Man, apart from God’s grace, is a sinner, not a saint.
To fail to recognize our own inherent corruption and the need for God’s saving grace leads to chaos and lawlessness.
In every generation man’s unconstrained impulse to have faith in his own righteousness and act upon that faith, reemerges. Today we see it in a radical Leftist agenda in America that is fueled by ambiguous intellectual movements which seek not just to find flaws in the American system that might be fixed, but which cry out for the system’s total destruction— to “tear the whole thing down.” Everything that came before must go, not just those ideas or structures that have rightly been judged as cruel or unjust.
The forces that hold to the unconstrained vision, men and women who reject any need for divine aid or help and who really believe a new revolution can solve the problem, are once again at work. Trade-offs are unacceptable for the advocates of the unconstrained view. Only total solutions are acceptable. Perfection is within society’s grasp if we would only reach out and grab it. However, perfection is a high bar. Thus, any identifiable flaw in the fabric of society must inevitably spur on the next revolution. “Perpetual revolution” (not reformation) is the explicit doctrine of the foot soldier for the unconstrained vision of man.
The problem, of course, with this view is that it consciously rejects what it regards as the most detestable doctrines of the Christian faith:original sin and the desperate need for God’s grace.
The truth is the following three realities:
Man is a sinner, prone to war and wickedness, and mutual slaughter.
Any virtue in man is a gift from God. God the Father’s ultimate gift to mankind is the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, who by His death and resurrection made it possible for the Father to send the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
By living in the power of the Holy Spirit we are liberated from the world’s system, even to the point of welcoming our own persecution, which is to God’s glory and the glory of His Church.
Adapted from article “Trying To Be Good Without God, Or Hoping “We Won’t Get Fooled Again”
Jesus is coming back, and He is warning those who want to be on his side to be ready. God is calling us all to leave behind terrible habits, addictions, and anything that pulls us away from Him. The movie below reveals where sin is headed and why it’s so crucial that we are not slaves to it. It explores how to overcome sinful addictions and the meaning of repentance. This is one to see, share, and watch with a group! Unlimited lawlessness is now possible with augmented reality. We are living in a time when the prophesied apostasy (falling away) in the church is already happening and it will only increase as Satan steps up his demonic activity to destroy mankind. Satan understands his time is short.
I do not agree with their interpretation of the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus in this video and ask you to consider the following exposition of this parable.
Does the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 teach an eternal hell of conscious torment? No! It is a parable Jesus used to emphasize a certain spiritual lesson. The point of the story is found in verse 31. Parables should not be taken literally—otherwise, we would believe that trees talk! (See Judges 9:8–15.)
The traditional view is to take the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man literally, but I believe as many others do that it is a parable that Jesus told to the Pharisees and Sadducees as it followed other parables that all start with the same intro: “There was a certain man”
The two parables here both have to do with “mammon” (money) and the misuse of it. If the first is clearly a parable, why not the second, for it is in the exact same section of scripture?
The Jewish Rabbis of Jesus’ day commonly used parables as teaching tools. This is in part why Jesus used them to correct the Pharisees (self-righteous religious leaders) who were unjustly criticizing what he taught.
Here are some other facts making it clear that Luke 16:19–31 is a parable: 1. Abraham’s bosom is not heaven or paradise. (Hebrews 11:8–10, 16). 2. Abraham was not in heaven in bodily form so how can Lazarus literally be comforted by Abraham? 3. People in hell cannot talk to those in heaven (Isaiah 65:17). 4. The bodies of the dead are in their graves (Job 17:13; John 5:28, 29). The rich man was in bodily form with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death but remains in the grave, as the Bible clearly teaches. 5. People are rewarded at Christ’s second coming, not at death (Revelation22:12). 6. The lost are cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell) after the White Throne judgement not when they die (Matthew 13:40–42).
Why did Jesus give this parable here?
