Can I Live Forever?

Date: 10/11/2010 
Can I live forever?
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Recently some students from bangor university discovered what they believe is the oldest creature in the world. It lives in the waters off of iceland, 260 feet down. It's a quahog clam. What's very interesting about this is they counted the rings. And after counting up the rings, they found out it was somewhere between 405 and 410 years old.

That means that this thing was still just a juvenile when Shakespeare was writing Hamlet, when the King James Bible was being translated... And it was living before the pilgrims even landed on plymouth rock. The problem is that, even though clams have a heart, they've got muscle, they breathe, they've got a digestive system, nobody has ever found a clam brain. So what good is it to live so long if you don't know you're alive? Would you like to live forever? We're gonna find out more about it in the presentation of M.I.Q. How can I know that God is listening? Did I come from apes or prehistoric sludge? Can the Bible be trusted? What should I do with my life? College? Cars? A job? Can I ever be perfect? Can I make a difference? [All asking questions simultaneously].

..or what? Announcer: "M.I.Q.": Your questions, God's answers. Is there really a fountain of youth? Can you really live forever? This episode could change your life eternally. Join us now for M.I.Q. Good evening, everybody. This is m.

i.q.: Most important questions. I'd like to welcome our local audience here in cedar lake, Michigan, and also those of you watching on television, on the various channels and on the internet. Thank you for joining us. This is an interactive search for truth. And if you have a Bible question we'd like to hear from you.

You can go to the M.I.Q. Teens website: You can post your question online. And by the way, while you're there, be sure to check out the various resources that's available at that website. You can also watch previous programs as well as viewing various videos that we have online.

If you'd like to send us a text message, you can do that, too. The number to send your text question to is 760-5-afacts. 760-523-2287. Now, I hope that all of those here in our audience have received -- I know some of you will shortly receive your M.I.Q. Teens answer book.

You know, this is a great resource. A lot of good information that goes along with each of the presentations that you see up here on stage. Those of you watching, you can get more information about the M.I.Q. Teen workbook at the website: We have a theme song that we like to sing at the beginning of each of our programs.

And I'd like to invite our leaders of The Song to please come forward at this time. Immediately following our theme song this evening, andrew will be having our opening prayer. Let's stand as we sing together, "Jesus is the answer". When I gaze up at the countless stars or on an endless sea my mind may swim with questions bewildering to me but then I read the Bible and seek your face in prayer I'm satisfied remembering your loving grace and care whatever questions I may have whether great or small I know Jesus died to save me and that he forgave me Jesus is the answer to it all Jesus is the answer to it all I have so many questions I wonder in my heart how something comes from nothing when did forever start why can't I see your glory where is the promised land I trust that you will lead me there if I can take your hand whatever questions I may have whether great or small I know Jesus died to save me and that he forgave me Jesus is the answer to it all Jesus is the answer to it all Father in Heaven, thank you so much for bringing each one of us here to listen to your words. I pray that you will bless the message, that you will be with pastor Batchelor.

Give him the words to say, help them to be yours and not his. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will be here to touch each of our hearts. In your name, amen. Pastor Doug: amen. Thank you.

Welcome, everybody. Good to see each of you. Good to see our friends who are watching on television. We're so thankful that you have joined us for this presentation of M.I.Q., Which stands for most important questions. And we're gonna be dealing with the big questions in life that have everlasting consequences.

And we're gonna be taking questions from both our viewers, from those who are present here. And we're just so thankful that you're each here and hope you'll be praying as we do our best to give the answers. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we're gonna do our best to look in God's book and share what we do know. Well, Pastor Doug, let's see what questions have come in. And I think we're ready for our first question.

Hi, my name's katie. And my question is, are aborted babies going to be in heaven? Well, that's a serious question. And let me go -- before I even enter into that important subject -- sometimes the apostle Paul said, "I say this by permission and not by commandment." And what I'm sharing with you is my understanding of this. This is a very difficult subject. First, I want you to think about some math.

The real question that we're asking here, "will all children that die before the age of accountability automatically be saved?" Maybe it's a miscarried baby. Suppose it's an aborted baby. What if the parents were Christian? What if they're not? Does that make a difference? Well, there's a verse -- we actually saw this question coming and struggled with it because we get it a lot, but it's a difficult subject. 1 Corinthians 7:14... Paul here speaking to Christian men who might be married to non-Christian women or vice versa.

It said, "for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife; and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but now they're holy." And what that's telling us is that there are some children unclean. Now, the way I understand this, and I could be wrong, is that God is not saying automatically every child that dies before the age of accountability -- whatever that age is; let's pretend it's 12. Just pick a number. The Bible doesn't give us a specific number.

It's when you come to understand the principles of salvation, you then become responsible. When you understand right and wrong and the gospel, then you're old enough. Think about how many babies are either miscarried or aborted or die in infancy around the world. It is -- the vast majority of deaths is in infancy. You do the math on that and you'll find out pretty quickly that in the resurrection there'll be maybe one adult for every 10,000 children.

