SermonEarthly Becomes Heavenly
An all-creatures Bible Message

Earthly Becomes Heavenly

A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church

12 April 2020

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Matthew 28:1-10
Colossians 3:1-4

Earthly becomes heavenly is another way of looking at Resurrection Day for on this day we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would.

Since there is no death in heaven, we can look at Jesusí incarnate life upon this earth, including His murderous death as being earthly, and His resurrected life as being heavenly; that which was earthly becomes heavenly by the power of God like in the raising of Jesus from the dead.

Paul writes about being dead to this world and alive in the spiritual realm even while we are upon this earth, so if we couple this together with our celebration of Jesus rising from the dead, it should mean that each of us should be able to live in the spiritual realm and rise above all the earthly troubles and fears to visualize Godís heavenly realm.

Today, we see a lot of fear in the world concerning the COVID-19 virus, and we should take all the precautions we can to prevent us from getting this disease, but at the same time we should not have fear, but trust in the Lord our God to carry us through this time of trouble, even if we get sick or even die, for we will be with the Lord in heaven forever and ever.

However, we are to never give into this kind of worldly death, but to fight against it with all the strength we can muster into the heavenly light here on earth.

We have heard the experts say that COVID-19 came from a ďwet market,Ē a place where people can select living animals, and they butcher them right before their eyes; in this case they say it came from a bat who someone in China was going to eat.

Therefore, if we live in the heavenly will of God, where there is no death or pain or suffering and only eat the plant foods that God created for us to eat in abundance, we will remove ourselves even further from getting this virus, or any of the other viruses, including the common cold, and if we observe the social distancing recommendations of staying six feet away from other people we should help keep ourselves and others free from this virus without any fear.

And, we should do the physical exercise that keeps our bodies fit, as God created us to be.

By doing these things the earthly becomes heavenly.

While we keep these things in mind, letís focus upon Jesusí resurrection as described in Matthew 28:1-10Ö

1. Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

We are not told all the reasons they came; it could have just been to anoint His body, or perhaps in the back of their minds they really wanted to know if Jesus rose from the dead as He said He would.

2. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.

This must have been a very dramatic scene, but it is also one that shows the marvelous power of the Lord our God, which should bring joy and hope to our lives.

3. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow;

In the heavenly realm, I wish to see this kind of scene for myself, but at the same time I can see the beauty of the whole of Godís creation, which fills me with joy.

4. and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

These men only saw the earthly realm in which they lived which was full of fear and violence and death, such as that which killed Jesus, and because they couldnít see into the heavenly realm, they were filled with fear and trembled at the sight before them.

We are not to be like them, we are to have the perfect heavenly love that casts out fear.

5. And the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

The angel must have detected that those women also had fear, so he tells them not to fear because Jesus rose from the dead in order to fill their hearts with wonder and love and joy.

6. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

The angel seems to be trying to quiet the womenís fear and prove to them that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, and even wants them to see that the tomb is empty.

7. "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you."

Then the angel gave them a task to do to help them focus upon something else and lessen their fear.

8. And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

They have overcome enough of their fear to do what the angel told them to do.

9. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

They believed, but they still seemed to want to feel His physical presence even if it was only His feet.

In another account of this story, Jesus tells the women not to cling to Him, because He had not completely changed into His final state of being according to Godís heavenly design.

10. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see Me."

By appearing to them and talking to them, Jesus seemed to be trying to dispel all of their fears, and have them all go to Galilee where they and the disciples can see and talk to Him.

With these things in mind, letís now take a look at Colossians 3:1-4, and see what Paul wrote.

1. If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

We would normally think of being resurrected or translated into heaven, but we are to worship God in spirit and truth, and not in the physical.

We believe that we should understand from this verse that we, who have faith, should be spiritual beings here on earth as it is in heaven, or saying it another way, we all need to rise above the corrupt ways of this world, into the glorious spiritual light of heaven, even while we are still here on earth.

The earthly becomes heavenly, and if we do this, we are most definitely peacemaking children of God, as the Lord calls us to be.

2. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

The earthly becomes heavenly when we learn to do this, for we are in essence living a heavenly life here on earth as it is in heaven, which is the way the Lord wants us to live all the time.

This is similar to rising above the fear and death that COVID-19 brings into the glorious light and life of heaven, even while we are still upon the earth.

3. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Paul is not talking about our physical death, but our spiritual death to the corrupt ways of this world.

4. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

We also see this verse in two ways: if we are born again, Christ has indeed become our life, and if we allow this new way of life to be seem by others, we are giving them a glimpse into the spiritual life to come, which hopefully they will want for themselves.

And, if we are living this way, we should be at peace, and if we are at peace, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit, love, compassion, and empathy, and no longer have any fear, which brings us back to the COVID-19 pandemic that so many people are fearing.

We should not be fearing this virus, but be taking every precaution we can to prevent its spread and to not get it ourselves, which includes eating a whole plant food vegan diet, and exercising, and in addition being vegan helps the whole of Godís creation.

We can consider the COVID-19 virus as being earthly, and to recover from it as being heavenly.

If we give in to this virus, we are part of the worldly system, but if we fight against it, we are bringing the power of God, who created us, to raise us from the death that the virus brings to the life that God wants us to have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just as Jesus rose from the dead, we can rise from the death that this virus brings, which makes it a truly marvelous resurrection day.

That which was earthly becomes heavenly.



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