In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Some debate whether this is a parable or a story. Some scholars believe this is a story because Jesus doesn't use names in parables. Other scholars say that this is a parable because the imagery of dead people talking to each other doesn't fit the rest of the Bible. Which is it? I'm not sure.
But what I am sure of is Jesus' points: 1) Heaven and Hell are real. 2) There are no do-overs. All decisions are final.
Jesus' makes the latter point in Luke 16:27-31, "Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them, so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ 30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ 31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Jesus' words remind us that people get one shot at life, and their decision about Jesus cannot be reversed.
This motivates me to engage in everyday outreach. But always remember friend: you don't save anyone. God does the saving. We do the outreach.
Reflect: Read Luke 16:19-31. What does this passage teach us about God? What does this passage teach us about mankind?
Respond: How does this passage impact my view of the people around me? What will I do to reach the lost?
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