87 episodes

Weekly sermons to help you live the abundant life.

The Abundant Life with Brandon Kelley Brandon Kelley

    • Christianity
    • 5.0, 4 Ratings

Weekly sermons to help you live the abundant life.

    Life’s Big Questions: Where am I headed after this life?

    Life’s Big Questions: Where am I headed after this life?

    In week 4 of Life’s Big Questions, we consider the question of destiny. It’s the question we ponder we’re reminded of our own mortality. What question is that? Where am I headed after this life? Is there something after this life? What happens after I die?

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    Over the last few weeks, we’ve dealt with some rather deep questions about life. Where did I come from? Why am I here? How should I live? But I would imagine that if we ranked these questions in terms of how heavy each of them are, they would likely all be ranked below the question we’re going to consider today: where am I headed after this life?

    What happens when we die? Where do we go? Do we cease to exist? Is it the ultimate and personal the end on the last page of the story of our lives? 

    Beliefs — Most Americans and Christians

    According to a study that Pew Research conducted in 2014, 7 in 10 Americans believe in heaven as a place “where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded.” 

    That same study revealed that 58% of Americans believe in hell—a place “where people who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished.”

    Notice the difference between belief in heaven and hell? Even among self-professing Christians, more people believe in heaven than believe in hell. 

    According to research done by the Barna Group, those who are born-again Christians who believe that their eternal destination after this life is heaven because of what Jesus has done also believe a number of other things about death, those who are dead, and the way to heaven. 

    10% of born-again Christians believe that people are reincarnated after death.

    29% of born-again Christians believe that they can communicate with those who are dead.

    And most staggering of all, 50% of born-again Christians believe that a person can earn salvation upon doing good works. 

    Beliefs—The Rest of Americans

    And while most Americans believe in heaven and even more than half of Americans believe in hell, there are plenty of people out there who, if they were answering the question, where am I headed after this life?, they would have much different explanations.

    Some people believe that life after death is a ceasing to exist all together. When your body fails to keep going, when your brain “powers down” everything that makes you you ceases to be. Death is the end. There is nothing else.

    Others believe that life after death will consist of some kind of existence as a “state of mind” more than anything physical. 

    Hindus and Buddhists believe in various doctrines of reincarnation with the goal for Hindus being to reach mokṣa which is a release from reincarnation and an experience of utter bliss and the goal for Buddhists is to reach Nirvana.

    And many New Age belief systems combine a buffet line of different religious beliefs, kind of piece-mealing things together and this often includes some form of belief in reincarnation.

    Many others, thought, aren’t sure what they believe about life after death. 

    • 32 min
    Life’s Big Questions: How should I live?

    Life’s Big Questions: How should I live?

    In week 3 of Life’s Big Questions, we consider the question of morality. It’s the question we ponder when we’re faced with a difficult decision or we’re in a tough situation. What question is that? How should I live? What is right and wrong? How can I live a good life?

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    Taking Sides

    Happy Mother’s Day moms. Today, we’re continuing on in our series, Life’s Big Questions. Throughout the last couple weeks, we’ve been considering a couple of life’s biggest questions. Those questions that we ask when we are deep in thought. Those questions that we are beckoned to ask when we are outside on a clear night, staring at the stars. Those questions that we ask when we are reminded of our mortality.

    We started out by asking the question where did I come from? And then last week we asked the question why am I here? So we’ve covered the big questions of origin and meaning so if you weren’t with us in the last couple weeks, you can go to fccfamily.com and catch up by clicking the sermons tab. 

    Messages are also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube so you can connect with it in those places as well. 

    But today, we’re asking the question, how should I live? Which is really the question of morality. 

    And moms, you know this to be true: a big part of our kid’s journey of morality is dictated by who they choose to surround themselves with. We were all in school at one time. At recess, in gym class, in class projects, we would take sides. We would choose to go with this crowd or that crowd. And depending on what side we take would depend on the kind of behavior we would engage in.

    Taking sides. It’s an important thing.

    Examples of Taking Sides

    For instance, with today being Mother’s Day, I know that we could have some fun. Moms, what would you rather receive for Mother’s Day? Flowers or chocolate?

    Well moms, you’re welcome because I don’t want you to have to choose. When you walk out of the sanctuary today, you get to have both. And the moms said, amen!

    But let’s include everyone on this taking sides thing.

    You have to choose, okay?

    Coke or Pepsi?

    Dogs or cats?

    iPhone or Android?

    Morning person or night owl?

    Phone call or text?

    Cake or pie?

    Big party or small gathering?

    What’s worse: laundry or dishes?

    Couch or recliner?

    You get some extra money: save it or spend it?

    How should I live? Comes down to taking sides…

    As you can see, taking sides impacts how you live.

    But what if I told you that this truth goes far beyond a fun list of this or that? What if this principle of taking sides was the key to living the way God wants you to live? 

    Let’s look at what God’s word has to say.

    Introduce Galatians

    If you have a Bible, go ahead and turn to the book of Galatians,

    • 40 min
    Life’s Big Questions: Why am I here?

