Luke 16:19-17:10 I had a frightening dream one night, and it changed my life. In the dream I saw masses of blindfolded people walking off a cliff into a fiery ravine. Then I saw Jesus standing close by. I cried out, "Jesus, stop them, stop them!! They are perishing." Then I heard Jesus say, "I cannot stop them. I am in My resurrected form in heaven, but you as the church are My body on earth. On earth My spirit indwells you and desires to use the vessel of your body to do My will. You are My hands, eyes, mouth and feet on earth, and for the Holy Spirit to do His work, you must submit your body to be used by Him. Unless you use your own voice to warn these people, they will all perish."
Today's reading in Luke tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus, a poor beggar man. Both were dead. The rich man was in a place of torment, and Lazarus was in Abraham's bosom (the holding place for all who died believing in the promise of salvation). When the rich man saw Lazarus, he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue. Abraham explained there was a great chasm between him and Lazarus, and this could not be crossed. When the rich man realized he would not be delivered out of his torment, he then asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family about this place of torment. Abraham replied that if his relatives did not receive Moses and the prophets, they would not receive this warning even if someone who was raised from the dead was sent to tell them.
We now have Jesus who was raised from the dead, and the good news is that no one has to go to hell unless he chooses to do so. The whole world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket, but we have the words of life to share with the world: "You don't have to go to hell!" Will you give voice to this message today? There are many who are perishing.
Lord, I offer my body to You today for the Holy Spirit to use the members of my body to do Your will. I have the words of life. Help me to boldly declare to others the gospel so they will not have to experience eternal torment in hell.
READ: Joshua 9:3-10:43; Luke 16:19-17:10; Psalm 83:1-18; Proverbs 13:4