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How to Enter Heaven R1296

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2022 4:00 am

How to Enter Heaven R1296

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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There's a lot of talk about heaven these days, and some people even say heaven can wait.

What do you think? Let's talk about it today. This is The Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton, and today's message is called How to Enter Heaven. There's an opportunity we have in front of us, each and every one of us, to look at the eternal perspective of life. And today we're going to do that in a biblical perspective, but perhaps in a fresh way that you've never done before.

Again, How to Enter Heaven is on the way in just a minute with Dr. Wilton, but we want you to know that we're available for you. We're connecting right now on our website at theencouragingword.org. And many folks taking up this very simple way of signing up for our daily encouraging word email study. Just text the words daily, that's right, daily, to 30500. Daily to 30500.

It'll give you the link that you can sign up today, and have it in your email box tomorrow. Now today's message with Dr. Don Wilton. When we come to the book of Hebrews, the things that we are learning about the Lord Jesus are very important. And we've discovered a lot of great truths about the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember these people, the Hebrews, they based everything they did on the works of the Old Covenant. Remember the Ten Commandments? Ten Commandments are very important.

They're very vital for our living. But man proved that he, she could not meet God's standards of righteousness by means of toeing the line when it came to works. You can try until the cows come home. You're never going to be able to satisfy God. You can come to church for the next 10 weeks without taking a break. You still cannot measure up to the righteousness and the holiness of God. We cannot do it, but God can, and he has done so through the Lord Jesus Christ. And so I'm going to read to you in Hebrews Chapter 9 and verse 11. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands and that is not of this creation, Christ entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus securing our eternal redemption. That's how you enter into heaven. That's how you live with God forever. That's how your eternal redemption is secured, not through the blood of the sacrificial system, which is non eternal blood, but only through life blood, eternal blood, the giving of eternal life in order to receive eternal life. And only Jesus could have done that.

He's the Son of God. And so you get into verse 13. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ who through the eternal spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God, therefore, Christ Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. May the Lord write that word upon our hearts. Now, there's an interesting word that we find used in this passage. It's the word enter. We've encountered that word before in the Bible, by the way. One of my favorite times when the word enter is used is when a gentleman by the name of Nicodemus came to the Lord Jesus.

You'll find that in John's Gospel, chapter three. And you'll remember some of you may remember about Nicodemus. He was rather a sprightly chap, really. He was highly educated, very religious. This man knew theology.

He was a very good man. I've got no doubt that Nicodemus would have been counted among those who were most excellent in his world. And yet Nicodemus came to Jesus, said to him, Jesus, what must I do in order to inherit eternal life?

Let me paraphrase that for you. Nicodemus asked the same question that so many of us are asking. I've asked that question, and I know that there are many today who have asked that question. I want to try and answer that for you because there is an answer. People everywhere want to know what must I do in order to enter into heaven? Now, if you think about it, all of us have tried a lot of sometimes jolly good things.

I certainly have. I was brought up in a preacher's home. You know, at least I would have thought God would have had consideration for the fact that my father is a wonderful pastor and a preacher. But I had to come to the point at which I recognized that just because you're born in a garage doesn't make you a motor car.

Well, let me put that in southern in case some of you don't understand it. Just because you're born in a garage doesn't make you an automobile. Does that help somebody out there? I've tried many times, Rick.

It doesn't work even after all these years. God doesn't have a family plan for salvation. I wonder if there's someone here today who actually believes that you're going to go to heaven, you're going to be with God forever, maybe because of a very wonderful mother that you have or maybe because you're a father or because of something that you've done. America's filled with good people. I'm telling you, I'm looking today, I know it's so many very, very good people. I love living in South Carolina especially.

I think South Carolina has got the best people in the world. I move among a lot of very good people, wonderful people. How do we define goodness? You know the things that we do for one another. But God tells us that not even our very best goodness is good enough for God.

