Billy Kelly Sings & Preaches

Billy Kelly

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Billy Kelly – 1932-1997

Billy Kelly was saved May 16th, 1950 at the University of Tennessee. A well-attended area wide revival meeting was taking place. A few days after his conversion he announced the call of the Lord for him to preach. A church in Knoxville licensed him 10 days after he was saved to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mr. Kelly attended Carson-Newman College in East Tennessee. Early in his ministry he pastored churches in NC and TN. Then, he entered the field of Evangelism. The Lord used him to preach in churches, auditoriums, and tents for many years. Also, he was known for his ability as a Gospel singer. Therefore, he preached and sang at many of the camp meetings. Due to that fact he become known as “Mr. Camp meeting”. Mr. Kelly received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Tabernacle Baptist College, Greeneville, SC in 1987. Also, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, FL in 1992. Billy Kelly entered Heaven”s shore on April 1st, 1997.

The Day Death Died

Can Death die? If so, How? Why? When? Can you really Know? Dr. Rogers says, Yes, you can know these things.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. . . For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 25-26

The Day Death Died
Dr. Adrian Rogers
www.lwf.org

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. . . For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 25-26

One day, a mother and her two children were in the park having a wonderful time. They were enjoying the outdoors until a big bumblebee landed on little Brother and then stung him! He began to cry and scream like any child would as the wound on his arm became swollen. The bee was still buzzing around, and his little sister was petrified. The mother comforted her daughter by saying, “Darling, wait a minute.” As she was wiping Brother’s tears away, she said, “Look down here on your brother’s arm.” Right in the middle of that swelling was the bumblebee’s stinger. “You see that, Sweetheart? That bee can buzz and fight you, but he can’t hurt you. You see, he can only sting once and he has left his stinger in your brother.”

While death is a decided fact, Death is also a defeated foe. We are able to laugh in the face of Death if we know the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to tell you, friend, Death may buzz around you and frighten you, but our elder brother, the Lord Jesus, bears that sting. Jesus took the sting out of Death, and He has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure.

Jesus told Death that he couldn’t keep Him. You see – Jesus willingly and vicariously laid down His life. The wages of sin is death, but Jesus was not a sinner and did not have to die. Jesus willingly, voluntarily, vicariously laid down His life.

Death thought he had a victory. Old King Death laid his icy, bony hands on the Lord Jesus Christ and shackled Him with the bonds of death. Jesus lay cold, stiff, and stark in that tomb. Old King Death possibly clapped his bony hands, shrieked a hoarse laugh and declared, “I have Him! He’s mine. I am going to keep Him.” But after three days, the Lord Jesus stirred, and He majestically rose from His resting place. Jesus did more than survive death. He defeated and decimated death in that tomb.

He got up from that stone slab. He turned around and folded the napkin that covered His face. There was no hurry. He was in complete control. I love that part — when the disciples entered the tomb, they found that folded napkin placed over His face.

There was that cruel king of terrors, Death, sitting upon the throne. But this time Death had a terrified look on his face because no one had done this before. Jesus began to walk toward him. Jesus reached up and pulled him from the throne and cast him to the floor. Death cowered in the corner of that tomb that had become his dungeon. Jesus put His heel on the neck of Death and reached down and pulled the sting out of Death. Jesus put the crown upon His own head and walked out of that tomb a risen, living, victorious Savior. Hallelujah!

One of these days there’s going to come a shout from the lips of the Lord Jesus when He returns. And that shout will go into the tombs of those who have named Him as Lord and Savior. We’re going to hear the shout that Lazarus heard. Our Lord is going to step down from His majestic throne in glory, and I believe the shout will be: “Come forth, come forth.” The voice of the Savior will roll through the length and breadth of Satan’s ruined empire and bring it crashing down.

At the command of the Lord Jesus Christ, the seas will heave and give up the dead which are in them; the winding sheets of the deserts will give up the dead that are in them; the battlefields of this world will give up the dead that are in them and the graveyards will, perhaps, look like plowed fields as the Lord Jesus shouts, “Come forth.”

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
1 Corinthians 15:55

Visit the official website of Dr. Adrian Rogers ministry, http://www.lwf.org

Where are the Dead?

Where are the dead? We are now dwelling in “earthly houses of this tabernacle” which we shall “put off” at death. We now “abide in the flesh,” but at death we will “depart” and will be “absent from the body,” and then the body without the spirit will be dead.”

 

 

Dr. Norris

By J. Frank Norris (1877-1952)

 

In I Kings 17:21, 22, Elijah the Tishbite was having some trouble with Ahab and his idolatry, so  God pronounced a curse upon him and Israel.  The man of God told this wicked king that “there  shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” And to make sure it was true he  went into hiding.

His first hiding place was by the brook Cherith where the ravens fed him morning and evening.   Soon the brook dried up; God then hid him in a widow’s house in Zarepath.  While there something happened that proves positively that the soul and body of man are not the same.  They are separate and distinct.

When a person dies, the body and soul separate. The body goes to the grave, the place for  departed dead, and the soul goes to SHEOL / HADES the place for departed souls.  “And he  stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God,  I pray thee, let this child’s SOUL COME UNTO HIM AGAIN, And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and THE SOUL OF THE CHILD CAME INTO HIM AGAIN, and he revived” (Vss.21-11).

Here Elijah prays that the child’s “soul” might re-enter the lifeless body; and in answer to the  prayer, “the soul of the child came into him AGAIN and he revived.”  This clearly shows that the  soul had departed, and that death is a separation of the soul from the body.

When the ruler’s daughter was raised to life (Luke 8:49-55), it was said, “And her spirit came  again, and she rose straightway,” implying that in dying her spirit had left the body and must  needs “come again” before she could be restored to life.  No language could make it more clear  that death is a separation of the spirit from the body.  The same truth is taught in II Samuel  12:19-23.

When David learned that his beloved child was dead, he ceased to weep and fast; and when  questioned concerning his unusual conduct, he said, “But now he is dead, therefore should I fast?  Can I bring him back again?  I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”  This language  plainly indicates that his child had gone hence, and that he could not return, but that the  bereft father expected to depart also–to “go to him” –When this mortal life should end.

