Summary: Eternal life comes to those who trust Christ completely.
Title: What Shall I Do To Inherit Eternal Life?
Series: The Harvest Is Ripe
Text: Matthew 19:16-22
Introduction: Near Death Experiences
The March 1985 issue of Omni magazine reported a study by Dr. Maurice Rawlings, cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga. He and his emergency room colleagues are constantly treating such cases. It is now standard that those who have near death experiences later speak of having experiences of light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and tremendous peace.
However, in his study, also reported in his book Beyond Death’s Door, Dr. Rawlings obtained new information by interviewing patients immediately after resuscitation while they are still too shaken to deny where they have been. Nearly 50 percent of the group of 300 interviewed reported lakes of fire and brimstone, devil-like figures and other sights hailing from the darkness of hell.
He says they later change their story because most people are simply ashamed to admit they have been to hell; they won’t even admit it to their families. Concludes Dr. Rawlings, "Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life. There’s a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die." (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 151.)
I. TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE I MUST COME TO JESUS. (Matthew 19:16)
Illustration: It’s Me Jesus!
At a religious meeting in the South of London a timid little girl desired the prayers of Christians for herself that she might be saved; so she said to the gentleman conducting the meeting, "Will you pray for me in the meeting, please? But do not mention my name."
In the meeting that followed, when every head was bowed silently in prayer, this gentleman prayed for a little girl who wanted to come to Jesus, and he said:
"O Lord, there is a little girl who does not want her name known, but Thou dost know her; save her soul, Lord."
There was perfect silence for an instant, then away in the back of the room a little voice said, "Please, it’s me, Jesus -- it’s me!"
She did not want any doubt or uncertainty. She wanted to be saved, and she was not ashamed to arise in that meeting, little girl as she was, and say, "It’s me, Jesus, it’s me."
Are we willing to confess our needs and make our wants and wishes known? (Source unknown)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
A. Come Totally Trusting Christ. (Luke 13:24)
Illustration: Carried To Eternal Rest
I heard of a little lad named Kenny who developed leukemia. The disease progressed rapidly. Soon he was unable to go to school, then unable to go out at all, and finally confined to his bed. One day he asked the question his mother had most feared hearing. "Mother," he said, "what is it like to die?" Though she’d steeled herself for that moment, she couldn’t handle it when it came, so she excused herself and went out of the room. And there in the bathroom she prayed, her knuckles as white as the porcelain in the sink top.
Then, guided by God’s Spirit, I believe, she went back into the bedroom and said, "Kenny, you remember how when you were a very little fellow you sometimes would fall asleep in my bed? And how the next morning, when you would waken, you would find yourself in your own bed and in your own room? Do you know how that happened? That happened because while you were sleeping, your big brother came, or your father came, and he lifted you up and carried you so gently to your own bed and to your own room. That, Kenny, is what death is like."
The youngster smiled, for he understood. A few weeks later he fell asleep, and while he slept, his elder Brother and ours, his Father and ours, came and lifted him up and took him off to his own room and to his own bed. (Source unknown)
1. The young ruler realized an emptiness in his life that he could not identify.
2. He was highly regarded in the world, but did not possess the peace and assurance that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.
3. He did not come trusting Christ, and walked away empty handed.
B. Come Sincerely Seeking Christ. (Matthew 15:8-9)
C. Come Desperately Desiring Christ. (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)
Illustration: Don’t Make Me Go Forward