How Many People Go To Heaven?
Sermon shared by Jim Butcher
Summary: A look at the surprising, scary words of Christ that few will be saved.
Audience: General adults
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“Everyone Goes To Heaven, Right?”: One of the most telling, surprising, shocking statements that Jesus ever made is that only a few find salvation.
- Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:22-30.
- You could say that this section (along with vv. 24-27) is the “invitation” of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He is pressing us for action and to be a part of this radical Kingdom.
- And so He gives us the warning that the gate is narrow, but then gives us insight into why the gate is missed most often.
- He’s being honest with us but wanting to give us every chance to make it.
- The narrow gate is not hidden or camouflaged or impossible to find, but it must be sought.
- You’ve got to seek the gate – it’s not something you’re likely to stumble on.
- This is a truth that we need to preach a lot more, talk about a lot more, and dwell on a lot more.
- It’s a truth that gets under your skin when you think on it for a while.
- It’s a truth that has the ability to change how we view much of our spiritual life.
- It’s a truth that has the power to create an evangelistic urgency that we now lack.
- This truth is a challenge, a warning, a motivator, a fact. We need to preach it more.
- This stands in stark contrast to the way that Christians speak.
- Just think for a minute about how many funerals you go to where the person’s presence in heaven is assured. Compare that to how seldom an possibility of hell is even considered.
- Think for a minute about how pastors speak of anyone who says they believe in Jesus is a Christian (no obedience or discipleship required!).
- Think for a minute about how we presume that every church member is alright with God.
- Think for a minute about how everyone presumes that saying “I believe in God” is sufficient to grant entrance to heaven. Or even “I believe in Jesus” – big deal, the Devil believes that Jesus exists.
- Think for a minute about everything we say (not only in our culture but even within the church) pushes the idea that heaven will be a reunion with everyone there.
- Think for a minute about when the last time was that you heard someone seriously talk about this truth either in a sermon or just in conversation.
- It needs to be clear that when Jesus says here that “only a few find it” He doesn’t mean that God desires for only a few to be saved. The point is that only a few want it.
- Lots of people want a salvation that involves no obedience, no sacrifice, no change of behavior, no giving up of sin, no denial of self. But that’s not what Jesus is offering.
- Jesus didn’t come to excuse our sin; He came to forgive our sin.
- His bloody and painful death on the cross was not done so that we could continue to dwell blithely in our sin. It was so that we could live in victory over our sins and actually live lives that bring glory to God.
- If we’re not interested in that – if we want to continue to be the gods of our lives and enjoy a season of sin – we may do that, but we can’t do that and call ourselves saved.
- I got an email the other day from someone who had visited NewPoint in the past. They were asking to be taken off the email newsletter list (which is fine), but then they went on to say that church wasn’t something that seemed to be working out right now for them, but maybe it would at some point in the future. I don’t
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