The Apostle Paul sets forth this same truth that death is a separation of the spirit from the  body.  Second Corinthians 5:6-9: “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are  at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight; we are  confident, I say, willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.   Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

What does Paul mean by “at home in the body” and “absent from the body” if the soul and body are not distinct, and if death is not a separation of the one from the other?  Surely, the “absent”  from the body, means that at death his soul would separate or depart from the body.

Death as a separation, is inferred in the following.  The inspired writers represent the human  body as a tabernacle or frail dwelling place; and death as the putting off of this tabernacle.   Thus Paul says in II Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle  were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

The Apostle Peter in II Peter 1:13-15 says, “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this  tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off  this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shown me.  Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”

In these passages, Then, the “tabernacle” to be “dissolved” and the dwellers in the tabernacle  are as distinct as the house and its occupant.  It is equally clear that by the “putting off” of  this “tabernacle” (as Christ had shown him, John 21:18, 19) Peter meant his “decease.”  We are in a tabernacle, and death is the putting off of our tabernacle.  Death is the separation of soul  and body.

Various Scripture References Speak of Death as A Departure.  This shows that Death is A  Separation of the Spiritual Nature (The Real Individuality) from the Body.

Saint Paul described death as a “departure” to occur when he should cease “to abide in the flesh”  (Philippians 1:21-24).  “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live in the  flesh, this is the fruit of my labor; yet what I shall choose I wot not.  For I am in a strait  betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless  to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

What does the apostle here mean by “abiding in the flesh” if it be not living in the body?  And  what by “departing” if it be not dying?

It is scarcely possible for language to teach more clearly the doctrine that death is a  separation of body and spirit, and a departure of the spirit from this world.

The same doctrine that death is a separation or departure is taught in numerous other Scriptures.   For instance, II Timothy 4:6, where the apostle says, “I am now ready to be offered, and the  time of my departure is at hand.”

Also Genesis 35:18.–“And it came to pass as her soul was departing, for she died,” etc.

It was revealed to Simeon that he should not see death till he had seen the Lord’s Christ; and  when he saw the infant Redeemer, he said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,  according to thy word” (Luke 2:29).  To him, also, death was a departure, which could not be true  in any sense if the soul died with the body, and was not separated from it.

That death is a separation of soul and body is further evident from James 2:26, “For as the body  without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Here the apostle refers for the illustration of his subject, to a fact acknowledged by all  professing Christians of his day, namely, that the body was “dead” when it was “without the  spirit”; or, in other words, that death is a separation of the spirit–or departure of the real  individuality–from the body.

Thus, in foregoing paragraphs, according to the testimony of the infallible Word of God we have  learned that death is a separation of the spirit, or departure of the real individuality, from  the body.

The original decree of death consigns only “the dust” (the body) to return to the earth, while  the spirit returns to God who gave it.”  Death is “the giving up of the ghost,” and the dead are  not restored to life, unless their “souls come into them again.”

We are now dwelling in “earthly houses of this tabernacle” which we shall “put off” at death. We now “abide in the flesh,” but at death we will “depart” and will be “absent from the body,” and  then the body without the spirit will be dead.”

This message by Dr. J. Frank Norris taken from the pages of THE BIBLICAL EVANGELST (November – December Issue 2010)  edited by Dr. Robert L. Sumner, used by permission.   www.biblicalevangelist.org

WHY NOT SURPRISE ME?

Dr. Michael Guido of Metter, GA presents this little story.  I felt it adds a timely edge to Dr. Norris’ message published above.

Dr. Guido

A New Yorker bought a burial plot near his home in New York. Tired of the cold, stormy winters, he moved to Florida to retire. Not long after his move, he bought another burial plot. He became very ill and was told he would not live much longer. His friends, knowing of the two plots asked, “Where do you want to be buried, here or New York?”

 In his anguish, he smiled and said, “Surprise me!”

 Life is full of surprises, but death is not one of them. Each time we learn of a friend’s death, read the obituaries, attend a funeral, pass a cemetery or watch the news, we are reminded of the uncertainties of life and the reality of death.

 God’s Word states that “man is appointed once to die, then comes judgment.” We can be sure of two things: death and judgment. And we can prepare for both. How?  By making arrangements with Him in advance.

 The Bible says, “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation!”

We must first make sure of our salvation and then reach out to those around us; our family and friends, and bring them to Christ. No surprise is the best surprise!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the assurance of salvation and the promise of eternity with You. Convict us to bring others to You. In Jesus’  Name, Amen.

Scripture: Hebrews 9:27 “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

Heaven- How to Get There for Sure

Important Question: What kind of a place is Heaven? Dr. J. Henry Hankins gives a compelling message that will comfort your heart and stir your heart. Well, I think it is just exactly the kind of place GOD tells us it is.
Look in the twenty-first chapter of Revelation and read it.
– I believe that its streets are paved with pure gold.
– I believe that one day I will look upon those jasper-studded walls.
– I believe that I will see those gates of one solid pearl.
– I believe that it is a place of real mansions.
Somebody may say, “Why, preacher, don’t you think that language is figurative and that JESUS is just trying to tell us of the beauty of the place by using those beautiful things in describing it?” Well, then, why did JESUS say, “If it were not so, I would have told you”?

Joe Henry Hankins

By Evangelist Joe Henry Hankins, D. D.
Copyright © 1947
~ out-of-print and in the public domain ~

HEAVEN – THE HOME OF THE SAVED
(Sermon preached at Central Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 1946. Mechanically recorded for The Sword of the Lord).
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go, ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-6).
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 7:9-12).
You know, when I read a thing like that in the Bible I wonder how people who are afraid to say, “Amen,” regardless of what kind of sermon is being preached or what kind of service is being held, are going to act in Heaven. We have gotten so sedate and so stylish, even we Baptists, that you can hardly get a holy grunt out of a Baptist crowd any more, much less a good Amen!
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor
any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:13-17).
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).

