I am concerned that many people who believe themselves to be Christians are not being transformed by the truth of the Gospel in any way. At some point in the past they made a profession of faith, maybe they attend church occasionally, or they might even have a working knowledge of the Scriptures, but they are not trusting in Jesus above all else. I am far more afraid of that than devout atheists or agnostics. At least with the latter two I know where they stand and their need is evident to me. With the former, those who claim to be and may even appear to be Christians, their true condition is less evident. People in both situations are in need of the same thing: genuine faith in Christ. When a person’s heart is known, their need is clear, it’s those whose hearts are not known or who have been carefully hidden that haunt me.
Luke 16:19-31 is a sobering parable from Jesus about one such man. On the surface and among many people, he appeared to fear God—there are many clues to suggest that he was given plenty of opportunities to be saved. However, we learn that despite his earlier appearance, he rejected the truth, thus God could not spare him from the punishment he deserved. This is the type of person I think about often. Jesus says, “The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19). The great news in the midst of this is that God has given us the Scriptures, which testify to the truth of the Gospel and are sufficient to lead us to salvation.
As we study this parable together on Sunday morning, we will also proclaim the truth of God’s Word that there is salvation in no other name, but that of Jesus Christ. Please join me in praying now for those God will place there to hear the plain testimony of the Bible. In addition to that, we will ask God to make us more devoted disciples of Jesus. It’s going to be a great morning. As you pray for those who will be there, consider whom you might invite to join you this Sunday.
For the sake of His name,