02 March 2012

This 'n' That

Church signs. They are notoriously bad. In fact, finding a good, theologically accurate church sign is a rare treasure indeed. This morning I passed a particularly awful sign. Well, it was more of a banner, really, and it read, "Get an Afterlife." Um...really? An afterlife is not something that we need to go out and "get." All of us - every single human being who has ever lived - will have an afterlife. The question is, where will you be spending that afterlife?
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:5-8)
The truth contained in these Scriptures is precisely why we ought to be about the business of preaching the Gospel. There is no second chance after death. Each man is appointed to die once, and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Let us, then, not fail in our mission to call all men everywhere to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 17:30-31).

Okay, now that sermon time is over, enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Richard Dawkins may not be an atheist, but Episcopal Bishop Richard Holloway might be.
  • Confession time: I am extremely jealous of all who are able to attend the Shepherd's Conference next week.
  • Mormon Glenn Beck spoke at Robert Morris' Gateway Church earlier this year (look for the sermon from January 4, 2012). You remember Morris - he's the guy who preaches that your money is cursed until you redeem it with the tithe. You may also remember that he's spoken (in the not too distant past) at such venues as Saddleback Church and Newspring Church.
  • Stop coddling heresy:

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