Advice from Abraham

DivesLazarusIn the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, in Luke 16, the formerly rich man, now in the torment of Hades, asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers of what would happen to them.

Does this remind you of Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,” where Scrooge’s old partner comes and warns him of his fate?  It seems Dickens and Abraham do not agree on this point.

‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 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.’

Abraham says that they have Moses and the Prophets (i.e. the Old Testament).  If that is not enough, sending Lazarus will not help.

In the light of the fascination with media in churches, and with celebrity pastors and celebrity football players, or actors, or any other sort of famous person who is a Christian, whether we should heed the advice of Abraham, which is really the advice of Jesus, who is telling the story.

The scriptures, with we presume, the help of the Holy Spirit, carry the power of salvation.  Special effects, specters from the dead, and the like may create excitement, but will they really accomplish anything?


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