Topics: journey home, life journey
I. Anticipate our ecstasy in heaven
* Contrast being "et down" in a basket with "caught up" to Paradise.
Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows - such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows - was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me (2 Corinthians 12:1-6).
II. Endure the agony of thorns
* Don't expect an earthly "paradise" during our brief pilgrimage here.
- Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me?to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me (2 Corinthians 12:7, 8).
- But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land (Num. 33:55).
III. Rejoice in abundance of grace
* God's grace enables us to rise above our circumstances and feelings.
- And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10).
- After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you(1 Peter 5:10).
Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins July 19th, 2020