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Whom Do You Want toTake to Heaven?

WHOM DO YOU WANT TO TAKE TO HEAVEN?

The story is told of the church members of a well to do congregation arriving for services on a particular Sunday. As each member arrived they saw a "bum" rummaging through their dumpster. No one bothered to go over to invite him to services. Some thought it was disgraceful that he was on their property. Some thought that he would surely come around panhandling. Finally, someone went over to the dumpster and told him that he had to leave the property immediately because he was trespassing. Services started and the preacher was nowhere in sight. As the song before the sermon was sung the "bum" enter through a different door, preceded to step into the pulpit and reveal himself as the preacher! Not a single person had thought him "worthy" of salvation.

This seems to be the attitude of many of us, even though we are often unwilling to admit it. There are those whom we consider unworthy of eternal life. What did the Lord teach concerning this?

I. THE LORD TAUGHT THAT ALL ARE PROSPECTS FOR THE GOSPEL.

A. Jesus told us that we are to reach out to all with the gospel.

1. Mark 16:15-16 – "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

2. Romans 1:16 – "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

B. The attitude that Jesus teaches us to have toward our enemies shows that all deserve the Gospel.

1. Matthew 5:43-48 – "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

2. If our enemies are deserving of our love and concern, aren’t they deserving of the gospel?

 

II. OTHER PASSAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOW US THAT GOD WANTS US TO REACH OUT TO ALL WITH THE GOSPEL.

A. There are no racial distinctions in the body of Christ - all races may one in Christ.

1. Galatians 3:26-28 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

2. Ephesians 2:13-14 - "But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation."

B. The first century church was made up of individuals of whom some had been among the "scum of the earth."

1. 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

2. All these individuals were the kind of persons we would consider a "poor prospect" for the gospel. They heard the gospel and willingly gave up their sinful lives.

Whom do you want to take to heaven with you?  If you remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 19:10 – "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Jesus is saying, "I came to earth to look for and save all who are lost.”  This includes you, me, and everyone else who is lost and without the hope of salvation.
 
Jimmy
Antioch church of Christ
08/15/10   PM



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