Jimmy Evans - Prepared For Eternity

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Jimmy Evans - Prepared For Eternity
Jimmy Evans - Prepared For Eternity

I'm so glad that you joined us for this week and I'm going to be finishing up the Essential Foundations series that I started several weeks ago. Another very important message today. Before I bring the message, let me tell you a couple of things. Kelly Shackleford, our dear friend is going to be joining us next week for the message. And Kelly just has a wonderful ministry and a wonderful thing that he does with the government. He's spoken before, but they're doing so many things behind the scenes that we want you to hear about just in celebrating, you know, America and our freedoms and our nation. And so he'll be here next week, sharing with you. In this Essential Foundations series, we're talking about, really there are seven foundations, there are six listed, but one of the foundations is the doctrine of baptisms and that's plural. But let's read the scripture one more time, Hebrews 6.

Hebrews 6:1-3, "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to [a]perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits". And in the first message, I used the illustration of a foundation, that when you're building a house, you have to stop and build the foundation properly, or you're not going to be able to build the superstructure on top of it. And if you do, it's going to be dangerous. And so when they're building a house, they lay a foundation and someone comes out and inspects that foundation. And when they inspect it, they either give you a green tag or a red tag. A green tag means you're okay, your foundation is good. You can go on to build. If they give you a red tag, it means you can't build on this foundation until you fix it, until you lay the foundation correctly.

And they're doing you a favor because they're keeping you from failure. They're keeping you from a disaster. This is what God does. See, God controls the spirit realm. You cannot mature spiritually unless God gives you a green tag. And that green tag is based on the foundations. That's exactly what the writer of Hebrews is saying. It says, we're going to go on from the foundations, and this we will do if God permits. And I want to say, a lot of you, these messages, you know, this is tough teaching. I mean, this is, this is meat. This is something that you know, is really foundational in your faith. And so many of you have been watching every single week to lay these foundations. Let me tell you what's about to happen in your life. I promise you this. You're going to see a difference in your relationship with God. As you have laid these foundations, as God comes up and looks at the foundations that you've laid, he's going to give you a green tag.

And what that means is you may have felt stuck for years in your relationship with the Lord, you're going to get unstuck. You may have seen other people pass you as they're going to their destiny. And you're thinking, what is wrong with me that all these people are doing this, and I'm sitting here? You're going to go on to your destiny. God is going to permit you because of these foundations. And there's some people that just won't listen to this kind of teaching. It's just, it's too tough for them. It's not interesting enough for them and all that kinds of things. Well, regardless of how tough it is, or maybe it's not as interesting as some other topics, it's absolutely essential. These are essential foundations and God will not permit us to go on to maturity until we have repented of our dead works. We're not free agents, free moral agents. We have a Lord that we're accountable to and we have to transfer our trust to him.

Faith in God, repentance from dead works faith towards God. That's the first two foundations of the faith. The doctrine of baptisms, the baptism in water, which is the covenant seal of the new covenant that I talked about a couple of weeks ago. Baptism and the Holy Spirit, endued with power, ready to live our lives for God. Baptism in water is about Jesus. It's about salvation. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is about living our lives for Jesus and having the power to do so in this world. There's the laying on of hands, which means we're connected to other believers in relationship, and much of what God will do in our lives he will not do remote control. Some things he will, just like this message right here. We have to be together. We have to connect to each other, connect to believers, connect to leaders, so God can impart through relationship, because God is a God of relationship and everything in the kingdom of God is relationally transferred. And so these are the foundations of our faith, and there are two more.

This message is called Prepared for Eternity, and the two final foundations I want to talk about are RESURRECTION of the dead and ETERNAL JUDGMENT. We are eternal beings. Now, listen, you're going to be living somewhere for eternity. You're a believer. You're going to be living with God for eternity. This is not our home. The world is not our home. We're here very temporarily, and every single human being that has ever lived is going to be resurrected from the dead. Now some of us will be alive when Jesus comes, I believe we won't be resurrected. We'll just be transformed. And I'll read a scripture about that in just a second, but let me begin with the resurrection of the dead. And I want to show you how foundational this is to our faith in the scripture. And this is Romans 10, beginning with verse eight.