Now, I want you to think about that for a moment. You see, here in this particular context, these Hebrew people, we didn't live during this time, but I can probably attest to the fact that there were many very sincere, very good people. I mean, they did a lot of good things, and they believed that their good works was their ticket to heaven. And part of their good works was offering. They essentially, and I'm being very simplistic in this, their offerings revolved around two things, grain offerings and blood offerings. So, they would have the temple. The high priest was in charge. He was the one who was appointed by man.

We've discovered that. He was the mediator between an unrighteous person and a holy God, and he would go into the holy of holies. He would bless offerings. People would bring sacrifices. They would carry relics. They would kill sheep and goats, calves. We've just read about here in this passage.

All kinds of animals, they would shed blood. They did it. They did it right according to their law, according to their custom. They would bring grain offerings. The grain, again, very simplistically was symbolical of their bodies, of eating, of sustenance, of being able to sustain this body.

There were two problems that they had. Number one, this body, because of our sin, decays. It declines. Just look at the person next to you if you want confirmation about that.

Some are in a free fall. I mean, we battle with our bodies, don't we? And our bodies ultimately die, all of us.

It's inevitable. Listen, folks, our bodies disintegrate. So, the grain offering was insufficient, right? What about the blood offering? They offered sheep, goats, calves, bulls. They shed blood. They did it according to the law, but the problem was it was non-eternal. See, the blood of a goat is non-eternal blood.

It's not everlasting blood. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on the Encouraging Word. Don't go away. He'll be back in just a moment to complete today's message, How to Enter Heaven. And as we study the Word of God together, know that we're here for you, to encourage you, to pray for you, and connect you with great resources that'll help you grow in your faith.

You can connect a number of different ways. Many folks are still enjoying the joy of calling and having someone talk with you, pray with you, and connect you with great resources at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. We'd love to speak with you, pray with you anytime, 24 hours a day, and connect with powerful resources. Right now, the resource about when a nation forgets God, you'll see on our website. It's a powerful resource.

Again, you can drop by the website even now, T-E-W online dot O-R-G, in order to get your copy. We are not in a good place in America. What would God say to us today? Without God, we can do nothing to stand strong in a country turning away from the path God has laid out for us. As our nation endures tragedy after tragedy, it is so important that we follow the second greatest commandment and love our neighbors unconditionally. With your gift of support to the encouraging word this month, you will receive Dr. Wilton's powerful sermon, God's Message to America, along with the bonus book, When a Nation Forgets God, by his long-time friend, Erwin Lutzer. These resources will engage, enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ. And again, remember, we're here to pray for you anytime at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. They shed blood, they did it according to the law, but the problem was it was non-eternal. See, the blood of a goat is non-eternal blood.

It's not everlasting blood. So here comes Jesus. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not die but should have eternal life. So in this passage, here's what's happening. This passage is telling us how to enter heaven. First of all, gives us the reason why in verse 15. Let me read to you verse 15 again, just the first part. This answers the question why Jesus is the only way by which we can enter heaven, because he is the mediator of the new covenant so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

So watch this. Why? Number one, because he's the only one who can mediate.

That's why. How do you enter heaven? Through Jesus.

Why? Because he's the only one that can mediate. Now a mediator is someone who stands between two parties. We understand that in a legal sense. Attorneys at law would understand that.

Very often you call a mediator, sometimes we call them arbitrators, someone who stands between two different opinions. Well, here we've got God. God is holy, God is righteous, God is just. He's God.

On this side, we've got the likes of me. If you look at me, I'm in a decaying body and my blood is non-eternal. I'm a sinner.

Bible says all of us have sinned. So how do I, in my grain offering totally insufficient, in my blood offering completely incomplete, be brought into fellowship with God who is complete in every way, who is absolutely perfect? Christ. He's the mediator. Why Jesus? Number one, because he's the only one who can mediate.

That's what the Bible says in verse 15. Number two, because he's the only one who can invite. He's the only one who can call me. He's the only one who can invite me to come into God's presence. Look here.

It says in verse 15, therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant so that those who are called. That little word invite is very special. Now, yesterday, in fact, right here somewhere, we had a very beautiful wedding again, right here in this beautiful sanctuary. Laura Sims Dennis and Rob Jackman were married and there were people here.

