This is the sermon in my series "The Truth About Heaven," that I didn't want to preach. By nature, I'm an optimistic guy. I don't like to dwell on stuff that brings me or others down. But there are realities in our world that aren't sunshine and roses. There are hard questions about life here and the life beyond that we cannot ignore. It would irresponsible for serious Christians not to face such issues.
This is as real and hard an issue as there is. Missiologists estimate that up 1/3 of the world's population hasn't even heard the name of Jesus. At least 2/3 are not professing Christians (to say nothing of those whose "faith" is nothing more than a baptism when they were infants). In our own country, a recent study shows that the number of professing Christians in our own nation has declined rapidly in the last decade, and the fastest growing religious group in America are those who profess no religion whatsoever (for more on that, see the post below this one, "Snapshots of Faith in America"). Beyond all these statistics, we all know of friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers who have no relationship with Christ, many of who show no interest in obtaining such a relationship. What will become of these people after this life is through? To ignore such a question, we would have to be heartlessly indifferent, intentionally obtuse, like the prosperous, oblivious Germans who lived within walking distance of the death camps.
This Sunday, we'll explore what the Bible says--and doesn't say--about these difficult issues. And we'll find out what God truly expects us to do about it. Please be there if you can!