Read Luke 14
Humility; more parables; prodigal son; rich man and Lazarus; the joy of eternal life with Abraham; the horror of eternal hell
Our Lord illustrates the two alternatives in life. One was chosen by a self-centered son who demanded freedom from his father's authority and then took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance (inheritance) with riotous living. . . . when he had spent all . . . he began to be in want (faced starvation) (Luke 15:13-16). A wise alternate choice is illustrated by this same prodigal son when he said . . . I perish (die) with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before (against) thee (15:17-18).
The word "prodigal" means a waster; the young man wasted his father's substance. After he repented, his father made him aware of the seriousness of his former life as a sinner when he said: This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry and enjoy fellowship with each other (15:24).
Just as the prodigal son discovered that his father's love was far greater than he had previously realized, so too will every repentant sinner discover that the Heavenly Father is waiting with great compassion to forgive all who come to Him.
Jesus then told of a rich man who never recognized that he had "wasted" his life, even though he had become "very successful." But, in hell . . . being in torments. . . . he cried . . . I am tormented in this flame (16:23-24). Jesus said that it was only then that the rich man discovered that the firey torment in hell was eternal and that between Abraham and him there was a great gulf fixed (16:26). The rich man's preoccupation with success crowded out any desire to use his abilities or resources for the glory of God and now it was forever too late. The most important purpose of our brief life on earth begins when we, like the prodigal, realize and confess: I perish! . . . I have sinned, and we repent of our sins and receive Christ as our Savior. He died on the cross to save us from the "torments" of hell and to prepare us for an eternity with Him.
Since the believer's true conversation (citizenship) is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), we dare not make secular goals, material gain, and physical satisfactions our priorities. All mankind, rich or poor, has one thing in common — physical death will open the door to either the joy of eternal life or the horrors of eternal torment in hell. Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard. . . . How shall we escape, if we neglect (are careless with, make light of) so great salvaation? (Hebrews 2:1,3).
14:32 ambassage = delegation; 15:16 would fain = craved to; 16:11 unrighteous mammon = the use of your money in this world
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Elsie Rager · Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Government Official: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY) · Country: Syria (17 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish · Limited religious freedom for Christians · 90% Muslim; 4% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Roman Catholic; .25% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Delight in the Word of God; prayerfully meditate upon it for daily guidance (Psalm 1:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 3:14