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Developing a Burden for Lost People (Luke 16:19-31)

This is what Jesus said about heaven and hell.

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

heaven hellWhat if you could spend 30 seconds in heaven and 30 seconds in hell? Which of the two do you think would give you a greater burden for lost people: the glory and majesty of heaven or seeing and hearing those in agony in hell?

Today, we are going to consider two things we need that are in hell. In the passage we are going to look at, Jesus pulls back the veil between this world and the next and shows us there is a heaven and a hell. There are only two eternal destinies and everyone in this room will end up spending eternity in one of them: either heaven or hell. There are only two directions you can go after death.

People don’t like to talk about hell. But because I’m committed to teach the full counsel of God, I am going to devote today’s message to this…

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What’s It All About?

END TIME TEACHINGS- New Category in Top Bar

The message to the church from these blog posts emphasizes the need to take note of the signs of the last days, the lateness of the hour, and to prepare for the return of Jesus for His church.

“What’s it all about?” 

Here is a link I just added- a blog by two sisters who share their faith in God.

http://wp.me/P2p49X-2  “Would you really like to know how to get to heaven?”

“If you are not assured of your salvation and eternal life, please also read about Richard, The Man Who Was Mad At God’,  then say this simple prayer that he said, to accept Jesus as YOUR Saviour, too:

“Dear Jesus, I am a lost sinner.  I believe that you died for me.  Please forgive me for my sins and come into my heart today.  I accept you as my Lord and Savior and with your help, I will live for you.  Amen.”

“The Bible says when one sinner comes to the Lord, all heaven rejoices:

 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.  Luke 15:10 

(end of quote)

Dream of Mom in Heaven, STS eBook

I dreamt about my mom being in heaven.

A few years ago I had a vivid dream that I saw my mom in heaven.  I tried to capture the scene in a small oil painting.  She stood in a clearing in a white dress. There were trees on both sides of a path that led to a cottage at the end of it.  It was so beautiful and serene that I could only attempt to convey the mood in the picture with my limited artistic skills.

My mom knew Jesus as her Savior; she knew that God was her Father and she was His child, His daughter.  She lived a life that was pleasing to God.  And when she died she went to heaven where I will see her again one day.  When my dad passed on we had a private family graveside memorial.  Dad honored God his whole life.  Wyman told our family and friends to say their “Good bye,” or “I’ll be seeing you later”  if they accept Jesus into their hearts.  Many said a simple prayer of faith that day to assure themselves of their salvation, simply by believing Romans 10:9:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

John 3:16 tells us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(Continuation of STS eBook, CHAPTER 1, GOD IS FAITHFUl.  Note: I have highlighted some words and phrases.)

Having a Relationship With God

To know God and receive all of the blessings that He has for us requires a knowledge of who God is and finding out what it means to be a child of God.  This is why we need to learn to apply our faith to believe and obey God’s Word, as we enter into a relationship with Him.  Our relationship with God depends upon our love and obedience in following His commandments.  We accept the authority of the Bible as Truth and allow the Holy Spirit to give us understanding and clarity.  We accept it WHOLE and not pick it apart since God said that

“Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin,  for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).  So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work”  (2 Tim 3:16-17 Amplified Bible).

We have to know what the requirements are to be in a relationship with God, and then we can receive the blessings and rewards of our obedience to Him.  Everything we do in obedience to God’s Word in our families, our jobs and businesses, whatever we set our hands to do, will have God’s blessings in abundance, and we will be respected (paraphrased from  Deuteronomy 28).  But on the other hand, if we don’t follow God’s ways, curses and calamities, everything that could go wrong will happen to us because we have left the protective care and promises of God

The only way to be accepted by God and for us to have a relationship with Him, is to fully believe that God is who He says He is: He says what He means and means what He says, i.e. believe that HIS WORD IS TRUE! 

Numbers 23:19 says,

“God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction (for what He has promised). Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?” (Amplified Bible)

The reality of this is that a non-acceptance of God’s Word is a rejection of God Himself. This is the issue that confronts most folks today, even in the Church. So many folks want to accept God on their terms according to what they find agreeable with them or what meets with their approval.  God’s Way is the only way to eternal life. God sent Jesus to point out HIS WAY for us:  Jesus said (to Thomas and to us),

I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Since God reveals Himself and His plan and purpose for our lives in His Word  it is important to do serious Bible study, not just simply read it, but read and expect God to reveal His truth to our hearts, to make it real to our hearts and lives.  We need to STUDY to have God’s approval, to understand and interpret the scriptures correctly and not be ashamed by being ignorant of basic Bible principles; we bring reproach upon ourselves and do not bring glory to God if we present ourselves as poor testimonies of our  Christian faith (paraphrased from 2Timothy  2:15)

(NEXT- CHAPTER 2,  PLEASING GOD- LOVE GOD, LOVE HIS WORD AND OBEY HIM)

This World Is Not My Home

The answer to my elderly neighbor who asked me why we were moving out from our community was, “We’re going to do mission work.”  We had lived a few doors away in a custom designed split-level, hillside dream home where we raised our children.  From our front windows we had a panoramic view of the  extinct volcano crater that had a beautiful lake and golf course.  Our home was in a suburb nestled away, but close enough to the city of Honolulu.

We had lived in the split level house in the front of our large property and then extended the back of our home with a two story addition for our son’s family.  We had completely remodeled our kitchen with a built-in Corian sink and counter tops, new cabinets with slide drawers and corner lazy susan,  built in convection-microwave oven, new gas range and ceramic tile floor- an ideal kitchen for any homemaker.  After a few years, our son and his family decided to move closer to town. I was already retired from teaching, and Wyman was soon to retire as a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.   We were free to answer the call to the mission field, but the house tied us down.  It didn’t make sense for two people to live in a tri-level 9 bedroom with 5 1/2 bathrooms home. When we left on a mission trip, we needed someone to take care of our home, house sit, pet sit, take care of the yard, water the house plants, secure the home, etc., etc.

In 2001 after our second trip, the Lord said, “Sell your home.”  That took some serious consideration and we waited for confirmation from God.  Then things began falling into place when a good friend recommended a realtor to us.  By the following year, in 2002 , our home was put on the market.  After 8 months and waiting for the right party to purchase our large home, it was finally sold to two sisters with their families, mother, and family friend.  All told, there was space enough for over a dozen people to live there!  As for us, we found a comfortable two bedroom condominium in the city with fine amenities and 24/7 security so that we could just close the door and leave whenever we needed to!

When a good friend came to visit me after we moved,  she asked a similar question as my former neighbor, “Why did you sell your home to come live in a condo?”  I explained to her, “This is only my temporary home, anyway.  My real home is in heaven.”  In the Bible, Hebrews 11:13 and l Peter 2:11 tell us that we are ‘strangers and pilgrims on the earth’.  There is a old song that goes like this:  “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. . .”  

In John 14:1-3, Jesus said before he went away, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”