And I certainly would hope this is the case. I don't know. I don't get involved in that. But I should imagine that the people who were here were invited. Some of you are saying, why didn't I come to the wedding? Can I tell you why?

I bet not. I'm gonna get into trouble here. You know, I remember when our two sons got married, you know. Can you imagine being the pastor of this church? Who do you invite and don't you invite? I'm sure we lost some church members over there.

I know, I don't think so. But, you know, we understand invitations. Now, when my daughter gets married, you just all have a long time of prayer for me. Okay, who do we invite? Who do we not invite? Oh, by the way, she's not about to get married. Let me just say that.

I haven't heard anything like that at the moment. So, here's the issue. Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures, is the only one who can invite you to the wedding. You cannot invite yourself. And you cannot go and ask your mother to invite you. You cannot have your best friend invite you. You cannot use your influence to get invited.

It doesn't matter what position you occupy. You can be President of the United States of America, not be invited. That's why Jesus is the only way. When Jesus died on the cross, he died so that all who would believe in his name would be invited.

You are invited. You are given a personal invitation by the Lord Jesus Christ to come to the Father. That's the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit invites you by convicting you of your sin, by convicting you of righteousness, and by convicting you of coming judgment.

All right, why Jesus? Because he's the only one who can mediate and he's the only one who can invite and because he's the only one who can promise. He's the only one who can promise.

The Bible tells us right there in verse 15 that in order that we might receive the promise of eternal life. Now, promises are really things that we find hard to keep many times. Our world is full of promises. We're always saying, man, I promise you, I promise you. And you know, when we were kids, we'd look at each other and say, promise? Promise? You promise you'll do that?

Daddy, you promise you're going to come and then we get held up at work and we can't get back in time. We break promises, but God never does. His promise is absolute. And that's because Jesus Christ is his son. So here the passage tells us, how do you enter heaven through Jesus?

Why? Why is Jesus the one? Well, because he's the only one who can mediate and he's the only one who can invite you and he's the only one who can promise you eternal life. So the question is, how does this happen? How did Jesus do this? This passage tells us how he did that.

Number one, he did it by coming. He came, look at verse 11, but when Christ appeared, when he came, how did he come? He came as a baby born in Bethlehem. He came as a suffering servant. He came as the one who gave us the example. He came as the one who went to the cross, who gave his life. He came as the one who rose from the dead by the power of God.

He came as the one who appeared to over 500. He came as the one who ascended to be seated at the right hand of the father, now having been made our high priest. He came, that's how this happened, Jesus came.

I want you to just think about how significant the coming of Jesus really is because we're talking about God. God so loved the world that Jesus came. How did this happen?

Jesus did what was necessary in the economy of God's plan for our redemption. How did he do it? By coming. Number two, by going through. Bible tells us right there also in verse 11 through verse 12, the Bible says that he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle. We've talked about that.

You can go back into some of the previous studies that we've done. Go back into chapter 4, my favorite verse. In chapter 4 verse 14 where the Bible says Jesus Christ is our high priest having passed through the heavens. What did Jesus do?

How did he do this? He passed through, he broke the barrier. He passed through heaven number one, the gravitational heaven. He passed through heaven number two, outer space or the stellar heaven. He passed through number three, the floorboards of the galactic experience of God's grace and he approached and went right into the place where you and I can never go. And we applaud man's efforts over the years to penetrate the floorboards of God's galaxies but it's never gonna be done. We might go around and float around for a little bit but we can never ever get into the place where an almighty God sits with Jesus Christ at his right hand holding in the palm of his right hand the title deed to the earth and to everything that he owns because he alone is God.

I want you to think about this. How did Jesus accomplish this? Well, he came. Number two, he went through. He broke all the barriers, all the things that restricted our access to a holy and a righteous God. And number three, it's Jesus Christ.

How did he do it? By giving all, by giving all. That's what verse 13 and 14 tells us.

