Hillcrest Church Office
July 21, 2004
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Make a Summertime Splash
by Tom Goodman
Every kid has a story of how high the pool water splashed from his “cannonball” or “jackknife” off a diving board. It’s a summertime ritual. You’re making a great splash at Hillcrest with your participation and enthusiasm this
“And They Lived Happily Ever After”
Every child knows the way a good story is supposed to end. The evil witch might banish the prince from the kingdom, the princess may be threatened with death, an invasion might be launched against the castle. But any good story finally
ends with, “And they lived happily ever after.”
The good news is that Bible prophecy ends that way. What Scripture says about the future isn’t all pleasant and easygoing. As we turn the pages in this story, for a while it seems like the kingdom is going to fall and the beautiful
princess is threatened with death. But then the handsome prince we thought was gone forever returns suddenly, scatters the enemy, brings his bride to his side, and they live happily ever after.
During our summertime Sunday mornings at Hillcrest, we’ve been looking at key themes of biblical prophecy. This week we’ll look at the happy ending to the story in a future period of time the Bible calls “The Millennium.” Join us
at 8:15 or 10:45 a.m.
“What Happens After I Die and Before Christ Returns?”
Thanks for the many fine comments and e-mails regarding last Sunday’s message, which answered the question, “What is the Rapture?” Isn’t it exciting to think about the magnificent and glorious resurrection life we’ll enjoy? The Bible
says, “Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are
raised, they will be full of power” (1 Cor. 15:42-43).
What Christians look forward to is not the liberation from our bodies, but the liberation of our bodies. I mean, God likes the physical world—he created it and called it good. It’s been deeply ruined by sin and
will require a radical make-over upon Christ’s return, but he will not abandon his creation. Never forget that the tomb was empty that first Easter, and that’s the picture of what God’s planning for you, too!
However, though the story isn’t complete without resurrection, be assured that at death a believer enters into conscious, wonderful fellowship with the Lord. That’s the promise we give each other at Christian funerals, and that promise
is biblical. Though Paul said that we do not wish to be “unclothed” (a soul without a body at death) still he knew that to depart in death was to “be with Christ” (2 Cor. 5:4; Phil 1:23). The ultimate desire, of course, is to
be “clothed with our heavenly dwelling” upon Christ’s return. Still, it’s comforting to know that believers who die before Christ’s return are alive in fellowship with Jesus now!
Getting Ready for Our Subscription Campaign
Did you know that our e-newsletter, Winning Ways, goes out to seven countries and five states? Wow! Still, the most important “targets” of Winning Ways are your own unchurched relationships.
That’s why we want you to help us prepare for an upcoming subscription campaign. Our goal is to add fifty more subscribers to Winning Ways by August 18.
Why? Because in mid-August I will begin a series of Sunday morning talks that should interest your friends, coworkers, and neighbors. We want to sign them up for Winning Ways so we can spark their interest in attending. In
addition, we want your friends to know about all the other great activities that Hillcrest will offer as school returns, including a church-wide study of the bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life!
In a few weeks we’ll ask you to send an e-mail to your friends inviting them to subscribe. Right now, though, you can help us prepare for the campaign by simply telling us how Winning Ways has helped you in some way.
Has it helped you start a conversation about church? Have you forwarded it to a friend who ended up attending Hillcrest? Has it encouraged you on a tough week? Has it given you important information? Write me and let me
know! I may use your comments in the subscription campaign when I launch it in a few weeks.
Praying for THEM
We’re at Week Four in our five-week prayer emphasis. This week we’re praying that God will show us our THEMs in our recreation-and-social circle. Remember that the word THEM is the most important word in the Great Commission: “Go to
the people all nations and make THEM my disciples. Baptize THEM in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach THEM to do everything I have told you” (Matthew 28:19-20, CEV). You can’t say you’ve
reached THEM until you’ve reached at least one! If you haven’t picked up your magnet and key chain that we prepared for this prayer emphasis, get yours the next time you’re at church. Also, join us in the Worship Center each Tuesday
between noon and 1 p.m. to “Pray a Dangerous Prayer!” This prayer emphasis is already having an impact! Don’t miss out!
Make a Splash!
As you can see, things don’t stop at Hillcrest just because of summer! Join us and grow!
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