Summary: Everyone must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and because of the reality of this coming Day, we would be wise to meditate on the Scriptural truths concerning Heaven and Hell, and get ready for eternity.
GETTING READY FOR ETERNITY
Father Murphy goes into a local bar in Dublin and approaches the first man he sees. "Do you want to go to Heaven?" he asks and the man says, "Indeed I do, Father." "Then for goodness sake," commands the priest, "leave this pub right now." He then goes to the next man, "Do you want to go to Heaven, my son?" And the man answers, "Yes Father, indeed I want to do that very thing." "Then ye must get out of this pub right now!" orders the priest.
Father Murphy continues this throughout the pub until he comes to the last man. "Do you want to go to Heaven, man?!" exhorts the priest. The man looks at his half-full beer, turns, looks at Father Murphy and says, "No, I don’t, Father." "You mean to tell me, young man, that when you die, you don’t want to go to Heaven?" asks the priest incredulously. "Oh, well, when I die, yes Father, I certainly do. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now!"
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it… Not everyone who says to Me, ’Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ’Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:13-14 (quickview) , 21-23).
THE BIG IDEA: The Bible teaches that everyone must stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), and because of the reality of this coming Day, we would be wise to meditate on the Scriptural truths concerning Heaven and Hell, and get ready for eternity.
I. A GLIMPSE OF HELL:
(Quote from Steve Shepherd from sermoncentral.com)
• A preacher wrote, “Hell, it would seem, has fallen on rather lean times. It used to be that the vast majority of Christians believed that Hell was a real place where the wicked go when they died. It used to be that ministers of the Gospel would preach on the horrors of Hell to persuade sinners to repentance. But not anymore. Most North American mainline and so-called Evangelical churches stopped preaching about Hell years ago. The topic of Hell was bad for the bottom line—attendance and income…”
• As someone said, “Read the Bible. It will scare hell out of you.” Or will hopefully, scare a person enough to keep them out of hell.
STATS: A recent George Barna survey found that 67% of Americans do not believe in hell.
A TRUE STORY OF SOMEONE WHO WAS ACTUALLY IN HELL:
“19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then he cried and said, ’Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ’Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27 Then he said, ’I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ’They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ’No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ’If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31 (quickview) ).