What Matters Most Is Eternity
Intro: We saw in our study last time where Jesus gave a teaching on Stewardship / on Preparing for our Future in Eternity by INVESTING in the KINGDOM OF GOD.
1) REPLENTISHES YOU FINANCIALLY -
D) JESUS FINISHES - IN V. 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
REACTION OF THE PHARISEES
When He finishes we are told in v. 14 the reaction of the Pharisees And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
A) deride = to turn up the nose/ It was a facial gesture
They began to CONTORT their faces / Squirm /
1) Picture this - all these Pharisees in unison - contorting / squirming
"I DON'T LIKE WHAT HE IS SAYING"
What about us - what is our REACTION TO this subject of Giving & Stewardship - DERIDE like the Pharisees - UNCOMFORTABLE
OR DELIGHT - Be like our Lord who was a giver -
B) Now The REASON for this REACTION was BECAUSE they loved
money/ THEY WERE COVETOUS
C) Now these guys who were supposed to be "serving God"
But in reality they were "serving Mammon"
D) The Pharisees were supposed to be the models of spiritual things
1) They were so fanatical about the Law and about their traditions
E) Yet they IGNORED the Law which said: Ex 20:17 Thou shalt not covet
And in living for "mammon" (the god of material possessions)
F) They were to be the MODEL of having God as the MASTER PASSION
of their lives
1) But they were being mastered by possessions
15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
were MILLIONARIES by the Standards in those days
C) Sound Familiar ? They were the First Prosperity Teachers
We can fool those around us - but we can't fool the Lord - Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the Heart
EPHESUS : 2 "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. OUTWARDLY LOOKED GOOD
YET THE REVELATION OF THE HEART REVEALED A PROBLEM
SARDIS "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive/ Their REPUTATION said one thing -
But JESUS KNEW OTHER WISE - but you are dead. "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
LAODECIA : 17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing';,
Their PERCEPTION was one of feeling they had it together / but JESUS saw what no one else did - including the Laodecians themselves
15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot/ LUKE WARM -You think you have so much but in REALITY YOU are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
JESUS KNOWS OUR HEARTS
A) The TRAGEDY for the Pharisees is that they were MORE concerned about what men thought of them than what God KNEW about them
The World Esteems Riches /Position / Highly - The Who's Who in the World are so often the ONES WITH THE BIG BUCKS
A) Baseball Players - 13 million or 14 million a season - They don't need
that - no diff. Between 13& 14 except one makes me the highest paid
Going to Destroy the World in One year
C) Clinton - Congress INTERESTING NEWS - God is REAL - And He is
going to destroy the World in 1 year
Jesus says that which the World esteems Highly that type of STANDARD is an ABOMINATION - to GOD !!!
A) The CARNAL man esteems position BUT God esteems CHARACTER
B) What would happen if God were to turn us INSIDE OUT - So that where
we are really at - would be seen - SCARY
C) CHRISTIAN that is what matters in ETERNITY - For 80 yrs or so
people place so much emphasis on the outside appearance
But these Pharisees didn't think that way - they were Justifying their COVETOUSNESS & their MATERIALISM as an outward sign of their SPIRITUALITY in keeping the LAW & TRADITIONS
16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
E) Although we don't seek to follow them in order to earn God's Love & Acceptance - But Because in Christ we have it already
So the PRINCIPLE REMAINS - & SO DOES THE PURPOSE
THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW - Paul explains in
al 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
A) God NEVER intended the Law to be a means to external righteousness
that would bring religious acclaim and position
B) The Law was intended to show us that we are spiritually bankrupt and
in need of mercy
D) The Law RIGHTFULLY used will expose your bankruptcy
1) It will lead you to the cross/ See the Perfect one - JESUS
E) The cross means an end to ALL self-righteousness
1) You can NOT see the Son of God crucified and think that there is anything righteous within you
F) BUT if you MISUSE the Law you can come out looking pretty clean
before man / Which is what the Pharisees did
Now this next verse almost appears to be out of Context -
v. 18 "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; & whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
GREAT RABBINACAL DEBATE / O.T. (except for Uncleanness)
F) Further - study - tapes on Marriage Series / 1 Cor. 7 recent study
Perfect sense the placement of this when seen in context of their Covetous hearts - Psuedo Spirituality / Catering to self
B) Divorce will BANKRUPT YOU - Emotionally / Financially / relationally
