The Kindness of God (Romans 2:1-16)

The kindness of God is not like the kindness of man. It is infinitely greater. We call a person kind if they do nice things for us, if they say nice things to us, if they treat us with respect and listen to what we have to say. We think of the gentle old greeter at church or the sweet young elementary school teacher at school. But the kindness of God is so much more than that. God shows us His kindness in patiently enduring those who reject and hate Him, extending His love to anyone and everyone who will accept it. God’s kindness is rooted in His holy love that hates sin but loves sinners. It is a kindness that should lead us all to repentance (Romans 2:4).

We are unkind people. As we saw at the end of Romans 1, we know that the lost world lives in open rebellion against God and His holy and just commandments. Their sins against both God and other people are clearly many and awful. A walk through the mall, a trip to a sporting event, or an hour of streaming almost any recent television show prove this truth right away – this world around us does not know or love the God who created it. But as Romans 2 shows us today, the religious people are no better. We pride ourselves on having the Word of God, being called the people of God, knowing the name of God, and enjoying the blessings of a spiritual heritage. But in our hearts, we are guilty of many and perhaps almost all of the same sins that condemn our unchurched neighbors (Romans 2:1-2). We are quick to judge others, but do we ever allow God to examine our own hearts and show us our sin (Romans 2:3)? Or do our hearts remain hard, stubborn, and self-righteous, unwilling to come clean with God in honest admission that we have a great sin problem, too (Romans 2:5)?

For Paul’s original first-century Christian audience, Romans 2 was directed at the Jews, God’s people from the Old Testament. But for us living 2000 years later in the church era, this chapter would apply to those raised up in the church, Christian schools, and/or Christian homes. We have the knowledge of God, His Word, His Son, and His way of salvation clearly revealed and available to us. But knowledge is not enough to spare us the judgment we all deserve for our sins. What God wants from us is obedient hearts and lives. He doesn’t want us to be just hearers of His Word, but doers of His Word, both inwardly and outwardly (Romans 2:13). You see, the fairness of God is that one day He will repay everyone just as they deserve (Romans 2:6). People who live justly and humbly before Him will receive honor, glory, and life, while those who love only themselves and evil will receive His anger and wrath (Romans 2:7-10, 16). Simply being raised in a religious setting will not give anyone an exception from this just reality (Romans 2:11). More knowledge only makes us more accountable for how we have lived. In some ways, the totally unchurched person who never heard the name of Jesus may fare better in the end than the person who lived their whole life in the presence of God’s people but never gave their heart to Jesus (Romans 2:14-15).

“Wait,” you say, “I thought this was supposed to be a post about God’s kindness, not His judgment.” Yes, it is. You see, the kindness of God is seen in the fact that He has offered us free forgiveness and mercy for all of our sins. As long as people are still alive, God is graciously holding back His judgment, giving stubborn sinners space to turn away from their evil deeds and come to His Son Jesus for salvation. God’s great kindness is intended to lead people to repentance and faith (Romans 2:4). No human being would show the divine patience that our God has for His most beloved creation. Our sin problem is bad, but God’s goodness and grace are stronger. May we never stop rejoicing in the kindness of our God.

The Text (Romans 2:1-16)

1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Questions to Think About

  1. Who are the kindest people you know? Why do you think that they are kind?
  2. How does today’s passage give you a greater appreciation for your salvation?
  3. In what specific ways have you seen God’s kindness toward you in the past two or three years?
  4. Have you ever talked with someone who just would not admit that they need Jesus? How did that make you feel? Now, how do you think their attitude makes God feel?