A New Heaven

GOD is going to make a new Heaven some day. We read, also, in the fifth verse of this same twenty-first chapter of Revelation, that He is going to make all things new. The word that is translated new literally means renewed or renovated. Why is it necessary for GOD to make a new Heaven and a new earth? GOD is a holy GOD, and GOD does not propose to live with sin. He cannot; and GOD has sworn by Himself that He is going to purge this universe of sin, and everything that sin has touched. When GOD gets through there will not be a mark, a stain, a blot of sin left; not a scar nor a trace. Every pollution of sin will be thoroughly purged.
“What!” you say, “Has sin ever touched Heaven? Has sin polluted Heaven?” Yes!
GOD tells us in His Word that once there was war in Heaven; that Satan and his angels rebelled against GOD. Sin, in other words, has lifted its ugly head and made its slimy trail right up to the very throne of GOD; and GOD is going to make a new Heaven. When GOD starts in to purge sin out of His universe, every person that ever lived on this earth who holds on to his sin and has not been washed of that sin in the Blood of JESUS CHRIST, will be purged out with it. Oh, my friend, hear me! If sin is so loathsome to GOD that He would make a new Heaven because sin had touched Heaven, then dismiss from your mind the thought that anybody ever will live with GOD who has not been purged from his sins in the Blood of JESUS CHRIST. No, GOD is not only going to be rid of sin but He is also going to be rid of everything sin has ever touched. “Behold, I make all things new” says GOD.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:2, 3).
Tabernacle means “dwelling place.” That means that this new Jerusalem will be the capital city, and Heaven will be moved down here upon the earth. Then will be fulfilled the promise of the Scripture that the righteous shall inherit the earth.
Brother, listen! I know lots of people who sell their souls for a little bit of this world. And they can keep it for only a very short time, a very few years. I will take mine after awhile. And when I come into my own and when GOD’s people inherit the earth, inherit all things (that is what He says in this same chapter from which I am reading) – it will be ours for eternity. Oh, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” and where you have to lie down and die and leave them! I have something in Heaven with GOD, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
Give me that, and you can have the world.
Back in Arkansas we used to sing a song, “Take the world but give me JESUS.” That is my sentiment tonight. Take the whole world, but give me JESUS! I tell you, it is great to be a Christian!
Now let us read on:
” . . . And they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. [Oh, brother, that is Heaven He is talking about – the home of GOD’s redeemed, the place of many mansions which JESUS spoke about.] And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. [And to me that is the most glorious thing about it. By that He means we can absolutely count on its being just exactly as He told us it would be.] And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:3-7).
We read again in Revelation, chapter 22: “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
Isaiah says that the inhabitants of that land will never say one to the other, ‘I am sick.’ Oh, praise GOD for what He has for His children! We will never sit by the side of a sickbed or weep by the side of another deathbed. There will never be another death scene. We will never have to watch as the breath grows short and the eyes grow dim as our loved ones are slipping away. There will be no death there. What would you take for a hope like that?
“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:1-5).
Heaven! the home of GOD’s redeemed!

Where Is Heaven?

But where is Heaven? Does the Bible locate it for us more than just to say it is up? Yes.
In the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, verses 12 to 14, we read about the casting of Satan out of Heaven: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut
down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” ‘I am going to usurp the throne of GOD. I will sit were GOD sits on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north! That is where Heaven is.
Again you will find it in Psalm 48:2: “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”
When GOD gave to Moses instructions as to what to do with the blood of the sacrifice, He said to pour it out on the north side of the altar toward the Lord.
Heaven, my friend, is in the North. When I found that, I said, “How wonderful is GOD’s Word!”
When the Bible says Heaven is up, it is exactly right, because from any point on the face of the earth the only direction that is always up is north. It is no accident that wherever you find men – I do not care who they are nor where they live – from here to the south pole they always say, “Up north,” and, “Down south.”
It is no accident that that is in the speech of men. And then it is no accident that scientists call the north pole the top of the world. Why couldn’t they just as easily have designated the south pole as the top of the world? It hangs right out in the middle of space. I will tell you why the north pole is called the top of the world: It points toward the north star. Yonder on the sides of the north sits the One who made the universe. It is no accident either that the whole universe revolves around the north star.
If you could focus a camera on the north star that would take in all the heavens around and let that focus stand long enough you would find that every star, every planet, ever constellation, every solar system would make a complete circle around the north star. The Scripture says, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist,” or hold together (Colossians 1:16, 17).

The Three Heavens

Well, what about the first, second, and third heaven? In the first chapter of Genesis we read, “And God said, Let the waters, bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (Genesis 1:20). That is the first heaven. The Bible uses the exact language that we use. We speak of the birds of the heavens. We speak of the heavens being overcast with clouds. We say that the heavens are filled with airplanes. And GOD says that the birds fly in the open firmament of heaven.
In Psalm 19:1, 2 we read: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” Then the fourth verse says, “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the
end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.” You and I speak every day about the stars of the heavens. That is the second heaven mentioned in the Bible.
But the third Heaven mentioned in the Scriptures is the place where GOD dwells.
Paul said, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (II Corinthians 12:2-4).
Here Paul tells us that the third Heaven and Paradise are one and the same place. Well, now where is Paradise? JESUS said to the thief on the cross, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” And when He breathed out His last, He said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” In other words, He said, ‘I am coming to you.’ So Paradise is where the Father is.
Revelatmn”2~lf’tells us that the tree of life is in the midst of the Paradise of GOD. Revelation22~l;2″‘tells us that the river of life flows out of the throne of GOD and the Lamb, and the tree of life is on either side of the river. So Paradise is Heaven, where GOD is now. And the third Heaven is the same place.
Do the Saved Go to Heaven Immediately Upon Death?

Then the next question we answer is this: Do the saved go to Heaven immediately at death? Yes.

