Luke – Chapter 19

Zacchaeus

Verse 1 – Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

Verse 2 – Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was chief tax collector, and he was rich.

Verse 3 – And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short nature.

Verse 4 – So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.

Tax collectors were among the most despised people in Israel. They worked for the Roman government and were considered traitors. It was also well-known that the tax collectors were rich because they gouged their fellow Jews on taxes.

Verse 5 – And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.

Jesus knew not only that Zacchaeus was above Him in the tree, but knew his name! So you can already guess Jesus knew what the man did for a living.

Verse 6 – So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

Verse 7 – But when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Yes, he was a sinner, but people who live in “glass houses” shouldn’t throw rocks!

Verse 8 – Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Look what Zacchaeus was willing to do, and he had just met Jesus. Before Jesus said anything about what Zacchaeus had done wrong, He was willing to go to this sinner’s house. In the presence of Jesus, we will know what we have to do to get our hearts right along with our behavior.

Verse 9 – And Jesus said to Him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;

By Jesus stating Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham, He informed the surrounding Jews, that even though they were a descendant, they could be lost.

Verse 10 – “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The Parable of the Ten Minas

Verse 11 – Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.

Verse 12 – Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.

Verse 13 – “So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

Verse 14 – “But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him saying, ‘We will not have this man reign over us.’

Verse 15 – “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Jesus is talking about Himself, having to return to heaven, but letting them know He will return. This is also a warning to those who despised Him while He was among them on earth and when He returns.

Verse 16 – “Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’

“Look, I have fully multiplied what you have given me to use for Your kingdom!”

Verse 17 – “And he said to him, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’

Verse 18 – “And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’

Verse 19 – “Like wise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

Verse 20 – “And another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have put away in a handkerchief.

Verse 21 – ‘For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

“Here Lord, I give you back exactly what you gave me to start with. I never studied Your word so that I could lead anyone to You. It took too much time. I didn’t see any reason to ever go past the “born-again” thing.”

Verse 22 – “And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.

Why exactly was this master so hard on this servant? (1) Because he didn’t share his master’s interest in the kingdom. (2) He didn’t trust the master’s intentions. (3) His only concern was for himself. ( 4) He didn’t make good use of the money that was given him. (5) And , he wasn’t looking for the master’s return. God has given us gifts to be used to further His kingdom. Are we interested in seeing His kingdom grow? Do we trust God to order our steps? Are we willing to share what He’s given us with others?

Verse 23 – ‘Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

Verse 24 – “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’

Verse 25 – (“But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)

Verse 26 – ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given, and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

Verse 27 – ‘But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

There is a great reward to those who stay faithful to the Lord in what He has given them. He will multiply what He has given you and to those who do not use what He has given, will be taken away what little they have. Likewise, those which don’t want Christ to reign over their lives, will be severely punished. If you don’t want anything to do with Christ while living here on earth, what makes a person think they will go to heaven when they die? If you are not living for Christ, you are considered an enemy of God.

The Triumphal Entry

Verse 28 – When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

Verse 29 – And it came to pass, when He came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples,

Verse 30 – saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose him and bring him here.

Verse 31 – “And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing him?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of him.’ ”

Verse 32 – So those who were sent departed and found it just as He had said to them.

Verse 33 – But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

Verse 34 – And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”

Verse 35 – Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own garments on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.

Verse 36 – And as He went, they spread their clothes on the road.

This prophecy of Zachariah 9:9, was being fulfilled right before their eyes. However, the perception of the people was much different from what would actually happen. Their thinking was too small, because they thought He had come to liberate them from the suppression of the Roman government. But His real intention would free all mankind from sin and the oppression of Satan through His death and resurrection.

Verse 37 – Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,

Verse 38 – saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Verse 39 – And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

Verse 40 – But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

The Pharisees thought what the crowd and the disciples cried out was sacrilegious and blasphemous. They didn’t want anyone to challenge their power and authority. They had missed the true meaning entirely. Jesus was about to establish an eternal kingdom, not a political one.

