The Center Fellowship
The Center Fellowship

The Rich Man and Lazarus – Part 1

Richard: All right, let’s pray. Our Father we do thank you for another day. I can’t help but think of that verse, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” And we thank you for the lives you’ve given us. We are grateful for good friends. I just…opportunity to meet and to discuss the real substance to the issues of life. I pray that you would really use this time as we study this parable to really speak to us that teaches your ways. We just acknowledge that we are really needy, Lord. We need your wisdom, we need your strength, we need your guidance in our lives. We do thank you in Christ name. Amen.

Group: Amen.

Richard: Okay, if you’ll recall we are…we’ve been kind of doing a series talking about some of the difficult issues that people struggle with and wrestle with as they consider the Christian faith. And we kind of finished that up last week. We looked at the issue of exclusivism then we looked at the way people can pervert the gospel. The first would be what’s called “Universalism” that God just opened His arms up and says, “Everybody, come on in.” And we showed…I think demonstrated very clearly from the Scripture how that is false. Then we looked at what Paul’s struggle with, with the Galatian churches. They kind of were going back to the… as he says, they’ve abandoned the gospel for a new gospel which is faith plus works equals salvation. That you got to sustain your salvation by doing good or you basically have to…you have to add to it I guess. It’s not just faith that works. And we looked very closely at a lot of Scripture but primarily Ephesians 2:8 and 9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith not as a results of work that no man should boast.” And what I thought we would do today is to look at this parable that I think is very pertinent to everything we talked about. And it’s a lengthy parable. It’s I think one of the most significant of all the parables not that one is more significant than the other but it is I think important. And I don’t hear many people talk about it much. I don’t see many people from the pulpit preach on it because it’s tough. I mean it’s about…it’s a prayer all about hell and heaven. And for the benefit of those who are watching this via video, I thought I would just read the parable out loud. I hope you did your assignment. If you didn’t, for your benefit I’m just going to read it out loud. And then we’ll proceed and then you’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk. It’s called… the parable is “The Rich Man and Lazarus.”

Luke 16 starting at verse 19, “Now there was a rich man and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate covered with sores and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, which is another word for “hell”, he lifted up his eyes being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life we received…you received your good things and likewise Lazarus bad things but now he is being comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all these between us and you, there is a great chasm fixed so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able. And that none may cross over from there to us. And he said, “Well then I beg you Father that you send him to my father’s house for I have five brothers in order that he may warn them so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear”. But he said, “No father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead they will repent.” But he said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”

Now guys if you go to Matthew 13, 10 and 11 which we’re not going to do. But in Matthew 13:10-11 you go look it up if you want to…we learn that Jesus primarily uses the parables to teach His people, primarily to teach us and give us greater insight into the mysteries of the kingdom of God. So if that is the case the question that I pose and put in my email to you and ask you to think about is, what do you think Jesus is trying to teach us here? Because there is a lot contained in this parable in fact, we’ll probably spend two or three weeks on it. But what got your attention? What do you think Jesus is trying to reveal to us in this parable, anybody? Don’t be bashful.

Gary: There’s a lot about the parable that He’s trying to reveal within the context of this. Certainly it’s trying to reveal the reality of hell, that there is a place of torment there apart from a relationship with God.

Richard: Yes, let me comment on that then I’ll hold it back up. I read that Jesus never taught fantasy in His parables. No science thing not like ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.’ Now you have a father and two sons and the…and the parable of the prodigal son. You have a sower that throws seed out. You have a rich man who’s thinking about building bigger barns and planning the future. And so, which leads you as Gary pointed out to recognize that heaven and hell are very real places. Jesus mentions hell 11 times in the Scripture, I want read I want to look it up and count it. But then he also spends a lot of time talking about those who will enter the kingdom of God and those who will not. Those who have eternal life and those who do not, that mentions hell. But here I think as Gary points out he said, “This is a reality, you need to recognize, this is a reality.” What else? Charlie.

Charlie: I’d say really reflects on stubbornness of mankind since Moses all the way through Jesus.

Richard: Excellent. Right on, right on. I think it does. I think this…and we’re going to talk about this a little bit today. It talks about the human condition and man’s resistance of God. Jim you got something?

Jim: Well, it talks about the irreversibility of the moment there. And that’s very seldom taught.

Richard: Yes, death closes the door to grace. They clearly does. There’s no doubt about it. What else? Yes Sir.

Von: The…probably by this so many people won’t believe even when he rises from the dead.

Richard: Isn’t that a kind of a little foreshadowing, isn’t it? That yes, or I mean we saw that when we looked at the way people responded when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It said, “Many would…if you are called it says, “Many were there and witnessed it.” Because they were there comforting Martha and Mary as they were grieving. And if you remember a number of them went off to the Pharisees. I mean they’d watched Jesus raised a man from the dead who’d been there for four days. He raised him. And since many went to the Pharisees and the Pharisees, instead of saying, “Maybe this was the Messiah.” What did they do, they said, “We’re going to get rid of this guy”. And then of course, Von as you have mentioned, Jesus His own resurrection. Ravi Zacharias will fall this out. Ravi Zacharias and this was his opinion. He says that this parable in his opinion is more about the brothers the five brothers than it is about Lazarus and the rich man. Now whether that’s the case I don’t know. But that goes back to what Charlie is saying just the fact that the resistance of the human heart. I mean God has given…look at all the light he’s given. That’s what he’s saying. There’s plenty of light for man to come to a knowledge of the truth. A knowledge of true salvation. They’ve got it all they need.

Von: But he acts like he weren’t really given all the information he needed.

Richard: Yes.

Von: Because he says, “Go on now, I mean now I know but like there wasn’t really enough information in life and Scriptures too to understand what the reality of hell was.

Richard: Yes, and Tim Keller says. This guy, you don’t see any sense of remorse. He hadn’t changed much. He said, he’s ordering, “Hey, send Lazarus to cool my tongue off.” You see no humility. You see no regret. You just see that nothing’s changed about this guy.

Jim: I understand that Abraham that some things were done here and some are not. I mean, he doesn’t say, “Well okay I’ll send him, and well give it a try.”

Richard: Yes.

Von: Either some, they’re not going to get it.

Richard: Yes and there’s a chasm as… somebody said that’s…it’s fixed. As Jim said, it’s fixed.

Jim: Maybe there’s a…once they go they were distracted by their will.

Richard: Yes, we’ll get to that. We’ll probably talk about that next week. That’s a huge issue in all of it…in almost, in a number of Jesus’ parables.

Von: Well, there was a fact I find that’s interesting is that as you see that the parable identifies Lazarus by name. And they just said the rich man. They don’t say a name. They just said he’s identity is that he was rich…he was a rich man.

Richard: This is the only parable where a person is given a name. And we can come back to that because Lazarus, the name Lazarus has a very special meaning. So it wasn’t just an accident that Jesus called the poor man Lazarus, the only parable where someone has a name. But the other guy is just described as the rich man. And I think that’s significant as well, anybody else?

Guest 1: Don’t you think the missing element is, you got two people given all the same exact information. One guy gets it, one guy doesn’t.

Richard: What do you think? I’m not being…that’s a good, excellent point.

Gary: I think it’s pointing towards maybe predestination of calling of God.

Richard: That one was…basically one God moved in their lives and the other he didn’t. I think that’s a very real possibility.

[Crosstalk 00:12:01.18]

Von: One had a great need. One is rich and one is poor I think.

Gary: Well I’m not really talking about this particular instance it might just point this is general.

Richard: General. Yes, yes. Yes, that’s a whole another teaching but I think…no, no, no in fact Gary thinks that’s something I probably have to teach on which I probably will at some point, particularly now that you’ve raised a question. Because it’s throughout they’re talking about election as you see it throughout the Scripture. Now whether you like it or not, it’s there.

Gary: Well Keller says all these but yes even in his agony, he was still unrepentant.

Richard: Tim Keller thinks that’s a big… he’s got like four sermons on this. And he thinks that’s a big issue. Is that this guy has not changed to leak even though now he sees the reality of it all. Nothing’s changed. It get back to, you choose it. This is what he chose. And he has no…basically, you don’t see the regret there. Let me… well, I’ll open back up in a minute but something struck me that I wanted to share real quickly as it relates to what we’ve talked about the last three weeks. And it just kind of struck me in a powerful way as I was preparing for this. So since we’re in Luke, you might want to keep your finger where you are but go to Luke 24. In Luke 24, Jesus is risen from the dead, okay? He is about to leave and he’s giving his man their final instructions. And starting in verse 45 it says, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he has said to them as it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day.” He was going back to the Old Testament Scriptures and showing them were it was prophesied that he, the Messiah, would suffer. And then he says, “And this is the message you’re going to take out into the world. And that repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in His name to all the nations of the world beginning from Jerusalem.”