    Life’s Big Questions: Why am I here?

    In week 2 of Life’s Big Questions, we consider the question of meaning and purpose. It’s the question that seems to chase us throughout our lives as teenagers, young adults, and for many, it continues to chase us as we grow older. What question is that? Why am I here? What is the meaning and purpose of life?

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    The seats in the back of cop cars are not comfortable. At all. 

    They don’t have any cushions, no leather, they are just hard plastic. Needless to say, it’s not a fun place to be—the back of a cop car. 

    Some parts of that night I remember vividly. Other parts are foggy. 

    We had gotten pulled over in Fort Wayne. And the next thing I knew, I was somewhere I never thought I’d be. I was worried. I was scared. What would my dad say? What would my mom say when she found out?

    Did I mention those seats were uncomfortable?

    It’s dark. It’s late. And we’re driving down N. Anthony Blvd. The view of familiar places becomes altered when you’re sitting in the back of one of those cars. 

    What would my dad say? Well, I didn’t have to wonder about what my dad would say for very long. Because I was taken back to his house. Yes, I wasn’t arrested. But my step-mom at the time was. She had a warrant for something minor if I remember correctly. And I was with her while we were on our way to the store or something. 

    Here’s the point: Why we are where we are matters.

    Why I was there mattered. The why of my location impacted the purpose and the significance of that moment. 

    Why am I here?

    And that brings us to this week’s big life question: why am I here?

    When you’ve asked that question, maybe you didn’t word it that way. There’s all kinds of ways to ask it:

    * What is the meaning of life? What’s it all about? Who are we?

    Why are we here? What are we here for?* What is the origin of life?* What is the nature of life? What is the nature of reality?* What is the purpose of life? What is the purpose of one’s life?* What is the significance of life?* What is meaningful and valuable in life?* What is the value of life?* What is the reason to live? What are we living for?

    When you boil it down, when we ask the question, why am I here? we are yearning for an answer to the meaning of life.

    And meaning really has two parts to it. (1) purpose and (2) significance.

    In other words, we’re asking, is there an intent to our existence and do our lives, does our very existence have any meaning beyond ourselves? Is our existence a piece of a bigger story? Are we a part of a grander narrative?

    3/4 of the World Thinks About This Question

    It has been shown that nearly 3/4 of the people around the globe think about the meaning of life on a regular basis. 

    And since most of the people in the world are thinking about the meaning of life and asking some version of the why am I here? question, it’s reasonable to assume that there will be an assortment of answers offered.

    Answers to the meaning of life

    • 34 min
    Life’s Big Questions: Where did I come from?

    Life’s Big Questions: Where did I come from?

    In week 1 of Life’s Big Questions, we consider the question of origins. It’s the question we ponder when we look at the stars and we are reminded of our smallness. What question is that? Where did I come from? Where did everything come from? How did everything that exists begin?

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    Short Clip

    Where we come from impacts who we are. You know this to be true. I know it to be true.

    It also impacts how we talk…

    Let’s play a little game and we’ll see how stereotypical we all are…

    Do you say pop or soda? If you’re from here, it’s likely “pop.”

    Do you throw your trash in a garbage can or a trash can? Trash can if you’re from here.

    What do you call one of those big trucks that pull large amounts of stuff? Semitruck. Other people in other parts of the country call them Tractor Trailers or Eighteen-Wheelers.

    What do you call athletic footwear? Tennis shoes? Sneakers? Gym shoes? Probably Tennis shoes, right?

    How many syllables are in this word: caramel? Two or three?

    Where we come from impacts how we talk.

    But where we come from also impacts who we are.

    Today’s first question in our new series, Life’s Big Questions is “where did I come from?”

    Quick Answer

    And depending on how deep you think about this, you might be able to answer it rather quickly.

    Where did I come from? Well, I came from… my parents. I don’t want to think about that…

    I’m from America. I’m from the Midwest. The state of Indiana. The city of Fort Wayne. I grew up on the south side in Waynedale. I graduated from Wayne High School. 

    Where did I come from? 

    If you keep digging deeper…

    But if you keep digging and rewinding…

    I came from my parents, Chad and Vicki. But they came from their parents. And they came from their parents. And so on and so on and so on.

    Where did I come from?

    If you keep digging you’ll find that this question leads us down a path that stretches our minds. It’s a path that comes face to face with realizing that this single question, where did I come from? really is one of life’s big questions. 

    Because how we answer this question will impact the way we answer all the rest of the questions we’re going to ask in this series. 

    A Confused Culture — Keep Rewinding — Foundational Question

    Much of our culture today is confused because when you don’t know where you came from, you don’t know who you really are. 

    Where did I come from? This question naturally leads us to the question of the existence of God.

    If you keep rewinding and rewinding and consider all the causes that led to you being born and alive today, you’ll reach a point where you ask what was the first cause?

    And I think it’s fitting that the biggest question we could ever ask, the most foundational question for all of life’s ...

    • 40 min
    Easter: Did the Resurrection Really Happen?