Verse 41 – Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,

Verse 42 – saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

Verse 43 – “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,

Verse 44 – “and level you, and your children within you , to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

About 40 years after Jesus said these words, they came true. In A.D. 66, the Jews revolted against Roman control. Three years later Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, was sent to crush the rebellion. Roman soldiers attacked Jerusalem and broke through the northern wall, but still couldn’t take the city. Finally they laid siege to it, and in A.D. 70, they ere able to enter the severely weakened city and burn it. Six hundred thousand Jews were killed during this rage.

It is impossible to number how many Jews were killed during the Holocaust of WWII, but the estimation is around 6 million, 1.1 million children, and 4 million Gentiles. The Jewish people have been persecuted and killed form the beginning of history for their belief in the One True God of Israel.

Cleansing the Temple

Verse 45 – Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,

The court of the Gentiles in the temple complex was where sacrificial animals were being sold for outrageously high prices. Who knows how long or when this practice had been started. These were the money changers. When you came into the temple, the priest would only accept temple money, not foreign currency. Then the people could buy the animals that were to be sacrificed.

I went to a church for several years and after some time, every function they had where people would gather for fellowship, cost money. There was always a charge to attend. So you could imagine only those who could afford it went. There was no difference in what went on in Jesus day as there is today in some places of worship.

Verse 46 – saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Verse 47 – And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him,

Verse 48 – and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

 

 

 

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Luke – Chapter 18

Parable of the Woman and the Judge

Verse 1 – Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,

This parable speaks to the common tendency to become discouraged and stop praying before we see an answer.

Verse 2 – saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.

Verse 3 – “Now there was a widow in that city; and she came saying, ‘Avenge me of my adversary.’

The judge was not a religious or compassionate man. A widow in that culture was almost always helpless. Her only hope was that her persistent plea for justice would be granted.

Verse 4 – “And he would not for a while; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,

Verse 5 – ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

Verse 6 – Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.

Verse 7 – “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

If unjust judges respond to constant pressure, how much more will a great and loving God respond to us? When we know He loves us, we know He hears us!

Verse 8 – “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

At the time right before Christ’s second coming, will genuine faith be found?

Parable of the Pharisees and the Tax Collectors

Verse 9 – Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Verse 10 – “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

Verse 11 – “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortion, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. (Thank You Lord, that I’m better than everyone else.)

Verse 12 – ‘I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess – (I, I, I.)

That is nothing more than a self-righteous announcement to God of who the Pharisee is in his own eyes. That spirit of Pride in that Pharisee and is exactly what stops many from repenting. They never look at their own sin or faults. They only compare themselves to others, making them think more highly of themselves than they ought. We don’t come to God with a list of all the things we do right or how great we have been. God sees the heart, intentions and motives behind what we do.

Verse 13 – “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’

Verse 14 – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

By contrast, the tax collector knew that as a sinner, deserved God’s wrath. Jesus emphasized that God’s justification is available to the humble, while self-exalting people will be brought low.

Verse 15 – Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

Verse 16 – But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

Verse 17 – “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God, the King Messiah, the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it, even the whole Gospel dispensation, as a little child, without prejudice, pride , ambition, and vanity, only with meekness, and humility; shall in no wise enter in.

Rich Young Ruler

Verse 18 – Now a certain ruler asked Him saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Verse 19 – So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

Verse 20 – “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery; ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

Verse 21 – And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.”

Verse 22 – So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow me.”

Verse 23 – But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

And there lies the heart of the matter. God sees us doing all the right ordinances by His laws, but He also sees the intentions and motives behind them. When it comes to money, are we willing to sacrifice what we own or accumulate, for treasures in heaven? Keep in mind: “God can’t multiply what is in our hands unless we first release it to Him.

Verse 24 – And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!

Verse 25 – “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Jesus contradicted the conventional wisdom that those with wealth were blessed by God and would certainly go to heaven.

Verse 26 – And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”

Verse 27 – But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

We often find that people who have everything, have no need for God. However, when these same people realize they cannot be saved by their own efforts, God does the impossible when they cry out to Him, and by His saving Grace, He answers them, rich or poor.

Christ Will Reward Sacrifice

Verse 28 – Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

Verse 29 – So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,

Verse 30 – “who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come everlasting life.”

Some, as the disciples did, have to give up their secular jobs to follow Christ. Some even give up their families because of their disapproval of them being a follower. However, not only will they be rewarded in this life, they also gain eternal life with the King of Kings.

