That Which is Highly Esteemed Among Men
By David J. Stewart
"And he [Jesus] said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." ―Luke 16:15
The above Scripture is followed by the literal account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The Bible contrasts the extravagant and pleasurable life of a rich man verses the sorrowful existence of a poor beggar named Lazarus. In the end, the Bible tells us that the rich man went straight to Hell to be tormented in flames; but Lazarus was escorted by angels into Abraham's Bosom (i.e., Paradise). There is not a clearer passage of Scripture in the Word of God, testifying to the vanity of earthly fame and fortune. The rich man had it all―wealth, health, power, security, friends, and the respect of his peers; BUT, he didn't have Jesus. In sharp contrast, Lazarus had nothing except Jesus. He was sick and the Bible says that dogs came and licked his wounds. Lazarus ate from the rich man's garbage, whatever he could scrape together. The Bible tells us that the rich man was consumed in his mind concerning building bigger storage barns for his grain, and laying up massive wealth for his old age; BUT, his retirement never came because God ended his life. The selfish rich man never gave thought to helping Lazarus in any way, nor did he think about God nor the eternal destiny of his soul.
Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
Jesus told these things to the Pharisees, because they were self-righteous rich men, who regarded not Jesus Christ, nor the poor. People are no different today. Everything that this sinful world highly esteems is void of Jesus Christ. We hear the holy name of Jesus defamed on a daily basis in public, on TV, at work, et cetera; BUT, we never hear anything good said about the Savior. The Pharisees were honored and respected everywhere they went, as if they were some type of heroes; but the Pharisees didn't honor Jesus Christ at all. This is seen much today in the world. Many people adore and praise their Catholic priests, Cardinals, and the Pope, while these very imposters trample upon the finished work of Christ by requiring good works for salvation. These men are all vile, dirty, rotten sinners; yet, they are reverenced as if they were something special. They are not! Jesus is special. Jesus is to be honored. It is Jesus Christ who is to be praised!
God is not impressed by superficial manifestations of religious piety. God looks upon the heart, as we read in Luke 16:15 above. So many religious leaders today are on their way to Hellfire, having never been born again through faith in Christ Jesus. They have churchianity without Christianity. They have religion without truth. The average person today honors ministers and priests as if they are good people; but the Bible says in Mark 10:18, "...there is none good but one, that is, God." No matter how much we may admire a man or woman of God, we must never forget that they are still vile, dirty, rotten sinners at best, just like you and me (Romans 3:10,19-23).
Most things that are important to the average person today won't matter a hill-of-beans 100 years from now, or 10,000 years from now for that matter. Consider how many people have given their life to music, singing, dancing, trading stocks, operating a tavern, computer software, et cetera. What will all that matter when you stand before God on Judgment Day? Are you saved? What are you doing with your life for God now? I didn't ask you if you were religious, phooey on that. I want to know if you've been born again? Have you realized your sinful condition, i.e., your guilt and condemnation under God's holy Law? And have you come to Jesus by faith, trusting upon His precious blood sacrifice to wash away your sins? It's as simple as this... we are sinners, and Jesus is the Savior! Won't you believe on Him now? Acts 16:31, "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..."
Life is short. The carnal world has their priorities backwards, and many professed 'Christians' as well. So many people today are consumed with making more money. No Christian should ever work overtime at the expense of spending time with their family. Don't let greed force you to work overtime. Live within your means. It is ridiculous for anyone to work 3 jobs. What is admirable about killing yourself? 1st Timothy 6:10 tells us that the love of money is the root of ALL evil. Will any of that money matter 100 years from now when you're dead and gone? No! The Christian believer needs to keep Heaven in view at all times, and rise above the fleeting, frail, and temporal things of this earthly life. Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
We often hear about the latest New York Times "Best Seller," but that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination (i.e., intensely hated) to God. James Van Praagh is a false teacher, who openly denies Jesus Christ in his New York Times "Best Seller," Talking to Heaven. Millions of Americans idolize Oprah Winfrey; yet she openly denies that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Heaven. Oprah is the Most Dangerous Women in the World! Americans idolize the wicked, especially movie stars and Rock 'n' Roll singers. These people are serving the Devil, and are highly esteemed amongst men; BUT they are an abomination to God Almighty! It is a shame, and a sin, that people are always looking for the next book to enhance their mind while the Word of God sits unread in their home (if they even have a Bible). David said in Psalm 119:105... "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Yet, where do people today look for guidance? They look to heretics like John Edward, Dr. Phil, and Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson practices clairvoyance on his TV program, just like the heathen psychics do. Are The 700 Club hosts, Pat Robertson, Gordon Robertson and Terry Meeuwsen, psychics?
