a) Why fear God (Luke 12)? Everything will be disclosed before God in the coming judgement (Rom 2:15; 1 Cor 4:5). Our stewardship of God’s gifts will be examined and rewarded (1 Cor 3:10-17). We should fear the One who has power to determine our eternal future rather than someone who can merely kill the body.
Does God punish for eternity (Rev 20:10)? Or is the destruction of the soul itself eternal punishment? I’ve covered this discussion on my own website posting for this sermon click here.
Whatever view, this passage says that to be judged by God and not found in Christ is the most desperate experience. For after judgement, a person knows for certain that there is a God, to have seen his face, to know that Jesus was the answer, then to know they have missed for ever the chance to know him and be blessed by him.
b) What is unforgiveable? (12:10)
1. claiming Jesus has come from Satan (11:14-20)
2. renouncing faith in Jesus (12:9)
3. rejecting apostolic teaching (1 John 4:1-3)
4. constantly rejecting the message of the gospel made known by Spirit (e.g. Paul spoke against Jesus, but did not reject the Spirit’s call to believe in Jesus; 12:5; Acts 3:22-26)
This is a difficult issue and I’ve added some extra notes on my personal blog: click here.
c) Fear God not others (12:4-12) If we are righteous before God, we have nothing to fear from him (1 John 3:1-3). We fear God without being afraid of him. And God is there when we face opposition from others (11-12). The pressures we are under to defend ourselves are more subtle than in the past, just as real.
d) This is a moment of truth (12:13-21) To stand up and be counted. To be accountable to God for our lives. To store up treasure in heaven. There are serious implications if we reject the Spirit’s testimony. There are not many routes to heaven, to God. There is one. Take it!!
1. What individuals or groups are most feared in our society? Do these people ever act in a hypocritical way? What’s the meaning of hypocrisy?
2. What is the yeast of the Pharisees? Why use the illustration of yeast? What eventually happens to bread made with yeast? (Hebrews 4:13)
3. What did Jesus say his disciples should and should not fear? (12:4-5) How does this tie in to the imagery about the sparrows and hairs on your head? (12:6-7)
4. How was the disciples’ loyalty to Jesus linked to Jesus’ loyalty to them? (12:8-9) What situations tempt people to not acknowledge Jesus before others?
5. If you think you might find yourself in a position where you have to defend your views or your faith, is it better to rehearse and be knowledgeable about what to say or just let the Holy Spirit put the right words in your mouth? (12:11-12)
6. Is “eat, drink, and be merry” a non-Biblical idea? (12:19, Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:13, 5:18, 8:15, 9:7)
7. Against what did Jesus warn the crowd? (12:15) Why? What can be the signs of greed in a person’s life?
8. With what parts of the parable rich fool can you identify? What parts of the parable make you uncomfortable? (12:16-20)
What’s the meaning of 12:10? If you speak against Jesus, you can be forgiven, but if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you cannot be forgiven? Hint: The sermon will pick up on the impact of four fatal attitudes – claiming Jesus has come from Satan (11:14-20), renouncing faith in Jesus (12:9), rejecting apostolic teaching (1 John 4:1-3),and constantly rejecting the message of the gospel made known by Spirit (12:5; Acts 3:22-26).
Does this parable say you should not plan for retirement or that you should not save money or valuables?
Why is it difficult for us to accept the fact that our life and things are temporary? What step can you take this week to become less dependent upon your possessions?