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Sermon Notes: 10/9/22

Updated: Oct 12

Almost Doesn't Count

Pastor Albert Almore

A couple weeks ago we were blessed with a message from pastor C.L. King titled, "Lord, Help me to get ONE More!” Upon hearing that message, Proverbs 24:11 came to my mind. It reads,

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. Proverbs 24:11

If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? Proverbs 24:12

Lord, help us to reach just one more.

Let’s look at Proverbs 24:11 again more closely. It says,

Rescue those being LED AWAY…Proverbs 24:11

This is exactly what Satan does. Satan loves nothing more than to lead us away from the truth. Revelation 12:9 says...

“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, WHO LEADS THE WHOLE WORLD ASTRAY. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation‬ ‭12:9‬

One translation says,

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, WHO DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD…Revelation‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭

He deceives us by making us think that we have time. He deceives us by making us think that hell isn’t real. He deceives us by making us think that because we are successful, wealthy, popular, or in a place of power that we don’t need God or Jesus Christ.

This is exactly what happened to a man in the Bible by the name of King Agripa. After Paul spent 25 verses sharing his faith, King Agripa looks Paul in the eye and says one of the most heartbreaking scriptures of them all. King Agripa looks at Paul and says in Acts 26:28,

YOU ALMOST PERSUADE ME TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN.”” Acts‬ ‭26:28‬

The angles went silent. Creation dropped it’s head. The sun, moon, and the stars sighed a sigh of despair. Someone should’ve told King Agripa in that moment….ALMOST DOESN’T COUNT. That’s our sermon title for today….

ALMOST DOESN’T COUNT

The word almost is defined as:

ALMOST-NOT QUITE, VERY NEARLY.

This is exactly where the enemy wants you to be ON THAT DAY. Not quite, very nearly. This is exactly where the enemy wants you to be as it relates to spending an eternity with Jesus Christ. Not quite, very nearly.

📝 There isn’t an ALMOST SAVED section in Heaven.

Nor is there a parents pass to get you in. Children won’t be able to say my dad served you, or my mom always talked about you so I should be good too. Beloved, on that day, almost doesn’t count.

📝 You can be so close but ETERNALLY far away.

I can hear the enemy now in your mind, "You don’t believe this life after death hoopla do you? God loves everybody so what’s the big deal? Have fun. Live it up. Do you. You got time.”

The real conversation isn’t just about time. The real conversation is about eternity. This is why Solomon says in Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7:2‬,

“Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7:2‬

As your family and friends weep and mourn over your body, and as they say their final words to your casket or to your urn, the real question is where is your soul?

Last week we talked about Jesus’s second coming and a place called Heaven, but you can’t talk about heaven and just totally neglect hell, and the lake of fire.

Out of all people in the Bible, Jesus Christ, the Son of God spoke about Hell the most.

📝 Jesus spoke about hell the most, because Jesus LOVES US THE MOST.

Jesus spoke about hell the most, because Jesus LOVES US THE MOST and doesn’t want us to go there.

Jesus doesn’t want to eternally be away from you. Jesus prayed in John 17:24,

"Father, I want those you have given me TO BE WITH ME WHERE I AM, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24

Jesus spoke about hell the most, because Jesus LOVES US THE MOST and doesn’t want us to go there. In fact it was Jesus who said in Matthew 10:28,

"Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

In Hell…

Hell is a place where people will gnash their teeth in anguish and regret. Jesus says in Matthew 13:40,

““Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:40‬

‬‬ “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:41‬

‬‬ “And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:42‬ ‭

Hell is a place where the fire never goes out and it’s never quenched. Jesus says in Mark 9:43,

‬‬ “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭9:43‬

“And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭9:47-48‬

Hell is a place from which there is no return, even to warn your loved ones (Luke 16:19–31).

Hell is a place of ETERNAL TORMENT (Luke 16:23).

Did you know that two major physical properties that keep us mentally stable are light and solid ground? Hell has neither. Matthew‬ ‭25:30‬ ‭‬‬says,

“Now throw this useless servant into OUTER DARKNESS, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:30‬ ‭‬‬

Hell is a bottomless pit.

“Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭9:1‬

“And he opened THE BOTTOMLESS PIT, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace...Revelation‬ ‭9:2‬ ‭

To keep us whole we need emotionally stability that comes from rest & hope.

“The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and THEY WILL HAVE NO RELIEF day or night…

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭14:11‬ ‬‬

But even deeper than that, ‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭‬‬says,

“They will be punished with eternal destruction, FOREVER SEPARATED FROM THE LORD and from his glorious power.”

‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭‬‬

Hell is not the final destination. The lake of fire is.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14

In the Bible, Hell is NEVER talked about as a desirable place of joy or comfort. In the Bible, Hell is never talked about as a place where friends or family members will just party away with a grand ol time. Don’t be deceived.