.. Or more. Now, what I do believe is the Bible is very clear. That before the age of accountability, children, before they really understand the consequences, if they die during that time, they are not punished in the lake of fire. It is possible -- there's a couple of verses that shed some light on one of the options.

Psalm 58:8, it says, speaking of their enemies, "let them be like a stillborn child of a woman that they may never see the sun." And then again, job. You remember job was going through his sufferings and he basically is wishing that he had never been born. "Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child? Like infants who never see the light of day?" So it seems to imply there are some infants who never see the light of day. It's a difficult question. And so, those are the Scriptures I'm gonna give you and let you just think about that, but believing parents have a sanctifying influence on their children before they reach the age of accountability and there will be a lot of children in heaven because the Bible says children will be there leading the wild animals.

It says that a child will play on the hole of a venomous serpent and it will not hurt. So hope that helps a little. Or did I confuse you even more? Okay, thank you. All right, let's take a look at our next question for this evening. This is a question from covelo, California.

Pastor Doug, your hometown. And the question is... That was a good question. "Love your enemies. Well, is the devil an enemy? Are you supposed to love him?" Well, first of all, primary responsibility of a Christian is to do what Jesus did.

Jesus didn't love the devil; you don't have to love the devil. The devil doesn't have skin on him. It says, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood," in Ephesians 6. He's a spirit. When Jesus says love your enemies he's talking about our brethren, each other.

The devil also has no redeemable qualities. His salvation is impossible. He's beyond repentance. There's no value in loving him. You're casting your pearls before swine if you do.

Let's take a look at our next video question for today. Hi, my name is choody [phonetic]. I wanna know, can I really live forever? And how can I make it to heaven? Well, a lot of this is going to be covered in our lesson tonight, but the quick answer is yes. We included this. We wanted you to know you can live forever.

We're gonna be talking during the presentation about, how is that possible? Can you think of anything more important than that? Especially since you're not clams? Let's take a look at our next question for this evening. We have a question from fresno, California. Good question. Because God knows everything doesn't mean that he's making everything happen. Do you understand the difference? Well, first of all, do a lot of people decide to have children knowing that those children may not do exactly what they say or always love them? And yet they still choose to have children? Do people choose to get married even though they know that they may fight later? Why did they get married? Love takes risks knowing there can be problems.

God is love. He's a giver of life. He creates life. He even takes the risk of creating life of those who may not love him. You know, the best way I can think to answer this is like a person in a traffic helicopter that has the perspective of the highway and they can see an accident is about to happen because a little red mazda miata is trying to pass an 18-wheeler on top of a hill before they enter a two-lane tunnel and he sees another semi coming.

And that helicopter reporter knows there's gonna be a collision in that tunnel. Does he know it's gonna happen before it happens? Yeah. Is he making it happen? No. You have a free choice. God just knows the future.

See? Alright, Pastor Doug, let's take a look at our final question for this section. Hi, I'm kevin, and my question is, in heaven, what's it gonna be like? Will we have our human bodies? Will we all be different age groups? Or what's it gonna be like? What's it gonna be like in heaven? Well, some of our lesson talks about that, but it tells us that it's gonna be more beautiful than we can even imagine. It's gonna be wonderful in heaven. You'll live forever. Read in Revelation chapter.

.. 21, 22... Isaiah 65, Isaiah 11. It says that God's gonna prepare a mansion for us. Jesus said in John 14, beyond what you can imagine.

You'll run and not be weary. You'll build houses and inhabit them. You'll never be tired. You'll soar with wings like an eagle. It says they'll mount up with wings as an eagle.

I mean, I've got a whole presentation on this subject. I get excited about it. I better stick with our presentation tonight. Pastor Ross: all right. Well, thank you for all of your questions.

Those of you who are watching, you can go to the M.I.Q. Teens website: You can post your question or you can send us a text message. The number is 760-5-afacts. 760-523-2287.

You know, Pastor Doug, we've gotten text questions and email questions, website questions from all over the place: south africa, australia, europe. So keep those questions coming; we'll try and get to as many as we possibly can. Amen. Well, now it's time for the lesson, so we'll turn the time to you. Thank you very much.

Yeah, we even saw that somewhere writing in from the caribbean, and so we just want to greet our friends from all over the world that are tuning in to this special program for you. And I hope you'll be praying for me as I share with you, because I'm really gonna be talking about the most important subject. It's life, and how do you live forever? First of all, people try to stay alive because death seems unnatural. Why do we get old? Why do our cells die and we begin to age? I remember when I was your age, man, I just -- I had the feeling of eternal youth, and you feel so good and you've got no aches and pains, and you notice you're getting bigger and bigger, and bigger, and you're kinda going uphill and things are getting better. And when someone talks about death, you say, "I'm on my way up.

