It seems that society has not only lost sight of sin in our every day lives, but also the fact there will be consequences for our actions when we pass from life to death. Many believe that the philosophy of Christianity is to scare us into believing in Jesus, which is far from the truth. Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament – the long awaited Savior and Prince of Peace. He loves us and wants the best for s.
In this Chapter of Luke, Jesus talks about the reality of sin, hell and salvation. The first parable deals with a dishonest manager who connives to save his job. Jesus tells us that,
“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 16:13
The Pharisees, who have been keeping a close eye on Jesus, began to ridicule Him. Jesus rebuked them because they truly were of the wealthy class of society. They loved money and were making a lot of it through their false teachings. Still the Pharisees pressed on. They were determined to find something to hold against Jesus. In their eyes, Jesus was the false teacher and must be done away with.
Jesus continued to chastise them by saying that God knew what was in the heart and they would be judged accordingly. He also stated that He had come to fulfill the law, but that the law still remains. We are still responsible to God, even though the ultimate price has been paid.
The last section of this chapter is the story of the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus. This vivid analogy was one that stuck tightly to my mind as a child. It gave such a clear picture of what heaven and hell would be like. Hell being the constant state of torment with no relief and heaven as the paradise God intended for His earthly creation. Who would want to spend eternity in hell? Maybe that’s why it took me so long to realize God’s love for us. It’s so simple really. God wants us to join Him in the place He originally created for us – a place where there is no more sadness, hatred, anger, competition, chaos – only eternal peace. The devil wants us to join only in his misery, from where there is no escape.
When the two men in the story die, their roles are reversed and Jesus talks about the giant chasm between heaven and hell. The rich man in the story calls on God for intervention from those he left behind, but Jesus tells the man, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’
Our time of grace – our opportunity to reach heaven is real. It occurred when Christ died on the cross and rose again to life. The simplicity of the gospel is that our sins are already forgiven. We still need to follow God’s law in life, but the ransom has been paid. All we need to do is accept that with believing hearts. Nothing we accomplish on earth will earn us a spot. It’s all about JESUS.