Christ Foretells His Death and Resurrection

Verse 31 – Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.

Verse 32 – “For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon.

Verse 33 – “And they will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He will rise again.”

Verse 34 – But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.

Try to imagine being one of the disciples and hearing your friend and teacher of the past three years, talking about their death. It would be hard to focus on anything after that. But, they weren’t comprehending what He said after that, that He would rise on the third day.

For instance: We know all the prophecies about the end times, if you have studied, but we don’t know when or exactly how they will play out. Will we realize the events when they begin to happen? Only if you are looking for them.

Verse 35 – Then it happened, that as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging.

Verse 36 – And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant.

Verse 37 – So they told him Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.

Verse 38 – And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on Me!”

When Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of David,” he knew it meant that Jesus was the Messiah.

Verse 39 – Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Are we willing to cry out in boldness in order to get the Savior’s attention? Too many times people will continue to sit and be silent, instead of doing what is necessary to be healed. They care too much what others will think of them.

Verse 40 – So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him,

Verse 41 – saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

Verse 42 – Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.”

Verse 43 – And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

All these people had to see this miracle first before they praised God, but Bartimaeus knew Jesus was the Messiah before he saw anything – faith!

 

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 17

Christ Teaches On Offenses

Verse 1 – Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!

Verse 2 – “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

This “woe” was to anyone which caused Christ’s followers to sin. Jesus may have been directing this statement to the religious leaders who were perpetuating an evil system with their hypocritical ways.

Verse 3 – “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Jesus calls those “in Christ” brother. These are our fellow Christians. Notice, He said, “If they repent, admit they were wrong. To rebuke does not mean to bring to attention every little fault they have. We are to bring to their attention the wrong they have done in order to restore that relationship to you for the purpose of seeing it as sin. We are to check our attitude towards that person before we go to them.

Verse 4 – “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Jesus is talking about people who are truly sorry for their sin, who admit it and truly are trying to not sin. The problem is that most people who still haven’t learned to control their tempers, because they didn’t get their way, end up sinning in their actions and what they say. Admitting that you did another person wrong is something I don’t see frequently between Christians.

Verse 5 – And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

They said this because of what Jesus had just told them about how many times we are, and they, to forgive offenses. However, how much easier is it to forgive someone, when they can admit they were the one that did something wrong? It’s when they storm off mad and you can’t reason with them that makes it hard to forgive them.

Verse 6 – So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea; and it would obey you.

The problem didn’t lay in the amount of faith they possessed, it lay with believers treating others right! Sometimes it’s hard to deal with other Christians because they are carnal. Their actions and decisions are made on their emotions, not by God’s written word. We don’t put our faith in other people, our faith is in God, knowing He will be faithful to His Word.

Verse 7 – “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?

Verse 8 – “But will he rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk’?

Verse 9 – “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.

Verse 10 – “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty.’ ”

When we obey God’s commandments, we have only done our duty as a Christian. Jesus is not saying our service to Him or others is worthless, He is attacking spiritual pride. Pride in thinking this or that teaching of Christ, doesn’t apply to me as a believer. Act right and treat others right, the way Christ treats you.

Christ Cleanses Ten Lepers

Verse 11 – Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

Verse 12 – Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men, who were lepers, who stood afar off.

Verse 13 – And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

Verse 14 –  So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

We need to act on Jesus word before we ever see any results! Speak the word, by faith, out loud! The lepers were not healed until they obeyed to go towards where the priest were. Sometimes we are told to do something before we see our miracle – obedience.

Verse 15 – Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,

Verse 16 – and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

Is it possible to receive God’s great gifts, miracles, and blessings, with an ungrateful spirit? Nine out of the ten did so. God doesn’t have to do anything for us, but because He is a “Good God,” He does. Only the thankful learn that it is their faith in Christ that heals the mind, soul, and body. Only faithful Christians grow in the understanding of God’s grace! By mentioning, “and he was a Samaritan,” Luke shows God’s grace is for everyone.

Verse 17 – So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?

Verse 18 – “Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Verse 19 – And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.

I wonder if the 9 that were ungrateful stayed cleansed? 1 Chronicles 16:8 – Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! When we tell others about the goodness of God, it just might help them to believe a little stronger in their struggles. What God does for one, He will do for another.

