What Will It Take you To Prove
What will it take to prove…
† In Jesus Name †
May the Grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ sustain you, as His unsurpassable peace guards your hearts, and your mind, until He returns.
From Lazarus’s Perspective
We know his name – but we’ve never heard his thoughts, save one. Even as he stands at Abraham’s side, we hear him thought of as a servant – someone to dispatch with a message, not like an apostle, but like and errand boy.
While he is alive, suffering, unable to care for himself, the only thing we head from him is his desire to be fed by what falls from the rich’s man’s table. How he longed for a piece of bread, a morsel of lamb, even and onion.
And he was so weak; he couldn’t even brash away the dogs who would lick and nibble at his open wounds.
Some scraps, please? Please?
A man who knew only hunger and pain.
And then one day, a procession of angels came, sent by God, to bring him to Abraham’s side, to wait for the day when there will be a new heaven and a new earth when God will dwell with His people, and we will see Him!
He was welcomed home, as we will be.
For like Lazarus, God knows our name!
The journey home
But what is this screaming in the distance?
As Lazarus is standing by Abraham’s side, he hears something you can’t usually hear in heaven, in fact, this may be the only time. Some un-named (and that is important) man is trying to get Abraham’s attention from across the gulf, from the place for those not welcome in God’s presence.
It’s a voice that sounds familiar, and maybe Lazarus even recognized it as the voice, that echoed through the gates, the laughed and enjoyed the fine banquets and parties.
But now the voice was one of anguish, one begging for help, begging for reliefs from the heat, crying for pity,
Because of his past, maybe we would think Lazarus was thinking Mr. No-Name was getting what he deserved. Or more likely, because of the very reasons he was escorted by angels, his heart was moved, and as Abraham was asked to send a messenger, maybe Lazarus was in tears, wanting to help.
Even so, the man’s torment would continue, his heart still not turned. And as he pleads for his brothers, Abraham’s words are haunting,
“‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
What will it take to convince us?
These words that Lazarus hears are scary when you think about them, and who is saying them. What kind of proof would convince someone about the consequences of their sin? If the words of scripture will not, if even the fact that Jesus not only raised people from death but rose from the dead himself – if that doesn’t cause people to think a little more, what will?
How do we reach people, and bring them to Jesus, If they aren’t persuaded by Jesus rising from the dead?
Or perhaps a better question – does the resurrection of Jesus make a difference in our lives?
Does it give us hope?
Does it help give us peace?
Does that hope, that peace transforms our lives in such a way we aren’t tied to stuff, but that we realize people have names, that we are to love them in the way that God does?
What difference does the resurrection of Jesus have for the way we look at life, and death?
What difference would it make if we realize that God, and all heaven, knew us by name because Jesus lived and died and rose again?
What will it take for us to realize God knows us and calls us by name?
Col. 1:28 –
The apostle Paul explains it this way.
27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
This is the message that changes us, knowing that God loves us, and indeed loves every human being changes everything. It means everything. It means that each one of us is God’s beloved.
Knowing that means that loving others is no longer a duty, no longer a sacrifice, but it is glorious and wonderful to see them come alive in Christ, to see their lives transform, for they begin to share in God’s glory as well.
They have a name; they mean something to us. This is why Paul would go on to say,
28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Colossians 1:26-29 (NLT)
People need to hear of God’s love, while they are still alive. They need to see that love in a way that they can hear; that isn’t someone trying to persuade them, but rather share with them this glory, this love. They
But that happens best when we know His love when we realize He knows our name! It is then, as we hear Him calling us by name that we realize in awe that He has given us His peace, peace that goes beyond understanding, peace that we dwell in because Christ calls us His treasure, and keeps our hearts and minds there.
This is our life… where God calls us by name – so live it! AMEN!
Posted on September 25, 2016, in Devotions, Sermons and tagged afterlife, APologetics, Concordia Lutheran Church Cerritos, death, eternity, Hell, hope, judgment, life, Lutheran Sermons, Ministry, sermon. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.