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“Silent as the Grave”

March 8, 2008

Luke 16:27-28  “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my fathers house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”

Anyone familiar with scripture will recognize this passage as being the plea of the rich man who died in his iniquity.  (Luke 16:19-31)  He was a man who had it all in life, but never regarded the Holy One of Israel.  Now, in everlasting torment with no hope, he remembers his five brothers who are still “living it up” on the surface.  They are completely unaware of his situation; despite all of the warnings from scripture.  At the rich mans funeral, they probably shared memories of happier times and comforted each other with phrases like “he’s in a better place now.”  And yet one must wonder; did any of them take the opportunity to consider their own standing with God?  Or did they simply go their way, allowing the mists of time to heal their wounds and bury any thoughts about the hereafter.  This is not a parable as  Jesus mentions Lazarus by name.  He doesn’t mention the name of the rich man who has become an anonymous proverb for every subsequent generation.

Luke 16:31  “And he said unto him, If they hear not moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Many of us fail to grasp the seriousness of this.  We see tragedies unfolding all around us as souls are continuously passing from the scene, and yet, many remain obligated to their status quo; too consumed with the business of the day to ponder such things.  For those who are outside the household of faith, we can understand why this is so as the enemy has blinded their eyes with customized packages of divertions; each one “taylor made” for a specific captive.  They will grieve fervently when a loved one is taken from them, however, unless the Lord opens their eyes, the confrontation with mortality will, most likely, not result in considerable ponderings.  As time passes, they will return to a form of “life as usual” and any seed planted while the event was current will be stolen away by the enemy. 

I remember my brother-in-laws eulogy last August, in which the plan of salvation was presented, in no uncetain terms, to those in attendance.  Pastor Bishop planted salvation through Jesus Christ into a very well put together memorial message.  Yet I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone “heard it” other than my wife for whom this event  became a monumental turning point.   (The funeral was HUGE!  Family, co-workers friends; you name it.  It was the largest funeral that I’ve ever been to)  When a person is spiritually blinded, they are incapable of grasping the seriousness of this issue; despite the universal understanding that every one of us have a departure time.   Ernie passed away very suddenly, without warning.  He simply stopped along the highway to take a quick nap and never awakened.  Fourteen years prior, he gave his heart to Jesus and is now in glory awaiting the rest of us who are in Christ. 

In recent years, a troubling trend has been taking place.  A trend that only exacerbates the problem of spiritual blindness.  Our media unwittingly does much to make light of death.  Movies and video games are preseted in which death is simulated throughout and for many who gravitate toward such material, an “immunity” to serious thoughts about such matters is gradually built up.  This continual imagery of death, promiscuity, and lawlessness, along with the plethura of medications that people are on these days partially explains the explosion of senseless crimes that our culture is faced with.  Thirty years ago, horrific crimes were few and very far between.  Now it’s almost weekly or even daily.  This is what happpens to a nation that seeks to put God out of its rememberance. 

Matthew 10:21  “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”

Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

All around us, people are perishing because they don’t seriously consider salvation through Jesus Christ.  Tragically, people can also perish because of saints who don’t have a vision either.  Far too many of us have become comfortable in our religious routine and fail to grasp the seriousness of this.  There’s a tendancy for us to go about our lives as though tomorrow will be much like the day at hand and all of those around us who are unsaved will still be here.  We go about our business, building, collecting, marrying, taking up a myriad of causes, and become “silent as the grave” insofar as the gospel is concerned.  I’m guilty in this area and to be honest, I feel inadequate to even bring this up.  Yet we must face the seriousness of this, get in close to Jesus, and be genuine ambassadors for him.  Every unsaved person, while in their unregenerated state, is a needless tragedy waiting to happen; one for which there is no reset button or second time around. 

If we grasp this matter as we should, we’ll do everything possible to reach those who are headed for an eternity apart from God.  Concerns over things with no eternal significance, such as careers, sports teams, political banterings, home remodeling projects, golf outings, and anything that we do to keep ourselves from being bored, will take a very distant back.  Without a doubt, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  I pray that all of us would come to a place where our all is on the altar and our foremost prayer is “thy will be done.”  This can be a frightening concept at first because it requires us to be willing to let go of anything that the Lord would have us let go of.  But when we arrive in such a place the absolute peace, despite everything taking place around us, is incredible.  Loving not the world is a statement, not of legalism, but of complete liberty. 

Provrbs 14:25  “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.”

Mark 16:15  “And he said unto them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Well, it’s time to go for now.  Ironically, this post came to mind yesterday, while I was having a moment of laziness.  Flipping through a number of channels, I came across a documentary about Janis Joplin; a young and very talented lady who is now in eternity.  I parked there for a moment, and listened to her interview, where she talked as though “everythings alright” It was only months before she passed away and I was grieved because of what could have been.  Like so many, she had everything going for her, but on the night when her soul was required, it all stayed right here.  I’m failing to find adequate words to convey the urgency of getting the words of life out while the window of opportunity is open.  Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.  Until next time, I wish to all, a blessed weekend in Jesus.

