If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. Luke 16:31
After Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, he parachuted into the Russian countryside. A farm woman spotted the orange-clad cosmonaut, still wearing his helmet and dragging two parachutes. “Can it be that you have come from outer space?” she asked in surprise. “As a matter of fact, I have,” he said.
Soviet leaders sadly turned the historic flight into antireligious propaganda. “Gagarin went into space, but he didn’t see any god there,” their premier declared. (Gagarin himself never said such a thing.) As C. S. Lewis observed, “Those who do not find [God] on earth are unlikely to find Him in space.”
Jesus warned us about ignoring God in this life. He told a story of two men who died—a rich man who had no time for God, and Lazarus, a destitute man rich in faith (Luke 16:19–31). In torment, the rich man pleaded with Abraham for his brothers still on earth. “Send Lazarus,” he begged Abraham. “If someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent” (vv. 27, 30). Abraham got to the heart of the problem: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (v. 31).
“Seeing is never believing,” wrote Oswald Chambers. “We interpret what we see in the light of what we believe.”
What do you believe about the existence of God and the reality of Christ’s resurrection? How do your beliefs affect your day-to-day choices?
Father, I pray today for those who don’t yet believe in You. Draw them by the gentle power and love of Your Holy Spirit.
The rich man hoped that someone rising from the dead would convince his brothers to repent and avoid torment (Luke 16:27–28). Ironically, another man named Lazarus really did rise from the dead (see John 11), as did Jesus Himself. But many people still rejected Jesus even after witnessing those miracles. Abraham’s warning in Luke 16:31 is prophetic. If we refuse to see that the Law and the Prophets point to Jesus, we’ll reject Him despite the evidence.