The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 is an example of how a person has died and gone to hell and begs Abraham to send Lazarus the beggar to warn his brothers about hell. Abraham had to tell him that even though he, the rich man, wanted to warn his brothers it would do no good. The rich man’s final chapter had been written. The book was closed.
This brings us to Psalm 1. It was the subject of Pastor Josh’s sermon. There are only six verses but each one is a lesson in what to be and what not to be. The language is simple. If you want to be blessed (by God) you will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand around with sinners, or sit around with the scornful. Scornful, there are 39 synonyms for it in the thesaurus but malicious is a good one.
“Today the world can take things and make them sound real good. If we’re not careful we can fall for their counsel. Be very careful. Why? Because the devil is good at his job. ‘…except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…’ (Matthew 24:22). First John 2:15-17 tells us the sins of the world are the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.” expounded Pastor Josh.
Psalm 1 is a lesson in compare and contrast. A man is blessed who doesn’t consort with the seamier side of life, verse one; because, his heart takes delight in learning about the Lord and studying and thinking about it. That’s verse two. Verse three describes this blessed man as one who grows in the ways of God and becomes fruitful when the time is right. He prospers in the knowledge of God. He becomes more like Jesus.
The contrast begins in verse four. The ungodly do not have blessings. They are blown about from one thing to another. They have no roots like the tree in the previous verse. Like the rich man in the parable they will not be counted among the righteous. Instead, they will perish.
Pastor Josh’s final words, “Every funeral I preach, I say something like this: if you could talk to the deceased person now, if we could have a conversation with them, they would tell us ‘Prepare to meet God’ whether you are saved or lost. Why? Because God knows the ways of the righteous and the unrighteous. When the folks in paradise and the ones in the flames of hell are telling you the same thing, you ought to slow down and pay attention to that.”