The Pastor’s sermon began in this way, “We are now in the final days of human rule upon the Earth and very soon, although we don’t know the exact day, God will commence His final judgment upon all the world. Pounding upon the pulpit he exclaimed, Do you understand? Do you really, really understand? Do you?! Not one of us will leave this world without a ticket to either heaven or hell. If you want to get to heaven your only way is by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s imagine we all are going on a train journey today, and agree to gather at the local rail station later this afternoon. Hold on pastor you say, “I don’t have a train ticket!” Well, this is a very special train, and you don’t need a ticket! Upon arrival at the train station, I want everyone to form a line with your family, directly in front of the big overhead sign marked DEPARTURES.
Now, remember, you don’t need an actual physical ticket to get on board the train, everything has all been arranged for you. However, the security staff will need to sort everybody out, just to make sure each person is directed to their assigned seat. When you arrive at the boarding security checkpoint inside the terminal, one of the station agents will hold a scanner in front of your heart, to ensure everything is a-okay. Remember now, this is rather a special train which travels at very high speeds, so they need to do a final health check of sorts. Some of you may possibly be directed towards a separate line from others in your party. Don’t be alarmed, this is just part of the process to ensure everybody gets to their correct destination. So you are not surprised, I can tell everybody right now how some of you will be directed towards the left-going line, with others going to the right. Not to worry, the staff have undergone extensive training on the proper use of the heart-scanning device, because they don’t want to make any unintentional mistakes. Please rest easy knowing each one of us will board the correct train safely and on time.
Those of you who are directed into the left line will board a black-coloured train, in contrast to those in the right line who board a white-coloured train. With the exception of the different colours, both trains appear otherwise identical to one another. Once again, some of you may be separated from your family at this point, but don’t worry, you may be assured the security folks have done their jobs correctly. Once onboard your designated train there will be automated signs and voice prompts, guiding each person to their pre-designated seating. Now, remember, I told you before this was a special and unique train, so the experience will most certainly be new to everyone. After everybody in the black and white-coloured trains have been seated, there will be a few safety announcements about keeping your hands and feet inside the train, not to move about while in motion, and so forth.
Just before the trains get underway, an announcement will be made for everybody to place both hands on their armrests, your left hand on the left side, and your right hand on the right. Understand? There is nothing to worry about, this is just one final, “just in case check” that you have boarded the proper train, and are occupying the correct seat. I know this is quite a lot to remember, but we are almost ready to go! With both hands resting firmly upon the armrests, you should see an illuminated green light mounted on the backside of the headrest in front of you, got it? In the very unlikely situation where instead of a green light, you see a red one, just keep your hands steady in their place; you are on the wrong train! An attendant will come for you and direct you to the other train, ensuring you safely arrive at your proper seat. Now this situation will almost certainly not occur, as the security staff are well trained, and have done a thorough job scanning you already. Once everybody has a green light, the doors will close and lock, then the train journey can begin!
What I need to explain to you now, and is critical for everyone to understand is this. All persons on the black-coloured train are destined to be delivered to the entrance of hell, while those seated on the white-coloured train, the golden gates of heaven. Now, now, don’t fret. Everyone has been seated on the proper train, God made sure of that! If you had previously repented of your sins beforehand (I have been warning you for years and years…), confessing your sinful nature to God, that you were in desperate need of Jesus to save you, and received the Holy Spirit; then you are on your way to see Jesus in heaven – hurray! If you are on the train bound for hell you should be very happy; after all, you are getting exactly what you wanted, right? You chose to live your life apart from God, turned your back on Jesus’ free offer os salvation. In short, your days were spent living your life believing this world is all there is, and doing what was right in your own eyes. Come on now, rejoice; you made it! You are one of the many who will get to live for an eternity separated from Jesus.
What, this is not what you wanted? Gee, I’m sorry. As I have told you already this is a special train, and once onboard, there are no funds, no change of itinerary, and no stops at other destinations. But you say, “My child is on the heaven-bound train, and I want to be with her!” Now, now, it’s going to be alright, try not to worry. I know it’s sad and frightening for you, please try to be calm. Yes, I think I can see your little girl crying for you; she obviously loves and misses you terribly. Now don’t worry, in a few moments, God is going to wipe away all her tears, turning her sorrow into joy. Why in no time at all your precious little girl won’t even remember you, and will go on to live a blessed life in heaven with Jesus, while you scream and suffer in hell. This madam is the consequence of you trying to live your life less than fully committed to Jesus, desiring to do things your own way. For years He patiently called you, urging you to repent of your sins; but you steadily refused, and now it is just too late.”