Notes

  • Today’s passage is not teaching that we are saved by doing good works. Paul is actually saying quite the opposite. Because we have all sinned and fall short of God’s righteous standard (Romans 3:23), we all need to repent and come to Him for forgiveness and grace. His point in warning religious people that they will also give account for their lives just like the lost and that they will also not escape judgment for their sins is not that they need to do better, but that they too need Jesus! Again, the good news of salvation by grace through faith is coming up in chapters 4-8, so by all means read ahead if you want that encouragement now!
  • Not all Christians agree on exactly what will happen to lost people who have never heard the gospel and had the chance to believe in Jesus and be saved. The Bible does make it clear that there is salvation in no other name than Jesus (Acts 4:12), and that we must urgently bring the gospel to the nations and the lost people in our country and communities (Matthew 28:18-20). More importantly, if you are reading or hearing this blog post, than you are not part of that group that has never had a chance to be saved! You have heard the gospel, and you are accountable for how you respond to the call of God on your life. My prayer for all us is that we would do God’s will and be found as good and faithful servants of Christ on the last day.

In Christ,

Mr. Reel

It’s Bad, Real Bad (Romans 1:26-32)

Today’s passage is one of the most brutal, depressing descriptions of sin in the entire Bible. We have in these verses a stark, totally honest presentation of the many sins that fill our lost world. We see in Romans 1:26-32 a vivid picture of what happens to people who have abandoned God altogether and fallen deeper and deeper and deeper still into the awful prison of their own wickedness. While I will not enjoy explaining these verses, I’m going to do it because: 1) It is part of God’s Word and all parts of God Word are inspired and given for our spiritual growth, 2) The culture in which we live is guilty of all of these sins, which means that many of you by middle school have already been exposed to their existence through your friends and what you have seen on your devices, and 3) We need to know what God says about the horrible depth of our sin problem so that we can see our incredible need for salvation from sin through faith in Jesus Christ. So here we go.

I will not go into detail about verses 26-27 beyond saying that homosexuality is a vile or very evil sin that God openly condemns. God loves every sinner, but He hates sin, and according to this text some sins are particularly awful in His sight. Verse 28 then tells us that as people reject the knowledge of God and resist the work of His Word and Spirit, God allows them to fall further into their own sinfulness. They become unholy, commit acts of sexual immorality, become jealous of what others have, become mean and hateful, fight with others, and whisper gossip behind their backs (v. 29). People who don’t know Jesus, people who lack the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives, become people who hate God and others. They commit violence against others with their hands and tongues, they are proud and boastful, they dream up ways to do evil, and they disobey their parents (v. 30). People without Christ lack understanding and wisdom, they are untrustworthy and unloving, incapable of forgiving others even for the smallest offenses (31). Worst of all, as we saw in yesterday’s post from Romans 1:18-25, lost people know deep down in their souls that their sinful thoughts and actions deserve to be punished by a holy God. Yet even though they know that those who sin so openly and habitually “are deserving of death,” they still continue on in their wickedness and even love seeing others fall into sin with them.

So what are we to make of today’s passage? First, we must realize that we are not good people on our own. Our sin problem is bad, real bad, and we cannot escape it without the supernatural power of God. Second, that means that we need Jesus bad, real bad! You and I need the mercy and grace of God every day to rescue us from the wicked world, the sinful desires of our heart, and the temptations of Satan that constantly seek to destroy us. We needed Jesus when He first came into our life when we were born again and brought to life by the Holy Spirit. And we still need Jesus each day to keep us on the path of life. So third, we must be in God’s Word every day so that the Lord can use His truth to renew our minds and make our hearts holy and good. Without the transforming work of God’s Word and Spirit, we will fall into the awful depths of sin and its bitter results. Let today’s passage be a warning to us that sin is deadly and to live in victory over it, we need Jesus every day.

The Text (Romans 1:26-32)

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Questions to Think About

  1. Why do think that Paul gives such a detailed list of sinful behaviors and attitudes in this passage? What does God want us to learn from a text like today’s?
  2. Before you accepted Christ as your Savior, did you think of yourself as a pretty good person? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it is harder for a “good kid” or a “bad kid” to come to faith in Christ? Explain.

