SermonRepentant Heavenly Lifestyles
An all-creatures Bible Message

Repentant Heavenly Lifestyles
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
10 December 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Isaiah 1:1-11
2 Peter 3:1-15
Revelation 3:15-18

Repentant heavenly lifestyles are something that all true peacemaking children of God have in common, for they all live in the heavenly will of God and reject and rebuke all worldly ways of living from their lifestyles as witnesses to the world around them of the way that the Lord wants all of us to live.
 
Many, and probably most people who call themselves ďChristiansĒ try to live in the heavenly will of God while holding on to many of the corrupt and evil ways of this world, which is reflected in their warring madness that is plaguing this world and causing millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
 
These people donít have to live this way, they choose to live this way, for they like their worldly lifestyles and donít want to give them up for what they consider to be the more restrictive repentant heavenly lifestyles of the children of God.
 
As we look at Isaiah 1:1-11, we hopefully will see how wrong these worldly people are, and choose to have repentant heavenly lifestylesÖ

1. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
 
2. Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;
For the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up,
But they have revolted against Me.

Why would people revolt against God?
 
Because they are living in the corrupt worldly and evil ways of this earth, and they have rejected even the thought of having a repentant heavenly lifestyle, because they love the ways of this world.

3. "An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master's manger,
But Israel does not know,
My people do not understand."

Weíre not so sure that they really donít understand; we believe that itís a knowing rejection of the heavenly will of God.

4. Alas, sinful nation,
People weighed down with iniquity,
Offspring of evildoers,
Sons who act corruptly!
They have abandoned the LORD,
They have despised the Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away from Him.

We can hear the anger of Isaiah, and the dismay and sorrow of the Lord in the prophetís written address to Israel.
 
The interesting aspect of this is that it is still going on today, some 2,700 years after Isaiah delivered this message to Israel; and for the most part, the people havenít changed.

5. Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart is faint.

We believe that this is being addressed to the Hebrews of the day, which today would include Christians, and especially their leaders.
 
Unfortunately this is still the problem with most believers and their religious leaders for they donít have repentant heavenly lifestyles; instead, they are trying to be Godly people on the outside, while living in the corrupt and evil ways of this world, which they seem to want more that living in Godís heavenly will and kingdom.

6. From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil.

In other words, they are suffering for living their worldly lifestyles.

7. Your land is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire,
Your fields ó strangers are devouring them in your presence;
It is desolation, as overthrown by strangers.

God allows people to continue to live in their unrepentant worldly ways and suffer the consequences of having their own evilness return upon their heads, in hopes that they would come to their senses and repent, and truly seek to live repentant heavenly lifestyles.

8. And the daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman's hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.

These shelters and huts had none of the comforts of home, which means that they no longer had any peace or comfort in their lives, for they chose to live in the corrupt and evil ways of this world which was falling apart, but even so, Godís grace and mercy remained.

9. Unless the LORD of hosts
Had left us a few survivors,
We would be like Sodom,
We would be like Gomorrah.

Even in the face of utter destruction, the Lord preserved a remnant, who at least have the opportunity to change their ways and return wholeheartedly to God and live in His heavenly will.

10. Hear the word of the LORD,
You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God,
You people of Gomorrah.

God doesnít want us to live in the corrupt and evil ways of this world; He wants us to live repentant heavenly lifestyles.
 
Furthermore, He tells the people that He doesnít want any of their hard of heart religious rituals which brings so much pain, suffering, and death to innocent animals, which the people had come to ďbelieveĒ that they were substitutes for living in Godís heavenly will.

11. "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?"
Says the LORD.
"I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams,
And the fat of fed cattle.
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats.
NASB

We all need to wake up to the reality of our religious rituals and lifestyles, and truly see if they are in the heavenly will of God, and if they are not, we need to reject them, and seek Godís desire for our lives.
 
Think about what we are told in Revelation 3:15-18Ö

15. 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.
 
16. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

In other words, the Lord is saying that our worldly ways make Him sick to His stomach.

17. 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
 
18. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.
NASB

And when we do see, we will see that living truly repentant heavenly lifestyles is the only way that we are ever going to have peace on earth and good will to each other and the animals.
 
This is a Christmas promise; are we willing to accept it?
 
We pray so.
 
Letís now listen to what Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:1-15 and see how it relates to our living repentant heavenly lifestyles.

1. This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
 
2. that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

In other words, Peter is asking the people if they are truly living a repentant heavenly lifestyle.

3. Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,

These are the people who mock those who try to live in the heavenly will of God, because they donít want anyone to challenge their worldly ways.
 
And, to us, this means that they really know the truth, but still want to live in the corrupt and evil ways of this world, and these kinds of people are still in the world all around us, even in our churches, where we have seen vegans and those who care about animals openly mocked, even by the clergy.
 
These people are not living in the heavenly will of God, and we believe that they know it.

4. and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."

This is true, because most people want what this corrupt and evil world has to offer, including its violence, bloodshed, suffering, and death.
 
Just look at what they eat and wear.

5. For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
 
6. through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.

God did this because of the evilness of the people, and if we look around the world today, we see the same things happening, and we believe that this is a sign that we are moving ever closer to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

7. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Think about how we are doing this to ourselves through our continued corruption of the earthís environment; God is letting us do this to ourselves.
 
And remember that we are living almost 2,000 years after Peter wrote these words.

8. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
 
9. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Peter is telling us that these evil and destructive things have been going on for such a long time, but unless we wake up and begin living repentant heavenly lifestyles, we will perish along with the world, for just as it was in the days of Noah, the Lordís patience will come to an end.

10. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

We can also think of a number of ways that the Lord could cause this to happen through our human indifference to the corruption of creation and our continued global warming.
 
If the oceans continue to warm, the methane hydride could decompose and release massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere, and since methane is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, this could cause very rapid global warming which in turn would release even greater amounts of methane into the atmosphere which could reach an explosive level when mixed with the oxygen in the air.

11. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
 
12. looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

We are to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will and who live repentant heavenly lifestyles that are filled with unconditional love, compassion, and empathy for the whole of creation (every human, every animal, and the environment in which we all live).

13. But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

This will be a time when there is no longer any pain, or suffering, or death, which we are to bring to earth as it is in heaven.

14. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
 
15. and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
NASB

If we are truly born again and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we should know these things; and by living repentant heavenly lifestyles here on earth we become witnesses to the world around us that these things are true, and hopefully lead others to repentance and an everlasting life in heaven with the Lord.
 
Amen.

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