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Summary: Jesus told a parable about the wheat and tares. There are unsaved people in our churches today. This sermon deals with that fact and includes the story of how a popular saying got started.

It’s Time To Face the Truth!

Matthew 13:24-30

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;

25but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.

26But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.

27So the servants of the owner came and said to him, �Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?�

28He said to them, �An enemy has done this.� The servants said to him, �Do you want us then to go and gather them up?�

29But he said, �No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.

30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." � "

A man was searching his family roots.

He visited several cemeteries

and read many inscriptions on the tombstones.

There was one tombstone that caught his eyes.

It contained the following inscription:

"Pause now stranger as you pass by; as you are now, so once was I. as I am now, so soon you will be. Prepare yourself to follow me!"

Next to the tombstone someone placed a piece of wood

engraved with this note...

"To follow you I am not content until I know which way you went."

I�d like to share with you a story.

Many years ago, a rich man conned his way into the orchestra of the emperor of China. He used his wealth and influence to be in a group where he did not belong. Why did he want to be in that orchestra? It was a nice place to be. All the musicians received weekly salaries. Being among those people gave him a sense of well-being and comfort. He took pride in his orchestra membership. However, this man had a problem.

What was this problem?

More of that story later!

Question #1

What is Hell?

30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

The word Jesus used to describe this place is "Gehenna."

The people who heard Jesus say that

knew that it referred to the Valley of Hinnom.

It was a place just south of Jerusalem.

It was where the city people

dumped garbage, household waste and dead animals.

It burned continuously and the wind carried the stench for miles.

Every stinking, unclean, nasty thing was sent to Gehenna.

It is an illustration of the eternal place we call Hell.

In spite of the Biblical fact of Hell,

many people don�t believe in Hell. Why?

Well, maybe it�s because of modern day preaching about Hell.

Many preachers coming out of seminary

Are taught liberal theology that questions the accounts of hell.

Another reason is the fact that many church people

don�t want preachers to talk about it.

It�s unpopular, or not politically correct.

And then some feel that Hell is not possible.

They say God is an all-loving God.

He would not send people to such a place

because He loves them too much.

Yet, the fact remains that Hell is a real place!

In the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares�

Jesus promised that man could end up in hell.

Though they might be among the church people now�

They will eventually be snatched up and cast into the fire.

Jesus was clearly referring to hell.

Let�s return to our story about the wealthy musician!

The wealthy man who conned his way into the emperor�s orchestra had a problem! What was it? He could not play a note. Whenever the group practiced or performed, he would hold his flute against his lips, pretending to play but not making a sound. The musicians who sat next to him for they concentrated on playing as they were expected did not detect the silence of his flute. The audiences could not detect his hypocritical alliance with the orchestra for he was only one among many in that orchestra. This went on for quite some time.

More of that story comes later!

Question #2

What does the Bible say Hell will be like?

Revelation 20:14, Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

So, hell is like a "Lake of Fire"

It�s not just a small place!

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, �Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

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