BACK FROM THE DEAD
Here is someone, making request, that a dead person come back from the dead and preach to his unbelieving family. He is taking it for granted that such a back from the dead preach – will guarantee they do not enter the place of torment he was in, because they will believe.
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.’ ”
Sometimes It is not a bad idea to be able to simplify and ‘boil down’ to one or two salient points, certain ponderings we might have.
What is being communicated in the above verses, is that – what one might consider an infallibly persuasive proof of the truth of life after death and the need to repent, (i.e. someone coming back from the dead) – in fact is not a guarantee of necessary persuasion** that comes to those who will believe in God.
If someone you know that has died – appears to you tonight in your bedroom as you are nodding-off to sleep, one would imagine, such an experience would guarantee from that moment on, that you would become an out-and-out believer in Jesus Christ as Lord, because of the warning they would bring. But in itself it is no guarantee.
So again – here we read that someone coming back from the dead and sharing the reality of the afterlife with you – is no guarantee that you will choose to receive Christ and thereby inherit eternal life.
Something else must take place before the faith you have is true saving faith, the faith that pleases God and the faith He is looking for from every human being on the planet, before eternal life is guaranteed.
In this context therefore, we read that there is no guarantee, even though reached by a person ‘back from the dead’ that someone, will repent* (change their mind) and become a dedicated follower of Christ Jesus The Lord.
It reads: ‘neither will they be persuaded** though one rise from the dead.’
So what will persuade you and I to follow Christ? We are given the answer:
When we hear the Word of God from the Old or New Testaments, as given by the prophets, (Old Testament prophets and New Testament prophets or apostles as the case would also be), and believe – i.e. commit our lives to the One who gives us this bible truth (i.e. Jesus the Christ).
So the five unbelieving brothers if they had rejected the bible, would also reject any idea that they should come to Christ and forsake sin, even though one back from the dead was to bring the message, that they should do so.
Jesus exhorted others to believe in Him, to believe His words, or to believe Him because of the miracles He had performed. And yet the Pharisees and others refused to do so. Jesus, as in John 1/14 – is shown clearly to be The Word of God. The Word made flesh. The Personification of all truth.
John 14/ Jesus said:
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
The Pharisees would often unbelievingly ask for a sign from Jesus.
They had no intention of believing in Him. Even when they witnessed miracles they still would not believe, and turn to Him in acknowledgement of His Messiahship.
They were part of the generation – the evil and adulterous generation – who looked for a sign.
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it
The heart and mind must open to the Word of God – only by so doing is the whole reality of all that Christ both began to do and to teach, consequently able to dawn upon us.
This will bring the revelation to us, of our need to bow our knees and receive Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.
So this Bible is the most important document on the face of the earth, – yes the all time best seller – but more than that, a God-given, God-ordained means of reaching mankind with the message that leads to eternal life.
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.