Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 111614
Heaven. Part 2.
LUK 16:19-21, “Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living [living in splendor or luxury every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid or thrown down at his gate, covered with sores, [cancerous ulcers], And longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.”
Lazarus demonstrates the principle of being happy or content without having anything at all. For example, are you happy or content with your wages?
LUK 3:14b, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”
Secondly, are you content with handling problems with people?
2CO 12:10, Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Thirdly, what about the situation that you are in right now, are you content?
PHI 4:11, Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Number four – what about money, not just your wages but money?
HEB 13:5, Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,
LUK 16:22, “Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom[or Paradise]; and the rich man also died and was buried.
We begin to see what eternity is like beginning with verse 23.
LUK 16:2-28, “And in Hades or Hell the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he [the rich man] cried out or screamed and said, ‘father Abraham , Have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now [in eternity] he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us. And he said, ‘Then I beg you, And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house‑‑For I have five brothers‑‑ that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
The rich man thinks that Lazarus should and would have been able to testify to the reality of this unseen world and the need to believe on the Lord jesus Christ, which he and his brothers had probably mocked together. So, before, the rich man pleaded for mercy; now he’s begging. Lazarus never pleaded for mercy, nor did he beg at all. Therefore, the rich man should have taken notice of Lazarus, enduring all that suffering and not complaining. And by contrast, I’m sure he probably gave his relatives thousands and thousands of dollars, and they still complained. Lazarus being tossed at the gate of that mansion was the last call for salvation to the rich man and probably his family. Because I’m sure the five brothers saw Lazarus lying there too. Lazarus was the evangelist at their gate. You never know what kind of people or what sort of people God will use at the gate of someone’s life or heart. So, Lazarus’ pulpit was that gate. And again, Do you have a gate or one if you do, what is yours? Everyone saw “how” he suffered and “how” he didn’t complain. And they must have known he possessed something far greater than what they had. Yet they all walked by Lazarus daily without giving heed to that final message.
Now, all five brothers are unbelievers. And so the rich man didn’t want his brothers to also die and end up in torments with him.
LUK 16:28 For I have five brothers‑‑that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
Therefore, during his lifetime, the rich man should have taken notice of Lazarus, enduring all that suffering and not complaining. Lazarus being tossed at the gate of that mansion was the last call for salvation to the rich man and his family. I’m sure the five brothers saw Lazarus lying there, too. You never know what kind of people or what sort of people God will use at the gate of someone’s life or heart. That’s why some of you have the gift of mercy or exhortation so that you can minister and are there for others.
So, Lazarus’ pulpit was that gate. Do you have a gate, if you do, what is yours? Many people and angels saw “how” he suffered and “how” he didn’t complain. And they must have known he possessed something far greater than even what they had. Yet they all walked by Lazarus daily without giving heed to that final message. And the rich man didn’t want his brothers to also die and end up in torments with him.
LUK 16:29-30, “But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ but he said, ‘no, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’”
The word repent is the future active indicative of metanoeo which means to change your thinking or mind about Christ.
Upon hearing the Gospel and before anyone believes, he must first change his mind about Christ.
LUK 16:31 “But he said to him, ‘if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”his means that once negative volition gets locked in, nothing will change it.
This also means that the Word of God is infinitely more powerful than any miracle. A messenger from the dead could say no more than what is said in the scriptures, nor say it with more authority.
Even in Mat 27, we do not read that when some believers had come from the dead and appeared to many that there was a revival and that many people became saved.
MAT 27:51-53, And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
Notice that we are not told that there was a tremendous revival because of this.
1CO 15:1-10, Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
Still we do not read of a fantastic revival. However, we do read of one in Act 2, when Peter taught the word of God.
ACT 2:36-47, Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ‑‑ this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself. And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation! So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The scripture is now the only powerful way of God making known His mind to us, HEB 4:12. And it is a great presumption for us to prescribe any other way. The apostle Peter put it like this in 1PE 1:23, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.|
What our Lord taught here was soon after verified in the unbelieving Jews, who would not hear Moses and the prophets, or Christ and the apostles, and then would not be persuaded, even though a Lazarus rose from the dead.
Instead they consulted to put our Lord to death, and would not be persuaded by him even though he also rose from the dead.
JOH 11:41, And so they removed the stone [this was at a differnt Lazaarus’s grave]. and Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank thee that Thou heardest me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me. And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and beheld what he had done, believed in Him.
However, even though our Lord did all of these things, many still did not believe.
JOH 12:42-43, Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. but some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “what are we doing? for this man is performing many signs. “If we let him go on like this, all men will believe in him, and the romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “you know nothing at all, Nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” Now this he did not say on his own initiative; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill him.
On the other hand, we do have a passage which describes what should take place because of a miracle.
In ACT 20:10-12, when Eutychus was raised to life, the people that were present continued to listen to the apostle Paul teach doctrine because they did not become preoccupied with the miracle of raising someone from the dead. However, this is illustrated by the importance of the communication of Bible doctrine over the performance of miracles. And that is to be the true purpose of a miracle.
ACT 20:7, And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them.
The term here for talking is dia legomai in the Greek, it does not mean to preach on Sundays, it does not mean shouting and crying out words void of any content! The term dia legomai – means a verbal analysis or teaching. And actually, this was a four hour service! In the ancient world they did not meet in the day, they met in the evening! So, the service which we have before us is a service which started in the evening probably around 8 pm. And as we are going to see, this service will go to well after midnight.
So, Paul began talking to them, or rather he taught them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
Apparently they were in some kind of banquet hall in an upper room. Generally, the banquet halls and the upper rooms were over a tavern or an ancient night club. And, the upper-rooms were filled with open windows so that one could sit on the window and listen to the message while looking outside when the pastor got boring. In fact, we have a young man who is sitting in the window and who is about to fall asleep and fall out.
Act 20:8-9, And there were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. And there was a certain young man named Eeutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead.
With many lamps there was a lot of heat, and therefore the condition and temperature were conducive to sleep! Which is why a good learning center is a cool room with bright lights…..when it gets warm and dim, drowsiness sets in. So, Eutychus is about to die. He dies because he falls out of a window after falling asleep while the pastor was teaching.
And as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead.
Here is a congregational member that has died because he fell asleep while the pastor was teaching! A crisis has taken place in the church service. One of the young people has fallen out of the window and died. The message is temporarily discontinued and Paul goes down to see the young man.
ACT 20:10 but Paul went down and fell upon him and after embracing him, he said, “do not be troubled, for his life is in him.”
When Paul went down he did something that Elijah and Elisha did known as resuscitation. Resuscitation means to be revived or to recover, to be brought back to life to one’s original form (to die again). It is different than resurrection because resurrection changes you into a different form and you will never again die. So, “Paul went down and fell upon him.” This is the same thing Elijah and Elisha did in resuscitating a young boy. Elijah did it in 1KI 17:21. lisha did it in 2KI 4:34. In other words, what Paul did is learn from the Bible how certain men raised people from the dead and followed in their footsteps.
Before he could do anything he had to quiet down those emotional folks among the crowd who were freaking out.
ACT 20:11, And when he had gone back up, and broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.
They all went back up to church and partook of communion and Paul taught for a long while in an informal manner. And notice, how long they talked. “Until daybreak, and so departed.”
ACT 20:12 And they took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.
And the reason why they use the word alive is because he was dead. They were truly comforted once they saw the value of the power of God.
HEB 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.