116. There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that those Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” -Luke 13:1-5
In an earlier entry we saw that people born with “disabilities” are not that way because of sin. Here we see that bad things don’t always happen to people because of sin. That can be the case, such as the flood in Noah’s day, which was a judgment on their sin. But we should never speculate that bad things have happened to someone because they had sinned. Job’s friends were certain that secret sin must have been the cause of Job’s troubles, but they were wrong! Jesus here places the emphasis not on what led to what we would view as untimely deaths, but what will happen to anyone who dies who has not repented of their sin and turned to Jesus for salvation. We are all going to die, and for some of us it will happen suddenly and far younger than we thought. The key is to be ready to face death because we have made peace with God. If you haven’t, you will always fear death. And you will miss out on eternity with God after this life, instead facing eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. When the Psalmists and Jesus used the word perish, they meant being cut off from life on the future new earth with the redeemed of all ages (See Psalm 37:22 and Revelation 20:11-22:5). Jesus commands you to repent and believe, so do not delay!
117. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” -John 10:27-28 Context: John 10:22-30
Praise the Lord for the eternal life Jesus gives to His sheep, to those who hear His voice and follow Him. We are commanded to follow the voice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He calls us to salvation! He calls us to follow Him! He calls us to do what He has commanded in the Scripture! According to this great passage, our lives are in God’s hands! How’s that for a sense of security in His saving love! Let’s follow Jesus!
118. “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” -Luke 14:12-14
What have you personally done lately for those who will never be able to pay you back? What has your church family done lately for those who will never be able to pay you back? What has your small group at church done lately for those who will never be able to pay it back? What Jesus says here is so wonderfully convicting! That’s especially true because we are those who could never pay back Jesus for what He has done for us! Having freely received from One we can’t pay back, we are freely to give to others who can’t pay us back! Please don’t go by this entry too quickly. Ask God to use these verses to take you, your church, and your small group out of your comfort zone. But notice also there is a promise with these verses. God will pay you back later and then some when the ultimate reward ceremony comes! On that day don’t just be found looking on while others are rewarded! As 2 John 2:8 urges, work in faith so you can receive a full reward!
119. “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” -Luke 14:33 Context: Luke 14:25-33
A movie from the 1990’s contained the famous line, “You can’t handle the truth!” Friend, can you handle the truth that Jesus expects all you have to be under His rule if you are His disciple? Or can you not handle the Truth?! Many reject Christ when they realize that 100% of who we are must be yielded to His Lordship! If He is not Lord OF all, He may not be Lord AT all! He must be first in our lives: before our parents and siblings, before our spouse and children, before our friends. If they turn from the faith, we will not! If they demand we put them before our faith, we will not! The Lord is patient with us as this truth settles into our lives, but He is also unrelenting – He will not allow anything to displace Him as the rightful Lord of our lives – not relationships, not accomplishments, not money. He will frustrate all efforts to find ultimate meaning in things created rather than the Creator. Here Jesus urges us to be proactive in following Him like a builder building a tower or a king going to war. We are urged to devote all we have to putting Christ first in our lives!
120. “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” -Luke 15:7 Context: Luke 15:1-7
Do you want to make Heaven party? Lead someone to Christ! And throw parties for sinners here also! Tell them about Jesus! Every time someone comes to Christ, there is more joy in Heaven than over 99 people who are already faithfully following Christ. Think about that! The Bible is clear throughout that Heaven loves to see Christians faithfully following Christ. As 3 John 4 says, “I have no greater joy than my children walking in truth.” Multiply the great joy we have when people faithfully following Christ times the number 99, and we see how great a joy it is when a lost person is added to God’s family! Let’s cause Heaven multitudinous joy! Let’s walk in the Truth ourselves, AND introduce newly saved people to the party!