A Man God Could Not Help
Do you recall there was a man in the Bible even God could not help? Did you realize you can get to a place where God cannot and will not help you? This is a frightening thought as most people would assume that if at any time they called upon the Lord he would help them. Peoples' thoughts are that God is so good that they can call upon him at any time and he will answer and help them. After all, over and over in the Bible we are told that if we call upon the Lord he will hear us. Here are a couple of such scriptures:
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Jeremiah 29:12
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13
God told Jezebel, a self called prophetess in the New Testament, that if she would repent of her sins he would forgive her. But she failed to repent. God gave the Pharaoh of Egypt plenty of time to repent, and he did not. These were sinful and wicked people. The list of the wicked is long in the Bible, but all of these were given time to repent and find favor with God. Sadly, too many of the wicked failed to repent and begin to obey God, as they should.
Have you ever wondered what is the most wicked crime anyone could commit? Just for a moment, think of the various awful deeds people do to people. There are physical hurts, and emotional pain inflicted upon a countless number of this world's citizens. All of these evils are sins in the sight of God, sins that everyone will have to face God for in judgment. Mistreating others is serious stuff as far as our Maker is concerned. Now you may be the most moral person who has ever lived, but you and I, and all people have sinned and God says so.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
Now that we have all sinned, there is nothing we can do about it. We cannot remove it. It is permanent. The only thing that will remove that sin is blood, but not just any blood. It must be the blood with the correct DNA. It must be blood that has no impurities, or corruption associated with it. IT MUST BE THE BLOOD OF GOD!
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28
... Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Revelation 1:5
Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh and who once dwelt among men is the only savior in the world. Therefore, to fail to trust him as personal savior, is to commit the most heinous crime one can commit. Why, because God's only Son has suffered such an agonizing death and has been rejected. This is one of the greatest offences to God. This is the only sin that condemns men to hell forever! But to call upon the Lord for salvation means to call asking first of all for forgiveness of our sin and accepting or trusting Jesus as our personal savior. Have you ever done that?
Manasseh was King of Judah: He was son of Hezekiah and father of Amon. He began his reign at twelve years of age, and reigned 55 years: B.C. 698 643. It is said that he worshiped the host (stars) of heaven and built altars for them in the courts of the house of the Lord. He made his son to pass through the fire (sacrificed them), and dealt with familiar spirits. Of him it is said that he exceeded the heathen in wickedness, and shed much innocent blood. He was warned by God's prophets, but ceased not to do evil. As he began to reign, while young, it is probable that he had not been under good instructors.
But one day, God brought the king of Assyria against Manasseh, who took him among the thorns and bound him with chains of brass, and carried him to Babylon. There Manasseh, in his affliction, greatly humbled himself, and prayed to the Lord his God. His prayer was heard, and he was restored to Jerusalem. Then he knew that Jehovah was God. He removed the idols, repaired the Altar of the Lord, and sacrificed to Him. He commanded Judah to serve Jehovah the God of Israel. So God gave repentance to this wicked king, for His mercy endureth for ever. He was often held up as a trophy of God's marvelous grace in Old Testament times. The following scriptures tell the story of Manasseh: 2 King 20:21, 21:1-20, 23:12-26; 2 Chronicles 33, Jeremiah 15:4.
So God will forgive a person no matter who they are, or what they have done, if they will repent and obey God. In the New Testament, Saul of Taurus I suppose, was one of the most hard-hearted men there was. He hated Christians and persecuted them with a vengeance. But one day while on a journey to persecute some believers at Damascus, suddenly the Lord appeared to Saul and he realized in a flash how wrong he had been in what he had believed. So he fell to the ground and cried out, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Saul had a change of heart that fast, and he was saved that fast. He repented and believed and fully committed the remainder of his life to the service of the Lord.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9:1-6
So we have seen several who were very difficult cases, we might say. But God was able to reach them. In my own experience over the years I have seen those who I wondered if they would ever be saved. This was because they were seemingly hard-hearted people. But I have seen some of them saved. In fact, I have even seen some I was a little nervous talking with about the Lord, but to my amazement, they were easy to lead to the Lord. But we started our remarks talking about someone who God was not able to help. So permit me to tell you about this one we have mentioned in the New Testament, that Jesus himself spoke about. Jesus tells us of this man who was a Jew and he was very rich. He had been very successful in life, as God had richly blessed him. People really respected him and we might say he had a lot of clout or authority. Jesus tells us this man was a religious man and no doubt gave much of his wealth to the Temple where the Jews worshiped.
The Greek translation of the New Testament, I am told, tells us that this man's name was Dives. In our King James Bible Jesus did not tell us his name. Some Bible scholars have reasoned that Jesus did not want to hurt this man's family any more. But one day this man died and Jesus said,
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:19-31
Dives, died and went to where God could no longer help him. Did you know, if you die without Jesus, God cannot and will not help you anymore? It's ok to die, but don't die without Jesus! All who die without Jesus wind up in this same hell that Dives went to.
Did you notice that Dives was thirsty and was in flames? Jesus said that Dives cried out he had five brothers that needed to be warned. Dives knew his brothers were living like he lived and they had believed like he had believed, and this was very wrong. There are a lot of people with wrong belief systems, folks. I hope none of my readers are like that.
We are not told, but I suspect, that Dives' brothers are with him now in the place of no return. Yes, there is a place where people are going everyday and God will not help them anymore. God will not have mercy anymore. They cry in desperation, but the ears of God refuse to listen as they moan in their sin of agony.
Did you catch what Jesus told this man? He said, his brothers had Moses and the prophets, and they should have heard them. Why did Jesus say that? Because Moses and the prophets wrote about Jesus Christ. If they had truly believed Moses and the prophets they would have been alright, but like Dives they just believed in the Jewish religion, rather than the Messiah it proclaimed.
Yes, there is a reason that even God cannot and will not help him. And, that is because of who God is. He is Holy. He gave this man an opportunity all his life to get right, but he failed. He had money, he had servants, he had things, he had religion, but he did not have salvation. Salvation is only in Jesus. DO YOU HAVE SALVATION? NOT UNLESS YOU KNOW JESUS!
You can believe in your church, your denomination, your preacher or your religion. But without Jesus, you will not go to heaven! Read those verses above very slowly and carefully. That man cannot get out of hell and will be tormented forever. Now I know someone is going to say, that this story Jesus told is only a parable. Friend, first of all don't believe that lie, and secondly, even if it was a parable, the man is suffering even more than we can imagine. The message Jesus is conveying is that if you die without being saved, not even God can or will help you anymore. You are doomed for eternity to eternal misery.
Heavenly Father, may none of our readers find themselves with Dives in Hell in eternity. Amen! Preacher