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The Last Judgment - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2024 5:00 am

The Last Judgment - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 6, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip concludes his message “The Last Judgment” and explains the eternal implications of being born again.

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So there's a simple formula I learned years ago. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

Pretty easy to figure out. You're born once, you die twice. You'll die physically, and you'll die spiritually. But if you are born again, you're born physically, but then you're born spiritually, you're only going to die. Die once, physically. Born once, die twice.

Born twice, die once. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip concludes his message, The Last Judgment, and explains the eternal implications of being born again. God's desire is for all humanity to know Him intimately and personally, and He's revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture so we can do that. That's why we share these messages, to help you connect to God through His Word and grow in your relationship with Jesus. And when you give to support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and so many others around the world, helping others grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Let's turn to Revelation 20 as we listen to the conclusion of Skip's message, The Last Judgment. Not just the perverse, not just the pious, but also the pretenders will be there. Unsaved churchgoers whose name was on the church roll, but not in the Lamb's Book of Life.

They just thought going to church, belonging to the church, being part of this denomination that my parents and grandparents were a part of, that's enough to get me to heaven. They'll be in this crowd. But not just the perverse, not just the pious, not just the pretenders, but also the procrastinators. Those who know they need to be saved, they know it. In fact, they say, someday I'm going to get saved. But every time there's an ultra call, every time there's an opportunity, the devil whispers, not today, not today. Someday, but not today. Well, someday I'm going to do this. You know, I clean up my life good enough to live it and be honest about it.

Just keep putting it off, putting it off, putting it off. They will be there. So the dead, small and great. And what are they doing as they're there? It says they are standing. They are standing before God, verse 12. Standing before God.

See, this is very judicial. This is very much like a courtroom when the judge says, well, the prisoners rise and approach the bench. They are standing before God. They were dead. They are now resurrected.

And they stand before God to receive their sentence. The sea gave up the dead who were in it. And death in Hades delivered up the dead that were in them. By the way, death in Hades here in this verse are synonyms. Death is the condition, Hades the destination.

But it means the same thing. They're in a place of the dead in Hades. Hades, by the way, is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Sheol. And both Sheol and Hades were regarded as the dwelling place or the repository for all the dead. So the unbeliever, the spirit of the unbeliever, will reunite with the resurrected body, a body that will be suited to endure the torments of hell forever. That's just shame on any of us who would use that word hell flippantly. They'll have a resurrected body suited to endure the torments of hell forever.

Now, there's a greater truth to all this, and we don't want to miss that. And that is, look, death is the final answer. After death, there are no more chances after that. It is appointed, Hebrews 9, it's appointed to every man to die once, and after this, the judgment. But until we die, it's like every day is an opportunity. Nobody can ever say, I never, I always wanted to, but I never had the opportunity or the chance to get saved.

Are you kidding? You have it every breath, every day, every conversation that you have with a Christian. Every time you hear a Christian song, every time you look outside and the Bible says you are without excuse by the creation God has given. Now, if anyone is here and is still relying on those lame excuses, I used to hear this as a teenager, and we used to pull these dumb things out, and we wanted to be really braggadocious around our friends like, yeah, well, I want to go to hell because all my friends are going to be there, and we're going to party in hell.

Ever hear that? We're going to party in hell. In fact, we're going to make hell a better place. Listen, there's no remediation plan in hell. There's no like, you're going to fix it up and make it better. No DIY days in hell. It's a bad plan. The way many people live, you would think hell has become air conditioned.

It hasn't. So there will be a judge but no jury, the accused but no appeal. Third description, there will be a ruling but no recourse. At the end of verse 12, the dead were judged according to their works by the things which were written in, in the what? In the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades were delivered up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one, according to his works. Evidently, God is keeping books, a record. That's how the verdict will be rendered. It's according to the books. What that means is it's going to be fair. It's not some willy-nilly haphazard, no, I don't like the way you just looked at me. I'm banishing you.

It will be based upon a record, a standard. What are these books? Well, we're not told specifically, but let me throw some things at you that I think will help sum it up. Perhaps one of the books is a record of everything every unbeliever ever said or did, for that matter, even thought. We do know God keeps perfectly accurate records of every person's life, even the secret things. Ecclesiastes 12 14 tells us, for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. Jesus in Luke 12 verse 2 said, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed nor hidden that will not be known. And then in Matthew 12, Jesus said, I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give a count of it in the day of judgment. So one of the books might be the accurate historical record of every deed and word spoken by that unbeliever.

Another book might be called the book of the conscience, the conscious mind. And that is, what I mean by that is, all of us have an intuitive knowledge that there is a God, right? It says in Romans, God has made it known who he is by the display of the creation around us, so they are without excuse.

In Romans 2 verse 15, the works of the law are written in their hearts, their conscience, also bearing witness, their thoughts accusing or else excusing them in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. You see, I think the easiest thing for a child to do is to believe in God. We come into this world, God gives us evidence and gives us a conscience, and a child will just naturally believe in God. A parent has to actually place a lie in the heart of a child, to get the child not to believe in God.

