Where will you spend eternity? Floating idly on clouds in heaven or as part of God's creative, active family? Don't miss this!
Little kids never seem to grow tired of asking why. Parents squirm when kids ask, where did I come from. But that's a great question. Do you know where you came from? What I mean is, what's your family's story? Do you know it? Who are your people? And more importantly, where are you and your family heading? Do you know where you are going? In other words, is there a reason for your life? On Beyond Today we'll explore the family story we all share in common. Discover the surprising connection to the teachings of Jesus Christ and exam how it just might change your life. Stay with us as we discuss family of destiny.
What's your family like? Do you come from a large family or small? Perhaps you consider your family every day run of the mill, average size, average home town, average income but have you ever wished your family was something special? Did you know that God has something great in mind when it comes to family? Ok, what does your family story have to do with the teachings of the Bible? Something extraordinary and you won't hear about it from main stream religion. In fact you may be shocked by what God has planned for you. We'll talk about that in just a moment.
Now extraordinary may not be the word to describe most of our backgrounds but that's about the only word to describe Arthur Guyton. Who was he? He was a giant in the field of physiology and medicine a master teacher and inspiring role model. He graduated top in his class and distinguished himself at Harvard Medical School. His research led to important insights to cardiovascular physiology, hypertension and heart failure. Now we've all heard of accomplished people like this doing amazing things. So what's remarkable about it? Well it's a fact that his career didn't take him away from his family. He and his wife raised not three, not seven but ten outstanding children. Every one of them became physicians. Eight graduated from Harvard Medical School, one from Duke Medical School and one from the University of Miami Medical School after receiving a PhD from Harvard. Now you might be thinking yeah I'd have a great family too if I was a doctor. But what you may not know is that Dr. Guyton was severely crippled with polio, paralyzed, but that couldn't stop him. You see no one who ever worked with Arthur Guyton thought of him as being handicapped. His unrelenting devotion to science, education and his family captivated virtually everyone who knew him. He had a special ability to inspire people through this invincible spirit that he had. Now, why do I mention him? Well because somewhere inside you might just wish you could be like that. I mean many of us yearn for something great. Why couldn't my family be like that?
Perhaps there's something missing in your life. Do you feel an emptiness that your family somehow never filled? After all families are supposed to be close, supposed to be fun, it's supposed to be loving and caring but you may think, I hate my family. They argue all the time, they drink, they're on drugs, they're abusive, I do everything I can to stay away from my family. So is there any hope?
Yes. But listen up. Your church won't tell you this, your priest, your pastor, your minister either. Most likely you haven't heard this before. Here's what you need to know. God Himself is creating an extraordinary family. He wants you in His spiritual family. God wants the best for you. Now this may be a shocker. Your incredible potential is to be born as members into God's own family, his children having His attitude, His perspective, His character, His own divine nature. You see God's purpose for you is not dying and going to heaven to sprout wings and stare into His face for eternity. Check it out, that is not what the Bible teaches, it's about family. Now you don't have to believe me but look for yourself and believe what God inspired in your Bible. Now let's look at an example.
Ephesians 3:14 Ephesians 3:14For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
American King James Version×For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 3:15 Ephesians 3:15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
American King James Version×from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Ephesians 3:16 Ephesians 3:16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
American King James Version×that He would grant you,
Ephesians 3:19 Ephesians 3:19And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
American King James Version×to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now what could that mean? Well let's tear it apart. If you're filled up to all the fullness of God and your family's last name is now God, in other words you are named a part of God's family, well that can only mean that you can become a literal son or daughter of God, a full fledged member of His family, a divine spirit being like God in His eternal family. Can you see that? Can you see God's plan? His purpose started with the creation of mortal human beings. But He's in the process of fashioning and forming a family, a new family, a new creation. God can be said to be growing and reproducing His own family.
I mean no wonder God is called our Father. He's fathering His own spiritual children. Can you grasp that? Can you understand how different that purpose is from what religion may have taught you your entire life? You see that longing perhaps that craving you have, that aching that you may have, it's that desire to have a wonderful family life, good strong healthy relationships, being happy, fulfilled, loving each other. You see, that deep seeded need comes from God. That's what He wants and that's what He wants for you.
Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
American King James Version×For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Jesus who makes people holy and those who are made holy are from the same family. So He's not ashamed to call them His brothers and sisters. Now did you catch that wording? What does it say that God wants? Many children it said to share His glory, those who are made holy of the same family, brothers and sisters of Christ. You see, isn't that the kind of family that you've always wanted? That's the ultimate family, not a dysfunctional family, not a family consumed with fussing and fighting and addictions, not relationships that are stressed and strained by worry and fear. But you see that's talking about a Godly family sharing good times, working together, having a deep love and respect for each other. That's what God wants, a Godly family.
Now recently there was a very interesting USA Today poll and they asked people what's the number one question you'd like to ask God? Now imagine if you got that phone call, if you could talk to God, what would you ask Him? Well the number one question people would ask God is, what's my purpose here? I mean imagine that, with all of our technology, with all our sophistication we still haven't answered that fundamental question, does life have purpose. Is there real meaning, I mean what's the point of life? You want an answer to that question of the ages, why, why am I here, why do I exist? That's a huge subject, a big subject and it can be difficult to know where to start.
So to help we have a special booklet, What is Your Destiny. This publication will make it easier to unlock a proper understanding of God's family plan. You were created for a purpose but most don't understand what that great purpose is. Don't you want to be aware of what God has in mind for you and your family? Request your booklet, What is Your Destiny, it will help you understand the incredible truth about your future and as always all of our publications are provided free of charge as an educational service in the public interest. Your copy is waiting for you so click or call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or go online to BeyondToday.tv download it, read it, or order you copy of What is Your Destiny. Of course if your on the social networks you can follow us on Twitter or join our Beyond Today Facebook page.
Well let's step back a minute and let's tackle that number one question that people would ask God. What's my purpose here, why did God create humanity? Well you know if you go back to the beginning the very beginning of God's purpose is very clear. In Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×the very first chapter of the Bible tells us
Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Now from that short little reading there's no doubt that men and women are created in God's image, it's his likeness. Now why would He do that? So that we would be like Him. You see that's family talk isn't it? It's interesting to see that this event of God making man happens right after God created plants and animals. Now ask yourself, how do those plants an animals reproduce? Well the Bible says each according to it's kind. So lions reproduce lions, giraffes reproduce giraffes, dogs, horses each reproduce after it's own kind. So what's the point? You see it's no different from mankind.
Your Bible shows that people were created according to the God kind, to be a part of God's spiritual family. Now this may seem astonishing to you, that God is in fact reproducing spiritual children after His kind through humanity. That family relationship, that becoming children of God, that's the heart that's the core of God's incredible plan mankind and for you. God wants to bring you into His eternal family forever as one of His offspring. In fact right now the God family consists of the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. But there are many, many more to follow. So if you turn over to
Acts 17:28 Acts 17:28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
American King James Version×for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'
Your Bible goes on to say
Acts 17:29 Acts 17:29For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone, graven by are and man's device.
American King James Version×Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.
Now hold it right there, what are offspring? They're family members you see when you respond to God's instruction, when you repent, when your baptized you still live a physical life but you're not quite changed to spirit yet but in fact the Bible assures you that you will be a family member in the household of God. This process of becoming children of God in the Bible it's compared to adoption
Ephesians 1:5 Ephesians 1:5Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
American King James Version×having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
You see adoption gives the same legal rights as a natural born child. The Bible emphasizes the fact and the reality, in fact an absolute guarantee that God makes so that we can without a doubt become His children living forever in His family.
Now this idea of adoption reminds me of a wonderful story of Ann Belles. As a little girl, Ann's mom took her to see the movie musical Oliver. Remember the movie about all the orphan boys? Well Ann walked out of that movie saying, I'm going to adopt orphan children. Well not all of us live our dream. We often forget our childhood dreams but not Ann. She's living her dream. She and her husband, Jim, adopted children, not just one or two. A few years ago they had adopted 25 boys and these aren't just any boys. These are boys that had been abandoned, they had been abused, rejected, they were even labeled unadoptable, boys with disabilities from mental retardation to autism and sadly many of them came from parents that actually caused their disabilities. So imagine that family, a mom with a goal, a quadriplegic dad and yet enough love to live and share their dream with their 25 children, boys who had nowhere else to go. They tell people that they're like any family except extremely large. Because of their special bond with the boys there's been amazing results, positive, sometimes astounding results. They've learned that being disabled doesn't mean giving up. When you're family, everyone has strengths and weaknesses and everybody's expected to do what they can. Five vans, wheel chairs that fill up the garage, nine bedrooms and grocery shopping that seems to never end and of course there is always another load of laundry, this is their home. If you ask the boys, this is family. You see its not about blood. Home and family is where they love you no matter what.