Now let me ask you something, he says, “This is the message.” And he said, “You will take it to all the nations of the world.” And it distraught me, why would Jesus send them out into all the nations of the world if there was this blanket forgiveness for the world. There would be no…You have to go in a lot of trouble to do something that’s not necessary. Or if you’re like one who believes that we talked about…that when it gets right down to it, that there all these other religions that are just different paths that lead to the divine. If that was the case, why do you have to go out into all the nations of the world to proclaim this message? And the reason is very clear, everyone needs their sins forgiven. Everyone needs to hear this message. The Apostle Paul in First Timothy chapter one verse 15 says, “Only Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” That’s the main focus of Christianity. In fact before Jesus was even born, remember what the angel said to Joseph? When Joseph’s about ready to bail on Mary? He says, “Don’t do that, she’s been conceived by the Holy Spirit and you will call His name Jesus and He will save His people from their sins.” And then in First Timothy if you go a chapter more it says, in chapter two verse five it says, “For there is one God and one mediator also between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” That’s why Jesus says, “Take this message into the world and share it to all nations.” And why, He says, “Because this is the most serious issue in all of life.” And this parable I think reveals that. Let me stop here, any comments or questions?

Okay, well let’s talk…this parable reveals and talks about the reality of heaven and the reality of hell. And two weeks ago we talked about hell. And in this we learned a lot, or we learned something. And he uses the word twice in the New American, “It’s a place of torment” is what it says. Now this is what’s kind of confusing. And this is…there’s opinion that goes in what I’m getting ready to say. In verse 24 he talks about a flame doesn’t he? You see that? Where it talks about back in Luke 16? All the references speak about a lake of fire. But in Matthew 8:12, hell is referred to as “a place of outer darkness.” In fact in Jude verse 13, it talks about a place of eternal darkness, or if you have flames that hot then you have both flames and darkness. So this has led to a lot of disagreement. And I want to read to you a Lee Strobel, you all know who Lee Strobel is? Lee Strobel when he was going…he’s an atheist going to the interviewing process of trying to basically figure all this out. He went to J.P. Moreland who is quite a scholar. And he talked about this issue of hell because he didn’t believe in it. He said, “Why would a loving God send people to hell?” And Strobel asked him about this issue of darkness and the flames and let me read to you what Moreland says. He says, “We know that the reference to flames is figurative, not literal because if you try to take it literally it makes no sense.” For example, hell is described as a place of utter darkness and yet there are flames too. How can that be? Flames will light things up. In addition we’re told Christ is going to return surrounded by flames that he’s going to have a big sword coming out of His mouth. But nobody thinks Christ won’t be able to say, say anything because He’s choking on a sword. The figure of the sword stands for the word of God in judgment. The flames stands for Christ coming in judgment. For instance, in Hebrews 12:29 God is called a “consuming fire.” Yet nobody thinks God as a cosmic buns of burn. Using the flame inner imagery is a way of saying He’s a God of Judgment. And Strobel at the…when he hears that who was again who was not a Christian when he did this interview said, “Well maybe hell is not as bad as it sounds.” He was trying to inject a little levity and Moreland responded quickly said, “It would be a mistake to think that way,” he said firmly. Any figure of speech has a literal point. What is figurative is the burning flame, what is literal is that this is a place of utter heartbreak. It’s a loss of everything. And it’s meant to stand for the fact that hell is the worst possible situation that can even ever happen to a person. Now I want to share two thoughts. And these thoughts really in the grand scheme of thing are not important to us but it’s a way that gain a little understanding as we try to figure out, what is Jesus? What was His intent in this parable? What was He trying to teach us? Now, I want to look up. It’s really the same verses. It’s just in two separate Gospels. It’s in…In fact let us all look up Mark 12:38 until 40. But Luke 20:45 to 47 is recorded again and so if you would turn to Mark 12:38 until 40…

Charlie: Richard.

Richard: Yes Sir.

