Summary: Salvation and damnation; they are both eternal. You better get it right.
Eternity Is a Long, Long Time
June 12, 2011 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Salvation and damnation; they are both eternal. You better get it right.
Focus Passage: Luke 16:19-31
Supplemental Passage: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NASB)
Introduction: And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27 NASB)
Different Views of Eternity, Heaven, & Hell:
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a “soul sleep” where after judgment, those who are to be punished are simply annihilated.
Buddhists believe in a cycle of death and rebirth where the goal is to escape the cycle and cease to exist.
Muslims adhere to a “soul sleep” where after the faithless can escape the fires of punishment by enduring purification through the fire.
Hindus ascribe to reincarnation and depend on Karma to help them escape.
Spiritualists believe that the spirit force goes on and on and on…
Mormons strive to become a god and populate their own planet like Jesus is doing (in their belief system)
Universalists believe that, in the end, God won’t send anyone to Hell, but everyone will get to go to Heaven.
I. Eternity Is a Long, Long Time
a. Eternity begins at conception
b. Death is not the end of existence
c. Attempts to describe eternity:
i. having infinite duration: infinite time – Merriam Webster
ii. Bird with feather in beak that swipes a steel ball one time after flying 2K years r/t. When ball disappears, that’s the first moment of eternity.
iii. Last verse of Amazing Grace “when we’ve been there 10,000 years…we’ve no less days…than we we first begun”
II. Eternal Destinations: Heaven or Hell
i. Real place in the Presence of God
ii. No Pain, weeping, sorrow, sin, sickness, death, regrets
i. Real place out of the presence of God
ii. place of torment, regret, sorrow, weeping and gnashing of teeth, furnace of fire,
iii. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. – Dante’s Inferno
III. Eternal Destination Is a Choice
a. Heaven – Jesus only
i. The choice can only be made while you are alive
b. Hell – the deserved destination of everyone
i. reserved especially for the devil and his angels
ii. reserved for those who have not accepted God’s gift of salvation through Jesus
iii. The safest road to hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. ~C.S. Lewis
Invitation: No one who is ever in hell will be able to say to God, "You put me here," and no one who is in heaven will ever be able to say, "I put myself here." ~John Hannah, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary