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Heaven or Hell Ready or Not It is Coming

Matthew 24:42-24:51

Matt. 24:42-51

Someone tells about a pastor who was late for church. He flagged down a taxicab and instructed the cabdriver to do everything within his power to get him to church on time. So the cab sped off and weaved through traffic for about ten blocks. The dangerous driving ended in a fatal accident. Both the cabdriver and the pastor died.

When their spirits arrived at the entrance of Heaven, they met Saint Peter. The Pastor, confident of his entrance into Heaven, allowed the cabdriver to go ahead of him. After chatting with the cabdriver, Saint Peter allowed the cabdriver into Heaven.

Then Saint Peter turned to the Pastor and said, "Pastor, I’m afraid I have bad news for you. You aren’t going into Heaven."
The Pastor, shocked at what he heard, asked, "Why would you let a cabdriver into Heaven and not let one of God’s servant into Heaven?"
To which Peter replied, "Well, whenever the cabdriver drove, people prayed. Whenever you preached, people slept."

This is one of more than a dozen Saint Peter jokes that come from a false understanding of verses 19-20. The reason why Jesus gave Peter the keys of Heaven and then told His disciples not to tell anyone that He is the Christ is because if others knew Jesus was the Savior, they wouldn’t allow Him to die on the cross. We read in verse 22 that even Peter was tempted to prevent Jesus’ death on the cross.

The Bible tells us that Jesus needed to die on the cross, so that the consequence of our sin would be paid for. Sin’s penalty is death, and Jesus paid our penalty for us. Knowledge and trust in Jesus’ as the Son of God and Savior of mankind are keys that enable people to enter Heaven. Those who accept these keys while living on earth will be permitted into Heaven. And those who do not accept these keys while living on earth are not permitted into Heaven.
How about the revival? Did we not have some good singing? Were not the messages brought home? Didn’t you feel the Holy Spirit working here? People made decisions here this week. Some decided to not change their lives and others decided to change their lives by surrendering to Jesus Christ. But everyone here this week has made a decision about where they will spend eternity.
There is a growing tendency to believe that all good people, whether or not they consider Jesus Christ to be their savior, will live in heaven after they die on earth. In 1999 the public is almost divided on the matter: 53% agree, 40% disagree. This represents a significant change since 1992, when 40% agreed with this notion and 1994 when 46% agree, 47% disagree.
Half of all adults (51%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven.

Of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ: (1999)

63% believe that they will go to Heaven when they die because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior.
11% believe that they will go to heaven because basically they are a good person.
10% do not know what will happen to them after they die.
7% believe that they will go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish.
5% believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they have tried to obey the 10 commandments.
2% believe that when they die they will not go to Heaven.

SOURCE: From Barna Research Online

This is scary people. People don’t really know what to believe about Heaven or Hell because the Church has stopped preaching about them. But the reality is that the question that must be asked this morning is where will you spend eternity? Will you spend it in Heaven or will you send it in Hell? That single question should send terror racing through the hearts of people. But it does not. Many don’t even believe in a heaven or a hell. Others believe in a heaven but not a hell. Others still say that a loving God could never send anyone to such a terrible place as hell. Then some think that everyone will spend time in Hell and then we will get to go to heaven. But this morning I am here to reveal to you the truth that there is a Heaven and a Hell. That we all don’t go there and then get to go to Heaven. That yes God is a loving God but HE is also a just and righteous God and because of that HE must judge sin. The truth is that those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will immediately go to heaven and never will they have to spend a second in hell. But for those who die without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they will immediately upon death go to Hell and will never spend a second in Heaven. This is the complete truth. The choice is yours and it is either Heaven or Hell. Whether you are ready or not it is coming and nothing we can do will stop it the only thing we is choose where we will spend eternity.
Reader’s Digest recently asked the great fighter Muhammed Ali what his faith meant to him. Ali replied:
"[It] means [a] ticket to heaven. One day we’re all going to die, and God’s going to judge us, [our] good and bad deeds. [If the] bad outweighs the good, you go to hell; if the good outweighs the bad, you go to heaven. [I’m] thinking about the judgment day and how you treat people wherever you go. Help somebody through charity, because when you do, it’s been recorded.

I go to parties, [see] good-looking girls. [I] take a box of matches with me. [I] see a girl I want to flirt with, which is a sin, so I [light] my matches, [touches his finger] oooh, hell hurts worse than this. Buy a box of matches and carry them with you. Put [one] on your finger and see how long you can hold it. Just imagine that’s going to be hell. Hell’s hotter, and for eternity."

Ali is right. Hell is hot. But those who go there do so not because their list of good works is too short. They go there because their belief in themselves is too strong. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
A Sunday School teacher asked "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?" I asked the children in my Sunday School class.
"NO!" the children all answered.
"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?"
Again, the answer was, "NO!"
"Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my wife, would that get me into Heaven?" I asked them again.
Again, they all answered, "NO!"
"Well," I continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"
A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!"
Are you ready for the coming of Christ? I promise you that Christ is coming that He is returning because He said that He would return someday. God’s Word promises that one-Day Jesus will return in glory. Are you ready?
1. Yes one day He will return.
a. He will return in the sky and gather His bride to Him. A trumpet will sound and the elect, that is all who are saved, will be gathered up to Him form all over the world.
b. But what if we die before HE returns for this church. We will be gathered also.
i. At the moment that we die our souls go to be with Jesus.
ii. But if you are not His at the moment you die you will find yourself in a place of torment, a place of anguish, the Bible says that there will be a gnashing of teeth there. You will be in Hell. NO more Hope No more chances.

2. There are two types of people in the world those who are ready for His return the saved and those who are lost. The saved will be looking while the Lost will not be.
a. We don’t know when Jesus will return. IF anyone says this day of this week of this year Jesus will come he is lying to you. For the Word of God teaches that no one know the time or day of His return except the father. (v42)
i. We are to be alert watching for His return.
1. We are to be studying his word looking for the signs.
2. We are to living a life that honors and serves Jesus
3. We are to be expecting the Masters return at any moment (v44)
3. Who is the faithful servant
a. The one who upon His return the Master finds alert for His return.
i. They are the ones studying
ii. They are who applied the word in their lives
iii. They are the ones who lived their lives for Jesus
iv. But the lost want be looking. They want even know to look.
v. They are caught up in the world trying to live in the world.
vi. They don’t believe God’s word much less read it.
4. Some who thing they are saved but are not doing the Master’s bidding will be caught unaware.
a. They will have heard about the Master’s return
b. They will know the word
c. But they will be caught unaware because have compromised God’s word and their lives to live in the world.
d. They will be drunk on the world believing they are doing right.
e. But the Master’s return will catch them unaware they want believe it is going to happen. They will ridicule God’s word.
f. And they will cut to pieces and assign a place among the hypocrites and there will be gnashing of teeth. They will go to hell.
Dr. Maurice Rawlings, is a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga, and his colleagues are constantly treating emergency patients, many of whom have had near-death experiences. A study of these cases by Dr. Rawlings was reported in Omni magazine.

It is no longer unusual to hear about people who have almost died who speak of seeing a bright light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and experiencing a deep sense of peace. However, Dr. Rawlings obtains additional information from his patients by interviewing them immediately following resuscitation while they are very much in touch with their experience.

Dr. Rawlings says that nearly fifty percent of the 300 people that he has interviewed have reported lakes of fire, devil-like figures and other sights reflecting the darkness of hell. Rawlings says that these people later change their story because they don’t want to admit where they’ve been, not even to their families. "Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life," claims Dr. Rawlings. "There is a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die."

Dr. Rawlings, a devout atheist, "considered all religion "hocus-pocus" and death nothing more than a painless extinction". But something happened in 1977 that brought a dramatic change in the life of Dr. Rawlings! He was resuscitating a man, terrified and screaming.

"Each time he regained heartbeat and respiration, the patient screamed, "I am in hell!" He was terrified and pleaded with me to help him. I was scared to death. . . Then I noticed a genuinely alarmed look on his face. He had a terrified look worse than the expression seen in death! This patient had a grotesque grimace expressing sheer horror! His pupils were dilated, and he was perspiring and trembling — he looked as if his hair was "on end."

Then still another strange thing happened. He said, "Don’t you understand? I am in hell. . . Don’t let me go back to hell!" . . .the man was serious, and it finally occurred to me that he was indeed in trouble. He was in a panic like I had never seen before." Dr. Rawlings said, no one, who could have heard his screams and saw the look of terror on his face could doubt for a single minute that he was actually in a place called hell!
5. Where are you today? Are you a citizen of heaven or of Hell? There are no other choices. There is no such thing as a dual citizenship. You cannot be a citizen of both Heaven and Hell. You have to make a choice. It is your choice. God does not choice for you. He gives each of us free will so we can make that choice. Some this morning are struggling with that choice. They are wanting to come to Jesus this morning but their pride is saying don’t walk that aisle, you don’t need Jesus, you are a good person you have plenty of time. Let me tell you Hell is full of good people because they did not choose Jesus. Their fear of rejection is telling them that friends and family will laugh at them and call them Jesus Freaks. Hell is full of fear but there is not one no not one Jesus freak there. Where do you want to be found this morning? Do you want to found in Heaven or do you want to be found in Hell?
Heaven is a beautiful place. Streets paved with gold, all the homes are mansions, and love is in every nook and cranny. Man can never describe fully what Heaven will be like so the beauty found there is unimaginable. But because I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I am a citizen there. I have the right to tread on streets of gold and one of those mansions is mine. Hell has no place for me.
But if you are sitting here lost this morning you have no right to heaven. Your home is hell. Look in Luke chapter 16:22-24. In Hell there is torment, no reprieve no second chance no hope. You will be in a lake of fire one that cannot be put out. Your torment will never end nor ease. Mark 9:43-48 shows that you will burn and burn and never burn up there will be no one hear your scream of pain you will suffer for all eternity. How long is eternity. It is forever there is no beginning and no end. That is you lot if you die lost.
But it does not have to happen that way. Is the Holy Spirit dealing with you? Are you ready for the Master’s return? If you are not the alter is open. Jesus is calling this morning is He calling you. Heaven or Hell the choice is yours ready or not He is coming.

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