And then the public school system will add to that, and then society will add to that, on and on. A third book may be the record of every time that person heard the gospel and rejected it. Oh, it was not my fault, I didn't have time. Well, remember that conversation you had with your friend who was a Christian? Remember that time you went to church and heard that service and were given an opportunity?

Remember that time, that time, that time? Maybe there's a record of all that that is kept. But then there is another book that we read about here. Another book was opened, it says in verse 12, which is the book of life. Now, the book of life is mentioned eight times in the New Testament, and the book of life is a record of all those who are saved.

Are you saved? Your name's in this book. Somewhere in this book, your name is found in the book of life, it's a record of all those who are saved.

In ancient times, cities not only kept a record of criminals that were notorious, they kept a record of loyal citizens. And this is a book of life. So can you imagine the nail-scarred hands scanning through the book, flipping the pages? Nope, your name's not in here. And then Jesus saying what he said he would say to them in Matthew 25, I will say, depart from me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. And then will come the rebuttal. But Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? Have we not cast out demons in your name? Have we not done many wonders in your name? And Jesus said, I will say to them, I never knew you, depart from me. Can you imagine hearing that from the lips of Jesus, having that ring for eternity in your ears, on and on? I never knew you, I never knew you, I never knew you, I never knew you.

Now, just a quick note. I believe there will be varying degrees of punishment in hell, because we are told quite clearly here and in other places that these people, these unbelievers, are judged according to their works. And there are, again, many scriptures I don't have time to dig as much as one might like to, but in Luke 12, Jesus said that servant who knew his master's will and did it not shall be beaten with many stripes. He who did not know shall be beaten with few stripes. So it could be that, look, everybody is a sinner, but some people are just really good at it.

Some people are better sinners than others. And so, though it is the second death, it is eternal banishment from God, it seems that the Bible indicates there will be varying degrees of punishment even in hell. So there'll be a judge and no jury, there'll be the accused without any appeal, there will be a ruling and no recourse, and finally there will be punishment, no probation, no probation. Verse 14 and 15, then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the final outcome. After the adjudication, after the rendering is given, the sentence is given, now the execution comes. Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Now, the lake of fire is a metaphorical term for a place of eternal torment. Don't think of a lake with water in it and fire dancing on top.

The idea is it's from shore to shore. It's everywhere. It's a lake of fire. It's the final hell.

Now, Jesus used a word in the New Testament. He used this word 11 times to speak of hell, and it's the word gehenna. Gehenna. And it's the clearest picture of this, the lake of fire.

Gehenna was the city dump. I'm going to put a picture up on the screen. This is a shot I took.

I didn't get in trouble for taking this picture because, well, they just didn't have regulations. But this is a photograph, and we hope you can come and actually see this for yourself. But in the distance, see that little golden dome on top? That's the temple mount. That's where the temple stood.

The walls of the temple are around there still. And the little circle of blue is the area of the Kidron Valley that Jesus and his disciples crossed on several occasions. And outlined in the red, though it's foreshortened because of the angle, it is part of what is called the Valley of Gehenna, or in Hebrew, Gehinom.

Gehinom was the valley of the son of Hinnom. It was the Jerusalem garbage dump. And Gehenna, this dump, was a place of perpetual burning. In it were child sacrifices, dead animals, were burned. Sometimes even criminals were thrown into this Gehenna. Fires burned in it perpetually, foul-smelling smoke came from it, and it was a place ridden with maggots. So that makes sense. When Jesus said, where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched, they knew what that meant.

That was Gehenna. That was the dump. So hell is God's eternal cosmic dump for all unbelievers. Now, many people have problems with this. They have a problem with hell. Because they have a problem with hell, they resort to an untrue and unbiblical doctrine called universalism.

Ever heard of that? Universalism says nobody's going to hell. Everybody's going to heaven. God is too loving to let anybody go to hell. So every single person is going to go to heaven.

Everybody's saved. Or they resort to another doctrine called annihilationism. Annihilationism says that God will destroy you. You will go into non-existence as though you never existed in the first place. You just get destroyed.

It's over for you. The only problem with that is we have a thing called the Bible. And we don't get to decide what we want to make things.

We have to go by what is here and render it accordingly. So when Jesus spoke of heaven and hell, He described it with the same word, ionios, perpetual, eternal, ongoing, never-ending. He said in Matthew 25, 46, and these will go away into everlasting ionios, punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal ionios, life.

Same word. Life, heaven, hell. Eternal heaven, eternal hell. Which means hell lasts as long as heaven lasts. If heaven is eternal, hell is eternal. It lasts as long as God lasts because God also is ionios.

He is eternal. So there is no escape from hell. There's no probation in hell, and there ain't no purgatory. I've done a few things.

