Destination

Written by cycleguy on February 14th, 2013

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While visiting our daughter recently Jo bought a magazine that had a really cool story in it.

“My 3-year-old son, Garrett, is like a tape recorder: if he hears you say something, you can bet you’ll hear it again at the most embarrassing moment-like the evening my husband took Garrett to visit his parents and got stuck in horrible traffic.  When they arrived, our son greeted his nana with four new colorful phrases.

After that night, we discussed with Garrett which words are not nice to say-and he took it to heart.  That Sunday, he came with us to the morning church service to hear his cousin sing in the choir.  It was going well until Garrett heard the reverend say the word ‘hell.’ All of a sudden, my son’s face got red and he indignantly pointed and yelled, ‘He said a bad word, Mama!’  The reverend paused as a wave of giggles passed through the congregation.  But that wasn’t all my son had to say.  He looked at me and whispered loudly, ‘Did you learn it from his daddy?’ “  -Laura Corcoran from First for women

Go ahead.  I give you permission to laugh (and to pass it on).  So many parents I know have gone through that type of embarrassment…children repeating what you thought they hadn’t heard.  :)

I’m actually going to use that story to introduce the topic for this Sunday’s sermon: the subject of Heaven and Hell.  When working on the idea of building a house-blueprints, foundation, framework, roof, and wiring- my original thought was to call this Heating and Air Conditioning.  (You’ll get it).  But my better judgment (?) decided to go with comfort level instead.   Be that as it may, a belief in the afterlife has intrigued people for years.  Pro. Con. Unsure. To heaven and back. To hell and back (this is way behind in tallies from the former).  Seances.  Mediums.  The whole gamut.

HEAVEN OR HELL. 

NO MIDDLE STOP OFF POINT.

NO IN-BETWEEN STATE. 

NO SECOND CHANCE.

“It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment.”  I know it is not popular to talk about hell.  It is also not popular to talk about death, even though the averages are 1 out of 1.  But when talking about core beliefs, both need to be discussed.  I do believe a decision needs to be made: will I follow Jesus or will I not?  The decision to follow Him should not be from the fear of hell, but from being drawn by the love of God.

May I ask you to please pray for me/us for Sunday?  There are some who need to make this all-important decision-rationally and without fear of the wrong reason. Thanks.  What are your thoughts?

 

27 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I will pray for you and your “gang”. Funny story. I do not recall any moments of this ilk with my daughter. That could have been good blog fodder.

  2. Definitely praying for you Bill. I also want people to be drawn by God’s love. I don’t want people to have the hell scared out of them, but I do think you have hell to see how wonderful God’s love is. It’s a fine line, for sure.

  3. Arny says:

    H. E. Double Hockey sticks yes.
    I will Pray for you.

  4. Eileen says:

    I agree, it’s definitely a topic that needs to be openly discussed. Just said a prayer for you.

  5. the Old Adam says:

    I’ll be praying for you.

    The “decision” however was made on the cross.

    We don’t follow Him very well…but He has decided to love us and forgive us, anyway.

    He chooses us…we don’t choose Him (not in a way that is worth very much, anyway)

  6. I think you make a good point when you talk about us being drawn by the love of God – but I would go further and say that we can’t fully comprehend the love of God until we understand what Christ purchased for us on the cross. And we can’t fully understand that until we understand the reality and the severity of our sin and the just judgment that we are owed. So it kinda goes full circle, you know?

    • cycleguy says:

      totally agree with you Loren. Salvation is not based on what we do but on He has done. I like your idea of full circle.

    • the Old Adam says:

      I agree.

      Law and gospel. The two facets of God’s Word.

      The law is expose us and drive us to Christ. And the gospel to liberate us and give us new life in Christ.

      And this happens over and over and over again…all throughout our lives.

  7. floyd says:

    How clever the enemy is to have silenced the church from talking about the reality of hell. How doubly clever he is to have made lost people believe how they think will determine if there is a hell or not… as if they were “as gods.” The same old serpent doing the same old thing since day one…

    I’m praying for you and your flock, BIll.

  8. Desert Jim says:

    That’s a good story Bill – my kids have learned all those words from my wife!

    While you are talking about the importance of Heaven and Hell, I have a friend who currently is having serious heart problems and may not make it. I have known this man for many years. When he was younger, he did something hideous of which no one on earth would forgive him for. (Yes, he’s a friend of mine, but there are still boundaries that have to be established in our friendship). He did his time in prison and has lived in his own prison since for what he did. Isn’t it awesome that even with that record, he is still welcome in heaven because he has put his trust in Jesus?

    This is good news for my friend Mike.

    It is also good news for me because even though my sins are not as shunned in this world, I am still just as guilty.

  9. jeff says:

    Seems curious to me that there is no Hell in the Old Testament. Maybe God didn’t think it was important for anyone to know about for the first 150,000 years or so. Until I have some evidence I’m not going to worry about it.

    • cycleguy says:

      Believe Jesus talked about it in his parable of Lazarus and the rich man. It was called Hades and it was a place of torment. We also have Him and the book of Revelation speaking of it.

      • jeff says:

        Not sure it’s relevant but Hades was a greek god of the underworld and brother of Zeus. At any rate what Jesus said and Revelations are not part of the Old Testament.

        • cycleguy says:

          Luke 16 is Jesus’ account of what happens after death to a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Granted Revelation is not part of the OT but it does show the existence of Hell (which you say you will not worry about). But what you have missed is that until Jesus died on the cross the Law i.e. the OT was still in effect. His “It is finished” while on the cross was referring to all that was needed for man’s salvation was now completed. When He breathed His last breath and the Temple veil was torn in two that signified the ending of the OT and its laws and sacrifices.

  10. Debbie says:

    It helps me so much to read here . ..I can forget that as a pastor, you realize all the time that not everyone is on the same page . .even if they are sitting there before you each Sunday. Praying for your message to touch their hearts to want to come to Him now . .just because He loves them. God bless you and yours!

  11. Betty Draper says:

    Will be praying brother…
    the enemy of our souls hates the message you will give on Sunday. The Holy Spirit will be there to convict the lost and teach the saved.

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