Jesus tells a story in Luke 16 that many have accredited not as a parable or an illustration but rather a true eternal story. Luke 16:19 reads,

““There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores” Luke‬ ‭16:19-20‬ ‭‬‬

“and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.” Luke‬ ‭16:21‬

““The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.” Luke‬ ‭16:22‬

“In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.” Luke‬ ‭16:23‬

“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.’” Luke‬ ‭16:24‬

““But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.” Luke‬ ‭16:25‬ m‬‬

“And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:26‬ ‭

““He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’” Luke‬ ‭16:27-28‬ ‭‬‬

He didn’t say, "Hey send my brothers on down so we can live it up!” No! He said, "I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

““Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’” Luke‬ ‭16:29-30‬ ‬‬

““He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”” Luke‬ ‭16:31‬ ‭

God would go on to grant the rich man’s request. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. 2,000 plus years later, and many still don’t believe. They would say but I’m a good person! I keep to myself. I don’t bother nobody. I give every now and then. My aunt and uncles are believers. Beloved, I’m here to share the truth with you. Almost doesn’t count.

As it relates to Almost Doesn’t Count, here’s what you have to do…

📝 ALL THE WAY REPENT.

📝 ALL THE WAY BELIEVE.

📝 ALL THE WAY CONFESS.

📝 Make Him—ALL THE WAY LORD.

All the way repent…

“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I TAKE NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED, but rather that they TURN from their ways and live. TURN! TURN from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’”

‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭33:11‬

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and TURN from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

‭‭II Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭

‬‬ “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭3:19‬ ‭

‬‬ “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

‭‭I John‬ ‭1:9‬

All the way believe…

You have to all the way believe that He wasn’t just a good man. You have to all the way believe that he wasn’t just a prophet. You have to all the way believe that he wasn’t just another guy around town. Many struggled with this. Mark 6:3 says,

“Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:3‬ ‭

You have to believe all the way like Peter did in Matthew 16:16,

“Simon Peter answered and said, “YOU ARE THE CHRIST, the Son of the living God.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:16‬ ‭‬‬

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

‭‭John‬ ‭20:30-31‬ ‭‬‬

“He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭16:30‬ ‭

“They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.””

‭‭Acts‬ ‭16:31‬ ‭

All the way confess…

“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9‬

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭

“For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.””

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:11‬ ‭

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.””

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:12-13‬ ‭

make Him….

ALL THE WAY LORD.

You’re not just Lord over my life Sunday morning 10-11:15 AM. You’re not just Lord over my life when certain people are around. You’re not just Lord when I’m with my small group. You’re not just Lord over the areas of my life where I don’t mind. No! You’re Lord over the areas of my life where I DO MIND. You’re Lord over the areas of my life where I do struggle. You’re Lord over the areas of my life where I do want to give in, or get that last word in. You’re all the way Lord over my life!

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.””

The good news of the gospel cries out to us that we don’t have to settle at almost. We don’t have to settle at not quite. We don’t have to settle at very nearly. Jesus Christ made a way. Jesus Christ made a way for us to eternally be with Him. Jesus Christ made a way for us to eternally be with our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ made a way for us to eternally be with our loved ones who believed who’ve gone on before us.

📝 Jesus willingly made the GRAVE His destination so that it wouldn’t have to be our FINAL DESTINATION.

📝 Jesus went ALL THE WAY so that you could could go ALL THE WAY.

Jesus went ALL THE WAY so that you could could go ALL THE WAY.

Love went the distance from Heaven to earth. From earth to the manger. From the manger to Egypt. From Egypt to Nazareth. From Nazareth to Jerusalem. From Jerusalem to the whipping post. From the whipping post to the cross. From the cross to the grave. From the grave, BACK to life. From back to life, to back to heaven where He’s REseated at the right hand of Father God. Alive and well forever more!

Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, by grace and mercy alone, I can face judgment day. Because he lives I have a blessed assurance on that day I’ll hear well done, my good and faithful servant. Because He lives, I have a blessed assurance that I too will live forever in the presence of the most High God. Through Christ we have a blessed assurance that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Through Christ we have a blessed assurance in the words that Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:55,

““Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?””

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:55‬

‬‬ “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:56-57‬

I say to every modern day King Agripa, Almost doesn’t count. I say to every rich young ruler, almost doesn’t count. I say to every good person, who never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior almost doesn’t count. Jesus went all the way so that you could go all the way. You too can have this blessed assurance that I have. You just have to all the way repent. All the way believe. All the way confess. Make Him all the way Lord.

HAVE YOU GONE ALL THE WAY?

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