Summary: Everyone is going to be judged by the Lord. Commonly, people say we are going to wait in a line to see the Lord. In that line you will be full of emotions, but these emotions will be positive or negative. The emotion that you feel will depend on you.
IN THE LINE FOR HEAVEN
THEME: ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT WE WILL ALL HAVE TO STAND BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD. BUT WHO WILL BE THERE ALSO? WE MUST LIFE IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE WILL NOT BE ASHAMED TO SEE OTHER PEOPLE THERE WITH US.
Today we are going on a journey. We are traveling from this earth to the heavenly realm above when the Lord is sitting on his throne. But we are not before the Lord yet. We are waiting in line for our time of judgment. We all recognize this time because it is the source of numerous jokes about Peter at the gate. Now this sermon is not a joke but we are going to use our imagination to reflect on what it will be like for us to be standing in line on the judgment day. How will you feel? What will be going through your mind? What will it be like to know that our judgment is near and only moments away?
There we are, waiting, just waiting in line. The line is moving slowly and we begin to look around at the other faces. There are people from all over the world in this line. We see some familiar faces as well as some unfamiliar faces. It is a huge line. Everyone you can tell is nervous and excited to meet the Lord for the first time. It is judgment day.
As we look up in the line we see Frank. We all know Frank. He is the guy that we walked by everyday. He had no food, friends, or nice clothing. He was always in trouble with the law and he was in Wayne County Jail numerous times. We use to laugh at him and maybe feel a little sorry for him now and then, but we never helped nor talked to him. All of a sudden we start to feel bad. We remember the scriptures that told us to love our neighbor and to feed and clothes the poor. But we never really thought about it until now. Now we are in line and it is too late. Only if there was a Wal-Mart in heaven we could go shopping and buy him some items. But it is too late, just too late to do anything now.
Matthew 25: 35-46 "Then the King will say to those on His right, ’Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ’For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ’Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? ’And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ’And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ "And the King will answer and say to them, ’Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ "Then He will also say to those on His left, ’Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ "Then they themselves also will answer, saying, ’Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ "Then He will answer them, saying, ’Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Now we are feeling a little nervous. Is the Lord really going to hold us to this standard? We are feeling a little regret for not helping when it would have been so easy to lend a helping hand. This person makes us a little fearful about the coming judgment.
As we are standing in line we notice Jack. We all know Jack. He was a great guy. He was well known around Waynesboro and everyone loved him. We would talk with him and see him at all the sport functions and at the games on Friday night. He had some great kids and a wonderful wife. He worked as a lawyer in town and he seemed to have everything. He drove a nice car and lived in a huge house. But the problem was that we all knew that Jack was not a Christian. We start talking to each other in line. Did you ever ask Jack to church? No, no, no, no is all that we said. I didn’t, I thought you would have because you are so close with him. No I didn’t, I thought you would have asked him. Everyone in line said they never did. We all started to feel bad because we all knew he was going to hell and we passed him every day and said nothing. Nothing at all.