Charlie: What’s that Revelation it talks about the lake of fire, the burning sulphur and the devil [Inaudible 00:20:42.28] literally it illustrates that the burning of the lips and you know.

Richard: Yes and Charlie I don’t know how to really respond to that other than the fact of what you just said as exactly what’s in the Scripture, you’re right. Mark 12, everybody, yes Jim?

Jim: One thing, are you going to talk about the gospel really as seen obviously?

Richard: I wouldn’t plan on it or you want to talk about it?

Jim: I was thinking about what Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus when he talks about…

Richard: Oh I am go and mention Nicodemus in just a second.

Jim: No, it’s grieve of the last of as the rich man on national stage do you think we’re okay. Well, that’s an illusion.

Richard: Yes, oh absolutely.

Jim: So there has to be a transformation.

Richard: Yes, and that’s why I think God play…unlike in my own life. I’m just bopping along in life and all of a sudden I experienced this emptiness in my college years and God began to draw me to Himself. It’s really interesting how I think the role that does play. All right is everybody at Mark 12:38 to 40? Greg Pipern, can you read those?

Greg: Okay, Mark 12:38. As He taught, He said, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and they have the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honour at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of the parents say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Richard: They will receive the greater condemnation. Then are these as such men we punished most severely. They amplifies us, they will receive the heavier sentence of condemnation. And the good old King James says, “They shall receive greater damnation.” Now it says greater damnation, greater condemnation, in trying to understand what this greater condemnation was all about I went to several commentators and they didn’t help much. Matthew Henry clearly seems to believe that there is greater and lesser condemnation. There’s another commentator that I read says that there’s a greater and lesser condemnation and I think he’s on to something based on the light you receive and what you do with that light. Because as Paul Allas who’s a great scholar and author says, “he feels like there what you see is you have an ignorant unbeliever that does have some light,” as we read in Romans 1 a couple of weeks ago. But then you have a hard-hearted believer like the Pharisee who have so much light. And it’s almost like he’s saying, they will be dealt with differently. And so it seems that God places great responsibility to those who have a great deal of light. You see that in James 3:1. In James 3:1 it says, “Let not many of you become teachers my brethren, knowing that as such you will incur a much stricter judgment,” which makes me sometimes think, maybe I need to retire from this.

But I mean…think about as Jim brother…think about what…remember when Jesus meets with Nicodemus? And Nicodemus comes to him because he’s curious about who he is. And Jesus long to His [Inaudible 00:24:24.16] into and says, “Nicodemus you must be born again.” And Nicodemus said, “What are you talking about, born again, you born twice?” And what did Jesus say to him? He kind of rebuked him He says, “Nicodemus aren’t you a teacher of the law? You’re a Pharisee and you don’t understand this?” He says, “You should clearly understand this. It’s clearly spelled out in the book of Ezekiel.” So I’m not really sure when it gets right down to about the greater and lesser condemnation whatever is somebody pointed, it don’t really matter. It’s condemnation. But in yesterday we had a really great discussion yesterday and somebody pointed out and I spent two weeks talking on this two years ago. So there’s a lot that could be said that somebody pointed out you think about it in heaven you’ll have those who have greater reward than others. That mean you have a higher rank or anything like that. But in First Corinthians chapter three it says, “Our works will be judged by fire.” He says, “Some people aren’t going to have any reward but they’ll be in heaven and some will have greater treasures than others.” So it’s kind of like what you see is that in heaven there is those who’s going to have more. As Jesus himself said, greater treasure than others.

Randy: Richard would you say that the verse that it might have given and it might be just exactly…

Richard: That would definitely fit right in here Randy in what we’re saying. And so when it gets right down to it, this is just something we need to know. I would say to this, don’t be thinking like the one…a man who said to me once, “Or maybe the lightest sentence in hell is not that bad.” And I said, “Well, I wouldn’t assume that, it would be a huge mistake.” But let me tell you this is my opinion we talked about what Charlie brought up in Revelation. This is the one thing we do know. And I think this is…and this is what my opinion based on what Moreland says being what’s figurative and what’s literal. I think this is one thing that we know literally will be true. That in hell, God and all his goodness will be withdrawn. In other words, there’ll be no love, there’ll be no…He’s the source of all love. There’ll be no joy, He’s the source of all joy. There’ll be no peace, He is the source of all peace. And as Moreland said, “It is the worst possible situation can ever happen to a person. And so as we think about the seriousness of this issue and it is a serious issue. I want to share with you I think a great illustration that sheds some light on all of these. It’s one of my favourite illustrations and I hadn’t share it a long time some of you weren’t even familiar with it. But as we think about eternal everlasting condemnation and here you have this loving God. And that’s what people struggle with. We get our subjective feelings involved and that’s understandable. But this kind of I think gives a really good perspective of what’s going on here. And as Charlie said, the resistance of men and men’s heart but this really will shed some light on it.

