Christian Morality: It is not all about sex

Finally, though I have had to speak at some length about sex, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the centre of Christian morality is not here.  If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong.  The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins.  All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people inthe wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred.  For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become.  They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self.  The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute.  But, of course, it is better to be neither.

(C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (MacMillan: New York, 1943) 94-95.

Questions: Are there Different Levels in Heaven?

Today we begin a new summer sermon series, “Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask” where you get to ask questions that you have been pondering about God, life, faith or some other important question that you have always wanted to ask.  Now the purpose of this series is not to present your pastors as somehow having all of the answers to life’s big questions.  I have a lot of questions myself.  There are a lot of things that I don’t understand.  But during this series, we will see what the Bible has to say about some of the tough issues in life.

Because there are questions for which we need to have answers, and we need to have the right answer, because having no answer, or having the wrong answer, can have horrible consequences in our lives.  For an example, in the movie Madagascar 2 some penguins deal with a flashing red warning light in the cockpit of an airplane by smashing it—but then they run out of fuel and crash land the plane.  And we don’t want to do that.  So here is our first question:

Hi Pastor James,
At our home group sessions over the past weeks, the question of getting
into heaven has been passed around the table.  Everyone has a different theory.
Are there different levels in heaven??  eg. if one has a terrible sinful past,
will one have to be the “cleaning lady” in heaven, rather than sitting at the
feet of Jesus, and rejoicing with everyone else??  Should one just be glad
they got there??  …This has got more than just a few of us very worried.

One theory was that even though we are very sorry and believe that Jesus
died for us, and are now trying to lead a life for Jesus, that we will still have
to answer for our past sins and be held accountable after death in some manner.
That is very scary. …

The other part of the question is…… do you go to heaven directly upon death
or do you linger in “sleep” until the last day, and then everyone is raised up??
I always thought one went “straight away”.

So there you go……….. a very big question for a lot of folks. Continue reading “Questions: Are there Different Levels in Heaven?”