Christ Teaches on the Second Coming

Verse 20 – Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;

These Pharisees had ignored the scriptures in the Old Testament. When Jesus told them that the kingdom does not come by observation, He simply meant, “It is only seen in people’s hearts, then outward signs will follow.” However, the Pharisees missed it.

Verse 21 – “nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed the kingdom of God is within you.”

Verse 22 – Then He said to His disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.

Verse 23 – “And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them.

Verse 24 – “For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.

We already have people claiming that they are the Messiah, today. But Jesus said, “Do not follow them.” Just as lightning flashes across the whole sky, that’s how obvious it will be when Christ returns, everyone will see it!

Verse 25 – “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Verse 26 – “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:

Verse 27 – “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

There will be no clear-cut sign to signal “this is it.” Rather, it will be just like in the days of Noah, when business as usual was carried on until the unexpected destruction of the flood. Oh, but Noah preached and warned them for 120 years. How long have we been warned? Over two thousand years. We have scripture, pastors, churches everywhere, and if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit telling you all things. Man will be without excuse in that day.

Verse 28 – “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;

Verse 29 – “but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

Why do you think Jesus mentioned Sodom here? Was it because of the perversion in Sodom? Are there laws being made to protect this perversion today? Should today be any different from back then as to how we should live by God’s law?

Verse 30 – “Evan so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

Did God save the righteous in both of these examples before destruction? Yes, He did, and He will do it again before that horrific day!

Verse 31 – “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. (Don’t mourn what is left behind.)

Verse 32 – “Remember Lot’s wife.

Lot’s wife looked back to Sodom after the angels told them to flee and “Do not look back,” and she was turned into a pillar of salt! In other words: “Don’t be so attached to worldly possessions, because there is no comparison to what is in store for those who believe.

Verse 33 – “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

Verse 34 – “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.

The word men is not in the original text. These verses have the same meaning for two different times in history. The first is instructions when the Roman soldiers rampaged through Jerusalem, flee. The second is at the time of the rapture. The saints will be standing by non-believers and simply vanish.

Verse 35 – “Two women will be grinding together, the one will be taken and the other left.

Verse 36 – “Two men will be in the field, the one will be taken and the other left.”

Verse 37 – And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

I believe this particular verse is talking about the Roman’s invasion, because their ensign was the eagle.

 

 

 

Is Hell a Real Place?

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, in Luke chapter 16, there are actually two beggars. One begged in this life; the other begged in the next.

Christ’s teaching on hell verifies the extreme difference in eternity for the righteous and the ungodly. This teaching is not a condemnation of wealth; it is a condemnation of any person who rejects Jesus Christ.

Christ’s teaching also confirms that the believer’s before Calvary were carried by angels into Paradise. After Calvary the righteous go to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-24; Revelation 6:9-11).

Hell is a place of eternal torment. When the unsaved go to hell, they are in a conscious state (Luke 16:23-28; Deuteronomy 32:22; 2 Samuel 22:6; Isiah 14:9-11).

Hell is a place without mercy. It is a place with no escape. When a person chooses to go to hell by rejecting Jesus Christ, all the prayers of 10 thousand saints cannot save them.

Souls are immortal in hell and heaven (Luke 16:22-32; 1 Peter 3:4; Luke 20:38; 2 Corinthians 5:8).

Hell is located in “the lower parts of the earth” (Psalm 63:9; Ephesians 4:8-10; Matthew 12:40).

Hell was made for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

Hell is not to be confused with the lake of fire. In this life the ungodly die and go to hell, where they wait until they are brought to the Great White Throne for final judgment before God and sentenced to the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15).

I hope this clears up any misconception whether hell is areal place or not. “Don’t choose to go there!” God is a Mighty God! He sent His only beloved Son to take the penalty for yours and my sins on a cross and then rose to sit on the right hand of the Father. He loves you more than you could ever image, choose life!

Luke – Chapter 16

Verse 1 – And He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him this man was wasting his goods.

Verse 2 – “So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

A rich man would often employ a manager who handled all the business affairs of his estate. The charge that this manager had been that he had squandered the rich man’s possessions, either indicating neglect or criminal conduct. It must have been true.

Verse 3 – “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.