John the Baptist was despised by the average person in his day, and would no doubt live as a recluse if he were alive today. John lived in the wilderness, and lived off the land, eating wild locusts and honey for food, and was clothed in camel's hair. I have no doubt that John wanted to live for the Lord, and wanted to escape the sinful temptations (which abound in all bigger cities). I admire people who forsake the city, and move to a smaller town to find a simpler life, where people still have character, backbone, integrity, and honesty. We see what happened to Lot and his family in the Old Testament when they moved to Sodom. The carnal world today wants materialistic things―cars, homes, vacations, boats, cruises, toys, and the pleasures of life; BUT, God wants us to OBEY the Bible.
That Which is Despised Among Men is Highly Esteemed By God
The life of a small baby is despised by many people, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the doctor's who perform the abortions, the Nazis who operate the abortion clinics, Planned Herodhood, and every mother who signs to have her own baby tortured to death. It's interesting that a mother's signature is required for her to have an abortion. It just seals her doom on Judgment Day when God asks her to identify the signature consenting to her baby's death. ONLY God can create life, and no man or woman has a right to kill that life (Exodus 20:13). We are a selfish generation of pleasure-seekers in the United States, who only think about what's best for us, even if it means killing other people to have our own way. Aborted babies are despised in the eyes of the abortionists and lawmakers as subhuman life; but those babies are precious and highly esteemed in the eyes of their divine Maker.
Many women are postponing having children because they have chosen to pursue a career instead. This is so tragic. Money should NEVER be a factor in any decisions we make in life. Oh the misery which the love of money brings... "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." So many women are deciding not to have children, even murdering their own babies by an abortion, so they can pursue a career to MAKE MONEY. How sad! How contemptible! The sorry excuse many women buy into is that they'll be able to provide a better life for their child after securing a career. This is simply not the case, as an aging mother with a career will struggle tremendously trying to be a mother too. 1st Timothy 5:14 instructs women that they should be at home, having children in a Christian marriage, taking care of the home, and not causing trouble for her husband. This is Biblical. It's not just the old-fashioned way, it's the right way! Motherhood is despised by feminists today, who are increasingly choosing careers over being mothers. God is not pleased with a career woman. A woman's place is in the home.
Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
We read in 1st Corinthians 1:28, "And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." The U.S. Army continually advertises that they're "Looking for a few strong men." Well, God is "Looking for a few WEAK men." "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2nd Corinthians 12:10). God bypasses the proud, the strong, the able, and the self-sufficient―for they glory in themselves and their own abilities. Rather, God looks for the weak, the despised, the poor, and the underdogs―that Jesus Christ may receive all the glory. Oh that I may be weaker, more despised, and rejected of men―that God may receive glory from my life which He has given to me. Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
This sinful world places no value on eternal things. Soulwinning means nothing to the average Christian, let alone to the average person. As a genuine Christian, I value the souls of men. Whereas 99% of this world only value's their pocketbook. I have never made a penny through my ministry, in any way, and never plan to. I am serving the Lord by reaching out to others with THE TRUTH. I am just dirt, a hell-deserving sinner saved by God's grace, who God in His wondrous power saved through the precious sin-cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. My sins have been washed away, thank God! I am a child of the King! Oh what peace this sinful world forfeits by not knowing the Savior.
What will all of Bill Gates' billions of dollars benefit him when he stands before God as an unbeliever? It won't. What will the dazzling physical beauty and splendor of all those Hollywood actors matter when their bodies crumble to dust once again in the soil? It will be too late then. The most beautiful women in this world are nothing more than dirt, and that is where their bodies will return when they die. There were billions of beautiful people alive 125 years ago, but they're ALL DEAD NOW! There are an estimated 6.4 billion people alive today! Did you ever stop to realize that EVERY ONE OF THEM WILL BE DEAD IN 125 YEARS? Yet, this sin-cursed world worships the human body, and cares not for the soul. Fitness centers and gyms abound everywhere, so people can exercise their bodies for their own health; BUT, what about the soul? Are you saved? Are you a soulwinner for Jesus Christ? Are you allowing God's Holy Spirit to live a righteous life through you? The flesh will die; but the spirit returns to God for judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Hebrews 9:27). Muscles and physical beauty are highly esteemed among men; but this earthly body is only temporal, frail, prone to eventual sickness, and cannot live for long. Are you ready to meet your Maker?