“How do you know, preacher?” GOD said so. Hear the Word of the Lord, not mine. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Corinthians 5:1). And further we read, “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:6-8).
– does that sound like purgatory?
– does that sound like soul-sleeping?
– does that sound like any kind of an intermediate state?
“Absent from the body, and . . . present with the Lord”!
That is why Paul said: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart; and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).
Where is CHRIST? Hear it! “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, ye rather, that is risen again, who is, even at the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). Paul said, “Depart, and be with Christ;” and again, “Absent from the body, . . . present with the Lord.”
Just before Stephen was stoned he looked into Heaven, and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). And then when he sank down in death, he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Yes, my friend, if the Bible is clear on anything, it is clear on the fact that when a child of GOD closes his eyes in death, he opens them on the face of CHRIST that very instant. The fact of the matter is that GOD has permitted many of His saints to see the Lord before they crossed over, just about the time of the crossing; and they have left their testimony behind.
My mother said that her father, just before he passed away, called the children around to tell them good-by. They began to cry, as they naturally would; and Grandpa said, “Don’t cry. Why would you cry? Here is JESUS, and here is Mother with Him. And they are not crying; they are happy. They have come for me to take me Home.”
Many a child of GOD has left that testimony as he crossed over. Oh, my friend, isn’t it wonderful to be a Christian? The hour of death that, to the lost world, is the greatest enemy of all mankind, has no sting for the child of GOD. For the child of GOD can say, “O death; where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; [That is the only thing that makes men afraid of death – sin] and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:55-57). Triumphant in the hour of death!
Dwight L. Moody, when the time of his crossing had come, asked his daughter who stood by, “Is this death?”
She said, “Yes, Father.”
He said, “No, this is my coronation day!”
“Absent from the body; present with the Lord!”
A woman said to me, “If you go to Heaven immediately when you die, what is the use of a judgment?”
Well, she would never have asked that question if she had understood the Bible teaching on the judgments. GOD does not teach anywhere that any judgment is to determine where I am going to spend eternity. Brother, there is but one time when that is decided, and there is but one person on earth who decides it. You decide that while you live right here in this life, and it is decided on one basis, and one only, and that is what you do with JESUS.
Judgment has nothing to do with determining where you will spend eternity. You decide that for yourself. Nobody else can do it. If you go to Hell, it will be because you made the wrong choice yourself. “For God so loved the world [you included]; that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The invitation is, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). And the assurance is, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:87).
Will We Know Our Loved Ones There?

The next question is: Will we know our loved ones in Heaven?

Yes. Will my mother be mother to me in Heaven? Yes. Love never dies. It is eternal. It is from GOD. Besides that, the Bible assures me that I will know my loved ones there.
In II Samuel 12:18-23, you remember we are told that David’s baby had died. He had prayed for that baby seven days and seven nights; fasted, and wept, and prayed; but the baby died. His servants said, ‘We can’t tell him. If he has grieved over that baby as he has while he was sick, refused food, and fasted, and prayed, and wept all these seven days, what will happen when he hears that the baby is dead?’
David saw them whispering to each other, and David knew that the baby had died; so he asked them the point-blank question, “Is the child dead?”
They said, “He is dead.” Instead of going all to pieces, as they thought, he got up from the ground, wiped away his tears, went into the house, changed his clothes, asked for food, ate what was set before him, and then went into the house of GOD and worshipped.
They said, ‘How could he do this?’
David said, “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” And GOD put that in the blessed holy Book. Why? Because GOD knew that David would not be the last parent that had to follow a loved one or a little baby out yonder to the City of the Dead, and GOD wanted that mother or that father to know that you can go to that one again, that you can have that dear one again. Oh, you know, to me one of the most blessed things about Heaven is the reunion that is going to be ours with our loved ones!
JESUS said, “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).
Yes, the same Abraham who walked the hills of Judea; the same Isaac whom he took up yonder on Mount Moriah that day; the same Jacob who made his pillow out of those stones and saw the ladder reaching to Heaven and saw the angels ascending and descending. JESUS said to the Sadducees, “And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err” (Mark 12:26, 27).
On the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah stood beside JESUS, the disciples present recognized them. Nobody had to tell Peter, James and John who they were; they recognized them immediately. They were still the same Moses and Elijah who had lived here upon the earth. It was the same Moses who had led the children out of Egypt, across the Red Sea and through the forty years in the wilderness. It was the same Elijah who was taken up to Heaven in the chariot of GOD that day. The same Moses who walked up Nebo with GOD that day, and GOD buried him there; recognized by men who had never seen him, and had never seen a photograph of him.
In the fourth chapter of I Thessalonians Paul is writing to the members of that church. They had evidently thought, from what Paul said, that nobody would die, no Christian would die until JESUS came back. But as time went on and some of them died, they wondered if they would see them any more. They wondered if there was any hope. They had died before JESUS came – now what about it? Paul wrote:
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. [Now don’t think because they are gone, don’t think that because they have fallen asleep you will never have them any more, that there is no hope; don’t sorrow as those sorrow who do not have any hope.] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. [He is coming back again and He will bring them with Him.] For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, [There will be no going before anybody! Brother, we will go together! That is what he says. We will go together! Those of our loved ones who are sleeping in the grave will be raised from the dead, and together we will go to meet the Lord. Oh, what a reunion that is going to be!] to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
You who are sorrowing over the death of your loved ones, get comfort from this. You will have a homecoming, a reunion one day. You will have them again. How much clearer could GOD make it?
One of these days I expect to walk down the golden streets of the new Jerusalem with my precious mother. Heaven used to seem to me a place a long way off, but since Mother has gone there it seems so much more real to me now, and a lot closer. Why, bless your heart, sometimes it seems to me that Heaven is so close that I could almost reach up and touch it, since Mother is there. Praise GOD, one day we will be reunited, never to be separated again!

What Will We Do in Heaven?

Who Will Be in Heaven?

