Morning. My name is David Sorn. Lead pastor here at Renovation Church.
If you weren’t here last week, I started out by re-emphasizing our passion to start more churches out of Renovation Church, so we can exponentially reach people for Christ.
In fact, our goal is to plant 10 new churches out of Ren. in 10 years
We are kicking it off by starting 2 churches this Fall.
Last week Bryan McInnis, who’s planting Hope Bridge Church in Plymouth was here, and this week, Nick Whittenhall, who’s planting Ignite Church in Oakdale is here. Come on up Nick!
Q & A
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Family, what do you like to do, etc.?
Tell us why you feel called to plant a church? And why in Oakdale?
What’s Ignite Church going to look like? What kind of church do you want to create?
Thanks Nick! (you can have a seat)
Nick’s going to be here an additional 2 weeks after this week, so start thinking and praying about if there’s a way God might be calling you to support Ignite Church.
We’ll give you an opportunity to respond in the coming weeks, but feel free to meet Nick between services!
Let me pray as we get in to today’s message.
We’re in the middle of a series called “Future You.”
Here’s the concept: What if the “Future You” could come back from the future, and talk to you today? What would they say?
Last week, we did, what if they could come back from 5 years into the future (2017, and talk to you today, what would they say?)
This week, we’re talking about, what if the future you, from 2062, could come back? What would they say?
Next week, we’re doing one of the craziest messages we’ve EVER done.
It’s what if FUTURE YOU from 500 years into the future could come back to you and talk to you?
So you’ve either been in heaven or hell for 450 years. What would you say?
It’s going to be insane. Don’t miss it.
But today, we’re looking at 2062. What a glorious future it’s going to be, right?
Can you even imagine?
Sometimes, it seems like the future progresses kind of slowly, but on the other hand, but other times, it feels like exponential progress.
In 2005, I didn’t even HAVE a cell phone.
That was only 7 years ago.
Now, I feel like I can’t function without it.
I remember, when I was in college in the very early 2000’s saying to my friends….someday…way into the future…they’re gonna have a device that serves as my phone, a camera, and an Mp3 player.
We’re talking like 20 years from now or something.
That took all of about 5 years.
But on the other hand, it seems like it takes forever for certain things to happen
Like, seriously, we should have had flying cars 20 years ago.
Or, at minimum…why are we still driving cars ourselves?
I’ve got more important things to do while I drive. Like text.
Or, someone please explain to me why we don’t have hoverboards yet?
You know those skateboards from Back to the Future 2 that float above the ground?
They had those in 2015.
“You’ve got 3 years scientists!
I don’t even want to begin predicting what 2062 is going to look like, besides the fact that I’m going to be really disappointed if I don’t have my own robot serving me homemade mello yello by then.
In all seriousness, I don’t want to be overly focused on the YEAR 2062 today.
For the average person in this room, that’s going to be sometime near the end of your life.
But for some of you, all you’ve been thinking is: “David, I’m not going to live to be 105.”
So, here’s what I really want you to focus on today…don’t necessarily picture yourself coming back from 2062, but picture yourself coming back from the end of your life.
I mean seriously, what if a Future Version of yourself showed up to you this afternoon, and it was you, on your deathbed…
What in the world would that person say to you?!?
For a lot of us, this is NOT a subject we think about often, or even care to think about.
But death is inevitable. You can’t escape it. And you don’t even know when it’s coming.
Look at this parable that Jesus tells.
(Luke 12:13-21) – NIV
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
I always find this passage so indicting of our American culture.
I think one of the reasons we struggle with funerals and death SO much as a culture, is because we live under this false pretense that we’ve beaten death.
I mean, no one REALLY thinks that…but we LIVE like it
We live in a country where the life expectancy is 78, so we don’t have to think about it all that often.
Did you know that even in 1900, the life expectancy was still 49 in the U.S?
In 1920, it was 56. 1940, it was 63.
Or, let’s even go to modern day. Today, in 2012, In Haiti, it’s 60. In Uganda, it’s 51. In Mozambique, it’s 39.
But here, in the U.S… 78 always seems like a ways off, so we don’t really have to think about it.
But Jesus is trying to get our attention…because, really, we are the “rich man” in this passage.
The average person in MN is richer than 96% of every other person on earth, so that by definition, makes us the rich man.
And we’re kind of like him.
We think, I got this thing decently enough together.
Got a few dollars in the bank anyway.
Got a job. A family. Some education. Things are going all right.
Death!? I’m not going to think about death.
Are you kidding me? What is THIS? A joke?
But God says to the man, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you! THEN who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”
In other words, a couple of things:
1) What’s the point of all the stuff we accumulate? When we’re dead. It’s all pretty pointless.
Who cares that the “rich man” had all that extra grain? Who’s gonna get it now anyway?
2) You DO NOT know the date of your death
It might be at 78 years old
It might be today.
About 10% of the American population never reaches 50 years old.
Another 25-30% doesn’t make it to 70.
Everyone assumes it won’t be us though.
No one thinks that they’re gonna be the one who dies in a car accident at 24 or gets cancer in their 30’s, or has a fatal heart attack at 55.
But it happens…all too often.
And it’s why Jesus gives us this parable.
We can’t be foolish enough to think we can master death.
The great truth of this parable is in it’s irony: The man was thinking through everything here on earth:
“Ok, here’s my strategy for my business growth and my extra storage plan.”
You can picture him planning his “eat, drink, and be merry” vacation on Expedia.
And yet, God says, “What’s the point?”
NO SERIOUSLY, what’s the point if you have the greatest business in the world, all the money in the world, and you aren’t ready to die?
Because this life, is just a blink. Boom. And it’s over. And then, we’re spending eternity in heaven or hell.
WE LIVE OUR LIVES FOR THE WRONG PURPOSE
Imagine someone who spent their whole life trying to find the Lost City of Atlantis, only to have someone tell them at age 77 that it was just a made up tale.
UGH! How frustrating,
But for most of us, we’re no different. We’ve almost completely lost sight of why we’re here.
“It looks different for every person, but too many of us live only motivated by American dream type goals:
“I’m working really hard right now. Putting in long hours.”
WHY? Cuz we’re saving up. For a house, for a new car.
“What do you mean why?”
Let me ask you a question…when you’re on your deathbed, about to enter eternity, do you think you’ll care about the size of your house?
I heard John Piper very famously break down the worthlessness of the American dream once, and it’s always stuck with me.
Like anything, you gotta take it to its endgame to see its truth.
See, here’s the goal of so many of our lives…in one variation of another:
Grow up, graduate high school, hopefully go to a little more school somewhere, get a decent job, get married, have a few kids, get a better job, get a better car, get a nicer house…
Save for your kids to go to college, save for own retirement, and then hopefully, hopefully retire on the beach where you can spend the rest of your days collecting shells.
What’s the end-game??
A shell collection.
But someday, you’re going to die. It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable.
And when you die, the Romans 14 says you’re going to stand judgment before the almighty God and be asked to give an account of your life before Him.
What are you gonna say?
“Look Lord, here’s my shell collection?”
But if the FUTURE YOU could talk to you today, what would they say?
How little do you think you would be thinking about the possessions of this world when you’re on your deathbed?
And How MUCH are you going to be thinking of eternity?
It’s going to be one of the only things you’re thinking about!
You’re about to die.
Hell or Heaven is on the other side.
Any minute now.
For eternity. For EVER.
“You can’t tell me that’s not all you would be thinking about.
CHRISTIANS: START LIVING FOR GOD NOW:
If you’re in this room, and you already know Jesus. You’ve accepted what he did on the cross, made a commitment to follow Him, you have a relationship with him…
I want to challenge you to think with that eternal perspective NOW….not later. NOW.
See right now, in 2012, death always feels a long way off.
So, in light of that, we never plan an end-game.
We never say, “Here’s who I want to be before I die!” (walk)
“I want to be fully devoted to Jesus, I want to bring people with me to heaven, I want to glorify Him with my life and look back on my life on my deathbed and say, ‘I’m ready.’”
But most of us, because death feels such a long way off, we never chart out who we want to be in the future, and thus, we have nothing to aim for, and so we just wander around, finding temporary life in our possessions and the deceit of the American dream.
But if you don’t start developing a vision for your life of being an incredible Christ-follower now…
You’re just going to end up zigzagging your way to your death, and all you’re going to be able to offer up is a shell collection just like everyone else!
You have the opportunity, you have the choice, right now, TODAY, to impact the future direction of your life.
And that’s exactly what the FUTURE YOU from your deathbed would tell you
Step off of the spinning wheel of the weekly grind and start focusing on your relationships. Your family. On Jesus.
Trust me, because this is what the Future You of your deathbed would say to you…you’re not going to care about how many hours you worked, and how many promotions you got, or that you had the cleanest house, or your kids had the coolest clothes, or that you got the highest degree, or that you made the most money when you’re on your deathbed.
Because it’s like Jesus said to the rich fool: Now who’s gonna get what you prepared for yourself?
100 years after you’re dead, the people living in your house (if it’s even still around) won’t even know your name.
Your fashionable clothes will be lame. Your car will be in a landfill. Your diplomas will be forgotten. And we could go on
Are you gonna care about your bank account when you’re dead? Or the clothes you wore? Or the fact that you’re house was always clean?
No. You’re not.
And that’s exactly what the FUTURE YOU would tell you.
FOCUS. FOCUS. Focus on the things that matter.
