Passion for Jesus Conference Friday Evening Session
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 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. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
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.’ 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. 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.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 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.’” Luke 16:19-31 (NKJV)
God wants to comfort, challenge and confront the unbelief in our hearts. There is a comfort in knowing that when we die, we will see Jesus. At the end of the age, we will be worshiping with the living creatures around the throne room. God wants to comfort those who have lost loved ones who died in Christ. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter to keep us in our time of grief and sadness. God is turning our mourning into dancing. It is good to grieve but we must release it.
For the believer, there is no fear in death. Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected. He made a public spectacle of the enemy. He destroyed the devil and through Him, we have victory (Hebrews 2:14-15). There is a release to those who believe in Christ. There is no need to fear death. We are sons of God. God loves us and He longs to hear our voice. In this hour, the enemy is trying to oppress the people of God with fear. We see this in current events happening around the world. However, the church must arise with boldness and courage. The church must not be afraid (1 Thessalonians 4:14, 18). A harvest is coming. There is a release of wealth coming to the church.
The Challenge of the Believer
We have one opportunity to fully live our lives. It is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). Life can go in the blink of an eye. It can go so quickly. When the writer of Hebrews referred to the judgment seat, he referred to the Greek word “bema”. This means that it is something to look forward to. The judgment seat is not for us to be afraid but to be excited. Essentially, the writer was referring to the analog of the Olympics where one runs a race and then receives a reward at the end, at the judgment seat.
When we have the vision of the judgment seat of Christ, then everything seems dull and not important. There are rewards stored up for us at the end of the age in heaven. We need to catch this reality and believe in it. When we walk by faith, God sees it and He rewards us. Therefore, we should lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
Many people have wrong mindsets regarding rewards. Some see rewards as a show of pride. Some see it as something for carnal Christians, those who just want stuff. However, rewards are for all Christians. It is for you and I. God does not who only reward the big things but also the small things. It is the little things that we are doing right now that God is looking at. We can’t despise the small things and only focus on the big things. What really is the purpose of rewards? It is Jesus showing His heart to us. It is Him showing how we moved Him.