Updated: Oct 28, 2022
He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
Jesus' Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31
*Moses and the Prophets means the Scriptures.
Dear Heavenly Father,
By Your grace, You saved me from my sins and Your eternal wrath to come. The relief is just overwhelming at times; to know that I don’t have to suffer for eternity because Jesus paid it all for me on the cross. Not only did You save me from hell, but You gifted me with the tremendous gift of eternal life, by grace through faith in Jesus. You had mercy on me and saved me from what I deserved. And by Your grace, You gifted me what I never deserved. For all eternity I will praise You, Jesus!
The reality of hell and eternal damnation are terrifying, and rightly so. This is certainly not a bad thing to be afraid of the reality of hell. Knowing the terror of the Lord is important for sinners to come to Christ and be saved and for the saints to carry the message of the gospel faithfully to those who need Jesus. For when we are secure in Jesus, we have nothing to fear, past, present, or future!
Lord, I thank You for revealing to me in Your Word the way to escape judgment and eternal damnation and find eternal life in You. Scripture is more precious than all the riches in the world. Scripture is the wisdom that leads to salvation. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, Scripture all points to salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. All Scripture is God’s revelation to mankind. That means, it reveals. And what God reveals, He wants us to know and hold fast to. The Bible is God speaking to us. Scripture is God communicating to us who He is and how to find eternal life in Him. From Genesis to Revelation, the entire Bible is one unfolding story of God’s love, mercy, and saving grace towards sinners through Jesus Christ.
Like Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man did not go to hell because he was rich and didn’t share his wealth. Nor did Lazarus go to heaven because he was poor. We don’t go to hell because we are rich. Nor do we earn heaven by suffering and being deprived in this life. We don’t earn heaven by our race or ethnicity, nor do we earn heaven because we have sinned less than others or because we are less selfish than others. We don’t earn heaven because we are religious, get baptized, take communion, or go to church on Sundays. Eternal life is not a matter of being religious or even having a very refined theology. Eternal life is a gift by God’s divine grace, not by human achievement, earthly status, or by our own works. There is no earning our way to salvation.
Heaven will only be our eternal experience because we have believed the Scriptures, which is the wisdom that points us all to Jesus. We are saved by grace alone and granted eternal life when we repent with a contrite heart and put our faith in a gracious, merciful, and loving God who has provided the perfect sacrifice for our sins for those who turn to Him. By opening the Scriptures, we come to a genuine understanding of the biblical definitions of faith in Jesus, God's grace, and true love, defined by God Himself. These are terms we certainly do not want to get wrong in this short life, and that's why we must never trust in our own minds, feelings, or personal definitions of these critical terms. Theology matters!!! We must never trust in our own ideas and personal standards about what faith in Jesus means to us or who we personally believe God to be. But we must open the Scriptures and trust in God's written Word and who He says He is and how we are to escape judgment and find eternal life in Him through His own Words. God gave us His Word not so we would set it on a shelf somewhere and go about our life but that we would open it, read it, believe Him, and praise Him for showing us the way!
Lord, I pray that we turn away from our sins and turn to Jesus and receive the glorious gift of eternal life that You so mercifully offer. Lord, I pray that we all take You at Your Word. May we believe You in who You say You are through Your Word, not who we feel or think You are based on our own finite minds and emotions, human logic or reasoning, or personal preferences. Help us trust in You with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
We all get one chance at eternal life. Now is our chance in this short and fleeting life. We are living on borrowed time. This is the favorable “year” of the Lord, meaning the day of salvation is today. That’s because tomorrow is never promised.
For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).
The most universal gift of God’s common grace is time: time to repent, time to believe, time to be saved. God is loving, merciful, patient and long-suffering, and we are living in the time right now of His patience, mercy, and grace. This life is short and eternity is forever, so it is only logical to live this short life in the light of eternity.
Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6).
The gospel is urgent because life is short, the world is deceptive, sin is damning, death is certain, hell is a reality, eternity is forever, salvation is available, and there is only one way, and that way is through Jesus Christ; Lord to all regardless of personal preferences and Savior to all who put their trust in Him.
Lord, help me share the gospel boldly in love, understanding the world will mock me and hate me for it. Help me to not care what people think of me. Help me to only care what You think of me. May I glorify You by loving people enough to tell them the truth and point them to the Scriptures. May You help me to always put other people's souls above my own worldly reputation and personal comfort for the sake of the truth. Although the truth is highly offensive because it talks about sin, judgment, and hell, the truth is the most loving thing there is.
Help me to always share the truth in love, gentleness, and patience, pointing everyone to Jesus by pointing everyone to the Scriptures - the wisdom that leads to salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
All glory belongs to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, I pray amen.
Check out my recent blog that goes with this prayer - "Believe the Scriptures"
PS, I am well aware of how long my blogs are! I am working on trying not to write so much, but let me tell you...I struggle with that. There's just so much I am compelled to say, especially when it comes to the definition of true saving faith in Jesus, which is often a big detour in most of my blogs. But I'm working on it because I know my blogs are just too long for one sitting, and it's important that the truth I'm sharing is received with peace and joy..and not where you get bored or overwhelmed with how much more there is to go that you just drop off. Nobody got time for 14-minute blogs! Also, I get we are in the era of Tik Tok, an era of instant gratification. In 2022, our attention spans have officially dropped to an average of 8 seconds - becoming less than a goldfish, who beats us at 9 seconds. So yeah, I am working on shortening my blogs. :)
I love you guys! Love, Jenna
I tell you No! Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13
Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Salvation is found in no one else, and there is no name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12