Verse 4 – ‘I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

Since the steward was fired, he had to find another job. He said he was not able to do physical labor and was too ashamed to beg, so he focused on a way that other people would allow him to live with them.

Verse 5 – “So he called every one of his masters debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

Verse 6 – “And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’

Verse 7 – “Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

At first glance, it seems that the steward is cheating the rich man. However, the steward was fired for mishandling his money and possessions, so evidently there was some crookedness going on with these charges for the goods in the first place. The steward was probably charging a commission for these transactions and simply made the bill what it should have been in the first place. This is exactly what the Pharisees would do when exchanging currency in the temple by overcharging people.

Verse 8 – “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

Verse 9 – “And I say to you, make friends for yourself by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

I always had a hard time figuring out exactly what these verses meant, but a little longer study makes it clear. The rich man is not God, because God doesn’t praise people for being an unjust steward. The landowner represents the world finances. He praised the steward for correcting the cheating that he had done in the first place, and therefore made friends with the debtors. The sons of this age are unbelievers, whereas the sons of light often fail to utilize their financial resources to win people to faith. Thus Jesus encouraged His followers to use their money shrewdly in order to advance God’s kingdom.

Verse 10 – “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

Verse 11 – “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (riches and wealth, blessings and gifts), who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Our integrity often meets its match in money matters. God calls us to be honest even in small rationalize away. Heavens riches are far more valuable than earthly wealth. Every believer is a steward of the gifts God has given. If we can not be trusted with what we already have, we would be a poor steward if more was entrusted to us of more value.

Verse 12 – “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s who will give you what is your own?

Are we faithful and good stewards to what belong’s to God and others? If not, how can we expect to be faithful to what has been given to our ownership?

Verse 13 – “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Is Jesus talking about money? Yes, He is. Money has the power to take God’s place in people’s lives. Do you ever notice when talking to people who have no worries about money, because they are never in lack, never mention God in any conversation? They mention where they go, how much they spend, what they buy for their families, but not God being the one who has blessed them. They don’t seem to need anything from Him. I have found that people who are never in any kind of lack, are the hardest to talk to about Jesus. Their security all lies in their wealth. But talk to someone who has had to work hard and struggle, go through many hardships, and you will hear from them how good God has been, because He brought them through everything. I’d much rather live in a poor neighborhood than a rich one, because I can more than not, find people who need help!

Verse 14 – Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all things, and they derided Him.

This was evident in Matthew 23:4, when they would take widow’s houses and then recite long prayers for them.

Verse 15 – And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

The Pharisees scoffed at Jesus, because they thought it possible to love God and money. But their admiration from the people was an abomination to God.

Verse 17 – “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

John the Baptist ministry was the dividing line between the Old and the New Testament. All the precepts, promises, types, figures and prophecies, had their full accomplishments in the person, miracles, obedience, sufferings, and death of Christ, Matthew 5:18.

Christ Teaches On Divorce

Verse 18 – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.

Most religious leaders of Jesus day permitted a man to divorce his wife for nearly any reason. Jesus teaching about divorce went beyond Moses. Divorce may be legal, according to the law, but in God’s eyes it is still adultery. Remarriage is legitimate in cases where the former marriage was dissolved due to sexual immorality.

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Verse 19 – “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

Verse 20 – “But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,

Verse 21 – “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.

This rich man certainly didn’t use his wealth to help the poor.

Verse 22 – “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

Verse 23 – “And being in torment in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

The circumstances were reversed when these two men died. Lazarus was in comfort and the rich man was in torment. The rich man’s eyes were blinded to the things of God while he lived , but after death he sees his mistake.

Verse 24 – “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.

Verse 25 – “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

Hades or hell, is not a place of unconsciousness. They are fully aware of the darkness that surrounds them. The rich man didn’t go to hell because he was rich. He went to hell for being selfish of the riches and blessings that had been given him, and he used them all for himself, self-centered and self-righteousness.

Verse 26 – ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you, cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

Before and after death, there is a huge divide between believers and non-believers. While living, there is still time for the non-believer to become a believer. After death there is no second chance. There is “No state of purgatory!” This is a man-made belief that there is a place after death that the soul is purified and then they pass on to heaven. It is part of the Roman Catholic doctrine and in no way is it scriptural. We have two choices while living and breathing on this earth, “Heaven or hell!”