" And one day you plateau and you start realizing things are going down the other side. You say, "wait, whoa." And you start building momentum. Ponce de leon searched around for that fountain of youth. Never did find it. He did find florida, though.

And I think he retired there. [Laughter] and then maybe you heard about that book written by James hilton called -- about shangri-la, the lost horizon. Or people supposedly from the hunza valley. They live hundreds of years. And you know, now they're saying, I saw some research last night -- they found out that rats will live 10 or 15% longer if they eat a low-calorie diet than rats that exercise, but eat too many calories.

And people are getting all excited about that. They think, "I can live 10 or 15% longer!" What is 10 or 15 years compared to eternity? Now, don't misunderstand. I want to do everything I can to prolong my life. But really, you think about somebody going to such lengths and they're just gonna add 10 and 15 years to their earthly life, and not consider their eternal life. I think I told you in an earlier presentation that my one full brother was named, falcon, and he was born with cystic fibrosis.

And the last year or so of his life -- he worked very hard to live as long as he could, because he knew from an early age that he had what was really a terminal disease. By the way, we're all terminal. I hope I don't shock you, but you live long enough, you're gonna get sick and die. Isn't that right? Unless the Lord comes first. That's the way the pattern has been.

And so thinking about how to live forever, that's really important. My brother and I were out walking around the golf course where he used to go get his exercise and he had to stop and catch his breath. And I remember him saying -- this is just when they were on the infancy of heart-lung transplants, and they really hadn't perfected it yet. And my brother said, "doug, I would give everything I've got." My brother was pretty successful. He had a house on miami beach, boat right there on the water, new cars -- I mean, he had the success stories, surfboards and all the toys and.

.. And he said, "I'd give all of my money, I'd give everything I own if I could have lungs like yours and live a little longer." He would give everything for a little more of this life. And how sad that we don't really think bigger than that, because Jesus is offering us the opportunity, not only to have more abundant life now, but to live forever through eternity, in a world that is infinitely better than anything you can imagine. It's real. Scientists can't explain why your cells age.

Why do they stop... Improving and healing themselves? Adam and eve were designed to live forever. We fight death. If I were to bring a rattlesnake down into the -- we almost got a rubber snake as an illustration tonight, but we couldn't find one. I looked.

If I were to bring a rattlesnake down to the audience, you'd probably run if it was alive, right? Because you'd want to preserve your what? Your life. It's natural for us and yet we know that you can stave it off as long as you can. Unless you accept Jesus... You can't have everlasting life. Why? Why is it only through Christ we can live forever? Well, that's a good segue for our presentation tonight.

So we're gonna go to the first question. Question number one: answer? John 3:16: how many of you know this? Why don't you say it with me? "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life." Believing in him is the key to everlasting life, and God so loved the world. Now, I think most of you know I'm a pastor, and pastors don't just preach. We do counseling, and we do... Baptisms and we do funerals.

One of my associates said, "we do hatches and matches and dispatches." And I remember one funeral I did, I'll never forget. 13-Year-old boy, died in the shower. It wasn't drugs, wasn't -- he just had a heart defect and just dropped and died. And after the funeral and the message and the eulogy and all that, the pastor's job is to stand at the head of the casket as the family and visitors go out -- and then the family's last. And as the family came last and the coffin was open, the mother lunged for her son, and the family members had to peel her hands off her son, and she just kept crying over and over, "we loved you so much.

We loved you so much." And you know, whenever I say John 3:16, just that little two-letter word, "so," takes on a whole different meaning. Is there any earthly parent that loves their child more than God loved his son? But he loved you so much, so much, that he gave his son. And he didn't just come and die; he suffered for every sin that you and I have ever committed because he loves you so much he said, "I am going to pay in advance. I will take your suffering in advance for every sin you have committed or ever will commit. And if you repent and confess and believe in me, I will look upon you as though you have never sinned.

And you can have the gift of everlasting life if you believe that promise of mine." Wow. "You mean it's that easy? That's too easy. Can't be true." Jesus said, "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, The Son of man must be lifted up." What was he talking about? Some of you remember the children of Israel were misbehaving in the wilderness, and God withdrew his protection, and all these venomous serpents went out among the group and began to bite them, and they started dying. And they cried out to Moses and God told Moses, "put a bronze serpent on a pole. Hold it up where everyone can see it.

If they look, they'll be healed." And so they quickly fashioned this bronze serpent and they put it up on a shepherd's staff. By the way that, represents for any shepherd a dead snake. I used to -- I lived in a cave. I had a snake stick. I'd kill a snake.

You don't pick it up with your hand. They can turn around and snap at you after you think they're dead. Pick it up with a stick. Carry it off and bury it somewhere. So that serpent up on a pole meant a defeated serpent, that Jesus' dying on the cross defeated the devil.

