The Advocate from GoodSalt.com

The Advocate from GoodSalt.com

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When Man Meets God 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 20, In the year of our Lord, 2014

Prelude

  1. How many people realize 
    1. that the time approaches rapidly when we shall all appear before God?

      12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God (Rom 14.12).
    2. You believe that statement of the Holy Spirit.
      1. How does it affect your life?
      2. How does it affect your thinking about God and the Judgment?
  2. Three well-known men have made unbelievable statements about 
    1. what shall happen at the Judgment.
    2. These statements show an unbelievable and dangerous ignorance.
      1. You may or may not think as these three men, but
      2. I hope that by showing you what they said,
        1. you will give more attention
        2. to the Day when we all finally meet God.

Persuasion

  1. Can Man Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome at the Judgment? 
    1. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh
      1. bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City,
      2. killing 168 people, including children, and injuring over 600.
    2. Later that day he was arrested.
      1. The federal government executed him on June 11, 2001.
      2. However, the day before his execution,
        1. his hometown newspaper in Buffalo, New York,
        2. published a letter from Timothy McVeigh.
      3. I found this quote about his letter,

        McVeigh insisted he has no fear of his execution. An agnostic, he said he will “improvise, adapt and overcome” if it turns out that there is an afterlife.

        “If I am going to hell,” he wrote, “I’m gonna have a lot of company.”

    3. He did not speak on the day of his execution, but
      1. he left a poem to be read,

        “McVeigh did leave a handwritten statement quoting a poem by British poet William Ernest Henley. The poem ends with the lines ‘I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.’”

      2. This shows that he believed he would be in control after death.
    4. Consider these things:
      1. Can we “improvise, adapt, and overcome” in the afterlife?
      2. Is Timothy McVeigh still an agnostic?
      3. Is there an afterlife?
      4. Did he go to hell?
      5. Does he have a lot of company there?
    5. Luke 16 shows a rich man, a once powerful man on Earth,
      1. not being able to improvise, adapt, and overcome
      2. once he went to the afterlife. Jesus said,

        22 “The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us’” (Luke 16.22b–26).
      3. What did the rich man discover?
        1. He lacked the ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome.
        2. He became a believer.
        3. He went to a place of torment from which no one can or will deliver him.
          1. So it also happened to Timothy McVeigh.
          2. Let it not happen to any of us.
    6. Timothy McVeigh had no idea what awaits humanity at the Judgment.
    7. Will he have a lot of company in hell?

      16 “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen” (Matt 20.16).

      1. Yes, unfortunately he will have a lot of company, but
      2. not because the God of heaven has not done anything to prevent it.
        1. He has poured out material and spiritual blessings upon the world.
        2. He has made it obvious that we are a creation.
        3. He has communicated to us in our language the message of salvation.
        4. He Himself made a sacrifice that we avoid hell.
    8. To Timothy McVeigh and to the rest of the world, the Bible says,
      1. there is an afterlife, and
      2. no army or marine unit in the world has ever existed
        1. that can teach you to improvise, adapt, and overcome in the afterlife.
        2. Although people like McVeigh will have plenty of company in hell,
          1. it does not have to be that way.
          2. Today, you can do something about avoiding that terrible place.
            1. Our God paid the price for you to be able to escape, but
            2. you have to decide to avail yourself of it, because
              1. if you do not want to join Him in heaven,
              2. He will not force you!
  2. Can Man Tell God to Go to Hell at the Judgment? 
    1. Dan Barker,
      1. an atheist and co-president with his wife of
      2. the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
        1. an organization at the forefront of many anti-religious lawsuits,
        2. said in a debate with Kyle Butt of Apologetics Press,

          “Are you telling me that the God you love and admire can consign us to eternal torture, then I would say to that God if you created hell, you go to hell.”

    2. This man has no idea
      1. who God is,
      2. what occurs at the Judgment,
      3. no idea of himself and his smallness next to God, and
      4. for whom hell is reserved.
    3. Assume with me for a moment
      1. that there is a God, and
      2. that He has the power to consign people to eternal torment,
        1. is it such a good idea to tell Him to go to hell?
        2. Whether we like Him or not, we should be careful.
    4. Luke 19 records the parable of the minas.
      1. A mina equaled about three-months salary in the first century.
      2. A nobleman gave minas to his servants
        1. before he went on a journey, and
        2. he wanted them to do business with the minas until his return.
          1. Jesus spoke of the citizens of the nobleman’s country,
          2. sounding like modern atheists,

            14 “But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us’” (Luke 19.14).
      3. Later the nobleman returned and
        1. he had the servants brought before him
        2. that they might give him an account of how they handled his money.
          1. The first servant made ten more minas.
          2. The second servant made five more minas.
      4. A third servant came and had done nothing, and explained why,

        20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’” (Luke 19.20–23).

