2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Living heavenly lives is something that should never be turned off or on; it is something that should be an integral part of our nature so that we are always living in the heavenly will of God.
Because we also live in this corrupt and evil world, most people seem to be drawn into the ways of the people of this world rather than living in the spiritual realm of God.
We cannot live in the ways of both worlds and be acceptable to God; we need to choose to live in the heavenly realm of the Lord, and reject the corrupt ways of this world, and if we really want to do this, the Lord will help us do it.
The only way we can become the peacemaking children of God that He calls us to be is to be truly living heavenly lives.
In Isaiah 65:17-25, the prophet gives us a view of what the Lord will do for His childrenÖ
17. "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
We can get a taste of this if we are living heavenly lives, for we will see the peace in the midst of the violence and death in this world.
We found that an example of this can be found on a farmed animal sanctuary, for there we can come to see the animals living without fear and interconnect with their personalities, for they have the same emotions that we have, and understand what it means to live in the peace of Godís holy mountain.
18. "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing,
And her people for gladness.
We see Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple as also including Christianity and the church of today, but like the Israelites we all should be truly living heavenly lives.
19. "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem,
and be glad in My people;
And there will no longer be heard in her
The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.
In other words, God rejoices when we are living heavenly lives in everything we say and do; and this is a lot more than a Sunday exercise, itís an everyday way of living.
20. "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
Or an old man who does not live out his days;
For the youth will die at the age of one hundred
And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred
Shall be thought accursed.
It is a scientific fact that almost all our chronic diseases have come from animal agriculture, and some of these illnesses can bring about early death, so it appears that this passage also looks forward to the day that the world becomes vegan.
21. "And they shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Also notice carefully that there is no mention of raising or killing animals for such acts are not in the heavenly will of God, but in the corrupt ways of this world.
22. "They shall not build, and another inhabit,
They shall not plant, and another eat;
For as the lifetime of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My chosen ones shall wear out the work of their hands.
And these kinds of things only happen when the people are living in true peace, because when people are caught up in the warring madness that is plaguing this earth, they lose everything.
23. "They shall not labor in vain,
Or bear children for calamity;
For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD,
And their descendants with them.
This is the way that God created us and the animals to be in Eden, so when we are living heavenly lives, we help bring these conditions to earth.
24. "It will also come to pass that before they call,
I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.
What this is saying is that at that time people would be living heavenly lives and not sinning as the world is doing today, so the Lord will always hear us; thus, if we want God to always listen to us, then we need to be living heavenly lives.
And not only this, but we will find that the earth will become peaceful once again.
25. "The wolf and the lamb shall graze together,
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
and dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.
In Luke 21:5-19, he wrote about how Jesus compared the corrupt ways of this world and its pending judgement with the people living heavenly lives.
5. And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said,
6. "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down."
In other words, donít become complacent in the nice things we have now, for if we fall into the corrupt ways of this earth, the same judgements that happened shortly after Jesus said these things will happen again to us, and we see a lot of signs that those judgements are about to happen if we donít change our ways and begin living heavenly lives.
7. And they questioned Him, saying, "Teacher, when therefore will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?"
8. And He said, "See to it that you be not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time is at hand'; do not go after them.
We need to let the Holy Spirit guide and direct us so that we can recognize the lies of the devil from the heavenly will of God.
9. "And when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately."
And these wars and disturbances are happening all around us with seemingly no end in sight, and we need to take a stand against them and not sit by idly and let the judgements come; we are to set the example of living in the heavenly will of God.
10. Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
11. and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
A lot of this is happening now, but the great signs from heaven have not yet happened, and we believe that if and when they do, it will be too late to stop them; the time to end the evilness upon this earth is NOW.
12. "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake.
Quite often when we speak about being Christian vegan animal rights people and we believe that this kind of lifestyle is truly living in the heavenly will of God, we are met with considerable opposition from meat eaters and others engaged in the corrupt ways of this world, which is really our testimony, as is this sermon.
13. "It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.
14. "So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves;
15. for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.
This is another reason why we need the Holy Spirit indwelling us, for it is He who gives us these words to say.
16. "But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death,
I thank God that my family is not this way, but we know there are plenty of families who are.
17. and you will be hated by all on account of My name.
And also for living heavenly lives in the midst of the corrupt ways of this world that are all around us.
18. "Yet not a hair of your head will perish.
19. "By your endurance you will gain your lives.
We believe that these statements are primarily referring to our everlasting life in heaven with the Lord.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, Paul indirectly writes about living heavenly lives.
1. Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
2. and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.
Letís think about this for a minute.
We believe that there is a lot more to the message of salvation than having people say the sinnerís prayer and that they believe.
We need to have changed hearts and be filled with the Holy Spirit, and truly live in the heavenly will of God, doing everything we can to free creation from its present corruption.
We also believe that the most effective way to begin to accomplish this is to be vegan for that way we are no longer exploiting animals or humans and we are helping to eliminate the horrible damage to our environment that the animal agriculture industry is causing.
And yes, we still need to love God and our neighbors, all our neighbors including the animals with the unconditional love that the Lord extends to us.
3. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
Once we became born again Christian vegan animal rights activists, we found this to be very true, and we also became aware of His presence in our lives even before we accepted Him.
4. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.
Itís not just what ďweĒ command, but itís what the Lord commands us and directs us in our daily lives.
We are to be living heavenly lives.
5. And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the
steadfastness of Christ.
This is our prayer, too.
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