How much more will the blood of Christ be all that's necessary? Here were these people. They did a lot. By the way, I'm surrounded by a lot of people who do a lot. Let's not stop doing a lot for the Lord. I'm so grateful to be part of a church where we're doing a lot.

We're doing a lot. I gathered all our teams together the other day and I drew a line. I drew a vertical line, a line, just a straight line.

And then I drew a horizontal line. You know what I said to all our ministry teams the other day in a three-hour meeting with them? I said to them, ladies and gentlemen, see this long horizontal line that represents all the ministries that we do.

See this vertical line? That represents the depth with which we do these ministries. So what's our challenge? Our challenge is that we do not become so broad that we get too shallow in what we do. See, folks, even as a church, we can be doing so many things but not doing them with great depth. You know what I actually said to our ministry teams? I said, I'm asking every ministry team in this church to bring to me things that we are doing that we need to stop doing. We need to stop them.

I said they can be things that are traditional, things we've done for decades, things that people just love. If they don't fulfill the purpose of this church and fulfill the purpose of reaching people for Christ, let's stop spending money on those things. Let's draw this vertical line in. Let's tighten the vertical line, and let's also go deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper. In fact, it'll look a lot more like the cross, wouldn't it?

See, that vertical, that horizontal line is a lot shorter than the vertical line. I like to think about the centerpiece as the part that penetrates into the heart of the holiness of God. I like to think of the outstretched arms of Jesus that embrace the people of God.

What we are in the heart of God is even far more than who we are concerning the people of God, and the deeper we are into the heart of God, the greater the embrace of the people of God. Now, folks, I want you to listen to this. This is what happened here.

This is what this is all about. This is what God's talking about, and the bottom line is He's saying, you want to go to heaven? You want to go to heaven? You want to enter heaven?

Here's how you do it. You do it through Jesus. You give your life to Christ. You confess your sin to Him. Here's what the Bible says. The Bible says that if you're willing to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will enter heaven.

Now, I want to run that by again. If you, if I am willing to confess that Jesus Christ alone is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, then I have been given God's invitation and His promise that I am going to enter heaven. Well, I tell you, isn't that great?

Great is just one of the many adjectives used to describe that truth. It's a simple step of faith, and perhaps you've been listening to great radio teaching on this particular station for quite some time, and today God has done something different. It's not just education, it's not just enlightenment, but you realize that, like I did, I had spent many years in the church, grew up in the church, but I knew an awful lot about Jesus, but I had not confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord.

I had not come to Him as my Savior and Lord. I just knew about Him as the Savior of the universe. He needs to be your Savior, and He's ready.

He's using this radio broadcast, all that's been said before, all the hours of broadcasting you've been listening to to say right now, come to me. We'd love to pray with you, pray for you, put some free resources in your hands that will help you grow. You can call us right now at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. If you'd rather use your keyboard, meet us online at theencouragingword.org. We would love to connect with you. Before we get away, that number will also connect you with some great resources that will help you grow in your faith.

Here's Angel to tell you all about it. Request The Keys to Living a Totally Fulfilled Life and the bonus book, Firmly Planted, a must-read for all believers today. Write to us at post office box 2110, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 29304. Or call us toll free at 866-899-WORD. Or visit online at theencouragingword.org. Thank you for your partnership and faithful support of the Encouraging Word Broadcast Ministry.

You know, these are such special times together. I'm so grateful, my friends, that we can worship together like this through the Encouraging Word Broadcast Ministry. And you're such a vital part of all that God's doing, and I just love you, and I want you to know that. You know, this ministry goes on 24 hours round the clock all the time. We want to be involved in your life, and we want to continue to pray for you.

You can call us at any time. You can partner with us all the time through prayer and through your giving. We know that you are 100% engaged as we are in sharing God's truth with our searching world.

That's what this is all about. We need Jesus, don't we? And God is doing a great work, and I love you today. Thank God for you. Pray for you. God bless you. The Encouraging Word
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 08:51:22 / 2023-03-19 09:01:46 / 10

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