Birthdays and Day of Death
Luke 16: 19-31
Today’s message is again back to basics. September unlike other months for me is very memorable. It was the month my two daughters were born, it was the month my beloved father died, and his funeral was the birthday of my sister. Most of the GBBC’s members were September born.
Birthdays are very special days but do you know that famous people died on their birthday? Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and John Huss died on the day they were born.
I. Birthdays celebrated in the Bible
A. Pharaoh’s Birthday – Gen. 40:20
B. Herod’s Birthday – Mat. 14:6
These two birthdays were both turning points in history. Pharaoh’s birthday was the beginning of Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt and Herod’s birthday put an end to the life of John the Baptist and is considered as the most tragic birthday party.
II. Man’s life span described in the Bible as:
A. Like a shadow – 1 Chr. 29:15
B. Like a flying shuttle – Job 7:6
C. Like a hurrying messengers – Job 9:25
D. Compared to a handbreadth – Ps. 39:5
E. Like a weaver’s Web – Isa. 38:12
F. Like a vanishing vapour – Jas. 4:14
So short our life span that the Psalmist in says Psalms 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Seventy years old and that’s it. I’ve seen people in their 80’s and 90’s but most of them are no longer happy because of their physical ailments. For them death will be good for it will be the end of their physical sufferings.
III. There is life after death. Lk. 16:22-23
A. Our text tell us a story from the Lord Himself that there is life after death
1. The earthly life of the rich man and Lazarus were presented as opposites.
2. The Jews mentality was that material prosperity was a sign of spiritual prosperity. They failed to see that God looks at the heart.
3. The wealthy man is self-sufficient while Lazarus is God dependent. By the way the name Lazarus means “God is my helper”.
4. Dogs compete with Lazarus who is just waiting for crumbs that fall on the rich man’s table. They lick his sores something that most people considers unsanitary. But if we look beyond, this maybe one of God’s provision to Lazarus. Roman soldiers bring dogs to their battle field because they believe dog’s saliva is medicinal and is effective in healing wounds. Lazarus was helpless but not hopeless.
B. There is heaven and there is hell.
1. Paradise also called Abraham’s bosom
a. Lazarus is in paradise. A place of joy, no pain, no sorrow, no more death.
b. His difficult life in earth is over and now he is in a place where he would be experiencing God’s blessings forever and ever .
a. Called Hades in Greek and Sheol in Hebrew.
b. Rich man was in torment, in misery, alone, and he is thirsty. His situation will become worse after the Great White Throne Judgment where he will be thrown into the Lake of fire. Rev. 20:11-15.
c. This description should be enough for you never to be there
Why do people go to hell? They go to hell because they reject Christ. They refuse to come to Him by faith. More people will go to hell than those who will go to heaven.
1. Memories will make Hell, hell.
2. He can remember what his life was like and he can remember that he had a chance to believe and receive the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to be saved, to have the gift of eternal life but he did not. He refused to believe.
3. He knows that he is lost and its forever.
D. The Great Gulf. Lk. 16:26
1. No one can cross over after death
2. Some teach that there will be second chance for unbelievers after death but there is none. Heb. 9:27.
3. The rich man’s request to send Lazarus to his father’s house was denied. The prayers and requests of the unsaved in hell will all be denied no matter how good the intention is.
E. Facts and information. Lk. 16:29-30
1. We have the written words of Moses and the prophets
2. We have the New Testament
It’s not that we don’t have the facts and information on what to believe, it’s that we don’t believe, reject, and don’t care about the information and facts that we have. We tend to believe worldly lies and gossips rather than the Words of our very own God, Creator and Saviour.
F. The sign. Lk. 16:30
1. The Jews looks for a sign.
2. Ironically in Jn. 11:40, Jesus raised a man who has been dead for 3 days and his name is also Lazarus. Despite of the overwhelming evidence, the Jews refused to believe.
3. The greatest sign is Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. A fact well attested by history and can never be denied. Still people refuse to believe.
There is heaven and there is hell. The choice is yours. If you haven’t received Christ as your Saviour yet, now is the time. Death may come any time when you don’t expect it. Tomorrow may be too late. Don’t be like the rich man.
Preached: 29 September 2013