Verse 27 – “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,

Verse 28 – ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

Did you notice that the rich man is not sorry for ignoring Christ, only that he didn’t want his brothers to come there. It’s not real concern for his brothers, it’s still a selfish response.

Verse 29 – “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

Verse 30 – “And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will not repent.’

Did they not have the same opportunities to listen to what Moses had written or what the prophets had said concerning the coming of Christ?

Verse 31 – “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

If people won’t hear the gospel and repent, they are not going to believe even with someone being raised from the dead. How much more today will people be held accountable for ignoring the gospel, with it so available to us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 15

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Verse 1 – Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near Him to hear Him.

Verse 2 – And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

Verse 3 – So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

Verse 4 – “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

Verse 5 – “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Verse 6 – “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

Verse 7 – “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Before we came to Christ, we were that one lost sheep. Christ looked for us and sought us out. He was controlling the circumstances that lined everything up to bring us in His path. You didn’t by chance, just happened to go to  church “that day,” or wherever you were when you were born-again. It was a divine plan to bring you into the fold – the family of God.

Notice another thing in these verses: When the shepherd found the lost sheep, “he placed him on his shoulders.” He did not put it on its own legs to go alone; there was no rebuke of “Why did you run off?” The shepherd bears their weight and their weakness, to safety. They are no longer in danger and he carries them as if a trophy and great victory.

All of heaven celebrates when one sinner repents, shouldn’t we do the same? Are you still interested in seeing the lost saved, or have you lost your zeal of what it’s like to be forgiven?

Verse 8 – “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it?

Verse 9 – “And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’

Verse 10 – “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

All of God’s creation is precious and valuable to Him. He grieves over every loss and rejoices whenever a child is brought into the kingdom. Perhaps we would have more joy in our churches if we shared Jesus’ love and concern for the lost!

We don’t live unto ourselves. We are to live our lives as an example to a lost and dying world, so that they too can have eternal life with the King of Kings.

Verse 11 – Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.

Verse 12 – “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me,’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

It was not unusual for a father to disburse the estate before his death. The oldest son – first-born, would receive  a double portion, so this son asking for his portion received one-third of the inheritance. This son showed his arrogance and disregard for his father’s authority and head of the family, by initiating the division of the estate.

Verse 13  – “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.

This sets the state for which a sinner is in; away from the family, away from God, and away from any feeling of guilt for how he is living.

Verse 14 – “But when he has spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

Sin brings man to a starving and famishing condition. They have no desire for the word of God, but despise it. A regrettable person is in “want” of everything that is good; wisdom, knowledge, grace, holiness, all the necessaries of life, because sin is the beginning of “want.”

Verse 15 – “Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

This young man had hit “rock-bottom.” To feed and tend to pigs was humiliating and degrading. Self-righteousness can be compared to swine because of selfishness; doing all they do for themselves, and not for God and His glory. They prefer dung over pearls.

Verse 16 – “And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

Is not this the place most of us found ourselves before coming to our senses and turning towards Christ? All must come to a place in their lives where we realize, “This ain’t working!” That is where this young man was. He had nothing and no one was helping him with anything. Alone, we can do nothing about a situation.

Verse 17 – “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Verse 18 – ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,

Verse 19 – and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘

True repentance has to be a realization of wrong living. A rebellious heart leads to sinful actions. One must come to the conclusion, “There is a better life.” This young man had to admit to himself first that he had sinned! If you can’t admit that you’ve sinned, then you won’t truly repent.

Verse 20 – “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

Once a person realizes they have been living in sin, then they have to do something about it! They come to the Father. Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses.

verse 21 – “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

The son didn’t finish by saying, “Make me a servant,” because a son is still a son. Galatians 4:6, 7 – And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba Father!” (Verse 7 ) Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Verse 22 – “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.

When a sinner repents, God doesn’t beat them up with their past! He gives forgiveness, grace, and love! Most people know their past sins, and they don’t need to be reminded how bad they’ve lived. Our God is not a God of the past. He creates in us a new heart, a new way of thinking, and a new way to love. That’s what this father did for his son by celebrating to the fullest all the love he had for him.

