From The Pee Dee Baptist Association—Featured this week is Dr. Dick Alderman, pastor of Little Rock Baptist Church, Little Rock.
“The Most Difficult People To Get To Heaven”
I have talked to thousands of people over the years about going to Heaven. The ones who were not going to church, had little knowledge about spiritual things, and had no pretense of religion were many times open to listening to the truth. On the other hand I have spoken to thousands in hundreds of churches during my fifty-five years of ministry who were very religious and very faithful in church and who were not interested in the truth about their real spiritual condition. When He was on earth Jesus faced the same problem in His ministry.
In Luke 11 the Lord Jesus takes to task the most religious people of His day and perhaps of all time. The Pharisees and scribes were the leaders of Israel. Over a period of 400 years they had concocted over 1100 laws and rules that regulated all Jews every day in almost everything they did. If religion and being religious could get one to Heaven these leaders would be first in line. Jesus was invited to lunch in a Pharisee’s home where other leaders were also gathered. At the risk of being a party-pooper He unleashed a barrage of criticism and warnings to them all. The Lord believed there was never a time nor a place where the truth about sin, sinners, and salvation should not be an appropriate topic.
In Luke 11:39 He said to them, “Your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.” He called them “fools.” He chastised the Pharisees for loving the place of preeminence and recognition and called them “hypocrites.” He then directed His attention to the scribes, the experts in the law who interpreted all the laws for all the people. He accuses them of loading people down with useless burdens of religious activity. He further said that they had “taken away the key of knowledge” (verse 52). Then He brings the worst possible accusation on them in that same verse by saying, “and them that were entering in ye hindered.” It is bad enough these leaders were bound for Hell in their own self-righteousness; but even more condemning was their concerted efforts in their hypocrisy to keep the people from entering Heaven.
James 3:1 says, “My brethren, do not many of you seek to be teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater judgment.” We preachers/ teachers are charged in 2 Timothy 4:2 to “preach the Word; be diligent in season (when it is popular) and out of season (when it is unpopular); reprove, rebuke, and exhort.” The preceding verse says we are charged with this admonition “before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing.” It is most serious to stand before God’s minister to preach the truth of His word. Jesus soundly condemned the preachers and teachers of His day for preaching lies and not the truth.
The bottom line is this: every person is lost in sin which condemns that soul to Hell forever. Hell is real, long, and hot. The only way to be saved is to trust Jesus Christ as one’s Savior. The only way to do that is to confess we are singers, repent and turn from our sin and believe on him with our hearts. Religious people will not do this.
They are too proud in their hypocrisy to humble themselves. This is why Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Be sure you are not religious depending on your actions and your church to get you to Heaven. You are already condemned by the Word of God.
Flee to Jesus as a lost and helpless sinner to claim His shed blood for your salvation.