Summary: There is only one belief which will be honored by God for eternal heaven; the belief in Jesus Christ alone!
The Mayan Calendar ends in 5 days; so some predict that the world as we know it will end this Friday! But besides the Mayan Calendar, there are many other interesting things about December 21, 2012 and possible disasters to happen before the end of this year! Anyone know what some are??
Winter Solstice – Astronomical Disasters (from an asteroid hitting the earth, to Sun changing polarity or super flares or burnouts causing who knows what, to a black hole swallowing the earth, to gamma ray bursts, and so on)
Albert Einstein said if the honey bees were suddenly gone mankind would not have much life left to live. Did you know that 90% of the wild honey bees in America are gone!
12-21-12 AB-BA-AB – How is Hebrew read? – backwards! = Father returns!
How many of you have heard of the Fiscal Cliff for America? Now, how many of us really understand what that Fiscal Cliff is??
Most of us really don’t worry about disasters until they happen; but we do buy insurance don’t we? Keep this in mind as Jesus tells us another story in Luke 16. Let’s open our Bibles there now. But before reading, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word…..
In our passage today, as Jesus describes heaven and hell, let us note that Jesus changed heaven and earth when he died; but we can still take note of truths about eternal life. Read along with me now Luke 16:19-17:3….
We see three characters in Jesus’ story; The Rich Man, Lazarus, and Abraham. What can we say about each one?
The Rich Man??
Look back to Luke 16:13….
Who do you think the Rich man’s master was? The Rich man was
- Mastered by money
- Ended up in “hell” when he died
- was sick and had nothing in the world
- Ended up with Abraham
First of all, who was Abraham? If we do a simple word study in Luke, we will note that Abraham is the - Father of the Hebrew faith.
Because Abraham is the Father of godly faith, Abraham is – in heaven
And we can note that Abraham - continued to speak truths!
And besides the 3 characters, we note the two places where people go when they die:
- Hades: torment, agony in fire
The other place is not named but the angels carried Lazarus to where? V22..
And so, the other place where dead people go is where Abraham is! God’s Word, the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament, notes heaven, where God is, as Abraham’s Bosom!
- Abraham’s side is Heaven! And what do we note where Lazarus ended up? V25 tells us that Lazarus is comforted. There is eternal comfort in heaven!
And what do we read in v26? - a great chasm has been set in place!
Once a person dies, they will either go to heaven or to hell forever! Hebrews 9:27 states, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” There are no changes where a person will end up for eternity once they die.
There is no place in between such as purgatory where you can earn your way to heaven. There is nothing in the Bible about a place called purgatory or praying for the dead. The choice for going to heaven or hell must be made while living on earth!
And how can people on earth make a choice? In v27-31, God through Abraham tells us how a person on earth can make a decision about going to heaven: While living on earth, people have to make a decision about heaven based on God’s Prophets, spokespersons for God’s truths!
And who is the greatest spokesperson of God’s truths?? Jesus Christ is truth! Security in going to heaven is based on belief in Jesus Christ now while still living on earth. God has given us for free an eternal life insurance policy through Jesus Christ! All we have to do is accept it and live with it; in other words, do people around you know you have this eternal life policy?
Now after talking about the prophets telling truths about how one gets to heaven, Jesus immediately in Luke 17 warns His Disciples not to cause anyone to stumble. We noted from Luke 16:16-18 that all truths lead to Jesus Christ; therefore, we are to live in truths. Jesus was affirming this truth by warning His disciples not to lead people to lies. Truths will set us free; lies from us will cause others to stumble in life and eternal life!
Let us close by noting a few major principles to apply for our lives today.
First of all, I’m sure this happens to you because it also happens to me; you go to church and you say to yourself, “Not again, I’ve heard this stuff before!” Let’s consider this: We read the First Commandment from God in Exodus 20 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”