Hebrews 9-10, Psalm 29
Recently, my wife attended a funeral where a man who professed atheism had died. The priest presiding over the funeral service told those assembled that the man was now in heaven because he was baptized as a child. To those who want to believe this, they must come to grips with the realization that Adolph Hitler was baptized as a child. Funerals should be a time of personal searching but it is these types of statements which has made so many believe that everyone goes to heaven when they die. If this were the case, if there were nothing required to get into heaven other than being born and living, then why would God send His only Son to come to Earth and die for our sins in such a brutal way. To those who consider being born again a sect or a denomination, a serious point is missed. If you are born once, you will die twice. But if you are born twice, once physically and again of the Spirit, then you will only die once. Your judgment has already been dealt with and your account settled. It is only by being born again that we are guaranteed eternity in the presence of God. Jesus said this so clearly in John 3:5, that it can not possibly be misconstrued, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
We read in Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this judgment." This short statement dispels any false beliefs in reincarnation, purgatory, soul sleep, etc. All of these beliefs enable one to believe that they get a do over before judgment. We all fault our children for not understanding the consequences for their actions, but so many are guilty of the same thing concerning their eternity. The author writes in Hebrews 9:22, "And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission." For any who want to believe that at the end they will be judged favorably because they are basically good, for example gave to charity, marched for causes, went to church, etc , it is clear that these acts will not settle the score from our sins. But in Hebrews 9:15, we read, "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." It is made clear that Jesus is the only way, and only by repenting, accepting His sacrifice and making Him our Lord and personal Savior we are guaranteed eternity and therefore have nothing to fear. So we who are born again can boldly approach life and death without fear trusting in statements like those in Hebrews 10:10, "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Again in Hebrews 10:35, we read, "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward."
Many watched with shock in 1995 when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty in his murder trial. People questioned where is the justice in our legal system. So many people that I share with state that everyone will go to heaven for God is a God of love. That being true, God is also a God of justice. Just like many wanted to see Mr. Simpson get what they believe he deserved and were shocked and disillusioned by the "mercy" bestowed upon him, why do we believe eternal judgment in the hands of a Holy God would not be just. Throughout Scripture the plan is laid out in which anyone and everyone can obtain eternal security with God by submitting to God, why is it that people will not take the time to read or understand something with such profound implications. Everyone reads the next 10 step program to serenity, or the newest feel good trend, but refuse to read about the One True God in the only One True Source, Scripture. The path is simple, but not necessarily easy, but the security can not be removed.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: