Sermons

Summary: RELATIONSHIPS MARK OUR PLACE IN ETERNITY

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THAT LAST: ETERNALLY

LUKE 16: 19-31

JANUARY 9, 2005

INTRODUCTION: I was shocked, confused, bewildered

As I entered Heaven’s door

Not by the beauty of it all

Not by the lights or decor

But it was the folks in Heaven

Who made me sputter and gasp

The thieves, the liars, the sinners

The alcoholics, the trash!!

There stood the kid from the seventh grade

He’d stole my lunch money twice!!

Next to him was my old neighbor

Who never said anything nice!!

Uncle Bob, who I always thought

Was rotting away in hell

Was sitting pretty, on cloud nine

Looking incredibly well!!

I nudged Jesus, "What’s the deal,

I’d love to hear your take.

How’d all these sinners get up here

God must have made a mistake!!

And why’s everyone so quiet.

So somber. Give me a clue."

"Hush child," said he "they’re all in shock.

No one thought they’d see you!!"

TRANSITION THOUGHT: This funny little poem deals with the truth of how we relate to others and how relationships seem to indicate our place in eternity. Building relationships that last is a current sales slogan one of the local car companies is now using. I have heard it over and over and have thought it just didn’t fit with a car company and surely didn’t seem like a powerful sales pitch. Then I rethought what they might be saying. They might be saying that they won’t take advantage of the buyer, because that want that person to buy from them again. They also, in a bigger picture kind of way, might be saying they care for the buyer. The buyer is their livelihood and they are not taking that for granted.

So here we are with our text, a familiar text to some. The obvious direct for this text is the issue and reality of Hell! IT is real! BUT for us today, I want us to look at this issue of relationships and how they influence our eternal destination and just how important it is to get relationships right!

THESIS SENTENCE: RELATIONSHIPS MARK OUR PLACE IN ETERNITY

I. ETERNAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE ABOUT OPPORTUNITY VV. 19-21

A. OPPORTUNITY IS REALITY: WHERE WE ARE AND WHO WE ARE

1. THE RICH MAN: PURPLE RAIN/REIGN

2. LAZARUS: HUNGRY/ SICK/ DOG LOVER

B. OPPORTUNITY IS NEED: AT YOUR DOORSTEP

1. AT THE GATE

2. OBVIOUS NEED/ NO QUESTION HERE!

C. OPPORTUNITY IS RESPONSIBILITY

1. LUXURY=MEANS

2. MEANS=ABILITY

3. ABILITY=RESPONSIBILTY

4. RESPONSIBILTIY IS A RELATIONSHIP

ILLUSTURATION:

TRUTH: GOD HAS PLACED OPPORTUNITIES ALL AROUND US FOR ETERNAL RELATIONSHIPS!

QUESTION: ARE OUR EYES OPEN TO THE OPPORTUNITIES ALL AROUND US FOR ETERNAL RELATIONSHIPS?

II. ETERNAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE ABOUT JUDGEMENT 22-31

A. JUDGEMENT IS DEATH

B. JUDGEMENT IS LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

C. JUDGEMENT IS A CLEAR VIEW TO THE TOP

D. JUDGEMENT IS A HOPE OF SOMETHING DIFFERENT

1. DIFFERENT FOR SELF: WATER

2. DIFFERENT FOR OTHERS: BROTHERS: RELATIONSHIPS

3. DIFFERENT IS LONGING FOR A RELATIONSHIP: SEND LAZARUS (VERSE 24)

E. JUDGEMENT IS REALITY

1. REALITY FOR SELF: WE CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE: SEPARATION! REALLY!

2. REALITY FOR OTHERS: THEY HAVE THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS: IF YOU DON’T GET IT NOW, YOU CAN’T GET IT LATER (VV. 30-31)!! RELATIONSHIPS=MISSED OPPORTUNITY!

3. REALITY IS LONGING FOR A RELATIONSHIP: SEND LAZARUS (VERSE 27)

ILLUSTRATION:

TRUTH: JUDGEMENT COMES TO US ALL!

QUESTIONS: ARE WE READY FOR THE JUDGEMENT? WHAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR RELATIONSHIPS HAVE WE MISSED AND WHAT WILL BE THE OUTCOME FOR THOSE WHOM WE HAVE NOT CARED FOR?

III. ETERNAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE ABOUT REWARD VV. 22, 25

A. REWARD IS MORE THAN THIS LIFE

B. REWARD IS AN ANGELIC ESCORT

C. REWARD IS COMFORT FOR THE POOR AND NEEDY

D. REWARD IS A RELATIONSHIP: LAZARUS WAS WITH ABRAHAM

ILLUSTRATION: Artist: Buddy Jewell Album: Buddy Jewell

Song: Help Pour Out The Rain (Lacey’s Song)

The moment was custom-made to order:

I was ridin’ with my daughter on our way back from Monroe.

An’ like children do, she started playin’ twenty questions,

But I never could’ve guessed one would touch me to my soul.

She said: "Daddy, when we get to Heaven, can I taste the Milky Way?

"Are we goin’ there to visit, or are we goin’ there to stay?

"Am I gonna see my Grandpa? Can I have a pair of wings?

"An’ do you think that God could use another Angel,

"To help pour out the rain?"

Well, I won’t lie: I pulled that car right over,

An’ I sat there on the shoulder tryin’ to dry my misty eyes.

An’ I whispered: "Lord, I wanna thank you for my children.

"’Cause your innocence that fills them often takes me by surprise."

Like: "Daddy, when we get to Heaven, can I taste the Milky Way?

"Are we goin’ there to visit, or are we goin’ there to stay?

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