Notes

  • Romans 1:26-27 is one of the clearest condemnations of homosexuality in the entire Bible. If we believe that the whole Bible is inspired by God, then we must accept according to these verses that the homosexual lifestyle is sinful and against the creation order. While we should not be mean to anyone even if they are living in open sin, we must also stand firm in refusing to say that the homosexual life is okay with God, because His Word tells us it is not. As with any other sin, we must love the sinner but hate the sin.
  • What Paul is doing in Romans chapters 1-3 is laying out just how bad sin really is. God wants us to see that “all have sinned and fallen short of His glory” (Romans 3:23). We have to acknowledge that our sin problem is big and unfixable through our own efforts before we can understand our desperate need for Jesus. Good news will be coming in chapters 4-8, so hang in there with our study!

In Christ,

Mr. Reel

Without Excuse (Romans 1:18-24)

Deep down, all people know that there is a God and that they ought to worship Him. As God tells us through the apostle Paul in today’s passage, everyone who refuses to worship their Creator is “without excuse” for their sin and the judgment it will bring if they do not repent (Romans 1:20). We can see from the majesty of the mountains, the thunder of the storm clouds, the heat of the sun, and the crashing of the ocean waves that One who is greater than us has made this world in which we live (Romans 1:19). In our own selves, we see the amazing design of the human body, so many systems and organs working in beautiful harmony to give us life and breath each day. We find in our hearts a moral conscience that tells us that things like murder and stealing are wrong while loving and serving others is good. God has burned the knowledge of His existence into the soul of every man and woman who ever walked the face of His earth.

Yet in our pride, we reject the truths that God is and that He ought to be worshiped. We try to “suppress” God and kick him out of our thoughts and lives, choosing instead to sin against both God and our neighbors (Romans 1:18). We refuse to glorify God with our words and deeds and minds (Romans 1:21a). Our hearts are thankless, ungrateful, and foolish (Romans 1:21b). We fancy ourselves to be so smart and wise, yet we fail to do the thing that matters most – worship the God who made us – and thus show ourselves to be stupid (Romans 1:22). Instead of worshiping the Creator as we ought, we worship the creation (Romans 1:23; 25)). As I told our seventh grade boys on the way to Grandfather Mountain last week, people praise the mountain but fail to praise the God who made it. In the ancient times when Paul wrote this letter, people worshiped fake statue gods, idols that were supposed to represent gods of the sun, moon, stars, and animals. Ridiculous! But today, we worship money and stuff, power, popularity, relationships, sports, and our own selves. Idolatry has not stopped. People still look to worship anything and everything but the God who actually deserves the devotion of their hearts, minds, strength, and souls. And what does God do? He simply turns us over to our own wicked hearts, allowing us to sink deeper into our self-made chains of sin (Romans 1:24). As we will see in the next post, God is not the cause of our sin; we choose to reject Him and do evil. But He is not obligated to save anyone of us. If God let everyone of us die in our sins, He would still be absolutely fair and just.

But the good news is that God has not left us without hope! Though our sins against Him are many and we have no excuse for ignoring and rejecting Him, He has extended an offer of forgiveness and pardon to all who will honestly turn to Him in repentance and faith. This is the “Good News” – the gospel of Jesus Christ! While we were still prisoners of our own sin and disobedience, God in His great love for us sent His Own Son, Jesus, to save us by dying for us on the cross (Romans 5:8) and then rising from the dead. Through a personal relationship with Jesus, we can turn from worshiping idols and instead serve the living God who rescues us with His Own blood. If you reject that great salvation and choose to keep loving and serving idols, the wrath you will face is on you; you remain “without excuse” for your sin and cannot blame God. But if you repent and follow Christ, He will set you free to worship the only One who truly deserves your praise, both in this life and forever. I’ve made my choice. How about you?

The Text (Romans 1:18-25)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Questions to Think About

  1. Before you accepted Christ or rededicated your life to following Him, what did you worship instead of God?
  2. What idols are competing with God for control of your heart today?
  3. Have you ever tried to blame other people or your life circumstances for your own sins? Did placing blame help you to repent of those sins and find spiritual victory? Explain.

Notes

  • The “knowledge of God” that Paul discusses in this passage is theologically known as God’s “general revelation.” Through the creation and our own moral consciences (our natural sense of right and wrong), people can see that there is a Creator who is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good. They can also understand that they have a problem because they do not live as they should, so deep down people feel shame and guilt towards God and they fear the just punishment that awaits them when they die. Today, our culture, which lies under the influence of Satan, is constantly working very hard to suppress this knowledge and get people to not feel bad about their sin and idolatry by convincing them that God is not real. The first step of evangelizing or trying to win people to faith in Christ in our culture, then, is not to tell them that Jesus loves them. Before we talk about God’s great love, we must first awaken people’s lost sense of their own sin problem so that they will again feel the shame and guilt of their burden and recognize their offense as being against their Creator. Only then will they be ready for the good news of being able to be saved from sin and restored to a right relationship with the One who made them.
  • Scripture always lays the blame for our sin firmly at own feet. It is God’s grace that saves us and gives us His goodness, so that as Christians, anything good in us must be credited to God alone. But the bad that is in us is our own fault. We must never fall into the trap of trying to blame God or circumstances or others for own sins. That thinking is not biblical and will only keep us from the honest repentance that we need to get back on track in our walks with Christ.

In Christ,

Mr. Reel

Ready and Not Ashamed (Romans 1:8-17)

The apostle Paul was always ready to give the gospel to anyone who would listen to him. As we see him in today’s passage, Paul has been very eager to visit the church in Rome for quite some time but not yet been able to do so. He has heard of their great faith; their good reputation has spread throughout the entire empire. He hopes to come to them and preach and teach the Word among them that they might grow even stronger still in their walks with Christ. And he hopes to increase the number of believers in their church by winning more converts to the Lord from the giant city of Rome. Paul is confident that the gospel of Jesus has the power to save people to the uttermost. He has experienced God’s great salvation for himself, and now Paul embraces his mission from God to carry that power to others. The apostle knows that he has been called to serve Christ wherever He sends him. Paul’s job is to be always ready to preach the glorious gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ whenever he gets the opportunity. He is not ashamed of the gospel because he knows what God can do through that gospel for anyone and everyone who receives it.

How about you? Do you have that same kind of passion for sharing the gospel with others? Is the gospel beautiful and amazing to you? Have you experienced the “power of God to salvation” since believing in the gospel message? Do you know the gospel well enough to share it with someone who does not know Christ? The gospel can actually be summarized with 5 key verses from the book of Romans: 1) Romans 3:23 – Everyone is a sinner, 2) Romans 6:23 – Because of our sin, we all deserve death and hell but God offers eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, 3) Romans 5:8 – Because He loves us, God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, 4) Romans 10:9-10 – If we are willing to turn from our sins and believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection for us, then God will save us from the penalty and power of our sins, and 5) Romans 8:1 – For everyone who puts their trust in Jesus Christ, there is no longer judgment awaiting them – they have been forgiven and rescued by Jesus forever. If you’ve never before memorized these verses from the “Romans Road” to salvation, it would be great to do so and begin sharing your faith! You could also highlight them in a small New Testament or witnessing Bible to have them ready to show nonChristian friends.

By way of warning, if you never share or even want to share your faith with anyone else, I have to ask the question: Is the gospel really glorious to you? Is Jesus really first in your life? When you love someone or something, you think about them or it a lot. You talk about them or it a lot. When a person or thing is beautiful and incredible and cool to you, you cannot help just telling everyone about that person or thing. The love just pours out of you. If you don’t feel that way about Jesus and the hope He offers to a lost and dying world, you should ask yourself why. It could be that, like the soil filled with weeds in the Parable of the Sower, the cares and worries of this world are choking out your love for God. My prayer for all of us is that we would be like the fourth soil, the good soil that joyfully receives the Word of God and bears much fruit for Christ and His kingdom. May the gospel be glorious to all of us today. May we be always ready to share it and not ashamed of the power of salvation it can bring.

The Text (Romans 1:8-17)

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Questions to Think About

  1. Are you known for having a strong and growing faith in Christ? Explain.
  2. Are you eager to share the gospel with other people? Why or why not?
  1. Do you enjoy listening to the preaching and teaching of the Bible? Why or why not?
  2. What other things are competing with Jesus for control of your heart right now?

