Summary: This is an evangelistic message designed to reach the unsaved person.
Scripture: John 14:1 -
Title: “Heaven and How To Get There!”
Introduction: When Charles Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, was a young man he admittedly was very sectarian & very judgmental. He thought he & the people who agreed with him were the only ones going to heaven. Everybody else was probably going to hell.
Then one night years later Wesley dreamed that he was standing at the gates of hell, & he decided to find out who was in there. So he cupped his hands & yelled, "Are there any Presbyterians in there?" Back came the answer, "Yes!"
"Well, are there any Baptists in there?" Back came the answer, "Yes!"
"Are there any Episcopalians in there?" "Yes!" came the answer.
It took a lot of nerve for him to do it, but finally he asked, "Well, are there any Methodists in there?" "Yes!" came the answer.
Suddenly, in his dream, he found himself before the gates of heaven. So he decided to try the same procedure there.
"Are there any Presbyterians in heaven?" "No!" came the answer.
"Any Baptists in there?" "No!" came the answer.
"Any Episcopalians in there?" "No!"
It was just a dream, but once again he got up his nerve to ask, "Are there any Methodists in there?" "No!" came the answer.
"Well then, pray tell who is in there?" asked Wesley. Back came the answer, "Christians, we’re only Christians here. Just Christians."
a. In Heaven there will be NO MORE: Death - No more Graves - No more Temptations - Sickness - Fear - No more Night - No more Depression - No more Disappointments - No more Pain - Separations - Divorce - Betrayal - Aging - Disease - No more Bills to Pay - No more Loneliness - No more Hate - No more Devil - No more Bad Memories - No more Not Having Enough - Revelation 21:4.
b. How can we be sure there is a Heaven? - Because God says there is such a place. - There are 582 references to Heaven in the Bible in 550 different verses.
c. There is a LONGING in every person’s soul for Heaven. * Whatever culture you come across, whatever time period in history, you will find some sort of belief in a life after death.
* I don’t believe God would plant in the soul a universal longing like that without making some provision for it.
d. There’s a FEELING in every person’s soul that there is a Heaven. * Like the little boy flying his kite and the kite was out of sight and someone asked him where it was and he pointed up to the sky. They asked him how he knew it was there if he couldn’t see it and he said, "I know it is there because I can feel it tug."
e. Why would God PREPARE a place like Heaven? * To reward us for CHOOSING His Son as our Savior. * God wants to FELLOWSHIP with His Children.
II. HOW DOES A PERSON GET TO HEAVEN?
a. Jesus had told His disciples that He was going away to PREPARE a place for them and when everything was READY He would come back and take them with Him to the Father’s house.
b. Thomas asked the question: “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”
c. To this question Jesus responded: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
d. Jesus gave us the MAP as to how to get to Heaven: * Jesus was Born of the Spirit - We also must be born again by the Holy Spirit - John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” * Jesus LIVED the LIFE - Jesus lived a life that DISPLAYED God - Jesus did this by the Holy Spirit of God that dwelt within Him! Luke 14:27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (A Totally Committed Life to Christ COSTS something! - It means Carrying a CROSS, accepting the Responsibility of a Christian!) * Jesus had to DIE - No one gets to Heaven without having to DIE! - Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (1 Corinthians 15:50 “What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever.”) * The RAPTURE - Christians who are living when Jesus returns for His Church will be CAUGHT away to be with the Lord forever! - (1 Thess. 4:13-18 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”