Summary: From a human point of view, about the closest I’ve ever gotten to royalty is Burger King! But by the grace of God, most of us here tonight can say we know a king. In fact, we know the King of kings! And He wants us to know about His Kingdom.
Understanding the Ultimate Kingdom - Part 3
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Aug. 31, 2008
*From a human point of view, about the closest I’ve ever gotten to royalty is Burger King! But by the grace of God, most of us here tonight can say we know a king. In fact, we know the King of kings! And He wants us to know about His Kingdom.
1. First: Get ready for the King’s Day of Judgment.
*We need to be ready. Jesus made this clear with a parable in vs. 47-50:
47. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,
48. which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.
49. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,
50. and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
*We need to be ready. -- But who is ready? “U.S. News and World Report” once polled 1,000 people to ask this question: "Who do you think is ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to go to heaven?" They asked this question about 13 famous people.
-Of all of the celebrities, the biggest vote-getter was Mother Teresa at 79%.
-Who came in second? -- Oprah Winfrey at 66%.
-Third place went to Michael Jordan at 65%.
-Fourth place went to Colin Powell at 61%.
-Princess Diana scored an impressive 60%.
*But when it came to politicians, the figures began to plummet.
-Al Gore and Hillary Clinton each scored 55%.
-Bill Clinton at 52%. -Newt Gingrich came in at 40%.
-And the bottom figure was O. J. Simpson who got only 19% of the vote.
*But the biggest vote-getter of all was the people who were surveyed. Over 87% of them believed that they were most likely to go to heaven. (1)
*They may think they are ready. But none of those people are ready, unless they know the King. The only way to get ready for the judgment is to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. No matter how good you think you are, you are not good enough.
*Of course, some people are a whole lot better than others -- or at least they think they are. In 1990, the application for NYU contained this question: "Are there any personal accomplishments or significant experiences you have had that have helped define you as a person?"
*Humorist Hugh Gallagher gave an answer way too good to be true. Here’s just a small part of it:
-“I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I write award-winning operas. I woo women with my trombone playing. I cook 30-minute brownies in 20 minutes. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. But I have not yet gone to college.” (2)
*Hugh got in to NYU. But all of that stuff and more will never get you into heaven. Romans 3:10 tells us that "There is none righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:23 adds that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Isaiah 64:6 says that “all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” But prophesying about Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53:5-6 says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
*You could be the best person in West Monroe, best in Louisiana, best in the whole world, but that won’t make you ready for the judgment. The only way to get ready for the judgment is to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. When we trust in Jesus, He takes our sin and puts His perfect righteousness in our account. As Paul explained in 2 Corin 5:21, “(God the Father) made (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
*Bill Bouknight gave this testimony about getting ready: “I came into this world fundamentally flawed, with a tendency towards selfishness and rebellion, with an essential brokenness of mind and body. No amount of education or will-power or therapy could fix my deepest flaws. But when I confessed my condition to God, and believed the good news that his son Jesus died on a cross for me, God fundamentally changed my life. Now his Holy Spirit is at work in me, fixing and equipping me. My eternal destiny is assured. Though my present is not without problems, I am more than a conqueror because He lives in me, and his grace is sufficient. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’” (3)