Senior Pastor & Radio Host
Calvary Chapel Aventura
Nathan Jones: Welcome to the question and answer portion where you the reader get to ask us questions. Just post your questions concerning the topics covered under the Comments section below and we'll address them in turn.
We are also going to have as moderator Pastor Vic Batista of the "Truth Will Set You Free" radio program, heard bilingually all over the Miami area. He is used to interviewing people on the radio and he's got that wonderful radio voice. He took an incredible amount of notes, and he found some points that he believes that he needs to ask us to clarify. Vic will be interviewing the three of us speakers, and we in turn have saved a question or two for him afterwards.
Vic ministers bilingually in English and Spanish, so we've asked him not to ask or answer his questions in Spanish as we need to understand what he is saying. He promises not to go all "Ricky Ricardo" on us!
Vic Batista: [Says something in Spanish]
Nathan Jones: Yes, thanks a lot. Vic, it's all yours, Man.
Vic Batista: Thanks, Nate! First, thank you, it was really neat that the Lord put in your heart to call this conference "Future Hope." I have been so blessed by the whole conference. I have been taking notes and there have been certain things that you have each said that really stood out at me. I felt it would be nice to just stop and pause and maybe reiterate some of the things that were shared here, and then also get a little more input and information. When you are teaching we just can't stop you and say, "Hey, I have a question for you." But, I was thinking about this, the Lord has been so good. I thought God is definitely up to something good here. I know that I was blessed and I know everyone here has been blessed so far. I was looking at the topics we covered and there were some other things that I felt we could still get some additional blessings from if we were able to touch on some of these a little more.
What does, "We have Christ, but we don't want the Kingdom," mean?
Vic Batista: Don Perkins mentioned, and he made a good point, when he stated, "We have Christ, but we don't want the Kingdom." Don, could you clarify that for us a little more? Can you talk to us a little bit about that?
Don Perkins: I was trying to make the point in regards to Israel versus the Church. In Israel's day they had Christ. He was there as the Savior, but they wanted the Kingdom over the Savior. In other words, once Christ died and He rose from the dead the people asked, "Lord, have you come at this moment to set up the Kingdom?" In other words, "Lord give us a Kingdom, give us a Kingdom!" But, Christ still has prophecies left that must be fulfilled before He actually ushers in His physical kingdom.
Today what we do in the Church is the opposite. I've met a lot of guys who are Kingdom Now guys, okay, who believe Jesus is the Kingdom which is now concerning them. They don't want to give Christ a physical millennial reign. They point to that we have Jesus now and we have everything that Jesus has given us. He is seated in the heavenly places and so we are seated through Him in the heavenly places. As far as they are concerned, we have everything we need with Jesus already, thus omitting Him and His right to reign physically on planet Earth.
So, many in the Church today are doing just the opposite of what Israel did. Israel had Jesus, but they wanted the physical reign. Today we want the spiritual kingdom but not the physical kingdom.
Vic Batista: Don, that is what I was thinking you were meaning.
Why aren't people excited about Heaven?
Vic Batista: Nathan was sharing about Heaven and when I think about Heaven I get just so excited. I want to be there. And yet, we find people who don't want to go to Heaven. Do you guys think it is maybe because a lot of people are just distracted by the things of this world and so they aren't really considering Heaven? Or, maybe they just don't have enough Bible knowledge to really know what the Bible says about Heaven and so maybe they aren't looking forward to it? What do you guys think about that?
Nathan Jones: I think for one that they are too centered on themselves right now. We are all that way and at some point we can all get that way. There is so much going on in our lives right now that we need to deal with that having an eternal perspective usually becomes an epiphany for us.
We need to stop every once and awhile, though. You can have an epiphany more than just once, like when you see a sunset each morning. Every time we read the Bible it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, and that brings us out of ourselves and out of our routine and gives us that bigger perspective which we so desperately need.
So, I think, yes, we are kind of stuck in our routine and our lives. I think there are a lot of scared people because they don't know their Bible. They don't know what the future holds. And so, I wanted to give them that hope here at this conference about that wonderful future. Anyone else want to add to that?
Steve Howell: I would just say that a lot of people, too, don't have that same desire for the spiritual. They think Heaven is all about God and it's not built for us. But, it's not built just so we can have a cool playground and forget about God. It's all there to glorify Him, and if people are not willing to glorify God in this life, then the promise of glorifying God in the afterlife doesn't sound too great to them.
You were talking the other day, Don, about a cover of a magazine that was talking about Hell. Was it US New and World Report that had people playing volleyball down in Hell and doing all sorts of things that they think are fun? That is what they think! They think it should all be about "Me." If it's all going to be about God, then why do I want to go they ask. I think that is a big misconception. They don't understand what the spiritual is really about. They don't understand the truth of that. That's why I appreciate what Nathan was saying about Heaven. He was able to paint a picture of what reality is like in Heaven.
Don Perkins: I want to add one other point. In Nate's presentation he talked about people thinking that Heaven is going to be boring. A lot of times, because we don't fully understand what the future is going to look like, we make eternity so spiritual that we don't see it as being tangible. Do you know what I mean? Why would I want to go to Heaven? Why would I want to spend eternity in Heaven if all I'm going to do is fly around on a cloud with harps and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. That is how we think. We see Heaven in that perspective.
We don't realize that Heaven is physical. We are going to be part of a New Heaven and a New Earth. Jesus promises mansions, the physical kind that are going to have actual doorknobs on them. You are actually going to open the door and go into your mansion. You will know it is physical. For me personally, when I realized that my eternity was a physical eternity, it added value to eternity, and therefore this world had a whole different glimmer to me. My perspective of eternity went up.