Summary: What would the dead tell us if they could speak to us from beyond the grave?
IS THERE REALLY A HELL?
Illustration: “How many people will die in the world in 1 hour? The answer is 6,480 people. But here is a major problem - It is estimated that only 7% of the world’s population is ready to go to Heaven. That means 6,026 go to Hell ever hour. …and it means only 454 are Christians and are going to heaven. If you died right now and stood before the Lord Jesus and he asks you “why should I let you into heaven, what would you say. I want to think about that question as I preach the word to you today
1. Can I share with you that the church is inoculating
people against Christianity when they don’t preach
all of what the word of God teaches?
2. Do you remember when you got your shots as a child?
a. To inoculate someone and prevent them from
getting a certain disease, is to introduce a miniscule
amount of the disease so the body will produce
natural agents of the body to fight the disease.
Illustration: A Contagious Christian Recently, I saw a letter written by a relatively new Christian to the person whose life had influenced hers so greatly. She actually lists about a dozen qualities she found contagious in the life of this older Christian. Listen to some of what she wrote: You know when we met; I began to discover a new vulnerability, a warmth, and a lack of pretence that impressed me. I saw in you a thriving spirit - no signs of internal stagnation anywhere. I could tell you were a growing person and I liked that. I saw you had strong self-esteem, not based on the fluff of self-help books, but on something a whole lot deeper. I saw that you lived by convictions and priorities and not just by convenience, selfish pleasure, and financial gain. And I had never met anyone like that before. I felt a depth of love and concern as you listened to me and didn’t judge me. You tried to understand me, you sympathized and you celebrated with me, you demonstrated kindness and generosity - and not just to me, but to other people, as well. And you stood for something. You were willing to go against the grain of society and follow what you believed to be true, no matter what people said, and no matter how much it cost you. And for those reasons and a whole host of others, I found myself really wanting what you had. Now that I’ve become a Christian, I wanted to write to tell you I’m grateful beyond words for how you lived out
your Christian life in front of me.
Basically, she was saying, "Thanks for being a Contagious Christian."
• Can you apply that spiritually?
• 1 Corinthians 1:18 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
ILLUSTRATION: The word used in the Greek to describe salvation is DUNAMIS, the root word for our English word DYNAMITE. It speaks of an explosive power that has an effect on everything around it.
1. These people we’ve read about in Matthew 7 have died
like some of you may one day die expecting to go to
heaven and opened their eyes in hell.
2. Can’t think of anything sadder than to die expecting to
walk streets of gold and open my eyes in the fires of
Luke 16:19-31 Want to take the remainder of this message from these verses:
Luke 16:19-31New King James Version (NKJV)The Rich Man and Lazarus
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[a] 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.
c 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.’”