Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Rich Man

In the gospel of Luke Chapter 12, verses 16-20, we read of a parable told by Jesus. “And he told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink and be merry.”
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”

There are many rich people around us who think and live like this man in the parable. There may be someone in your family who lives like that. May be you, yourself. Think about it.

The rich man that Jesus spoke of in the parable had only worldly thoughts about today and tomorrow, but no thoughts about the never ending eternity.

Once a rich man came to me for treatment of his illness. When he saw the advertisement of my first book “Jesus is coming soon,”he mocked and asked me. “Is this the place where you issue tickets to heaven?”Since he was mocking I did not reply to his question. That year he again came to me once or twice for treatment. He lived a life of luxury. He had 2 vehicles, lots of property and of a lot of money. He had no thoughts for God or eternity.
If you talked to him, he had no desire to listen to it. I did not see him for quite sometime after that. After 2 yrs, he again visited me. Very sad, sulken face, he sat before me with a file in his hands. He was panting when he spoke. “I had been sick; cough, expectoration and wheezing”. I took the file from him and examined it and saw that he had been on various treatments for the past 1 year. Because he did not get any relief from the treatment that he received in Kerala, he had gone to Vellore Medical College for treatment.
After investigation there, he had been diagnosed to be suffering from a medically incurable lung disease. He was just prescribed some medicines for temporary relief.
I looked at him, and thought in my mind, “Unless Jesus does a miracle, this man has no hope for healing now.”
I tried to initiate talks about spiritual matters but even now he did not show any interest. After sometime he departed. About 2 weeks later he passed away from this world.
When I heard that, I remembered the question that he had asked me 3 yrs. back, “Is this the place where you issue tickets to heaven?”

Dear Brother, Dear Sister, In the Holy Bible in the book of Isaiah Chapter 55; verses 6 & 7 the prophet says,
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”

In the year 1967 when America went to war against Vietnam, a 17 yr old youth named John Steer joined the American Army because he was fed up of his life due to family problems. After his training for war, filled a anger, hatred and pride this aethist youth had only one aim in mind as he traveled to Vietnam for the war and that was “to kill”. He wanted to kill ruthlessly. He wanted to destroy the Vietnamese army. After reaching Vietnam, he got lots of opportunities to kill and he did just that.
Travelling through forests, he faced many troubles, suffering from Malaria, diarrhea and bamboo poisoning. The surprising fact is that through all this he never even once thought about his own death.
One night hiding in trenches there was intense shooting between the Americans and the Vietnamese army.
The American army had received instructions like this, “At 1.00 am, an American plane would fly past them and throw flaming torches in the place where the Vietnamese were hiding. The plane coming second would bomb the place lit up by the thrown torches.”At 1.00 am John and his fellow soldiers heard the sound of the 1st plane coming. As the plane came near, by mistake the flaming torches were thrown in the place where the American soldiers were hiding. The pilot of the second plane that followed, seeing the flaming torches and being given orders to bomb that place dropped many bombs on the Americans themselves.
In a matter of moments, pieces of flesh started flying here and there. They all, including John were screaming, bombs were exploding every where. John screamed as a bomb fell near him and then he lost consciousness.
When he regained conciousness after a few hours, he lifted his head and saw the Vietnamese checking some dead American soldiers far away. As he felt like something was moving on his face, he tried to bring his right upper limb to clear it; but to his dismay he found that he had no right upper limb.
His left leg had no movements. Because he had no water to drink, to remain alive he drank his own blood flowing down his face and quenched his thirst. Sure that he was going to die, this youth who had never called upon God cried out loudly;
“God save me from hell”
“God save me from hell”

Dear Brother, Dear Sister, are you waiting to call God for the first time when death stares you in the face?
Are you waiting to call upon God for the first time after being struck by an incurable sickness and death stares into your eyes?
Are you waiting to call upon God for the first time after drinking alcohol and your liver swells and you start vomiting blood?
Are you waiting to call upon God after chain smoking for several years and you are diagnosed to be suffering from lung cancer?
It must never be like that!