Then, who will be there? Listen: “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?”
Now if we would ask you that question, some of you would say, “Why, that’s the crowd that lived the best they could and treated everybody right, paid their honest debts and were good citizens and behaved themselves. That’s the crowd that is going to Heaven. That is the way I’m going.” No, brother, that isn’t the answer John got. And if you would ask somebody else who that crowd is, they would say, “Why, that’s the crowd that belonged to our church, because we are the only crowd that is going to Heaven. If you don’t come this way, why, you’ll never get there.” But that is not the answer John got. And somebody else would say, “Why, that’s the crowd that was baptized a certain way and held out faithful to the end.” But that is not the answer John got. “Who are these?” “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).
Everyone of them was arrayed in a white robe, and every robe was washed in the Blood of JESUS.
JESUS told the parable of the wedding feast. He said, “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:11-13). Brother, you cannot get in without the wedding garment, and it is washed in the Blood of JESUS. Settle that forever, my friend. If the Word of GOD is clear on anything, it is clear on that.
In the twenty-first chapter of Revelation He said, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” How can GOD make it any clearer?
In that wonderful fourteenth chapter of John, when He was describing the home of many mansions, JESUS said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Did you hear what He said? “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
In the tenth chapter of John, when He is talking about the sheepfold, He said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” He also said, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”
Listen, friend, suppose you could get there some other way; why would you want to? Isn’t JESUS good enough? JESUS, the Son of GOD, who loved you enough to die for you, made His soul an offering for sin for you, shed the last drop of His Blood for you. I repeat, suppose you could get there some other way; why would you want to? If I knew there were one hundred ways, I wouldn’t exchange JESUS for any of them.

What Kind of a Place Is Heaven?

The last question is: What kind of a place is Heaven?
Well, I think it is just exactly the kind of place GOD tells us it is.
Look in the twenty-first chapter of Revelation and read it.
– I believe that its streets are paved with pure gold.
– I believe that one day I will look upon those jasper-studded walls.
– I believe that I will see those gates of one solid pearl.
– I believe that it is a place of real mansions.
Somebody may say, “Why, preacher, don’t you think that language is figurative and that JESUS is just trying to tell us of the beauty of the place by using those beautiful things in describing it?” Well, then, why did JESUS say, “If it were not so, I would have told you”? In other words, He said, ‘If it were not exactly this way, I would have told you so.’ And then why did GOD stop John twice when he was writing the description of that place to interpose these words, “Write: for these words are true and faithful”?
The Holy Spirit knew, and JESUS knew, that there would be a lot of smart alecks who would know more about it than JESUS did, and He wanted the people of GOD to be absolutely certain that He was telling them the literal truth. It is a real place, with real people, and a real Saviour, and a real GOD. Praise the Lord!
But to me, the most wonderful thing about Heaven is that it is home.
Home! Do you know, when I am away in a meeting and it comes time to go home, I can hardly wait. I have had the nervous jitters all day today. Why? Because at one-thirty in the morning I am going to get on a plane and I am going home. If I had to go to bed tonight, I could not sleep a wink. There is no use for me to go to bed tonight. There is no use for me to try to sleep on that plane. I couldn’t go to sleep on that plane; I am going home!
John Howard Payne, who wrote, “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home,” touched the deepest chord in the human heart. Were you ever a long way from home and homesick enough to die? I know just exactly how those boys over yonder in the Philippines feel. I know why they have been making those protests. It is not because they are not loyal Americans! They just don’t want to be away from home. After World War I, I was over there until July, 1919. I was homesick enough to die. On the fifteenth day of July, in Paris, I got a telegram which read: “Report in Brest on the morning of the seventeenth to sail for home on ship so and so,” an American ship. Well, do you think I reported at Brest on the morning of the seventeenth? No, I was down there about daylight on the morning of the sixteenth! Brother, that was one time I didn’t mean to miss the boat!
I was going home. I didn’t think it would sail on the sixteenth, but I thought I might get to see it. And just to see it would be like a tonic. All day long I paced up and down that long shed at Brest, looking for that boat. It didn’t come in, and I did not sleep any the night of the sixteenth of July, 1919 – not a wink. The next morning, the seventeenth, I was out there by daylight, pacing up and down that long boardwalk, back and forth, looking out over the harbor. I would see a ship coming in. I would look at it and look at it. After a while I would see a French flag, and I would start walking again. Another would come in, and I would see a British flag, and I would start again. That was the longest day I ever spent in my life.
About four o’clock that afternoon I saw a ship coming up over the horizon. I put my hand up over my eyes and looked and strained every nerve to see and watch that ship until it got close enough for me to see Old Glory. Brother, I had thought all my life that we had the prettiest flag on earth, and I still think so. But I tell you, it never was as pretty to me in my life as it was that afternoon; for that was the ship that was coming to take me home.
When they pulled her in and let down the gangplank, do you suppose anybody had to beg me to get on? Why, bless your life, I was halfway up by the time the gangplank hit! I was going home! No, they didn’t have to beg me to get on.
And, you know, the strangest thing to me in this world is that people would have to be begged to take CHRIST and go to Heaven. That is a thing I will never be able to understand:
Why you have to plead and pray and weep and persuade and beg to get people to be saved, when salvation is offered in CHRIST as a free gift to everybody who will take it, and guarantees a passage to Heaven and home and eternal fellowship with GOD and loved ones and the saints in glory!
That ship was a slow one. It took fourteen days to cross the ocean. On the morning of the fifteenth day I was awakened by a band playing, “Home, Sweet Home.” The music was floating in at the porthole of that ship. Out of the bunk I went and into my uniform and up on the deck. It was just getting daylight. I looked out there and I could see the shore of the homeland. The band had come out in a little boat to meet us. When they finished playing “Home, Sweet Home,” over on the other side of the ship another band started playing, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”
I saw those sun-tanned soldiers standing there reach up and take off their caps and weep for joy like a bunch of little children.
We had come home! We landed at Philadelphia. I got on the train, the Pennsylvanian; and that is the slowest train I ever rode in my life! People can talk about the slow train through Arkansas all they want to, brother; but it is like greased lightning by the side of that Pennsylvanian. It stopped more times, and they were the longest stops I ever witnessed! Finally it crawled into St. Louis. I got on the Missouri Pacific and started down to Arkansas. I got down to Little Rock.
When that Missouri Pacific pulled out of Little Rock, I knew it was just forty-two miles to home. I could not keep my seat any longer. I walked up and down that coach, back and forth, looking out the window at every tree and every house and everything else to see if I could not see something familiar. When we got on down to Pine Bluff, a porter stuck his head in the door and yelled, “Pine Bluff!”
Brother, that was the sweetest music I ever heard!
When the train pulled on down to the station, I said to the conductor – I had known him from boyhood – “Won’t you pull up that platform and let me out on the steps? I know it is against the rule, but my mother and dad and my wife and my sister and my brother are down there at the station to meet me.”
He said, “Go ahead and help yourself.” I got hold of the rod, got out on that step, swung myself out and looked down the track. Soon I saw them. When we pulled in and got even with them, I just swung loose and took the whole bunch in my arms. I was home! Home!
Listen, unsaved friend! The old ship of Zion is alongside tonight. She’s sailing for home. Home! We are inviting you to come aboard. JESUS is the Captain of that ship. She has weathered every storm of the ages. She has never lost a passenger. Come aboard. She is going Home!

