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Summary: Reasons why some people refuse to take advantage of the free offer of eternal life found in Christ Jesus

Some Reasons Why People Will Not Enter Heaven

(Acts 24:22-27)

Illustration:More than four out of every five Americans agree that "we all will be called before God at judgment day to answer for our sins," says a poll conducted for the Times Mirror company.

National and International Religion Report, quoted in Signs of the Times, August, 1993, p. 6.

Yet, few are prepared by being able to correctly answer the question. What will it take for you to get in to heaven according to the Bible?

1. Have you ever wondered why certain people will not enter heaven?

Many people will fail to spend eternity in heaven because of the same reasons that Governor Felix failed to appropriate the truth given to him.

Felix, the Roman procurator, is an example of man who missed his chance of finding eternal life through Christ – the reasons are numerous.

First, as Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come, “Felix trembled”, but he did not believe.

There are many people who are genuinely afraid of spending eternity in hell, but they fail to repent and place their faith in Christ’s for the substitutionary payment and forgiveness of their sins.

Ask the Lord to help you stress the urgency of repentance and faith in Christ by reminding people of Felix’s errors to avoid.

2. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Governor wanted to express his benevolence in a way that all men would know he was a kind, just and considerate man. Felix also knew that Paul would be a goner if he handed him to the Jews. Felix reasoned that Tertullus basically wanted him to turn Paul over to the Jewish courts which would have certainly have led to the great apostle’s demise.

Ask the Lord to help you teach that good intentions are not enough to make it to heaven – only by receiving Christ as our Savior and Lord.

3. Felix felt that if he could keep Paul in prison he might extract bribes for his release. Dr. Luke wrote, “Meanwhile, he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul that he might release him.

Therefore, he sent for him more often and conversed with him.” (Acts 24:26)

Selfish motivations and sinful desires hinder people from entering into the narrow way because broad is the gate that leads to destruction and many end up going to hell.

Ask the Lord for help in teaching people that

Quote: “He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” (Jim Elliott – Famous martyred missionary to the Ecuadorian Auca Indians)

4. Felix procrastinated in making a decision for Christ. Eventually he was removed from his office and his association with Paul. Felix blamed the Jews for bringing Paul to trial. Procrastinators tend to blame everybody but themselves. Felix deluded himself into thinking he would someday do the right thing.

As life goes on it becomes more complicated and humans tend to find themselves more stuck in their habits. “Today is the day of salvation.” Paul knew how delay often leads people to hell.

Ask the Lord to help people not procrastinate or put off making the most important decision of their life.

5. Felix allowed the worries, deceitfulness of riches and the pleasures of this life to choke out the word of God in his mind. The Governor was so enamored with the trappings of his office since he had been a former slave. He fell in love with the things of this world.

Felix was unwilling to accept the love of God as more important than his earthly treasures.

Ask the Lord to help you avoid allowing the worries, riches or pleasures of this life to choke out your chance of escaping the eternal flames of hell.

Do not allow your own self-deceptive desires to cheat you out a place in heaven.

6. Felix placed his hope on things of this world rather than on things above. Felix retained Paul in prison for two years hoping that this human trophy would serve his earthly purposes.

Ask the Lord to help you remember that the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are everlasting.

Do not let your earthly hopes blind you to what is eternally satisfying.

7. Felix evaded dealing with the essentials of life. The Governor chose to dabble with things that are non-essentials – power, prestige, pleasures, procedures, position, promotion and popularity.

Ask the Lord to help you to consistently choose essential truth instead of non-essentials.

Conclusion:It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances. Choose what God wants you to do and do not allow others criticsms to deter you from what is true, noble and right.

Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17.

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