Remember what God tells the rich man in the parable that Jesus told.
“You fool, this very night your life will be demanded of you”
I keep advising many people, “Alcoholism destroys the body. It brings eternal judgment.”

I advised a man to stop his alcoholism many times, for 8 years as and when he came to me for treatment. “I drink only 2 pegs at night, and that too with my own money”Is that alcoholism? he used to laugh and ask me.
After 8 yrs. he came to me with swelling all over his body. I checked his liver function and the tests showed that his liver had failed almost totally. Death was not very far from him then.

Dear Friend, the Bible says,
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple”(1 Corinthians 3:16,17).
Are you destroying your body by smoking?
Is it by alcoholism?
Is it by taking drugs?
God hates all such things!
All this is sin in God’s presence.
Are you living as a slave to sin?
Sin is the way to death dear Brother, dear Sister, Not only bodily death, but eternal death.
Remember, there is an eternity after your life on earth.
When you die on earth, though your fleshly body becomes nonfunctional, your spirit and soul lives on forever either in heaven or in hell.
To all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and live a holy life according to the Word of God, God has prepared eternal joy in heaven which will be their permanent home.
To all who rebel against God and His word eternal pain and sorrow awaits for them in hell.
What will you choose? Today is your day of decision!

In March 1994, a man came to visit me. He was very rich, had a big bungalow and several acres of land in Trivandrum, Kerala. He and his wife lived a high society life, went regularly to parties and gave parties often. He was eager to listen to the gospel message but always had a habit of postponing in taking a decision to accept Jesus as His Saviour because of his rich life style. As he entered my room he saw a beautiful picture of a house on the calendar hanging on the wall. He was fascinated by the picture and immediately asked me to give him that picture.
I asked him, “Why do you want this picture?”
“I want to build a house like that, he said”
“But you have a bungalow in Trivandrum, a big house here, then why do you want to build another house? I asked him.”
“It’s so beautiful”, he said, “I will build a house just like this. Kindly give me this picture.”
I told him, “This page of the calendar is of the month of March. You can come on April 1st and I will tear this page and give it to you as soon as March ends.
When I talked about God and Eternal Salvation he, said
“We can talk of that some other time.”
While going his eyes were still on the picture on the wall.
I forgot this matter totally because of my hectic work. On April 1st when I glanced through the paper, I was shocked to see his photo in the column for the deceased.
He had died of a heart attack on March 31st. I remembered his words, his worldly desires and his habit of postponing in making a decision for accepting Jesus.What a pity!

Remember what God told the rich man in the parable that Jesus said.
“You fool, this very night your life will be demanded of you.”
God loves you! Jesus loves you!
Do not delay in accepting Jesus as your Savior.
God is calling you today!
Jesus is calling you today!
Accept his call today and be blessed!
You heard about the life of the American youth John Steer.
In an emergency situation, battling with death, he cried out to God
“God save from hell, God save me from hell”
God heard his cry.
An American helicopter came through intense firing and saved him miraculously.
Soon he accepted Jesus as his Savior, renounced all his sinful ways and started living according to the Word of God.
God blessed him spiritually and materially.
Dear Brother, Dear Sister,
This is the day of decision in your life.
Are you ready to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Are you willing to give up all your sinful deeds?

If you read Galatians Chapter 5 verses 19-21 the apostle Paul says,
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Today are you willing to give up any of the sinful deeds mentioned above that you may be doing?
If yes, you can pray the prayer after reading these verses which speak about salvation
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23).
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered”(Psalm 32:1).
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”(Acts 4:12).
“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9).
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved”(Romans 10:9, 10).


Dear Father in Heaven,
I confess that I am a sinner and that I will perish in my sins if I do not accept Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. Forgive me all my sins and unrighteousness and wash me with the blood of Jesus and make me a new person this day. I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is your son and He died on the cross at Calvary for my sins and that He was resurrected and ascended to heaven and sits at your right hand with all authority given to Him by you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and let Him guide me through your Word to live a life, holy and pleasing to you.
In Jesus’ Name,

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