The last days of history – Part 21
Those who end up in hell Cont.
Jesus startled them with this story, where a diseased beggar is rewarded and a rich man is punished. The rich man did not go to hell because of his wealth, but because he was selfish, refusing to feed Lazarus, take him in, or care for him. The rich man was hardhearted in spite of his great blessings. Lazarus lived all his life in poverty, but his heart was right with God. His name means “God is my help,” and he never gave up his faith in God. Lazarus died and was immediately taken to Paradise with Abraham (v. 22). The destinies of both men were irreversible at death (vv. 24-26). The amount of money we have is not as important as the way we use it. What is your attitude toward your money and possessions? Do you hoard them selfishly, or do you use them to help others?
Read Jas 5:1-6. Rich Oppressors will be Judged
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.” (Jas 5:1-6)
5:1 “you rich men, weep and howl.” The Bible does not teach that all rich people are ungodly. Nevertheless, what James is describing is characteristic of many people with wealth (vv. 1-6; 2:1-3). The exceptions are the rich people who are not possessed by their wealth and use it instead to advance the gospel and to help those in need.
5:6 The just were defenceless persons. They were probably poor labourers. Poor people who could not pay their debts were thrown in prison or forced to sell all their possessions. At times, they were even forced to sell their family members into slavery. With no opportunity to work off their debts, poor people often died of starvation. God called this murder. Hoarding money, exploiting employees, and living self-indulgently will not escape God’s notice.
(10iv) Acts Of The Sinful Nature
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you.” (1Cor 6:9-11)
Paul is describing characteristics of unbelievers. He doesn’t mean that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or extortionists are automatically and irrevocably excluded from heaven. Christians come out of all kinds of different backgrounds, including these. They may still struggle with evil desires, but they should not continue in these practices. In 6:11, Paul clearly states that even those who sin in these ways can have their lives changed by Christ. However, those who say they are Christians, but persist in these practices with no sign of remorse will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Such people need to reevaluate their lives to see if they truly believe in Christ.
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