Summary: A sermon warning against, "I wish I had..."

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Heaven Can Wait—Sometimes

TEXT: John 14:1-6

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

{Brief overview of the 1943 movie}

I. The REALITY of Heaven

Real Life Examples of those in Heaven

M*** M******

G****** S***

J** F****

J** M******

G*** F****

A. Promised by the Saviour

B. Testified of in Scripture

C. Verified in the Resurrection & Ascension

II. The HINDRANCES to Heaven

A. Pride—Hell will be full of proud church members!

E* G**** et al.

B. False Hope—Church Membership/Christian upbringing

NO TESTIMONY? NO Salvation Experience!

C. Unbelief

D. Sin—While unbelief is the only reason we will be sentenced to Hell, love for our sin will keep us from believing

III. The WAY to Heaven

A. By Jesus Christ

B. Through Faith Alone

C. By Grace Alone

ILL. Shipwrecked Grace

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and

every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut

out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food,

he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He

was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by

the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary

man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied. (copied)

POINT: Time is short; Heaven is real; the decision is ours


2. TIME IS SHORT! If I had only known…

ILL. If I had only known…

I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the "GOOD" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you’s" and more "I’m sorry’s"

...but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.... look at it and really see it ... live it ...

and never give it back.

Author: Erma Bombeck


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