A Voice From the Grave
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They've tried a lot of things to discourage people from smoking; especially now that we know the great health hazards of it. In fact, recently, maybe you've seen that they're trying to put some disturbing pictures on the packages themselves of people dying of lung cancer. They already do that it in some other countries. But I think one of the most impacting things I've ever seen along those lines was a commercial that was done on TV years ago. There was a great award winning actor named Yul Brynner. You may remember him; he had a very distinctive accent and shaved head. He was in a lot of great movies. He was the star of The King and I, and he died of lung cancer. His lung cancer was caused by a lifetime of smoking, and they filmed this public service announcement shortly before his death. He knew he was dying, and basically in it he says, "Take it from me, it's not worth it. It's too late for me, but you still have time to change." Man that hit hard. In a sense, he was a voice from the grave with a very sobering warning. Well, there's another one that's even more sobering.
I hear a lot of people theorizing about what happens after we die. Some people say, "Well, I believe there's a heaven, but not a hell." Other people say, "Well, I think there might be a hell, but not a heaven." Somebody says, "I don't think there's a heaven or a hell." Somebody else says, "Well, in my opinion, I think we go around again and again and again and keep coming back." See, this is one thing you don't want to be wrong about. You don't want to be wrong about what happens when you die and what it takes to get ready for it. If you're wrong, you're eternally wrong.
See, everybody's guessing. How can we know? Well, how about a voice from the grave? Luke 16, our word for today from the Word of God, beginning at verse 23, Jesus is telling about a rich man who has gone to hell, and Lazarus, a poor man who has gone to heaven. And the rich man in hell is addressing Abraham. The Bible says, "In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to Him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things while Lazarus received bad? He is comforted while you are in agony, and besides all this between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross from over there to us.' He answered, 'I beg you, Father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them.'"
Here's a man who died with his sins unforgiven. He was not in a state of mind; he was not reincarnated. He was not in heaven. He was separated from God by a great gulf; alone and suffering without relief. And here, like Yul Brynner in that old commercial, he comes back from the grave to warn others of what he knows is there.
What I'm about to say is not my theory; it is from God's Word. Your decision about Jesus Christ is life or death. It is a heaven or hell choice. See, God never meant for anyone to be in hell. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. But we rebelled against God, and you can't enter heaven with sin. It's only if the penalty has been paid, and Jesus paid that penalty when He died on the cross. He took your hell so you could go to His heaven.
But now you have to take Jesus into your life to be forgiven. God doesn't send anyone to hell; we send ourselves by rejecting His provision in Jesus Christ. Do not procrastinate. There is eternity at stake. Right now you can tell Him, "Jesus, beginning this day, I am yours." A lot of people at this point, this crossroads moment, have gone to our website and found a lot of help there. I hope you'll go there. And whether you want to get the information by video there or in text, go to YoursForLife.net, and you'll see there how you can be sure you belong to Jesus Christ.
A man speaks to us from beyond death. He says, "It's too late for me, but you still have time to change." Listen to this man who died without Christ. He knows.