Morning Reading for August 29

Luke 16:19-31
Suggested further reading: John 5:39-47

The change that will come over the minds of unconverted men after death is one of the most fearful points in their future condition. They will see, know and understand a hundred things to which they were blind while they were alive. They will discover, like Esau, they have bartered away eternal happiness for a mere `mess of pottage'. There is no infidelity, scepticism or unbelief after death. Hell is truth known too late.

The greatest miracles would have no effect on men's hearts if they will not believe God's Word. The rich man thought otherwise (vv. 27-28). He argued that the sight of one who came from another world would surely make them feel their need, though the old familiar words of Moses and the prophets had been heard in vain. The reply of Abraham is solemn and instructive (v. 31).

The principle laid down in these words is of deep importance. The Scriptures contain all that we need to know in order to be saved, and a messenger from the world beyond the grave could add nothing to them. It is not more evidence that is wanted in order to make men repent, but more heart and will to make use of what they already know. The dead could tell us nothing more than the Bible contains if they rose from their graves to instruct us. After the first novelty of their testimony was worn away we should care no more for their words than the words of any other. This wretched waiting for something which we have not, and neglect of what we have, is the ruin of thousands of souls. Faith, simple faith in the Scriptures which we already possess, is the first thing needful to salvation. The man who has the Bible and can read it, and yet waits for more evidence before he becomes a decided Christian, is deceiving himself. Except he awakens from his delusion, he will die in his sins.

For meditation: Constantly we are told that it is the rediscovery of the miraculous that will change the apathy of the world into belief. Abraham's clear words deny it. Men who do not want to believe can and do explain away every piece of evidence presented to them.

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