NOTES FROM A SERMON PRESENTED BY DR. GREG SLOOP AT THE KANNAPOLIS CHURCH OF GOD ON SUNDAY, October 6, 2019 IN THE 10:30 am SERVICE. FOR VIDEO OF SERVICES, GO TO THE CHURCH WEBSITE, HTTP://WWW.KCOG.ORG, AND CLICK ON THE LIVESTREAM LINK FOR A REPLAY OF THE SERVICES. FOR AUDIO OF THE SERVICES, GO THE THE WEBSITE AND CLICK ON THE MEDIA PAGE.
Luke 16:19–31 (NKJV)
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
- The two stories here take a drastic turn. The man who begged and lived in agony in his poverty and disease is suddenly found carried into the bosom of Abraham. This designation, the bosom of Abraham, is commonly thought of as the part of paradise reserved for the greatest prophets and leaders among Israel. It was like sitting at the table of honor at a banquet. This certainly levels the playing field when it comes to the man-made, false system of favoritism parlayed by the Pharisees, who thought that their status on earth would somehow translate to their reward in heaven. A beggar, Lazarus, is afforded the honor of being in the bosom of Abraham upon His entry into heaven.
- This signified that his faith in God was all that was necessary for him to receive eternal comfort and peace, not his status or his riches or his office in life. Salvation was a result of Lazarus’ dependence upon God. Jesus has already said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom, and that finding heaven is so much more essential than finding earthly riches. Lazarus found the right thing. He found a relationship with God.
- The rich man, on the other hand, found a drastically different existence in the afterlife. Pampered and feted all his life, he suddenly found himself in torment in Hades, or hell. He was below Lazarus, not above him (he had to look up to see Lazarus), and was far from him, but just close enough to recognize Lazarus and identify his vaulted location. What a descension, what a fall for a rich man such as himself!
- The lesson here is clear: you do not have a guarantee of blessing, peace, and comfort in the life to come based on your success, wealth, or reputation on earth. It depends on one thing only: your relationship with Jesus Christ! You may think you can depend on your good works and your success, but they will earn you nothing in the afterlife, only your relationship with Christ!
- The home you have never seen is the one that counts! The home you have never seen is the home eternal. Whether heaven or hell, it is certain and it is forever. So, make sure you are going to the right home. That is essential!
24 “Then 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 tormented in this flame.’
- The Home in Hell
- The Horror of Torment
- The Need for Comfort
- The Cry for Mercy
25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
- The Separation
- Comfort v. Torment
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
- Crossing an eternal line
- The Efficacy of the Gospel
- The Need for Faith
Revelation 21:14–27 (NKJV)
14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
- The immensity of this city
- 1500 miles square
- Walls were a half mile thick
18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
- Materials were the finest and most valuable
- Jasper Walls
- Pure Gold inside the walls, clear as glass
- Foundations made of precious stones, rare and beautiful
- Gates made of a large pearl each.
- Streets paved with gold, pure and transparent
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
- No Temple, for we will be in the presence of the Lord permanently, worshipping Him
- No need for light, for Jesus is the Light
- Everyone’s glory will be brought before Jesus as a statement of honor
25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
- No Night
- No Evil or Defilement
- No Sin
- A life forever for the redeemed written in His book
2 Corinthians 5:6–8 (NKJV)
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
- The Joy of the Heavenly Hope
- Do you know your eternal destination?
- Be sure that you are secure in where your home will be after this life.
- The Home You Have Never Seen can be Heaven or Hell. Make yours certain!