That's like God. Family is what God is about. His purpose for creating humanity is to offer you the opportunity to become a part of His eternal family, like adoption. It's often been said that strong families are the building blocks of a strong society. Well God's family is the building block of His coming Kingdom.
Romans 8:14 Romans 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
American King James Version×For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Romans 8:15 Romans 8:15For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
American King James Version×For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
You see that passage is a good reminder that you don't have to be stressed or fearful from this disabling, debilitating situation that life may bring to you. This verse shows us that our relationship with God can be so close. Your relationship with God can be so personal that you refer to Him like a little child as your daddy. Meaning Abba, Father that's what that phrase means, God's our dear daddy and He takes you from whatever background we are, He takes us in no matter what our strengths, what our weakness, whatever disabilities we may have. You see God knows our special needs. So we may ask, who are the children of God and how do you become a part of God's family? It will consists of those who sincerely repent from sin, those who have been baptized and receive God's Holy Spirit. Just a couple of verses before this in verse 9 in Romans 8 makes it clear it says
Romans 8:9 Romans 8:9But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
American King James Version×But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
You see you must be converted and make the awesome change of status to a spiritual family
Romans 8:16 Romans 8:16The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
American King James Version×The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 Romans 8:17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
American King James Version×and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
These scriptures tell us that God's family plan will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to earth to rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will establish the Kingdom of God. In fact His sons and daughters who have been faithful will be changed and share in that glorious family rule to be with Jesus Christ. Those who become like Jesus they'll be more than just spirit beings that are similar to Him, as family they'll inherit the divine nature of the Father, His holy and righteous character. Notice that Christ made it a promise
Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
You see it also tells us in
Revelation 21:7 Revelation 21:7He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
American King James Version×He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
And God makes it clear, God is a family. As a son of God you will be in the God family with God the Father and Jesus your elder Brother. So never underestimate the value of your life. You were born to become one of God's children. You were born to receive His nature and eternal life. You were born to become an immortal child of God in His family of destiny.
Now there's so much more to this topic. We're going to discuss it up next with the Beyond Today panel. But first you've got to take advantage of this special offer, it's the Good News magazine. This magazine has important articles to help you understand God's plan for you, how to build a better family today and how you can be in His family in the future. So request your subscription today and as always, all of our publications are provided free of charge as an education service in the public interest. So call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or go online, BeyondToday.tv. God has an amazing plan for you and all mankind so understand it better by requesting your free subscription to the Good News magazine. Don't forget you can follow us on Twitter and join our Beyond Today Facebook page.
Well we've been discussing the amazing family story we all share in common, our spiritual family of destiny. It's time for our Beyond Today panel to discuss the topic so joining me now are fellow hosts of the program, Darris McNeely and Gary Petty. Now it's interesting that Jesus said some surprising things. He astonished the people of His time in fact He stunned them when He proclaimed that He was the Son of God. They in fact accused Him of blasphemy right? Now one of the interesting things that He said at that specific time was the fact that He said you are god's. That's in the book of John. Now that must have been pretty startling to the people of the day. Why would He say that they were gods referring to humanity, that we were gods? Did He really mean that humans are gods?
Jesus is actually quoting from Psalm 82 where it says you are gods and all children of the Most High. The most important word there is children. It helps us understand the whole purpose of why God created human beings. Human beings were created to become the children of God. You know Steve this is the most important, exciting information because if we understand this it changes everything in life, every human being has purpose, every human being has value, every human being can have a personal relationship with his or her Father and has the opportunity for eternity in the family of God.
Yeah you know what's interesting Steve in that day Jesus is basically saying to a group of people who should have known their own writings, their own scriptures what their purpose was and He plainly tells them, here it is laid out in black and white and you don't understand. It was an alien concept to them.
Some things haven't changed.
It hasn't changed and today people do not get a firm grasp of their purpose, their destiny and the idea of God being a family, creating a family, that a person can be a part of that family is plainly told in the scriptures but they don't read them, they don't understand and they're lost.
Now He's not saying that well we're this human family and we have humanity as our bond in common, that's not what He's saying though right?
No, it's a spiritual connection with God that is much deeper than a human family but He's given the human family as a pattern for us to learn about that spiritual relationship. That's what's important to understand about the human family.
So in that way He really is referring to the fact that God is producing a family, that He's fathering spiritual children.