Romans 10:8-10, "But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation". So it says, there's an, if here. Anytime there's an if, that means there are conditions. In this case, there are two conditions to salvation. It says, if you confess with your mouth, the Lord Jesus. And so some of you, if you've never done this before, you can just say, Jesus, you're the Lord of my life. I confess you as the Lord of my life. That's the first condition here. The second is that you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.

When we talk about resurrection of the dead, how much more foundational can this be? It's a condition of salvation. And you say, "Wait just a minute, Jimmy. Why is believing that Jesus was resurrected, why is that foundational to my faith"? Because if Jesus wasn't raised from the dead, there is no proof that he was who he said he was, or that his death atoned for our sins. Jesus, if there is no resurrection of the dead... Jesus said he was the son of God. Jesus said, they're going to kill me and I'm going to be raised on the third day. Jesus made all kinds of claims. If Jesus wasn't raised from the dead, then he is like every other false Messiah or so-called savior that has come claiming to be God, but he's a hoax and we are lost, if Jesus was not raised from the dead.

See the resurrection was the attestation by God the Father that Jesus was who he says he was and that his death atoned for our sins, if Jesus wasn't raised from the dead, he's a hoax, and our faith is lost. The resurrection of the dead and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the gospel message. So many other so-called saviors came, but their bones are still in the grave today. They weren't resurrected. And so if Jesus wasn't raised from the dead, he's among those, but I'm telling you, he was raised. Listen to the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 concerning this issue.

1 Corinthians 15:12-26, "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death".

And so the apostle Paul, I mean this is just crystal clear. He says, you know, if we preach Jesus is risen from the dead, how come some of you people are saying there is no resurrection of the dead? And he's saying here, if Jesus isn't risen, we are a pathetic group of people. I mean, of all people in the world, we're the most pathetic group of people because we're sitting here believing that we're saved and that we're forgiven and that we have eternal life. If there is no resurrection of the dead, none of that's true. It's the truth. This is one of the most important foundations of our faith. So listen, someone will come to you and they'll say, so you believe that Jesus is the only way to God, and absolutely. In John 14, Jesus said, I am the way. THE way, not A way. I am THE way, I am THE truth, and I am THE life. No one comes to the Father but through me. And someone would say, so you're believing that everyone who's not a Christian goes to hell. Yes, absolutely. I mean, Jesus is the only way.

So here's the issue. And they would say, that's pretty narrow-minded. Every person is invited, and no one's turned away at the cross. Any person who wants to recognize Jesus as their Lord. Remember Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane sweating drops like blood. And he cried out to God the Father, and he said, "Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. But not my will, your will be done". He prayed it three times. And when Jesus prays something three times, the universe shakes. Jesus prayed three times to God the Father, and the answer was Judas and the betrayers coming to take Jesus to the cross. God the Father said NO to Jesus, and Jesus Christ died the worst death that any human being has ever died, okay, for our sins.

Listen, do you have any respect for God the Father if he would do that to Jesus and there was another way to heaven? Some people who are Universalists believe any way gets you there. All roads lead to the same path. That's the belief of Universalism. It doesn't matter how you live your life. Doesn't matter if you're a Satanist. Doesn't matter if you abuse children. It doesn't matter if you're the worst person that ever lived. You're saved, you just don't know it yet. That's what Universalism believes. What we believe is Jesus came die for the sins of the world, and he died the most gruesome death. He lived the life we should have lived. He died the death we should have died. And the resurrection of the dead was God's attestation that he accepted the propitiation of Jesus Christ as the payment for all sins.

No one's turned away, but many people refuse to come and give their lives to Jesus. Every person who wants Jesus Christ as the Lord of their life can have Jesus Christ. Okay? So this is 1 Thessalonians 4. Remember, it says Jesus was first fruits. Do you realize that Jesus was crucified on Passover, the feast of Passover, he was buried on the feast of Unleavened Bread, but he was resurrected on the feast of First Fruits. And this is when the priest would go and wave the barley, the first fruits of the barley harvest up toward God. And so Jesus was resurrected on First Fruits. First first means there's going to be fruit afterwards. He was the first, but they're going to be others. This is 1 Thessalonians 4.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep" - that's those who have died in Jesus - "lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words".