Let me clarify. There is nothing wrong with a woman working a job, or with people exercising, or to invest in stocks; BUT, these all become sinful when they take precedence over getting saved, seeking the truth, raising a family, and serving God. It's all a matter of priorities. Jesus stated in Luke 12:20,21... "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." The average person is foolish, and thinks that God will bless them for sending their money to a televangelist... Think again! We are commanded to be rich toward God; NOT toward televangelists! We should personally give of our time, resources, and money to genuine churches that reach out to the poor, preach the King James Bible, actively go soulwinning, and take a stand against sin in the community. Good luck finding such a church anymore. The best course of action is for each believer to serve God them self, on a personal level, and stop giving money to ministries who pamper themselves with new cars, nice homes, vacations, and the good life. None of the Apostles lived high-on-the-hog.
The Word of God is despised in America. The Word of God was despised so much by the Communist social thinkers behind the heathen Public School System, that they banned the Bible and prayer from their schools. America despises the commands of God. This is why Las Vegas thrives as "SIN CITY." American's go there to gamble, fornicate, and commit every sin imaginable in exchange for money. And yet we hypocritically claim "In God We Trust." No we don't! God hates Las Vegas; but Americans highly esteem such filth, indecency, and debauchery. God hates Hollyweird; but American's have made Hollywood's sex-pig producers and actors filthy rich―idolizing the sexual immorality, cursing in God's name, lewd adulterous scenes, and vile filth from Hell. How can we have the audacity to claim, "One Nation Under God"? The only god which America worships is Satan. If you don't believe me, then maybe you'll believe the Church Of Satan. The Iranians are correct when they label America as The Great Satan! Why does this term offend American's so much? Is it not true? Pray not for this people!
What is Important to You?
Nothing will matter 10,000 years from now accept 3 things:
- Did you die in the Lord and go to Heaven (Revelation 14:13), or did you die in your sins and go to Hell (John 8:24)?
- What did you do for Jesus' and the Gospel's sake while upon the earth as a Christian (Daniel 12:3; 1st Corinthians 3:11-15)?
- What kind of life did you live as a Christian? (2nd Corinthians 5:10)
There will be many tears of sorrow in Heaven, over failures in this earthly life―loved ones and friends who went to Hell because we didn't witness to them, people we hurt or who hurt us, wrongs not righted, et cetera. The heathen world teaches its own by example to be tough, hard-hearted, critical, calloused, selfish, and thick-skinned; BUT, we read in Ephesians 4:31,32... "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." The Pharisees looked like something on the outward appearance, but Jesus said they had rotting dead corpses within them... "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27). Are you serving the Devil in Jesus' name? So many people today seem to have-it-all-together on the outside, but they are hellbound in unbelief and saturated with sins within.
Everything in this life is backwards. Men trust in works to save them; but God only accepts faith alone in Jesus Christ (because of the blood that He shed for our sins). Most men think that strength is what's important; but God is looking for weakness (so that He may be strong in us). Most people think God gave the 10 Commandments to be kept; but they were given to expose our sinfulness when we break them (and thus reveal our desperate need for a Savior). Most people view the Bible as just another religious book; BUT it is the Word of God.
What will it matter if you spend your entire life making money, and lay up a big 401K retirement, and then you die and go to Hell for eternity? So many people eat, drink, and sleep the stock market, or their mutual funds, or how they're going to beat-the-game. As believers we don't need to play the world's game. I have known several believers who fell by the wayside because of the love of money. The greatest things in life are not things. What matters to God is whether or not you have been born again, i.e., whether or not you've come to Jesus Christ as a sinner, believing on Him for forgiveness. Many people today claim to be Christians, but they are not. They claim to have faith in Jesus, but they don't. Are you really a Christian? If you're a Christian, then are you a soulwinner? That's what's important to God. Is your heart right with God? Christianity is being exploited nowadays at unprecedented levels, so imposters can make lots of money. Any pastor, Bible teacher, or evangelist who doesn't preach about soulwinning, repentance, holy living, the judgment of God upon sinners, Hellfire, the blood of Jesus, and being born again is a BIG FAKE!!! It's the TRUTH that impresses God (John 4:24), not some fancy-pants preacher.
Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
Ye Must Be Born Again!