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SermonHeavenly Living
An all-creatures Bible Message

Heavenly Living
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
24 September 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Matthew 20:1-16
Philippians 1:21-30

Heavenly living is living in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
Every Christian, who truly believes, should be following the teachings of Jesus, which we believe should lead us all into heavenly living every moment of every day.
 
Yes, we all fall short of the glory of God, mostly because we are surrounded by the ungodly ways of this world, and occasionally fall into the evil ways, but if we also have a truly repentant heart and a heavenly mindset, we quickly ask God to forgive us, and resolve in our mind and soul not to fall into the same trap again, and the more we do this, the easier it becomes.
 
Heavenly living here on earth should be the ideal that we are all seeking, if we are truly seeking to follow Jesus and live in the heavenly will of God.
 
With these things in mind, letís take a look at what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 20:1-16Ö

1. "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

In the kingdom of heaven there is no pain or suffering or death or jealousy or strife; in the kingdom of heaven everything and everyone (human, animal, and angel) is at peace.
 
This is also the way that God created Eden, and this is also an example of heavenly living for all of us to follow.
 
With this added information in mind, letís go back to Jesusí parable.

2. "And when he [the landowner] had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Think of this in terms of when we were first born again and the Holy Spirit entered into us, which is an example of the Lord hiring us to follow Him and set an example of heavenly living before others.
 
And we could also think of the payment or salary in the parable as being our salvation.
 
However at the same time, there were many more people who were still living in the corrupt and evil ways of this world.

3. "And he [the landowner] went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place;
 
4. and to those he said, 'You too go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' And so they went.
 
5. "Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing.
 
6. "And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day long?'
 
7. "They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You too go into the vineyard.'

Isnít this the way people are born again and saved; sure it is because people are coming to the Lord every day, and it has been going on year after year.

8. "And when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.'
 
9. "And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.

Isnít this the way people are saved?
 
Sure it is, everyone receives the same Holy Spirit and the same salvation, and we have never heard anyone complain about their salvation or about someone else being saved; in fact, they are most often joyful about it.
 
But this parable is showing us the worldly ways of thinking.

10. "And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius.
 
11. "And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,
 
12. saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.'

We hope we all see the worldliness of this kind of jealousy and strife.

13. "But he answered and said to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?
 
14. 'Take what is yours and go your way, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

This is exactly what God does when people are born again, and when we are, we should desire to live in His heavenly will, and do everything we can to help free creation from its present corruption.

15. 'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?'
 
16. "Thus the last shall be first, and the first last." 
NASB

And remember that creation includes all of us humans as well as all the animals and the environment we all live in.
 
So, if we are truly born again and seek to be examples of heavenly living here on earth as it is in heaven, shouldnít we also do everything in our power to end all humanly caused violence, pain, suffering, and death for both humans and other animals?
 
We should, because this is all part of heavenly living.
 
As we look at Philippians 1:21-30, letís keep in mind the difference between heavenly living and worldly living.

21. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Paul is looking beyond heavenly living here on earth to actually living in heaven with the Lord, which he believes is a gain from continuing to live here on earth.

22. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
 
23. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
 
24. yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

The worldly leaders, including religious leaders, who are bound to worldly living want to kill Paul, because they see him as a threat, and Paul is torn between allowing himself to be killed and be with the Lord, or remaining in his ministry here on earth.

25. And convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
 
26. so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
 
27. Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Paul is encouraging everyone to make heavenly living here on earth the main focus of their lives.

28. in no way alarmed by your opponents ó which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.
 
29. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
 
30. experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
NASB

Paul also sees evil forces at work in this world, which have come upon him and will also come upon the Philippians and others, and he wants them to have the same outlook as he has, and to look forward to being with the Lord in heaven.
 
Even though Paul is only referring to human beings making a conscious decision, we see that most humans are forcing the evil ways of this world upon the animals who have no choice but to suffer and die.
 
And from everything we have read in the Bible, we strongly believe that all animals will be in heaven, because God created them as living souls just as he created us, which is the reason why our ministry is directed toward both humans and other animals.
 
However animals, unlike humans, have nothing to repent for, because God placed them in the care of humans, whom we also believe were to protect them from evil; but instead of protecting the animals, humans have inflicted every evil imaginable upon them.
 
This is why the animals have nothing to repent for, but why humans have a great deal to repent for.
 
Only a small percentage of human beings are setting the example of heavenly living, but all, or at least most of the animals are; we have a choice, but the animals donít.
 
And donít forget that the animals want to live and enjoy life just as much as we do.
 
So, if we are truly living in the heavenly will of God, and setting an example of heavenly living here on earth, we should also feel the pain and suffering of the whole of creation, and doing everything in our power to free it from its present corruption, and this begins with not eating or wearing animal by-products, and only having plant foods on our plates.
 
Amen.

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