Oh yes you go back to the very beginning of the Old Testament where it says that God created human beings in His own image, every human being is made in the image of God. Now we've become very corrupt images of God. So what happens is there are two stages to what happens here. We are made in the image of God, every human being can have a relationship with God but then because we have become corrupted by sin, we talked about sin earlier, we must turn to God in repentance, receive God's spirit and He recreates us back into our original purpose. And our original purpose really is eternity. It's a resurrection. We have a relationship with God in His family forever with Him as Father and Jesus Christ as brother.
Gary speaks about the fact that God has created man in His own image what trips people up a lot is this idea of image and really there is more to man being in the image of God than just form and shape. God is spirit and we should not look at God totally in that same way but He is working with us as a spiritual creation and He interacts with us by His Spirit. Scripture says that God interacts with our spirit, bears witness with our spirit. We are the sons of God and that helps us understand how God interacts with human beings at a spiritual level even while we are still flesh and blood to begin that process of printing His character. So it's a spiritual image.
And it's not a metaphor, it's not just a nice little thought, it's reality.
It is and it deals with our character, the inner essence of who we are, how we live our life. God is building a family of people who have the character that He has, who make the same decisions and act in the same way, live the same way that He does. That's what's important to understand is to how that spirit works upon us to create us in the image of God.
It's why human beings are different than animals, our mind is made in the image of God so that we can relate to God. It's just unique it's just such a wonderful information.
That's what lifts us above the animal plane. Man is not an animal, we are not another species on this planet, we are a unique creation, created in the image of God for His purpose of reproduction of His family and building an eternal spiritual family.
So we live that way now, we look forward to the future, to be changed to spirit, to be divine like God's divine. Isn't that right, that we can be a part of His family, His sons, His daughters, it is a literal thing, a real thing?
Peter said that we can become partakers of the divine nature.
And what else can that mean if we're taking that, if we're a part of that, then we are a part of His family. It makes such good sense because God is our Father, what a great image that is and Christ our elder brother. I think sometimes when we see that we miss that whole connection there between those things.
Well and that's why we have to understand that it's not just the future, there's a time there where we are actually changed at the resurrection to become members of that family but right now we have to be imitators.
There is something to do right now.
There is something to do right now, you bet. We can actually participate and act like children of God. Other people should see us and say, what'd different about you? I am a child of God and God's spirit is with me and I'm an imitator of Jesus Christ. That's one of the reasons He came, to give us an example
And that's the only way to reflect the image of God.
You can't just say, well I'm a Christian, you can't just claim that title, there's actions that go along with it. So what do we do?
I would say to our audience, Steve, to begin to read this book, the Bible and read it from the concept of understanding the family of God because in the very beginning He talks about Adam and Eve in the relationship, Abraham becomes the father of the faithful, the family of Jacob, Christ was the Son of God, there is a whole family picture that is brought from Genesis to Revelation in this book. Read it from that point of view and you can understand how God is building a family.
And those family topics will probably jump out at you as you start looking for those things. You'll see it there throughout the Bible. Well it is a big subject and so remember our free offers. They are designed to help you as you study. So remember What is Your Destiny, it'll help you grasp the truth of why you were born. It doesn't have to be a mystery. You can get it by getting online at BeyondToday.tv, download it, read it, request your own copy. Or you can call us toll free 1-888-886-8632 and request your free booklet. Now don't forget our subscription to the Good News magazine. This unique magazine will help you understand God's purpose. There all kinds of articles that are relevant to you, so it's important. Now all these articles, our literature, it's free. It's a publication provided free of charge as an educational service in the public interest. So get ready for some Good News, request your subscription. And of course you can join our Beyond Today Facebook page and follow us on Twitter as well.
Well, what's your family story? Hopefully you find it written in the pages of your Bible because God has an incredible purpose for your life. Your destiny, the reason you were born, is to literally become immortal children born into God's family. The reality is that God is a family, the Father and Jesus Christ will head up the family of potentially billions of divine children forever. Today we may be ordinary people but we have an extraordinary heavenly Father. He is creating in His children His own divine nature, His holy and righteous character and He's giving them His family name. Now this is why you were born, it's the ultimate destiny of all mankind. God wants to be your loving Father, Jesus your elder brother wants to be with you to serve together forever. God's developing His family and it's your family of destiny. Well that's our program for today. Don't forget to request our free literature and be sure to join us right here next time on Beyond Today. Thanks for watching.