My friends…can we be friends…? Good. My fictitious story is intended as a light-hearted introduction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes, there most certainly is life after we pass from this world; but it is not like any of the make-believe worlds of Hollywood, secular fiction, etc. No, there are only two places where we will reside for eternity;
- Heaven – Kingdom of God.
- Hell – Lake of Fire.
Sorry, your ignorance will not save you from judgment. Many years ago, one of my wife’s relatives “accidentally” (yes, I believe it was an accident), stole a small personal item from the store, only to discover it later. Fortunately, upon its discovery the item was returned to the store manager with their apologies, which was the end of the matter. According to the family, this person placed the item in their purse by mistake, intending to pay for it at checkout: well, that is the story I was told anyway.. :). Even though the item was returned and the store suffered no financial harm, the manager would have been within their rights to have called the police and pressed charges. Did the offender understand theft was wrong and illegal? Yes, of course. Would it matter in the eyes of the law whether it was taken in error or with intention? No. Did this woman break the law and was deserving of punishment? Yes!
Do you understand my comparison here? In the eyes of the law, a transgression is a transgression, is a transgression. If the law is broken there must be a punishment to atone for the offense. God has made a whole list of laws for us to follow, which may be summed up perfectly in the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
Here, I will list them just in case you have forgotten;
- Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
- Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his Name in vaine.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy sonne, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattel, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested theÂ seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Honour thy father and thy mother.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Thou shalt not covet.
Exodus 20:3-17, KJV.
Historically, many of our laws are based on these commandments, whether the lawmakers understand this or not. God has many attributes which we could use to describe Him, some of whom I have listed below.
GOD IS _____________________.
- All – loving.
- Without sin.
- Pure Light.
Let’s focus in on just three of God’s attributes, shall we?
God loves us with love our finite human understanding will never be able to fully comprehend. Because of His immense love for us, He wants us to be with Him eternally in heaven. His love for us is so vast, He sent His only begotten Son, JESUS, to take upon Himself the punishment for our sins. Each of us has inherited our sinful nature because Adam and Eve sinned first, back in the Garden of Eden. God understands our imperfect human nature and has provided a Way for us to be saved – now isn’t that wonderful news!
Because God loves us so very much, He is able to cleanse our sins with the blood of JESUS; that’s why He gave Himself for us on the cross. Through faith and believe in Jesus, we may be forgiven and cleansed from our sins. Now in case, it isn’t obvious to you, sin is any action or thought which is contrary to God’s laws, as embodied in the Ten Commandments listed above.
- Have you ever lied, even one time only? Then you are a liar.
- Have you ever been angry with someone? Then you are a murder. *
- Have you ever stolen anything, even time from your employer? Then you are a thief.
- Have you lusted after someone, or had sexual thoughts for anybody not your wife or husband? Then you are an adulterer.
- Have you worshipped any false gods such as wealth, possessions, power, etc.? Then you are an idolater.
Shall I go on? In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven on your own merits requires you be 100% absolutely perfect, meaning the slightest transgression of any one of these commandments even ONE TIME ONLY, is sufficient to sentence you to eternity in hell (Lake of Fire). Nope, you are not perfect. You are sinful. You are worthless in the eyes of a holy God. You are guilty. You are ETERNALLY DOOMED!!!!!
Unless….you repent of your sins against GOD, freely confessing (AND MEAN IT!! – YOU CANNOT FOOL GOD!!!!) your desperate need for HIS forgiveness, and that you believe JESUS CHRIST died for you, then, and only then, can your sins be wiped out clean!
Salvation and eternal life is;
- A free gift from GOD alone.
- Something we do not deserve.
- A gift which cannot be earned through good works.
- A gift which cannot be purchased with money.
- A gift you cannot receive through any of the world’s false religions.
- A gift which will never fade away, depreciate, or become worthless.
- A gift which may only be received by faith and belief in JESUS CHRIST.
* “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:20-22, KJV.
If you willingly choose to disregard my warnings and reject the Name of JESUS CHRIST, then God’s justice requires Him to punish you. If you refuse His free and gracious offer of salvation and eternal life through His Son JESUS, then you alone will bear the punishment for your many sins against HIM, which is not going to pleasant at all! Ask yourself this question. If hell was not such a horrible place of torment and agony, why would JESUS spend more time talking of the absolute horrors of hell over the majesty of heaven? Please think about it will you still can.
Thank you for reading…