The Rich Man and Lazarus

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The Pharisees loved money, trusted in their standing before God, and considered themselves holy. Jesus proclaimed to them the grand reversal in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. We do well to also heed His message.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

“Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table; yea, even the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’
But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted, and thou art in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us.’
And he said, ‘I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
But Abraham saith, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
And he said, ‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent.’
And he said unto him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead'” (Luke 16:19-31).

The Rich Man and Lazarus
Jesus' Parables

 
 
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Personal Empowerment

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God has given to each and every person a measure of authority. All will be held accountable for what they have thought, said, felt, and done. We do well to consider the contours and nature of our empowerment by God.

Personal Empowerment

Personal Empowerment
Authority

 
 
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A People Holy to YHWH

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God chose His people not because of anything wonderful about them in particular but because of His love and covenant loyalty to their fathers so that they might be His holy and special people, devoted to Himself, and He would do mighty things for them and through them. So it was for Israel; so it is for Christians to this day.

A People Holy to YHWH

When YHWH thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before thee, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when YHWH thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them: thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For he will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of YHWH be kindled against you, and he will destroy thee quickly. But thus shall ye deal with them: ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.

For thou art a holy people unto YHWH thy God: YHWH thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. YHWH did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all peoples: but because YHWH loveth you, and because he would keep the oath which he sware unto your fathers, hath YHWH brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that YHWH thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations, and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command thee this day, to do them. And it shall come to pass, because ye hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, that YHWH thy God will keep with thee the covenant and the lovingkindness which he sware unto thy fathers: and he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee; he will also bless the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy ground, thy grain and thy new wine and thine oil, the increase of thy cattle and the young of thy flock, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all peoples: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And YHWH will take away from thee all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, will he put upon thee, but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the peoples that YHWH thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.

If thou shalt say in thy heart, ‘These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?’ thou shalt not be afraid of them: thou shalt well remember what YHWH thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; the great trials which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, whereby YHWH thy God brought thee out: so shall YHWH thy God do unto all the peoples of whom thou art afraid. Moreover YHWH thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves, perish from before thee. Thou shalt not be affrighted at them; for YHWH thy God is in the midst of thee, a great God and a terrible. And YHWH thy God will cast out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. But YHWH thy God will deliver them up before thee, and will discomfit them with a great discomfiture, until they be destroyed. And he will deliver their kings into thy hand, and thou shalt make their name to perish from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to YHWH thy God. And thou shalt not bring an abomination into thy house, and become a devoted thing like unto it: thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a devoted thing (Deuteronomy 7:1-26).

A People Holy to YHWH

 
 
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What Is Righteousness?

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Everything seemed “righteous” in the 1980s; “righteousness” is often associated with a certain type of very strict people. What is righteousness really all about? What is righteousness? Who can be righteous, and how?

What Is Righteousness?

What Is Righteousness?
The Fundamentals

 
 
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The Nature of the Church: The Church is Holy and Spotless

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In Ephesians 5:27 Paul declares that Jesus will present the church to Himself as holy and spotless. We cannot cleanse ourselves, but we must strive to live as a sanctified people. Unfortunately not all will do so; we must address it; we do well to strive to follow Jesus according to His purposes!

The Nature of the Church: The Church is Holy and Spotless

The Nature of the Church: The Church is Holy and Spotless
The Nature of the Church

 
 
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Our Race and Our Discipline

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We may get weary and fainthearted at times in our faith in Christ. The Hebrew Christians did as well. The author the Hebrew letter did well to encourage them to maintain their race and their discipline.

Our Race and Our Discipline

Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against himself, that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: and ye have forgotten the exhortation which reasoneth with you as with sons,
“My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, Nor faint when thou art reproved of him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
It is for chastening that ye endure; God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastening, whereof all have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness. All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness. Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied knees; and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not turned out of the way, but rather be healed. Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:1-14).

Our Race and Our Discipline
Encouragement in Hebrews

 
 
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Elect Exiles

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Peter wrote to Christians in Asia Minor as “elect exiles”. He wrote from “Babylon”. The theme of life in exile pervades his letter; we do well to learn from him how to live as exiles in a strange land.

Elect Exiles

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied (1 Peter 1:1-2).

And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear: knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ: who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of the times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God (1 Peter 1:17-21).

Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise to them that do well. For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward (1 Peter 2:11-18).

Elect Exiles
Sojourn and Exile

 
 
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