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
This is also part of being a credible witness.
As part of our presenting the Gospel message, we cannot wear fur, even fake fur or leather, and look credible speaking about the rights of animals and how we should not exploit them in any way for it goes against God’s creation and heavenly will.
Similarly, we cannot eat any animal foods, for such an act would ruin our credibility and our attempts at bringing God’s heavenly will to earth, because there is no pain, or suffering, or death in heaven.
9. For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
10. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
11. just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
12. so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
We are to be examples of what it means to live in God’s heavenly will, and our example and encouragement we help bring others into the kingdom.
There is more to preaching the Gospel to others than our words; we need to be living examples of what it means to be a peacemaking follower of Jesus Christ.
13. And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
14. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,
15. who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men,
16. hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.
These are the non-Christian Jews who fought against the teachings of Jesus.
Then Paul adds a personal note.
17. But we, brethren, having been bereft of you for a short while — in person, not in spirit — were all the more eager with great desire to see your face.
18. For we wanted to come to you — I, Paul, more than once — and yet Satan thwarted us.
19. For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?
20. For you are our glory and joy.
This is our hope and prayer for everyone we have a chance to minister to in person and through the internet.
God’s work has no end…
For each and every one of us should be bringing God’s heavenly will to earth.
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