Lesson: The Importance of God’s Word (Day 8)
Let us continue our study of the word of God. Today, let us study John 8:47. The passage is as follows:
(47) “Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not listen, because you do not belong to God.” (NABRE)
Who said this important verse? If you have a red-letter edition of the Bible, this verse is written in red. This means that this very statement came from the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself. This is not mine. I am just sharing this to you.
How important that we should know this verse? It is very important because according to Christ, if we do not listen to the words of God, then we do not belong to God. If we don’t belong to God, we belong to the enemy, that is, Satan. Do we like to belong to God or to Satan? If we want to belong to God, let us love to read and live the word of God. The word of God is really important to us if believe in God. If we don’t want to listen, read, or know the teachings of Christ, then we cannot truly say that we really have God in our lives because in the eyes of God, we do not belong to Him whether we like it or not.
I hope you continue reading what I’m sharing daily during weekdays. If possible, please start reading from Day 1 posting to better understand the theme of this sharing.
Lesson: Importance of God’s Words - Day 07
Let us continue our study of the word of God. Today, let us study 2 John 9-11. The passage is as follows:
(9) “Everyone who goes beyond and does not remain within the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (10) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do no receive him into your houses or even greet him. (11) Even in greeting him you would become an accomplice in his wicked deeds.” (Catholic Pastoral Edition (CPE) of the Bible)
This passage of Scriptures explicitly gives us an idea whether or not we have God in our lives. If we go beyond the teaching of Christ, then we do not remain in His teaching. If we don’t remain in His teaching, we have no God in our lives. We may believe that we have, but in the eyes of God, we don’t have. Do we really have God in our lives now? Do we really know what Christ really teaches in the Bible? If we don’t know, it is unlikely that we remain in His teaching. Some people claim to use the Bible, but they can hardly remain in the teachings of Christ. So much more for those who do not know the teachings of Christ in the Bible. I hope you start studying your Bible now.
A good test of whether or not we have God in our lives is to check whether or not we really believe in the teaching of Christ regarding what happened to the soul after a man dies. We discussed this already for the last six days. It is found in Luke 16:19-31. If we can’t believe or accept what Jesus teaches in that passage of Scriptures, then we don’t remain in the teaching of Christ. Therefore, we do not have God in our lives according to the Bible.
Lesson: Importance of God’s Words - Day 06
Let us continue our study of the word of God. Today, let us tackle Luke 16:29-31. The passage is as follows:
(29) “But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ (30) He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ (31) Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’” (NABRE)
This passage of Scriptures is the answer to the rich man’s request to send Lazarus to his father’s house to warn his five brothers so that they will not come to the place of torment (Luke 16:27-28). Here Jesus Christ tells us the key to avoiding the place of torment and the key to entering the place of comfort. Christ, using the character Abraham, teaches us how to prepare for that place of comfort while alive, not when are already dead.
What is the key? Christ teaches us to listen to Moses and the prophets. To Jews, this was clear to their minds what Christ meant when He said this. But to us what is it? In Luke 24:44-45 we can read this, “He said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (NABRE). So the phrase Moses and the prophets means the Scriptures. In our day, it is the Bible. Therefore, Christ tells us that if we listen to what the Bible really says, we will avoid the place of torment and be in the place of comfort.
One point that we should remember here. There is no way God will send someone from the dead to warn us because we won’t be persuaded, and we have the Bible already to warn us. So the acronym BIBLE can mean Basic Instruction Book the will Lead us to Eternal bliss. This happens if we really listen to it and obey what is written in it. So, do we love to study the Bible? If so, we are on the right tract. Otherwise, our destiny will be the place of severe torment.
Lesson: The Importance of God’s Word - Day 5
Let us continue our study of the word of God. Today, let us tackle Luke 16:27-28. The passage is as follows:
(27) “He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, (28) for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’”
Here Jesus Christ tells us that there is no way that one can change his/her location once he/she is already dead. The only way that one can be prepared in order to avoid the place of torment is while still alive. Note that the tormented souls are not that bad. Instead of wishing for their relatives to come to where they are to suffer together with them, the tormented souls are still concern of their living relatives. They wish that their living relatives would be warned in advance. So if they are that kind of persons, there is no way they can come to earth and inflict some kind of illness to their relatives, right?
If we are just observant enough, we can easily see who is praying on behalf of someone. As Christ portrayed it, who is praying now? Is it the living on behalf of the dead? Or, it is the dead on behalf of the living? Remember that the living cannot change the location of the dead. So let us think about this carefully with open mind.
Lesson: Importance of God’s Words - Day 04
Let us continue our study of the word of God. Today, let us tackle Luke 16:26. The passage is as follows:
(26) “Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.” (NABRE)
Here Jesus Christ gives us a very simple picture of the place of the dead. It has two compartments, the place of comfort and the place of torment. In between them is a great chasm set up as a barrier so that no one can cross to the other side of where he/she is. If we carefully analyze it, we will surely learn many things. Remember that both the souls in the place of comfort and in the place of torment can see one another, but they cannot get out of their respective places. So we have to ask the following questions: If they cannot get out of their place to cross to the other place, can they come to the living on November 1 or 2 of every year? Can they come and reincarnate? Can they come and inflict some kind of illness to their relatives here on earth?
Since there is no way to transfer from one place to the other after we are brought to our place of destiny, can the living help us transfer? If not, shall we not prepare our lives so that when we die, we will be in that place of comfort rather than in that place of torment? Let us ponder carefully on this teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lesson: Importance of God’s Words - Day 03
Let us continue our study of the word of God. Today, let us tackle Luke 16:24-25. The passage is as follows:
(24) “And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ (25) Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.” (NABRE)
Here we have Jesus Christ illustrating to us what is the fate if we fails to prepare his life before death and go to this place of torment. It shows us how severe the torment is that even a drop of water is very much appreciated. But there is a big religious group that still does not believe that the soul suffers after a person dies. In fact, one student who is a Jehovah’s Witness, once joined our Bible study. I asked him to use the New World Translation of the Bible, the official translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After reading this text, he said, “In our case, it is not like this. God is unfair if He punishes a person that is already dead.” I told him, “That is what you believe, but this is what Jesus teaches.”
Some religious groups teach that the soul is unconscious after death. Some are taught that they cannot recognize anyone. This teaching of Jesus Christ clearly teaches us that the souls are conscious, and they can recognize one another.
Based on the text, the rich man who was very happy here on earth is now tormented severely, and the poor man who was suffering here on earth is now comforted in the place of comfort. The situation is opposite. So let us think about this. If God gives us two options, (1) We will be 100% happy on earth, but we will suffer for all eternity, and (2) We will be 100% suffering on earth, but we will be happy for all eternity, which one shall we choose? I hope we choose option 2. If so, let us think about our priorities in life.