The disciples came to Jesus after He had sent them
out to minister. They were so excited, they were jumping
up and down. “O, Jesus, isn’t it wonderful? Demons are
subject to us through Your name. We’ve been casting out
devils and you know what, they listen to us.”
Jesus said, in effect, “So what. I beheld Satan as
lightening fall from heaven. He’s defeated. Don’t rejoice
over the fact that demons are subject to you, but rejoice
over the fact that your name is written sown in the Lamb’s
Book of Life.” (See Luke 10:17-20).
My name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of
Life! My name may not be down in Who’s Who in the
Zoo. My name may not be down on this roll and that roll
and the bank roll. But my name is written down “when the
roll is called up yonder.” And I’m going to be there!
I’m part of the family of God. I’ve been bought
with a price. I’ve been brought out of darkness into light.
I’m an ambassador from the kingdom of heaven. I have my
passport made out. My visa’s stamped in the blood of
Jesus. I have first-class air tickets. I’m sitting on Rapture
Airlines. The flight attendant is serving me living water,
and new wine, and heaven’s bread. That’s something to get
We don’t serve a dead God. We don’t serve a God
who’s deaf. We don’t serve a God who’s blind. We don’t
serve a God who has no power. Our God is still God. He’s
the same God of Moses and Elijah and Daniel. And He’s
alive in 1992. He wants to manifest Himself in 1992.
Too much importance has been placed on what
church you belong to. “Well, I’m of Paul and I’m of
Apollos,” we say. “We have a 5,000-seat church and a
thousand-voice choir. And you should see our deacons.
They can deke like no other dekes. Our elders can eld like
no other. Our church board is one of the boardest boards in
the city. We’ve got an orchestra. And have you heard our
pipe organ?” Well, who cares?
It doesn’t matter what church you belong to. It
matters what family you belong to. You are in either one
of two families. You’re either in the family of the devil or
you’re in the family of God.
To be born again is not confirmation. “I’ve been
through confirmation, Brother Rodney.” Well, wonderful.
Have you been born again? Jesus never said, “Ye must be
confirmed.” Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”
“Well, Brother Rodney, I’ve been to catechism.”
You can’t “ism” it any other way. Have you been born
“Well, Brother Rodney, we joined the church. We
filled in a membership.” Jesus never said, “Ye must fill in
a church membership. Ye must put thy name on the roll.”
He said, “Ye must be born again.”
“Well, Brother Rodney, we’ve been baptized in
water.” You can live under water till you get webbed feet.
But I’m telling you right now Jesus didn’t say, “Go under
water.” He said, “Ye must be born again.”
“Well, Brother Rodney, we had some water
sprinkled on our head.” You can have water sprinkled on
your head until you grow like a plant. He didn’t say, “Ye
must get water sprinkled on your head.” He said, “Ye must
be born again.”
“Well, Brother Rodney, we take communion.
Every week we have the Holy Sacrament.” You can
swallow grape juice or wine and wafers three times a day.
He didn’t say, “Ye must take communion.” He said, “Ye
must be born again.”
“Well, Brother Rodney, we observe religious duties.
We go to church regularly every Sunday morning and
Sunday night. We’re on every church committee.” He
didn’t say, “Ye must observe religious duties.” He said,
“Ye must be born again.”
You see, some people’s idea of the new birth is
adhering to what their father did and what their grandfather
did. But God has no grandchildren. Each one of us must
be born again for ourselves.
Many people have only an intellectual conception
of the Lord Jesus Christ. “I believe in Jesus,” they will say.
But is He your Lord and Savior? “Well, I believe in Him.”
Have you been born again? “Well, I believe Jesus, you
know. I believe in God.” The devil believes in Jesus. The
devil believes in God.
Even some of the worst sinners believe in God and
the Bible. When they get into a crisis situation, you’d be
amazed at what comes out of their mouth – the Bible.
They’ll quote anything they can think of. They get in a
motor car with a friend and he’s doing 120 miles an hour,
they start quoting scripture. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I
shall not want.” But that won’t save them. Jesus said, “Ye
must be born again.”
“Well, Brother Rodney, I’m a moral person,” some
will say, “If God is God how can all the good people in the
world, go to hell?” Because Jesus said, “Ye must be born
“But look at Brother Joe Blow. He was a good
man. He didn’t rob from anybody. He wouldn’t even hurt
a flea. Do you know that if he found a bug in his house,
he’d go and pick it up and nicely put it out. What a moral
man. What a man of high standing in the community.
Fifty years of marriage to the same woman. His children –
one is a doctor, the other one’s a lawyer. They were all
well respected. Do you mean to say he’s going to hell?
Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”
You can’t be born again until you realize your need
to be born again. And you can’t realize your need to be
born again until you come face to face with the Lord Jesus.
The Bible says there is a way that seems right to man but
the end thereof is death (Proverbs 14:12). We have plenty
of cultured, refined, moral people, but unless they are born
again, they’re going to split hell wide open.
There is a Heaven to Gain and a Hell to Shun
There was a certain rich man,
which was clothed in purple and fine
linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
And there was a certain beggar
named Lazarus, which was laid at his
gate, full of sores,
And desiring to be fed with the
crumbs which fell from the rich man’s
table: more-over the dogs came and
licked his sores.