The Scripture says, “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple” (Revelation 7:15).
Friend, the greatest joy that I have ever found on this earth is serving the Lord. I had never known real joy until I cut loose from everything and gave my life to the Lord to serve Him. You know, I feel sorry for Christian people who just dabble around the edge, live with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. They have never known what it is to really live. They have never known real joy. If you want to be happy; if you want real joy in your life, cut loose from the world and launch out into the deep with GOD, and be lost in the fullness of His wonderful love and fellowship.
“They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Brother, I want. to tell you, it is great to serve the Lord! Oh, if you want to be happy – the Devil can’t make you happy. When will GOD’s people learn that the world does not have anything for a Christian? When will they learn that it is feeding on ashes, as Isaiah said? When will they learn that it is going to a fountain, a broken cistern that does not have any water? Oh, drink deep at the fountain of His grace! Cut loose from the shore line and serve the Lord with gladness and singleness of heart. One of the greatest joys to me about Heaven is that I will be able to serve Him to my heart’s content.
In Heaven there will be music, there will be singing; and I expect to join in that. When the saints of GOD start singing, brother, the angels are going to take a back seat! John says, “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, [There will not be a discord. Musicians tell us that the only perfect musical note ever made is the sound of running water.] and as the voice of mighty thunderings” (Revelation 19:6).
That mighty crescendo of praise rises and swells until the whole heavens resound with that chorus of the people of GOD singing. And what are they singing? “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
Brother, if you could get to Heaven without being saved, you could not sing that song, because the Scripture said, “No man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:3).
Oh, brother, it is going to be great when the singing starts! And you know, somehow I think David is going to be the choir director. I do! Because he is the greatest singer GOD ever had on this earth, and the greatest choir director that GOD ever had. I am going to sit down and watch him. I love music with a passion. I never had a chance to learn to play anything, but I have it in my soul. Nobody ever appreciated music more or loved it more than I do.
When I hear an organist sit down and play those wonderful handfuls of notes at a time and in perfect harmony, I can hardly help but be envious. I want to do it so much! When I hear a violinist pick up a violin, a master, and pull that bow across the strings, it is just next to Heaven to me, and I want to do it so much that I just hurt inside. I did not have a chance to learn. But do you know what I am going to do when I get to Heaven? I am going to ask GOD to let me play on everything He has up there. And brother, He will do it! He will do it! Of course He will! John said, “I heard the voice of harpers harping with the harps” (Revelation 14:2). You know, when I read about that, I just want to jump up and say, “Glory to GOD! Isn’t it good to be a Christian!”
Brother, that is the way I feel in my soul when I think about what GOD has for His children. Talk about shouting! I have been so happy here in this world that my soul has overflowed. And I am not ashamed of it. I am glad I love the Lord enough, and that He is real enough to me, and that He sends the joy of His Holy Spirit into my heart until it just runs over sometimes. I am glad that it is so. I tell you, it is great to be a Christian.

You have just read a wonderful, touching message by one of the great pastors–an evangelist who has invited you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and to join him in Heaven.  If there is a tugging at your heart that is from the Holy Spirit urging you to come to Christ.  Obey that tug–get down on your knees and pray asking Jesus to save you from your sins and make you ready for Heaven.  Look at Romans 10:13.  If you do pray this prayer be sure and write a note on one of the blank pages of your Bible–briefly tell of decision to accept Christ.  Then date the testimony and sign your name to it.  This is your personal record of what you have done.  It will also serve as a testimony to your loved ones after you are gone.  Then take the time to write me and share your good news with me, the editor.  My email is: ron.o.english@gmail.com I will write you back a word of encouragement.

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Six Pressing Reasons Why You Should Be Saved Today

The message of the Holy Spirit of God to every lost sinner is, “Today!” Be saved today!

Again the same message is brought in II Corinthians 6:2: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” What time is the acceptable time for a sinner to be saved? “Behold, now is the accepted time,” answers the Scripture. When is the day of salvation? “Behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Unsaved friend, I beg you to consider some pressing reasons why you ought to be saved today. Not one single soul ought to lay this printed message down until you have said “yes” to God, until you have earnestly confessed yourself a sinner and depended on Him for mercy and claimed Him as your own Saviour! Today is the day to be saved!

 

By John R. Rice

The Author Provides You with Six Pressing Reasons Why You Should Be Saved Today.  Read this article prayerfully with an open Bible  and an open heart.

 “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
“When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

“So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”—Heb. 3:7–15. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”—II Cor. 6:2.

These Scriptures give strong reasons why every unconverted person should turn to Christ today. The Holy Ghost has a message, and it can be summed up in one word: “TODAY!”
“The Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.” Readers are to “exhort one another daily, while it is called To day.” And again, “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”  The message of the Holy Spirit of God to every lost sinner is, “Today!” Be saved today! Again the same message is brought in II Corinthians 6:2: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” What time is the acceptable time for a sinner to be saved? “Behold, now is the accepted time,” answers the Scripture. When is the day of salvation? “Behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Unsaved friend, I beg you to consider some pressing reasons why you ought to be saved today. Not one single soul ought to lay this printed message down until you have said “yes” to God, until you have earnestly confessed yourself a sinner and depended on Him for mercy and claimed Him as your own Saviour! Today is the day to be saved!