Imagine a great and generous king. In the midst of his benevolent reign, he hears that his subjects have revolted. They’ve rebelled against him. So he sends his messengers to investigate. The rebels killed the messengers. There’s a parable in the Bible kind of like this as well. So he sends his own dear son, the prince. They murdered him viciously and then hang his body on the city wall. What would you expect the King to do now? Send his armies and take revenge? That’s what you think he would do. Kill the rebels? Burn their villages to ashes? He’s a benevolent King though. He has the power and the right to avenge himself against those who rebel against him. But what if the King turned around and offer these criminals a full pardon. He tells them, “I will accept my son whom you murdered as the payment for your rebellion, you may go free.” He says, “The only thing I require is that you admit your transgressions and then as rebels you lay down your arms and you agree to live under my domain and embrace my son’s purchase of your forgiveness.” Now most people would be stunned by that incredible amount of compassion. But the King says, “I’m not finished. And I also want to invite you to come to live in my palace, to eat at my table, to enjoy all the pleasures of my kingdom. And I’m going to adopt you as my own children and make you heirs so that everything that’s mine is yours forever.” I mean that’s incredible that anybody would think about that. And then he says this, “But I won’t force you to accept my offer but if you choose not to accept my offer, you are going to spend the rest of your life in prison because you’ve basically broken our laws.” You see, can you imagine someone responding how dare that King send anyone to prison. What a cruel tyrant. Yes this he says…I can’t remember where I got this. This is God…this is a picture of God’s grace to us. If trying to comprehend it doesn’t stretch your brain then you just aren’t getting it. Because grace is so incomprehensible to us, we bootleg in condition so we won’t look so bad and God’s offer won’t seem so counter-intuitive. By the way, by the time we’re done qualifying the Gospel we’re no longer worthy and we are no longer unworthy and powerless. We’ve miss just…we’re just misguided souls. We’re no longer wretches and grace is no longer grace and that’s what’s happen. Never believe anything about yourself or God that makes His grace to you seem anything less than astonishing because that’s exactly what God’s grace is. It’s absolutely astonishing that he would do this for us. And I love this because this I think illustration helps illustrate the incredible mercy of God and the utter foolishness, and stubbornness, and darkness in the heart of man. And I can’t help but think what Charlie said, going back to John chapter three verse 19 that says, “The true light has come into the world for all to see.” But this is the problem Jesus says, “Men love the darkness instead of the light.” Let me stop here. Come ask questions.

Gary: Now one of the things I think we…we forget is how much of God’s common grace is spread throughout the Earth and how everybody gets to take part of that. I mean, you just think about it.

Richard: We’re all the beneficiaries of everybody.

Gary: And all Christians, non-Christians like are and once that, when that is removed completely that you would probably be the most impoverished place in Africa where the darkest worst place, that would still become…

Richard: That would pay it. Yes, yes.

Gary: And I think hell is probably going to be like that with all the common grace gone.

Richard: Everything removed.

Gary: Yes.

Richard: That is in my opinion what hell is, what Gary just said. Everything, all of God’s goodness is completely removed. And you are left to exist in that condition.

Gary: And it’s because that’s what they want. I mean they don’t, I think they don’t really know that that’s what it would be like when I think…one of the things Keller says is about if you take somebody who’s self-absorbed, angry, bitter and you take that in the short little life of 80 years plus. And as you get older you get more angry and more bitter whatever and then you make a trajectory of that to eternity. You can imagine what that person be like ten thousand years from now. And that’s their own self-absorption on this.

Richard: And Keller says and basically, “This is what they have chosen and this is what they would choose.” And that this…in this parable, the rich man doesn’t say, “Well, I wish I could get out of here.” This is where he’s chosen, this is where he is and he hadn’t changed. Yes Jim.

