Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Intermediate State (Part 3)

[Part 1]


[Part 2]


The Self-Centered Will Receive Torment


But notice the words that are used to describe what the proud, compassionless rich man experiences when he dies [Luke 16:23-31]– words like “thirst,” “anguish,” and “flame.” This wicked man experiences extreme discomfort and pain, he experiences frustration in that he can apparently see Abraham and Lazarus, but he can take no part in their joy, and when he addresses Abraham, he receives only righteous rejection. This is the fearful future that can be expected for all who fail to follow Jesus.

What Makes the Difference in How We Experience the Intermediate State?


Jesus’ teaching indicates that, immediately after death, a person will experience either joy or anguish. What makes the difference: is it simply whether a person is poor or rich? Is it whether a person is humble or proud? Is it whether a person is charitable or selfish?


Jesus expected His hearers to do more than simply agree with His teaching: nodding your head as you read Luke 16:19-31 is not enough.


Jesus expected His hearers to do more than just try to follow His teaching as if it were a list of rules: after all, how could you “obey” Luke 16:19-31 in this sense? Would you try to become like Lazarus by making yourself poor, then having dogs lick your sores?


Jesus expected His hearers to follow Him. In Luke 9:23-24 Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.” (HCSB)


The first step to following Jesus is to confess that you have sinned against God. In some ways, each one of us has been like the rich man in Luke 16:19, seeking our own pleasure and enjoyment in the things of this world, while giving little to no thought to God or to others. Due to our sin, each one of us deserves the exact same kind of torment– the thirst, anguish, flame, frustration, and rejection– that the rich man received after death. On the Cross, Jesus took the torment that sinners deserve, as seen by the words He spoke from the Cross: “I thirst!” (John 19:28), “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34), etc. Jesus died the death that we deserve, He was buried, and He rose from the grave on the third day. Jesus now lives and offers eternal life to anyone who follows Him.

My Plea to Anyone Reading These Words

Confess that you are a sinner. Turn away from your sin. Trust in Jesus and in His work on the Cross to save you from your sin and from the agony of death. Follow Jesus today.

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