Well after talking about Stewardship / after dealing w/ the Pharisees who were into this Prosperity mentality /
A) To Illustrate His teaching about TRUE RICHES Jesus told a story
V.19-21 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
B) Purple = was the apparel of kings/ sumptuously = splendidly,
magnificently- We get our word LAMP from this word= fared radiantly
C) It would best be translated in today's language as FLAMBOUYANTLYHe lived a flamboyant lifestyle
1) He had the kings apparel, he had the kings cuisine and he was NOT
ashamed to flaunt it
The second man was quite different from the first man
20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
B) INTERESTING that LAZARUS IS NAMED & the Rich man is NOT
(Perhaps saw him but didn't know who he was)
C) OPPOSITE TRUE w/ Jesus/ JESUS names Lazarus - but not the rich man
D) LISTEN Many who are the Who's who in the World will be the Who's
He in the Kingdom
Now Jesus Paints a Picture of Great Contrast Between Lazarus & the Rich man -
A) One man flambouyant in his LUXURY and the other pathetic in his poverty
C.S. Lewis wrote in one of his writings of walking through a cemetery & noticing a particular grave marker that READ
Lewis says that he wanted to add / OH HOW HE WISHES THAT WERE SO
B) Heb. 9:27 it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
C) Though we may be separated by MILES in this life - all of us will one
day face DEATH
D) But we don't just die we TRANSFER into an ETERNAL EXISTENCE
So both of these men die & end up in HADES - (Explain in a Minute v.23-26 23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 "Then 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.'
25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'
The Old Testament word for hell was SHEOL (Hebrew) / In the Greek it is the word Hades / It would be translated as GRAVE or as HELL
A) Note a few things here
1st NOTE: According to this story, PRIOR to the death of Jesus Christ, HADES or SHEOL, was divided into TWO compartments
A) This man was in one compartment while Lazarus was in another
B) Lazarus, Verse 22 was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom
The rich man Verse 23 was in torment and saw Lazarus afar off
C) 2nd NOTE: Just As there were VAST CONTRASTS in their lives, there
were VAST CONTRASTS in their after-lives
1) The rich man was in torment.... The beggar was being comforted
3rd NOTE: The FACULTIES that this man still possessed
A) He had the faculty of sight: Verse 23 He lifted up his eyes
B) He had the faculty of speech: Verse 24 He cried out
C) He had the ability to recognize Lazarus: Verse 23 Saw Abraham afar
off, and Lazarus
D) He had the capacity to experience pain: Verse 24 I am tormented in
E) He had the capacity to experience thirst: Verse 24 that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue
F) He had the capacity to remember his lifetime on earth: V.25 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things;
G) He could also remember his brothers, who unless they changed their
lifestyles, they would end up in torment with him
1) He had concern for their destiny
Now this is INTERESTING TO ME Because These are faculties that we normally associate with our bodies
A) Yet though this mans body was lying in a tomb somewhere outside
of Jerusalem's walls
B) He could SEE..... He could SPEAK.... He could HURT..... He could THIRST... He could REMEMBER...... He could WORRY
C) 4th NOTE: The REAL you is spirit
E) For Lazarus, the end of his life on earth meant the beginning of comfort1) BUT - For the rich man, it was the beginning of an eternity of sorrow and pain
The STORY (not parable) teaches us that prior to the death of Christ that Hades was divided into TWO compartments and that between those compartments there was a gulf that was fixed
Now those who were believers in God who lived for God & sought to follow His ways - went to Abe's Bosom (Righteous Dead)
Abe's Bosom does not exist today - closed - but the Hell side of Hades still does Exist
A) That is where those who do not believe go in death - place of torment / where they have the capacity to
B) To SEE..... to SPEAK.... to feel PAIN HURT..... Experience THIRST... to REMEMBER...... And to WORRY
D) Time when those who are in Hades - will be delivered up - those who's
names are not Written in the Lambs book of Life - will be judged
Hear Screams / & weeping & Gnashing of Teeth / HORRIBLE
v.27-31 27 "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,
28 'for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'
29 "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 "And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
Note there was nothing that this Rich man could do to Change his condition - This story KILLS THE CONCEPT OF PURGATORY
ANOTHER NOTE : Abe says they will not be Persuaded though one rise from the Dead !!!
WHERE ARE YOU AT TODAY ? READY TO FACE DEATH
GOD KNOWS YOUR HEART !!!!!!
LOVING GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?