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Summary: A sermon dealing with the choice we have to make in this life concerning where we will spend eternity.

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Heaven Or Hell

Ready Or Not It Is Coming

Matt. 24:42-51

Prayer

Someone tells about a pastor who was late for church. He flagged down a taxicab and instructed the cabdriver to do everything within his power to get him to church on time. So the cab sped off and weaved through traffic for about ten blocks. The dangerous driving ended in a fatal accident. Both the cabdriver and the pastor died.

When their spirits arrived at the entrance of Heaven, they met Saint Peter. The Pastor, confident of his entrance into Heaven, allowed the cabdriver to go ahead of him. After chatting with the cabdriver, Saint Peter allowed the cabdriver into Heaven.

Then Saint Peter turned to the Pastor and said, "Pastor, I’m afraid I have bad news for you. You aren’t going into Heaven."

The Pastor, shocked at what he heard, asked, "Why would you let a cabdriver into Heaven and not let one of God’s servant into Heaven?"

To which Peter replied, "Well, whenever the cabdriver drove, people prayed. Whenever you preached, people slept."

This is one of more than a dozen Saint Peter jokes that come from a false understanding of verses 19-20. The reason why Jesus gave Peter the keys of Heaven and then told His disciples not to tell anyone that He is the Christ is because if others knew Jesus was the Savior, they wouldn’t allow Him to die on the cross. We read in verse 22 that even Peter was tempted to prevent Jesus’ death on the cross.

The Bible tells us that Jesus needed to die on the cross, so that the consequence of our sin would be paid for. Sin’s penalty is death, and Jesus paid our penalty for us. Knowledge and trust in Jesus’ as the Son of God and Savior of mankind are keys that enable people to enter Heaven. Those who accept these keys while living on earth will be permitted into Heaven. And those who do not accept these keys while living on earth are not permitted into Heaven.

How about the revival? Did we not have some good singing? Were not the messages brought home? Didn’t you feel the Holy Spirit working here? People made decisions here this week. Some decided to not change their lives and others decided to change their lives by surrendering to Jesus Christ. But everyone here this week has made a decision about where they will spend eternity.

There is a growing tendency to believe that all good people, whether or not they consider Jesus Christ to be their savior, will live in heaven after they die on earth. In 1999 the public is almost divided on the matter: 53% agree, 40% disagree. This represents a significant change since 1992, when 40% agreed with this notion and 1994 when 46% agree, 47% disagree.

Half of all adults (51%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven.

Of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ: (1999)

63% believe that they will go to Heaven when they die because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior.

11% believe that they will go to heaven because basically they are a good person.

10% do not know what will happen to them after they die.

7% believe that they will go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish.

5% believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they have tried to obey the 10 commandments.

2% believe that when they die they will not go to Heaven.

SOURCE: From Barna Research Online

This is scary people. People don’t really know what to believe about Heaven or Hell because the Church has stopped preaching about them. But the reality is that the question that must be asked this morning is where will you spend eternity? Will you spend it in Heaven or will you send it in Hell? That single question should send terror racing through the hearts of people. But it does not. Many don’t even believe in a heaven or a hell. Others believe in a heaven but not a hell. Others still say that a loving God could never send anyone to such a terrible place as hell. Then some think that everyone will spend time in Hell and then we will get to go to heaven. But this morning I am here to reveal to you the truth that there is a Heaven and a Hell. That we all don’t go there and then get to go to Heaven. That yes God is a loving God but HE is also a just and righteous God and because of that HE must judge sin. The truth is that those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will immediately go to heaven and never will they have to spend a second in hell. But for those who die without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they will immediately upon death go to Hell and will never spend a second in Heaven. This is the complete truth. The choice is yours and it is either Heaven or Hell. Whether you are ready or not it is coming and nothing we can do will stop it the only thing we is choose where we will spend eternity.

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