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The Worst People in the Best Place - Part A

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The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2021 2:00 am

The Worst People in the Best Place - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 23, 2021 2:00 am

The TV comedy The Good Place depicts the popular notion that good people go to heaven. But did you know the Bible teaches something different? Find out more as Skip shares the message "The Worst People in the Best Place."

This teaching is from the series Now Streaming.




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See in the Bible is not were good people go to heaven as were saving people go and some of those saved people were not all that good. In fact, some of those people were one time the worst they get taken by God's grace through an active there was sentenced to that good life has countless TV adaptations about what heaven looks like but they don't match what Scripture describes today on connect with Skip types of Skip shares what you can look forward to when it comes to heaven just might be surprised. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you grow stronger in your faith. Here's what Norm Geisler said about the tactics, there is no better block to include Christians to think clearly Skip I think I need to engage in active spiritual warfare.

You'll never fight God's battles for myself, you'll never contend what really matters. Just cruise and interlacing boiled have to decide to get out as part of the house and join the fight become a contender for biblical truth with the House ethics message series the computer skip. I think this teaching series on the ring to defend the gospel and guard against the teaching thanks get to connect more people to the truth of God's word and give $35 or more today will also send you the book tactics by Gregory couple to speak the truth about Christianity with confidence and grace, hundred 92 to get report chapter 15 joy Skip Heitzig for today's there's an old joke about a pastor and a taxidriver both of them died they were in heaven. Peter meets them at the gate computers and all these dumb drugs and so he admitted some of the covenant says welcome to heaven guys and I will show you your heavenly reward. So he takes the pastor and gives him his mansion in heaven. His home is heavenly reward is good place and the pastors all excited looks really good is thankful until Peter shows the taxidriver his eternal abode which is far nicer than the pastors to bigger mansion and it just looks better and so at this point the pastors a little miffed and says to Peter, Peter, I've given God my whole life I've served in my whole life.

I just don't understand why the taxidriver would get a better place than my place and Peter said well it's pretty easy to understand Rev. when you preach people slapped when he drove people prayed, you know, most people have an idea about heaven and hell, the idea of the afterlife is pretty straightforward, is not correct it's not theologically correct, but most people's view of the afterlife goes like this.

Good people go to heaven. Bad people go to hell. Good people go to the good place that people go to the bad place. So if I live a reasonably good life. I will go to that good place then they define good is whatever they think. That is, and they have earned their way to have theirs actually show some of you know about called the good place it is endured for seasons, and 52 episodes. It is about the afterlife and the good place represents heaven the bad place represents the other place, and they discover that some of these people discover there in the good place and go back to their lives, to discover how they got there, but it is a view of heaven.

That, of course, is in a biblical view of heaven as this is Hollywood and so this is a comedy which is typical for Hollywood because Hollywood is never taken heaven and hell. Seriously.

And they they it's all about a works based righteousness. If you do good things. You will get to the good place you earn your way to have and by the way the good place heaven is depicted in this TV series as a place where people are bored and it is very, very different from the biblical view of heaven and hell. First of all you need to know this.

The Bible depicts heaven completely differently. You see in the Bible. Heaven is not were good people go heaven as were saving people go and some of those saved people were not all that good.

In fact, some of those people were one time the worst people but they get taken by God's grace and through an act of their repentance to that good place. Also heaven is certainly not depicted as boring or dreary, but is filled with joy.

With that, as a little introduction let's go to Luke chapter 15, and begin in verse one, where we read then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to hear him and the Pharisees and scribes complain saying this man receives sinners and eats with them, so he spoke this parable to them, saying, what man of you having 100 sheep if he loses one of them does not leave the 99 in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it when he has found it.

He lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing, and when he comes home. He calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.

Most world religions view heaven, they afterlife, very, much like that television series, the good life. You earned your way there you work your way there. There's a sampling in Islam. If your good deeds outweighed your bad deeds. You have a pretty good chance of making it to heaven. And so they recommend good deeds that include the reciting of prayers. It includes going on Hodge or a pilgrimage to Mecca. Once in your lifetime. It includes doing benevolent acts, and all of that. They figure will tip the scale in your favor, and eventually you may note your never guaranteed. You may make it to heaven. Then another huge world religion is Judaism because as you know, the Jews have no temple anymore for sacrifices to atone for their sins. It's now all about their works they can earn it, so by acts of repentance by doing good deeds by living a life of personal devotion stand a good chance you can make it to the good place that's Judaism and Buddhism.

You can get to heaven by the so-called heaven is known as Nirvana. But that requires following the eight fold path. If you follow the eightfold path that is required.

You can make it to Nirvana and then in Hinduism because of the cycle of birth and death call reincarnation.

