I must say that of all the features created on certain electronic devices, the button I most appreciate is the rewinding button. I can even stop or pause my programs and go back to what I’ve missed. If I need to have something repeated I simply press rewind. How wonderful is that! I needn’t miss a thing. But as great as that feature is, it doesn’t provide the opportunity to actually participate in real time in whatever is happening, it only allows me to view it. That feature works well electronically but not spiritually. There are certain things that we will never be able to rewind in order to change or alter the outcome. Take the man in the scriptures for example who wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers. He was requesting a rewind, a do over, but the window of opportunity had passed. His whole life was flashing before him, but he was helpless to change it for himself and others.

“There once was a rich man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. A poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, had been dumped on his doorstep. All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores. “Then he died, this poor man, and was taken up by the angels to the lap of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell and in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham in the distance and Lazarus in his lap. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, mercy! Have mercy! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool my tongue. I’m in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you got the good things and Lazarus the bad things. It’s not like that here. Here he’s consoled and you’re tormented. Besides, in all these matters there is a huge chasm set between us so that no one can go from us to you even if he wanted to, nor can anyone cross over from you to us.’ “The rich man said, ‘Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment.’ “Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.’ “‘I know, Father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.’ “Abraham replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.’”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:19-31‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The Father has provided a great resetting through His Son Jesus. We don’t need to go back in order to move forward. As a matter of fact He encourages us to forget the former things and see the new thing that He’s doing. Isaiah 43:18. Paul also shared how he was able to move away from a life of rewinding. Philippians 3:13. None of us wants a rewinding of our past, especially if what’s behind you was painful. And even the good old days pale in comparison to what lies ahead because of what Jesus has accomplished for us. The rich man in our reading today knew he had lost his opportunity to make things right spiritually so he was pleading for his brothers to be warned before it was too late. Abraham’s response is true of many today. They’re hearing the Gospel being preached, but have decided that it isn’t important to them now.

I read somewhere that Bill Gates arrogantly made this statement. And I quote, “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient, there’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”

When the world speaks of religion, they’re talking about church attendance and periodic Bible reading and prayer. If church is a waste of time to mister Gates, then of a certainty he will join the rich man in our text, desiring a rewind when it’s too late. Money cannot purchase real estate in heaven. I don’t care who gives the eulogy for the rich and famous. Those who think they don’t need the gospel, don’t need Jesus, are in for a rude awakening. There’s also no pause button in hell, there’s no temperature control. That’s the real climate change. The green new deal can’t fix the temperature. You hear all this talk about controlling the intensity of heat from the sun, by using pixie dust, that’s what I’m calling it. We think we know more than God who created all things. But that’s the mindset of those who believe there is no God. Hell is an eye opener for many like the rich guy in Luke 16.

The world mocks and laughs at us Jesus followers. People like Bill Gates and Hawking see God and Jesus as fairy tales.….Until. But we see Jesus. And we continue preaching and teaching the way to true hope. Scoffers will arise, intellectual elites will scorn the simplicity of the Gospel message. 1 Corinthians 1:27. They will deny the resurrection, be insulted that they need to be saved. After all -they’re good people, they have given millions to causes. Life is good. They have everything money can buy. Except for the one thing they need: Salvation through the blood and Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This disease of the heart plagues the rich and poor alike. They’re those who reject the Gospel message because they blame God for the plight they’re in, unlike Job, they see God and the Church as the problem. We have contributed to that mindset, but by God’s grace I pray that the church will experience a great resetting. Going back to the basics. Preaching Jesus alone as the only way, truth and life. The message of the love of God still wins hearts.

While there’s no rewind, there’s a looking forward with hope. We serve an unchangeable God. The Bible says Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever more. Hebrews 13:8 Open up your heart and receive His forgiveness today. Romans 10:9. Our Father doesn’t make allowances for rewinding, but He does allow for u-turns, resetting and renewal while here on earth. That’s why He tells us often that today is all we have. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Why wait to lift up your eyes in a place of no rewind? You can see it but you can’t change a thing. I’ll never assume that everyone in this audience is born again. And if we are, we know others who aren’t. I pray that we, as well as they, will not procrastinate with the greatest decision one will ever make. We can know for certain when we depart this life to the next, that we will be with Jesus.

“Now, since we are God’s coworkers, we beg you not to take God’s marvelous grace for granted, allowing it to have no effect on your lives. For He says, I listened to you at the time of My favor. And the day when you needed salvation, I came to your aid. So can’t you see? Now is the time to respond to His favor! Now is the day of salvation!”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭95:7-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

November 29, 2021

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