"We've Been Warned"
November 19, 2012
(Jesus said) "And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'" Luke 16:30-31
A few years ago the church where Pam and I grew up was robbed.
It's true. The thievery occurred during the daytime on a busy street.
The thieves just drove up in their trucks, set up some tall ladders, and ripped out the copper gutters and downspouts. When they had all the valuable metal in their trucks, they gave each other a high five and drove away.
The thieves were never caught, and the copper was never recovered.
Sadly, that kind of banditry is not unusual. During just the first half of last year, one church insurance company in England handled 1,500 claims where thieves came and stole copper, lead, stained glass and the like.
Discouraged by the number of these claims, the insurance company installed alarms in 100 churches across England. Of course, this is no ordinary alarm. This alarm has sensors hidden in the spires and towers of the church. When those sensors detect activity, blue lights flash and a booming voice warns the perpetrators that authorities have been called and are on their way.
It's like the voice of God. For now, it appears the warning is working.
It is a sad thing a burglar alarm will deter a criminal, but a warning given to our friends and family members concerning their need for a Savior often goes unheard. In Jesus' parable about the rich man and Lazarus, father Abraham said that people turn a deaf ear to urgings concerning their Savior, their salvation, and the need to be saved.
How did He say it, "They will (not) be convinced if someone should rise from the dead." How true those words are cannot be underestimated. I know because Jesus did rise from the dead, and He did show Himself to His followers. He breathed on them; He ate with them; He walked with them; He was one who had risen from the dead, and people didn't believe it.
Today, people still don't believe. I guess the soul-thief Satan is more bold than the folks who stole the gutters off our church. With planning he presents his doubts; with patience he shares his lies, with persistence he waits for the right time to deliver those lies.
Well, my friends, we cannot change what they will do or what they will believe. But we do have the ability to stand fast and witness to all that Jesus Christ is more than crucified.
He is also risen.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let us proclaim the risen Christ with boldness. Then, if it be possible, by the Holy Spirit's power, let sinners be forgiven and saved, as they come to faith in the risen Christ. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries