Getting Others Into Heaven
One day there was a really kind rich man. This man really loved little kids, so he thought of something he could do for them. One day it hit him. He would build an amusement park. This would be the biggest and best amusement park in the whole world. There would be rides and games, ice cream and cotton candy, animals, water slides, puppet shows, and everything else little boys and girls would love to do. There would be no grown-ups allowed in this park. It would be just for kids.
You know what the best part of this park would be? Everything would be free. Nobody would ever have to pay anything to get in. Kids could come as often as they wanted, do as much fun stuff as they wanted, and they could stay as long as they wanted.
Well, the man got busy building the park. He hired a group of people to work on the park. They built roller coasters bigger than Superman at Six Flags. They built ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds. There were bumper cars and pony rides. There was a huge petting zoo, and you didn’t even have to put a quarter in the machine to get food for the animals. All over the park there were stands for ice cream and candy, cheeseburgers and pizza, cotton candy and soda. There were huge swimming pools and a nice sandy beach. There were games where you could win huge stuffed bears, but everyone was a winner. There was a theatre for plays and puppet shows. There was even a Big-Top Circus Tent with all kinds of crazy performers.
Well after many years of preparation, the park was finally ready to open. The man was so full of excitement. The park would be full of happy boys and girls. He would see them running and skipping, laughing and joking with their friends. Finally, the day of the Grand Opening came. The man thought, “I sure hope there’s enough room for all the kids to come. I hope we ordered enough French fries to feed them all.” And finally, the moment came, and he cut the ribbon, and opened the gate for all the waiting children to enter. But there was no one there.
Why? Why, the man wondered wouldn’t anybody show up to his perfect park. He tried to think of some reason. It wasn’t a school day, so that couldn’t be it. It wasn’t Sunday, so they weren’t all at church like good boys and girls. He tried to think if he forgot something. Nope. He didn’t forget a ride. He had plenty of good food. He couldn’t think of any reason why nobody would show up.
Does anybody have an idea for me, why nobody would have come?
That’s right. He forgot the most important thing. He forgot to tell people about his park. He was so busy making the perfect park that he forgot to invite the kids. He should’ve put up big signs on the side of the highway. He should’ve told all of the kids in his neighborhood. He should’ve put a story in the newspaper all about his grand park. But he forgot to tell anybody. Now all of his good deeds, all of his efforts were wasted. He had spent a lot of money and several years of his life to make kids happy, but it was all wasted. Nobody even knew about it. He wasn’t making any kids happy, because he forgot to tell them that he could make them happy.
Now that story had a really happy beginning, but a really, really sad ending, didn’t it. I told you that story, because it will help you understand something very, very important.
Who ever heard of someone as nice as that man? Who would give that much money to make people happy? I know someone who gave much more than money. And someone who is preparing a place far more grand than any amusement park. And this place is also free.
John 14:1-3, “1 "Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
Maybe you’ve already guessed that I’m talking about Jesus. Jesus gave his own life to save us from sin. He gave his life so that we could be sin-free when we believe in him. And he said that when he left the earth he wasn’t just going to sit around waiting. No, he said the reason he was going was to prepare a place for us. He’s preparing heaven for us right now. And we know that heaven is a much better place than any amusement park. The gates of heaven are made out of giant pearls. The walls are made out of precious metals. The streets are paved with gold. Not just any gold, but gold so pure that you can see through it. Has anybody here ever been to Hue City? In Hue, there is a river, the Perfume River that runs straight through the middle of the city. And heaven has one too. There is a river that runs right down the main street of the town. And one either side of the river grow strong, beautiful trees. And these are fruit trees. All year round, they bear delicious fruit to be enjoyed by those there. Who here ever scraped their knee? Who ever had someone call you a bad name? Well, there will be no more pain, or sickness, or crying in heaven. Who ever had someone who loved them die? There will be no more death there. And you know what? There’s no sun there. They don’t need a sun, because God’s presence is there. And God’s presence is so glorious that it shines like the sun.
Now, who here wants to go to heaven? Most of you, I know are already going. In case some of you don’t know yet, let me tell you how you can. Heaven, this great place, is such a perfect place that only perfect people can go there. To be good enough to go to heaven, you must have never done anything wrong. Now who here never did anything wrong? Nobody, of course. When we do something wrong, we call that sin. And everybody has sinned (Romans 3:23). That means that you and I are not good enough to go to heaven. In fact, heaven would be just like amusement park I told you about, because nobody is good enough. You see the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), which is separation from God. God knew that we could never be good enough, so he sent his Son, Jesus to die for us, so that if we believe in Him, we can have everlasting life with him in heaven (John 3:16).
GIVE KIDS OPPORTUNITY IMMEDIATELY TO RECEIVE JESUS!
Now, I hope everybody here is going to heaven. So, the question is, why are you going to heaven? Is it because you’re so good? No. It’s because you asked Jesus to take away your sin and come into your life to live in your heart. But why did you believe in Jesus? Did you just wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I just suddenly have a feeling that I need to believe in someone, and if not I can’t go to heaven.”? No, of course not. We all believed in Jesus for the same reason. Somebody told us about him.
