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Scripture Reading: Luke 16:23-31
Will You be Persuaded to Repent?
1. The rich man's torment is a tragic lesson of opportunities lost and that sin brings eternal agony, Lk. 16:19-31.
-A wicked man who will be forever miserable, in the height of prosperity ... A godly man who will be forever happy, in the depth of adversity and distress (Matthew Henry).
2. In his agony he begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to his brothers to testify to them, "lest they also come to this place of torment" (16:28).
3. Without repentance, they would also go to torment!
4. Abraham's answer is poignant and compelling as it teaches us the method by which God persuades sinners to repent, while challenging us to see whether or not we will be persuaded to repent of our sins.
I. HELPING SINNERS REMAIN IN SIN WILL NOT PERSUADE THEM TO REPENT.
A. Sumptuous Living (danger of luxury), Lk. 16:19; Prov. 30:7-9.
1. Trusting in riches prevents repentance, Lk. 16:14; 1 Tim. 6:8-10.
2. Material things do not prepare you for eternity, Matt. 6:19-21; Lk. 16:25 ("good things").
3. Do not be deceived by the lie that riches satisfy! Matt. 6:24 (Prov. 23:5)
B. Selfish Indulgence of the Flesh, Gal. 5:16-21.
1. Rich man refused mercy to others, cf. Lk. 16:19-21.
2. Not showing compassion for others is sin! 2 Tim. 3:1-3
C. Satisfaction with the Status Quo, Lk. 16:19. ("every day")
1. Only after his death did the rich man understand that the way his brothers were living every day had to radically change in order for them to avoid torment! Rom. 2:3
2. Sin hardens and deceives us into thinking we are safe before God when we are lost in sin! Heb. 3:12-13
II. WILL YOU BE PERSUADED TO REPENT...
A. By the Word of God?
1. Moses and the prophets persuade the lost to believe in Jesus, Lk. 16:29; cf. Acts 17:2-4; 18:4; 19:8; 28:23.
a. The promises and fulfilled prophecies, Lk. 24:44-48.
b. Give wisdom unto salvation through faith, 2 Tim. 3:15.
2. God's word persuades us to get right with God, Acts 2:22, 36-40; 26:22-28.
B. By the Terror of the Lord? 2 Cor. 5:11
1. The judgment is real, but it is hard work persuading men to prepare for it, 2 Cor. 5:10.
a. "We persuade" (present active) - We try to persuade.
b. Require faith to know (eido, perceive) the terror (fear) of the Lord in judgment. 2 Cor. 5:11; 2 Ths. 1:8-9; Rom. 2:5-9.
2. The fear of hell is a proper motive to use to persuade sinners, Matt. 10:28; Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 11:22; 2 Pet. 3:9.
-Will you be persuaded, or will you perish?!
C. By One who has been Raised from the Dead? Lk. 16:31
1. Lazarus was raised from the dead, yet the rulers would not be persuaded, Jno. 12:9-11.
2. Jesus is shown to be the Son of God by His resurrection, yet many will not believe the report, Matt. 28:1-8; Rom. 1:4 (10:16).
a. How much more does Jesus need to do to persuade you to believe and obey Him?!
b. A heart that refuses the historical evidence of the empty tomb will not be persuaded to repent!
1. The faithful people of God in the OT were persuaded (assured) of God's word (promises), so they lived and died in faith, Heb. 11:13.
2. Almost persuaded is to be lost! Acts 26:28
3. Prepare for your death and judgment by being persuaded to repent and obey Christ's gospel. (2 Tim. 1:12)