about-bg about-bg

Watch/Listen

Acting on the Truth

• Greg Boyd

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the primary point is that information we have about God doesn’t do us any good if we don’t act on it. As Kingdom people, we must remember what this means for our own generosity.

Show Extended Summary Hide Extended Summary

In today’s message, Greg laid out a principle: When we fail to act on what we know, we run the risk of losing our capacity to act on what we know. That is, our resistance to doing what we know is right reinforces further resistance in the future. We can get into the dangerous habit of resisting obedience to the teachings of Jesus. The problem is not one of information; it is a problem of the heart. Even though we know the truth about something, when we fail to act on it, we harden our hearts toward God.

In today’s story, the message was clear to the Pharisees who were experts on the Law and the Prophets. They knew all of the teachings and should have been the first ones to understand the implications of those teachings. But they, like each one of us, don’t like to suffer. They didn’t want to respond to the teachings, especially when it would threaten their own material wealth. We can see this in Luke 16:14: “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all of this and were sneering at Jesus.”

One passage that the Pharisees all knew is Isaiah 58:3, 6-7. But it seems that few actually responded to this teaching with obedience. One way of avoiding obedience is by delaying the process. Rather than act on a teaching, we’d rather talk about it and discuss all of the various ways we might interpret it. As long as we are “in process” on “what it means”, we feel free to refrain for a while longer from action. But this is not reasonable when the teachings are as clear and direct as they often are. The difficulty is not in understanding the teaching; the difficulty is in obeying it.

Hide Extended Summary

Topics: Discipleship, Generosity, Sacrifice


Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide (opens new window)
Slides


Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 16:19-31

    “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

    “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

    “But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

    “He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

    “Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

    “ 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

    “He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' “

Subscribe to Podcast Buy Media

2 thoughts on “Acting on the Truth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

 

testimonial-icon

"The best thing about The Refuge support groups is the super nice people! This place is such a blessing. We love the dinner, the music and the different guest speakers."

– Support group participant