And then the word went out throughout the camp. "If we look at the bronze serpent on the stick, we'll be healed." Well, these people, they're in agony and they're suffering and they see the wounds from the snakes and they said, "ah, that's ridiculous." And they wouldn't even look. Too easy. Jesus said, "look and live." He says to you and me, "believe and live." If you believe -- by the way, believe means to "be live." You "be live" in him. He says that he forgives all of your sins and he will give you a gift of everlasting life.

And you don't have to be afraid of death. Don't have to be afraid of anything. A lot of young people go around afraid. And that's a wonderful promise. Next question: the answer: Matthew 1:21.

You know this, the angel is speaking to mary. Notice it doesn't say he would save them in their sins; he would save them from their sins. Do you really believe that God can save you from sin? You know, I got a long way to go, but praise the Lord, though I'm not what I should be, I'm not what I used to be. When God found me, I was running around, naked up in the mountains, drinking and smoking and cursing and lying, and using drugs and stealing, and just about everything you can think of. I was trying to look for happiness or fun or excitement.

I was miserable, and the Lord came into my life and he changed me. And so when people tell me, "oh well he saves you, but he doesn't expect you to change." You can't be happy unless he changes you. You can't be happy while you're still addicted to this thing called sin. See, I've got a theory. I have a theory that everybody is designed by God to be addicted.

We were created to be addicted. You know what happens when you are addicted? Some people are addicted to food... And they'll plan their day on where they've stashed their food. And it's like they live -- instead of eating to live, they live to eat. And it's like -- it's an addiction.

Some people, they plan their lives around their work. I've been accused of that before. Being workaholics. They're addicted to that. Similar to drugs.

They want to know when they're gonna get their next fix. People -- my father struggled with alcohol. Every time he made a decision about where he was going, what hotel he'd stay in, he's say, "do they have a bar?" He'd plan his meals around -- we'd go out to dinner, but they always had to be a place that served alcohol. It controlled his life. Well, God created us to be addicted to him.

Well, we said, "will Jesus be here? Will Jesus be there? I've got to be with God. I love God. I crave God. I think about God." And if you're not addicted to God, I'm gonna promise you right now you just need to ask the question, "what is your addiction?" Because you're addicted to other things. Might be one big thing or several things.

Usually several things. It might be shopping, could be food, could be alcohol, could be drugs, could be sex. All different kinds of addictions out there. If Jesus is not the center of your life, then you're just being controlled by something else and you'll never be happy. And that's what he came to give you, is abundant life.

.. To save us from our sins. Why? Romans 6:23. Why? "Because the wages, the penalty, the reward for sin is death." Now, do you think God is being severe? I mean, "sin, is it that bad?" Yeah, friends, sin is deadly. Imagine for a moment.

.. You live on a deserted island in the south pacific. Beautiful, lush, tropical island. I would have liked to have found Hawaii before captain cook found it, when it was just... Maybe even before the lions found it.

I'm greedy. A paradise, unspoiled... Fruit falling out of the trees everywhere. You know, in some places in Hawaii, when you drive, you make guacamole because there's just avocados laying in the road everywhere. [Laughter] I love avocados.

And you live on this beautiful paradise island and you and your beautiful spouse that you love, and he or she loves you, and you got ten children, and it's paradise, and you're happy. And you all get along; and you're all nice. No fighting. If you can be happy with ten children, right? [Laughter] and then, for some inexplicable reason, one of your children suddenly contracts a deadly, contagious disease that creates a long, slow, painful, deadly process: agonizing death. And you know that you need to separate that child from all the other children because within two or three days, they'll become contaminated.

And you're on a small island. And you realize that there is no way to isolate this child, except to push them out to sea to save the rest of the family. What would you do? That'd be a tough decision. God's been faced with that. This planet of ours is sort of quarantined from the universe because of sin.

But the Lord, he came into the world to save his lost sheep, to save us from our sins, to take our disease, to trade places with us. Matter of fact, you know the first miracle that Jesus performed, he turned water into grape juice. They call it wine; it's the same word. Pure grape juice. The last thing that Jesus did is, when he was on the cross, they gave him sour wine.

Then he died. Wine in the Bible represents blood. Remember at the last supper -- you probably know this. He said, "take this drink. It's a symbol of the blood of my covenant.

" Jesus came to give us a blood transfusion. He said, "I will take your sin and I will give you my righteousness. I'll take your disease and I'll give you my power." And he's offering to do this as a gift if we ask and we believe. Next question. Answer: 1 John 3:4.

Sin is... It's dirty. It's a disease. It's contagious. It's.

.. If I was to summarize God in one word, what one word would I use? What does the Bible say? God is love. The opposite of that is, sin is selfishness. And you know, selfishness, if you live for yourself, you will self-destruct. The Bible talks about king Saul in the Bible who grieved away the Holy Spirit and what did he do? He fell on his own sword.