OK….Where’s God calling you in your heart to focus right now??
Where is it? How’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you right now?
What do you need to pull back from? What do you need to START doing? How do you need to begin to realign your life?
Don’t get to that day, of your death and then think, “I wish I would have spent my life living differently”
Change now. Change today.
And push into God for that change, just like we talked about last week.
HE’s the one that brings change.
And if you don’t know Jesus yet, you’re not in a relationship yet (like you maybe know OF Him, but you don’t KNOW Him)…if that’s you, let me share some sobering news and then some good news.
Because I want to talk to you TODAY about the things you’re going to be thinking about ALL the time 50 years from now…or the day of your death
Some day, you are going to die.
Could be at 78. Could be tomorrow.
And let me just point blank ask you: Are you ready for eternity?
Are you absolutely sure about where you’re going? Heaven? Hell?
Strangely enough, it’s something that a lot of us put on the backburner.
I did this for 18 years. I didn’t really think about it.
I always just assumed heaven, like most ppl do, but I was super busy and had lots of other pursuits.
It reminds me of a story I read once about Gen. William Nelson, a Union General in the Civil War.
He actually was killed, not in battle, but after getting shot at a random brawl that broke up while he was hanging out with his men.
When he was shot, he famously screamed, “Send for a clergyman!”
He wanted to know about God and get right with Him.
It was written about him later that He just never had time to think about such things before.
He never had time as a private, or after he became a General. He didn’t have time to seek God during the war, there was a WAR on!
But then, with only minutes left before he entered eternity, he figured that he better figure it out.
But he died before anyone got there.
Are you ready? Do you know where you’re going?
What if you did die this year? Are you ready?
Are you good enough for heaven?
Let me tell you something I never understood for the first 18 years of my life:
We’re never going to be good enough. You CAN’T be “good enough” for heaven.
There isn’t a person in this room who’s “Good enough” to deserve spending eternity in the presence of God.
The reality is, we’re not good enough, and for that, justice must be done.
What we really deserve for our sins of rebellion against God is justice…punishment.
And God, is a just God, punishment must be done.
But God is also the most loving and merciful being ever.
So he sent his Son, to take our place, our punishment.
So, when you do face judgment one day, and stand before God, don’t offer up your shell collection.
It’s not going to get you anywhere.
And either is the fact that you helped nice ladies across the street and you didn’t murder anyone.
We all stand guilty before God, and the only way we’re getting in by accepting and letting Jesus take the punishment for us.
This is what the Bible’s all about. IT’s what Christianity is all about.
That Jesus came to die for you!
Because He loves you and wants to forgive you and change your life and have you follow Him!
And that’s the offer that sits before you right now…
The offer to believe, follow, and receive Eternal Life.
It’s right there…in the Bible’s most famous verse:
(John 3:16) – NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If we believe in Him, we will have eternal life.
But not just to believe, to follow. To become a follower of Christ.
To live your Life for SOMETHING!
And I want to give you that opportunity to accept the great gift this morning: Eternal life.
This is your chance to not only start a relationship with Jesus (not just know of Him), but KNOW Him.
This is your chance to not only let God in finally and start changing your life.
This is your chance to be SURE of your enteral destiny.
Here’s what we’re going to do.
Let’s all bow our heads and close our eyes…as I want this to be a special moment between you and God.
If you want to follow Jesus today, and believe that He died on the cross for you…I want to give you the opportunity to tell Him that you believe.
The Bible tells us in Romans 10:9 that if we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts, we will be saved
And when we do that…cross the line of faith…We are saved.
And for some of you in this room. It’s TIME. Right now
Maybe you’ve even been here the last few weeks and heard this invitation before.
Don’t let another week go by without giving your life to Christ.
Let’s make it official today
If you want to believe and start following Jesus…(you want to make him your leader & forgiver), If that’s you…I want you to raise your hand right now. Right now.
Let’s make it official
I’ll give you a moment.
If you’re hand is up, would you pray this prayer with me…
It’s not a magic prayer…but just a prayer to tell God where you’re at…and the Bible says, we 1) believe in our hearts and 2) confess with our mouths.
So I want you to say it out loud with me. Repeat after me.
IN fact, there are a lot of other believers already in the room, and this is what we believe.
So, let’s all say it together with these new believers.
EVERYONE repeat after me with these new believers.
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
And that I have fallen short
But God, I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God, I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
Thank you God. Amen.
AMEN!! Let’s just clap and praise God.
Let me thank Him and pray.
If you gave your life to Christ today, I need you to do just 1 thing for me
At the end of the service, I need you to head to the back of the room, and we’re going to give you a gift to help you get started in your relationship with Christ. So awesome!
Won’t take you long at all, but it’s important that you have direction in where to go next.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.