April 14

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“And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.” (Luke 16:26 NLT).

From: April 14, 2018

THIS IS NO PARABLE AND THERE IS NO PURGATORY
Jesus told a story concerning the eternal destiny of a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. Some call this a parable, but it is no parable. A parable, according to the dictionary, “is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.” The Greek word, päräbolā’ (παραβολῇ ), literally means “to throw beside.” So, a parable is a simple story that “throws” or points to a deeper, spiritual truth. The rich man and Lazarus story does not follow this pattern. It begins and ends as a spiritual story that pulls back the curtain on our future eternal destiny and the importance of choosing to follow Jesus in this life.
 
So, it is not a parable. And it clearly shows that there is no purgatory. Those who believe in purgatory see it as “an intermediate state after physical death in which some of those ultimately destined for heaven must first undergo purification” (Wikipedia). Yet, Christ’s account of the afterlife shows this doctrine to be false. He says that there is a “great chasm” of separation between heaven and hades. There is no going back and forth between them. There is no second chance after death. What we choose to believe in this life, will determine our eternal destiny in the next.

‘Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”’ (Joshua 10:12 NKJV).

From: April 14, 2017

How big is your God?
 
Joshua, with all Israel bearing witness, called out to God that He would cause the sun and the moon to “stand still.” And the Lord answered his prayer. With our modern scientific knowledge, we understand the insane nature of Joshua’s request. Joshua didn’t know about gravity, the rotation of the earth, and the exact motion of the celestial bodies; therefore, he had no idea what a crazy request he had made. Yet, God lengthened the day as Joshua asked. From Joshua’s perspective, and from that of all Israel, the sun appeared to stand still.
 
Whether we try to interpret this as poetic expression, or attempt to explain the possible ways that God could’ve performed this miracle without breaking the solar system, one truth remains: Joshua’s God was a big God! Joshua actually believed that God could do anything. Joshua may not have known as much as we do about science, but he knew considerably more about God.
 
I doubt that we would even think to ask God to cause the sun to “stand still.” We try to make things easy on God. We don’t want Him to over-exert Himself. We ask for small things because we have a small God. But Joshua’s God was huge!
 
You can tell the size of your God by the size of your prayers.

“…but they did not ask counsel of the Lord” (Joshua 9:14 NKJV)

From: April 14, 2015

The Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the Israelite leaders and persuaded them to make a covenant with them. The leaders, fresh from a victory, examined the condition of the men’s clothes and food and believed their story. However, once again, they proceeded without counsel from God just as they had in their first encounter with Ai, which they lost miserably. They had a slow learning curve when it came to seeking counsel from God before making a decision. We often have the same tendency. We cry out to God when we face an overwhelming challenge, but when something seems simple, we neglect godly counsel and act with human wisdom. I wonder how many disastrous decisions have been made by well-meaning people because they forgot to ask for God’s counsel? It’s the small decisions that often get us, making us say, “I got this.” When, in fact, we don’t.

“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead’” (Luke 16:31 NLT)

From: April 14, 2014

This was Abraham’s response to the rich man who while in torment in Hades begged for Lazarus to return to warn his brothers of the reality of heaven and hell. This dialogue was the conclusion to a story that Jesus told to illustrate the way people would continue to doubt Him even after His resurrection. The intellectual pride of the skeptic cannot be overcome with persuasion or evidence. The agnostic’s resistance to the gospel is not so much intellectual as it is willful. It’s not that they “can’t” listen to the evidence. It’s that they “won’t listen.” Believing in the resurrection of Jesus involves not only intellectual assent but a submission of the will, so that we confess Jesus as Lord and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3 ESV)

From: April 14, 2013

Jesus taught the disciples to attend to their own sin, repenting and forgiving quickly. We see much wrong with the world and with our culture today, but we rarely look in the mirror. When asked “What’s wrong with the world?” Author and apologist, G.K. Chesterton replied simply, “I am.” The world is certainly in need of repentance, but rather than accusing, perhaps we should lead the way.