Summary: A series of the topic of being lost
What Your Lost Friend Has To Look Forward To
Intro: In about 27 days the NASCAR season begins with the running of the Daytona 500. I am looking forward to that day. I am sure all of us have, at one time or another been looking forward to something with great anticipation. I know many of you look forward each year to Christmas; the kids because they know they are going to get something new and for adults it might be you look forward to spending time with family members who you don’t get to see but once a year. Sally and I were looking forward to this past Christmas because it was our year to have the kids with us.
By the same token most of us have had something looming out in front of us that we weren’t looking forward to. Last December I had to have surgery and I can tell you that I wasn’t looking forward to that
Today we are going to take a look at What Our Lost Friends Have To Look Forward To if they enter eternity without Christ.
Our text today is a very familiar passage of scripture but often it is looked at as a parable but it isn’t a parable; it is an actual account of the death of two men.
[Stand/read Luke 16:19-31/pray/dismiss Jr Church]
The subject of today’s sermon is one of those things that we all believe but none of us likes to talk about. In fact many modern day TV preachers who have appeared on TV shows like Larry King live have refused to even talk about hell when he pressed them. They prefer to speak about their view on self-esteem, better attitudes doing good and essecially working yourself to heaven rather than even consider the possibility of someone actually going to hell.
In a recent survey, it was determined that 35% of Baptists; 54% of Presbyterians, 58% of Methodists, and 60% of Episcopalians don’t’ even in a literal place called hell! 71% of the 8 leading seminaries in the United States do not believe and therefore teach about either a literal Heaven or Hell.
Frankly folks, if Hell is not real, and everyone is going to get to Heaven eventually, we might as well close the doors to this church and go home.
Today’s sermon may be a little hard for some people to listen to but that’s ok because it is on a topic that Jesus found extremely important so it must be one we need to hear more about.
I like “the story that is told of a chaplain who reported to a new duty station. Upon arrival some of the men came to see him and asked him this question; Do you believe in a literal hell? When he replied that he did not. The men asked him to resign and he asked them why. Their response to him was; ‘ If there is no Hell then we don’t need you and if there is a Hell we don’t want you to lead us astray.” I think the point is well made. [Paul Lee Tan. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. “Time to Resign the Chaplain.” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Pub., 1979). p. 554 # 2221]
Another poll conducted by US News and World Report (2000) reveals that more Americans today believe in Hell than they did in the 1950’s. But most now think of hell as “an anguished state of existence” rather than a real place. [ US News and World Report. “Hell Hath No Fury.” January 31,2000. p. 46]
We don’t like think about the reality of Hell that is why we often hear the statement, “I don’t believe that a good god will send anyone to Hell.” The statement, however, makes about as much sense as saying, “How could a good judge sentence a mass murderer to death for his crimes?” That statement doesn’t make any sense because we know that the judge is not responsible for the man being sentenced to death, his actions are.
The bottom line; Hell is what our lost friends have to look forward to do you know what that means? Do you understand just what hell is?
Lazarus, a poor man covered with open sores, who it says, the dogs would come and lick his sores, laid outside the gate of the rich man. Lazarus had nothing but he rich man, it says lived each day in luxury.
Finally, one day both died and went into eternity. It says that Lazarus was carried by angels to be with Abraham and the rich man, it says, was buried and his soul went into hell. In this account of these two men we see three truths about hell; the hell to which Our lost friends have to look forward to.