SanLo Community, an update for the week of June 10, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Scott for the message from John 14:1-7, “Forever and Ever.” The idea of eternal life is something we all think about at some point in our life. But sadly, many people are okay with not knowing for sure where they will spend eternal life. They live their lives worrying about school or bills or relationships but don’t put much thought into where they would spend eternity. A survey once concluded that most people (including atheists and agnostics and other religions) believe in heaven and hell. 72% believe there is a heaven. 58% believe there is a hell. If I were to ask you right now, “If you were to die today, do you know where you will spend eternity?” Many would say, “I think so.” Or, “I hope so.” But some may say “I don’t know.” If that’s you, are you okay with that answer? Are you okay with not knowing the answer to such a crucial question? Wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you want to have peace knowing that when your time on earth is over that you will be going to an even better place? Or are you willing to roll the dice and hope for the best? What if I told you that you could know for a fact where you would be. You can be assured with 100% guarantee that you would be in heaven. But it is up to you. Wouldn’t you want to know how? There is no greater issue in our lives than knowing where we will spend eternity. What does the ultimate authority on this matter have to say about it? What does Jesus say about eternal life?
1) Trust Jesus. We need to trust God. (v.1) When we don’t trust God, our hearts are troubled. When we worry, when we have anxiety, when we are scared, it can have negative effects on our heart. Researchers have found that there is an association between anxiety and heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and even death. Jesus says “Do not let your hearts be troubled”. He also says in Matthew 6, “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Worry doesn’t help you – it hurts you. One person put it like this – worry doesn’t take away tomorrow’s problems, it takes away today’s peace. How can you not worry? Well, believe in God and believe in Jesus. And when it comes to eternity and where we will spend it, we do not have to worry. Jesus has taken care of it for us. Jesus has taken care of all the details for us and heaven. But we have to believe! To believe is to have confidence in, to have faith, to give credit to someone or something. It’s the idea that there’s more to this world that what we see. We need to have faith in God, in Jesus. He has it all settled. (vv.2-4) He has already prepared the way to eternal life in heaven. It means you will live forever in Paradise! It’s a done deal on His end. The only thing that is unsettled is your willingness to believe. Jesus promises that He will “prepare a place for you” and “I will come back.” Trust in Him and in these facts! Jesus says to trust God. What else does He say about eternal life?
2) He is the only way to Heaven. (vv.5-7) The ONLY way. There are no other options. There are no shortcuts or ‘round about ways. He is the One and Only way. You want to get to heaven – you have just one option, Jesus. He was both God and man. Many say there are many ways to heaven. We are on the same train just in different box cars but that’s not true. There is only one way. Jesus! It is a narrow way. It is an exclusive way. It is the only way! Way, means path, a road one travels, a manner of life or action. Jesus calls Himself, “the Way” because no one can approach God or come to Him without first coming to Jesus. Jesus also says He is, “the Truth.” He is the reality of all of God’s promises. Truth, means the unveiled reality pertaining to an appearance, the reality clearly lying right before our eyes as opposed to mere appearances. And He says He is “the Life,” or Zoe, the life God intended for us to live. This is not just existing, and not just physical life (bios), but really living a spirit-filled life, a life expressing the best which Christ has to give. This is the kind of life Jesus wants for you. This is the highest blessing. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
He even goes on to say (v.7), if you know Jesus, you know the Father. If you know Jesus, you know peace. You know joy. You know salvation and you will know what it’s like to spend forever in heaven.
Thank you Jondy Natividad, Mike and Yuko Acuna for sharing the vision of On The Mission, a basketball outreach mission to Japan. Jondy, gave his background of serving with Mike and others from SanLo in 2015 with JEMS through a similar basketball outreach. They felt led to go back in 2016 and 2017 with their newly founded On The Mission team which continues to grow in scope and they are forming a team to return to Nagano, Yokohama and Kawasaki this July 21 through August 5. If you would like more information please go to their website at: https://www.onthemission.com/ If you would like to support Jondy, checks may be made payable to slzjcc, memo: OTM-Jondy