Topic: AM Sermon Passage: Luke 16:19–16:31
Jared Wilson: “Some preachers won’t preach hell — not because they don’t believe in it, but because they find it impolite and untoward. It is the disagreeable part about God, the part to obscure. And in obscuring the bad news it is no wonder so many churches in the West have forgotten the good. It makes less sense. Man’s chief problem, they assume, is lack of success, scarcity of happiness; therefore, our message ought to be 7 Steps to a Victorious Whatever. And thus we offer shiny new laws that only increase the trespass (Romans 5:20). But Jesus was not skittish about preaching hell. He knew the stakes couldn’t be higher. “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you,” he tells the healed paralytic (John 5:14). Because he knows there are worse things than being paralyzed. He knows there are worse things than dying.”
- The Context
- The Characters
- A Rich Man (v. 19)
- Lazarus (v. 20-21)
- The Conditions (v. 22)
- Death is the common end to which we all will come.
JC Ryle: “Death is a great fact that all acknowledge, but very few seem to realize. Most men eat, and drink, and talk, and plan, as if they were going to live upon earth forever. The true Christian must be on his guard against this spirit. "He that would live well," said a great divine, "should often think of his last day, and make it his company-keeper." Against murmuring, and discontent, and envy, in the state of poverty--against pride, and self-sufficiency, and arrogance, in the possession of wealth, there are few better antidotes than the remembrance of death. "The beggar died," and his bodily wants were at an end. "The rich man died," and his feasting was stopped for evermore.”
- It is frighteningly easy to go to hell.
C.S. Lewis: “Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others . . . but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God 'sending us' to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE Hell unless it is nipped in the bud.”
- A person’s condition in this life is no certain sign of where they stand with God.
Ryle: “Let us never give way to the common idea that men are to be valued according to their income, and that the man who has most money is the one who ought to be the most highly esteemed. There is no authority for this notion in the Bible. The general teaching of Scripture is flatly opposed to it. "Not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called." (1 Cor. 1:26.) "Let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glories glory in this, that he knows and understands me." (Jer. 9:24.) Wealth is no mark of God's favor. Poverty is no mark of God's displeasure. Those whom God justifies and glorifies are seldom the rich of this world. It we would measure men as God measures them, we must value them according to their grace.”
- Assess properly both the pleasures and the pains that come to us in this life.
- The souls of believers are especially cared for by God in the hour of death.
Ryle: “There is something very comforting in this expression. We know little or nothing of the state and feelings of the dead. When our own last hour comes, and we lie down to die, we shall be like those who journey into an unknown country. But it may satisfy us to know that all who fall asleep in Jesus are in good keeping.”