Summary: Using a true story as the illustration, this sermon deals with getting into heaven.

What Will Keep You Out Of Heaven?

Luke 13:22-27

22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

23Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them,

24"Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

25When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ’Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ’I do not know you, where you are from,’

26then you will begin to say, ’We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’

27But He will say, ’I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’

Last week’s sermon on "temperance" and "obesity"

generated several comments.

On his way out last week, Steve Shaw asked me a question:

"Is over eating a sin?"

I said that it is.

Then Steve asked me if a fat person could go to heaven.

Well, how would you have answered those questions?

Let’s deal with the first question: Is over eating a sin?

James 4:17 says: Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Most people know that over eating is not good!

We know that being over weight is harmful to the body!

Therefore, it must be sinful to eat too much and get fat!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

God expects us to take good care of our bodies!

The Bible tells us to be "temperate" or "self-controlled".

However, the question remains:

"Will Obesity Keep You Out Of Heaven?"

In our Bible passage for today..

Jesus was asked if there were few who are saved.

Jesus said many will strive to enter through the narrow gate

and few will get in!

Some who thought they would easily get in...

will be turned away!

So today’s sermon is about getting into heaven.

Today’s true story is about Alexandra Flynn of Fremont, Nebraska. She attended Fremont High School. With 1,350 students, Fremont High was one of the largest schools in Nebraska. Alexandra was looking forward to the 2002 Homecoming Dance. On the night of the big event, she got all dressed up and left home in high spirits. This promised to be an evening to remember for a long time for Alexandra.

More of that true story a little later!

Point #1

There are sins worthy of hell.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Notice that word "practice" in Verse 21.

It’s referring to people who make a habit of committing those sins.

Now some of those sins do indicate

a lack of self-control or temperance!

But over eating is not mentioned!

Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, (How many church people do you know who refuse to forgive somebody?) unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Again, over eating is not mentioned!

1 Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Drunkards and revilers have no self-control or temperance,

but over eating is not mentioned!

Ephesians 5:5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

No mention of over eating!

Colossians 3:5-6 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

Again. No mention of over eating!

1 Timothy 1:9-11 says:

9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

No over eating mentioned in that passage!

So, I think we could conclude that being over weight...

does NOT disqualify you from getting into heaven.

However, it is a sin against your body

and it can bring about an early death.

It also indicates a weakness in "walking in the spirit".

However, the Bible does list several sins that can disqualify you!

Allow me to read that list to you again:

Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, murders, drunkenness, revelries, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; envy, deceit, evil-mindedness; slander, backbiting, hatred of God, violence, pride, boasting, disobedience to parents, untrustworthiness, unloving, unforgiveness, unmercifulness, homosexuality, sodomy, theft, extortion, kidnapping, liars, or perjury.

You may have committed some of those sins in the past.

Maybe you have done some of those things after being saved.

Does that mean you lose your salvation?

Not necessarily!

Romans 3:10 says: "There is none righteous, no, not one;

1 John 1:8-10 says:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

A "born again" Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling within.

The Holy Spirit convicts us when we sin!

A truly "born again" Christian will not continue to live in that sin!

So when we sin, we confess it to Jesus and He forgives us!

However, it’s possible for a Christian to walk away from Jesus!

You can get so wrapped up in sin...

that your heart gets hardened.

Hebrews 3:12-13 says:

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

You can get so wrapped up in the world

that you end up turning your back on Jesus!

Paul tells us of a man who did that!

2 Tim. 4:10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica--Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

1 John 2:15-17 tells me Demas turned his back on God.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

You see, we all sin every day of our lives.

But Jesus’ blood atones for our sins...past, present, and future!

Sin separates us from a right relationship with Jesus.

Asking Jesus to forgive us of our sins restores that relationship!

Psalm 51:17 says: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise.

You see, it’s impossible for us to be sinless.

Friends, no matter what your sin might be...

forgiveness and cleansing is available.

Confess it to Jesus!

Jesus said in Mark 3:28

"Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;

So all those sins we’ve talked about so far can be forgiven!

What if you should die suddenly?

Could an unconfessed sin disqualify you from heaven?

God is our Heavenly Father.

When we are born again, it is into His family.

As children we can disobey Him.

We know we must ask forgiveness.

We may hurt Him even without realizing it!

Either way, He forgives us.

He doesn’t put up with misbehavior.

But He does NOT put us out of the family until we repent.

Psalm 103:13 says:

As a father pities his children,

So the LORD pities those who fear Him.

Let’s get back to our story about Alexandra Flynn!

Alexandra arrived at the school and anxiously walked to the entrance. When she got to the door, they would not let her in. She had the tickets to the dance in her hand, but she still was not admitted. Alexandra Flynn was the student body president at Fremont High. She played cello in the All-State orchestra, was on the Honor Roll, and was the school’s number one cheerleader. Her stepfather was a member of the school board. Alexandra had spent hours decorating the gym for the Homecoming Dance and she had been chosen to reign as the Homecoming Queen. Even with all of those things taken into consideration, they still wouldn’t let Alexandra enter the big dance.

More of that story in a moment!

Point #2 Eternal life is by grace through faith alone.

Ephes. 2:5-8 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

You can’t earn your way into heaven!

You will never be good enough to enter heaven!

It’s strictly by grace through faith!

2 Timothy 1:9 says: who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

Romans 10:1-13 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Now skip down to Verse 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

Acts 4:10-12 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ’stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

So anybody who makes it to heaven...

gets there by grace through faith in Jesus!

Believe that Jesus is the Son of God!

John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Believe that Jesus died for your sins and arose from the dead!

Believe that He is your risen Savior..and you will be saved!

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23

"Not everyone who says to Me, ’Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ’Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Some people who expect to get into heaven will be turned away!

Let’s see how our story about Alexandra Flynn ends!

Why was Alexandra denied admission to the Homecoming Dance? She didn’t have her Student ID card. When the man at the door refused her admission without her ID, she went home to get it. Unable to find it, her mother Cynthia went with her back to the dance to identify her and to explain. Again, Alexandra was refused admission without the ID card. Alexandra Flynn was turned away at the door and she never did get in! As the school principal explained, "If we had made an exception for Miss Flynn then we would have had to let everyone who didn’t have an ID card into the dance."


In a similar way, getting into heaven

isn’t a matter of our good deeds, a good reputation,

and accomplishments in the church or out in the community.

Without Jesus Christ, we have no ID to get into heaven.

Jesus said in John 10:27-29

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

Is Jesus your shepherd?

Do you know Him and does He know you as one of His sheep?

Psalm 100:3 says:

Know that the LORD, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Psalm 79:13

So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture,

Will give You thanks forever;

We will show forth Your praise to all generations.

Philippians 1:6 says:

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Don’t be denied admission to heaven!

Accept Jesus as your Savior today!