Okay, so Paul is talking here about the resurrection of the dead that is going to happen at the rapture, just describing the rapture of the church, when Jesus comes and we're caught up to be with the Lord in the air. Here's what he says. The dead in Christ will rise first. Okay? So my dad died at 80 years old, and he's a believer. He's in heaven right now. When my dad died, his spirit went into the presence of God, but his body we buried here on the earth. And his body, he had died of six cancers. My dad's body was just awful when he died, but when Jesus returns, the dead in Christ will rise first. Here's what that means. His body is going to come out of the ground, immortal and glorious and eternal. He will have an eternal body, and his spirit will be reunited with his body. Before believers on the earth are raptured to be with the Lord, the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive and remain... Now there's going to be an entire generation of people that never die. I want to be one of those people, you know. I just, I'd rather not die. If I have to die fine, but if you die, you're going to be resurrected. But there's going to be a group of people that were transformed in the twinkling of an eye. Let me read you this text. This is 1 Corinthians 15. This is the same account from the apostle Paul of the same event.

1 Corinthians 15:50-57, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ".

So let me give you an understanding of death from a Christian perspective. This is very important. And I do this at funerals all the time. First of all, you know we never die. If you're a believer, you never die. I go to funerals all the time and people are grieving, and they believe that their loved one is in the ground or in an urn or something like that. And they're grieving. I would too. What a horrible thought that, you know, my mother or my father's, you know, down under the ground, laying cold down there. That's not where they are. This is John 11:23-26, "Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”"

Well, when I was a young pastor in Amarillo, I was 29 years old when I started being a pastor, and my prayer was no one in our congregation would ever die 'cause I didn't want to do a funeral. I'd never done a funeral before. I didn't want to do a funeral. I just thought, well, maybe our congregation will be the first where no one ever dies. Well, the first year somebody died. And I remember showing up at the home of that person, the wife of the man who had died, and the presence of the Lord was stronger there than I'd ever experienced anywhere in my life. This man was a very strong believer, and his wife was precious and I walked into the home and I absolutely could not believe the presence of the Lord in that place. It was astounding. It was addicting, honestly. I mean, I just wanted, I wanted to be in that presence as much as possible.

You know where I found that presence? When I was with families of believers, when they had died, when I was with believers when they've died. I've been with many, many people when they took their last breath, and I can tell you this, when believers die, there is a presence of God. When Karen's dad passed away last year, the hospice nurses... He was 91 years old, and he was in his last hours. And the hospice nurses said this to us: "Now listen, now it won't be unusual if right before he dies, he raises up in bed and lifts his arms up, because this is what they do because the angels are coming for them". I mean, I just got goosebumps when she told us that. I just thought, isn't that phenomenal. Listen to me. So what happens when a Christian dies? When your eyes close here, they open there. When you take your last breath here, you take your first breath in heaven. When your senses dull here, they come awake there.

Listen to me, child of God. There will never be an instant of time in all of eternity when you're dead. You can't die. You can't kill a Christian. You're either alive here, or you're alive there. And if a Christian dies, their spirit goes immediately in the presence of God. So when our bodies die, our spirits immediately pass into the presence of God in paradise. This is Luke 23:43. This is the thief on the cross next to Jesus. "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise'". See when we die... Some people say, well you're going to go to purgatory, or you just fall asleep. Some will say well you fall asleep and you wake up at the resurrection. There are many people, Don Piper, Todd Burpo. There are many people who have written phenomenal books about when they died and they came back to life. They're immediately in the presence of God.

When a Christian dies, you go immediately in the presence of God. Now your body is still here, but your body is still very important because one day it's going to come out of the ground and be reunited with your spirit. At the return of Jesus, the spirits of those who have passed are reunited with their transformed earthly bodies that become perfect and eternal. And so this body, I'm 66 years old. I'm just telling you this old body is getting older. I'm looking so forward to a day when I get an eternal body. Can you imagine being in a body that could stand in the presence of Jesus for a thousand years and worship and never get tired? And you'll have a good voice, I'll have a good voice? And this is what I'm looking forward to: and you sit down and eat for a hundred years, not gain weight. Praise Jesus, come Lord Jesus. Just Jesus, please come right now.