I. If It Is Ever Right to Be Saved, Then Be Saved Today

No one has a right to go on in sin. No one would claim that it is all right to continue a life of murder, then just before he dies, quit murdering people. No one would claim that it is all right to go on stealing and being dishonest for a season, then at some convenient time, quit being a thief.

But the most horrible of all sins is the sin of rejecting Christ. If you have not accepted Him, you have rejected Him. If you are not for Him, you are against Him. If you are not saved, you are lost. And as long as you continue unsaved, you are living in deliberate and willful sin, the most horrible sin.

Never try to defend your delay in accepting Christ. To postpone your salvation is like the murderer who continues to murder; the blasphemer who continues spewing out oaths; the adulterer who continues his vile sin. Not to be saved is an open sin, a willful sin of disobedience to and rebellion against God.

Anyone who will admit that one ought to be saved must admit that he too ought to be saved. Anyone who will admit that he ever ought to be a Christian, must admit that he ought to be one today. On the general ground, then, if it is right to be a Christian, it is right to be one today; and if it is right to accept Christ, honest people ought to accept Him now, turn from their sins and trust Him for salvation. If repentance is commanded, then sinners ought to repent this very day.

The very moment you know you are a sinner, you ought to flee from your sins and turn to the Lord Jesus for mercy and salvation. Not to do so is deliberate sin, continual sin, sin indefensible and inexcusable.

II. You Ought to Be Saved Today Because Today the Holy Spirit Calls

“The Holy Ghost saith, To day….” Then the rest of the statement follows, “…if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.”

Are you interested in what the Holy Spirit says? Are you interested in the will of God? Then hear what the Holy Spirit says—that today is the day to be saved! An alarming example is given. Sinners are urged: “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: “When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.”

The children of Israel in the wilderness who did not hearken to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who kept telling them, “Today, believe in God! Today, trust Him for salvation!” died unsaved in the wilderness. You should not be like them, lest your heart be hardened and lest God’s wrath fall on you too!

To the wicked Jews at Jerusalem who had crucified the Saviour, then would not hear His ministers, Stephen cried out, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).

What was wrong with those Christ-rejecters? They resisted the Holy Spirit! They would not listen to the call of God through the Spirit. Hence the terrible punishment that came onJerusalem in a.d. 70 when it was destroyed by Titus; and the Roman army came on a nation that would not listen to God’s voice through the Spirit. Individuals who died unsaved could only blame their hard hearts and the fact that they would not listen to the call of the Spirit of God.

When the Spirit of God says “To day,” then it is time for sinners to be saved today.

Doubtless in your own heart the Holy Spirit says you should be saved today. This very day God’s Spirit speaks to you through the Scriptures, through this printed sermon. He moves upon your heart to accept Christ and be saved. To dally, to trifle, to delay is to continue in sin. Such delay, such disobedience, such resistance to the Spirit of God may harden your heart and doom you forever to Hell, the place prepared for Satan and his angels. Heed today the calling of the Spirit of God!

III. The Danger of a Hardened Heart Makes It Urgent to Be Saved Today

The Holy Spirit urges, “To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.” And again, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

The hardening of the heart is the most terrible calamity that can come upon a lost sinner this side of eternal destruction.

One reason the great majority of all those who are ever saved are saved in childhood is that the child has the advantage of a tender heart, a tender conscience that grieves over sin. The child is easily moved by the fear of punishment. He knows that it is dangerous to go on in sin.

Only as one violates his conscience, goes against his reason, ignores the call of God and the principles of honor and righ-teousness, can he harden his heart and become accustomed to sin. Only by resisting the Spirit of God and continuing in the willful sin of rejecting Christ can one get a hardened heart.

The days and weeks go by, and, unknown and unnoticed by the sinner, his heart is being hardened, his conscience is being dulled, his perception of right and wrong is becoming inaccurate and faded. Delay in salvation means a hardened heart.

Oh, then, hear the call of the Holy Spirit and be saved. “To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.”

To sin once, knowingly, is wicked. To continue in this rebellion, this ungodly resistance, this self-will in delaying your salvation, is a deadly sin that will have a blasting and damning effect upon your own heart. The danger of a hardened heart warns you to be saved today!

Every blatant infidel was once a tenderhearted child who may have trembled at the thought of his sin and of judgment. But delay hardened his heart.

Every drunkard was once a pure and innocent child, beloved of parents and promising for the future. The years hardened his sensibilities and made him ignore his duties to family, to self and to God.

Every harlot was once a sweet little girl, precious and gentle and with holy possibilities. But sin unrebuked in the heart and life, sins unrepented, along with the passing days, dulled the pangs of conscience and led to an indifference about holy matters.

Oh, the danger of a hardened heart! Oh, that much-to-be-feared calamity! And, dear sinner, if you reject Christ today, your heart will be harder tomorrow. The danger of a hardened heart impels honest thinking people to be saved today while they can.

IV. The Imminence of Christ’s Coming Makes It Urgent to Be Saved Today

Matthew 24:44 has a solemn warning from the mouth of the Saviour Himself: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

Jesus will return to this earth. There will be a resurrection of all the Christian dead. The bodies of the saints in Christ will rise first, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thess. 4:17). Living Christians will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up to be with the Saviour, taken away to the Father’s house of many mansions. Jesus said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).

Those who are unsaved and left alive on the earth when Jesus comes will go into the terrible Tribulation, a time of such trouble and sorrow and war and plagues as this world never saw before nor will ever see again!

To be left here with every Christian taken away; to be left here with every true preacher gone, every real church closed; to be left here where all principles of righteousness and morality are ignored and Satan has his way in the Great Tribulation, will be a horrible state. But that is the punishment of those who are yet unsaved when Jesus comes.

