Wednesday, January 31, 2018

February 1, 2018

"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side." Luke 16:22-23

Not to be morbid but the truth is this will someday be said of you and me, "the time came when ________ died.

"The rich man also died."

After they died they each went somewhere.

Again, that fits with what I have been saying each Sunday of this series, "The vast majority of your life and my life will be lived after we die!"

Just as their life on earth were dramatically different so was their eternal life. Lazarus (whose name means "the one whom God helps") was carried to Abraham's bosom while the rich man went to Hades.

As you might imagine, once this rich man awoke in the torment of Hades (Hell) he was immediately repentant. Unfortunately he was several seconds to late. 

What a sobering thought! How tragic that this man ended up in a horrible hell because he never got around to caring for his soul!

Hell is real!

Hell is eternal and there is not escape.

Hell is a place of eternal torment. Matthew 25:41 says it is a place of "eternal fire". Matthew 25:46 says it is a place of eternal punishment.

Hell is more terrible than we might imagine! There is fire - Matthew 25:41. There is darkness - Matthew 8:12; 22:13. How can it be dark if there is fire? This may refer to the spiritual darkness of being separated from God and condemned to the same place as Satan and all hi demons. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Wow! because Hell is so terrible and the specter of Hell looms threateningly before us it is easy to try and push it aside. To not think about it. To procrastinate in our preparation.

But because it is real and it is avoidable what if we live life from eternity backward? What if we settle the issue of our eternal destination now? If we settle our eternal destination now would it not free us up to live without fear of death and the judgment?

If we can do that and Lazarus proves that we can, why wouldn't we? Why would we waste even one more hour or one more day?

You may be thinking, "Brad, you are just trying to frighten me into making a spiritual decision."

Well, I most certainly like to see you care for your soul and prepare it for eternity! But actually, I am trying to free you from fear by having you settle your eternity!

January 31, 2018

procrastinator is a person who delays or puts things off — like work, chores, or other actions — that should be done in a timely manner. A procrastinator is likely to leave all the Christmas shopping until December 24th.

I hope that doesn't apply to you. I have a friend who may have some of those tendencies.

In case you are wondering, you may be a procrastinator if:

If you have ever procrastinated or if you know someone who has, notice how you don't procrastinate on easy or pleasant things. You only procrastinate with hard, challenging, unpleasant or difficult tasks.

I'll bet you've never said, "I'll wait and have this thick chocolate milk shake tomorrow!"

You probably have said, "I'll pull all my income tax stuff together this weekend."

We can agree (tomorrow) that procrastination is never good but sometimes it is more damaging than others.

Jesus told a story about a time when it was fatal:

“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 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 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.’ “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. 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.’ “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.’ “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.’ “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 16:19-31

This parable is not an indictment of riches but a cautionary tale about the dangers of becoming preoccupied by them. Having wealth requires managing wealth. Caring for your finances can distract you from caring for your soul which can cost true and eternal riches.

We know this rich man was so caught up in his lavish lifestyle that he never noticed the suffering starving man on his doorstep.

Like many who end up in hell it wasn't an intentional choice but rather neglect or procrastination. He intended to go to church but never got around to it. He had nothing against helping the needy he just never noticed Lazarus outside his front door.

Maybe this is the year to stop procrastinating about dealing with your procrastination. Why not begin today? Why not begin with caring for your soul?