Imagine, imagine having a body that never gets injured, that never gets tired. You have perfect vision, perfect hearing. Everything is perfect. And it's eternal. You don't have to work at it. Is eternal. That's what we have to look forward to, the resurrection of the dead. Jesus died, and he was resurrected on First Fruits, and every single one of us who are believers, what we have to look forward to is the resurrection of the dead, either because we passed and then we're resurrected when Jesus comes, or that we're alive and remain until Jesus comes, and we're transformed go on to his presence. But I'm telling you, believing in the resurrection of the dead is absolutely foundational to your faith. And if someone questions you about it, now you can know. This is why it is so important to my faith and my hope. It's not what just Jesus did. It's what all of us will do one day, that gives us such great hope.

Well let me talk about one of the foundation and I'm finished. It's ETERNAL JUDGMENT. So every person has an appointment with judgment. Every one of us do. This is Hebrews 9:27-28, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation". So judgment is set for every person. You have an appointment with judgment. I have an appointment with judgment. And it says here, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. So the judgment that I have will not be in regard to sin, it will be in regard to reward. Okay? If I'm in Jesus and Jesus has forgiven me of my sins, I don't have to dread the coming judgment. Okay. And it says here, "To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation". He's not coming the second time to atone for sin any longer, but he's coming to save us.

So if a person dreads judgment, and if a person dreads the coming of the Lord, it's really kind of a bad sign, because really what it's saying there is, you're just not ready. Okay. And so I pray, I honestly pray, and I'm not a perfect person at all. I'm saved by grace. I completely get that. Okay. I can't wait for Jesus to come. I can't wait to stand before him in judgment because it's going to be a wonderful judgment. And I want your judgment to be wonderful too. And by the way, if you're a believer, you're going to heaven, period. But let me talk about two judgements that are coming, okay, one for believers, one for unbelievers. the judgment for believers is called the judgment seat of Christ. And let me show you where this is in the scripture.

Romans 14:8-12, "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" - This is called the Bema Seat, that was just a raised platform that was an area of judgment or adjudication. Okay? - "For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God".

And so all of us, one day as believers, we're going to stand before the Bema Seat of Christ. This is a very relational, a very non-intimidating type of a judgement. This is 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences". Now this is very important. So it says here, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that we may receive the things done in the body, whether good or bad. Okay.

Understand a very important distinction here. You're saved by grace. You're judged by your works. It says you're going to be judged by Jesus, by what you've done in the body, whether good or bad. It says here, we make it our aim to please him, to please God, okay. We're living our lives. And it says, knowing the terror of the Lord. That doesn't mean terror as in fright. It means reverential awe. I want to live my life in such a way that I'm pleasing to God, and I reverence him because I'm accountable to him. Can you imagine all the sin and nonsense that's going on in the world right now, and many of the people who are most rebellious against God in the world right now act as though there's not going to be a judgement. There's going to be a judgment. And every knee will bow. Every person.

When you see TV, when you see movies and you see ungodly people doing ungodly things, very rebellious, understand, look at their knees. When you're watching all that, look at their knees, because those knees will bow to Jesus Christ one day. See my knee bows willingly. I bow my knee to Jesus Christ. He is the Lord of my life. I have bowed to him in this life. Some will be by force, but every single knee will bow. And every single person, every single person who's ever lived on the planet will stand in judgment before God. And we reverence God, we want to be pleasing to God, and we reverence God in this. And we want to live a life... See, if you don't understand resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment, you just, you don't live with any eternal perspective, and you don't understand every single thing we do in this life is consequential.

Now Jesus forgives us of our sins. You know, when we asked for forgiveness, he forgives us of our sins. You don't have to be perfect to go to heaven. The thief on the cross next to Jesus went to heaven. And so, but let's listen to this scripture because this is a very important scripture. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire".