Notes

  • When Paul speaks of being a “debtor both to Greeks and barbarians” in verse 14, he is referring to his mission from God to be the apostle to the Gentiles, both those who were cultured and those who were not, both the educated and the ignorant. For the rest of his life after his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), Paul never forgot his divine calling to carry the gospel to as many of the nations as he could. He was the world’s first and probably it’s greatest missionary.
  • The exact meaning of the “righteousness of God” in verse 17 has been debated by a lot of Bible scholars. The term is discussed in other places in Romans and Paul’s others letters, so it is important to try to understand it. If we read the phrase as meaning, “God’s just plan to save us from our sins through the work of Jesus Christ for us,” then we get very close to the heart of the gospel message and the most likely intent of the verse. That meaning not only fits in the other places where we find the term, but it also captures the whole theme of Romans and serves well as an introduction to the rest of the letter. In fact, the revelation of this verse that people are counted as “just” or right with God by faith in Christ and not by works was the key to helping Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, discover his own salvation after much soul searching and anguish and then preach and teach the gospel to all who would listen. May this amazing truth of justification by faith similarly bless us, too!

In Christ,

Mr. Reel

Crossing the Chasm (Luke 16:19-31)

Two of Jesus’ favorite topics to preach on were the danger of riches and the reality of hell. The story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” hits on both of them. It is one of the scariest, most sobering stories in the entire Bible. But Jesus taught it as if it were absolutely true, because it is, and He taught it because He loves people and wants them to escape from the terrible future that awaits them if they never wake up and see their need for God. I (Mr. Reel) preached this story to the sixth grade during our small group time yesterday and praise God, many hearts were moved and changed.

In the story, a rich man enjoys a life of comfort and pleasure every day, dressing nicely and eating well. If there were electronics back then, I’m sure he would have had a big screen television, iPhone X, and multiple tablets. Probably also a big car, maybe a boat, a second house…you get the idea. But outside the rich man’s door lay a poor, diseased beggar named Lazarus. He lays there suffering each day, probably eating out of the rich man’s garbage, and letting dogs lick his open sores. The original audience would have heard this and thought to themselves, “The rich man was hardworking and just enjoying the fruits of his labors, while this poor fellow must have been some kind of lazy sinner.”

But then Jesus flips the script in verses 22-23, when we find out that the poor man went to heaven while the rich man went to hell. Now, Jesus does not mean that being poor automatically earns you a trip to heaven and being rich guarantees you a destiny in hell. But what we see is that the poor man was named “Lazarus,” which meant “God is my helper.” He had apparently called out for the mercy of God and found it. After all, where else did he have to turn as no one on earth would help him? But the rich man ignored poor Lazarus every day as he walked past him where he lay dying on his doorstep and then did nothing. The rich man went to hell because he lived his whole life for himself and never realized his need for God. So he died and entered an eternity of suffering without God. And what was worse still, the rich man saw Lazarus in heaven with father Abaraham but could not get to him. There was a great chasm or canyon between the saved and the lost that could not be crossed.

The rich man tried to blame God by basically telling Abraham that he had not been warned about the terrible fate that awaited him. But Abraham (i.e. God) reminds him that his punishment is fair because: 1) The rich man got to enjoy a lifetime of comfort and pleasure while Lazarus suffered and 2) The rich man had known the law of God which had told him that he should love his neighbor as himself. For us listening today, we also have the testimony of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead (verse 31). Yet some still will not soften their hearts, turn from living for themselves and their sin, and find salvation in Christ. Don’t be like the countless rich and poor men who die without Christ. Cross the chasm today while you let live and can still do so. Follow Jesus now and find life forever. There will be a time when it is too late.

The Text (Luke 16:19-31)

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.

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.’ 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.’

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.’ ”

Questions to Think About

  1. Does your church ever teach about the danger of riches and the reality of hell? Have you ever heard the story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” preached before?
  2. Why do you think that having a lot of money and stuff is often a barrier that keeps people from loving God and others?
  3. As a Christian, how should a story like this affect your treatment of other people and your passion for witnessing and prayer?

In Christ,

Mr. Reel