Verse 23 – ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;

Verse 24 – ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

We are considered dead in spirit until we are born-again. Colossians 2:13 – and you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,…

Verse 25 – “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

Verse 26 – “So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.

Verse 27 – “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.

Verse 28 – “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.

This older brother represents the Pharisees attitude toward sinners. New converts need the support and love of the body of Christ so that they will continue to grow in Christ. This older brother was a scathing rebuke of the Pharisees self-righteousness.

Verse 29 – “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandments at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.

Verse 30 – ‘But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

Verse 31 – “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

Unforgiveness will breed bitterness. Envy of someone’s blessing will only cause strife. Learn to forgive others as the Father has forgiven you.

Verse 32 – ‘It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive, and was lost and is found.

Don’t ever be resentful when sinners are welcomed into the kingdom, no matter what their past is. Remember, we were one too. How easy it is for some to resent God’s gracious forgiveness of others whom we consider to be far worse sinners than ourselves. But when our self-righteousness gets in the way of rejoicing when others come to Jesus, we are no better than the Pharisees.

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 14

Verse 1 – Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

Verse 2 – And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.

Dropsy is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissue and cavities.

Verse 3 – And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

Verse 4 – But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.

Jesus had been invited to a Pharisee’s house before and had ridiculed them mercilessly. This time the invite was to trap Him into doing something unlawful on the Sabbath. None of them answered Jesus’ question because He had humiliated others when they had tried to answer.

Verse 5 – Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”

Verse 6 – And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

Have you ever met people who it seems it’s their mission to find fault with others ministry work? Jesus had thousands that would come to hear Him teach and be healed by Him, but these Pharisees and scribes only looked for Him breaking one of their laws. That’s what happens when someone has a critical spirit. They are blinded of the actual miracles that take place and only want to criticize when or how a person did it.

Verse 7 – So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

Verse 8 – “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than yo be invited by him;

Verse 9 – “and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

Verse 10 – “But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher! Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.

Verse 11 – “For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The best seat would be sitting beside the host, as if to say, “Look at me! I’m a close friend of the host, so give me honor also.”

People do the same thing in the church. They have to always be close with the pastor, but if you met them in a hallway, they couldn’t even say hi. If you exalt yourself, you will be humbled, and sometimes that can be embarrassing.

Verse 12 – Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

Verse 13 – “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

Verse 14 – “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Service is more important in God’s kingdom than status. God’s kingdom is open to everyone, not just the one who can return a favor.

P arable of the Great supper

Verse 15 – Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

Verse 16 – Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,

Verse 17 – “and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’

Verse 18 – “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask to have me excused.’

Verse 19 – “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’

Verse 20 – “Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”

Verse 21 – “So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to the servant, ‘Go out quickly into streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’

Verse 22 – “And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’

Verse 23 – “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Verse 24 – ‘For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.

In Jesus story, many turned down the invitation to the banquet because the timing was inconvenient. The Gospel was first preached to the Jew, but because of the hardness of their hearts, it was then offered to the Gentile.

How many excuses did you give at first as to why you rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ? We all had excuses, until that time when something broke through our hardness, and we came to realized we may not have another opportunity. People give all kinds of excuses, but a time will come when the door to the Supper of the Lamb will be closed forever. Today is the day to make that choice.

Christ Teaches on Discipleship

Verse 25 – And great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,

Verse 26 – “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Hate his own expresses the same principle found in Matthew 10:37, where Jesus says, “The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Disciples must love Jesus more than they love their own family members. Sometimes that means, going with Christ, and leaving those behind who are the dearest to them.

Verse 27 – “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Jesus is talking about total submission to Him which will include, reproach, affliction, persecutions, and even death to some. Are you willing to be mocked and ridiculed for your faith in Christ?

Verse 28 – “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it –

Verse 29 – “lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him,

So many start out with great enthusiasm, but then fizzle out because they realize their old ways are not going to cut it with the “New life.” When people try to “straddle the fence,” they will soon find out, Christianity is all or nothing!

Verse 30 – “saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Verse 31 – “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

Verse 32 – “Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

Verse 33 – “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Verse 34 – “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

Verse 35 – “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

So many forget: “It’s how you end your walk of faith the matters.” We may fall along the way, but Christ will help you stand again. The one’s who will be left behind are the one’s who quit. The concept is: “If you finish!”