Nobody's perfect. I want to burn things off, and then I'm going to get into heaven. Again, we have a problem. It's this book. It doesn't say that in this book. It says there's a heaven, and there's a hell. And so this is called the second death. The second death because it is the eternal death. It is the forever death. If you go to chapter 21, look at chapter 21 verse 7. He who overcomes shall inherit all things.

That's the good news in the midst of the bad news. And I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death. So there's a simple formula I learned years ago. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

Pretty easy to figure out. You're born once, you die twice. You'll die physically, and you'll die spiritually. But if you are born again, so you're born physically, but then you're born spiritually, you're only going to die once, physically. Born once, die twice.

Born twice, die once. And I wish there wasn't a hell, but there is. I wish there wasn't sin, but there is. Hell is real.

Hell does exist, but thank God there's also a heaven, and he doesn't want anybody in hell. And so look at verse 15 of our text. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Do you realize the implication of this verse? It implies that if your name is written in the book of life, you will not be cast into the lake of fire. God doesn't want you in hell. God doesn't want you in hell. God doesn't want anybody in hell. He is not willing that any should perish. There's only one person who wants you in hell.

You know who that is? Satan. Satan, misery loves company. He's the only person who wants you in hell.

It's been his lifelong ambition to get you there. Jesus said, the thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus Christ took all of your hell on himself, becoming guilty of the sins of the world. God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

That's why, that's why when he looks at you, if you've received Christ, he says, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, period. You will not stand at the great white throne judgment. Your name is in the book of life. You will have already been resurrected. So, born once, I know you're born once because I'm looking at you, and you are proof positive that you have had a physical birth because you're breathing air. But if you are only born once, you will die twice. You'll die physically, you will die eternally, the second death. But if you're born twice, if you're born twice, born physically, born spiritually, born from above, born again, you will only die once. And when you die, you will, your last breath here will be your first breath there, and I think your reaction will be, wow, awesome. You will graduate. You'll go from glory to glory.

I mean, think of the journey we have uncovered so far. There's the rapture, seven years in heaven, coming back, setting up the kingdom, ruling and reigning a thousand years. Then everything gets destroyed, and we get into new heaven and new earth. It's just like glory to go.

It gets better and better. Born once, die twice. Born twice, only die once. Well, everything short of death is an opportunity, which means today is an opportunity. And you know, the Bible always speaks about you choosing now, today.

Today is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation. Last week, we saw a lot of people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at all services. It was a big Sunday. You got to invite friends.

So glad that happened. But maybe you've come, maybe you've come for a long time, and you're part of the group. You're not an out-and-out sinner, but you're a procrastinator. Yeah, one day I'll get there. Or I'm good enough. You know, I think, look, I've managed a lot of hard things in my life.

I think I can manage the great white throne judgment. That's just a dumb plan. But whatever. A better plan. Just stop. Stop. Turn around.

It's called repentance. Turn around. Change direction. Change your mind.

Say yes to Jesus. Make it real. Make it authentic.

Make it your own. Not religion. Not self-righteousness. A true, honest, authentic faith in Jesus. Simple faith.

Doesn't have to be a lot. Just I believe. I trust.

I make Jesus my own right now. Do that. If you haven't done it, do that.

If you walked away from it, come back to him. Settle it. Settle it. Don't let this be part of the record. One of the opportunities you had that you reject.

Say yes to him. Make it real. That's Skip Hitek with the teaching on the implication of being born again. From the series The End is Near, find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now we want to tell you about a new resource that gives you powerful insight into the current war in Israel. Israel at War.

That's the title of a new book by Skip Hitek. Modern Israel has been at war from its very first day of existence, as Skip points out. On the day after Israel became a nation, that was May 14, 1948. On May 15, virtually every Arab neighbor attacked Israel to destroy it. Israel had been a nation one day.

They didn't have an organized army. Israel at War is up to date concerning current events in the Mideast and includes Skip's comments during his December tour of the Gaza border and a video link to Skip's interview in Jerusalem. The new book Israel at War is our gift to you this month to anyone who encourages the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more.

Make your financial vote of support at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. Israel at War will give you Skip's insight from over 40 trips to Israel and decades of Bible study. I know the Middle East seems like a very complex situation.

It's actually pretty basic. One side wants the other side dead. On one side you have a Jewish nation, a Jewish state called modern-day Israel. Israel wishes to exist as a sovereign state living in peace.

Most Palestinians and other Arab nations, not all but many of them, deny the right of Israel to exist. Receive Israel at War by Skip Heitzig with your gift. Go to connectwithskip.com or call 1-800-922-1888. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as Pastor Skip begins his message Shocking Truths About Heaven. Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you. We are about to read about that place. This is the place he has prepared. What we are dealing with here is the new heavens and the new earth, what we call the eternal state, the eternal heaven. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection to God's Never Changing Truth in Ever Changing Times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-06 05:03:12 / 2024-03-06 05:12:47 / 10

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