In the first thirteen verses of Luke 16, we find Jesus teaching his disciples about being wise stewards and that man cannot serve both God and mammon (money, earthly possessions, etc.). The Pharisees overheard what Jesus said and, knowing it also applied to them, roundly criticized him:
“Now the Pharisees who were also covetous (greedy and lovers of money) heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him.” (Luke 16:14).
Jesus tells the Pharisees that they seek to justify themselves before men and not God. After a few more comments he speaks this parable that is in direct response to their finding fault with what he taught.
The parable begins: “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, and daily indulged himself in luxury.” The rich man in this parable is a symbol for the Pharisees and Sadducees themselves.
“And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores.” (Luke 16:19 – 20). Why did Christ refer to this poor beggar as Lazarus? There are two reasons. One is the meaning of his name. It means ‘whom God helps.’ or ‘assistance of God‘. The Pharisees prided themselves on their righteousness through strict obedience to their interpretation of God’s law. They particularly despised the gentiles. The irony here is that those who honestly believed they served and represented God would not help someone “whom God helps.” They disdained someone whom God accepted.
Lazarus in this parable represents the Gentiles – the world outside of God’s chosen people. God’s people (particularly the Pharisees and Sadducees) treated the Gentiles like dogs who were full of sores (spiritual sickness) and in need of rescue (help from God). The Gentiles like Lazarus were stopped at the gate of the temple (which represents the entrance to God) and were not allowed to go inside (never to have a relationship with God).
In verse 22, we see that something unnatural has occurred. Both die, Lazarus is carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom and the rich man ends up in hell. Note what verse 22 does NOT say! It does NOT state that the beggar went to heaven. It also does not say the rich man, immediately upon death, was tossed into some eternal Hell. The verse says the beggar is carried to “Abraham’s bosom.” But what does this phrase mean? What is significant about Lazarus being in the bosom of Abraham? Being in the bosom of someone is a symbol of love and closeness John 13:23 “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” Lazarus (symbol for the Gentile nation) being in Abraham’s bosom (place of spiritual promise to be loved and close to God) illustrates the roles have switched. Galatians 3:14 “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Now Lazarus is in the place where the rich man (Pharisees and Sadducees) was. So, what was the cause of such a radical change in the status of God’s chosen people and the Gentiles? Let us see what Jesus had to say about it; Matthew 23:33 “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of Hell [Gehenna – God’s Judgement]?” The roles switched because of the arrogance, self-righteousness, and disobedience of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They did not see a need to help others, they boasted about having the law of the prophets, and they worshiped themselves, but things just changed
Lazarus is carried into a close relationship with Abraham (who represents faith in God and salvation). He is allowed entrance into God’s kingdom (but it does not state when this occurs).
We now come to the verse that has led countless people who study the Bible to believe in a fiery Hell where sinners suffer forever. However, four times in Revelation we are told of the second death: Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:11, and 21:8. Moreover, the Bible teaches that there will be just punishment of the unrepentant for sins committed on earth which is followed by the second death in the Lake of Fire.
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”Revelation 21:8
We also find proof in verse 23 that this parable is not meant to be taken literally in every detail. Both the rich man and Lazarus are shown to be alive after they died. If we take verses 22 and 23 literally, it would mean the resurrection of the dead has already taken place!
Here is some further proof of why this story should not be taken literally in all details. How could the rich man know who Abraham was when he had been dead for 1,800+ years? Also, it would be difficult for the rich man to recognize Lazarus in a glorified body, as he had been an emaciated pile of bones and flesh and full of sores during his physical life. The difference would have been appalling.
Additionally, Luke 16:24 reiterates how the roles of these two men have changed. The rich man was without need of help when the beggar was in dire straits and now, he is in a dire situation when the beggar is without need. In effect, Christ is giving a warning to the Pharisees that their state in life could quickly change, therefore they should not be so smug and look down on others.
Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us . . . (Luke 16: 25 – 26).
Jesus got the immediate attention of the Pharisees by using Abraham as a character in his lesson. Christ is showing that one needs to live his life correctly today, not wait until the next life to make amends.
