1 Thess. 2:12 - 1 John 3:3 - 1 Cor. 16:13-14
by Cooper P Abrams III
INTRODUCTION:   I always enjoy listening to children and they especially see things in a simple way. A Sunday School teacher who had taught her class well asked them the question, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into Heaven?" "NO"! the children all answered. They had been taught what the Bible clearly teaches that works do not merit us heaven, but it is our faith in Jesus Christ.
She ask again, "If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into Heaven"? Again, the answer was "NO"!
Well," She continued, "then how can I get to Heaven?" In the back of the room, a 5 year. old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead"!
The little boy's statement is a profound truth. We all will some day die and the question is where will be spend eternity. Our loving and grace Creator has provided the way to spend it in heaven, and we can make the choice to accept His way or reject it. God will force no one and make them accept heaven. The matter can be settle once for all when a person accepts the reality of life and death and believes God.
It is hard to realize what joy awaits those who choose to believe and accept God's free offer of salvation and heaven.
A few hours before Dwight L. Moody died, he caught a glimpse of the glory awaiting him. Awakening from a sleep, he said, "Earth recedes, heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go!" His son who was standing by his bedside said, "No, no father, you are dreaming."
ILLUS: "No," said Mr. Moody, "I am not dreaming; I have been within the gates; I have seen the children's faces." A short time elapsed and then, following what seemed to the family to be the death struggle, he spoke again: "This is my triumph; this my coronation day! It is glorious!"
This is the King's command: that all men, everywhere,
Repent and turn away from sin's seductive snare;
That all who will obey, with him shall reign for aye,
And that's my business for my King.
My home is brighter far than Sharon's rosy plain,
Eternal life and joy throughout its vast domain;
My Sovereign bids me tell how mortals there may dwell,
And that's my business for my King.
2. Few Christians stop to realize that they represent God, and the glory of heaven to others on this earth.
One day while Vice President Calvin Coolidge was presiding over the Senate, one Senator angrily told another to go "straight to hell". The offended Senator complained to Coolidge as presiding officer, and the Senator looked up from the Bible which he had been reading through while listening to the debate. "I've been looking through the rule book," he replied to the complaining Senator. "And it says you don't have to go."
The contrast between heaven and hell shows us clearly which is the better choice.
HOWEVER, Verse 3, addresses the present!
Every man that has the hope in him, purifies himself.
The man that is saved, by the Grace of God, will live purify his life. A Christian who knows God and knows about heaven will live a much different life than one who has no real hope. For some heaven it is something too far off to have any effect on their present life.
The results will be a life that is lived with little regard for the Lord. Living with the hope of heaven means living a better, fuller and abundant life now.
An article in USA Today reported that 67% of American adults believe in a hell. But less than 25% believe they will go there, while 25% believe their friends will be there. (USA Today poll, December 1986.)
Suppose there is an acquaintance of yours, who does know the Lord? Never reads the Bible, or comes to church.
Suppose you tell him you would like to spare Christ with that person, you are concerned for their soul and where they will spend eternity. You attempt to witness to the person and get them to come to church.
What you are really saying is, "I have something you should have and that is a personal saving knowledge of God, and a place in heaven."
If you told a friend, "Let me tell you of the one and only true God, and His son Jesus Christ."
Folks, would the way you live, turn people off, or cause them to see value of a place that is precious to you.
Would they respect God, and His truth because they see respect for God in your life.
Would they trust that you knew the way to go to a Heaven?
2. The verse says the servant should bring glory to his master.
What about a Christian who moved into the area, would the way you live be a good recommendation for this church and the truth it teaches and stands for?
Folks, a unsaved person can have a religion, a really good one too, do a lot of good works even as the Scribes and Pharisee of the New Testament and lived outwardly very moral lives. Jesus said, to get to heaven you will have to better than they were!
Folks it that is your life style, to live as the world lives, how can you say, you are a Christian?
To be a Christian, is to be Christ like, You pattern your life after the Lord Jesus, You are sadly mistaken if you think you can have heaven, and not Jesus Christ as the Lord of you life for He is the center of Heaven! True salvation is a coming to Christ! Its is becoming a new creature.
If you profess to know Jesus Christ as your Savior, it is a fact that you are influencing people around you.
= You do not have to be under the burden of sin any more. Your sins are forgiven. Yes, you still have the sin nature and 1 John 1 says you will sin...but the Lord does not scold you as James 1:5 says, but gives you wisdom....what you need of overcome any difficult.
= You have the very power of God to help you. The believer is indwelled by God Himself in the Holy Spirit.
=You have a guide that knows the way....always and seeks to help.
=You have eternal life. Death no longer has a hold on you. When Christ arose from the grave...He conquered death and all who trust Him are freed from death. =Much much more God gives us....now today.
= And the sure promise of heaven when we die, at 2 Cor. 5 says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Paul said this just before he died "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
What he saw strengthen his faith and he completely trusted the Lord.
In 2 Tim. 1:12 he said ". . .I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
What about you? Are you prepared for heaven? Is it your sure home, because you accepted the free gift of salvation and received Jesus Christ as your Savior? I can be even today....even now.
No one who is ever in hell will be able to say to God, "You put me here," and no one who is in heaven will ever be able to say, "I put myself here." John Hannah.