        1. The master, the nobleman, in this story represents Jesus.
        2. We are the servants.
      5. Notice that He did not deny being austere.
        1. Truly, He acknowledged that He was or is, and
        2. knowing that should have moved the servant
          1. to at least do the very minimum.
          2. Listen, don’t do anything to offend this nobleman.
      6. The rest of the parable shows the austerity of the nobleman, or of Jesus,

        24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me’” (Luke 19.24–27).
    5. Okay, so people like Dan Barker do not like the way God operates.
      1. They think He is harsh.
      2. They do not like His austerity.
        1. They disagree with what He has done in history.
        2. They think they know better how to run the world.
    6. All right, go create your own universe and let’s see how you do.
      1. Do you think it wise
        1. to tell a God who can create the universe, and heaven and hell,
        2. to go to hell?
      2. How wise would it be for me
        1. to put my face right in the face of Mike Tyson,
        2. point my finger in his face, and
          1. tell him that I did not like him
          2. biting off the ear of Evander Holyfield?
            1. What would you think of me telling Mike Tyson to go to hell?
            2. What would Mike Tyson think of me telling him to go to hell?
      3. It does not matter
        1. whether you and I think Mike Tyson was right or wrong,
        2. would it be a good idea to say such things to him?
    7. Mike Tyson is a sinner, just like the rest of us.
      1. However, God is holy.
      2. No one, I said, no one has fought Him successfully.
        1. What is Mike Tyson to the Creator of the universe?
        2. I do not advise you to challenge Mike Tyson to a fight.
          1. If you would not challenge Mike Tyson to a fight, and
          2. if you would not tell him to go to hell,
            1. you certainly should not tell Mike Tyson’s Creator
            2. to go to hell!
    8. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or disagree with God,
      1. we had better prepare ourselves to meet Him, because
      2. He is severe, He is austere, and
        1. you will not tell Him where to go when the Day arrives, but
        2. He will tell you where to go.
    9. Hear the message of Amos 4.
      1. Verse 6 – The Lord caused food shortages, but they did not return to Him.
      2. Verses 7–8 – He withheld rain, but they did not return to Him.
      3. Verse 9 – Although their crops increased, He blasted them, and they did not return to Him.
      4. Verse 10 – He took away their young men, but they did not return to Him.
      5. Verse 11 – He overthrew them, but they did not return to Him.
      6. Therefore, in verse 12, the God of heaven declared,

        12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
        Because I will do this to you,
        Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
        (Amos 4.12)
      7. In verse 13, He explained who God is,

        13 For behold,
        He who forms mountains,
        And creates the wind,
        Who declares to man what his thought is,
        And makes the morning darkness,
        Who treads the high places of the earth—
        The Lord God of hosts is His name.
        (Amos 4.13)
  3. Can Man Bypass an Interview with God at the Judgment? 
    1. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
      1. is putting $50 million of his own money to stop gun violence.
      2. He also works on cutting obesity rates and smoking in New York City.
        1. He believes he is doing good things, and
        2. whether you agree or disagree with him on these issues,
          1. does not concern me at this time.
          2. Doing those things has made him say things about the Judgment,
            1. that shows he thinks he is great enough
            2. to bypass what the Bible says and to make up his own way.
    2. The New York Times ran an article on him on April 15, 2014.
      1. Since he is now 72, the article ended with this paragraph,

        “But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: ‘I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close’” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/us/bloomberg-plans-a-50-million-challenge-to-the-nra.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A12%22%7D).

      2. This man is smart enough to make billions of dollars and
        1. smart enough to become elected mayor of New York City, yet,
        2. his ignorance of the most important matters in life and eternity,
          1. could not be worse.
          2. Unless he repents, he shall have an eternal surprise.
      3. Please note these things.
    3. We cannot avoid the interview with God.

      10 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 (2Co 5.10).

      12 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 (Rev 20.12).

    4. We cannot head straight in.

      14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
      Including every secret thing,
      Whether good or evil.
      (Ecc 12.14)
    5. We have not earned our place in heaven.

      2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

      4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt (Rom 4.2, 4).

    6. There is only one way to be saved,

      12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12).

Exhortation

  1. The Day of Judgment is not something subject to our opinions. 
    1. Do not gamble with the Judgment.
    2. You do not want to guess about what will happen.
  2. There is a God in heaven who created us, 
    1. which means He had a purpose in making us.
    2. He wants to know whether we have fulfilled that purpose.
      1. Most people just hope that everything will work out for them that Day, or
      2. that they are just automatically going to heaven.
        1. That is like getting into your car,
        2. starting down the road with no destination in mind, but
          1. assuming that you will reach Hawaii.
          2. It ain’t gonna happen.
            1. It is impossible to get to Hawaii by car, and
            2. so you cannot arrive there by accident.
              1. You have to aim for it.
              2. You will need help getting there.
  3. Think of the Day of Judgment and ultimately heaven in the same way. 
    1. Be saved from eternal condemnation on that Day.
    2. Accept that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God,
      1. the One before whom we shall appear.
      2. However, you want to see Him as your Friend, not as your Foe.
  4. Believe Him to be your way of salvation. 
    1. Fulfill His reason for creating you.
    2. Start life over today by being buried in water for the forgiveness of your sins.