FUEL Podcast Transcript
Hello. My name is Chris Papazis. I am one of the Pastors at RockChurch, in East Peoria, IL. And it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the very first episode of the FUEL podcast.
Now, if you are not familiar with the FUEL Bible Study, let me share with you the basic concept. FUEL is RockChurch’s mid-week Bible study and the main need it is meant to address is the need to get our spiritual tanks refueled. Most would agree that this world can be draining sometimes. This world that we live in can deplete us – not only physically, but spiritually as well. And so, just like the purpose of FUEL in the natural world is to replenish energy so that something can continue to function. IE, we need to FUEL up our cars, or they will not take us where we need or want to go.
In that same way, we are in constant need of a spiritual FUEL up, to ensure our spiritual tank is full so we can live this life to the fullest. So that we can live our lives in the way that God originally intended.
It takes power to live for God. It takes power to love people who are sometimes unlovely. It takes power to raise our kids. Sometimes it takes power, just to get out of bed and do the things that are required of us on any given day.
And so, a couple of years ago, I had the desire to create a mid-week fueling station where people could come and soak in the Word of God. Get refreshed and refueled so they could go back into the rest of their week and finish stronger than they would have without it.
And it has been a wonderful experience. We have gone through several books of the Bible. Daniel, Jude, and Revelation. And we have also gone through the book – The Forgotten Way, by Ted Dekker and Bill Vanderbush. And it has been a wonderful time of fellowship and growth for those that attend. For me it has been one of the most personally fulfilling things that I have ever done and I have found myself better and stronger because of it.
So we’ve been going strong for just over 2 years now, but recently something began stirring in me. I have started to feel the need to start doing some additional topical teachings. And the inspiration behind this is the hunger that I see in people. Both the people that come to FUEL, and just the random people that I have met and conversed with throughout my life.
And so – I know that hunger is not just limited to our little study, but there are questions people have regarding the great issues of life. God. Heaven. Hell. The Bible. Jesus. How can a person be right with God? What is my responsibility to God? Is there even a God? Or, if there is, is it possible to know that for sure? Is there purpose? or is everything just random? What about other religions? Is Jesus really the only way to get to heaven? On and on it goes. And so, out of the hunger that I feel is out there, and after praying about it, I feel that my next step is to start this podcast and start talking and teaching on these topics that deeply interest so many people.
So I just want to welcome you. Welcome to this first episode. If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s my hope that these teachings will strengthen and encourage you in your faith.
But also if you don’t consider yourself a follower of Christ, I just want to invite you and tell you that you’re welcome just to kind of hang out and listen to what we have to say. I know a lot of people are seeking so that’s what this is for. That’s what this podcast is all about so, welcome, welcome welcome.
So, that’s a little bit about me and a little bit about the podcast.
And now what I’d like to do – in the time that remains is just jump right in and start our first series.
Like I said, we are going to be exploring some of the deep topics of life on this show. And for our first topic I can think of no greater subject to begin on than the subject of the afterlife.
What happens to me when I die?
This is a universal question that I believe every person asks themselves at one time or another in their life. And so the title of our first series is going to be called Sense and Nonsense – A biblical look at Heaven and Hell
Yup. No easing into it with a light subject – we are going to go for it right off the bat.
And the reason why is simple. If heaven and hell exist there is no subject of greater importance for a person.
Steve Jobs said this “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share.”
Death is the destination that all humanity shares
Benjamin Franklin said, “there were only two things certain in life – Death and Taxes.”
On Jan 22nd, 1997 the satire news site the ONION ran the following headline
World Death Rate Holding Steady At 100 Percent
Nobody gets out of this life alive. When we are younger we don’t worry too much about it, because it seems so far away – so far in the future. But as we get older we begin to realize that it is looming just ahead. And when we realize how fast a year goes by. How fast a decade goes by. How fast 30 years go by we begin to realize – hey this thing is happening. We are all heading to this one singular meeting. Woody Allen said, “I am not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
And so because of the surety and imminence of death, heaven and hell become subjects of momentous importance.
So we are going to tackle this subject and we are going to do so in a series of podcasts, and the way we are going to navigate it is by using the book Sense & Nonsense About Heaven & Hell.
This is a great book co-written by Kenneth Boa and Robert Bowman Jr. – Both Biblical experts in their individual fields. Dr. Boa focusing on Spiritual formation and discipleship, while Dr. Bowman specializes in the study of apologetics.
These gentlemen have put together a gem of a book when it comes to answering the question = “Is what I believe about heaven and hell Biblical?” The goal of the book and of this series will be to help us think clearly and critically about this most intense and sensitive subject.
So, I’m a pastor and I’m coming to this, as you can tell, from a biblical perspective. And that’s another big question people ask. “Is the Bible trustworthy? Is it reliable?” throughout my studies over many years, I am 100% convinced that it is trustworthy. But that is a topic we will dig into on this show. So, hang in there if you have that as a question.
That’s the angle we are coming to this from. The next time we get together we will be looking at the first chapter, which is “The Make Your Own Heaven Game.” It’s going to be a fascinating study. We are going to look at things that people believe about the subject of heaven and are those beliefs biblical? There are some ideas that have entered into our culture and they really don’t line up with the Bible, so we’re going to take an in-depth look at that.
This is pastor Chris, I hope to see you next week. Until then – God bless, and have a great day!