Romans 10:13-15, “13 For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." F58 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
You see, Jesus is building this grand place called heaven, but if people don’t ask him to take away their sin, they can’t go there. And people can’t ask him to take away their sin unless they know about it. Somebody has to tell them. Otherwise, at the end of time, heaven would be just as empty as the kind man’s amusement park. Now, the question is, who will tell them. Will Jesus go around and tell them? No, remember he’s in heaven preparing it for us. But before he left for heaven, he left some instructions for us.
Matthew 28:18-20, “18 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
It is our job to tell people about Jesus. Did you know that there are some people who have never even heard about Jesus. And there are other people who know his name, but they don’t know that he can take away their sin. They don’t even know about this great place called heaven! Or, even if they know about it, they don’t know how to get there.
But we know about Jesus. We know how they can get to heaven. We know that they can go there if they believe in Jesus, and ask him to take away their sin and come into their life. Some of these people who don’t know about Jesus live really far away, and I’m going to talk about those people next. But do you know where some of those people are? Some of them live next door to you. Some of them are in your class at school. Some of them, you play with every day. In fact, some of them might live right in your house. And they’ve never had the chance to believe in Jesus, because nobody ever told them. You have such Good News! You know the way to get to heaven! And you need to share that Good News with other people. You could be the only chance they ever have to believe in Jesus.
After people die, they do not end. Life does not end at death. There are two places you can go when you die. One is heaven, that perfect place I’ve described where you live with God forever. The other one is hell. Hell is a place that is completely separated from God. It is complete darkness. It is a place of torment. Unlike heaven, there is much crying there. And both heaven and hell last forever. Whichever one you go to, you’re going to live there forever. Listen to me: “There really is a heaven. There really is a hell. And every person is going to spend forever in one of those two places.”
I don’t want to scare you kids, that’s why I don’t talk about hell a lot. If you have asked Jesus to take away your sin and you follow him, you don’t have to worry about it. But I’m talking about it, because when I ask you to invite people to come to church, I want you to know, it’s not just so we’ll have more people. It’s not so we’ll have a big club. It’s because we know that they will spend forever in heaven or hell, and we want to help them get to heaven.
Who’s your best friend? He or she will spend forever in heaven or hell. And if you don’t tell them about heaven, if you don’t tell them about Jesus, then maybe nobody else ever will. Your parents, your brothers and sisters, your cousins and aunts and uncles, and grandparents are all going to spend forever in heaven or in hell. And if you don’t tell them about how to get to heaven, maybe nobody will. So, our first job is to tell other people around us about Jesus.
Now, how about the billions of people in the world who don’t live around you? What about on the other side of the world? If they don’t hear about Jesus, they can’t believe in him. If they don’t hear about Jesus, they can’t go to heaven either. Somebody has to tell them. Now, who thinks I’m asking you to go around the world and tell everybody about Jesus? Well, if God asks you to do it, then I think you should. And there are people who God asks to go to other parts of the world and tell people about Jesus. We call them missionaries. They go places that you and I can’t go, and they tell people about Jesus who have never heard about him before.
Now, I’ll bet you’re wondering what these people have to do with us. And I’ll tell you. Remember the Bible said, “And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?” Even though we don’t all have to go, we all have the job of sending the people who go. Now, the question is, “How can we send the people?” And I want to tell you about two ways that you can send missionaries to people to tell them about Jesus.
The first thing you can do to send missionaries is pray. Missionaries have a lot of needs that we can pray for. They have a lot of problems that we don’t have here in America. They are in a strange place, where usually the people speak a strange language. And they need God to help them. They also sometimes have problems with the leaders of the countries they work in. Some countries don’t allow people to tell others about Jesus. Sometimes they need things like houses, and church buildings, and clothes, and cars, and equipment, and we can pray that God will give them those things. The most important thing we can pray for is the people who don’t believe in Jesus yet. We can pray that when they hear about Jesus, they will believe in him. Many people follow other religions. But no other religion can really bring people to heaven. So we can pray that they would see that following Jesus is the true way to heaven.
Another way we can send missionaries is to give money for them. When missionaries go to a new place, they usually can’t get a job, because they spend their time telling people about Jesus. In a church, the people in the church pay the pastor. But if the missionary goes to where there is no church, there is nobody to pay him. So, the church here can support him. Not only does a missionary need money for himself to live, but he needs to have money to tell other people about Jesus. He has to rent a place, he has to buy a microphone and speakers, he has to have a car or truck to get everything there, he has to advertise, he has to have books and lessons to use to teach kids about Jesus. We can help send missionaries by giving our money. Even though we don’t always get to go to other countries ourselves to tell people about Jesus, we can tell people about Jesus by praying for and giving money for others who go there to tell them. Because you pray, boys and girls and even grown-ups around the world will believe in Jesus. Because you gave some money, people all over the world will believe in Jesus. And they will be with us in heaven, because we obeyed Jesus when he told us to tell others about Jesus and to send people who will tell those far away.