Talks about Judas who grieved away the Holy Spirit. It says satan entered him and he went out -- it was night. And what did he do? He went out and hung himself. Sin will make you self-destruct. Unless you live because of love for God and love for your fellow man.

If you live for love for yourself first, you will slowly implode over the course of your life. I've just seen it time and time again. That's what Jesus said. "Whoever will take up their cross and follow me, he will find his life." If you lose your life for Christ, now you say, "I'm gonna let go. I'm gonna say, 'lord you're in charge of my life,'" especially you young people who are making decisions about college, and your future, and what you want to do and what you want to be, I hope you're asking God what his plan is for you, because that's where you're going to find the greatest happiness.

It's where you're gonna find the greatest fulfillment. A man living in scotland had two boys. One was David, one was John. One boy, John, said, "I want to make as much money as I can to be rich and be comfortable and be famous." His brother, David, he said, "I want to serve God." He got on his knees, he said, "lord, what is your plan for my life? I'll do and go wherever you want me to go. Whatever you want me to be.

" Well, the young brother ended up poor. The older brother ended up rich. If you look in the encyclopedia, you know what you're going to find about the rich, older brother? John livingston? It simply says, "John livingston, brother of David livingston." David livingston, who surrendered his life to Christ, big sections in the encyclopedia. Changed a continent, changed history, opened up missions, is buried in westminster abbey and had great fulfillment. You can read his diary.

You can live for yourself; you'll self-destruct. Or you can live for Christ. Yeah, there's trials in life. There's trials if you follow Jesus. There's challenges.

But you know what? There's trials if you don't. A lot more. Christ said, "if you follow me, take your yoke, pair up, team up with me, because my burden is easy. My yoke is easy. My burden is light.

" So yeah, there's trouble in life. But it's a lot easier to be a Christian. There's tribulation. Jesus said, "be of good cheer. Cheer up.

I've overcome the world," and you follow in his footsteps. It's so much better to follow Christ. Well, they're telling me now, text question came in that the truck -- and I don't know what these are until I get them. And this is from neosho in Wisconsin? Well, when you read in Revelation, we know that the 144,000 are just a sampling of the leadership. Just like there were 12 apostles and then a great multitude was baptized after pentecost.

144,000 Is sort of like the last day apostles and there's a great multitude beyond that. Matter of fact, the Bible says, "it's a great multitude that no man can number," so I can't give you an exact number. But you know what I can tell you? There will be room for you. Hey, I heard an amazing fact this week, coming here. I was sitting next to somebody and I landed at the Dallas airport.

And we taxied and taxied and taxied, waiting to get to the gate. And he said to me, "oh yeah, I come in here a lot." He said, "do you realize that the d.f.w. Airport is bigger than manhattan?" You know how many people live in manhattan? You know how big the new Jerusalem is? 375 Miles square. Which means, if you're not there, it's not because there isn't room. If you're not there, it's because you didn't have room in your heart.

But God's got room for you. Good question. All right. We're going to go to our next question in our lesson. Question number four: yeah, why doesn't God, if he wants to make us happy, just give us eternal life now? So we could live forever like ponce de leon, just doing our own thing? Answer? Psalm 31:9-10.

King David wrote: what is the condition of people in this world, with all the sin and all the suffering? Do you really want to live forever like this? You know, the older people get -- matter of fact, when we come back from this program, we'd like to say hello to Karen's grandparents. Grandpa's gonna be 100 years old. And you know what often happens? I visit with people that get to be 100, and you know what? Are they saying, "boy, I can't wait to reach 200"? You know what they end up saying? "I'm tired." It's true. Do you want to live forever in this life, with these bodies? Or do you want to live forever in a world where you have eternal youth and energy and vigor and you could just soar to other planets. Question number five: no, we talked a little bit about this in our last presentation.

You remember when we read in Genesis 1:27: now, when God made adam and eve in the beginning, was there any sin? In paradise? Everything was perfect. They were perfectly holy, perfectly happy. Did adam struggle with temptation? "Oh, I better not eat another guava. Oh, I can't help myself." Was he having problems like that in the garden? No. His nature was perfectly in harmony with God.

He was motivated by love. God was the middle of his life. But you know where all the sin and suffering came from? When they began to doubt God. Sin was not a part of God's original plan. If you want to understand what's going to happen in heaven, you have to go back to the Garden of Eden.

In the beginning, everything was perfect. The Bible says it was good, good, very good. And how is it going to be in the end? Once again, God wants to make things good, good, very good. What brought in the problem? A three-letter word, and the middle of that three letter word, s-i-n, you got "i." The devil, by the way, has "i" problems. You read about satan, he says, "I want to be like the most high.

I will exalt my throne. I, i, i, i, i." You know, they say crazy people use the words "i," "me," "my," "mine," and "myself" ten times more than people that are considered sane. It makes me worried because I think about how much I think about myself, I thought, "maybe I'm part crazy too." Sin is a form of insanity. It really is. You think about it.

