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The Life To Come (Luke 16:19-31)

Sermon on 17 October 2021 by Ps Gaius


Introduction



Through simple stories, God teaches us heavenly lessons. The word of God is alive, resonating with us at opportune times through our lives. Today we learn about choice. How we live our life right now will determine the life that is to come.


Message


Jesus shared a parable about a man wasting his possessions. His audience were his disciples and the Pharisees. Jesus was telling his disciples to be careful when dealing with the people of the world.


He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. – Luke 16:1


The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. – Luke 16:8


“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Luke 16:10-13


The resources that we have come from our Heavenly Father, who entrusts us to handle them well. We are to use our money, our wisdom well, to be faithful over the little things God told us to do. When we have wealth, worries start to creep in. We worry about losing our wealth. The more we have, the more distraction we have in our life. Though we still have a lot, we may start to miss the money that we gave away. Psalm 23:1 says the Lord is our shepherd, we shall not lack anything. We should not spend our efforts in building up our wealth on earth. In the end, we focus on money and not God.


Jesus talks about being faithful or faithless, as a choice towards wealth. God gives us according to our measure. He knows how much we can handle before it becomes a distraction. When we see someone who has more than me, we should not be envious, but rather give thanks to God for giving us what we can handle and continue being faithful.


The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. – Luke 16:14


The Pharisees saw Jesus only as a teacher. They loved money and wanted more. Therefore, they ridiculed Jesus. Look at our ourselves. Are we generous or greedy?


And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. – Luke 16:15


The Pharisees not only loved wealth, they also wanted to be admired. Examine ourselves. Are we humble or haughty? We are vessels of Christ. Blessings come from our Lord.


Jesus then talked about the rich man and Lazarus.


“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 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.’ 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. 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.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 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


Our time on earth is temporary. What matter is how full our lives were, how full of God’s grace. The rich man is separated eternally from God. The rich man thought that if someone rose from the dead, the living would believe. However, we know that Jesus Christ himself rose from the dead, yet people still did not repent.


In the life to come, there is either Heaven or Hell. When we repent, there is great joy in Heaven.


Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. – Luke 15:7


Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. – Luke 15:10


It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found. – Luke 15:32


Do you want to suffer now and receive comfort later? Or, do you want to be comfortable now, but suffer later? There is a choice (Luke 16:25).

Choose to suffer now, and receive comfort later. Because God will bring us through.


God is fair. We are able to inherit His blessings. Our human intellect may not see it this way, but God can see beyond our bias.


And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. – Luke 15:31


When Moses was about to pass on, he praised God’s fairness.


For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. – Deuteronomy 32:3-4


Do you want eternal communion with God or eternal separation from Him? (Luke 16:26)

Luke 15:31 tells us that the Father is always with us. In the presence of God, there is joy (Psalm 16:11). This joy is present even when we go through difficulties.


You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11


Moses wanted to be with God wherever God was. The presence of God was so full to Moses. He gives us rest. We can anchor on Jesus. He is our rock. In Him, we have joy and rest.


And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. – Exodus 33:14-15


Closing


In Heaven we find comfort and commune with God. However, in Hell, we suffer and we are eternally separated from Him. The life to come will be our future. How we live today determines our future. So let us be faithful, generous and humble. Let us invest well in the life to come.


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