So let me, let me tell you this story of a couple of different kinds of people. Let's just say that there's a person that, liked the thief on the cross, and they lived a pretty worthless life. I mean, they didn't do anything for anybody else. They were kind of selfish, maybe just had a lot of trouble in this life, you know, and maybe pretty hateful and mean and stuff like that. But let's just say that they received Christ at some point in their life. They got to a low point in their life and they received Christ. They're saved. And they're saved. But let's just say, after being saved, they still were pretty selfish, and they didn't do much for anybody else, you know. They didn't give. They didn't serve. They didn't help poor people. They didn't, you know, they just never went outside themselves very much. What happens to them?

Well it says, on the foundation of Jesus, some people build with wood, hay and straw; combustible, temporary. Some, gold, silver, and precious stones; eternal. And it says that the judgment that we will endure at the judgment seat of Christ will be a refining judgment. Now I've heard people, I've heard preachers preach that at the judgment seat of Christ there's just going to be all this screaming and yelling and all this fire that comes down just scares everybody to death. I don't believe that for a second. That's not the nature of God. That's not the grace of God. Here's what I believe. I believe that we will be examined in that judgment. And part of the examination will be to see whether we lived an eternally-focused life or a temporarily-focused life. Okay?

Understand, every Christian goes to heaven, and every one at the judgment seat of Christ goes to heaven. No one goes to hell from the judgment seat of Christ, but some people go with a lot more reward. Okay? So in this life, my father-in-law, when my father in law died, he was a very wealthy man, and he used his wealth for the Lord. He gave away many, many millions of dollars, and just served the Lord for many years. And I said at his funeral, I said, my father-in-law Bud was a rich man on this earth, but now he's really rich. But my father-in-law made his money, most of his money at about 50 years old. He died at 91. He had his wealth in this world for 41 years, but the wealth he has in heaven he'll have for trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of years. He'll never lose it.

Do you realize Jesus said, whoever gives a cup of cold water to this little child will not lose his reward? You don't have to, you don't have to save the world to have a reward. The kindnesses that you do for people, the things that you do for others, for those that you love, your family members, your friends, those who are disadvantaged, the things that you do to give, to serve, these things are eternal. Jesus said, don't lay up your treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. Lay up your treasures in heaven. Well, some people don't do that. Some people just live very selfish, temporal lives. They're going to go to heaven. When they get to the, you know, the judgment seat of Christ, the examination will just consume. Their life was just a temporary life. It was a combustible life.

And so they're going to get to heaven yet as through fire. They're not going to be burned and hurt and Jesus is not going to punish them. But they're going to go to heaven. And everybody in heaven is really well off. You have eternal life. You have a wonderful place to live. The presence of God, everything in heaven is wonderful. But just imagine, just imagine that you lived a wonderful Christian life and you helped other people, and the Lord says to you, well, that bigger mansion right over there is yours for all of eternity. And I'm giving you a hundred extra angels to wait on you hand and foot. Jesus, please come right now. I don't know. I don't know. You know, that's just kinda my imagination. And I don't know. I don't know everything. The Bible says, eye has not seen. Ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.

Can I just tell you it's going to be worth it to live for Jesus. It's going to be worth it to live an eternal life. And I just feel sorry for people who don't think about eternity, and they're not thinking about preparing for that judgment, and they're not eagerly waiting. They're dreading it. You know, they don't know what's going to happen to them. And I'm telling you if you're a Christian, it's going to be a good day on the day that you stand before Jesus. Now you may have a lot of reward. You may not have so many rewards. I don't know. But God loves you and you're going to heaven. But you need to be preparing for this because it's coming. For some of you could come this week. I mean that, I mean that. I've preached on Sunday. The following Sunday, I already did a funeral for a 21-year-old girl that had a car accident, and the next Sunday she was in heaven. I saw her this Sunday, the next Sunday, she was gone. That's happened to me many times as a pastor. None of us have the promise of tomorrow. We need to prepare.

There's one other judgment that is coming, and it's the final judgment. It's the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT. This is Revelation 20. No believer will be at this judgment. This is at the end of the thousand year millennial rule of Jesus, and this is Revelation 20:11-15, "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire".

Now I've heard people say that everyone goes to hell from this judgment. Well, I don't know about that. Here's why, because, remember, millions and millions of people lived before Jesus. Since Jesus, Jesus is the standard of salvation. In no other name is there that we must be saved. But what about before Jesus? I don't know. In the Old Testament, the Book of Life, how did you get your name in the Book of Life in the Old Testament? Well, I'm not exactly sure. I'm not exactly sure who was saved, and by what condition they were saved in the Old Testament.

Remember Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus, and Lazarus was the beggar that was at his door that he wouldn't help. And he says that they both woke up in Hades. And in the Old Testament, Hades was in the center of the earth, and half of it was Abraham's bosom, and half of it was hell. And the rich man woke up and saw Lazarus over in Abraham's bosom. And he said, father Abraham, let him touch his finger in the water and touch my tongue because I'm tormented here with this fire. And so how did the poor man go to heaven and the rich man go to hell? Okay, well by the works, I guess. But I'm saying at the great white throne judgment, there's going to be every single human being, no believer, not the church, every human being who's ever lived and the books will be open, and every person will be judged and their eternity will be decided.

You're an eternal being. Every person on earth is eternal, and Jesus came and died so that we could be rescued from hell, forgiven of all of our sins, and live in the blessing of the reward of heaven. But in order to do that, first of all, we have to receive Jesus, but also we have to dedicate our lives for an eternal purpose. If you're just living for now... And all of us have things that we do that are just temporal things. And that's great. We have to do those things. But if it's the only thing that you do, and you're not laying up treasures in heaven, and you're not giving a cup of cold water to the little one, you're not helping the disadvantaged, you're not serving, all those kinds of things, you're missing an eternal opportunity. And let's just say that you're 40 years old and you have millions of dollars and you're going to live to you're 110. You're still only going to have what you have for 70 years, and then it's gone. But what you send ahead, you're going to have for all of eternity. It's just short, it's just short-term thinking not to prepare for that.

So we've laid our foundations. Repentance from dead works. Faith toward God. I'm not making my own decisions anymore. I'm turning my heart toward God. I'm water baptized. I'm Holy Spirit baptized. I'm connected to the church in real relationships with people that can touch me, that I can touch. And that I believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, and one day I'm going to be raised from the dead if I pass before Jesus comes. We're going to go to heaven and be transformed in his presence. But before we get there, we're going to pass the judgment seat of Christ. The judgment seat of Christ happens when Jesus returns, okay, at his return. Jesus said, my reward is with me. I'm coming quickly. And so Jesus is coming.

Are you ready? Are you ready for this important event, this eternally important event? Are you living an eternal life or are you living a temporal life? When I preach these kinds of messages, you can see now why the writer of Hebrews put this down as a foundation. This changes everything. It changes the way we live our lives. It changes the way that we think. And once your thinking is right, and you have these foundations, God says, here's your green slip. Go on child. You've laid the foundations. You've got the right things in your heart. Go on. You're ready. And that's my prayer for you, is many of you have listened to this entire series, and I'm praying God will bless you as you go forward in your spiritual maturity. Pray with me right now.

Lord, for those of us who don't know you and have never put our faith in you, we confess Jesus that you are Lord. And we believe in our hearts, Jesus, that you were raised from the dead. You're not like any other savior. You're real. And what you said is true, and God received your blood as the payment for our sins. And we believe that your resurrection attests to that and also that you were the first fruits, and that we're going to be resurrected also. And Lord, we come to you right now, and we say, we know for a certainty we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. And we want that to be a time of wonderful celebration and reward. And from this moment forward in our lives, we are going to live with that day in mind. We're not going to live for the now. We're not going to live just for the temporal and just for the pleasures we can get out of today, but we're going to invest in eternity and prepare for the day that we will see your face and we will stand before you in judgment. And we thank you for that Lord. We thank you for your love and goodness in our lives.

I pray blessing. There's been so many people, Lord, have watched this series and have taken it so seriously. I pray you'll give them a green slip right now. I pray that from this moment forward in their lives, that they will see a dramatic difference, a dramatic difference in their spiritual maturity, and that they will be able to go forward now and to accomplish their destiny in God. I bless them in Jesus' name, amen.

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