We do not know when the Saviour will come. But many times we are warned in the Scripture to be ready, to watch for the Saviour’s return. In view of the imminent coming of the Saviour one ought to be saved today, this very day, without delay.

V. The Uncertainty of Life and the Certainty of Death Press Upon Sensible People the Wisdom of Being Saved Today!

In James 4:13,14 there is a solemn warning: “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

It is presumptuous for anyone to say that he knows what will happen tomorrow. How do you know you will buy or sell tomorrow? How do you know you will go on vacation next week? How do you know you will get home tonight? “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow.”

Human life is like a vapor “that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Man’s life is like the fog in the valley which soon vanishes under the heat of the rising sun. This lesson is brought home to us in Psalm 103:14–16: “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

“For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”

Your life, which seems to you so well established, so important, is like a blade of grass that may be plucked up in a moment, or may be crushed under a heel, or blown away. How fragile, how uncertain is life itself!

The son of President Coolidge blistered his heel playing tennis. In a short while he died of blood poisoning. A tiny clot in the blood may stop a capillary in your brain, and you too may die. People have strangled to death on flies or gnats. The scratch of a nail or one streptococcic germ in the throat may mean your death.

A fall from a stepladder in your own home or a cut on the hand or a ride in an automobile or on a plane may cut your life short. Every day people die unexpectedly. The old die. The young die. The sick die. The well die. Life is but a vapor. Your hold on life is insecure, so I urge you to be saved while it is today.

Death is a certainty. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).

A man, who may leave this world tomorrow and makes no provision for the future, could not complain if sensible people call him a fool. People who prepare for meals tomorrow or for a bed tonight or for an education next year, but do not prepare for death, which may come at any moment, surely are guilty of wicked and senseless folly.

So, because life is so short and death is so sure, be saved today! “To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.” “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

VI. The Mounting Wrath of God on All Christ-Rejecting Sinners Impels You to Be Saved Today!

God was grieved at the wicked generation of Jews in the wilderness who would not hear the voice of God. “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest” (Heb. 3:11). And this wrath of God is on everyone who delays salvation.

Consider several Scriptures which teach this terrifying and solemn truth.

1. Jesus said in John 3:18: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

It is not that one who dies without Christ will be condemned; one who is without Christ is condemned already “because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Already condemned! Already headed for Hell! That is the condition of every unconverted sinner.

2. John the Baptist said in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The anger of God abides, stays on, every unbelieving, Christ-rejecting sinner! If you have not believed in Christ, that is, have not trusted Him to be your own Saviour, nor depended on Him to forgive your sins, then the wrath of God abides on you this day!

What a terrible truth—God’s anger mounts up every day, all the day, and never forgets the insult you do Him! God never for a moment is pleased with you who reject His Son; rather, His wrath is on you day and night!

3. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha,” says I Corinthians 16:22.

The word anathema means accursed. If you do not love the dear Lord Jesus, you are under the curse of God! How God must be grieved over your rejection of His Son! To eat God’s food, breathe God’s air, live on God’s bounty, exist, even, by His mercy, yet reject His dear Son! Not to love the Lord Jesus, the most lovely of all the universe! Not to repent of your sins and receive Him into your heart! Such sin deserves and has on it the curse of God.

You who do not know the Lord Jesus, do not love Him, do not have Him as your own Saviour, are accursed of God. And God’s wrath mounts up against you.

4. Psalm 7:11 says the same thing again in these words: “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

If men were sensible, surely they would be terrified at the thought that “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Are you wicked? Well, in God’s sight you are terribly wicked if you reject His Son, if you do not repent of your sins and will not trust Him to save you. And God is angry with you every day.

These Scriptures press upon our hearts the thought that God’s wrath and His anger keep mounting up and growing hot against Christ-rejecting sinners. No wonder so many are cut off suddenly without time to repent! No wonder God turns people over to a reprobate heart that they might believe a lie and be damned! No wonder God’s Holy Spirit ceases to call and leaves men to their own doom and destruction! No wonder God has a Hell for Christ-rejecting, impenitent, unbelieving sinners!

Because of God’s wrath on all who reject Christ, you are urged to be saved today. Today is the day of salvation. Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart.

Here are six forceful reasons, reasons that must appeal to any sensible man or woman, boy or girl. Do they not convince you that you ought to be saved today? Do they not remind you that your best chances may be soon gone? Do you not feel the call of the Spirit of God? Today, I urge you in Jesus’ name, trust Christ and be saved.

I do not ask you to pay for your sins. You could do that only by going to Hell. I ask you to turn your heart from sin and trust Jesus Christ to save you. He died on the cross for you. He loves you. He is ready to receive you today. John 3:16 tells you, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then will you trust Him today and have this everlasting life and not perish?

I will give you the words to a simple prayer that you can pray right now.  Pray this prayer, Make my words your words,  believing in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins and that if you will only call on Him for salvation, He will save you right now.  Here are the words to this simple prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner.  I am lost and want very much to be saved.  Please come into my heart Lord Jesus and save my soul and make me ready for Heaven.  I believe on you.  I trust in you.  I accept you here and now for this wonderful salvation.  Thank you Lord for saving my soul and help me Lord to live for you.  Amen!

Now tell two or three people what you have done.  Get in the habit of sharing your new found faith.

Email me a note and tell.  I want to rejoice with you. I promise to write you an email and send you additional helps that will make sure you have a good opportunity to grow in God’s grace and love.

email me: Ron.o.english@fowlerinc My name is Ron.  I promise to never abuse your email info, or reveal any personal info you might disclose.

PLAN FOR HEAVEN
KING JAMES VERSION
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ROMANS 3:23-27 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

ROMANS 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ROMANS 1:16-19 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

I CORINTHIANS 15:1-6 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

ROMANS 5:8-11 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

ROMANS 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

EPHESIANS 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

I THESSALONIANS 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

ROMANS 10:8-13 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

REVELATION 22:21
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Contents Page for “Through the Bible with Les Feldick” at www.lesfeldick.org