If you break the cycle of reincarnation by ridding yourself of bad karma than you can make it in all of those world religions. The basic element is the same. You are doing something to earn your place in the afterlife. Only Christianity teaches that man can do nothing to get to have absolutely nothing that to get to heaven.

It is not by human achievement.

It is by divine accomplishment only God saves the lost. God saves the worst. Now in Luke chapter 15 were reading verses one through seven. But actually, if we were to read the entire chapter you discover there's not one terrible but three stories back to back. The first is about the lost sheep.

That's what will cover. The second is about the lost coin that a woman loses and the third is about a lost boy a lost son who runs away from home. The prodigal son units in each case is basically the same. Something valuable is lost, the owner or the superintendent goes out to look for that which is lost when that thing that is lost is finally recovered.

There is joy in a celebration is underway now. I figure that probably the boys and the man would've loved the first story about the lost sheep because many of them were probably shepherds in the crowd, they would've said yeah I like that story I relate to that story.

The girls and the women would've liked the story of the lost coin because scholars believe it's a coin from a wedding necklace that was lost, so that would've appealed to them and then finally parents would've loved the story of the boy who came to his senses and came running back home to dad. So it's as if Jesus wanted to tell the same story, but he wanted to speak in a hard language that everybody could understand all of it is basically the same truth just with a different nuance what I want to do is kinda go through what we just read verses one through seven, but show you the elements in it. One by one, five elements number one what you notice the spectators there introduced in verse one, then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him interesting designations right you have here. Tax collectors and you have here sinners. Let me explain those to categories a tax collector is considered a traitor to the Jews. In those days most tax collectors like Matthew were Jewish people.

They were considered traders because they extorted money from people through taxation to put into the coffers of the Roman government. They were utterly despised by people. Most people want tax collectors in the same category as robbers and murderers and prostitutes. Nobody like them not not just Jews didn't like them even Romans didn't like them. One Roman author said I have never seen a monument to an honest tax collector now have things changed from then to now do people love the IRS do any of you ever even pray for the IRS.

May nobody likes to get money taken from. But what you need to know is it was so bad in those days that the exorbitant tax rate was like a burden on the back of every citizen will be explained really briefly. First of all, there was a tax known as the poll tax. That's the tax to get told to get counted just to breathe the air and to be counted in the registry you pay the poll tax female.

From age 12 to 65 in a male from age 14 to 65 were under the poll tax on top of the poll tax you paid an income tax, a flat 10% of all that you own belong to Rome on top of the poll tax and a top of the income tax that was what was called the ground tax. So if you're a farmer and you grosgrain 1/10 of your grain goes to Rome if you grow grapes, 1/5 of your wine and the products go to Rome on top of that is you are not a are not in agriculture is another farmer I'm a fisherman what it was a fish tax and you are tax per fish. So the more fish you catch, the more taxation you pay then if you have grain or fish or grapes. You have to transport them in a card so there was a cart tax and you are tax based on the number of wheels you had on your cart severe four wheels more taxes so he will borrow is your friend is one will you get tax less for that.

Then on top of all of those taxes. The road taxes. There were harbor taxes. There were import and export taxes so people hated tax collectors then notice a second category sinners. Now you would think the tax collectors of their hated that much would just be lumped together with sinners, but sinners have their own category their own designation because sinners were the clear religious people. The nonreligious people. The riffraff of society, the notoriously immoral people hated by the religious establishment and what is interesting to me is that Jesus attracted these people. They came to him. They flocked to him they were interested in his sermons.

They wanted to find out what he had to say and it wasn't because he catered to them and it wasn't because he criticized them it was because he genuinely cared for them and they could feel that they knew that you discover as you read to the Gospels that Jesus was often criticized for this very thing they were reading in verse one, because so many notoriously irreligious riffraff were attracted to Jesus. Jesus got a lot of flak for that. I'm to take you back a couple chapters in the Luke chapter 5. You don't have to turn or you can if you wish, I'll read it to you. Luke chapter 5 just to show this to you in verse 29 it says, then Levi, Levi, by the way is Matthew a tax collector becomes a disciple. Then Levi gave him a great feast in his own house and there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them and their scribes and Pharisees complained against his disciples, saying, why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners. There's those categories again Jesus answered and said to them, those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. No wonder they loved him. He saying there's a lot of sick sick people out there and I'm a doctor who makes house calls now go to chapters further to Luke chapter 7 if you're doing that. If not, again, I'll read it to you. Luke chapter 7 verse 31 and there's so much in this chapter that that kinda bears this point, but I don't have time to do it. Of verse 31 the Lord said to what then shall I liken the men of this generation.

What are they like like children sitting in the marketplace calling to one another, saying, we played the flute for you and you did not dance.