 

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6 comments

  1. Beautifully written and so encouraging. Thank you and have a blessed day in Jesus.

    Scotti


  2. Thanks for the comment but for the sake of argument, I’d like to ask what your point is. I understand that you are a true believer and you are better in that, but my qualm with religion and the idea of God is that it has become so bastardized over the ages, a religion built upon lies by the creators that we have lost sight of the true meaning of God, his (or her) symbolic nature. What is that symbolic nature? Love. That is all. from what I have studied of ancient religions and the original pure state of Christianity is that he is far from a benevolent physical (or even spiritual!) being. He is not a creator, a destroyer, nor is he a he even a he (when we say “he” we imply a physical being)! God is the symbol of love and truth, not the judge and jury. God is the ideal state we wish to attain rather than the being that surpasses all of our knowledge, skill, and spiritual existences.

    Again, my argument is that God is not a physical being, he is a symbol. We only believe him to be a physical (or even spiritual if you like it that way) being BECAUSE we have created him in that way through our societal compromises. Jesus was the philosopher who spoke in the name of the IDEA of God, rather than in the words of God.

    I’d like to hear what you think about that. thanks! =D


  3. A sobering–but pertinent–post. Thank you for these thoughts.


  4. Greetings Dinasaur. (cool name) Normally, when I come across blogs such as yours, I tend to read them, but not engage in what would most likely turn into an endless exchange of comments aimed at “getting in the last word” as opposed to a serious quest for truth. Yet you seem to be one who truly desires answers but has been disillusioned by much of what has been done under the tag of “christian.”

    There are scores of “ideas” floating around, but there is also legitimate truth and with an issue of this importance, a sincere search for that truth should be at the forefront. (Again, not to win some kind of “debate trophy” but to seriously ponder the issues of life) I subscribe to the bible as authority because, while it was penned by men, they covered a span of thousands of years, was written in three basic languages, and yet the writings all agree. During his time on earth, Jesus fulfilled three hundred prophecies; a mathematical impossibility, unless the scriptures are divinely inspired.

    In the above comment, you mention one of the key attributes of God which is love. Without a doubt, he is very loving and when one reads the gospels, they see the unfathomable love of God manifest. The two great commantments alone bear this out as Jesus instructed us to love God wholeheartedly and love our neighbor as ourselves. Imagine how many of the worlds problems would disappear over night if everyone loved their neighbor as themselves. Jesus death on the cross was the ultimate act of love as he paid for the sins of all with his blood.

    I do, however, have to disagree with the idea that God is just a state of mind, or the manifestation of ancient people who had no other way to explain things. For starters, the spiritual realm is very much a real dimension that doesn’t subscribe to the laws of physics. If you’ve ever talked with someone who has had a near death experience, this truth becomes undeniable. They wander down hallways and often recall events that took place in the emergency room while unconsciously hanging in the balance. They all report their senses being much greater than when bound by the flesh. The physical world that we can observe is merely a fraction of all that is. This is why scientist are unable to nail down the mechanics of dark matter, dark energy, and a host of other astro-physical conundrums.

    When we arrive at the conclusion that there is a spiritual realm which defies explaining, we can consider that there is a God who is all-knowing, omnipotent, has no beginning and has no ending. These traits seem simply impossible, just as it seems impossible for the guy lying at the point of death to witness things taking place in other areas of the hospital. It goes to show that there are elements of reality which reside beyond the realm of logic or physical limitations.

    This lengthy and tedious comment has probably created more questions than answers, but please search these things out. My reason for dropping a comment wasn’t to start a pointless debate, but to bring about a serious examination. Most people will either follow what they’re taught, (right or wrong) or venture out with their own ideas about God, creation, the universe, life, death, good, evil, and the rest of the “big issues.” Then they “park it” and give no further thought to these things.

    Thanks again for stopping by. Please stop by again if time permits. Serious dialogue is good; even though my time is limited. (Right now it’s 3:00am here)


  5. Scotti and Shirley. Greetngs and thanks for stopping by. Lately I almost feel overwhelmed by the numbers of people around who are outside the household of faith and how few the laborers are. I’m always encouraged to hear from you and I’ll try to be in touch more often. (It’s weird. The plant is on strike and I still dont have much time. lol)

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  6. Timbob,

    You said, “Our media unwittingly does much to make light of death.” But is it really done unwittingly? Or is it done purposefully? As you say, we have a “universal understanding that every one of us has [sic] a departure time”.

    It comes as no shock that the vast majority of the media are not followers of Yeshua nor are they keepers of Torah. This means that, for them, regardless of the lies they tell themselves, death is a frightening prospect. Making movies, video games, news reports, etc. with violent images and actions “helps” them to minimize the fear of G-d and what comes after death. But, they cannot truely calm that fear and so they have to reach to even greater heights, or depths rather, of depravity.

    And, as the cliche goes, misery loves company. So they use these images, in all their varried forms, to desensitize others. It’s a collective mindset that infects those still wallowing in their sin.

    Unfortunately, I have seen this attitude and outlook inside the Church as well. It was one of the things that began my quest for the Truth while I was in seminary. Believe it or not, it was in seminary where I found Yeshua and Torah. I found, much to my surprise and delight, that Yeshua is all over Torah. But even more than that, I found Torah all over Yeshua. The fullness of one cannot be found without the other.

    Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalayim (Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem),

    Jason



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