Moses, before he died, he said to the children of Israel, he said, "I am setting before you this day two great options. On one hand, I've got life and good and blessing. On the other hand, I've got death and evil and cursing. Which one do you want?" Now who would be in their right mind that says, "let me think about this. I don't know.

Life, good, blessing... Death, evil, cursing. Ah, the death, evil, cursing sounds interesting." But you know, that's what people do all the time. He really said it with a sense of irony. It says, "if you love and obey God: life, good, blessing.

You turn from God and live for yourself: death, evil, cursing." These are the only choices that anybody really has. And every day we're making choices, "am I going to live for myself, self-destruct, unhappy? Or am I gonna live for God?" "Love the Lord with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself. That is the key to real happiness. But you can't do it without a miracle. You know, I should probably pause at this point and explain this.

It's impossible for you to have victory over sin... Without a miracle. the Lord has to do something incredible in your heart through the Holy Spirit. It says, "he creates a new heart in you." One day the disciples were told by Jesus to cross an ocean. And they said, "okay, lord.

" He said, "I'll catch up with you." They didn't know how, but they trusted him. So they took off across the sea. Partway across, they got enveloped in a terrible storm. They thought they were gonna die. And in the midst of all that, they saw this apparition glowing, walking towards them on the dark waves, on the water.

And they're out in the middle of the sea. First they scream in terror, and Jesus said, "don't be afraid. It's me!" Then Peter, who was always very adventurous, he said, "lord, that looks pretty cool." I'm paraphrasing. "I'd like to walk on the water. How are you doing it? If it's you, then invite me to walk to you on the water and I'll escort you back to the boat.

" Jesus said, "come." All he had to do was ask! Peter got out of the boat, and he felt something firm beneath his feet, you know, storm's going on, he thought, "I'd better keep my eyes on Jesus." So as he's walking towards Jesus, he is doing the impossible. Because he has his eyes on Jesus, he is doing the impossible. Then he probably was thinking, "hey, I hope these guys are getting this on their iphones. No one's gonna ever believe this. You guys catching this?" And he took his eyes off Jesus.

And then he looked around, he saw the waves and he saw the enormity of the sea, and he thought he was gonna get swallowed up in the yaws [sic] of the abyss. And his feet began to sink, because he took his eyes off Jesus. What happened to him? He started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus. Then he came back to his senses. He looked back at Jesus and said.

.. Shortest prayer in the Bible, but it works. "Lord, save me." It's good to know that works in case you ever need it, like driving, semi coming towards you... In a tunnel... Red miata.

.. Remember? "Lord, save me." [Snaps fingers] what did Jesus do? He went to him right away and he took him by the hand, picked him up again. If you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, you can do the impossible. That's the key. It says, "when you're a Christian, you're running a race.

" And it says, "we run that race by laying aside every sin, laying aside the weights that beset us and run the race fixing our eyes, looking unto Jesus. Fixing our eyes on Jesus." I heard about a man one time that, he was walking home from work and about the same time, some three boys were walking home from school. And they noticed that it had snowed and there was fresh snow on the ground, and the boys were fighting with each other. And they were swinging their backpacks and arguing with each other and the man realized, "you know, they're just frustrated, they need something..." Said, "hey, you boys," he broke up their fight. He said, "I'm wondering which one of you is the fastest.

" And the boys are a little competitive. And they said, "oh, I'm faster." He said, "well, we're gonna have a different kind of race. It's not just fast; it's which of you is the straightest." He said, "I'm gonna go to the other side of that field. You see the fresh snow? And when I say 'three,' I want you to run towards me. But here's the key to winning.

Not only do you need to get to me quick, but whoever has the straightest tracks in the snow wins." So he went around the field and he stood at the other end. He said, "on your Mark, get set, 1, 2, 3, go!" And they took off running. The one boy, he was preoccupied with how his friends were doing. He was in the middle, and so he kept looking to his right to see their tracks. He was checking out their tracks.

He look to the left, see how their tracks were doing. But every time he did that -- you ever try and ride a bicycle on a straight line, while you're looking over your shoulder? Try that sometime. He was making this serpentine trail in the snow. And the other boy was preoccupied with his own tracks. He just kept looking over his shoulder to see if they're straight, but every time he did that, he started to veer.

The third boy, he put his eyes on the man, and he ran straight towards the man, and he won the race. The way that you win the race in the Christian life is: a Christian is a follower, not of Christians, not of churches. What's a Christian a follower of? Christ. Biggest problem in the church is that we look at people. Now, you want to live a life people can look at.

I want to be a good example, but I don't look at other people because they'll let you down. If the Bible teaches us anything it tells us that sometimes Christians are inconsistent. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. I hear there's another text question that's coming in. All right.

