In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus Jesus says that Abraham tells the rich man that if his brothers do not believe ‘Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead’. The Jews who heard Jesus would understand Moses and the Prophets to be what we have as the Old Testament. Jesus says that if these men don’t believe because of the teaching of the Bible they will not respond in faith if they witness a miracle. [Read Luke 16:19-31 at end of this article.]
Often people say that they will trust in Christ or believe in God if they witness what they consider to be a miracle. However according to Jesus people who don’t believe the teaching of the Bible are unlikely to believe if they witness a miracle. This has serious implications for Christians who want to encourage people to trust in Christ because it suggests that those who are going to respond will respond to the Bible.
This poses the question ‘How can we encourage people to read the Bible?’ We believe one way is to personally recommend the reading of one book of the Bible. What better place for someone to start reading the Bible then one of the Gospels. For this reason we are encouraging Christians to sensitively distribute the Gospels of John and Mark. Personal recommendation is very powerful particularly among people who know you well.
Why not order 10 Gospels from Bridge Builders and prayerfully give them away as the opportunities arise. People just like the brothers of the rich man live all around us and they may never ever consider reading the Bible without someone encourages them.
19 ¶ “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,
28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”