And it came to pass, that the
beggar died, and was carried by the
angles into Abraham’s bosom: the rich
man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes,
being in torments, and seeth Abraham
afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father
Abraham, have mercy on me, and send
Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his
finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I
am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember
that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy
good things, and likewise Lazarus evil
things: but now he is comforted and thou
And beside all this, between us and
you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they
which would pass from hence to you
cannot; neither can they pass to us, that
would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee
therefore, father, that thou wouldst send
him to my father’s house:
For I have five brethren; that he
may testify unto them, lest they also come
into this place of torment.
Abraham saith unto him, They
have Moses and the prophets; let them
And he said, Nay, father
Abraham: but if one went unto them
from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear
not Moses and the prophets, neither will
they be persuaded, though one rose from
This was not a parable. Jesus said, “There was a
rich man.” This actually happened. The rich man, who had
never begged in his whole life, died and he went down to
hell. Lazarus was the beggar who had nothing. All he
could do was eat the scraps from the rich man’s table. He
died and was carried into Abraham’s bosom.
The rich man was in torment. This tells me that hell
is a place of torment and that heaven is a place of rest and
peace. The earth is the only hell that the child of God will
ever know; the earth is the only heaven the sinner will ever
The Bible says it’s appointed unto man (…once to
die, but after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). There are
people who are committing suicide and they’re thinking
that they’re going to end their life and go into blessing and
peace. They go from the frying pad into the fire. They go
straight into hell, a place of eternal damnation and eternal
Did you know they’re trying to pass laws in the
state of California where it’s illegal for a preacher to preach
on hell because he’s causing duress on people’s emotional
state? They’re trying to pass laws in this country where it’s
illegal to preach the gospel and bring people to a place of
If they ever pass that law, they’re going to have to
lock the door and throw away the key on me, because I am
not going to quit preaching the truth of the Gospel of the
Lord Jesus Christ. I’m going to tell people there’s a heaven
to gain and a hell to shun. Hell wasn’t made for man. Hell
wasn’t made fro God’s people. Hell was made for the devil
and his angels.
Those who are in hell right now – given the
opportunity – would want to come out because of the
torment. But if you told the, “When you come out, you just
accept Jesus,” they would turn Jesus down. That’s why
they must go to a lost eternity. It’s not because God wants
to keep them there, but because they do not want to accept
Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The rich man said, “If you would send someone out
to talk to my five brothers, they would believe.” Abraham
said, “They have Moses and the prophets. They didn’t
believe them, why are they going to believe someone back
from the dead?”
The rich man never begged in this life. Lazarus
begged in this life. But the rich man became a beggar in
the life to come. I’d rather be a beggar in this life and not
beg in the life to come, than be someone who does not beg
in this life but must beg in eternal life. He was begging for
a drop of water to cool his tongue. He was begging that
Abraham would send somebody to go and speak to his
brothers. But even someone from the dead would not
convince some people of their need to be born again.
My schoolmates used to mock me and say, “You’ve
wasted your whole life serving God. You don’t run to the
parties, you don’t get drunk like us.”
I said, “First of all, I don’t want to do that because I
love Jesus and I’m having great fun anyway. But let’s say,
just for argument’s sake, that there is no God. Let’s say
there is no eternity. When I die and you die, we’ve lost
“But what if there is a God and there is a heaven
and a hell? When I die, I’m going straight to be with the
Lord. What will you do when you stand before the
Almighty God? What will you say the? God will take you
back to this day when you and I were talking face to face
and you told me it’s a bunch of hogwash. You’ll spend the
rest of eternity in hell realizing the opportunities you’ve
Hell is a place of torment. The people there are
going to see the missed opportunities they had to accept
I shudder to think of people who have come to our
meetings and stormed out because they didn’t want to
accept Jesus as Savior. In hell they will remember and say,
“O God, if only, if only, if only.” The reason they have to
go there is not because God wants to punish people but
because they do not want to accept Jesus Christ as their
Lord and Savior.
There’s only one way to God. The new birth is
through one door and that’s Jesus Christ. The new birth is
not through Mohammed. The new birth is not through
Buddha. The new birth is not through Confucius.
The difference between Jesus Christ and Buddha
and Mohammed and Confucius is you can go to Buddha’s
grave today and it’s full. You can go to Mohammed’s
grave today and it’s full. You can go to Confucius’ grave
today – it’s also full.
But the grave of the Lord Jesus Christ is empty! He
is risen. The stone is rolled away. That’s what makes
Christianity different from every other cult and every other
religion. Jesus Christ is alive. He is risen! If He hadn’t
risen, Christianity would be like every other cult. But He
rose from the dead.
Jesus rose and He’s coming back again. When He
left the earth, the angels said the same Jesus you’re seeing
go now is coming back (Acts 1:11).
If You Were Arrested for Being a Christian
The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature: old things are passed away” (Second
Corinthians 5:17). But if you look at some Christians,
there’s no telling that they’ve passed from death unto life.
I heard one preacher ask, “If you were arrested for
being a Christian, would there be enough evidence against
your life to convict you?” Some Christians would get off
on probation. Others would get life sentences without the
chance of parole.