Heaven/Hell

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#Lent#13

Friday, March 13th, 2020

There are different reason why people make professions of faith. Some are dubious like “My friends were” or “My parents wanted me to.” Some are religious-sounding: “I want to go to heaven” or “I don’t want to go to hell.” None of the above mentioned reasons are the right reason for coming to Christ.  In my years of being a pastor, I’ve heard all those and more.

But John Piper puts it into perspective:

But what is the ultimate goal in the good news? It all ends in one thing: God Himself. All the words of the Gospel lead to Him, or they are not gospel. For example, salvation is not good news if it only saves from hell and not for God.  Forgiveness is not good news if it only gives relief from guilt and doesn’t open the way to God. Justification is not good news if it only makes us legally acceptable to God but doesn’t bring fellowship with God. Redemption is not good news if it only liberates us from bondage but doesn’t bring us to God. Adoption is not good news if it only puts us in the Father’s family but not in His arms. (p.62)

We should embrace the gospel not to stay out of hell, or even to go to heaven, but because we are overwhelmed by the amazing love of God, the Good News. This Good News cost Jesus His life so we can be enthralled with God’s presence, and yes, spend eternity with Him.

#WorthItAll#Waiting

Friday, February 21st, 2020

In 1970 a young woman, a teenager, named Joni dove into shallow water and came out a quadriplegic. This past October 15th she celebrated her 70th birthday. She is also a two-time breast cancer survivor.  I once read a book she wrote where she was asked and answered a question: “Would you do anything to change your life if you had to do it all over again?”  Her answer astounded me. “No,” she said, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” 

I have to admit I am amazed by her attitude because, frankly, I’m not sure I could or would say the same thing.  Getting hit by a hit-n-run driver in November of ’17 and then doing an endo coming down a hill in February of ’18 convinced me of the sanctity of life and how much I valued my ability to get around.

But one thing I do know is this: if either of those accidents had ended my life, I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE I WOULD BE SPENDING ETERNITY. There are only two places possible: Heaven or Hell. One good; one bad. No in between place. And despite popular opinion of some very liberal “churches” not all people will be in heaven. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment.” I know what Universalism teaches-that all will be saved. But that is a lie from the pit of Hell and smells like smoke.  (Rob Bell take note).

I conclude this version of a “Truth” series this week before I start a new one on the book of Colossians next week. I could think of no better way to do that than to talk about our eternal destiny.  I look at this sermon two ways: One, like D.L.Moody once said, “No preacher should ever preach about hell without tears in his eyes.” And two, talking about the joy of heaven.

I’d appreciate your prayers this Sunday. The last thing I want is to come off as though I’m glad people are lost and going to Hell.  On the contrary, I want to show how Heaven is such a great place why would you not want to go there? Thanks for praying.