So is heaven real? Like real, real? And if it is, what’s it like? We’ll share 5 misconceptions about heaven in this message, and look at what scripture points us toward. We’ll also look at some near death experience accounts, both ancient and current. Maybe if someone came back from the dead and told us what heaven is like, we’d believe.
When we’re in the midst of pain and suffering, it can feel like we’ll never be happy again, nothing good can come from our circumstances, and there’s no reason to continue living. But those are lies. God can redeem, use, and work through our pain. And when he does, we eventually have the opportunity to comfort others. There is a “Fellowship of Suffering.” People who’ve suffered are uniquely equipped and qualified to comfort people who are suffering.
Jesus told his followers that unavoidable trials aren’t aberrations; they are expectations. They can actually serve a beneficial purpose. Why? Because God can redeem, use, or work through the undeserved, unavoidable, circumstantial trials in our lives. But in order for that to happen, we have to believe and persevere.
What do you do when life hasn’t gone in the direction you hoped or wanted it to go and there’s nothing you can do to change your circumstances? What do you do when you’re living in “the meantime”? If you’ve ever been In the meantime or if you’re currently in the meantime, you can’t help but conclude you’ll never be happy again, nothing good can come from your circumstances, and there’s no point in continuing. Can it really be true that God will make things right?
What do you do when there’s nothing you can do? Relationally, financially, professionally, physically, or academically, It just is what it is. There’s nothing you can do to change your situation. Challenging circumstances can make you jealous or resentful. They can make you angry with God. They can breed discontentment. But the problem with discontentment is that it can drive you in self-destructive directions that will eventually leave you with regret. So, what is the secret of finding contentment even when times are tough?
Every once in a while, we run into people stuck in unchangeable, unalterable, in-the-meantime circumstances who get to the place where they’re able and willing to receive their circumstances, their afflictions, their illnesses, their losses, and their disabilities as coming from the hand of their heavenly Father. How do these people maintain extraordinary faith despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances? Where do they find the peace that characterizes their lives?
What do we do when our circumstances are so challenging there’s no way forward and no way out? We have problems for which there seem to be no solutions. We have questions without answers. During times like these, we’re tempted to run or give up. We’re tempted to give in to jealousy, resentment, and anger . . . especially anger toward God. That’s because when life gets hard, it feels like God is absent, apathetic, or angry. But what if he isn’t? Is it possible to hang on to joy, hope, and patience in the meantime?
A beautiful car, a nice house, a great family, a great tattoo, the right friends; our culture of marketing is constantly trying to define success for us. Social media becomes a giant comparison trap. There is no doubt that hard work, success, and achievement can open some doors. But what happens when what you do starts to define who you are? What happens when success and failure begin to drive how you experience life and how you feel? What is success doing to your heart? What is failure doing to your soul?
Of all the things that can confuse the human heart, money is among the most vexing. We all need it. Most of us want more. But even when we gain more, our appetite isn’t satisfied. Why? Jesus identifies the heart of the problem, and this week, we’ll show you an option that will help curb your longing for more.
Nothing touches us more deeply than the relationships we have with those closest to us. No human bond is stronger than the love for a family member or close friend. They are also the ones who can hurt and disappoint us the most. Why is it that these loving relationships fall apart? How can we love someone so much, only to have that love fade? How come families move from a place of love to disappointment so quickly?
Ever notice that what you think will satisfy doesn’t? Money, success, homes, relationships and even family often promise more than the seem to deliver. You always want more. Why? This week, we’ll introduce you to how idols–even sophisticated idols—work, and why elevating the gift God gives you above the Giver always disappoints.
No matter how badly you want peace, there are some relationships that may never be fully restored. But doing this one thing can help you find peace about any relationship.
Jesus says if you have bad blood with another person, you should go and have a conversation with him or her. But why should you go, when should you go, and how should you go?
What do you do when you have bad blood with someone who owes you something? Bad blood is costly and complicated. It costs you peace and complicates your other relationships. If you don’t find peace in that “bad blood” relationship, your other relationships will suffer. The good news is that you can have peace about the relationship even without peace in the relationship.
Bad blood can infect any relationship. And the quality of our lives is only as good as the quality of our relationships. Lack of peace about a relationship robs you of peace in your own life. But you can have peace about a relationship even without peace in the relationship. Happiness comes from peace with God, peace with yourself, and peace with others.
If God is love, why do people often feel so hopeless? Perhaps it’s because we tie our hope to circumstances and emotions. God invites us to tie our circumstances to something profoundly different. Even something unshakable.
Maybe you think the Bible is unreliable or that, even as a historical book, it’s riddled with errors and mistakes. This week, Carey will be joined by world-renowned New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans, who has been interviewed on Dateline NBC, by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and lectured at Yale, Princeton, Harvard and Oxford Universities. Together, they’ll discuss why many of the world’s brightest thinkers have come to trust the scriptures.
So maybe you can accept that God is real and Jesus is who he said he is, but you’re reluctant to get involved in Christian community or a church. After all, Christians and Christian leaders are pretty much all hypocrites. True? Absolutely. And here’s why you should get involved anyway.
Many people read the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible) only to be shocked by the violence they see, even some, apparently, sanctioned by God. Why did God order the slaughter of children? Why would God support war? There are answers….
So if there is a God, and he has a plan for our lives, why does it seem to be so difficult to figure out? The answer to that question might be simpler than you think. And, for those moments when it seems confusing, there’s actually a shortcut to finding God’s will that we’ll share with you.
One of the greatest objections to the existence of God is this: If God is loving, why does he allow good people to suffer? Many world religions tackle this question with different answers. Christianity’s is unique, as God responds not with information, but with something far more profound.
You probably have questions. You wish God would answer now. If anyone had questions that deserved to be answered, it was Job, who lost everything. He finally gets a chance to ask his questions directly to God and learned something that completely changed his questions.
We’ve all been part of a disorganized workplace or group and had our motivation sapped. Add to that an impulse within all of us that prefers independence, and you have a world in which few individuals and organizations ever realize their full potential. What if everyone’s life could be better by aligning their gifts around a common mission, vision and strategy?
Selfishness is not an attractive quality in others, but it’s a quality that comes naturally to all of us. Why battle it? And if you don’t look out for yourself, who will? Jesus provides a radically different perspective and a completely different way to find what you’re really looking for.
When something goes wrong, do you believe the best or assume the worst about the situation? Or about the people involved in the situation? Believing the best can seem so naive, until you realize it can trigger something SO much better than you imagined.