By the way, this is from new brunswick, New Jersey. Well, we talked a little bit about that already during the program. You might be thinking, "are we gonna be sitting on clouds, playing harps?" Anyone here play the harp? The rest of us would be bored, huh? You've probably seen those pictures before, the fat little naked babies that are on clouds playing harps and you think -- and then they'll show pictures of hell and they make it look really interesting. Like it's some kind of fiendish party. And I've heard young people say, "oh, you know, naked on clouds with harps? Or wild rock concert?" You know, that's the way the world sometimes portrays it.

Oh man, just think of the most interesting things that you can imagine doing, through eternity. Endeavors, building, exploration through space, creating things, inventing things. God made man. He said, "go forth, subdue the earth. Conquer.

" There's all kinds of things that God wants us to do. And we -- a lot of our brain, like I said, we don't use. We were designed to live forever. I promise you this: you get there, and you won't get bored. If you get bored, I'll apologize.

That sound fair? All right. Question number six. We still got a few to go, so better move along here. Answer? Romans 5:8. You know, Jesus could take our place while we're sinners because he never did sin.

You can read about that in 1 Peter 2:22. It says, "Jesus who did no sin." The only man that ever came into this planet that lived a life without sin is Christ. God became a man, and the tools that he used to live a victorious life -- that whole toolbox is available to you and me. Jesus said that he's come to give us an example. He was tempted in every way that we're tempted, yet without sin.

And if you believe in him, all things are possible. He can help you have that new life. All things are possible through Christ. Again, 2 Corinthians 5:21. You know, when I look at myself, sometimes I don't know how I can be saved.

But then I look at Jesus and I wonder, how can I be lost? Because he is such a perfect example for each one of us. Now I want to take a moment to talk about something that I think is really important and here's where a lot of people fail. Here's where a lot of young people are cheated when it comes to salvation. There's often a very cheap presentation that is made and it sounds something like this. "If you'd like to have eternal life, then you come to the front here, you kneel at the altar, you repeat these 50 words, and you will have everlasting life.

" Well, I'm not questioning that God has been able to save people like that, but that's not the whole picture. The Bible says that we are to repent of our sins, we are to confess our sins. It says, "whoever confesses his sins," in 1 John 1:9. "God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Peter said, "repent and be baptized." Repent means be sorry for your sins. Be baptized and your sins will be washed away.

And so, this is part of it. Now, if I'm walking out the door after the program and I step on your toe, I'll probably say, "excuse me." And I expect you'll say, "I'm gonna get my attorney and sue." No, you won't say that would you? [Laughter] you'd say, "no problem." Right? Even if I hurt your toe a little bit, you wouldn't want me to know. You'd say, "it's okay, Pastor Doug." [Grunts] right? I mean, we want to be gracious with each other. You wouldn't expect me to fall down on my knees and grab you by the ankles and say, "please forgive me!" Because that would be too much repentance for the offense. Am I right? The repentance should be in proportion to the offense.

But if I'm running out the door and I'm not looking, and I turn around and I knock you down and you're carrying your books and your books fall out of your hand and you lose your homework and you break your leg. [Laughter] and I say, "hey, sorry. Catch you tomorrow." Well, that's not very nice. I should at least help you up with your books or something, right? Get you a crutch. Right? You know, I've been hit by cars on a bicycle three times in my life.

It's a miracle that I'm alive. Three times, that I remember. I don't know, there might be some I've forgotten. [Laughter] one time I was riding a stingray, and I rode out into this highway. I was not being very careful.

You know, do any of you remember the stingrays? Banana seat? Ahh. And I'm riding back in -- I've dated myself. And a car going 60 miles an hour without its lights on at night, hit the back of my bike. And I'm on it. And spun me around like a top, and I landed on the ground.

And they stopped and once they found out that I was alive, they took off. [Laughter] and another time, I was riding my ten-speed bike in miami beach. And this guy in a convertible, he came around a turn without looking, he just plain old hit me and sent me sprawling, and I'm laying there in shock. And he says from the convertible, "are you okay?" And I'm thinking to myself, "I'm alive." I said, "yeah." And I'm all skinned up and bleeding. He drove off.

That's just not right, is it? So, what have we done to Jesus? You look at the cross. You look at everything Jesus goes through at the cross. It wasn't just for the whole world he went through what he went through. You gotta realize that everything he went through was just for me. It was just for you.

If nobody else in the world had ever sinned, he would've gone through everything that he went through. Now, when Jesus suffers like he suffers to give you eternal life, is it appropriate for you to say, "hey, thanks lord, high five, appreciate it. I'll take that gift." Isn't that kind of shallow? Or is it just me? Doesn't the Bible say that we should repent of our sins? Let me make a suggestion. Talks about confessing our sins. How many of you here remember every sin you've ever committed? Good, I'm not alone.

But can you remember the categories? Like lying. Maybe stealing something. Impure thoughts, gossip. Gossip, everyone can write that down. I'd like to make a suggestion.

