Sunday, March 29, 2009

BAD Judgment

Last week, Chad started a new series: “Things Above” (Colossians 3:2). We who are on Earth should definitely learn about “things above (in other words, heaven) so we know what to expect when we get there.

Chad says that knowing a glimpse of what’s ahead can (and should) change how we behave in the present. They way you approach each day will change the more you can foresee how it affects the future (and more importantly, eternity). It kind of makes one think about Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”. After seeing his past, present, and future, it definitely compelled him to change his attitude and behavior. Likewise, when we ponder the things in our lives, we can better gauge what our future will be like (and how we can make our lives better by changing the things in our lives that need changing).

Therefore, Chad thought it was important to extend that view into eternity. The Bible gives us various glimpses of what that is going to look like. Hebrews 9:27 says: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” So, since death is an absolute certainty for every single person (and we’re all going to be judged after we do) we need to know more about that. Though, understandably, judgment is a scary thing for people to consider. After all, who likes to be judged? Well, there’s good news and bad news about that. The good news is that if you are in Christ, there is no condemnation for you (Romans 8:1). The judgment you receive determines your REWARD in heaven. The bad news is, if you didn’t choose Christ while on Earth, your destination is eternal separation from Him. YOUR judgment is determined by your deeds as well, but it’s to determine your PUNISHMENT in Hell. Rewards vs. punishment. Plain and simple. The difference between the two is Jesus Christ. Your judgment is based on the answer you lived out in your life; the answer to the question “is Jesus your Lord and Savior?” Calling on HIS NAME and saying “yes” to Him is what puts YOUR NAME in the book of life and exempts you from eternal punishment!! Hallelujah!!

Chad used a typical heaven stereotype to try to illustrate the point. He had a bunch of people standing in line waiting to get to heaven. They had a person checking for their names in the book of life and if it was found, they went to heaven. If not, a trap door opens and they go to Hell. It doesn’t matter if you were a “good person” or not (or even if you’re a Colts fan - as one of the guys was dressed up as……he went to heaven by the way. ;) LOL). No one is righteous (Romans 3:10). What matters is Jesus. Chad said he didn’t want anyone to have to be “waiting in line” thinking “I wish I would have known!!!” You only have a lifetime on Earth to decide. If you’re “waiting in line”, it’s too late! There’s no purgatory. Either your name is in The Book or it’s not.

If you’re reading this, you still have time to choose Christ if you haven’t already! If you’re on the fence, what are you waiting for? How much time do you think you have?! Life can be stolen from you in an instant. You never know what day is going to be your last! The longer you delay an affirmative answer, the more you’re risking an eternity in Hell as time ticks away on the timer of your life! You only got the dash between the dates on your tombstone to live. Make the most of that dash and answer the question wisely, because the dash determines the eternity you’ll have forevermore!

I know I have shared this video before, but it’s just as powerful and true now as it ever was!! It’s a video by KJ-52 called “Life After Death”. It’s thought provoking and the message is right on!!! Watch it, think about it, and if you’ve never said “yes” to Jesus, PLEASE do so!! Feel free to talk to me about it! I care about where you spend eternity!! Through Christ, you can escape BAD judgment!

Grace and peace to all of you!! I’ll be sharing today’s sermon momentarily (and it’s also on judgment - though, the GOOD kind of judgment!). God bless you all!

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