by Ernest Easley

God’s Gift of Thorns
2 Corinthians 12.1-10
May 30, 1999
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
Now for a few minutes tonight .. join me in the
book of 2 Corinthians ... chapter 12. I suppose all of
us enjoy receiving gifts. But I want to show you a
gift from God tonight that you may not enjoy. And
while this gift may not be pleasant . . . you’re going to
find that it is productive.
We’re thinking tonight about . . .
God’s Gift of Thorns!
2 Corinthians 12.1-10
Some say this is a thorny passage. But it’s not
if you stick to the point! And the point is that God
allowed Paul to have a look into Heaven. Paul called
it in verse 2 the “third Heaven.”
You say, “How many Heavens are there?”
Well .. at least three. The first Heaven is the
atmosphere around the earth where the clouds are and
the birds fly. The second Heaven is where the stars
and the sun and the moon are. The third Heaven is
where God is. That’s where our loved ones are
tonight who loved the Lord Jesus. Paul calls it
Paradise in verse 4.
Look at verse 4, “how he was caught up
(rapture) into Paradise and heard inexpressible
words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
Can you imagine what would happen today if
somebody was caught up in Paradise for awhile? The
first thing we’d do would to put them on the speaking
tour! My .. they would be speaking at every
conference and convention across America and
selling videos for $30.00 a pop!
But you don’t find one word from Paul about
what he saw or heard! In fact . . . he kept quiet about
it for fourteen years! I don’t know anything worse
than spiritual pride. Thinking you’re better than
somebody else because you’ve experienced
something spiritually that somebody else has not.
Well .. if there was ever a man who was
tempted to possess spiritual pride .. it was Paul! But
as you’re going to see . . . God kept Paul useable
through a thorn in his flesh. And it’s that thorn we’re ...

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