Jim: Does he have somebody who, you know came in, a family member somebody to care about his needs. First time he would suggest you’d give response to that. [Inaudible 00:34:55.20].

Richard: Well I think that that’s important. I think that’s a fact, we’re kind of getting into that Jim. That’s kind of how I want to close because I would venture to say that we all have people in our lives that don’t have a relationship with Christ. And what do we do about that? Well that leads me to kind of how to wrap this up. Because if we…if I was on the road, if we believe that hell is a reality and recognize that certain people we know are at risk of spending eternity there, what should our lives be all about? How should we relate to them? I want to…this is a story of fact that your brother gave me and I’m going to read it. And then I’m going to share with you something that really is convicting. It’s convicting to me and maybe convicting to you as well.

This first is a true story, as we think about what should our lives be all about if this is all true? On July fourth 1854, Charlie Peace, a well-known criminal in London was hanged. An Anglican church which had a ceremony for everything even has a ceremony for hanging people. So when Charlie Peace was marched to the gallows, a priest marched behind him and read these words from the prayer book, “Those who die without Christ experience hell which is the pain of forever dying without the release which death itself can bring.” When these chilling words were read, Charlie Peace stopped in his tracks. He turned to the priest and shouted in his face, “Do you believe that? Do you really believe that?” And the priest was taken aback by the sudden verbal assault, stammered for a moment and said, “Well, I suppose I did.” “Well I don’t,” said Charlie. “But if I did, I’d get down on my hands and knees and crawl all over Great Britain even if it were paved with pieces of broken glass. If I could just rescue one person from what you have just described to me.”

Now, there’s a guy…I’m curious to know if you’ve ever heard of him. His name is Penn Jillette. Have you ever heard of him? He’s a magician or he call…he’s an illusionist. And he’s a very outspoken atheist. And what I’m going to share with you is on YouTube, you can Google it. Yes, I had seen it, I was reminded of it by Larry Teuton and as he closed up a debate that he did in Seattle. Let me give you his name…its P.E.N.N. J.I.L.L.E.T.T.E. and if you will just put in Penn Jillette in the Google or Penn Jilette receives a Bible…you’ll have, it’s about a six-minute clip. He’s a big old guy and he’s got a deep voice, very intimidating. But this is a really, really fascinating clip because he share…what he does, he shares that after one of his performances everybody’s cleared out wherever the venue was and he sees this man who’s evidently waiting for him. And the man approaches him and he says he was a businessman. He was dressed very well. You could tell he was a businessman and he said he was a con man. And he said…but he said three times he was a really good man. And he’d looked me, he was very humble he looked me in the eye, he shook my hand and he handed me a small Gideon Bible. You know Bible that has the New Testament and the Psalms and Proverbs. And he said, “This guy had inscribed in the front of this little Bible some words to me and then some verses that he wanted me to read.” And you could tell Jillette was moved by the fact that this man really cared for me. He cared for my soul, he’s a…I know there’s not a God. But then he said this, I want to quote him, very convicting. He says, “I don’t respect Christians who don’t evangelize.” He said, “How could it be that you believe in eternal life and don’t tell other people about it.” He says, “How could you believe that hell is real and not warn them. How much would you have to hate me to not tell me that?” He said, “You’ll be like a bus who’s coming right at me that I don’t see and you just turn away and do nothing.” And he says, “And the reason you did nothing, the excuse you give is because you think it will be socially awkward.” Now I don’t know about you but that’s convicting. And he’s…I mean this guy has cut right through the chain, and this guy is an atheist.

All I would say as we close is this, guys this is what the work we do here is all about. This is in my opinion our highest priority is to take the Gospel out into the world, to men who don’t have a relationship with Christ. Many who don’t even understand the Gospel and it clearly articulated to them. That’s why we have breakfasts’ at the BCC. That’s why we have all these investigative studies. And I would just close by saying, we want to help you reach the people in your life who don’t have a relationship with Christ and we’ll help you any way we can.


Add grace and understanding to your day with words from Richard E. Simmons III in your inbox. Sign-up for weekly email with the latest blog post, podcast, and quote.

Fill out the form to receive wisdom in your inbox from Richard E. Simmons III.