The last four verses of this parable describe Father Abraham explaining to the rich man that his five brothers (Judah had five brothers) have the prophets (the Old Testament scriptures) as a witness. Jesus knew full well that the arrogant religious leaders boasted about their knowledge of the scriptures, but their hearts were hardened. Despite the many O.T. prophecies about Himself, the Pharisees and Sadducees continued not to believe that Jesus was the Messiah.
The rich man goes on to explain that if one is raised from the dead they will believe (repent). People claim that the story of the rich man and Lazarus is not a parable because Christ identifies a character with a real name as in this case, the name Lazarus. They say that this fact alone is proof because Christ never used a real name in any other parables. Do you think that it is ironic that there is an actual person in the book of John that has the same name, Lazarus who was sick and died but Jesus raised him from the dead which is the same context of the rich man’s inquiry? You see, Christ was spoken of and prophesied about many times in the Old Testament. Jesus makes another prophecy in this parable stating that if they will not hear the words of the prophets; neither will they believe if one is raised from the dead. Jesus used the real name Lazarus because he already knew that he was going to resurrect a real person named Lazarus shortly thereafter from the dead to further prove his point in the parable.
“He said to him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead‘”.(Luke 16:31)
Jesus ultimately tells us the meaning of the rich man and Lazarus parable. He was telling the Pharisees (who were self-righteous hypocrites) that since they did not truly believe and follow what Moses and the prophets wrote, no amount of miracles and wonders would be able to change their minds and alter how they lived life. It was the hardness of their hearts that kept them from truly repenting and serving God. Jesus knew that despite adequate proof of His own resurrection these Pharisees and Sadducees would still not believe He was their prophesied Messiah.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” Psalm 51:1-2
A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet challenged him about his sin with Bathsheba.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12
NOTE: God had given David an understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in living Christ-like and this is one thousand years before Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers as a result of His atoning sacrifice.
But also note what Paul says about living Christ-like, we are to forget those things that are behind us and focus on those things ahead.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” Philippians 3:12-16
John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life, freedom, and a relationship with Him. He is our only hope—the only source of true peace. Are you experiencing this peace? If not, that can change if you trust in Him as Lord and Savior, repent, and turn to Him (Romans 10:9).
Gordon Cove once challenged his audience: “You have not sought the Lord with ‘your whole heart’ until you have tried a protracted season of prayer and fasting.”Could a lack of prayer, fasting, and repentance be one of the hindrances to a spiritual awakening? Absolutely! Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Fasting doesn’t twist God’s arm, but it does bend our knee. There is simply too much on the line—a massive spiritual awakening is our only hope.
As G. Campbell Morgan said, “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”
It’s time to break up our fallow ground and seek the Lord while He still may be found (Hosea 10:12).
“We prepare the sacrifice with a humble and contrite heart and God will bring the fire of revival.” shaneiIdelman.com
“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8
We have a generation that has been taught in schools and universities that God does not exist. They are taught evolution and billions of years explains the existence of this universe. To them the Bible is just a book of fables. As people cancel God and His perfect divine guidance from their lives they are constrained to decide for themselves what is right and wrong. The outcome is described in God’s word.
“there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25
“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
The traditional American family is in shambles and most western nations’ families are headed the same way. In the U.S. forty-three percent of babies are born to unwed mothers. Along with the wreckage of the family, the US is seeing record levels of depression, mental illness, soaring suicide rates, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic. And yet the demonically driven militants press on with even greater zeal. The devil’s venomous strategy to deceive and damage humanity worked from the beginning. Satan cancelled God in the eyes of Eve – insinuating the One who instructed Adam and Eve about what was good and evil was actually a liar (Genesis 3:1-5). Adam in clear disobedience to God went along with it. Satan the master manipulator continues to bring horrendous evil on humanity.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 2:11-12
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
Fortunately, Jesus told us in advance that tribulation would be intense for Christians in the last days prior to His return. He alone can deal with Satan, his minions, and the unrepentant and restore righteousness to the world.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.” Matthew 24:21-22
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”Matthew 24:29-31