Truth On Fire

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Luke 16:19-31 teaches one of the most profound lessons Jesus ever taught. It’s the story he told about a rich man who went to Hell and a diseased, poverty-stricken beggar named Lazarus, who went to Abraham’s bosom. While there are many truths taught about the afterlife, there are two that are SO fundamental to human nature—truths that should be foundational in how we view life and order our conduct. 

The first is an observation, and it is this: The torments of Hell cannot change sinful human nature, the desire to satisfy FIRST the needs of SELF. The lost rich man made two requests of Abraham. The first was to SEND Lazarus to HIM with a finger dipped in water to cool his tongue, to ease HIS torment. It was only AFTER being informed of the impossibility of that request that he desired for Lazarus to be SENT to his five brothers, lest they should also end up in Hell. His thinking: “Surely a resurrected Lazarus would be enough to convince my brothers to make the necessary life adjustments (i.e., repent) to prepare them for eternity.”

In the last two verses of the story, we have this exchange: "And he [rich man] said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one [Lazarus] went unto them from the dead, they will REPENT. And he [Abraham] said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be PERSUADED, though one rose from the dead" (16:30-31).

Here’s the second foundational truth: NO man ever REPENTED who was not first PERSUADED! Jesus affirmed that “Moses and the prophets” (i.e., OT truth) were a MORE believable source of testimony than that of a resurrected dead man (i.e., Lazarus). One CANNOT reject the first (testimony of GOD) and accept the second (testimony of MAN). Jesus thus established the inseparable link between repentance and persuasion. America stands in dire need of repentance, which means it MUST be persuaded first by the truth of scripture! 

If Americans could be persuaded from scripture that God created two and ONLY two genders, male and female, it would spell the end of demonic transgenderism. If Americans could be persuaded life begins at conception, it would spell the end of the abortion industry. If Americans could be persuaded that homosexuality was an abomination in the sight of God, a sin against nature itself, it would spell the end of gay marriage. If Americans could be persuaded that sex was a sacred function to be experienced and enjoyed ONLY within the bonds of holy matrimony, it would begin the reversal of an adulterous, licentious culture. If someone could persuade America that Jesus should "have the preeminence in ALL things" (Colossians 1:18), Congress would begin EVERY daily session singing 'Victory In Jesus'!

The key to both national and personal salvation is, and always has been, PERSUASION. And before men can REPENT, someone MUST first PERSUADE them concerning truth. "Dear Lord Jesus, please raise up a generation of PERSUADERS, beginning with Bible-believing local churches across our land!"


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