Sermon: Doctrine 101 – Two Destinies
Sermon preached at St Luke’s Liverpool on Sunday 21st of June, 2015.
Doctrine 101 – Two Destinies (Matthew 25:31-46)
I don’t know the answer to that question. I know it will involve fire and pain, but I’m unclear of the details. A long way back a guy called Dante had a shot of imagining how bad the place would be. And now someone’s gone and made it with Lego. I don’t know whether to be full of joy or sad for the sick state of humanity. Maybe a little of both.
Check the pics out here.
Am I Going To Heaven? Part 5: The Guarantee
Ever since I started buying comic books digitally, I’ve been going through a lot of iTunes credit. So I’m always on the lookout for discounted iTunes cards. There’s this site I check out that keeps a record of who is selling these cards at the cheapest rate. When I’m running low on credit, I pull up the site, find out who’s got the best discount, then go shopping. But even though I’ve seen the price on the website, even though I’ve checked out the stores catalogue, I’m always a bit apprehensive when I walk up to the counter. What if I got it wrong? What if they’re not really on sale? Will I look like an idiot when I ask for the discount and there isn’t one? Although I’ve been promised the discount, I’m never sure I’m going to get it until I hand over my money.
God has promised me, through his Word, that the death of Jesus has paid for my sin and that if I believe in Jesus, I’m going to heaven. But how can I be sure? How do I know that Jesus really has deal with my sin? How can I know that God actually will follow through on his promise and let me into heaven?
Am I Going To Heaven? Part 4: The Only Way
A number of years ago, there was a show called John Safran’s Music Jamboree. Each week, John Safran would take his signature sense of humour and journalism and look at the world of music culture. In one of the episodes, Safran looked at one the most exclusive night clubs in Melbourne and wondered what it would take to get nine 18 an 19 year old males through the door. Watching from a surveillance van across the road, the first attempt was a miserable failure. The bouncer didn’t even open the door before telling them to be on their way.
But Safran had a plan. The next night he called the club up and told them to expect a big name band from the US to rock up. That they should be prepared for them and put their name on the list. How would these young men manage to convince the club that they were famous enough to let in? They would dress up like Slipknot, a 9 piece metal band, well known for wearing overalls and masks. And it worked. Not only did they get in, but they got given a private room and gave out autographs to fans.
Now I know I’m not good enough to get into heaven on my own. But what, if like these young men, I could get my name on the guest list? What if there was a name that could get me into heaven? A name that would guarantee me entry? Well there is such a name. And that name is Jesus.
Am I Going To Heaven? Part 2: What Are My Afterlife Options?
When I take my wife out to dinner, it usually begins with us trying to work out which restaurant to go to. I’ll start by asking her where she wants to go. She’ll say she doesn’t know. And then I’ll say I don’t know. Then she’ll ask me to give her some options to choose from. And then we’ll narrow it down to one choice. And then, knowing my luck, the place will be shut and we have to go through the whole process again.
It’s good to know your options before you settle on a decision. Especially when the decision is where you are going to spend eternity. I want to go to heaven, but before I get my heart set on it, I really should investigate the alternatives.
Am I Going To Heaven? Part 1: The Big Question
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold.
And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying the stairway to heaven.
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin is one of those really well known songs that I just don’t understand. Great piece of music, but e lyrics are a complete mystery to me. There’s someone in there about “a bustle in your hedgerow”. I mean really, what’s that supposed to mean? I don’t have a clue here. But I am intrigued by this idea of a stairway to heaven. That somewhere there’s this massive staircase you can walk up, up through the clouds, until you get to the top and there’s this whopping big sign that says “Welcome To Heaven!” I really doubt that a stairway like is exists but it’s a fascinating idea.
Because I have a lot of questions about heaven. How do I get to heaven? If there’s no stairway, is there an elevator? What will heaven look like? Will it be all clouds with guys in funny dresses and wings? What will I look like in heaven? Will I look like myself or do I get to join the funky halo club? But the biggest question for me, the question that takes precedence over all the other questions is: Am I going to heaven?
Sermon: Am I Going To Heaven?
Sermon preached at St Luke’s Liverpool on Sunday 30/10/2011 as part of our “You Asked For It” series, where congregation members suggested the sermon topics.
“Am I Going To Heaven?”
Webcomics Monday: Hell and Cracked
Cracked is one of those sites that I’ve been aware of for a long time but never really paid much attention to. I bought the magazine a couple of times as a teenager, but it always struck me a as a poor man’s Mad Magazine. In recent years, Cracked has really built itself up as a website worth watching. Almost daily I’m finding an article on there that I want to link to. To me, that’s a sign of a great website.
They haven’t forgotten their comic based roots, however. This comic (warning, contains swear words) is a great example. It presents Hell as if it was a work-based sitcom. Everyone who’s ever worked in retail, for example, has had the thought that the job wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the customers. And you can just imagine that there would be plenty of annoying customers lined up at the gates of Hell.
It’s not uncommon to find talk of Hell being a place that’s “not that bad”. That it will be one big party. Or that after a while you’ll just get used to it. I mean, you survived 6 years of high school didn’t you? You can survive anything after that.
But this comic does a great job at reminding us that Hell is not a nice place. That it is a place of torment and that they do know what they’re doing. You’re best off trying to avoid the place. Good thing Jesus offers a get-out-of-Hell-free card.
Birthdays can be a lot of fun. Presents, parties, people filling your Facebook page with happy messages. Sam, however, is not enjoying his 21st birthday. You wouldn’t either if you found out your parents sold your soul to the Devil. Now it’s time to pay up. Sam will have to juggle his day job working at a hardware store with his new job as the Devil’s bounty hunter, capturing super-powered souls escaped from hell. Life isn’t easy on Reaper.
Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye
by Dale E. Basye
Where do the bad kids go? If a really rotten kid dies, do they go to a) heaven, b) hell, or c) somewhere else? If you answered c, then maybe you’ve been reading the kids book Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go. Welcome to Heck. It’s not quite hell, but it isn’t a pleasant place to be either. Heck is where underage sinners go to be rehabilitated or punished for all eternity – or until they turn 18. Heck is not a place you want to spend any time. Are you in danger of spending time in Heck?
Sermon: How Can A Loving God Send People To Hell?
At Church, we’ve been going through a series called “A Faith Worth Believing”, preaching on some of the objections people have to following Jesus. Last Sunday, I preached on the topic “How Can A Loving God Send People To Hell?”. I used Luke 16:19-31 as my text. I was suffering from a bad dose of the flu, so my delivery may be a bit off, but I think God’s Word, the Bible, still comes through.
Sermon: The Jesus Who Tells It Like It Is
On Sunday I preached on Matthew 23:1-15. Jesus says some pretty hard core things in the Gospels. This is one of the passages where he talks about hell. I didn’t want to preach a fire and brimstone sermon, but I didn’t shy away from the realities of hell either.
Alice Cooper: It’s Much Too Late
I once used the Alice Cooper song It’s Much Too Late for a high school chapel service. Each student was passed out a sheet of paper with the name of the song and the lyrics printed on it. I asked anyone if they knew who Alice Cooper was. Most of the teachers put up their hands. And one student. Just one. I was pretty sure he was just trying to get some attention. So I told him if he could tell me, I’d give him a couple of minties. His reply? “She’s a poet.” Me and the teachers laughed because he got it wrong on both counts. He is a popular rocker from the 70s and 80s. But some of my favourite work of Alice’s comes from this century. Like It’s Much Too Late.