As you begin ministering/discipling others you will come across people like Lot’s sons-in-law. Listen in on their conversation for a minute to get this picture in perspective. Lot says to them: The Lord is going to destroy Sodom. We have to leave! Ahem, yep right. You want us to believe that God is going to do this now? Lot, this is stupid! You want me to really believe there will be judgment? (This is today’s world—there will always be a tomorrow mentality)
This is the world we live in whether we meet very moral and upstanding people or scoundrels like the parable Jesus taught in Luke 18 and the psalmist in Psalm 10. All are living by this motto: “God won’t hold me accountable; He doesn’t care.” There is always a tomorrow.
Let’s see if that is really true. We meet two men in Luke 16, a beggar named Lazarus and a rich man. The rich man, a fine upstanding man, had everything but put off choosing his destiny. He thought eternity was far away. However, he died and found he was not in Paradise but Torments. He now realized he had wasted his life.
Was it too late to change his destiny? Let’s see. He saw that he was not only in Torments but in front of him was that beggar he had passed day after day and guess what; he was in Paradise with Father Abraham! So he asks Father Abraham to send the beggar, Lazarus, to him with a drop of water. However, the chasm was too wide and too deep. So he decided to strike a bargain. Please send Lazarus back to tell his brothers to not fall for the lie that God doesn’t care, or to use the world’s words, God will not send anyone to go to Torments or as we call it, Hell. As Jesus tells this story He wants us to realize that ultimately when they do care it is far too late and their fate is sealed both by themselves and by God.
Know this, as you minister this is one of those “hard conversations.” No one wants to think that God is so harsh. But in reality, if they don’t want God in this life why should God want them to live with Him in the afterlife? We all make decisions and the most important decision is about our final destiny. The psalmist is saying there will be a day when there will be no avenue to seek God’s patient lovingkindness.
Scoundrels, scoffers and the morally upright have fallen for the lie that God is love and He will overlook what they do now. But, one day God will open the books and the deeds of men will be revealed. “each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Truly,“[we] will face a reckoning before Jesus Christ who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.” [1Peter 4:5]
Whether you are ministering or discipling the most moral person on the planet or a scoundrel, know this truth; God knows their situation and their heart. Our question to them must be; if you knew that you would stand before Him today would you be ready to give an accounting of your life?
Don’t find yourself in the shoes of the rich man but in the shoes of Lazarus.