If you wanna mean business with Jesus and really be filled with the Holy Spirit, and experience that joy of a new heart to the degree that you repent and confess your sins and you get by yourself with Jesus and say, "lord, I know I've tried to it before, but maybe I've never done this. I am really helpless. I am really sorry for my sins. I really am thankful. I'm sorry for what I did to you.

I want to live for you now. I appreciate your sacrifice and I'm guilty of these sins." Get a piece of paper. Don't let anybody get a hold of this piece of paper. And say, "lord, show me my sins." Start writing them down. You can't remember all the.

.. You know all the individual sins. But what you remember, write it down. And spread that before the Lord. And kneel by your bed, by that list.

And say, "lord, I am sorry." You might even say, "lord, I don't know how to repent right. But I want to." You know repentance is even a gift. It says that in the Bible. Say, "I'm sorry for these sins. I know I've broken your law.

The penalty for sin is death. I believe that. But I also believe that you promised, if I confess my sins that you are faithful and just." Just means, he can legally do it. ..."To forgive me and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness." Then say, "thank you, lord, for your sacrifice for me." Then destroy that list. Don't let anyone get that list.

Don't put your name on the list. And you know what? You're gonna feel the most incredible thing happen in your life. In your heart. I think the reason a lot of young people say, "you know I tried it, it didn't work," is they never really experienced the deep sense of surrendering their lives to the Lord... Of meaning business with God.

.. Of confessing their sins, of repenting. And to the same extent you do that, he will fill you with his spirit! And he'll give you everlasting life. Think about that. You can live forever.

Which leads me to my next question. What is that? True? Will you never die? Well, maybe not if you're alive when Jesus comes. John 11:25-26. You can live forever. How long is everlasting life? How long is eternity? God says that he's offering to give you that gift, forever and ever.

What a wonderful promise that is, friends. "And whosoever lives and believes in me will never die." Have you thought about eternity and what eternity represents? Can you comprehend eternity? I heard someone describe it this way once. Imagine for a moment, a sparrow that lands on half dome yosemite granite, that enormous rock, and sharpens his beak once every thousand years. When he has worn away yosemite dome, eternity will have just begun. You and I can't comprehend it.

God is offering you that. Why would we want to pass that up? You know I'm running out of time for the whole lesson here. But there's an interesting illustration at the end. I started talking about a quahog clam. You know there was a man named alan golash, and he was rummaging at a rummage store in long island.

And he found a broach. And he looked it over and he decided to buy this broach. And it turns out that the broach that he bought had a pearl in it. The guy thought, "oh well you know, custom jewelry." Thought it was just you know, artificial. He bought it for $14.

That broach represented something worth a million dollars. It's a quahog pearl. It's called the pearl of venus. It's purple pearl, perfect purple. Little gold antique broach.

You know how much it was worth? Over a million dollars. Now, can you imagine being the owner of that antique store and finding out that you had a sold a million dollar broach for $14? Oh... Would you trade a silver flute for a plastic whistle? Would you trade a million-dollar armani suit for a hobo's handkerchief? Would you trade a red ferrari for a matchbox car? I mean, you think about really what people are doing when they say no to Jesus... Instead of embracing everlasting life. It's.

.. The craziest thing in the world. That's why the Lord said, "what profit is it to you if you gain the whole world and you lose your soul?" Jesus is offering you eternity with an immortal, glorified body... With him, in a place in a world where there's no more pain or suffering or sorrow or sickness. And the devil has somehow mesmerized this sick world into thinking, "I'd rather have death and curse, cursing and evil than life and good and blessing.

" You know, as we prepare to close out this program, I'd like to ask you who are here at great lakes academy and those who may be watching. Would you like to make a decision right now? And that doesn't mean this is the end of it. You're willing to go and get on your knees with Jesus and repent of your sins and confess your sins. But you'd like to make a decision right now and say, "yes lord, I want to follow you." I want to ask you right now if you're making that decision, or if you've maybe made that decision before, and you want to reaffirm that decision, will you stand before we close and pray? "I want to say yes to Jesus. I want the eternal life that the Lord is offering me.

" And I hope some of you who are watching will make that decision right now. And then get on your knees and mean business with Jesus. We're gonna pray as we go off the air. Father in Heaven, thank you for the promise that you've given us, that we can look and live, that through Jesus we can believe and have that gift of everlasting life. I pray you'll be with each person that is here.

With those who are watching and help us to have that new heart and that new creation that you promise. We ask in Jesus' Name. Amen. Thank you or watching this episode of M.I.Q. In our next presentation, we'll be discussing life, and can it really last forever? You won't want to miss this.

See you then. Announcer: video games. Television. Shopping. They all eat up precious time.

Well, why not take a much needed time out and get connected with God? With the "most important questions" dvd series. A boxed set, that includes 10 1-hour presentations and a 126-page companion guide to the most frequently asked questions on God, the Bible and living a Christian life, presented by tv evangelist Doug Batchelor. To get your copy, visit

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