With God All Things are Possible

Jesus had a few encounters with rich people. In this example, He puts the rich man to the test to reveal where his priorities lie. Our priority should be with God and His will, not our own. Is it a sin to be rich? I don’t think that is what Jesus is saying. But what we do with them may be. Who or what do you put your trust in? It is hard to let go. It is hard to live for Christ. But with God, all things are possible. No matter what we have done, no matter who we think we are, we can be saved because of what Christ has done. God can use us to do great things. There is nothing God can’t do and there is nobody He can’t save.

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From the Heart

God always looks at the heart. Many people look at outward appearance and actions. While we show love to God by obeying Him, many put rules and commandments first. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders did this so much that they created their own rules and laws and added them to God’s Laws, putting more of a burden on the people and used it for their own gain. It became more about rules and regulations instead of the goodness of one’s heart. Many religions, churches, and even families today seem to make things more about traditions and following rules than about character, relationships, and love.

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Divisions and Hypocrisies

This parable talks to me about divisions in the church and in the country. It also talks about hypocrisy and the “unpardonable sin.” While Jesus was removing a demon from someone, the church leaders were quick to judge and criticize (as always) and did not discern the truth. By accrediting the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil, they committed the sin that Jesus said cannot be forgiven. Again, it just wasn’t the act, it was their evil hearts. In Jesus’ answer to the church leaders’ charge, He shows that a divided house cannot stand. I believe that is true in our church, in our families, and in our country. And if we are not careful, we are heading there fast.

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Lazarus and the Rich Man: Heaven and Hell

In this second part of our discussion about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, we get a small glimpse of heaven and hell. Keep in mind this is prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Also, keep in mind I am no expert, but this is just my take based on what I have read in the Bible.

Several words have been used in the Bible to describe where one goes when they die. A general term used is Hades or Sheol. In the story of Lazarus, Hades is a place of torment for the wicked and unrighteous. Abraham’s bosom is where the righteous go (before Jesus’ resurrection when He declares victory over death and Hades). Jesus also called this Paradise, as He did when talking to the thief on the cross). After the resurrection, people go to heaven or hell, those who believe go to heaven, those who do not go to hell. Gehenna is when final judgement (the Great White Throne Judgement) occurs, where the unrighteous will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (the second death). 

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Lazarus and the Rich Man: Doing What’s Right

Jesus told a story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Some think this was not just a parable but something that may have actually happened, because no other parable uses someone’s name. Whichever is the case, what Jesus was teaching is what is important. This is a story of a man who had much but did not use it to help others and only cared about His own desires. But when they died, he went to hell, a place of eternal torment, but Lazarus was righteous, and went to heaven. In Part 1 we will discuss doing what’s right and how to treat those in need. Part 2 we will talk about heaven and hell.

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