We mourned to you and you did not weep for John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say he has a demon the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say luck, a glutton and a lion. Bever notices a friend of tax collectors and sinners. That's what he was.

He was their friend.

He attracted people to himself and it was bad enough that people flock to him. What made it worse is Jesus sat down and ate meals with them and we have that in our text in verse two, so now let me take you from the spectators to the skeptics there introduced in verse two and the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, this man receives sinners and eats with them. Yorty know this but Pharisees and scribes there like there like the varsity religious squad there. The a string there. The pen ultimate the ultimate religious gurus respected by all feared by all.

Josephus called them the leading religious sect, the most accurate interpreters of the law. No, there were only 6000 Pharisees in existence at the time of Jesus very very strict in their religion and you read this in the Gospels, never Jesus and Pharisees got together that there were fireworks right. It was always an adversarial interaction are usually of what's so Jesus would just unload on them. He call them whitewashed tombs.

He would say hypocrites over and over again to them. So this crowd to the Pharisees and the scribes, the religious elite, and those who study the law. They are disgusted that Jesus associates with those in verse one, the tax collectors and sinners. I mean sure they're attracted to him but he Jesus shouldn't be too excited about the fact that they're all attracted to him and he should like to promote that call himself a friend of tax collectors and sinners and he was attracted to them. He loved having them come near the something you need to know.

I think the Pharisees and the scribes had a distinct dichotomy. There was bus and there were them and them. They call them the people of the land, the people of the land were the people who were not as good as they were and listen to what the Pharisees said about the people of the land quote when a man is one of the people of the land in trust no money to him, take no testimony from him, trust him with no secret. Do not appoint him guardian of an orphan. Do not make in the custodian of charitable funds do not accompany him on a journey." Stay far away from those people don't associate with them at all their bad there. The bad people go to the Bad Pl., Pharisees were forbidden to be a guest of the people of the land Pharisees were forbidden to have as a guest in their home. Anyone considered the people of the land Pharisees were From business dealings for many of the people of the land so you get the idea of tax collectors and sinners want to hear Jesus as the religious elite there shocked by this. So we have two basic responses right in verse one into some that love Jesus on that hated Jesus some who are interested in what he had to say some who were not. They were disgusted with him and I would submit to you. Nothing has changed, it still exactly the same Jesus Christ divides people Jesus Christ today is the most loved and the most hated person who is ever live, some love and some eight now that's not the only response you can have there's 1/3 response and I would say most people have this response to Jesus and that is pure indifference. They don't care. Jesus makes no difference to them. Jesus is irrelevant. He's a guy who lived long time really has nothing to do with my life every day. That's how most people view Jesus, but if given more information if if somebody witnesses to them. If somebody lets them know about the moral authority of Jesus or the personal claims of Jesus, who he said he is what he demands of people in terms of absolute surrender usually goes in different people will slip into category number two just reject one nothing to do with the notes may be converted by God's grace. They will Jesus certainly is looking for them, but most were probably reject so we have the spectators may have the skeptics now look at verse three.

It shows us the style it says he spoke this parable to them, saying, you discover in reading any of the Gospels that Jesus spoke in stories quite a bit. In fact, one third of all of Jesus teaching was in story form or in parable form Mela parable is different than a story in this, the word parable part of Beaujolais is a word that means to place something besides something else or to throw something next to something else. So the idea in using a parable is alignment to throw something unknown next to something known, to take something you know about a situation like shepherd and sheep.

In those days and I many years that which you know to teach you something you don't know I'm in a place something a spiritual truth next to something that you know to bring it into your heart. So this brings us to a very important question, since Jesus spoke so much in parables.

Why did he do it over the reason Jesus spoke in the stores.

Three reasons number one to appeal to appeal to people's stories are appealing to people.

I see it from right where I stand. Whenever I cover some spiritual truths of I get into the theological weeds. I noticed people drifting off glazing over there. Oh good historical justification again as I will gets a little deep and I I can lose people. I can see it but if I say let me tell you a story about what happened to me yesterday and what my wife said to me you'll you perk up. I'm interested in that and that's good on that's what speakers do they use stories to draw you in, because they are appealing, and the truth can be a feeling that was something of a parable as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning and the the ideas you can hear the story and the truth is to be memorable basket height message from the series downstream to Scriptures you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with God's truths.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message that opens the doors of heaven to all people, and today you can help share that message with many others so they can live boldly for Christ knowing they'll be with him for eternity. Your gift is so important to keep these teachings coming your way on the air and going out to connect others to the gospel so I hope you'll give as generously as you can to make that possible. Here's how does it to give your gift today that's 800-922-1880 809 two 218 again tomorrow.

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