Summary: A sermon using the recent craze with the number 7-7-7, and the massive heat wave which is currently gripping much of the country. If you are looking for a timely sermon... this is it! The 3-points for this sermon were borrowed from sermon discovered on a
My sisters and brothers, there are two phenomena, or two significant headlines that have captured the attention of people across the country recently and I’d like to use them phenomena as a foundation for today’s sermon.
The first phenomena that made headlines was the date: July 7th, 2007. Across the country there was a fixation on the number 7-7-7. In numerical terms, that’s about as big as it gets for the gamblers and the superstitious.
I heard on the news that the many state lotteries had to cut-off triple 7’s after so many people played it.
Not only was the lottery deluged with people playing triple 7’s, but casinos across the country were packed with people hoping to hit the big 7-7-7 jackpot. Many a dollar quarter, dime, nickle, and penny were put into slot machines, or plunked down on tables by folk hoping to become rich overnight.
Thousands of couples got married on July 7, 2007 hoping that being wed on that day would mean good luck and happiness for the rest of their lives together.
Some pregnant mothers even scheduled their C-section deliveries on 07/07/07, just so their new bundle of joy would have a so-called ‘lucky’ birthday.
And so... there was been a fixation, this weekend, with the phenomena associated with the number 7-7-7.
The other phenomena that is still grabbing our attention is the record heat wave that’s being experienced in many places across the country. Dozens of new, all-time high temperature records are being set and weather experts are saying that the month of July could be the hottest in more than a 2-centuries. Many are searching for a place to keep cool; a place to get away from the agony of the heat.
And so, considering those two phenomena: 777 and the heat wave, I want us to look today at a text that is recorded in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 16. I want to read several verses, beginning at verse 19: I’ll be reading it from the New International Version of the Bible because that version suits my subject.
19 There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 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.’ 25 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. 26 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 over from there to us.’ 27 He answered, ’Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ’They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 ’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ’but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 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.’
And so using these 13 NIV verses, and given all of the hoopla over 7’s and the heat wave, I want to preach from the subject: “77 Words From A Hot Place”
My sisters and brothers... this story in Luke is one, I’m sure, many of us were either taught in Sunday School, or have heard some preacher preach about it. It’s a story about a rich man, named Diabees, and a beggar named Lazarus.
It tells how the rich man lived his life focused on those things of the world that his money could afford, and had no time or focus on God. According to Jesus, who is the one telling this story as a parable, this man lived in splendor. We would say that this man lived in the lap of luxury, or as the old folk used to say, “He was living high on the hog!” And even though desperation lived just outside his gate, he was too self-centered to even be aware of it.