    Easter: Did the Resurrection Really Happen?

    On Easter, we looked at the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Because our faith hinges on it being true. So is there evidence for Jesus really rising from the dead thousands of years ago? I believe there is.

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    Have you ever laid awake at night pondering your existence? 

    I did this nearly ever day of my high school years, at least it seemed that way. I would think about time and how it’s so big. I would think about the decades that I would get to, maybe, exist on this colorful ball, spinning on an axis, and whirling around the sun over and over and over again.

    I would zoom out even more. I would start to think about the past. The past that happened, that came and went, that I didn’t get to witness, but I heard about it happening. The pain, the sorrow, the joy, the struggle of human existence. 

    I would zoom out again and go further back in time. I would think about how this all started. And then I’d ask the question: what about before all this?

    Then I would turn my attention to the future. What about when I’m dead and gone? What then? Is that it? Just nothingness? 

    And then I would get frustrated and think: well if it’s just nothing after this then what the heck was the point? WHY?

    And then I would do something that seemed intuitive to me. It was something I never talked about with other people. I never had a conversation about it.

    I would “pray.” 

    Did I know who I was praying to? Nope. No clue. 

    Maybe You’ve Wondered…

    Maybe you’ve been there too. Maybe you’ve wondered why you’re here, how you got here, what’s the point?

    Maybe you’ve questioned the existence of God. 

    Maybe you grew up in church and you’re just not sure if everything you were taught is really that relevant to life. 

    Regardless of your starting point today, I want you to consider something. 

    There are many religions in the world. Ever since the beginning of our existence as human beings, we have gazed at the sky and have tried to understand and explain our own existence. 

    People have worshiped just about anything and everything. It seems like we were made to worship something. 

    And today, we’re going to consider someone. Because the Christian faith is built upon a person. A person who walked on this earth. A person who taught people. A person who performed miracles. A person who claimed to be God. Yes. That is what He claimed. And that same person? He was crucified on a Roman cross. 

    But the interesting thing is that He didn’t just claim to be God. He told His followers that He would die and then rise again. They didn’t understand it at the time. 

    But here’s the thing: if He did, in fact, rise from the dead then that puts an exclamation point on everything else He claimed about Himself. 

    No other religious figure in human history ever gave their followers such an objective truth claim for proof of their wisdom or, in Jesus’ case, their divinity. 

    So the question is, why Jesus?

    • 35 min
    Philippians: In Whatever Circumstances

    Philippians: In Whatever Circumstances

    From Philippians 4:10-23: Discontentment often drives us. It keeps us pursuing. It keeps us striving. But that’s a miserable way to live. In fact, it’s possible to find contentment in whatever circumstance we face.

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    Discontentment often drives us. 

    The idea that things are not the way they ought to be or that things ought to be better than they are, those ideas are what often drive us to discovery.

    The thought of a better world, a better life, that’s what has led to virtually every invention and innovation in human history.

    It’s why we have the ability to harness and use electricity. It’s why we can warm or cool our homes. It’s why we went to the moon (that and the Cold War). It’s why scientists took a picture of a black hole. 

    Discontentment is also a great sales tactic. 

    In fact, marketers do this all the time. It’s called building scarcity. And it’s a great way to get us to buy what they’re selling. 

    You’re not happy enough. This will give you the happiness you’re looking for.

    If you want a better life, this is what you need.

    I’ve been duped into this a time or two…


    I was on my way to becoming obsessed.

    It started my first year at Cincinnati Christian University – my third year of college. It didn’t happen my freshman year and it didn’t even happen my sophomore year when I was a computer science major. 

    No. For some reason it happened at CCU – the school that was full of people pursuing the vocation of ministry.

    It started with an occasional glance. An every-now-and-again noticing. But it grew and grew and grew. At times it would flood my thoughts. But I knew I couldn’t have it.

    What was it that had my attention? A MacBook Pro. Yes. 

    That slick silver shell with that lit up apple with the black keyboard and all the “cool factor” that went along with it. All the exclusive apps that came along with it. The whole package had me itching for one.

    The only problem was… I couldn’t afford one. Not even close.

    But that didn’t keep me from researching it, thinking about it, and coming up with an internal list of all the things I could do if I had one.

    Audio editing and mixing. Video editing. 

    They last far longer than most PCs. Their system is far more secure than PCs. Apple Care is phenomenal. 

    I had become an Apple fanboy before I ever owned a MacBook. Why?

    Because everywhere I looked at CCU, I saw them. My friends told me how great they were.

    They seemed like the Christian computers because everywhere I looked, these Christians had them. 

    Now, fast forward…

    Now That I Have One

    I realize that while it’s a great computer and it is able to do all the things I thought it could and more, it’s just a computer. It hasn’t revolutionized my life. It’s just a tool. A great tool, but just a tool. 

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

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Bitwiseand ,


Thoughtful, engaging, and some challenges thrown in for application. Nice! Thanks

MattMcWilliams ,


WOW… The Abundant Life Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Brandon. Keep bringing it.

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