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04-16-11 Luke 16&17

April 17, 2011

How can a loving God send people to hell? I’m sure you’ve heard the question but is it a question that’s actually designed just to let people off the hook?

John 3:16-21 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

We are not to reject the Biblical teaching of the reality of hell and eternal punishment (like rob bell or mormons are doing) and accountability for sins. It is offensive to Christ to take this out of the Gospel message. Hell is real and God doesn’t send you there but rather you chose hell by denying the name of God.

Luke 16:19-21 NIV

“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.

Wow. That’s like the epitemy of need. He is in sorrow.

Luke 16:22-23 NIV

“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.

We find that there is torment in Hades… This is not hell. Hell is a place of eternal seperation and fire. Hades appears to be the place where Old Testament believers and non-believers alike would go until the day of judgement. It is the non-permanent place or temporary address of the disembodied souls of dead. It is not the grave or sepulcher, nor is it the eternal location of the souls of the dead. Abraham’s bosom here is representative of the “going to heaven” side of this holding area and is separated by a great gap from the “going to hell” side of the holding area.

Hebrews 11:39 NIV

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,

These were students of Scripture that looked forward to the cross. For them they would stand by Abraham until Jesus came to preach and bring them home.

Matthew 12:40 NIV

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

what did he do there?

1 Peter 3:19-20 NIV

After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

Ephesians 4:9-10 NIV

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

This clarifies the system of the past but on this side of the cross we are told to be absent from the body is to be with Christ for those who believe.

Luke 16:23-24 NIV

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.’

The rich man didn’t have faith in God but rather in his own money.

Luke 16:25 NIV

“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.

Not to be misinterpreted as “being poor and having bad happen to you sends you to heaven”.. that’s not Biblical. Their destinations were based on their faith, not money or lack of.

Luke 16:26 NIV

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.’

This is a very clear indication of the rule. You cannot be prayed from one side to the other after death. There is no after death second chances. Mormans are wrong. Rob Bell is wrong. This isn’t some game . People are going to Hell all the time and they won’t be prayed into heaven or later baptized in a sort of holdover headquarters. They will be tormented.

Luke 16:27-28 NIV

“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.’

How many people lost would beg the same? All of em. But they and we are all given the opportunity to learn from the truth that is available to us while we live in the body.

Luke 16:29-31 NIV

“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.'”

Of course people would believe if we brought them a shining proof, but salvation is by faith-not physical proof alone (though a great deal does exist).

This is very real. Hell is real. Heaven is real. God is real. we should be moved to tears over those who don’t know Christ as their Savior. Don’t hold back Christian. Tell them.

Luke 17:1 NIV

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.

So here Jesus is making it all too clear that yes stumbling will occur. But how bad;horrible it is to be the one by which which the stumble comes.

Luke 17:2 NIV

It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

He is talking both about actual children as well as the children of God=us.

Luke 17:3-4 NIV

So watch yourselves.

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

If you go to a unbeliever and tell them to repent for their sin against You, then you are barking up the wrong tree. Because that person needs to get saved first. But what is being said here is amongst brothersisters and in love.

Ephesians 4:15, 17 NIV

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

Again be sure its done in love and also be sure it is a sin against you.

Galations 5 talks about how this confrontation should take place. In Proverbs we are told that the words of a friend are faithful. This is because we love eachother too much to leave eachother as we are. Our character needs growth. Proverbs also says that as iron suspension iron painfulare the words of a friend. But this is needed. Confrontation in friendships and in marriage will occur but it may be used to help you grow and if done in love that will be the result. Just as Christ loves us too much to leave us the same; we love eachother too much to allow that price of broccoli in your teeth.

Luke 17:5-6 NIV

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

The disciples response of needing more faith is almost comical. You see that’s how hard it can b to forgive. LOL. But they are gently rebuked as Jesus advises them this can be done with even the smallest faith. If You are saved, you already have this faith needed to forgive just as you were forgive.

Luke 17:7-10 NIV

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”

Does your job thank you for doing what is expected of you? No-of course not. Its your job. Well serving is our job. We are to be forgiving and not be impressed with ourselves by what God has done in us. God does want to use us but don’t get it wrong, He’s not dependant on us.

What should my response be to the reality of hell? Its not a Fairy tale. Don’t be in the wrong place: that place of unbelief when your time comes to meet God. And for those of us who believe, I know we get busy but that’s not a reason to loose site or forget about those that don’t know the truth and its no excuse to fail in showing love. Paul says he is not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of Christ in us.

How do I respond when someone sins against me? Tell them in love. They may not even be aware that they did so. Make sure its sin and not just personal preference.

How do I view myself? Am I super Christian? Or wretchedman? Don’t fall into the trap of pride. Just do what the Lord asked u to do.

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